‘The First Purge’ Predicts an Eerie Future for America

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

The First Purge is the fourth installment in The Purge series and acts as a prequel to the other films as it depicts the very first and experimental Purge which took place solely on Staten Island, not on a countrywide scale.

Each of these films depict a not so distant America in which one night a year all crime is legal. Now, although on the surface this premise seems pretty absurd (I really don’t foresee legalized murder becoming a reality anytime soon), the principles it illustrates deep down are not only very real, but are happening right now.

This film in particular really focused on the virtual war between the government and the lower class. In the film, this is illustrated by the government sending in troops to kill off those in low income areas once they realize civilian participation in The Purge is not nearly where they thought it would be.

Now obviously this isn’t actually happening, but a government that supports the wealthy more than those that need it the most is a reality and one the film is clearly trying to showcase, along with the racial tensions that go along with it.

One thing I loved about this new installment in the series is that it bears a message. And a very powerful one at that. The first three films came out pre-Trump, and the message of those seemed to be something like “wow America sucks”. I really like the first three films (well actually I hate the first one, but I digress), but they are not nearly as powerful as The First Purge which has a slightly different tone.

This is perfectly illustrated in the last two lines of the film. One of the characters, after surviving the first ever Purge, asks “what do we do now?” To which one of the other characters replies “we fight.”

Not only does this film attempt to motivate its audience to act through its compelling message, but the film itself is very well done. The acting is superb and much better than you see in most horror movies.

Also, the cinematography and direction actually gave me goosebumps. And then the way it is all edited together helps the audience gain perspective on how horrific the events in this film are. Which in turn helps spread the overall message of the film by giving you time to stop and evaluate the state America is in today and how, by principle, it isn’t much different than the America shown in the film.

Overall, The First Purge is a beautifully done film with a strong and highly important message for America. A film with so much meaning that is also well done is a rarity in any genre – especially horror. But even if you aren’t a horror fan, see this movie. It will give you a lot to think about.


My Rating: 90%

Acting: 3.4/4

Cinematography: 3.8/4

Story: 3.7/4

Enjoyability: 3.5/4

 

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‘Set It Up’: A Revival of the Classic Rom-Com

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Olivia Norwood

Netflix recently released a new romantic comedy called Set It Up. This movie is about two assistants, Harper and Charlie (Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell), who set up their bosses, Kristen and Rick (Lucy Liu and Taye Diggs), in hopes that it will make their bosses less work obsessed and give them some free time.

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I have heard a lot about this movie. People seem to be loving it. The classic Romantic Comedy genre has been seemingly dead these past few years and everyone is feeling like Set It Up has revived the old, formulaic Rom-Com.

As a lover of cheesy Rom-Coms myself, I have to say I agree! This movie was just so cute. I loved the characters Deutch and Powell play and got so into them. Also, Pete Davidson (AKA Ariana Grande’s fiance) has a small role as Powell’s character’s best friend and I loved it.

Another thing I loved about this movie was that while it is a total cliche Rom-Com, it also makes fun of cliche Rom-Coms. It does this through the process of Harper and Charlie trying to figure out how to set up their bosses. For instance, when they first start the process they are trying to figure out how to instigate a meet cute.

Also, the on-screen chemistry between Deutch and Powell is enough to make even a Rom-Com skeptic swoon. Their relationship is able to progress so effortlessly, while remaining believable because of the undeniable chemistry between the actors.

 
Honestly, Set It Up is such a great feel good movie. It has relatable characters with great chemistry and self aware humor. A genre that used to be heavily made fun of, is now truly missed, and its comeback seems to have began with Set It Up.


My Rating: 82%

Acting: 3.5/4

Cinematography: 2.8/4

Story: 3/4

Enjoyability: 3.8/4

 

100th Day of BFS: The Best and Worst of 2018

To celebrate the 100th day of Basement Film Society, we’ve decided to take (nearly) every single movie that’s come out this year and put them in a list of top 10 and bottom 10.

The lists are based on the ratings that they have been given in our reviews. Percentages will be included in this post, as well. 

Anyways, let’s get started and thank you so much for joining us in our 100 day celebration! We cannot wait for 100 more!

Top 10 Best Movies… so far.

  1. First Reformed (98%)
  2. Hereditary (98%)
  3. Won’t You Be My Neighbor (96%)
  4. You Were Never Really Here (96%)
  5. Tully (96%)
  6. Adrift (95%)
  7. American Animals (94%) 
  8. Game Night (93.7%)
  9. Incredibles 2 (93%)
  10. Veronica (93%)

Top 10 Worst Movies… so far.

  1. 7 Days in Entebbe (56%)
  2. Overboard (53%)
  3. Red Sparrow (50%)
  4. Super Troopers 2 (46%)
  5. Taco Shop (39.4%)
  6. Truth or Dare (36%)
  7. Step Sisters (35%)
  8. Tyler Perry’s Acrimony (33%)
  9. The Week Of (19%)
  10. The Kissing Booth (18%)

 

‘Boundaries’ Beautifully Depicts the Ups and Downs of Family

By Julia Wilson, Edited by Anthony Peyton

Finally, a road trip movie worth watching.

For some reason road trips are often used in movies for both comedic and dramatic uses, and in most movies that feature them that is all they are about. But Boundaries is about so much more than that. It shows the sacrifices that we make for our family, despite the emotional turmoil that they may cause us.

Boundaries tells the story of Laura (Vera Farmiga), a single mother who rescues every stray animal she sees, and her troublesome relationship with her father Jack (Christopher Plummer). After avoiding her father for quite some time, Laura ends up having to drive him from Seattle to LA so he can stay with her sister Jojo (Kristen Schaal) after he is kicked out of his nursing home.

On this road trip they are accompanied by Laura’s son Henry (Lewis MacDougall), a socially awkward teenage boy, and some of the many dogs Laura has rescued. Unknown to Laura, Jack also has brought along large amounts of marijuana that he has enlisted Henry’s help with selling throughout their journey.

Boundaries is different than most road trip movies because it has so many different layers with some intricate character development. There is a lot going on with each and every character that intertwines itself with the story, making you very invested in all of them.

There is Laura and her relentless love for everyone around her, even when it hurts her. Henry with his issues at school and being able to interact with other people. And finally Jack, who has never been there for his children and is trying to figure out how to change his ways.

This really is a character driven piece which is why it was aided so heavily by the fact that the actors were brilliant. They were each able to portray the complexities of their characters in a way that brought you into the story so effortlessly.

This film was also quite funny. Although the story it presented was more dramatic in its nature, the dialogue and the interactions between the characters gave it a very cleverly thought out humor.

To be honest, I liked this film a lot more than I thought I would. I am always skeptical of road trip movies because they are usually all the same, but I was very pleasantly surprised by this one.

Boundaries tells an intricate and entertaining story of family and the complex emotions that go with it. Between the enthralling story mixed with both drama and comedy and the brilliant acting, I would highly recommend this film.


My Rating: 89%

Acting: 3.7/4

Cinematography: 3.4/4

Story: 3.7/4

Enjoyability: 3.5/4

 

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.

 

Mr. Rogers Recaptures Our Hearts in ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Therese Gardner

Children’s television has become something of a mass produced ploy to sell products to its very young audiences. They don’t really convey a message. But, children’s television used to be something more. In the new heartfelt documentary, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, we discover the impact of one television program and it’s unlikely star.

If you know the tune, then you know the show. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is about the Dalai Lama of television, Fred Rogers, and his educational show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.

Many know that Rogers was a good man as he was an ordained minister, worked closely with professionals to understand child psychology, and convinced Senator Pastore to continue funding for public television. But, what many do not know is that he cared deeply and fondly about the children who viewed his show and the world they were growing up in.

He loved children which is shown through clips of interviews where he describes how his passion for spreading kindness became his life long mission. He made sure that children knew how special they were and that they were loved.

In the film, audiences not only find out the story of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood but, also who Mr. Rogers was. We quickly learn that the soft spoken and happy man dealt with his own internal struggles and dealt with them through music and a little stuffed tiger named, Daniel.

He was constantly criticized for being open-minded and kind. It seemed impossible for someone like Rogers to exist but, he proved that being compassionate isn’t always hard to do. He was understanding of others feelings and not only listened but cared what people had to say. Which is what made the show so successful in touching the hearts of so many.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? is just as beautiful as the soul of its subject and will bring people to tears just listening to the beloved Mr. Rogers sing the tune that used to brighten our days and capture our hearts.


My Rating: 97%

Directing: 3.8/4

Cinematography: 3.8/4

Story: 4/4

Enjoyability: 4/4