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A quiet place (2018)

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Who are we?
We can’t protect them.

For me, “Upgrade” deserves the title “Best SF of the Year“. And unhesitatingly I call “A quiet place” the best horror of 2018. Even though it’s more Science-fiction than horror per se. I’ve been watching horror movies all my life and have already finished a whole list. Frankly, I was terrified of creeps like Dracula and Frankenstein until I was about 14 years old. If I even had seen a small fragment, I would go to bed shaking like a leaf and I’dd crawl behind a giant teddy bear. In my youthful fantasy, this bear was my protection against the creatures of the night. And when I saw “Evil Dead” for the first time and, to my astonishment, watched it without too many problems (as if I was numb), I knew my fear of horrors had disappeared from the face of the earth. Since then, I watch a horror with a certain kind of indifference. Last week I saw the articles about the trailer for “The Nun” and the fact they’ve removed it from YouTube after jump-scare complaints and people saying it’s too scary. At the end of the trailer, I wondered when it would start to be frightening. Well, never. But “A quiet place” … that’s a different story.

 

You want scary? This movie is.

It’s not that I broke out into cold sweat constantly or that I wet myself because of the rising tension. But I admit. At a certain moment, I sat on the edge of my seat and the tense atmosphere, in the end, made me gasp for breath. I can’t remember a film in which the constant threat and fear were so explicitly present. And the constant silence in this film is deafening. Yet a daring choice to use this necessary silence in a horror film where usually sudden loud sound effects cause a jump-scare. The scriptwriters of “A quiet place” didn’t have a lot of work with dialogues in this film. For the greater part of the film, they used hand gestures and occasionally they were allowed to whisper. A necessity, otherwise you won’t be having a long and prosperous life.

Those things have ears my kids are missing.

At the start, you’re wondering (at least if you go in without any prior knowledge) why this family behaves in this way and what the result will be if they don’t stick to the imposed rules. Believe me, you will soon find out. First in a really cruel way. And then through the sporadic displaying of news articles that Lee (John Krasinski) collects. In my opinion, the things that harass this family and react to any random sound are the most frightening creatures I’ve ever seen in a film. They are as murderous and cruel as a Xenomorph from “Alien“. I looked breathlessly at the design and anatomy of these deadly creatures whose most important body organ is a freakishly large and sophisticated auditory organ. They made quite an impression on me. So fascinating.

It’s almost perfect.

In retrospect, this film is almost perfect. On all levels. In terms of content, it’s a brilliant story. The special effects are amazingly good. The acting is sublime. Each character delivers decent acting. John Krasinski as Paterfamilias and who acts as a protector for his family. And he also (in complete silence) tries to develop a working hearing aid for his deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds). Without a doubt, the best interpretation is delivered by her. And not only because she’s actually deaf in real life and thus plays this role in a realistic way. But as part of the story, she captures the imagination the most. Emily Blunt plays the pregnant, caring mother Evelyn who’s about to give birth. A happy event that brings the necessary headaches. And lastly Noah Jupe in a perhaps smaller role as the youngest son Marcus, but still of crucial importance. And then there’s Cade Woodward. But unfortunately, his contribution was really short-lived. All of them deliver a top performance.

Don’t say I haven’t warned you.

So be warned. This brilliant film is an outright nail-biter and will make your blood run cold at certain times. And this thanks to the tight script and the scary atmosphere supported by a threatening soundtrack. Sometimes a horror cliché is used. In a world of silence, for example, an upstanding nail in the wooden cellar staircase will cause the necessary consequences of course. But that’s the only thing, in a film which excels in originality. What you do realize after watching this film, is that we humans live in an extremely noisy world. And there’s no “mute” button you can use when such creatures come to visit you. I bet it’ll be quiet subsequently. No doubt about that.

My rating 9/10
Links: IMDB

Comic Book Movies

Joaquin Phoenix Stares Into Your Soul As The Joker Via “il venerdì di repubblica” Cover

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“Cinematic achievement on a high level.”

Director Todd Phillips has gone on the record stating, his film is going to piss off hardcore comic book fans. The upcoming ‘Joker’ movie will not follow any comic book plot lines or continuity for the villain, and will in fact be its very own stand alone film. With that being said, the movie is already garnering praise from select audiences. Cameron Bailey, co-head and artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival, went on record with Toronto Sun, hailing the film as “Cinematic achievement on a high level.” Bailey continued on, saying:

“First of all it’s terrific. So it should play on our largest stage. But it’s a really original take on comic book movies and on the Joker character in particular. It’s not based on an existing story, it has one of the greatest actors in modern cinema, Joaquin Phoenix, in the lead, and Robert De Niro is in it as well, one of the best actors that has ever lived.”

Bailey, also went on to say, the film is “Very cinematic,” for a low budget feature.

“Has an interesting tone and approach to it. It’s set in the late ’70s, early ’80s and it feels like it was made then. It’s gritty in its look, it has references to Martin Scorsese’s filmmaking and it feels like a cinematic achievement on a high level. Although it’s working with very populist material, it has great ambition. That’s why it’s a Gala.”

Check out the newest ‘Joker’ magazine cover via il venerdì di repubblica.

‘Joker’ hits theaters October 4, 2019

 

 

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Brightburn – This Superhero Parody Peppered With SF And Horror Elements Is Simply Sublime

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Take.. The.. World.
Take the world.

Superhero-movie-haters unite. Run to a nearby movie theater to see this movie. Because “Brightburn” is the ultimate anti-superhero-film of all time. The moment I realized which direction it was going, I cursed myself because after seeing “Avengers: Endgame” I’d decided to have a little sabbatical. I was going to avoid movies with characters in tightly fitting latex suits and superhuman powers. But as it became clear that it wasn’t what I expected, my enthusiasm grew all the more. My enthusiasm for films such as “Deadpool” and “Ant-Man” (because of a touch of whimsy and the originality) was effortlessly overtaken by this highly original anti-superhero film. And if one also mixes the superhero genre (of which they are continuously producing sequels and prequels) with my all-time favorite genre horror, it simply can’t go wrong. I am indeed enthusiastic, yes. Extremely enthusiastic!

 

Brightburn

 

Is it a plane? A bird? Is it Superman? Uh, nope.

It all starts as a sort of Superman parody or reboot (another favorite Hollywood term these days). Here too, we meet a young couple who have been trying to have a child for years. Even spicy lingerie doesn’t do wonders because farmer Kyle Bryer (David Denman) (and yes, the location is again a big farm) is rather clumsy, which means that his watch always gets stuck in his wife’s hair. BANG! Before they realize it, some object out of space crashes nearby. Right in their back yard. And as if it’s the most normal thing, Tori (Elizabeth Banks) finds an innocent, sweet little guy in this comet or spacecraft. They adopt him instantly and call him Brandon (Jackson A. Dunn). All peace and light, you think. Until the boy realizes that something is wrong. Especially when he tries to start the lawnmower and suddenly the thing ends up at the neighbors. A few meadows further.

 

Brightburn

 

An evil superhero with an attitude.

With the well-known figure Superman, the parents didn’t waste any time and told young Superman to keep his growing powers under control and only use it to help humans. In the 70s this fact was acceptable. But after the trillionth superhero movie, that concept really starts to sound boring. And that’s where “Brightburn” starts to deviate substantially. As soon as it seems as if puberty hits Brandon, and no it’s not about hair growth and other side-effects, and he wanders around the farm at night looking for something that seems to call him, it becomes clear that a constructive parent-child conversation is not really useful. When Brandon feels disadvantaged, it’s best to stay away from him. The consequences of a tantrum can be disastrous. You could end up flying into a closet or have a crushed hand as a result. So they are stuck with a teenage son with issues who has superpowers. A “Dennis the Menace” with an attitude. You don’t have to be smart to know what’s going to happen next.

 

Brightburn

 

Not really horror.

Let’s talk about the horror part. For those who are only used to super-hero films, it will be a shock. For a seasoned horror fanatic, it’s all just ordinary. It’s not terrifying or too bloody. There are some excellent gore effects in it, though. I personally found it simply exciting at certain moments. Exciting as in how the story will continue and end. And they even tried to tackle that part in an original and quirky way. The majority of blockbusters always have such a predictable outcome. In a western, the bad guys always eat dust in the end. A romcom has a happy ending in most cases. And even superheroes on the verge of despair will eventually prevail (such as The Avengers, for example). If you expect this to happen here as well, you’re absolutely wrong. But there’s one thing I’m sure of. The marketing department of Marvel already smells money. I bet they are planning a sequel already with The Avengers trying to beat the unstoppable Brandon.

 

Brightburn

 

Excellent acting.

About the acting, I can be brief and concise. Simply excellent. Especially the mother and son bonding was worked out and portrayed in a proper way. The desperation and motherly love that Elizabeth Banks radiates is simply wonderful to see. And even though Brandon seems incomparably innocent at times, the moment his evil ego pops up, he can conjure up a frightening and impressive facial expression. It’s just a shame he didn’t focus his anger on the annoying class bully as well.

 

Brightburn

 

I repeat it once more: a brilliant film.

Brightburn” definitely will end up in my top list this year. The only downside was the duration. Far too short of course. But otherwise, this superhero parody, peppered with SF and horror elements, is simply sublime. The fact this film has a go-against-the-rules attitude and the idea of a superhero who doesn’t care about humanity is a pleasant and refreshing change compared to the commercial one-size-fits-all releases nowadays. Just something as simple as Brandon’s costume. Has anyone ever wondered who actually made the Spiderman suit? Or did Peter Park have a Sewing and knitting diploma? Brandon uses a piece of woolen textile and a bedspread as equipment. Ingenious anyway. As brilliant as the film itself. I keep repeating it. It is hoped that it will stay with this unique film and that they won’t come up with a miserable number of sequels.

 

My rating 9/10
Links: IMDB

 

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Action

Christopher Nolan’s ‘Tenet’ Gets First Motion Poster

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“An action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.”

Christopher Nolan’s 2020  film, ‘Tenet,’ has been shrouded in secrecy for quite some time. Recently a teaser trailer was dropped, slightly lifting the veil as to what we can expect from the highly anticipated thriller. The star studded cast includes John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Clemence Poesy and Kenneth Branagh amongst others. The recent teaser trailer only gives a small tidbit for fans to grasp onto, showing the lines: “Time has come for a new protagonist” and “Time has come for a new kind of mission.” The trailer is said to depict Washington’s character seemingly moving in a time loop of some sort.

Many fans are going with the idea that ‘Tenet’ is some sort of ‘Inception’ sequel, which is highly unlikely. But based on the plot description, it sounds as though it could be loosely connected:

“An action epic evolving from the world of international espionage.”

Some have pointed out that Michael Caine is listed amongst the cast but is the only character returning from the original film [Inception], which went on to gross $828.3mill worldwide while being nominated for eight Oscars and bringing home four. ‘Tenet’ is set to arrive in theaters July 17, 2020

 

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