Tag Archives: Film

If Midsommar Is Anything Like Hereditary, I’m Game

Hereditary is my favorite horror film to date.

If you haven’t seen it, I can’t go into detail as to why. Giving too much away will rob you of the mind-boggling, tension-building experience that’s part of what makes the film so sublime.

Here’s all you need to know: A family mourns the death of their matriarch. Toni Colette plays Annie, the mother, and she is nothing short of spectacular in this role. And lastly, you’ll cruise the first 90 minutes of the film with a steady dread, and then the last 30 minutes will really freak you the fuck out.

Hereditary, film

This isn’t a great film in comparison to other horror flicks. This is a great film, period. Beginning with framing, Aster sets up shots beautifully and in a way that gets you wondering what’s real and what’s not. Then there’s the eerie music and distinct sounds  brought to the forefront of the film to play a significant role. And finally, the cast, all of which are extraordinary, but it’s Toni Colette that will make you want to fake a trip to the bathroom. Fight the urge. Stay put. Hereditary is a beautiful, terrifying work of art.

So you can imagine my excitement when I found out that writer/director Ari Aster had created another could-be (hopefully will be) masterpiece.

Screen Shot 2019-06-29 at 5.41.49 PM

Straight from A24’s website, here’s the premise of Midsommar:

Dani and Christian are a young American couple with a relationship on the brink of falling apart. But after a family tragedy keeps them together, a grieving Dani invites herself to join Christian and his friends on a trip to a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival in a remote Swedish village. What begins as a carefree summer holiday in a land of eternal sunlight takes a sinister turn when the insular villagers invite their guests to partake in festivities that render the pastoral paradise increasingly unnerving and viscerally disturbing. From the visionary mind of Ari Aster comes a dread-soaked cinematic fairytale where a world of darkness unfolds in broad daylight.

It’s comforting to see a lot of similarities between Aster’s two films in Midsommar’s trailer alone, including the stunning visuals and ominous music.

You might’ve recognized Florence Pugh. She costarred with Maisie Williams (our beloved Arya in Game of Thrones) in The Falling in 2014. And she recently starred in Stephen Merchant’s comedy Fighting With My Family. She’s proven her talent over and over again, so I’ll be happy to see what she has to deliver in this film.

By the way…
If you too are a Florence Pugh fan, you’ll be happy to know that she’ll be playing Amy March in the remake of Little Women, starring Meryl Streep and due to be released Christmas 2019.

Whether or not Midsommar will be just as good doesn’t really matter actually. After Hereditary, I trust Aster. I believe in him. And I can’t wait to watch his new film.

Midsommar premieres in theaters July 3rd. 

 

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Horror Film Heaven

Holy horror flick. I’ve hit the motherlode.

I’ve just discovered Shudder, a streaming service that offers films guaranteed to make you–you guessed it–shudder.

Photo/Bloody-Disgusting

Photo/Bloody-Disgusting

(Well actually, I was told about the site by someone who knows my love for film, and how that love very much includes horror flicks. So, thank you, Alex!)

The website design is pretty awesome. It’s responsive and visually intriguing. You can browse the library, or you can look through collections that have been so aptly named. Some of my favorite: “Identity Crises,” “Slashics,” and “Zombie Jamboree.”

But are the films any good? Good question. And I don’t know. I literally just found out about this. So I’ll do my homework this week. But I will say, the site has been carefully curated by horror film aficionados. In other words, people who know their shit when it comes to horror flicks. Unlike on Netflix, most of the films seem to have average to above average ratings, which is a relief because anyone who likes horror films knows there are some really crappy ones out there.

Oh, and make sure you check out their Shudder.TV for continuous streaming. Yes, continuous as in “without interruption.”

You’re welcome, you freaks.

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Chef Creates the Perfect Blend

chef-screenshot

Featuring a food truck and a cross country road trip, Chef is the perfect blend of culture and gastronomy. And what could be better than a film about food? Well, a film about food with a great cast:

Jon Favreau, Iron Man trilogy & Couples Retreat

John Leguizamo, all Ice Age movies & Moulin Rouge

Bobby Cannavale, Blue JasmineWin Win

Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation & The Avengers

Dustin HoffmanThe Graduate & Rain Man

Sofía Vergara, “Modern Family”

Oliver Platt, X-Men: First Class 2012

Amy Sedaris, Puss in Boots Elf

And my personal favorite:
Robert Downey, Jr., Iron Man trilogy & Due Date

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My First Film Review: Slumdog Millionaire

Mixing wit and romance, “Slumdog Millionaire” proves to be a well-rounded story of survival, of overcoming obstacles in unfortunate circumstances to find a love that was once lost. Director Danny Boyle (“28 Days Later” and “Trainspotting”) and screenwriter Simon Beaufoy (“The Full Monty”) come together and manage to create a film depicting the brutal experiences in the life of an orphaned child growing up in the slums of Mumbai while managing to keep the film lighthearted with its witty dialogue and humorous tone.

slumdog

Based on the novel by Vikas Swarup, this drama is based on Jamal Malik, played by Dev Patel (also in the 2007 British series “Skins”), a young boy from Mumbai. Jamal grew up in the slums, but he somehow manages to end up on India’s very own version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?—answering question after question correctly at that.

The film opens up with Jamal sitting in the “hot seat” with the show’s host making small talk, asking him where he is from and where he works. Upon discovering that Jamal is merely a chai wallah who serves tea at a call center, he pokes fun at the idea that this young man could possibly win the full lot of money—20 million rupee. Questions come and go, and the terrified Jamal has only used one “lifeline.” Suspicions of cheating are raised and, during the TV show’s overnight break, Jamal is tortured in interrogation to discover how he might know all the answers to the questions being given to him. The detective interrogating him cannot understand how Jamal could answer a question in reference to an American one hundred dollar bill but that he cannot correctly answer a question in reference to their own country without consulting the audience. Most of all, no one can understand what this “slumdog” wants with 20 million rupee, since it seems his motivation is not the money after all. The detective discovers this as well as he listens to Jamal’s story throughout the interrogation.

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Blue Is the Warmest, So Hot

And when I say “hot,” I’m not referring to the six-minute long sex scene. In fact, I don’t care to talk about that–though I assure you, it is very sexy and quite intense.

Blue is the Warmest Color-movie poster

I refuse to discuss the controversy behind this film. I won’t go over the drama between director Abdellatif Kechiche and one of the leading ladies, Lea Seydoux. Because the truth is, none of these things are what made the film such a success.

Thinking back on Blue Is the Warmest Color, the word “raw” comes to mind. I nearly forgot Adèle Exarchopoulos and Seydoux were acting. Kechiche uses close ups to draw you in to every moment and every emotion. He especially loves to focus on lead actress Exarchopoulos’ mouth, which could alone possibly win an award–with every bite she took and every sob she let out, her lips were the center of my attention.

The film, originally titled La vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 et 2, tells the story of Adèle, how she comes to meet Emma, and what happens thereafter they begin a romance. The story beautifully told and the scenes beautifully shot, if you can appreciate true art in film form, you must go watch this.

*There is a final screening at the Miami Beach Cinematheque tonight! Get your tickets here.

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It’s a Disaster Is Really Not

Stumbled upon this indie work of art on Netflix, and I’m ever so glad I did.

It's a Disaster

The darkly humorous shot with which the movie opens immediately sets the tone for what you’re about to experience. Then, it introduces you to a cast of frustrating characters in an array of awkward moments and situations. In the background, the subtle sound of police and rescue vehicle sirens blare, and no one (maybe not even you at first) notices because they’re so engulfed in their “disastrous” lives. And yet, you find yourself loving these characters for the messes that they are.

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Anticipating the World’s End

If you are not a fan of the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost duo, leave now. Actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost
We are not of the same kind.

However, if you are, you will share in my excitement in anticipating their new upcoming film, The World’s End (in theaters August 23rd).

Both Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright previously wrote Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. With this latest film, they’ll be wrapping up the trilogy, telling the story of five long-time friends who have reunited after 20 years to complete the ultimate pub crawl!

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Carrie, 1976 & Now

Who doesn’t know the name Carrie?

Brian de Palma‘s adaptation of the Stephen King novel was released as a feature film in 1976, starring Sissy Spacek who scared the bejeezus out of us with those crazy eyes. Picture 5

Since then, there have been other releases: a sequel, a made-for-TV film, and even a broadway musical–none of which I can rave about. But this October, another adaptation is set to be released in theaters, and this time Chloë Grace Moretz gets to sport the pig’s blood.

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In this latest adaptation…

  • Definitely better effects. Duh! I mean, just compare the two trailers.
  • More of Carrie White as well. Her thoughts, her feelings.
  • More telekinesis.

And in regards to the leading lady–
I love her, but might she be too cute (too pretty even) to play the part? I’m not sure she can creep me out the way Sissy still can.

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Mixed Feelings for Now You See Me

large_jNPvwlt6h6Gm4jdRbfzyYjgHpVbCan I just say– don’t you absolutely love that feeling you get when you sit down in a movie theater and brace yourself for the experience you have been waiting for since the first time you saw the movie’s trailer a couple of months ago? It’s a combination of a couple of feelings actually: excitement, the idea that this movie might be one hell of a ride; and nervousness, accepting you might be walking out of there feeling deeply disappointed.

In some cases, it’s a risk worth taking, and it seemed to be so with Now You See Me, since (although the title didn’t impress me) the trailer immediately piqued my interest.

The mystery behind every illusion is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. Throw in crime and conflict, and you’ve got an entertaining story on your hands. I usually keep as quiet as a mouse while watching a movie, out of respect to my fellow audience members and to the film itself. But this ride was too good not to occasionally exclaim, “Whoa,” “Oh shit,” and “Awesome!” 

Nonetheless, entertaining as it was, the film left me with mixed feelings.
**[Slight] SPOILER ALERT**

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Down to Disconnect

Disconnect is about a group of people who have lived engrossed in the technology of their digitally-riddled world and are now struggling to find human connection.

Sounds like a Lifetime movie, right? There’s an interesting, universal theme about how we take our lives for granted, living in a darkness among materialistic obsessions– a society that praises the value of a car over the value of a friendship. Hey, I’m not preaching. This is the kind of message so many made-for-TV movies attempt to deliver, and in the cheesiest way.

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