Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sinister 2

I really enjoyed the first Sinister. It had characters I cared about and was one of the few horror movies in recent years that actually scared the crap out of me. I was a little nervous about this one however, since it wasn't directed by Scott Derrickson and it's been getting terrible reviews. In fact I had planned on just waiting until this came to Netflix. But I remembered that I had a free movie pass so I figured why not put it to good use. Plus I wanted to support C. Robert Cargill who I've been a fan of for years. So what's the verdict? Well to be honest, it's a terrible movie. But it's far from the worst I've ever seen.

Sinister 2 picks up not long after the events of the first movie. This time around we follow a new family- a young mother named Courtney (Shannyn Sossamon) and her two sons Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) and Zach (Dartanian Sloan) who move into a rural house with a terrible past. When former Deputy So & So (James Ransone, the only actor to reprise his role from the first movie besides the guy playing Bughuul) learns that this family would be next in line to fall to Bughuul he does everything he can to help them. 

As I said, Scott Derrickson wasn't the director this time around (although he did write the script along with C. Robert Cargill). Instead it was Ciaran Foy, who up until now had done mostly short films. Boy did he fuck up here! I didn't feel scared at all when watching this. There were a lot of jump scares (far too many for my liking) and only one of them got a slight reaction out of me. It's like he took everything that made the first movie great and just shit on it. 

I don't blame C. Robert Cargill and Scott Derrickson at all. They had an interesting story here. Hell, there were even a few scenes that I thought were decent. If it weren't for them I'd be giving this movie a much lower rating. 

Somehow Ciaran Foy screwed things up translating this from script to screen. I understand having your own interpretation of the story but come on! And that ending... Seriously? I was already angry at this point and this just pushed me over the edge. When they showed that moment and then cut to the credits I was like, "Fuck you!". And no, I didn't just think that in my head. I literally said it out loud in the theater. 

I could go on a rant all night about Sinister 2 but I'll spare you that. As I said it wasn't the worst, but I still wouldn't waste my time or money on it. If you're really curious, wait til it's on Netflix. Better yet just watch the first one again. 

My Rating: 5/10

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Straight Outta Compton

Having been a kid when NWA really hit it big (I think I was only about four or five at the time), I didn't know a whole lot about them. I mean I knew who they were and remember hearing of the events surrounding them but that's about it. Of course, when I was a little bit older I listened to some of their music and liked it. So when I heard they were making this movie I really wanted too see it and find out more. I'm happy to report that Straight Outta Compton was amazing! It's honestly one of my favorite movies of the year so far.

The movie chronicles the rise and fall of legendary hip hop group NWA- Eazy-E (Jason Mitchell), Dr. Dre (Corey Hawkins), Ice Cube (O'Shea Jackson Jr., Ice Cube's actual son. He's the spitting image of his father.), DJ Yella (Neil Brown Jr.), and MC Ren (Aldis Hodge).

One of the many things I love about this movie is the incredible performances. One that really stood out to me was Jason Mitchell. Of course, the ones I knew the most about were Dr. Dre and Ice Cube. But I didn't know a whole lot about Eazy-E other than the fact that he was in the group and sadly passed away from AIDS in 1995. I was sobbing when it came to this part in the movie. I knew it was coming but it still hit me right in the feels. And to anyone who gets mad at me for not posting a spoiler warning- Seriously? This happened 20 years ago! Anyway I would love to see him and the rest of the actors get some kind of recognition come award season. But with the way the Academy is who knows if that will happen.

Director F Gary Gray does a good job developing this story and showing both the good and the bad side of these guys. But you can understand where they were coming from. They did gloss over a few things though. But I enjoyed the movie so much that I was willing to let that go. 

The movie also covers a lot of what was going on at that time, including the Rodney King case and all the police brutality. It's really sad to think that in all those years since these events occurred, not a whole hell of a lot has changed. 

My only criticism of the movie is that it felt a little rushed in the second half, mainly towards the end. You got the feeling that there was more that was suppose to be there. From what I've heard, the original cut was suppose to be three and a half hours long but they ended up editing it down to two and a half hours. I really hope they release the longer version on DVD/Blu-Ray. 

Even if you're not a fan of hip hop, Straight Outta Compton has something for everyone. I highly recommend it. 

My Rating: 9.5/10

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Gift

Wow! That's what was going through my head as I was walking out of the theater. I'm a big fan of Joel Edgerton and boy did he hit it out of the park and create one of the best thrillers I've seen in years.

The Gift follows Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall)- a married couple who one day, while out furniture shopping for their new house, encounter Gordo (Joel Edgerton). Gordo went to high school with Simon 25 years ago. After the very awkward encounter, Gordo begins coming over unannounced and brings them a series of gifts. At first he seems harmless, but definitely a little odd. Robyn then slowly uncovers the real connection between Simon and Gordo and what happened all those years ago.

Joel Edgerton makes his directorial debut here (as well as writing the script and producing) and I couldn't be more impressed. The story slowly builds up and gets more and more tense as each thing is revealed. Everything from the way the scenes were edited together to the color sceme (which is a lot of blues and grays) really sets the tone and added to the creepiness.

I also applaud Joel for showing just how much bullying can affect you even later in life. Another director might have set this in high school but I'm glad he decided to go this route instead. 

Every actor in here gave an amazing performance. Joel Edgerton was great as Gordo. The character is very awkward but Joel doesn't play it over the top. There's just enough of that creepy factor to let you know that something isn't right with him. 

Jason Bateman does just as good a job. It was a little weird at first seeing him in this type of movie given that he's well known for doing comedies. Simon is a character that on the surface appears fairly normal but at the same time you can tell there's something off about him too. 

Just to warn you there are a few jump scares in this movie. Not a lot though. I counted maybe two or three. Normally I hate when movies do this but here it really works. Each time, even though I could sense when it was about to happen, I jumped in my seat and yelled out. I swear I thought I was going to have a heart attack. 

There was one moment at the end where a big twist is revealed. All I'll say is it will make people very uncomfortable and it took me out of the movie for a minute. I thought about taking a point off my rating because of it but it's such a well made movie that I'm willing to let that slide.

I really encourage all of you to go out and support The Gift. Hollywood really needs more movies like this. It really makes you think and will stick with you even days later. I know it's early but this movie stands a good chance of making my top ten list at the end of the year. 

My Rating: 10/10

Monday, August 3, 2015

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation

I was a big fan of 2011's Ghost Protocol, which was surprising given that I was never really crazy about the first three. This time around I was excited for Rogue Nation and it did not disappoint. While I think Ghost Protocol was slightly better, I still loved every minute of this movie.

This time around Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team- Benji (Simon Pegg), Brandt (Jeremy Renner), and Luther (Ving Rhames) take on the Syndicate, a rogue organization that is determined to destroy them.

There's really no point in going into more details.We all know nobody goes to these movies for the plot. It's all about the action and boy does director Christopher McQuarrie deliver! The action scenes were some of the most jaw dropping and well choreographed I've seen in years. Especially the one under water. How Tom Cruise, who I believe did most if not all of his own stunts, is still able to pull this off I'll never know. The movie was two hours and eleven minutes long but time seemed to just fly by. Not once was I bored.

Yes, the movie is ridiculous and over the top. You really have to suspend disbelief but so what? Although there were a few scenes, mainly the motorcycle one, where I felt they were really pushing it.

If you're looking for a really fun action movie then check out Rogue Nation. It'll be money well spent I promise.

My Rating: 9/10