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Wednesday, June 13, 2018


When the matriarch of the Graham family passes away, her daughter’s family begins to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry.

Starring: Toni Collette, Milly Shapiro, and Gabriel Byrne

Written and directed by: Ari Aster

  Alright, no messing around with recaps or sarcastic openings this time! I’m going to dive right into this review because apparently I’m in the minority on “Hereditary.” It seems like this movie is getting a lot of love, and I just don’t see it. No, it’s not a bad movie, but it just didn’t “wow” me like it has many others. 
  Let me get the obvious out of the way first, and something most of us can agree on. Toni Collette did an amazing job. Most people expected it, and got what they were looking for in her performance. Really she could have stood in the corner and said the same word for the entire film, and everyone would have said she was awesome. Regardless, she mastered the extreme emotions of her character, and it was definitely a tough role to play. The other thing I really enjoyed was the cinematography. Moving some of scenes in and out through the use of the doll houses was creative.
  Now to the rest of the movie. First, I heard some people say it was scary. Sorry at no point was I scared by anything. Shocked at some of the scenes…yes, but scared no way! Scares are different for many people, but the movie didn’t even come off as trying hard to scare like say an “Insidious” movie. If anything, creepy is a word I would use more than scary.
  The movie is a slow burn, which is usually a killer for me, especially the first half. The first half is used to put a few ideas in the audiences’ head, and then shock them with a tragic event. Yes, shocking, but clearly the most interesting thing that happens in the first half of the movie. To the movie’s credit, it also changes the focus from one character to another, which might throw off some as to guessing at what’s coming next.
  And what does come in the second half of the movie? Lets call it a lot of very strange and weird scenes. It originally seems like the movie might be about ghosts, but it’s really about mental illness. It ran in the family big time, and it eventually comes to a head (for those who still have heads!) There’s hints of what’s in their minds, but it didn’t appear that it would come true. However it does in full bizarre fashion!
  When walking out of the theater I had that same kind of feeling I did when leaving “Mother.” The feeling of “what the hell did I just watch.” No feeling of that was amazing, or scary. Just “what the hell just happened?” Yes, they did a great job of taking mental illness to a horrific level, but it just didn’t do anything for me. The acting was great, the mental illness aspect of the story was interesting, and the cinematography was fantastic. However, it just got too weird too quick, which ruined it for me. With that, I’ll be in the minority on “Hereditary” and give it 2.5 pools of blood.


Friday, June 1, 2018


Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.

Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Richard Anastasios, and Rosco Campbell

Written and directed by: Leigh Whannell

  The summer is here and that means it’s summer movie time. There will be all kinds of movies from action to comedy, from horror to romance. Wouldn’t it be nice to kick off the summer movie season with a film that has a little bit of everything? Well, let me introduce you to “Upgrade.”
  Set in a tech heavy future, Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) is everything but a tech nerd. He prefers the hands on approach like repairing a car in the garage. His wife Asha (Melanie Vallejo), on the other hand, is definitely a tech nerd with a sweet car. On the way home from meeting Grey’s client Eron (Harrison Gilbertson), the couple shares a romantic moment before tragedy strikes. That sweet car malfunctions, crashes, and leaves the couple ambushed in a bad neighborhood. Grey ends up paralyzed, and with no wife.
  Grey is now depressed, suicidal, and left with machines mostly taking care of him. All he wants is revenge for his wife’s death, but obviously can’t do that in a wheelchair. Not until tech savvy Eron convinces him to have an experimental piece of technology named Stem placed inside of him. Stem remarkably restores his body, and allows him to function even better than before the accident.
  Cue the awesomeness of the movie! Grey starts confronting the men who killed his wife, and this produces some awesome fight scenes. Stem helps give Grey an advantage over his attackers. They do a great job combining his fight movements and the way the scenes are shot. There is also a little bit of humor in the way Grey responds during and after the fights. 
 Besides the exciting fight scenes, the film also keeps the audience engaged with the crime Grey is trying to solve. As he puts the pieces together, so will the audience. Seeing many of these kind of movies the audience might have their guesses, but there is a nice twist at the end. They do a good job of wrapping it up, and giving the audience one slight misdirection before the ultimate reveal. 
  “Upgrade” has all types of summer movies wrapped up in one (except maybe dinosaurs). It starts with a little comedy and romance, which quickly turns to tragedy. From there sci-fi makes an appearance, and turns the movie into murder mystery. The highlight without a doubt are the fantastic action, and fight scenes. The deaths should satisfy any horror fans with a thirst for a little blood. It all ends with a twist, and will leave audiences wondering if there will be a sequel! Any good summer movie also has a great performance by its lead, and Logan Marshall-Green nails his role. With that, this movie gets a solid upgrade to 3.5 pools of blood!


*Video interview with Leigh Whannell below and some pics from the screening*

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