‘Hereditary’: A Real Horrorshow

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Anthony Peyton

Over the weekend, I had the frightening pleasure to see the greatest horror movie in the past two decades, Hereditary, which is about a family who comes to find out about the sinister secrets that resides in their family tree.

Of course, that is my own opinion, but it has received an unbelievable amount of praise from critics everywhere as they call it “the new The Exorcist”. It’s always interesting when film critics compare a modern film to an absolute classic, which rarely ever happens for the horror genre.

It’s dismissed by most because of the lack of originality and true terror. Well let me tell you, Hereditary is not only original and terrifying but it also takes it to a level that is usually taken in a distasteful and childish way.

There’s gore that not only makes you sick to your stomach (many decapitated heads) but also brings you to a mental state of actual fear. There’s points where it feels like you’re there with the characters and experiencing their fear. It’s feels like you’re going through a haunted house but, covering your eyes and ears to escape the situation that you’re encased in.

It’s not only a wild ride, it’s an emotional one too.

The performances given by the actors were remarkable and career defining. From seasoned thespians such as Toni Collette and Gabriel Byrne to the impressive first timer, Milly Shapiro (who is my new favorite actress). They all shined in their roles but it goes without saying that the performance that 20 year old, Alex Wolff, delivered was surprising and gut-wrenching.

Portraying a teen with severe PTSD, Wolff regresses his normal, rebellious adolescent character Peter to a petrified young boy. When I say ‘regress’, I mean he literally does not act like a teenager anymore. After the incident that creates his PTSD, Peter begins speaking like a child and reacting like a child. He uses the word ‘Mommy’ and when he’s scared he cries – a lot.

He also quickly becomes the 2nd main character alongside Collette’s character and his mother, Annie. They create a rivalry which includes them even having nightmares about the other killing them. Annie and Peter’s relationship shows how their tension causes an explosion of emotion and Collette and Wolff portray this in such a perfectly brutal way that it cuts like a knife.

Hereditary is the horror movie that conjures a new kind of fear in film – real fear. It is a brilliant reintroduction to the psychological, disturbing, and original content that generations before had.


My Rating: 98%

Acting: 3.7/4

Cinematography: 4/4

Story: 4/4

Enjoyability: 4.4

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‘Ocean’s 8’: The Queens of Heist

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

We all have come to love the Ocean’s movies. There’s also a lot of them. We’ve had Ocean’s Eleven (2001), Ocean’s Twelve (2004), Ocean’s Thirteen (2007), and now we have Ocean’s 8. What’s unique about this one, however, is that it’s all women.

Very powerful women.

The premise is very similar to that of its previous counterparts. This time, it’s about eight women who are absolutely determined to pull off one of the greatest heists in history. Let’s quickly discuss who plays the beautiful characters in this movie.

First off, we have the brilliant Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side), who is as good as ever as the leader of the clan. Next we have Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok) as Bullock’s equally gorgeous partner-in-crime. Among them, there is Anne Hathaway (Brokeback Mountain, The Devil Wears Prada), Rihanna, Awkwafina (Dude, Crazy Rich Asians), Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland), Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project, The Office), and Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story).

As much as I love each of these ladies’ performance, I definitely have some favorites. Bullock knew just how powerful she could be and acted on that. I may be biased, but Carter did phenomenal in the few scenes she was in. She’s always been my favorite actress and this only furthered that thought. Seeing Hathaway and Rihanna play such personality defying performances brought as much shock value to me as anything in this film. Obviously I love this movie.

The story was fun. It wasn’t the most unique or intricate, but it was definitely very enjoyable to sit back and relax to. Nothing brought much anxiety to the watcher, but it didn’t need it either.

Ultimately, Ocean’s 8 wasn’t an Oscar worthy movie, but I would definitely see it again just to watch some of my favorite people act in a movie together so well.


My Rating: 86%

Acting: 3.7/4

Cinematography: 3.3/4

Story: 3/4

Enjoyability: 3.8/4

Film Forecast Friday: June 8th

On Friday, June 8th we have…

  1. Ocean’s Eight
  2. Hereditary
  3. Hotel Artemis
  4. Zoo

Liv’s Prediction:

Definitely the biggest movie of the weekend will be Ocean’s Eight, as it has been heavily marketed, highly anticipated, and overly star-studded. With A-List stars such as Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett, this movie will do some big numbers at the box office.

But one film that I am expecting to be an unexpected hit is the horror film, Hereditary. Seeing for the first time, yesterday, I believe this will gain plenty of attention not just from the general public but, from people of importance in the film world.

Hotel Artemis, starring Jodie Foster, Charlie Day and Sterling K. Brown, is an interesting one. I was slightly confused on what the plot was from the trailer so, based on that, it may or may not pull people to see this movie.

Therese’s Prediction:

Ocean’s Eight has been extremely anticipated for the last several months as it has a phenomenal cast of women to tell the story. Some of the women include Cate Blanchett, Dakota Fanning, Rihanna, Sandra Bullock, Mindy Kaling, Helena Bonham Carter to name a few. To say I am excited for this film would be an understatement. I only hope that the film surpasses expectations.

Another film premiering this weekend that I am excited for is Hotel Artemis. I may be a little bias as I very much appreciate Sterling K. Brown on screen anytime. It will be interesting to see Brown as a character other than Randall Pearson from This Is Us. Although it is not a highly anticipated film, it still has potential.

As a family film, I think Zoo could be an unexpected breath of fresh air as it chronicles a young boy and his friends in their attempt to save a baby elephant. While I may not see it, it has a lovable plot that younger kids may appreciate.

The Realness of ‘BoJack Horseman’

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

For our first ever TV Talk we are talking about the Netflix original series BoJack Horseman. The show currently has four seasons with the first one premiering in 2014 and the most recent one having come out last year. It has also been confirmed for a season 5 which is rumored to come out later this year.

This series follows the once star of a 90’s sitcom, BoJack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett), as he tries to piece his life together and make a comeback.

BoJack Horseman is one of the most authentic portrayals of human emotion I have ever seen in a TV show. It has honest depictions of not only addiction and mental illness, but also the general ups and downs of life and not knowing what you really want out of life.

Throughout the series BoJack tries time and time again to make himself happy, but always falls into the same pattern of self-loathing and alcohol and drug use. But what makes BoJack’s development particularly interesting is how he adapts and changes throughout the series and tries his best to right his wrongs.

BoJack is definitely not the only character in the series with this kind of authentic development. Every main character in the series has their own battles that they have to overcome, and the ups and downs of their emotions really do an amazing job at showing what life is really like.

Not only does this series have these real and relatable displays of human emotion, but it is also able to effortless weave in comedy throughout. This show’s humor is somewhat satirical in its nature with its way of poking fun at Hollywood and society as a whole.

Another element of this show that I find particularly refreshing is its continuity. For instance, in the first season someone steals the D from the Hollywood sign, so for the rest of the series it is now called Hollywoo instead of Hollywood. The show does a great job at not abandoning tiny little details that came about from certain storylines and sticks with them. It’s almost as if as the series progresses there are more and more inside jokes and Easter eggs from things that happened earlier in the series.

Finally, I have to talk about this show’s animation because just wow. It is beautifully done in a way that makes the show so aesthetically pleasing to watch. It is detailed in the most unique way, and is one of my favorite parts about the show.

Overall, BoJack Horseman isn’t afraid to show real struggles that real people go through. It is able to show these struggles while still maintaining its comedy and satirical elements. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that will keep you laughing throughout and is an absolute must-see.


My Rating: 94%

Acting: 3.5/4

Animation: 3.8/4

Story: 4/4

Enjoyability: 3.8/4

 

Top 5 Most Underrated Comedies

We all have our favorite comedies and our own sense of humor. Many would include the classics such as The Big Lebowski,

Caddyshack, and even an Adam Sandler film in their top 10. But, some just don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Today, we list our top 5 choices for the funniest, most underrated comedies.

Blades of Glory

First same sex figure skating couple, played by Will Ferrell and Jon Heder, adorned in fire and ice inspired costumes? Not to mention the gross incestuous skating couple (played by married couple Amy Poehler and Will Arnett). How come no one is still talking about this gem?

The DUFF

Although this movie may seem cringy at first glance with the acronym of the designated ugly fat friend and its interesting use of modern technology, it is surprisingly really funny and heartwarming. It is definitely a little ridiculous, but underlying that is a message about self acceptance and a lot of laughs.

How to Be Single

Possibly the greatest chick flick in recent years, starring Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson, hardly gets any attention. Not only does Pitch Perfect star Wilson steal the show as usual, but Fifty Shades’ leading lady Johnson proves that she can be the lead in a comedy too. It’s sweet, carefree, and makes your stomach hurt (in a good way).

Girls Trip

A knockout. Best comedy of 2017. Rough Night tried, but couldn’t live up to its greatness. It was the world’s introduction to showstopping comedian Tiffany Haddish and a revival of Queen Latifah’s career. This was the perfect film for women in comedy and put the trash mockeries (Rough Night) aside.

The Night Before

This is honestly one of the funniest movies Seth Rogen has ever made and no one seems to talk about it or even know it exists. It follows three best friends, played by Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Anthony Mackie, on their wild quest to attend the best party in New York City on Christmas Eve. This movie is both touching and hilarious and a must see for any fans of Seth Rogen.

‘Walk the Line’: Music, Addiction, and Forbidden Love

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Julia Wilson

For today’s Time Warp Tuesday, we will be taking a look at one of the greatest musical biopics of all time (and my favorite film) Walk the Line.

The film follows the ‘Man in Black’ musician, Johnny Cash (Joaquin Phoenix), and his musical career. Along the way, he finds love in his childhood crush and longtime singing partner June Carter Cash (Reese Witherspoon) but with the highs comes the lows. The audience is exposed to Johnny’s demons and faults. We learn about his battle with drugs and alcohol and his affair with June despite being married to his wife Vivian (Ginnifer Goodwin). He suddenly becomes his own villain and becomes stuck in a cycle of addiction and infidelity.

Walk the Line went on to win multiple awards including Best Actress at the Academy Awards. What made this film so great was, in fact, the acting. Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon quite literally embodied the souls of Johnny and June Cash. It’s almost like watching a documentary of the famous duo because of the actors’ nearly identical performances. When someone, with hardly any musical experience, can replicate every voice inflection, facial expression, and body movement of a famous musician’s performance then I think it goes without saying that they deserve the highest praise possible.

Along with the musical talent they possess, Phoenix and Witherspoon’s chemistry is both undeniable and honest. Johnny and June had an intense bond that caused him to lose control and hurt June and Johnny’s wife Vivian in the process. This flawed love story is portrayed with the same fierceness it possessed without watering down the moral imperfections. It isn’t the ideal romance that you see in most films, but this also is not a romance – it’s a drama. And that genre leaves all of the ugly parts in.

One of those ugly parts is Johnny’s drug addiction, and the performance that Phoenix gives is too good to not give an Oscar to. As I said before, Johnny becomes the villain in a story where he was the protagonist and his rehabilitation isn’t a pretty one. But Phoenix’s transition between all of them were nearly flawless, and he was able to portray one’s real experience of addiction. He showed the dark side of a man who was once on the top of the mountain and suddenly fell into his own personal hell. (I’m sure you thought I’d make a ‘Ring of Fire’ pun, but that’d be way out of context)

Walk the Line is one of those movies that will never leave your mind after one watch and questions whether fame and fortune is worth the hurt.

‘Adrift’: Heartbreak’s Many Forms

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

When I first discovered Titanic, I never thought that I would find a movie that matched its tragedy. Clearly, I was proven wrong.

Adrift, starring Shailene Woodley (Fault in Our Stars, Divergent) as Tami and Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games, Me Before You) as Richard, is about two free-spirited sailors who meet, fall in love, and want to sail the world together.

The story is told through a series of jumps between flashbacks and present day. The flashbacks show the beginning of Tami and Richard’s relationship while the present day shows how they became lost at sea. Throughout the story, Tami and Richard’s relationship only gets stronger even after being left adrift.

This is, by far, my favorite film of Woodley’s. I thought it truly brought out what she can do as an actress regardless of the negative critical reception that she’s received. Same can be said about Claflin, which is saying a lot as I loved Me Before You. This is one of the few movies that I drastically disagree with the critical reviews of it including the low Rotten Tomatoes score it had upon initial release.

Upon reading some of these reviews, I see that much of the distaste comes from its focus on the romance instead of the action of Hurricane Raymond. I think it was actually a strong point for this movie because it was intentionally created to show the true story of Tami and Richard’s tragedy.

Everything from the acting to the intense storm to the development of the plot line felt seamless and nearly flawless.

Adrift cannot be talked about enough. It shows just how powerful love can be when out at sea. I would recommend it for anyone who loves not only romance, but also simply a good movie.


My Rating: 95%

Acting: 3.9/4

Cinematography: 3.7/4

Story: 3.9/4

Enjoyability: 3.8/4