Oct 16

Professor Marston & The Wonder Women

This year was a big year for Wonder Woman. She had her DC film debut, as the first solo female superhero film in some time (Never forget, Catwoman and Elektra). She broke some records in terms of profit, and easily, she is the best of the current DCEU films.

By a long shot. The ending was still poor and CGI crazy, but for the most part it was still a great film.

But this year we are also getting Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, a film about Wonder Woman, however not a film anyone would expect. We get to learn about how Wonder Woman came to be, her eccentric creator and his interesting lifestyle with the women he dubbed to be wonderful.

Walk
And this is when he takes those wonderful woman off to see the wonderful wizard of oz!

William Marston (Luke Evans), as you may have guessed from the title, was a professor! He taught psychology and even taught classes to just women. It was very progressive for the 1920’s and 30’s. He had a DISC theory about humans, which stood for Dominance, Influence, Submissive, and Compliance, but I won’t get into all of that.

His wife, Elizabeth Marston (Rebecca Hall) should have been a professor, but was having issues with her PhD, so she worked closely with her husband in their laboratory. They enjoyed studying the human condition and what makes them tick. On that note, they also hired one of their students to be an office aide, who would work with them over long hours, an Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcote). She was pretty, young, influential, and William wanted to sex her.

But Elizabeth might have also wanted to sex her.

This is not a love triangle of chasing emotions, this is three consenting adults eventually deciding to enter into free and open relationship with each other, in a world that wouldn’t look too kindly with their situation. And this is just the beginning, because at some point, Wonder Woman gets created out of this. And also the lie detector. Yes, they invent the lie detector.

Also starring Connie Britton, JJ Feild, Oliver Platt, and Chris Conroy.

WW
Oohh, shiny.

Professor Marston & the Wonder Women is a story that happened many decades ago, but could not have been told until very recently. At this point, the world has somewhat caught up to what these three people discovered years ago and can find what they did accepting without a lot of shame.

I am NOT saying that everyone who watches this movie will be comfortable with what occurs, but it treats the subject matter in a fair light, noting the pros and cons of what occurred, along with the fallout. To modify an overused line, this is a better love story than Fifty Shades of Grey (and Twilight, yes).

The acting from the three leads was incredible and believable. This is the best thing Evans has ever done. I previously said that this year with Beauty and the Beast, which was true at the time, but this is Evans finally in a role that shows actual dramatics, without relying on song and CGI. For Heathcote, I don’t know most of her work, but it definitely stands out from some of the shitty movies I have seen her in. Hall is a very accomplished actress, but I would put this near the top of her work as well, definitely showcasing a different sort of range for her.

This movie will make people uncomfortable, but it really feels like a story that needs to be told. It could have gotten to Wonder Woman aspects quicker, to help draw in some of the less patient viewers, but it is a story about unconventional love and how it has changed the world.

4 out of 4.

Permanent link to this article: http://gorgonreviews.com/professor-marston-the-wonder-women

Oct 12

Battle of the Sexes

The phrase “battle of the sexes” always feels cringey nowadays, and it has for years. There was a board game with that name recently, and it is just one that is based on poor stereotypes and no one should really ever want to play. And yeah, that is the point of the phrase. To talk about the differences between the most common genders and fuel masculine and feminine behaviors.

But the movie Battle of the Sexes is beyond all of that. First of all, the title is given due to the real event that announcers decided to call it at the time. So they are just highlighting history here, not their fault.

And second, it is a sports film that is also about gender equality and sameness, not stereotypical differences. This is the clincher here, this is why I want to see the movie.

Battle
Maybe the actors involved was another important factor, but don’t tell them. They have big egos.

In the early 1970’s, Billy Jean King (Emma Stone) was on top of the female tennis players world. She was the first female player to ever each $100,000 in a year from prizes, and people really made a big deal about it. Things were on the up and up for the women’s movement too! Except when it came time to sign a new contract with her fellow ladies for the main American tournament. The prize support for the women’s players was significantly lower than the men players, despite sharing the same arenas, drawing the same crowds and all of that. So they decided to just up and leave. They started the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), had Virginia Slim cigarettes as their sponsor, and now had funding to play for real money!

This pissed off a lot of people. But King and a lot of her fellow players were riding high. King also started a relationship with her hairdressed (Andrea Riseborough) while on tour with a husband (Austin Stowell) at home!

This story is also about Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell), an older retired tennis pro who used to be number 1. He is a bit of a dick and likes to parade around like a fool to earn money. And he is a gambler. At the lowest points of his life, he decides to challenge Margarat Court (Jessica McNamee) to a tennis match, really playing up the male chauvinist angle. It seems like he is around just to ruin the modern women’s rights movement! The prize amount gets even bigger when he is finally able to challenge King, and it becomes one of the biggest spectacles of the decade, where apparently the question would be settled by the end of who is greater, man or woman.

Also starring Sarah Silverman, Natalie Morales, Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue, Eric Christian Olsen, Fred Armisen, Martha MacIsaac, and John C. McGinley.

Love
Courting in this film holds two different definitions.

Battle of the Sexes is one of those movie trailers you will see and you just know you will have a good time during the film. It is a period piece, so we get to see people we recognize fondly looking, from our current standards, ridiculous. Always a plus.

Stone and Carell have been in films together before, namely Crazy, Stupid, Love, where they played daughter and father, and now they get to play pseudo rivals! Because the reality of this situation is they are not, at all, in any way, real rivals. They would never play each other in a tournament, they both were not at their primes at the same time, they only played the one game together. But their lives are now forever entwined in history due to this moment, this festival, this, well, publicity stunt.

Because in all reality, it seems like it was just all about the money. King may have had other reasons for agreeing to the game (women’s rights in sports and all), but all the people pulling the strings from behind the scenes just wanted to get rich. The events of this film are almost unbelievable, this is a time when reality if it was written as a screenplay would be lauded as ridiculous. But hey, what’s the point of life if not to get really ridiculous every once in awhile?

I like that this story told much more than the game. A lot of the film is NOT tennis, but about tennis players. Finding out about King’s husband and other relationships felt realistic and sad. Riggs himself was in a sad state in his life and he wasn’t even a bad guy, he just played it up for publicity. And in all honesty, I didn’t know who won going into the movie, so I am glad I never looked it up. It is interesting that the game was held in Houston though, in the now defunct Astrodome.

That last sentence is meant to appeal to the locals.

3 out of 4

Permanent link to this article: http://gorgonreviews.com/battle-of-the-sexes

Oct 12

The Big Sick

Earlier this summer, if you have friends in the 20’s, you probably know of someone who was talking about The Big Sick. They would have recommended that you see it RIGHT AWAY in theaters, because hey, it is an indie movie and they need to make their money back to produce more good films!

I know I was hounded, but that is because people know I watch movies and made sure I went out and saw this one.

And then I decided to wait a few months before dropping this review, just to see how many more times would people tell me to watch and review The Big Sick. The total count was 7, quite a large number, larger than any other film that has ever been requested. You know, because most of the times I just go and review the movie and not wait on it.

I just think it is interesting that basically everyone who saw it, made sure other people would go and see it too. It is like it was a guerrilla marketing ad campaign or something.

Store
“Oh you are buying pasta? Will you eat it after you go see The Big Sick?”

Kumail (Kumail Nanjiani, yes playing himself), is a stand up comic living in the Windy City and generally he is poor and happy. His best friends are all stand up comics (Bo Burnham, Aidy Bryant), and he lives with another one (Kurt Braunohler), but he isn’t as funny. Kumail is also an Uber driver! Good times for mad cash.

At some point after a show, he meets Emily (Zoe Kazan) in the bar. He tries to flirt with her, it goes okay, and they have a one night fling. But it is nothing serious. Won’t continue. Until it does! It keeps happening, despite her busy graduate school schedule, they just cannot stop doing the sexy and the dating.

Kumail has commitment issues though. You see, his parents (Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff) are traditional, and want to set him up with a traditional Pakistani arranged marriage. He doesn’t want it, but he plays along, because he loves his family, and if he dates a white woman he will be ostracized. So he is afraid of getting too close to Emily. So he doesn’t want to even meet her parents (Ray Romano, Holly Hunter) when they are in town!

This leads to issues. This leads to fights! But most importantly is the title of this movie. The Big Sick. Because throughout all of this, Emily gets sick. Really sick. A sickness that no one understands and is life threatening. The type of thing that can really bring people closer together. Well, not the sick person, but everyone around the sick person.

Also starring Adeel Akhtar!

Table
If I had to have celebrities play my parents, this would be an ideal pairing.

This is a very personal story for Nanjiani, which shows. He clearly has passion in this movie and he wants people to know about the struggles that his wife went through and what began their relationship. After all, the best comedians drawn upon their own lives to help relate their work to other people, building a connection and having a good old laugh about it all. Even though it can be scary, even though it can be intense.

Romano and Hunter were FANTASTIC as the parents of Emily. They, too, felt wonderfully real and open about everything. I imagined them as a real couple quite easily, wearing the fear of concern on their face, while dealing with the awkward situation of a pseudo-boyfriend. It was great acting from those three.

What I really didn’t connect with at all was Kazan as Emily. After the fact, I realized that I recognized Kazan from other films (like the wonderful Ruby Sparks!) but forgot about them all in this movie. I just naturally assumed that maybe she wasn’t an actress and was also playing herself, as the love interest of Nanjiani. That makes sense. If he casts himself, he would cast the other main character of the story.

But it wasn’t. And the only reason I assumed this is because I did not think she did a great job in the first half of the film at all. It seemed like someone uncomfortable with acting. It is hard to explain, but she just didn’t work for me at all.

The movie is charming, it feels realistic, and it is overall wonderful. But at times it really did just feel like a regular RomCom and not something that elevated the genre. It was definitely a good entry in the genre, just not one I loved a lot. Although the 9/11 joke had me rolling, which is why I was sad to see it as part of the main advertising after the fact.

3 out of 4.

Permanent link to this article: http://gorgonreviews.com/the-big-sick

Oct 12

Patti Cake$

I have been to New Jersey, I have seen people free style, but I have never, ever, been in a drive by.

There is my bad intro joke to talk about Patti Cake$. After I saw the trailer for this film, I assumed it would be culturally insensitive. I figured it would be a cliche coming of age story or a film about a group of misfits succeeding against all odds.

And yeah, it is definitely a little bit of both. Whoops.

Gangsta
Oh shit, did we get an Ali G cameo?!

Patti aka Patti Cakes$ aka Killa P aka…a lot of other nicknames (Danielle Macdonald), is a woman living with her mom (Bridget Everett) and her grandmother (Cathy Moriarty) in a small, poor community in Jersey. She has small part time jobs, but a lot of her money goes to paying bills for her family and medicine for her nana.

Patti’s mom was going to be a big singer in the 1980’s, everyone loved her, but then she got pregnant. Now she is basically nothing, getting wasted on karaoke night, spending more time in the bathroom than on the stand. And Patti? Well, she is a big rapper.

I mean physically, because she certainly isn’t famous. She can freestyle, she can spit the lyrics out, but she is still a bit afraid to perform, and no one takes her seriously, because she is fat and white. The only person who believes in her is Jheri (Siddharth Dhananjay), a pharmacist, who wants to be a producer. They are often looking for ways to break out, and Patti thinks there future lies in Basterd (Mamoudou Athie), an anarchist who lives in the woods alone and who, yes, can also create some sick tunes.

Also starring McCaul Lombardi and Patrick Brana.

Mix Tape
Oh yeah, the last missing piece of their group was Nana.

Dealing with the cultural insensitivity of this film is a hard one. A lot of people don’t take Patti seriously, because she is a white girl trying to rap, and it is not in her culture to do so. Yes she is poor, living in a very small house that is abusive, where music is a big part of her upbringing, and she has way too many responsibilities for her age, but she is still a white chick. Stories where a white person tries something that is technically part of a desensitized race in America, and then flourishes? Yeah, that is all sorts of fucked up. A character uses the term Culture Vulture in this film to describe her, which paints a perfect picture of how it looks to the outside world.

The good news is that she doesn’t bust into the rap game and change the world. She is given a lot of shit and rightfully so. She has had a shit life, but it doesn’t mean she should automatically go and win all the prizes and take what was not originally hers. I enjoyed that it wasn’t a standard film in that regard.

The music of course I have no interest in hearing, but the relationships between the characters is where it mattered most. This ends up being a story about a girl and her mom, their inability to see eye to eye about anything. The relationship between her and her best friend didn’t feel natural. The relationship between her and Basterd was very interesting, but again, something that just seemed forced.

Patti Cake$ has some interesting moments throughout it, but a laughable premise with quite a bit unexplained reasons for why she and her friends can stand each other. However, I saw this movie over a month ago, and I can still remember parts of their main song. So if anything, it has a catchy hook to it.

2 out of 4.

Permanent link to this article: http://gorgonreviews.com/patti-cake

Oct 12

Fist Fight

Fist Fight is an interesting term, because well, most people when they think of the word “fight” they assume fists were already involved. Fists are the default in a fight. That is why we have to specify other types of fights, like gun fights, sword fights, or cat fights. So fist fight doesn’t even need to exist as a term, a little bit of an unnecessary word play here.

Although, at the same time, would you watch a movie called just Fight? Would you assume a movie called Fight is actually a comedy film? No way a film just called Fight could work. After all, we already had the movie Fighting and it didn’t work either.

Either way, in this movie we get two main things. We get Charlie Day getting some leading man role time, which just…never happens. And we have Ice Cube, trying to get rid of the family friendly nature that has come upon him and turn himself more into a badass again.

Point
Oh shit, did Cube turn his fist into a gun? What kind of fight is this again? Man, what a badass.

Mr. Campbell (Day) is an English teacher at a school in Los Angeles and the students are pretty damn wild. He teaches seniors, it is the last day, and no fucks are given. The kids rarely respect their teachers in this school, especially not today. The only teacher they sort of respect is Mr. Strickland (Cube), but because they are afraid of him. But even today some kids want to mess with him.

While Campbell is in his classroom to fix an issue, Strickland ends up threatening a student with an Ax, destroying his desk, due to his prank. That is a big deal, even at this school. Turns out the school is also looking to take cuts out of every department due to low scores. Campbell has a wife and kid (JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Alexa Nisenson), and the wife is pregnant with number two. Even if his job sucks, he cannot lose it right now. So when pressured by the principal (Dean Norris), Campbell caves and admits that Strickland did the deed. This angers Strickland. So Strickland says he is going to kick Campbell’s ass. He is going to challenge him to a fight after school that day, and they are going to throw down. He spreads the word. He is pissed at the world and he doesn’t care about his actions.

Now Campbell has to spend the rest of his day worried. He was already panicking over his wife close to birth, and the possibility of losing his job. Now he also might get his ass kicked? I guess he has to try and fix all these issues during the course of a school day, or else he might die of a heart attack before it is through.

Also starring Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell, Christina Hendricks, Kumail Nanjiani, and Dennis Haysbert.

Bat
Shit. Now there is a bat involved. Just what kind of fight is this!?

Fist Fight is one of those films that doesn’t make sense to have been made in this day and age. It is just so slapstick in a bad way, negative, and bland it is a wonder it got made. Well, it is obvious how it got made. It would have been cheap as fuck to make, outside of actor salaries. Probably didn’t even take many days to shoot.

A quick no risk comedy film, that can earn its money back at least through the DVD sales.

The whole time I am wondering “Well, will this film end in a fight?” Because if it just ends in a fight, then it just feels childish. I hate that with animated or kids films, and there really isn’t a reason for this film not really in the action genre. But on the other hand, what if there is no fist fight? Then this movie is titled poorly and it would anger people.

So there has to be a fight, but a movie psyched up over a fictional brawl in a parking lot? Hard pass. It isn’t funny, it isn’t original, and it isn’t worthy of your time.

0 out of 4.

Permanent link to this article: http://gorgonreviews.com/fist-fight

Oct 05

My Little Pony: The Movie

Over four years ago, I reviewed a film on a whim. I had to drive almost an hour to get to the theater (which meant something pre-Houston days), for the only screen time it was showing. Something like 12:30 pm on a Saturday. A very limited release, I guess you could say.

That movie was My Little Pony: Equestria Girls. It was my first foray into the subject. Oh, I heard about it before on the internet, and heard about bronies, but I never thought about watching the show before. I just went to see the movie because, damn it, I watch everything, so why not that as well? I went in blind. I didn’t have any background on the show.

Now sure, after it I watched a few episodes and thought it was okay. Nothing I would binge watch, but something I could watch occasionally. And now, years later, I have seen tons of episodes over seasons. I understand the characters now. I have made art with the characters. But I am still not up to some obsessed level with the show, because I haven’t seen most of it. Just parts of episodes here and there. The kids have seen a lot more than me.

But I feel qualified (As fuck!) to review My Little Pony: The Movie. New art style, same ponies, music, and fun. I was excited for this. I took my whole family to this. My youngest daughter, who is two? This is now her first movie ever seen in a movie theater.

I was excited and ready to go.

Friendship
I just really wanted to find out if Friendship was still magic.

The story starts us off with Twilight Sparkle (Tara Strong) and Spike (Cathy Weseluck), properly freaking out because there is about to be a Friendship Festival, with all the kingdoms and princess and even goddamn derpy all excited. They need to highlight friendship, so that everyone can be so fucking magical. For whatever reason, the highlight of the festival is a pony, Songbird Serenade (Sia) singing. She feels stressed, but it is okay, because she has her FRIENDS to help her. They got this. Rarity (Tabitha St. German), Applejack, Rainbow Dash (Ashleigh Ball), Fluttershy and Pinkie Pie (Andrea Libman).

Well, turns out friendship can’t do everything, all the time, right away. Because a few storm clouds start to gather, even though Twilight asked for good weather. Maybe she didn’t friend enough of the people?! Inside the storm clouds are some sweet airships, apparently led by Commander Tempest Shadow (Emily Blunt)! With a name like that, of course she is fucking evil. She is a unicorn, with a broken horn. The saddest. With a head minion Grubber (Michael Pena), they work for The Storm King (Liev Shreiber), and Tempest goes and freezes 3 of the princesses! I don’t even have to tell you which one is able to escape.

The last words they heard were to find the Queen of the Hippos. Huh. Okay. Well, if that is the way to save everyone, then that is what they will do. And on the way, they will find a singing cat (Taye Diggs), some bird sky pirates led (Zoe Saldana), some water horse thing (Kristin Chenoweth) and her mom (Uzo Aduba).

Friends
Guys. I think friendship is back on the table.

Like the subtitle suggests, this certainly is a whole movie. 100 minutes long, big adventure, tons of fun, a beautiful heart, that is faithful and strong with…um, kindness. That last bit will only make sense to some of you.

They have about five or six songs, the best one from Rainbow dash about being awesome. A couple of decent ones, and a few forgettable, including Sia’s songs. Which on that note, Sia is my first real dislike of the film. Oh cool, they made a pony that looks like…Sia as a horse. Why couldn’t they have just made a singing pony by Sia be a pony? Kind of just feels shoe horned.

The story and plot is actually pretty good while also still being easy to follow. It isn’t entirely original, but it does some good things. The biggest problem with the story comes from Twilight Sparkle, our main character. The writers just totally seem to disregard her. She acts totally out of character from my point of view. Why? to advance the plot. And that sort of thing can really anger someone.

In a movie one can easily argue about how a character would act. But with 7 seasons behind us, it is easy to figure out what Twilight would do. They could have set it up better to better explain her actions, but she comes across as stupid, shallow, and certainly not the PRINCESS. OF. FRIENDSHIP.

My other biggest gripe? A totally huge disparity when it comes to pony importance. Of course Twilight is the most important, sure. But not too far after her is Pinkie Pie in terms of lines, jokes, and plot advancement. Then not far after, Rainbow Dash. But after that? Much further down, very far down, come our other three ponies. They basically exist as extremely minor characters with an occasional joke or reference. It was odd. Balance the main characters before you add an equal number of characters for celebrity sake.

Fans of the show should still enjoy it, minus the straight up murder of Twlight’s actions. I’m sure I will end up watching it again.

2 out of 4.

Permanent link to this article: http://gorgonreviews.com/my-little-pony-the-movie

Sep 29

Trophy

Given the generation of Trophy Kids and Trophy Parents, it makes sense to really look hard at the industry that profits from the everyone gets a trophy mentality.

Just kidding. But that would be a sweet documentary, to see the gritty underbelly of that whole area.

Instead Trophy is about hunters and conservationists and animals. You know, the big game that is hard to get and kill nowadays, that you can hang up in your “trophy room.” The animals that if they had antlers? They’d be in Gaston’s room.

And the big business of big game is pretty big. There are conferences for the guns and equipment necessary. There are parts of Africa that sell permits a few times a year to hunt these animals. And perhaps most controversially, there are parts of Africa that breed and take in animals with the intent of having them hunted. Not all of them, but if they sell the rights to an animal for a whole lot of dollars, they can use that money for conservation efforts, to fund saving of the other animals. Now obviously people have a lot of strong feelings about that, having a farm kill these majestic beasts in order to…save the majestic beasts. But as one of them put it, when has an animal gone extinct when it was farmed for a profit?

Oh, we also have a dude with a shit ton of rhinos, who developed a method to remove the tusk “painlessly” from a Rhino. He can saw it off every two years or so, protectin the rhino, and still providing ivory for people who need that shit. Except the ivory trade has been banned, so he has tons of inventory but no way to make a profit, and the only ones who can profit are…yep, poachers.

Trophy
Rhinos are not into bondage.

Trophy doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to talking about an uncomfortable subject. Do you hate the idea of hunters hunting big game? Well, you are going to see some dead big animals in this film. Not only that, you will see some of them alive before they are dead, and literally watch them die by bullets. You will see the aftermath of a poacher attack. You will see people posing with majestic beasts, like Cecil the Lion, but less famous. (And yes, they also talk about that impact on the “industry.” ) So if that really churns your butter, you butter not even get close to this documentary.

With its controversy, I found the documentary to be relatively bias free. It tried to highlight all of the sides of this controversy, by having them speak for themselves with only the occasional statistic popping up on the screen. No narrator to drive the ideas, just a bunch of people who are a part of the business and who hate the business speaking their sides. If you would have asked me off hand last week before I watched this documentary my thoughts on any of this, I can’t even tell you what I thought. Having sweet animals die out suck, but when I was growing up, I always wanted to have a giant stuffed bear in my house, so I could have gone either way.

Trophy takes a good look at an industry that has been relatively out of the spotlight until Cecil the Lion. It is a rich club of people, and some people have motivations that seem genuine and not just profit driven. And everyone on every side agrees poachers suck. It will be interesting to see where this goes in reality over the next few years.

3 out of 4.

Permanent link to this article: http://gorgonreviews.com/trophy

Sep 24

Friend Request

From the title alone, I understand that Friend Request will make you think of Unfriended. It is about social media, teens, and horror.

Unfriended was hated by basically everyone except for me. I enjoyed how creative it was and well, that is it. It was creative. I am fine with movies pushing their mediums further. It was cheesy a bit, but at the same time, it had me terrified. I was on the internet too much.

Friend Request did not make me rethink social media at all, it just made me rethink the choices that made me go and see Friend Request.

Computer
“So the evil is INSIDE the computer?”

We are going to examine Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey), a popular girl on Facebook, with 800+ friends. Which yeah, is just your regular college girl amount really. She hangs out with her BFFs (Brit Morgan, Brooke Markham), doing college stuff. Laura is a Psychology major, so you know she is serious about her education as well.

And in her psychology class, there is Marina (Liesl Ahlers), a girl who wears black and looks weird. She has zero facebook friends, until she sends a request to Laura, and Laura just accepts anything. This makes Marina happy. She also sends Laura messages all the time, but she has creepy Facebook posts and is a bit unsettling. So of course Laura unfriends her, and surprise, Marina flips her shit and kills herself.

And now, Laura’s Facebook is basically haunted. She can’t delete messages, she can’t send anything, and she can’t delete it. The Facebook begins to post things on its own, pissing off her friends and making her alone. Oh yeah, and her friends start dying as well. Looks like there is a curse on Laura and it is one she cannot unfollow.

Also starring William Moseley, Connor Paolo, Sean Marquette, Shashawnee Hall, Susan Danford, Nicholas Pauling, and Lee Raviv as young Marina.

New Girl
You know those new girls, always…posting videos of dark woods, mirrors, and baby dolls to the internet.

There was a technical issue in my theater when I watched this movie, so the first five minutes had no sound. And with no sound, the movie gave a clear picture of where it was going and how bad it would be on the way there. It also looked hilarious with over exaggerated gasps and zoom ins on our main characters face. When it was restarted with noise, the damage had been done, and I knew too soon that this movie was a piece of shit.

Friend Request is one of the modern horror films where no one is bad or deserving of their problems and people just go and die. I am not saying horror films need morals, but really, I need some sort of motivation or anything for this film to exist. This story is that Laura gets suddenly unlucky for no reason, there is nothing she can do to stop it, and her life is now fucked. Hooray! Hard to get behind that concept.

As for the deaths? They also blow. A lot of them are done in excessively dark light, so viewers cannot build suspense. Scary sounds and not being able to tell what is happening is not scary, especially when it screams out being a budget reason and we have to use our own imagination to fill in the gaps. Nothing is rewarding out of this film. It doesn’t even have any strong messages about the technology age, bullying, social media, nothing. Just a cash grab on getting people in by having Facebook references.

0 out of 4.

Permanent link to this article: http://gorgonreviews.com/friend-request

Sep 20

It

The story of It affected my childhood, without ever seeing it. I recognized it as a scary movie with a clown based on its advertising. But I heard other things about the miniseries. First, that it was an incredibly long movie! It had TWO VHS tapes, and I didn’t know it was made for TV and over two nights. The idea was unheard of for me (because at that young age, I didn’t know there were movies over 3 hours long).

I was also told that It wasn’t really a clown, but a spider. I don’t know if I can verify that still, I just still believe it because I was told it and fuck, spiders are scary.

And I almost read It. Or at least audiobook’d it, planned on doing it after The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books, but had such a disappointing time with them that I switched to authors that I knew and it was on the back burner. Now, in retrospect, I am glad I never read It, because now It is now a new movie, and I don’t need some silly source material mucking up my experience. With the sequel coming out in a few years, I will just have to hold off on that book for a few more years, and then, maybe, I will finally give Stephen King a chance.

Gutter
I didn’t grow up in the gutter like this clown thing, but I did once go to a night club called Da Guttah.

In the small community of Derry, Maine, a sinister entity lives and preys on children, much to the apathy of the citizens there. Poor little Georgie (Jackson Robert Scott) is his first victim, and he just wanted to play with a boat in the rain. Well, after that, our film flashes to the end of that school year, with Georgie’s older brother, Bill (Jaeden Lieberher), still shook up by his brother’s disappearance, but his family seems to have already moved on. And it isn’t just Georgie. Other kids have started disappearing, at a seemingly alarming rate, but again, the community just shrugs its shoulders.

And with this summer vacation, Bill wants to use this extra time to map out some sewers or the nearby quarry to search for his brother. His friends include Richie (Finn Wolfhard), a smart ass with a loose mouth, Eddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) a hypochondriac thanks to his mother, and Stanley (Wyatt Oleff), who is Jewish, and that is his characteristic that matters I guess. They are quickly joined by a few other “misfits” in their community, Ben (Jeremy Ray Taylor) who is fat and a new kid, and Beverly (Sophia Lillis) a girl who lives in an abusive home and who is rumored to be a slut. It takes a lot longer in the film before we are also joined by Mike (Chosen Jacobs) who is home schooled and black, but completes their little posse.

And hey, eventually they all start getting strange events happening to them. Visions of a clown who wants to eat them, or other fears rising out and seeming so realistic. Good old Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård), with his clown makeup and sharp teeth. He took Georgie! Through some research they find out that something terrible happens in their town every 27 years or so that takes out a lot of kids. It is surprising that no one has connected the dots. But they need to work together and over come their fears to stop this terror, if they want to survive and protect the future of Derry, Mai

Also featuring a few chaps as older kid bullies: Nicholas Hamilton, Logan Thompson, and Jake Sim.

Kids
And in this scene, the kids recreate their favorite movie from the future: Sinister!

By the time you are reading this review, It has already been out for a few weeks and you have already heard good things about It. You know It is good, you have statistically probably already seen It. The film is fresh, well shot, scary and ominous when it needs to be, and it feels like there are really kids running the show.

And kids running the show leads to a few of the small issues I had. Kids are stupid, so we are allowed to accept it when they do something stupid during a scary situation. That is the worst part of horror movies, watch a character who has shown to be one who uses their brain, who throws it all out of the window when they get a spooks or when they choose to investigate something odd. So much of the plot moves just due to characters being dumbasses that it is frustrating.

The film is decently scary, and again, great to look at. The Georgie scene to start the film really set the tone and also would quickly position itself away from the previous iteration for those who loved the original. With a large cast of characters, I am surprised that so many actually felt like real people. Unfortunately some of the lesser group members, namely Mike and Stanley, feel like they are limited by their obvious differences instead of actual personalities or story lines.

I am still excited for a sequel and thought it was a lot better than a lot of other recent horror films, but at the same time, it is limited in scope based on the story of the book I guess. I just want people to do the right/smart thing every once in awhile.

3 out of 4.

Permanent link to this article: http://gorgonreviews.com/it

Sep 19

mother!

What a month for horror. And to think it is September, not October.

It came out a two weekends ago and is smashing September box office records, which just means that people love being scared by clowns or feel nostalgia from the previous TV adaption.

But then we get mother! just a week later. Which advertising for has been all over the place. One thing for certain, we know it is a Darren Aronofsky film, so we can expecting something fucked up and hard to explain.

Or not?! mother! is getting a wide release and has a huge star attached, maybe this will just be a run of the film horror movie. Schyeah, and maybe David Lynch will make a straightforward film as well.

Wall
And maybe this wall is just a wall and not a metaphor about bees or some shit?

This film is about a woman (Jennifer Lawrence) and a man (Javier Bardem), living in a house in a field on their own. She is slowly rebuilding it after a fire some time in the past, and he is a poet who hasn’t written in awhile. They are both always working and their love is straining, but they are alone and they are alive.

And then a man (Ed Harris) appears at their door. He is old, sickly, and he thought their house was a bed and breakfast. The poet is a generous person and lets him spend the night, despite being a stranger. And the man is sickly and coughs throughout the night, but in the morning he is fine. And also in the morning, his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) shows up at the door. Huh, he didn’t mention anything like that, and now there is two of them. The poet is still generous, and fuck it, who cares what his wife thinks? They can stay too, because they like his work and he likes their approval. But house guests who make themselves at home can be quite annoying.

Especially when their sons (Brian Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson) come over as well, arguing about estate and will disputes, and one son kills the other in their house. Holy shit, these are terrible guests.

Things get worse from there as more and more strangers enter their home, making our “mother” feel more distant from her husband, but that is all just the vaguest details I could get out about this film. Because in reality, it is a lot stranger, darker, and twisted than anyone should expect.

Oh, and of course, Kristen Wiig. Can’t forget about her.

Mob
“And no one is fucking using coasters!”

I wish I could have just sat in the theater after mother! and just reflected on the experience that unfolded in front of my eyes. But it was late and I had to rush home to pass out, needing sleep before work.

Days later when finally writing this review, it is still fresh on my mind. Partially because of the graphic nature and story in a story that it told. And partially because I knew that this film would have a hell of a shit storm from the regular movie going community. This is not the sort of film that should have gotten a wide release and marketed as some sort of home invasion horror. It is an art house film and it is being exposed to people who are going to expect something completely different and be upset about being bamboozled.

Like it or hate it, those are the only two options people will have from this movie. Anyone who said they thought it was okay is probably just lying. Despite its polarizing attributes (Which again, are going to amplify to the negative), people WILL be talking about it and remember it for a long time. That is not always a good thing, because being infamous for being really bad or gross doesn’t make a great film.

But in all honesty, this is a pretty great film. It did incredible things inside of a one location suit. It should make the viewer feel claustrophobic and a whole lot of other emotions. It should leave the viewer thinking and change their perspective on a few things. Or it will just be considered some strange torture snuff shit and have people walk out of it, especially when it ramps up even further near the end.

Good on Jennifer Lawrence for doing a project like this. She breathed hard and panted her face off in this film to make us uncomfortable, and it really worked.

3 out of 4.

Permanent link to this article: http://gorgonreviews.com/mother

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