‘Titanic’ Makes My Heart Go On

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Olivia Norwood

When I think of late 90s cinema, there are dozens of movies that come to mind. We have American Beauty (1999), The Sixth Sense (1999), Good Will Hunting (1997), Clueless (1995), and so many others that quickly became classics. For me, however, none touched me quite as much as Titanic (1997).

Titanic is a movie that nearly everyone knows about as most grew up having seen it once or twice. Maybe they’ve even heard about its impressive eleven academy award wins at the 1998 Oscars. No matter how one may have heard of it, it’s a movie that’s touched the hearts and minds of everybody.

Given that everybody knows what the film is about, I’ll keep the summary brief. When poor Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and recently engaged Rose Bukater (Kate Winslet) meet aboard the RMS Titanic, they find love in one another. They build a relationship beyond anything many have seen, but realize sometimes love doesn’t last as long as you may like it to. In their case, however, it wasn’t a break-up that brought this realization.

The sinking of the RMS Titanic was the climax of this movie, and showed – practically in real time – the sinking of the ship and the drowning of the lives on board. Director James Cameron knew how to capture this emotional tragedy and make it so the audience doesn’t even care about its running time (194 minutes).

Titanic 1
Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Everything about this movie was astonishing to me and millions would agree. Being able to witness such stellar performances by DiCaprio and Winslet (as well as such notable names as Kathy Bates, Billy Zane, and Frances Fisher) under equally beautiful writing makes any moviegoer fill with joyful tears from beginning to end.

It doesn’t happen often in modern cinema that you see a cast of actors and actresses who are all so individually dedicated to their roles. It was obvious that each wanted to portray their characters with the seriousness that those on the real Titanic would’ve maintained.

Much of this is due to the main man himself, James Cameron (Avatar, Aliens). People are no stranger to the work of Cameron, as he had already released Aliens in 1986, eleven years prior to Titanic.

Not everyone was too confident in him for Titanic (given that the budget was incredibly high – the highest of any movie in history at the time – and that most thought it would be “just another romance flick”), and many lost faith before it had even been released. That concept in itself is a marvel to me given its brilliant reception and continued adoration today.

It’s not doing Titanic justice by calling it a brilliant historical adaptation, when it felt like so much more. It was a near spiritual awakening for most who watched it, whether you’ve seen it once, twice, or two dozen times.


My Rating: 96%

Acting: 3.8/4

Cinematography: 3.9/4

Story: 3.8/4

Enjoyability: 3.9/4

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‘Bad Samaritan’ is Predictable yet Terrifying

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Therese Gardner

Have you ever seen a film and wondered “how did the writers come up with this story?”. Well, that’s the big question in the new thriller/ horror Bad Samaritan.

Starring Doctor Who’s, David Tennant, and Irishman Robert Sheehan, the film follows a young thief, Sean (Sheehan), who discovers a chained-up girl in the home he broke into. He then goes down the reckless path of trying to save her while dodging her manipulative kidnapper, Cale (Tennant).

Now, this film had its moments. There were plenty of times where I was expecting something to happen and a second later, it would. It has the typical features from other successful (enough) thrillers and horror films – jumpscares, dark alleys, and the killer behind the protagonist scare. It’s predictable.

But can predictability still make you flinch? Yes.

Which is what made the film work because when something expected happens, the real scare comes after.

I cannot tell you how many times I covered my ears and eyes and actually jumped out of my seat because of how terrified I was. It was more than I usually do in a regular horror movie (and I’m not easily scared by those). The fact that Bad Samaritan did that to me is remarkable.

David Tennant has come a long way from playing a quirky time-traveler by way of a telephone booth. He plays a true villain and adds no sympathy to his character’s story. He’s not only a murderous psychopath, but also a major asshole. He single handedly ruins the lives of anyone close to Sean while also ruining his credibility that causes the police department to not listen to a word he says.

But I guess that’s what made the hero-villain dynamic so pleasing to watch. There’s a distinction between the two instead of making the bad guy not seem so bad at heart. It gives you a chance to support the main character as he risks his life to do the right thing. What a Good Samaritan.

If you want a movie that will give you a real scare without the use of ghosts or cursed dolls, then look no further than Bad Samaritan. I promise that it will not disappoint.


My Rating: 71%

Acting: 2.5/4

Cinematography: 2.5/4

Story: 3/4

Enjoyability: 3.5/4

‘Overboard’ Didn’t Need To Be Remade

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

Every time there’s another bad remake I wonder whether the world has lost its creativity or just become lazy. Personally, I think it’s a combination of both.

The original Overboard came out in 1987 and starred Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. This new one stars Anna Faris as Kate Sullivan and Eugenio Derbez as Leonardo Montenegro.

In the new film Leonardo is a self-centered and incredibly wealthy man, and Kate is a mother of three working two jobs and studying to become a nurse. Kate is hired to clean the carpets on Leonardo’s yacht, but he fires her and throws her cleaning equipment into the water. Leonardo then falls overboard his yacht and washes up on shore with amnesia. When Kate sees this she pretends to be his wife and puts him to work, by making him help her out around the house and work construction to pay her back and to get revenge on him.

This film does a couple of things different from the original. First, it’s a gender swap as in the original Goldie Hawn was the rich one with amnesia and Kurt Russell was the one tricking her. The other difference with this film is it is framed as being like a telenovela.

Now, I’m not always against remakes. In the case of It, which had never had a theatrical release, and Ghostbusters, where the gender swap really provided an interesting element, I was all for the remake. But Overboard just really didn’t warrant being remade.

Honestly, this film just wasn’t funny to me. It seemed like it was relying on the absurdity of its premise for most of its humor. However, every time the story got more and more ridiculous I found myself rolling my eyes a lot more than laughing.

However, although the story was absolutely ridiculous, the way they framed it as a telenovela did work well and had me excusing some of the absurdity of it.

The acting performances were not stellar. They weren’t terrible but they lacked well done comedic timing which is what this film really needed if it was going to rely on its premise for all of its humor.

Overall, there really was no reason to remake this film. The original was fine as it was, and the story isn’t interesting enough to be told again, but just in a slightly different way.


My Rating: 53%

Acting: 2/4

Cinematography: 1.7/4

Story: 1.9/4

Enjoyability: 2.8/4

 

‘Tully’: The Truth About Motherhood

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

Let me start out by saying that this movie is easily in my top 3 movies this year and deserves an Academy Award nomination. No other movie has felt so real and candid while still being enjoyable and fun.

Charlize Theron (Atomic Blonde, Monster) plays Marlo, a mother of three suffering from severe postpartum depression. Her husband (Ron Livingston) doesn’t do much for the kids, except being the homework helper. Marlo’s rich brother (Mark Duplass) sees just how sleep deprived and exhausted his sister is becoming and recommends a night nanny who can take care of the baby at nights so Marlo can sleep.

At first, Marlo is iffy and uncomfortable with the idea. The thought of having some stranger take care of their newborn baby Mia and leave before they even wake up was strange. They decide not to call the night nanny at first, even though Marlo knows she can’t handle it. Eventually this catches up to her and she calls Tully (Mackenzie Davis), the 26 year old “fun facts for fourth graders” night nanny who is ready to not only care for the baby, but to care for Marlo.

That’s the first part of that movie that I find very meaningful. Tully’s overall philosophy is that she is also taking care of the mother if she’s taking care of the baby. This is because, according to Tully, the newborn Mia’s cells will remain in Marlo’s body for years to come. This makes it so they are one whole, therefore another “baby” Tully is here to take care of.

The acting from each of the characters was absolutely phenomenal. First we have Charlize Theron, who is always phenomenal. This movie was different though. It was extremely easy to notice just how much power and dedication she put into this role to give the “postpartum depression” storyline her all, given its sensitive material.

Mackenzie Davis, who has previously been in Black Mirror, gives us a brilliant portrayal of a “light at the end of the tunnel” type of character that everyone absolutely loves. Neither of these characters (Tully and Marlo) would be quite as appealing if the actresses behind them didn’t know what they were doing.

This was a movie where I didn’t have even the slightest interest to check the time on my phone, or question how long it’s been going. I was genuinely interested in Marlo and Tully’s entire story, beginning to end, and you will too.

Tully teaches love, care, neglect, nourishment, and how it is for some people entering motherhood for their first, second, third, or fourth time. It shows that even already having two kids and another on the way doesn’t mean it needs to be easy, persay. Postpartum can come from any child, and it’s important to have either the husband or somebody caring for you when you’re going through that. Nobody should have to go through that alone.


My Rating: 96%

Acting: 3.9/4

Cinematography: 3.7/4

Story: 3.9/4

Enjoyability: 3.8/4

Film Forecast Friday: May 4th

On Friday, May 4th, we have….

  1. Tully
  2. Overboard
  3. Bad Samaritan
  4. Taco Shop
  5. RBG

Julia’s Prediction:

The biggest hit this weekend will be either Tully or Overboard. I really hope it’s Tully because that film looks amazing, but Overboard is a remake which will definitely bring a lot of people out so it could go either way. But if I had to pick I would probably say Tully just because I’m feeling optimistic.

With a name like David Tennant, Bad Samaritan is bound to do pretty well at the box office. But I would be lying if I said I had any desire to see that movie.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is my actual queen so I’m pretty excited for RBG. However, I don’t anticipate it making any big waves at the box office. I don’t expect Taco Shop to make too big of an impression either.

With all of this said though, none of these movies will even come close to beating Avengers: Infinity War. That still has many more weeks of taking over box office sales.

Anthony’s Prediction:

The biggest hit at the box office is a tough one this weekend. It could either be Tully, starring the queen Charlize Theron, or Overboard, the remake of a previous movie. Personally, I’m going to have to say Tully, but they will both make quite a bit. No one is going to beat last weekend’s Avengers: Infinity War, though. That one is going to be around for a while.

I’m so excited for RBG, just because I love who it’s about so much. It won’t be a huge hit or viewed by many by any means, but I can’t wait to see it myself!

Bad Samaritan will be the third highest viewed this weekend. It has David Tennant, who most will know as one of the doctors from Doctor Who (and some may remember him from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).

Taco Shop is one of those movies I really don’t have an opinion about.. so that’s it about that.

Why Does This Exist?: A Review of ‘The Week Of’

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

The Week Of is one of the latest Netflix original movies. It follows two families as they gear up for a wedding. The father of the bride, Kenny Lustig (Adam Sandler), insists on paying for the wedding despite the rich father of the groom, Kirby Cordice’s (Chris Rock) offerings. Of course tons of antics follow as Kenny’s cheap wedding plans start to fall through.

Where do I even start with a movie this bad? Honestly, this was one of those movies that is just hard to watch because it’s so bad. It was also pretty sad to watch two once great comedians, Adam Sandler and Chris Rock, fall completely flat on their faces. I mean, seriously, how do you go from the masterpiece that is 50 First Dates to the actual piece of trash that is The Week Of?

Going into this movie I didn’t really expect a lot from the story. Most of Sandler and Rock’s stuff nowadays tends to have quite the absurd storyline. But usually you can get a few laughs out of it. Well that was not the case with The Week Of.

The acting and comedic timing in this movie were just absolutely atrocious. I really did expect more from such seasoned comedians. Every attempt at a joke just left me cringing, and the movie really tried to rely on the ridiculous events along the storyline for its comedy. However, since those events were also quite cringeworthy and didn’t even make sense it just didn’t work.

Probably the worst part of this movie was it felt so formulaic. These big wacky family comedies always follow the same format. There is some tension, a bunch of crazy stuff happens, but hey in the end everything is all perfect and they’re closer than ever. Because that’s how real life works.

I grew up watching Adam Sandler. He was my favorite actor when I was a kid. To see him just churn out such a formulaic travesty of a comedy (if you can even call it that) is quite disheartening.

 
Unless you are looking for two hours of cringing while you watch one ridiculous plot point after another with completely awful acting from many seasoned actors, I highly recommend you do not watch The Week Of.


My Rating: 19%

Acting: 0.5/4

Cinematography: 1/4

Story: 0.5/4

Enjoyability: 1/4

 

‘The Endless’ Journey of Trying to Understand This Movie

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Olivia Norwood

I really didn’t think I’d run into more of a mind twisting movie than Annihilation so soon into the year, but I was truly proven wrong with Snowfort Pictures’ The Endless.

In the most simple explanation, it’s about two brothers who escaped a UFO Death Cult when they were younger. Now that they are cleaners and living an unsatisfied life, one brother, Aaron (Aaron Moorhead) wants a change.

He decides that he wasn’t happy with the lack of closure from the cult and wants to go back. Other brother Justin (Justin Benson) is very reluctant, but for some reason gives in.

As the movie progresses, it gets ridiculously strange and confusing. The audience is left questioning whether or not this strange group of people is actually a cult or not. All we really know is that it’s an otherworldly situation with people who know that life does not stop at just them.

Some of the cult crew included leader Hal (Tate Ellington), Anna (Callie Hernandez), and Tim (Lew Temple). They all presented strange and unique personalities, but they all added something to the development of the plot – even if it wasn’t very much.

Although this movie is about aliens, don’t expect to see any… because you won’t. The aliens are always seen in the darkness or underwater, but what can you expect? It’s yet another question that leaves you frustrated. Were they even aliens?

Regardless, I do have to applaud Justin Benson for not only starring as one of the brothers, but also co-directing (alongside Aaron Moorhead, the other brother), creating the story, and writing the story. Not many people in the industry can do that nowadays.

The acting wasn’t spectacular from anyone, to be honest. At the same time, I don’t think that was the point. The point was to deliver an interesting story that unintentionally ended up more confusing and mind twisting than “interesting”.
The Endless was a very forgettable movie. It was good, but forgettable. But, before I forget it altogether, I’ll say good job to the cast and crew for developing a movie about a cult that isn’t actually about the cult itself but actually about the cult that came after the cult and a force field and… okay, I’m done.


My Rating: 79%

Acting: 2.9/4

Cinematography: 3.2/4

Story: 3.3/4

Enjoyability: 3.2/4