‘The Ritual’: Weird Horror is Just Getting Weirder

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

The Ritual came out on Netflix earlier on in 2018, but I wanted to see what it had to offer. And oh boy, did it offer.

It tells the story of four friends going on a hike in Sweden after one of their other friends dies in a horrible tragedy. Luke (Rafe Spall), Hutch (Rob James-Collier), Phil (Archer Ali), and Dom (Sam Troughton) are the four friends who get lost in the woods during a hike on a very rainy night.

They find an abandoned wooden hut – as every horror movie does – and then they go in and explore. You can pretty much assume that this was a stupid decision.

The plot builds onto this throughout the rest of the movie as well as encountering a God-like beast who throws people into trees.

Overall, it had a very The Blair Witch Project, Hereditary, and The Endless vibes. It’s not that it set a bad example, but it just wasn’t anything new.

The acting was as fine as the character development, which wasn’t much.

I will give it props though for showing me the weirdest cinematic creature I’ve ever seen. There wasn’t much to the scenery, but that may have been the point. I got as exhausted as them looking at tree after tree.

In the end, The Ritual was not a knockout but more of the ordinary weirdness that we are constantly seeing today in the horror genre.


My Rating: 78%

Acting: 3.2/4

Cinematography: 3/4

Story: 3.2/4

Enjoyability: 3.1/4

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‘Tag’ is Ridiculous in the Best Way

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

I have to say I have been very impressed with a lot of the comedies this year. Films like Blockers, Game Night, and Life of the Party were such pleasant surprises. And now we have Tag, which I am pleased to say has only added to what a good year for comedy 2018 has been.

Tag follows a group of friends, played by Jeremy Renner, Jake Johnson, Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, and Hannibal Buress, as they play their annual game of tag. Their friend Jerry, played by Renner, has never been tagged, and this year they are determined to change that.

The premise of this movie may sound absurd and far-fetched, but it is actually based on a true story. There really is a group of friends who are able to stay in each other’s life by playing a very extreme version of tag one month out of the year. Personally, I find the concept very touching.

One of the things that this movie does really well is it owns up to how ridiculous it is. It does this through slow motion shots and narration when they’re in the middle of the game and about to tag someone. The element of being self-aware, and the knowledge that this is based on a true story makes this movie that much funnier.

The acting in this movie was absolutely amazing, which is not surprising considering the star studded cast it features. These actors are what really drive this movie home and make it as funny as it is. From their chemistry and the way they interact, to their impeccable comedic timing they are what make this movie.

Tag could have very easily been stupid and cringy, but it wasn’t. It owned up to the absurdity of its premise and had some amazing actors who had me laughing the whole movie. This is one of those movies that is so ridiculous that it works. It also has the underlying story of friendship that makes you want to keep watching even if just to see that unfold.


My Rating: 84%

Acting: 3.5/4

Cinematography: 2.8/4

Story: 3.5/4

Enjoyability: 3.7/4

 

‘Mean Girls’: The Movie that Defined a Generation

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

 
Happy Time Warp Tuesday everyone! I hope you’re getting your pink outfits ready for tomorrow because today we are talking about Mean Girls.

If you were alive in 2004 when this gem came out then I am sure you have seen it, but just in case, I will give you a rundown of the plot.

Cady Heron (Lindsay Lohan) has lived in Africa and been homeschooled her entire life until her and her biologist parents move to the suburbs of Illinois, and she has to get acquainted to the world of high school.

Once she arrives at North Shore High she is quickly scooped up by best friends Janis (Lizzy Caplan) and Damien (Daniel Franzese) who let her in on everything she needs to know about all the cliques at North Shore High. The most important and infamous being The Plastics. The Plastics contain massive deal Regina George (Rachel McAdams), secret holder Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert), and ditzy Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried).

After The Plastics invite Cady to sit with them at lunch, Janis, Damien, and Cady devise a plan to take down the queen herself, Regina George. From that point on all kinds of chaos and girl world warfare ensues.

This movie is truly iconic. It has one of the funniest and most well written scripts, written by the amazingly talented and funny Tina Fey, which is evident in the fact that the script is often used as an example in film classes. And if you need any more proof of its icon status just look at how quotable it is. I mean practically the entire movie is quotable. Even if you have never seen this movie I am sure you could think of dozens of quotes from it because people are quoting it all the time.

Now I have seen this movie honestly probably hundreds of times, and it never gets old. October 3rd is a sacred day for me, Glen Coco is my personal hero, and if Regina George ever punched me in the face I would be truly honored. If you also were growing up in the early 2000s then I am sure you feel the same way because this is the movie of our generation. This is like the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or The Breakfast Club of our generation.

Mean Girls came out 14 years ago and it is still one of the most talked about and quoted movies. It is so amazing in fact that it is now also a Broadway Musical – which is absolutely fantastic, and if you haven’t listened to the soundtrack yet that is what you need to do for the next hour and a half.

All in all this movie is a timeless classic about high school life and an honest to God gift to this world.

‘The Tale’: The Most Controversial Film of the Year

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Therese Gardner

Over the weekend, I watched an interesting film. A film that made me… uncomfortable. That movie was HBO’s The Tale starring Laura Dern. It was released last month and has been named, “HBO’s Most Controversial Movie”.

The Tale tackles a true story about a woman, Jennifer Fox (Dern), recalling her past, first boyfriend, and first sexual experiences from when she was thirteen. The boyfriend, Bill (Jason Ritter), was 40. This subject in film, childhood abuse, isn’t new to anyone. We’ve seen it in Lolita in the 60’s and 90’s. But what made this so controversial were the scenes they decided to show.

With 13 year old Jenny played by the very young Isabelle Nélisse, her and Ritter’s characters have disturbing sex scenes that of course used a body double. It is very obvious that they were using a body double but it doesn’t stop the person watching it from wanting to vomit. From the creepy, pedophilic dialogue from Ritter’s character to the actual simulation of the sex, it became something that was sad to completely sickening. I say all of this as if it were a bad movie.

It wasn’t.

It was an insane thing to watch but the story is touching and relevant to many people who’ve experienced it. Dern portrays a confused woman who doesn’t know what to make of an experience that altered her life. She doesn’t know if she’s a victim of abuse or a lover in the most twisted relationship.

The Tale is heartbreaking to watch but childhood abuse happens to this day and no one could know the seriousness of it unless it’s shown to them in its disgusting yet, real form.


My Rating: 90%

Acting: 4/4

Cinematography: 3/4

Story: 4/4

Enjoyability: 3.5/4

‘Incredibles 2’ Squares Up

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

I know, just about every review out there right now regarding Incredibles 2 has been praising it immensely, which it deserves. You may be reading this believing that I, too, will applaud it in the same ways and you’d be absolutely right. I believe that no one can get tired of reading that Incredibles 2 was just that, incredible.

Here we are with our favorite super family. We have Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), his very flexible wife Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), and their children Jack-Jack (Eli Fucile), Violet (Sarah Vowell), and Dash (Huck Milner). Each of them has a special power, or multiple.

This was simply a fantastic movie. For me, it was better than the first. Many reviews I’ve read have said it’s “equally as good” or “not quite as good but still great” compared to the first one. I look at it as a full-on upgrade from the first, which was amazing.

The voice acting was slightly different for each of the characters, but this could be expected as time passes, voices change, and actors are switched out. It’s been 14 dang years, so there’s no point in complaining.

I thought the story was so interesting in its ability to continue the original storyline while also adding in a completely new – and creepier – villain. I adored the story focus on both Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible switching roles. Elastigirl is the superhero in control while Bob is the stay-at-home dad.

Incredibles 2 was easily one of my top 10 movies of the year and I highly recommend everybody to see it. There’s something for everybody to enjoy, whether you’re a dad celebrating Father’s Day or a teen who grew up watching the Incredibles.


My Rating: 93%

Animation: 3.7/4

Cinematography: 3.6/4

Story: 3.7/4

Enjoyability: 3.9/4

‘Superfly’ Was Nothing Special

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

Superfly is a remake of the 1972 film Super Fly. It follows Youngblood Priest (Trevor Jackson) who is a cocaine dealer who wants out of the drug world. His process of doing so ends up inciting a drug war and creates tensions with dirty cops.

Superfly is interesting in the fact that it was directed by Director X, who is famous for directing music videos for artists such as Rihanna and Drake. This definitely shows through as a lot of the imagery in the film feels like a music video.

Honestly, I really wasn’t a huge fan of this movie. To be fair, I have never seen the original and this isn’t really my kind of movie in the first place, but I do have specific reasons for why I personally did not like it.

First, the plot just felt like your typical drug war movie to me. There was nothing special or different. Everything that happened I expected to happen and saw coming.

Also, there were certain moments where it felt like the movie was maybe trying to make some kind of social commentary about police brutality, but stopped before it really finished doing so. I think had it went in that direction it would have added an extra element that would have made it far more interesting and compelling than your typical drug war kind of movie.

Visually, the movie was interesting with its imagery that was similar to that of a music video. But for me, that just wasn’t enough to compensate for a plot I wasn’t very interested in.

I think that for some, this movie would definitely be entertaining. Mostly, it is just violence, sex and drugs. If that is the kind of movie you are into then I would definitely recommend Superfly. But if not, maybe skip this one.


My Rating: 58%

Acting: 2.5/4

Cinematography: 2.8/4

Story: 2/4

Enjoyability: 2/4

 

Film Forecast Friday: June 15th

On Friday June 15th we have…

  1. Incredibles 2
  2. Tag
  3. Superfly
  4. Gotti
  5. The Yellow Birds

Julia’s prediction:

There is no doubt in my mind that Incredibles 2 will be the biggest movie coming out this week. People have been waiting for this sequel for well over a decade and they will surely flock to the theaters to see it this weekend.

After Incredibles 2 will definitely be Tag. There’s been a ton of marketing on it, and it has a pretty star studded cast including Ed Helms, Jon Hamm, and Jeremy Renner just to name a few. It also looks absolutely hilarious and I am super excited to see it.

Superfly, Gotti, and The Yellow Birds I have heard nothing about, so I don’t really expect big box office numbers from these ones. Gotti does star John Travolta so that might help it out a little, but still not expecting too much out of any of these.

Anthony’s prediction:

I’m going to start out by saying that I saw Incredibles 2 last night, and it was everything. It’s going to kill it at the box office this week and judging by the hundreds of people piling into the theater I was in, that only furthers it.

It blows me away that Tag is already here, as I feel like I’ve been seeing the trailer for it forever. It has the amazing Jon Hamm, who I may or may not intentionally believe to be Armie Hammer’s dad, so I’m ready.

Gotti is getting a lot of attention marketing-wise, but won’t come close to Incredibles 2 or Tag.

Superfly and The Yellow Birds aren’t my cup of tea and won’t be the box office’s either.