Tag: Bill Skarsgård

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.

Atomic Blonde

Atomic! Blonde! Atomic Blonde! Two words that are powerful, in very different ways, and together make something…about the sum of their parts.

It is a new action mostly film, with promises of sleek designs and fights, with a banging sound and wall to wall fun. It is also being noted as female John Wick, or something like that.

I figured Atomic Blonde would be some cool agent nick name, but it isn’t mentioned at all in the film, so really the title is just…mostly random. Strange, but it wouldn’t be the first time it is done. Sort of a call back to 80’s action films in that regard.

Wall
What a big goddamn symbol of separation. And a wall, there is a wall also in this shot.

In November, 1989, the Berlin Wall was a literal and figurative collapse of the separation between East and West Germany, reuniting the country for the first time in decades. But in this world, it almost never happened.

An MI-6 British operative gained access to a file in a watch that had information on every hidden operative on both sides of the Cold War. It would be devastating for anyone to get their hands on it, as they would gain a big advantage over the others. It getting out might also prolong the Cold War, when it is so close to finishing for once.

And then that operative was killed before he could bring it home, putting it in the hands of a Soviet soldier, who didn’t run back to his country, but is trying to get paid the big bucks for the information. So the UK sends in a new agent, Lorraine Broughton (Charlize Theron), to find the file before it gets in the wrong hands. They also want her to find information on a double agent, who is secretly leaking information to the Soviets. And all of this quickly, before the Cold War heats up.

She is sent with information to trust no one, not even their pseudo informant, David Percival (James McAvoy), a man who has been working both sides of the wall to gain intel to gain power and prestige. But he is also her only hope to really starting to crack the case. They also need to find Spyglass (Eddie Marsan), a code name for an East German intelligence officer who helped make the list and is the only one really with that information.

The majority of the story is told after the events, with Lorraine retelling it back at headquarters, to a head British dude (Toby Jones) and a member of the CIA (John Goodman).

Other bodies in this film include James Faulkner, Roland Møller, Sofia Boutella, Bill Skarsgård, Sam Hargrave, and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson.

Cover
Man, having a big head of hair and covering your face really helps input a stunt double.

Coming from a person who didn’t find John Wick or its sequel to be perfect films (although wonderful cinematography, and wonderful action), this did not feel up to the same quality that John Wick gave us. But I am not going to compare it to John Wick, that wouldn’t be fair.

Theron was fine as our lead. A very distant protagonist, she had a lot of secrets in her head, and they showed her definitely to be a bad ass. There was an incredible scene that maybe went on 10 minutes as a long take with several fights and sequences that just felt like it would never end. It was wonderful.

But it lacked a whole lot more in the story department. It should have tried a simpler plot, instead this movie gets tangled up in its own threads, and doesn’t give a completely sensible final product. Twists and turns are one thing, but if they end up at the finale and feel forced and a bit of a let down, then the movie just ends with a pitter.

The average review isn’t just for the ending, but mostly for how the story just failed to get me involved in anyway. There were secrets, but ones I rarely cared about. I didn’t try to look for hints, because I knew they would be mostly red herrings.

But the soundtrack was definitely banging. And again, some of the fight scenes were just extremely well choreographed, so if that is all you care about, you will have a good time. I just think who cares? Big deal, I want more.

2 out of 4.

Allegiant

The official name for this film is not Allegiant, but The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 1, and that is down right terrible for a few reasons.

One, the first movie was called Divergent, not The Divergent Series: Divergent. You knew there would be more movies, you shouldn’t try to change the series names after you have already started.

Two, I didn’t name my review for the second one The Divergent Series: Insurgent, I just did Insurgent like a sane person.

And three, of course they took the third book of a trilogy and split it up. It will make them more money, regardless of how much it hurt the product (see Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2). But they have absolutely no reason to throw “Part 1” at the end of the title. You know why? Well, the title of the fourth movie isn’t even The Divergent Series: Allegiant – Part 2. It is The Divergent Series: Ascendant. There is no Allegiant – Part 2 officially, even though the fourth and final film is the second half of the Allegiant book.

What a fucking clusterfuck of a titled series.

Group Shot
Thankfully we have teenagers with attitude to save us.

At the end of the first film, I thought out gang was leaving the walled city of Chicago behind, to advance the plot. I was wrong, they just went to the woods outside of Chicago. At the end of the second film, I thought everyone was leaving the walled city of Chicago behind, unified and scared, to advance the plot. I was wrong there too apparently.

Right away, Evelyn (Naomi Watts) now in control, decides it is best for the gates to be sealed and everyone be locked in. Security is ramped up and there to be trials for everyone on the losing side. Mentally at this point, I was about to throw my pen at the screen and walk out. If they don’t ever leave Chicago I will freak out.

Thankfully, I guess, our small crew of characters still wants to break out and see the world. Tris (Shailene Woodley), Four (Theo James), Peter (Miles Teller), Christina (Zoë Kravitz), Caleb (Ansel Elgort), and Tori (Maggie Q). This makes them traitors, so Evelyn has Edgar (Jonny Weston, our wannabe Jai Courtney) to hunt them down.

So what’s on the other side? Well, a lot of desolation. Some war shit happened. Nukes and all. But they are found by the Bureau of Genetic Welfare, a scary sounding company for sure, who let’s them know that Chicago was an experiment and more secrets about the world. I will let them stay secret. It is led by the director (Jeff Daniels), who is happy for Tris being Divergent, because it means their experiment worked!

Tris is now a hero who will save the world, and maybe save the impending war in Chicago. The remaining crew are working surveillance and security for the BGW while she has all the fun.

Returning actors include Octavia Spencer and Daniel Dae Kim. New people are played by Nadia Hilker, Andy Bean, and Bill Skarsgård.

Bubbles
The future is so weird and full of fucking CGI.

I have a lot of problems with this film and I have to get specific to let you know some of the things that really irked me. So there will be spoilers, arrr. But here is what it has to boil down to: the writers. No, I don’t mean Veronica Roth, the writer of the book. I don’t plan on ever reading them, but I have heard the final book is terrible. So maybe the studio agreed, because they hired three people to write the screen play, Bill Collage, Adam Cooper, and Noah Oppenheim. The first two co-wrote The Transporter Refueled (sigh, with Luc Besson) and Exodus: Gods and Kings among other things, and Oppenheim was one of three people on The Maze Runner.

They do not have the best credentials behind them, but more importantly, none of them worked on the previous two films. So not only did they apparently stray away from the source material of the books, but they collectively just went off the rails with no regard for continuity, characters, or sensibility. This movie is, dare I say, stupid. A childish word not meant for a serious movie review like this one, but the only one that really fits. Scenes are loosely connected by the plot, but with people who seem to not remember the past in any way shape or form.

All of my best actions seem to be about Four and when he gets to the Bureau so let’s just use him. He is put on security, told it will take him a long time to get used to the new future tech before he can go on missions. He figures it all instantly, of course, he was a fantastic fighter dude. He wants to go on the next mission, is told no, but like in a “No, wait don’t do it, no” apathetic way. Literally no one tries to stop him doing anything. Getting on the space ship, interacting with the natives, seeing what they really do with the natives. There was no resistance at any way, as the writers didn’t even know what they were doing.

While on the mission, he is yelled at by a commander who thinks he shouldn’t be here because he is too new and should stay out of trouble. You know who is sitting two seats away from him? Fucking. Christina. Also from Chicago. No way as good of a fighter as Four. But apparently she also did everything in the short amount of time (despite barely acknowledging her once they arrive), can also go on missions, and is given no shit. Hell, she even gets to interact with the natives and let Four know what is up, in front of everyone, and no one still cares. It was terrible to watch as the film was full of these tiny -> big inconsistencies.

Redcamo
But hey, at least the camouflage makes sense for this film!

This happens to be the type of film where 90% of the problems would be solved if the main characters would just actually talk to each other. Of course, lazy writing prevents this, turning it into a lame RomCom, without the Com and very weak Rom.

And really what really boils my corn is the ending. Look back at my description of how the first two films ended. This one ends with everyone ready to leave the walled city of Chicago behind, unified and scared. What makes me so upset about this ending is that it is almost exactly the same ending as the second film. Sure, things happen in this film, but outside of some knowledge gained, every single relevant person is in the exact same position they were a movie ago, totally going to do the things they promised to do this movie. Shit. This film series is like a horrible time warp, making me relive the leave Chicago plot over and over without ever really getting to do so.

I fully expect the final film to begin with everyone collectively breaking their legs, so that they all have to stay in Chicago for the whole film. That is the level of quality of writing I have come to expect from this franchise and next summer cannot come soon enough so that it can finally be over.

0 out of 4.