‘Deadpool 2’ Shows Exactly What Superhumor Should Be

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

Deadpool is back at it again with his morbid sense of humor the entire world has come to love in Deadpool 2. This time, he comes with an even more complex story with long-term complications.

In this one, Deadpool (obviously still played by Ryan Reynolds) finds a new villain that he must defeat to save a little kid named Russell (played by Julian Dennison) – or “Firefist” if you ask him – as he struggles with, like, self-identity or something. Basically the X-Men version of puberty.

Regardless, Deadpool is as funny as ever. But it all started with something that most movies don’t put a ton of time in anymore – marketing. Deadpool 2 created dozens of alternate covers for its movie as well as replicas of other movies that were replaced with Deadpool himself. On the cover of War for the Planet of the Apes, Deadpool is seen riding the horse. It’s these marketing decisions that helped build the anticipation for this movie.

I have no complaints about the acting in this movie. Reynolds, the young Dennison, Morena Baccarin, Josh Brolin, and all the other actors/actresses’ portrayals of unique characters were executed excellently. They each brought a lot to the movie no matter how much or how little they appeared in it.

Deadpool is known for his dark humor, which he plays very well. From comparing the new villian Cable and Thanos to understating the power of Hawkeye, Deadpool really brings the shaded joys to the MCU.

Even the cinematography was awesome in this movie. They used tons of different sets and locations to show all the different situations Wade Wilson manages to get himself into while still keeping the feel of his universe.

Finally, the writers hit the bullseye with a story that really has the ability to hook the audience. It jumps around, sure, but a lot of superhero movies do that nowadays. And who are we to complain about that after watching The Avengers: Infinity War.

That’s right, if you liked that story, you have no place to say that Deadpool’s was bad.

Deadpool 2 was definitely better than the first. That, right there, is a huge accomplishment within itself. It incorporates the X-Men storyline better than the first (shipping Deadpool and Colossus with every piece of my soul), and the humor worked even more thought out, adding in constant pieces of attitude towards the MCU. It just knew how to build on characters they already had as well as add in ones that would benefit the story (Brad Pitt may or may not make a cameo appearance… go find out!). Deadpool 2 is easily one of my highest recommended movies of 2018 thus far.


My Rating: 91%

Acting: 3.6/4

Cinematography: 3.5/4

Story: 3.6/7

Enjoyability: 3.9/4

Advertisements

Film Forecast Friday: May 18th

On Friday, May 18th we have…

Deadpool 2

Book Club

Show Dogs

Dark Crimes

First Reformed

On Chesil Beach

Julia’s Prediction:

Obviously Deadpool 2 will takeover the box office this weekend and may even give Avengers: Infinity War a run for its money for that #1 box office spot. Also, I literally just saw Deadpool 2 as I’m writing this and I loved it. I strongly recommend.

Book Club looks pretty funny, but I don’t expect it to make any big waves at the box office. Although it currently has a surprisingly high rating on Rotten Tomatoes for what it is, so who knows. Maybe it will surprise me.

I honestly can’t even believe Show Dogs is a movie. I mean are creepy real looking talking animals really anyone’s kind of movie? I definitely expect this movie to crash and burn.

Dark Crimes looks pretty intense and it has Jim Carrey in it so it will probably do alright. First Reformed is already Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes so that one will also probably do pretty good. And finally On Chesil Beach which stars Saoirse Ronan from Lady Bird. This one looks pretty interesting and I think among its audiences it will do pretty well.

Anthony’s Prediction:

Even only being open for one day, Deadpool 2 is already breaking records. It’s killing it at the box office and will continue that through this weekend. Ryan Reynolds knew what he was doing signing on for this movie.

Book Club is going to be interesting, but won’t do crazy well at the box office. That being said, it’ll still take the second most spot next to Deadpool 2.

First Reformed is being very positively recepted and I love that. It’s a good movie with a story that needs to be told, and it deserves the good it’s getting.

Dark Crimes and On Chesil Beach are the two movies this week that I think will be looked passed and won’t be big or relevant at all.

‘Something in the Air’ and its Exposure of Teenage Fantasies

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Julia Wilson

Let’s do something different and review a movie from a few years ago because sometimes we miss the chance to speak our opinions on a film that should be talked about. Today, we’re talking about the 2012 French drama, Something in the Air.

Set in 1970’s France, the young artist Gilles (Clément Métayer) gets involved in a radical political group that believes they are the start of a small revolution with the usual hippie and drug combination that would almost be offensive if they hadn’t put it in.

Writer and Director Olivier Assayas (Personal Shopper) portrays himself in the character of Gilles as he struggles with whether or not he should make films, be a painter, or be an activist. But he finds himself “joining the cause” to avoid alienation from his political friends who choose to make posters and graffiti buildings over doing something that matters. Gilles decides to take the creative route and eventually leaves his chaotic and radical friends behind to pursue a dream.

What I’m taking away from this is to follow your heart not the herd. Teenagers, like the ones in the film, are impressionable and often pressured into what their friends do because they don’t want to miss out on their youth before life happens. And when it finds you, you can’t run away from it. Eventually, you have to grow up which is what Gilles finds himself facing and ultimately realizes that life on the other side isn’t so bad.

Being a revolutionary seems exciting in the moment, but all revolutions come to an end and that’s kind of like youth.

Something in the Air is a film that, in the beginning, makes you want to travel the world without a worry or responsibility. By the end, you realize that it isn’t real. It’s a facade of happiness.


My Rating: 69%

Acting: 2.3/4

Cinematography: 3/4

Story: 3/4

Enjoyability: 2.7/4

Penetrating the Interminable Mystery Of ‘Ismael’s Ghosts’

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Olivia Norwood

2018 has already had a good share of foreign films, when you put Zama and Fantastic Woman (which won Best Foreign Film at the 2018 Oscars) in the mix. It was exciting to see that a French foreign film was coming to theatres as I knew it would have an interesting plot and involve a person named Pierre as all french films inevitably have.

Ismael’s Ghosts ended up becoming very confusing very fast. It was simple, at first, seemingly about a woman named Sylvia (Charlotte Gainsbourg) and her boyfriend of two years, Ismael (Mathieu Amalric), who have to recover from a strange turn of events as Ismael’s presumed dead wife Corletta (Marion Cotillard) shows up at an unexpected time.

The acting was slightly better than mediocre. The actors and actresses were new to me, for the most part. Amalric was previously in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Munich, and Quantum of Solace. Cotillard is a one-time academy award winning actress for La Vie en Rose and also appeared in Inception.

As for the plot, it’s complexity develops into something significantly more mysterious, intense, and confusing. This included a story about Ismael as a director and his movie which ends up being part of the twist at the end. At least, I think it was. It got so complicated at the end that I couldn’t tell if it was a twist or something I was just missing the whole time.

Overall, Ismael’s Ghosts was a fine movie. It was confusing beyond confusing but that was its biggest flaw. Make sure you’re ready, though, because it’s the longest 2 hour and 15 minute film you’ll ever watch. As in, it will feel like you’ve been there for a full year before you leave.


My Rating: 74%

Acting: 3/4

Cinematography: 3.3/4

Story: 2.8/4

Enjoyability: 2.8/4

‘La La Land’: An Homage to Old Hollywood

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

For this week’s Time Warp Tuesday, the film we’ll be talking about isn’t very old, but the references it makes date as far back as 1935.

I’m sure when you hear about the film La La Land you probably think of the truly iconic moment in Academy Award history when La La Land was announced as the Best Picture winner, only for someone to come up and say moments later that Moonlight had actually won Best Picture.

Although I could talk all day about the Oscar drama surrounding this film, today I want to talk about its many references to old Hollywood musicals, why they’re there, and what makes them such a key element of the magic of this film.

La La Land is a love story between Mia (Emma Stone) and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), two struggling artists with big dreams. Mia dreams of one day becoming an actress, and Sebastian dreams of opening up his own jazz club and reviving the genre. The story is sweet and relatable to any struggling artists out there, but what really sets this film apart is its attempt to make an old Hollywood musical today.

Throughout the film there are several references to old Hollywood musicals, but probably the most prominent reference is to the 1952 classic Singin’ in the Rain starring Hollywood legends Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds. Some allusions to the 1952 classic in La La Land include Ryan Gosling swinging on the lamppost during “A Lovely Night” as Gene Kelly does in “Singin’ in the Rain” and large dance scenes in La La Land that mirror some of those in Singin’ in the Rain. In the image below, the top is from La La Land and the bottom is from Singin’ in the Rain.

Singin
Top: Courtesy of Lionsgate, Bottom: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

One of the most memorable scenes in La La Land is during the song A Lovely Night”. Although this scene has references to many old Hollywood films, the general concept is heavily inspired by the 1935 film Top Hat starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Specifically, the song “Isn’t this a Lovely Day (to be Caught in the Rain)” where its concept of a couple whose dialogue tells you they’re bickering, but through the song and dance you see that there is actually love there really inspired director and writer Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), as he describes in his interview with PBS NewsHour. You can see the similarities below, with the top image from La La Land and the bottom image from Top Hat.

A Lovely Night
Top: Courtesy of Lionsgate, Bottom: Courtesy of RKO Radio Pictures

Another classic Hollywood allusion is to the film Broadway Melody of 1940 which starred Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell. In that film Astaire and Powell dance on a starry looking stage, and a very similar image appears during the “Epilogue” scene in La La Land. This can be seen below with the top image from La La Land and the bottom image from Broadway Melody of 1940.

Broadway Melody
Top: Courtesy of Lionsgate, Bottom: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Some of the other classic Hollywood films referenced in La La Land include Rebel Without A Cause starring James Dean and Natalie Wood, Funny Face starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, and Bob Fosse’s film Sweet Charity starring Shirley MacLaine. Below you can see side by side images of La La Land and Rebel Without A CauseFunny Face, and Sweet Charity.

Collage 1
Left: Courtesy of Lionsgate, Right: Courtesy of Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, and Universal Pictures

 

So why did Chazelle coose to make a film such as La La Land? As he describes in his interview with PBS NewsHour, ever since he fell in love with old Hollywood musicals he really wanted to try and see how you could make one today. He goes on to describe how these musicals had him “reveling in what only movies can do”, and how he loved the idea of telling a story through sound and image, opposed to dialogue, which is something no other medium could do.

The amazing thing about La La Land is it revived the magic of film that we haven’t really felt since the days of old Hollywood. Since then we as a society have gotten used to the tricks, CGI, and typical movie structure that we see today, and lost the magic and wonder film used to bring. By combining stunning cinematography, beautiful music, and of course allusions to old Hollywood classics Chazelle has brought that magic back with La La Land.

 

‘Step Sisters’: Throwing Together College Trash

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Olivia Norwood

Step Sisters is a new original Netflix film with a 25% on Rotten Tomatoes. That, at least for me, says it all… but I gave it a chance. Unfortunately, that chance wasn’t worth it.

This is a movie that makes an attempt at combining stereotypes about race, gender, and college sororities to develop what the writers called a teen comedy. It’s a triple whammy that nobody asked for and nobody wants to see.

Don’t get me wrong, I can see where they attempted to make it work. They had characters who were having trouble with their own self identity and characters who wanted to embrace their self identity but couldn’t. This attempt crashed when they put it up against moments of blatant racial stereotyping, which just isn’t funny anymore in the society we live in unless it’s done with purpose.

Jamilah (played by Megalyn Echikunwoke, CSI: Miami), Beth (Eden Sher, The Middle), and Dane (Matt McGorry, How to Get Away With Murder) play three of the main characters, and were the strongest out of the cast. However, that’s not saying much because none of them were at their strongest performance by any means.

Sher seems to be stuck playing the same role in every production she appears in while McGorry is consistently losing his eye for good entertainment, which is a sad thing to me, as I really enjoyed him in How To Get Away from Murder.

On the whole, I did not like this movie and would suggest spending your time watching funnier teen comedies like Edge of Seventeen and Netflix’s very recent Dude. The acting wasn’t pristine or even good and the teen comedy it attempted to be just blew up on more than one occasion.

If I could give any advice to teen comedies in the future, steer away from race jokes every thirty seconds unless it actually needs to be said. Step Sisters just took it too far.


My Rating: 35%

Acting: 1.7/4

Cinematography: 1/4

Story: 1.7/4

Enjoyability: 1.3/4

‘Breaking In’: A New Kind of Movie Mom

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Therese Gardner

Happy Mother’s Day! Today, we celebrate and praise all of the matriarchs in this world which also includes our movie moms. Coming in on time for the holiday is the new action and thriller Breaking In where we live through a mother’s worst fear and realize that they are (literally) unstoppable.

Warning to all moms: don’t see this movie unless you’re stable in your own paranoia.

Breaking In features Gabrielle Union as the dedicated mother who is locked out of a house while three possible killers hold her children hostage. The film wastes no time in getting to this point, as it happens almost 10 minutes in.

Aside from the intensity, let’s talk about how refreshing it is to see a mother single-handedly be the hero. Let’s be real, we all know that if this happened to any other mom then they’d fight until their own last breath, but to have it shown in a film makes you appreciate all of the little things she does for you.

Gabrielle Union pulls off the revenge-driven performance we all hoped for based off of the trailer. Cinema always depicts mothers as fragile, soft-spoken, and gentle. Well, this mom doesn’t mess around. She kicks ass and refuses to be manipulated. Union’s character definitely takes the cake this year as best movie mom.

But, Union herself is one of the only women this year whose acting doesn’t consist of using her sexuality as a weapon. Though it does make for an interesting character, its overplayed. Watching a movie use her actual strength, wits, and motivation as a weapon is a good change that I wish the rest of Hollywood would take notes on and use.

Breaking In is fresh in story and exhilarating in action. It proves that actresses are more than just their stereotypes and that being a mother is more than just its title.