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‘Sleep No More’ Review

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Genre : Horror
Rating : R
Director: Phillip Guzman

Cast:
Keli Price
Brea Grant
Stephen Ellis

 

 

 

As complicated as life can be it is surprisingly simple to stay alive. When it comes survival all humans need are air, water, food and sleep. Even then studies have shown that humans can live without water for three to four days while the world record for days without sleep was set by Roy Gardner in 1964. But what if you didn’t have to? That’s what Professor Ella Whatley (played by Yasmine Aker) wants to discover in Sleep No More.

In the 1980s the professor and a small collection of students are doing a study on sleep deprivation. More specifically, to see what happens when you pass 200 hours without sleep. They theorize that once they hit that point the human body adapts and will never need sleep again. But their university funding is cut off when one of their test subjects kills themselves. Already too deep into the study to quit they band together and find a “cure” for sleep. With the help of the experimental drug Cogniphan students Joe (Keli Price), Frannie (Brea Grant), Holly (Christine Dwyer) and Dale (Stephen Ellis) plan to stay up for over a week. Hours turns into days and the students are feeling the effects. As they get closer to hitting what they call the “lucidity point” they begin to see something humans were never meant to see.

Directed by Phillip Guzman (Dead Awake) and written by Jason Murphy (The League of Extremely Ordinary Gentlemen short), Sleep No More is the latest in a long line of ‘science gone awry’ movies such as The Lazarus Effect and Flatliners. For the most part Sleep No More does what’s expected of those kinds of movies. Whether it is overlooking obvious signs of evil or sticking with the experiment no matter what Sleep No More is a classic example of dumb horror heroes. What makes it stick out from the more recent variations on the trope is its use of an 80’s aesthetic. Similar to movies such as Summer of ’84 and Stranger Things, Sleep No More utilizes older technology, a synth score and a collection of 80’s classics to set the mood. And yet it doesn’t quite feel right. They do an admirable job trying to replicate the Reagan years but the movie feels a bit too glossy to really emulate the era. Unfortunately, the same kind of inconsistency appears in more crucial parts of the film like the special effects.

 

 

That isn’t to say all of the effects are bad. In fact, the practical effects look good for an independent title. The suicide that end the initial experiments looks particularly gruesome. The problems arise when it comes to the computer-generated effects. Whenever we are given glimpses of the other world it looks dreadful. Looking like a mix of smoke and The Midnight Man everything looks fake and takes you out the movie. By the time our tired students start to hallucinate the effects look like something out of a Syfy movie. As bad as it looks the cast sell it all flawlessly.

Although Sleep No More has a relatively small cast each of them do a beautiful job showing the wear of sleep deprivation and the experiment. Despite Aker’s Professor Whatley is more of a background character observing the patients she gives the role a professionalism that separates her from the rest of the cast. By her side, at least initially, is Keli Price as Joe. Diving headfirst into the experiment he does a good job anchoring the whole production, exuding an early Andrew Garfield quality in his performance. Providing Sleep No More’s comic relief is Stephen Ellis. Playing Dale, he puts in the most over-the-top performance. It is especially noticeable after as the hours tick by and his performance becomes peak Nic Cage-esque. It really adds some pep to the movie.

 

 

Genre favorite Brea Grant (better known for Beyond the Gates and All the Creatures Were Stirring) gives a predictably good performance as Frannie. One of the more developed characters she eagerly goes into the experiment before being forced to tap out early. The only person who doesn’t get a chance to shine is Christine Dwyer as Holly. In fairness that’s hardly her fault. They just don’t develop her character enough and displaying the typical symptoms of insomnia. Despite that hiccup though the cast are definitely the highlight of Sleep No More.

There are many symptoms when it comes to a lack of sleep with the most common being irritability, forgetfulness and headaches. But if I had to ascribe a symptom to Sleep No More would be clumsiness. Despite a good cast and solid direction the movie can’t seem to help but stumble. Whenever the movie gets on a roll we’ll get an appearance from the smoke or a terrible looking ghost that takes you completely out of it. There’s a solid movie in here it just never comes into focus.

Rating 4/10
Links : IMDB

Sleep No More is available on DVD, Bluray, VOD and Digital HD Now

Comic Book Movies

‘Joker’ Success Has Joaquin Phoenix Talking Sequel

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“It ended up being a dream role”

Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’ had tremendous success this weekend. Blowing the doors off the box-office with a record shattering October at $96mil, beating out ‘Venom’ to take the top spot. While ‘Joker’ is still playing strong in theaters, fans have already started speculating what direction the “Clown Prince of Crime,” will head next. Todd Phillips originally shot down the idea of a ‘Joker 2.’ While talking to IGN Phillips said, “We have no plans for a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that’s it.” Now it sounds like Phoenix has different aspirations for the Joker. During an interview with “Popcorn with Peter Travers,” Phoenix talked about his love for the role, saying:

“You know, I wouldn’t have thought about this as my dream role. But now, honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it,” Phoenix said. “I talked to Todd a lot about what else we might be able to do, in general, just to work together, but also specifically, if there’s something else we can do with Joker that might be interesting. So, it ended up being a dream role. It’s nothing that I really wanted to do prior to working on this movie.”

Phoenix, who famously passed on the role of Doctor Strange in the MCU also had this to say about returning to the Joker:

“I don’t know that there is [more to do],” Phoenix said. “Me and Todd would still be shooting now if we could, right? Because it seemed endless, the possibilities of where we can go with the character.”

‘Joker’ will definitely have fans clamoring for more. The movie sets up plenty of potential options for a sequel. More importantly fans just want to see Phoenix return to the screen as Arthur Fleck aka Joker. Joker has raked in over $258mil worldwide on a reported $50mil budget.

‘Joker’ is in theaters now. Get your tickets here:  JOKER TICKETS 

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Action

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn | Official Trailer- HD

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Genre:

Action, Adventure, Crime

Release Date:

February 7, 2020 (Post Production)

Director:

Cathy Yan

Cast:

Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead Ewan McGregor, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez

Plot Summary:

After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.

 

 

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Disney

After A Brief Break-Up Tom Holland/Spider-Man Will Stay With Marvel

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 “You never know what surprises the future might hold”

It would appear that we won’t be seeing Tom Holland’s Spider-Man grace the screen with the likes of Tom Hardy and Woody Harrelson, in the Andy Serkis directed ‘Venom 2.’ Or will we. Reports are scarce as to the details of the agreement reached between Marvel/Disney and Sony.  But, inside sources reveal that Marvel will take home 25% from future Spider-Man films.

The negotiations also landed on a release date for a third Spider-Man film. We are expected to see Holland return to action, July 16, 2021. Holland recently took to social media, to express his excitement about returning to the MCU:

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Amy Pascal will produce the upcoming films through her production company, Pascal Pictures as she has on the first two Holland/Spidey films. Pascal weighed in on the news:

“I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it,” Feige said in a statement. “Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”

“This is terrific,” she said. “Peter Parker’s story took a dramatic turn in ‘Far From Home’ and I could not be happier we will all be working together as we see where his journey goes.”

 

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