Annihilation, Movie Review with some spoilers


Annihilation-Movie

Annihilation, a movie adaptation from the novel of the same name, is a confusing story.  The book is part of a trilogy and has no relation to the film except that both are fairly convoluted.

The movie has two storylines: a dying marriage that was based more on lust and youth than common interest and a comet that hits a lighthouse and forces mutations on everything around it.  The comet creates a “shimmer”, which may or may not be made of bubble mixture goop because that’s what it looks like and inside the shimmer a whole lot of mutations are goin’ on and scientists want to know why.

Lena (Natalie Portman) is having an affair so her husband decides to go into the shimmer because he’s self-destructive and Jimmy Fallon’s been kind of dull lately.  He’s gone for 12 months and returns ….. different.  The government, an organization run by a tranquilized Jennifer Jason Leigh, kinda wants Lena to go into the shimmer with her to investigate the entity further.  I write kinda because everyone in the film just meanders and moseys through their own story.

Lena and Jennifer don’t go in alone; they go into the bubble mixture goop with Jane the Virgin whose only special skill appears to be staring and whining, but to be fair she might be picking up on her malaise from being on a shitty CW show.  There’s also Explainer Woman who explains everything all….the….time and I mean Morgan Freeman voiceover levels of explaining.  There’s a lady who cuts herself (off camera) and whose special skill is to Explain Science with a voice that can only be described as sedated, interesting choice to prepare for every scene by eating a turkey sandwich and gravy.

They proceed to run into some weird predators and creepy deer; yep, creepy deer.  As they get closer to the origin of the comet impact, the mutations are more and more pronounced.  We are also treated to her husband via found video footage that the shimmer area is mutating him and his comrades that were all lost in the previous mission.  There does not appear to be a motive to the mutations or any form of a goal on the part of the invasive comet.  In many ways, the movie is a lot like the flora and fauna in the film; it is, it exists, and it will cost about 14.00 bucks to see it.

The movie did succeed in creating a mysterious vibe and playing up the unreliable narrator component.  It failed in pacing.  This movie is s l o w.  I mean it’s possible that I went back in time and re-watched it again.  I thought it was actually an hour longer than it was.  I have to really think as to whether I would recommend the film to a fellow human being.  If you go to see a Western because you like to watch people mosey, this is the film for you.

 

“Black Panther” : Hail To The King


Let’s be honest — as was the case with last year’s Wonder Woman (in fact probably to an even greater degree), Black Panther was a cultural phenomenon before it was even released, and in future it will be examined as such. As something more than a movie. As something that resonated within, and reverberated throughout, the zeitgeist. Its trajectory in that regard is largely unwritten to this point, but can be predicted with a fair amount of certainty : near-universal praise will come first, followed by the inevitable backlash, followed by an almost apologetic, “ya know, maybe we were too hard on this thing that we loved at first” sort of acceptance. If we could just skip all that, and take it as a given, it would save us all a lot of time and effort — but it’s on the way, so tune in or out of all that as you see fit. My concerns here are considerably more prosaic : to talk about the movie as what it began “life” as, to wit — “just” a movie.

For what it’s worth (which may not be much), I’m tempted to agree, to an extent, with those who are pointing out that simply seeing this flick is in no way an act of “resistance” in and of itself : after all, if the fact that the first thing that runs in theaters before the film starts is a commercial for Lexus cars featuring Chadwick Boseman in full Panther gear isn’t enough to clue you in to the reality that, at the end of the day, this is much more about profits than it is about politics, then the product placement within the film itself should do the job — and at the end of the day, one of the largest corporations in the world, founded by noted racist Walt Disney, is still the one making all the money off it. If, then, shelling out ten or fifteen bucks to watch Black Panther is an inherently defiant or dissident act (and I’m not saying it is), then it’s a highly commodified and co-opted one.

All that being said, when a film is released out into the world, particularly a film with as much fanfare attached to it as this one, there are gonna be ripples that emanate out from it — and among the millions of kids, in particular, who watch this flick, the seeds of an interest in African culture are sure to be sown, and the more they follow the metaphorical stalks that grow and flower from those seeds, the more they’ll discover things like historical resistance to colonialism, exploitation, capitalism, and the like. So while Black Panther may not be a radical (or even a particularly political) work in and of itself, it may inspire some radicalism in the future — one can only hope, at any rate.

But that’s pure speculation at this point, so let’s talk about what we know for certain.

One thing anyone who follows this site, or my work anywhere else, absolutely knows is that I’m no fan of Marvel Studios product in general. Unlike, apparently, most people, I find the overwhelming majority of Marvel flicks to be hopelessly redundant, formulaic, lowest-common denominator fare directed in a flat and lifeless “house style” with no particular visual flair, no particularly standout performances, no particular vision to do anything but get audiences keyed up for the next one. They exist as a self-perpetuating celluloid organism, one with no distinct personality but a lot of business sense and promotional muscle. This has been going on for so long, and with so much box office success, that I went into flick essentially expecting more of the same — sure, I knew it had a predominantly-black cast, and was set in Africa (albeit in a fictitious country), but that doesn’t mean that director Ryan Coogler was going to break the mold in any appreciable way. Hell, it doesn’t even mean that he would be allowed to do so. Happily, my pessimism was turned on its ear almost from word the word “go” here.

Black Panther looks different, feels different, because it is different. Coogler and co-screenwriter Joe Robert Cole certainly capture the dynamism, the energy, the Afro-futurism that has been a part of King T’Challa’s backstory since Jack Kirby created the character and his world (nope, we don’t lay any credit at Stan Lee’s feet around these parts, but I’m not getting into the “whys and wherefores” of that right now because, shit, I don’t have all night), but advance it all considerably, absorbing the extra layers added onto the mythos by the likes of Don McGrregor, Billy Graham, Christopher Priest, Reginald Hudlin, and Ta-Nehisi Coates over the years, and coming out with something uniquely suited to cinema and very much of the “now.” There’s a hard-driving and kinetic sense of energy to this film that the so-called “MCU” has been missing since it inception, and if you’re among the small number of those who agree with my assessment that most of these flicks play out more like two-hour TV episodes than proper movies, you can relax : this is as bold, brash, and big as it gets. This is blockbuster fare not only in name, but in execution, with visual effects that amaze, sets that inspire awe, cinematography that commands attention, action that sizzles, a script that charges forward, and music that slicks that trajectory along. This is arresting cinema that doesn’t even give you the option to leave your seat.

But what of the acting, you ask? It ranges from good to great, and thankfully the great includes the key players : Chadwick Boseman is regal yet human, fallible, relatable in the film’s central role: Forest Whitaker embodies aged wisdom tinged with regret as high priest Zuri; Michael B. Jordan is the first truly formidable villain, crucially one with a compelling backstory and some entirely valid philosophical viewpoints, as Killmonger; Martin Freeman not only reprises, but considerably expands, his already-extant “MCU” role of CIA agent Everett K. Ross with heart, humor, and brains; Sterling K. Brown makes the most of limited but significant screen time as T’Challa’s late uncle, N’Jobu; Andy Serkis — as a human this time! — chews up the screen with dangerous charm as Ulysses Klaue (or “Klaw,” as the comics would have it). These guys are all tops, really. And yet —

It is the women that carry this film. Whether we’re talking about Lupita Nyong’o as T’Challa’s love interest Nakia, a determined, fiercely independent, and soulful force that isn’t just her partner’s “equal,” but his conscience; Danai Gurira as General Okoye, head warrioress of the Dora Milaje, who embodies martial discipline and loyalty with the controlled fury of a hurricane ready to strike at any moment; Angela Basset as Queen Mother Ramonda, a living embodiment of grace, stature, and tradition; or Letitia Wright as younger sister Shuri, part “Q” to T’Challa’s “Bond,” part grounding and humanizing influence, part Moon Girl-style intellectual prodigy — as in life, it is the women that both make this movie’s men what they are, while also being complete and fully-realized in and of themselves. African history is far less patriarchal than is commonly believed, and in Wakanda that proud matriarchal lineage is exemplified, modernized, magnified — and honored.

Most films reflect the moment. Others define the moment. Black Panther goes one further by creating the moment. It’s as near to flawless as big-budget blockbusters get and eschews the too-common-flaw that movies made on this scale have of dumbing things down to appeal to the masses. Coogler and company instead trust those same masses to be intelligent enough to meet them on their level, and to respond to being talked “up,” rather than “down,” to. By believing that the world was not just ready, but eager, for something that goes far beyond mere spectacle — something that challenges the intellect while speaking to the heart — they have woken what could very well be a sleeping giant.

Now, let’s just keep our fingers crossed they’ve spurred that giant to do something more than simply go out and buy luxury cars.

The Lullaby: Preview, Review and trailer


Remember that sweet song your Mother sang to you as a child?

Poster

Cast:

Reine Swart as Chloe van Heerdon

Brandon Aruret as Dr. Timothy Reed

Shayla-Rae McFarlane as young Chloe

Preview:

Chloe is overwhelmed by the birth of her first child. The incessant crying of her baby, the growing sense of guilt and paranoia sends her into depression. With a heightened urge to protect her son, Chloe sees danger in every situation. She starts to hear voices, the humming of a childhood lullaby and sees flashes of a strange entity around her child. Convinced that the entity is real, Chloe will do everything in her power to protect her son. Is she haunted by evil or is it just the baby blues?

Review:

index Oh, Child, we got so much to talk about! Your Mama is not crazy, you are! Or are you? Or was you just twisting my mind?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pic 2

 

Or is your Mom really crazy!

 

 

 

 

pic 3 Or your Grandma?

 

That sweet little song you Mom sang to you as a child… you know… that comforting song that always puts you into dream land… yeah, this movie might make you sleep different tonight!

Credits:

Uncork’d Entertainment presents a Phoenix Film with Valhalla Productions Directed by Darrell James Roodt

 

Trailer:

 

Would I recommend this movie:

Yep, absolutely! One of the best horror/thriller movies I have seen this year!

Where can you see it?

The Lullaby is opening in theaters and on VOD March 2, 2018

Oh, BTW:

No Spoilers, but Chloe is back….

pic 4

Curse Of The Witch’s Doll: Movie preview, review, and trailer.


Director:

Lawrence Fowler

Stars:

Helen Crevel: as Adeline Grey

Michelle Archer: as Doris

Claire Carren: as The Witch

Preview:

Adeline Gray’s attempt to escape bombing in her home town leads her to a derelict, creepy manor in the woods. When Adeline’s young daughter goes missing during a game of hide-and-seek, a series of inexplicable events lead her to believe a haunted doll holds a vengeful soul; the soul of a murdered Witch. As Adeline’s desperate search for her daughter continues, it soon becomes clear; to have any hope of being reunited, she must defeat the curse of The Witch’s Doll.

Review:

Straight up, I am not going lie, this movie messed me up! It hit on everything I find scary. From a lost child, to a deranged asylum, to a possessed doll, to a demonic witch. I went into a comfortable Sunday afternoon, now, to looking around every corner at everything.

 

Should you dare watch this movie I am certain you will be just as afraid as I am right now!

While you watch, remember to look over your shoulder at all times!

 

If you dare, the trailer is right here!

 

Credits:

Curse Of The Witch’s Doll is a High Octane Pictures production, Directed by Lawrence Fowler.

And if you dare again:

Curse Of The Witch’s Doll Will be available on VOD February 6th, 2018, DVD March 6th, 2018 and SVOD June 5th, 2018

Also, remember:

“Her soul lives on”

Dance Baby Dance: Movie Preview and Review


DBD_KA_B01-691x1024_preview

 

Preview:

Have you ever had a dream? JIMMY PERCER did. His was to be a professional tap dancer. And in his early 20s, he was on his way … until a horrible knee injury stopped him in his tracks. He rehabbed like crazy to get back to where he had a chance again … only to re-injure the knee….

Stars:

Beverley Mitchell (“Seventh Heaven”), Jim O’Heir (“Parks and Recreation”), Carlos Alazraqui (Despicable Me 3)

Review:

#TSL family, you know I mostly review/preview horror movies, but this movie hit me right to the core, hard. I remember the day… No, I am going to stop there…

…And pick up here…There is one day all of us have fallen down.. It happens to the best of us….

…And.. no, this ending is like no other you have ever seen!

Brilliant! Fantastic! And a gut-punch of a movie!

Would I recommend:

If you haven’t already figured out, this is a great movie!

Here is the trailer:

Dance Baby Dance has a limited movie release in theaters on January 19th followed by an Amazon release on January 25th

Credits:

Studio: Indie Rights
Director:  Stephen Kogon
Cast :  Stephen Kogon, Beverley Mitchell.

House of Salem Movie preview and Review


Ok…… get this out of your system first…. Will you come out and play? I’ll answer that question later!*

House of Salem_Key Art_preview

Plot:

A group of kidnappers become a child’s unlikely protectors after discovering they have unwittingly been set up to take part in a satanic ritual. As they begin to uncover the truth of the house they find themselves trapped, they must battle demonic forces and uncover a legacy of over a hundred years of murder in the name of the Dev

 

Review:

I am not going to argue, I love Wild Eye Releasing  movies! And whenever I get a screener I really miss the days when us #SnarkAlecs would just sit back and watch a good Sci-Fi movie! And this is one of the movies I would be proud to be associated with!

This movie is awesome in the perfect way!

Would I recommend this movie?

Nope…Unless you just want a fun, snarkable movie! Then, YES!

Take your chances and look at the trailer now!

 

*Admit it… You want to come out and play Now!

House Of Salem will be available on January 23, 2018 on all your VOD devices!

Bunnyman: Vengeance


 

Before I start, if you haven’t watched the first two Bunnyman movies, do yourself a favor and go watch them now…don’t worry about reading this review…just go down that rabbit hole now, I’ll be here when you get back.

(For those of you that are impatient, Bunnyman trilogy is about a man who dresses like a Bunny and likes to hunt Easter eggs…(FFS…watch the damn movies!!)

Let’s talk about the technical stuff while everybody catches up!

 Writer-director: Carl Lindbergh,

Starring:

Diana Prince (Puppet Master: Axis Termination),

Debby Gerber (“Glee”)

Marshal Hilton (The Bunnyman Massacre)

Now on to the VENGEANCE! and I mean let the fur fly!

poster

Preview:

The man known as Bunnyman returns home to find his family running a haunted house attraction. The family welcomes him home, but soon realizes you cannot domesticate a wild animal. Death and mayhem ensue as the family turns on one another to fulfill their bloodlust…

 

Review:

If you haven’t already guessed, I am a huge fan of the Bunnyman movies. And when I got this screener I couldn’t watch fast enough. In this final chapter, all …umm Rabbies break lose and vengeance is regained! And I mean regained with a VENGEANCE!

girl 2

 

Would I recommend this movie?

Nothing will stop you from watching the final chapter. Watch it as soon as you can escape your bloody burrow…or I will be gunning for your rabbit skin!

sheriff 3_preview

Bunnyman: Vengeance will be available on VOD thru Uncorked Entertainment on October 20,2017….

 

And you can watch the awesome trailer here!