‘Shrek’ Me Up: A Look Back on the Childrens’ Classic

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

For this Time Warp, I decided I would touch on one of my absolute favorite animated movie franchises. That, of course, is the Academy Award winning film, ‘Shrek’. It’s still funny to me to be able to say “Academy Award winning” to the classic swamp-dwelling ogre that is my man Shrek.

Many who haven’t seen this iconic film may ask why it won Best Animated Feature in 2002. Well, those who have seen it can tell you exactly why.

The mean green fighting machine Shrek (Mike Myers) is an angry ogre who just likes to be left alone, as most people nowadays. But once love comes along, that changes, as with anyone who suddenly finds love. Shrek’s love didn’t come suddenly, of course. It came after a long journey with his new friend – whether or not he likes to admit it – a donkey, whose name is, well, Donkey (Eddie Murphy).

The love interest/self-hating princess in the movie is Fiona (played by Cameron Diaz), who loves throwing tantrums at every moment she can. You may think that it’s obnoxious, but it becomes very easy to love her by the end.

That is the overall plot of the entire first movie, but they do so well developing all the relationships within it. Being able to meet dozens of fairy tale creatures who annoy Shrek to the brink of absolute fury is, even if it’s not to Shrek, completely hilarious to watch.

Half the enjoyability of this movie revolves around the supreme soundtrack that plays throughout. I mean, we have songs like “All Star” by Smash Mouth and “Bad Reputation” performed by Joan Jett. That sells it right there, doesn’t it?

It’s an undeniably enjoyable movie and impossible not to love. It sparked a sequel that is debatably better than the first if not just as good. It’s one of those movie franchises that anybody will want to watch on a lazy afternoon in the summer, with their kids for a family movie night, in the middle of a snowstorm in the winter, or pretty much at anytime. That is how I define a classic.

Advertisements

‘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

‘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

Ethan Hawke Transcends and Derails in ‘First Reformed’

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Julia Wilson

So far this year filmmakers and actors have already brought us Oscar potential films and performances. First Reformed is that film and its star, Ethan Hawke, gave that performance. However, the story is what really draws an audience member in.

Hawke portrays Toller, the reverend of an old, overshadowed church, First Reformed. Dealing with issues of his own (alcoholism and cancer) he’s asked by churchgoer Mary (Amanda Seyfried) to speak to her radical, environmentalist husband Michael (Philip Ettinger) who becomes paranoid when Mary announces her pregnancy.

As he begins counseling him, Toller forms an obsession with climate, pollution, global warming, and other widely feared environmental dangers while questioning himself, his faith, and his ethics. It’s a period of transcendence for the reverend that progressively overtakes him and devolves into something more – something much darker.

Christian symbolism plays a large part in First Reformed considering religion is the entire basis for the plot. Not only does writer and director Paul Schrader highlight the most widely worshipped symbols from the Bible, but he also brings the most gruesome ones. Between a pregnant woman named Mary and Toller wrapping his bare body in barbed wire (Jesus in thorns), Schrader made sure we’d have those crystallized images embedded in our brains.

Throughout the film, Toller keeps a diary to express his thoughts and feelings (as most people do), but it also shows the inner workings of his mind and how different it is to his outer self. He’s calm, timorous, and small on the outside, while being meticulous and self-deprecating on the inside. The reserved and religious man worries himself with ailments of others and the world instead of the well-being of his own. He even plots to sacrifice himself via suicide vest in order to “save” others with the exception of destroying a few lives to do so.

The portrayal of this character is so sincere that by the end, Hawke isn’t just “playing” Rev. Toller. He is Rev. Toller.

First Reformed leaves the audience intrigued and rattled with its daunting performances and story that it’s nearly impossible to comprehend how one can create such a masterpiece.


My Rating: 98%

Acting: 4/4

Cinematography: 4/4

Story: 4/4

Enjoyability: 3.7/4

Film Forecast Friday: June 1st

On Friday June 1st we have…

1. Adrift

2. Upgrade

3. Action Point

4. American Animals

5. A Kid Like Jake

Julia’s Predictions:

This is an interesting week because for the first time in a while there are no big blockbusters being released. Out of the movies that are being released I think Adrift will have the biggest box office numbers. It has notable actors Shailene Woodley (Fault in Our Stars, Divergent) and Sam Claflin (Me Before You, Hunger Games) in it and I’ve seen a lot of marketing for it.

I think Action Point and Upgrade will do alright. I haven’t heard too much about either of them, but Action Point has Johnny Knoxville (Jackass) in it which will likely bring out audiences. Also, Upgrade is a Blumhouse Productions film and those tend to do well.

American Animals is absolutely amazing and I strongly recommend you go see it. We have already reviewed it, so if you need any more convincing to go see it check out our review!

Finally, A Kid Like Jake which honestly I didn’t know was a movie until today. It has Jim Parsons in it so maybe it will attract some Big Bang Theory fans?

Anthony’s Predictions:

I am beyond excited for Adrift with Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin. This will also be the moneymaker for the week at the box office, even if it will not make quite as much as previous weeks.

I have heard so much about American Animals that I’ve gotten very excited to see it. It has such a unique group of actors in it (including Evan Peters!) so I know that I’ll enjoy it already.

I definitely forgot Action Point and Upgrade were even coming out this week. I don’t really have a high opinion on them but I believe they will do about the same at the box office.

A Kid Like Jake won’t be too crazy spectacular, but should be fun because of Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons, as he is in it.

‘The Open House’ Is A Darkness In Itself

By Anthony Peyton, Edited by Julia Wilson

I don’t care what you say about Thirteen Reasons Why, Dylan Minnette is adorable. I say that because he’s equally as cute in The Open House, a new horror flick on Netflix that actually proves to know what it’s doing. The majority of the time at least.

Dylan Minnette plays teenager Logan Wallace alongside his mother Naomi (played by Piercey Dalton) after his father gets killed in a roadside hit. I swear that’s not a spoiler, it happens at the very beginning of the movie and it just happens to be what the entire movie is about.

Despite awful reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (it literally has a 13%), I found it to be a pretty good movie.

The acting wasn’t bad at all. Dalton and Minnette are both experienced actors and clearly knew what they were doing. Minnette has even done horror before (Let Me In, Don’t Breathe), so he knew how to not act amateurly like most actors his age in a horror movie. He kept every creepy moment suspenseful and every scary moment bone chilling.

The scenery was beautiful at first but later fell through after it got repetitive. Many movies have repetitive scenery and do it well, such as Breaking In earlier this month, that used one house for the entire film but made the house have real meaning.

This movie, however, used this house and didn’t add any feeling to it, despite how hard they tried. It was used to successfully build a story, and it did that, but it wasn’t necessarily fun to see for an hour and a half.

The Open House was actually a decent movie to me. It absolutely isn’t my favorite 2018 Netflix movie (Dude and Veronica still hold that title), but it wasn’t the worse. It was a decent horror flick that matched up to some of the other mediocre horror movies we’ve seen the last few years.


My Rating: 75%

Acting: 3.6/4

Cinematography: 2.5/4

Story: 2.9/4

Enjoyability: 3/4

‘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