Movie Review: Upgrade (2018)

Can I just take a second out of this review to talk about release schedules? Because everyone got this movie in the cinemas at some point in 2018… but I didn’t, and then I had to wait until today to be able to see it at home? It’s not the first time I’ve gotten screwed liked this. I wanted to watch it, but my local cinema was like “Nope, sorry, not showing it… you dick”… okay, they didn’t directly say that, but that’s what it felt like with “Upgrade” and various other movies. Seriously, screw release schedules some times.

Ladies and gents… “Upgrade”.

After his wife is killed and he gets paralyzed, Grey (Logan Marshall-Green) accepts an offer to get an experimental surgery that would let him walk again. But soon he finds out that he’s able to do more than that, which he will use to find the people responsible for his misery. So now we have our cyberpunk revenge thriller. And it’s good. I mean, the opening isn’t the most inspired, in a lot of ways it’s just kind of bland. But after that generic opening, the plot just gets better and better and I think it becomes quite unique for a revenge thriller. It’s not one of the greatest plots ever, but it’s certainly a lot of fun and has enough little twists and turns to keep it fresh. So yeah, it’s a good plot.

The characters in this are… fine? Most of them are kind of underdeveloped. For some of the bad guys, I can accept that, as it gives them a sort of video game boss battle quality, which I enjoyed about them. But others that the movie expects me to care about… nope. Anyway, Logan Marshall-Green plays Grey, the average Joe who receives the title to become a badass. And he’s honestly quite a fleshed out character, as he’s given quite a bit of development throughout. And Marshall-Green is great in the role… mostly. At the start he’s bland and average, but like the plot, when shit gets going, he becomes great in the role. Next we have Betty Gabriel as the detective working the case of Grey’s dead wife. And where the movie expects us to give a damn about her… I didn’t, her character isn’t interesting enough in her writing for me to care. But Gabriel is pretty good in the role. We also get supporting performances from people like Simon Maiden, Harrison Gilbertson, Melanie Vallejo, Benedict Hardie, Christopher Kirby, and more, all doing pretty well in their respective roles.

The score for the movie was composed by Jed Palmer and I thought it was really good. It somehow sounds like a mix between typical cyberpunk stuff (“Blade Runner”, “Deux Ex”, etc.) and a couple different horror scores. And the mix, while familiar, feels unique and gives the most an eerie and interesting vibe that I liked quite a bit.

Based on nothing at all, this movie was written by Leigh Whannell, and I think he did a great job here. While the opening (as previously stated) is a bit boring, his direction gives the movie a certain energy that makes it kind of a joy to watch. He finds ways of really engaging the viewer with little details. But it’s in the action scenes where the directing and cinematography truly shines, because holy fucking shit, the action scenes in this movie are fantastic. They’re fast, energetic, and have some of the most clever and unique camera movements I’ve ever seen. There are a couple fights in this movie that honestly kinda blew my mind. There’s also a surprising amount of humor throughout the movie, and none of it feels intrusive, rather just adding to the movie’s fun factor.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 67/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,6/10.

“Upgrade” is a really good revenge action-thriller. It has a good plot, meh characters, really good performances, really good music, and great directing/cinematography. Though as previously stated, the start of the movie isn’t great, and I don’t really care about most of the characters. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “Upgrade” is an 8,72/10. So while flawed, I’d say that it’s worth buying.

My review of “Upgrade” is now completed.

That was fun.

Movie Review: Get Out (2017)

The Month of Spooks continues. And on our plate today we have a newer movie… so let’s just get into it.

Ladies and gents… “Get Out”.

Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is a young man who is about to meet his girlfriend’s (Allison Williams) parents for the first time. He is a bit worried though since he’s black, and she’s white. And when they arrive at the parents’ house, everything seems fine. However, Chris soon gets the feeling that something is off about this whole thing and experiences one of the strangest weekends of his life. So now we have our horror plot. What I liked about it is that it doesn’t necessarily feel like your typical horror movie plot, it takes some really interesting twists and turns and it handles everything in a pretty unique way. It is also a commentary on liberal racism, weaving that into the narrative very well. Overall it is an incredibly fascinating plot. It has a decent amount of threads going through it, but they never feel messy. Great plot.

The characters here are all quite interesting in some way. Daniel Kaluuya plays Chris, the young man having to go through all of this. He’s a likable guy with a pretty good life, however he is nervous about meeting his girlfriend’s parents. And seeing him go through all this shit, experiencing all kinds of emotions is interesting, and I found myself really caring about him. And Kaluuya is fantastic in the role. Allison Williams plays Rose, Chris’ girlfriend. When we meet her she is simply a reassuring and supportive girlfriend that I found very likable. And I won’t say more other than it’s interesting to see some of her development here. Anyway, Williams is really good in the role. Bradley Whitford (whom I barely recognized here) plays Dean, Rose’s father. He seems like a good guy at first, downright charming. And through the movie we get some interesting developments from his side. And Whitford is great in the role. Catherine Keener plays Missy, Rose’s mom. She’s a psychiatrist and she has some interesting things going on about her throughout the movie. And Keener is great in the role. We have Betty Gabriel as Georgina, one of the servants at the parents’ house. She’s kind of weird and I thought she was a pretty fascinating character. And Gabriel is great in the role. Then we have LilRel Howry in a smaller role as Chris’ best friend, Rod. He’s more of a comic relief type of character, and he’s just great, he made me laugh without feeling out of place. Then we have Marcus Henderson as Walter, the groundskeeper at the parents’ house. He, like Georgina, is quite weird. And Henderson is great in the role. Really, this is a very well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Michael Abels (with some help from Timothy Williams) and it was pretty great. It’s eerie, dramatic, tense, and just overall pretty unique. It all helped set a unique mood/atmosphere for the movie, and I appreciate it quite a bit for that. There were also a couple of licensed tracks used throughout that I thought worked pretty well in their scenes.

This movie was written and directed by comedian Jordan Peele, once again proving that comedians are a bunch of fucked people… also, he did an excellent job with both those things. His directing is tight and tense, keeping me on edge for most of it. It also has a very weird and uneasy atmosphere, giving it a fairly unique vibe. It is quite tense, and it is pretty scary. There’s also some comedy in this, but it never really feels out of place, as it blends fairly well with the tone. And I have to mention Toby Oliver’s cinematography which is… fantastic. So many cool shots, such a great looking movie.

This movie has been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 99% positive rating (100% if you go by “top critics” only) and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 84/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 7,7/10.

“Get Out” is a fantastic directorial debut from Jordan Peele. It has a great plot, really good characters, great performances, great music, and great directing/cinematography. Time for my final score. *Boo!*. My final score for “Get Out” is a 9,88/10. So of course it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “Get Out” is now completed.

I don’t know what to put here.

Movie Review: The Purge: Election Year (2016)

As some of you may or may not remember, last year around July I reviewed the first two movies in the “Purge” series in “honor” of this movie coming out. You guys seemed to enjoy those reviews, so here we go… wrapping this shit up.

Ladies and gents… “The Purge: Election Year”.

Motherfucking badass Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) is back! Only this time he isn’t out for revenge, but he’s instead acting as security for a Senator (Elizabeth Mitchell) that is running for president. And her first act as president? Stop the “Purge”, just shut it down forever. And as you might predict, a lot of people are not too happy about that idea. And now we have an action-thriller where Barnes has to go on the run with the Senator while they encounter all kinds of strange of people. But it’s not just aiming to be a fun action-thriller, because it is also trying to have relevant social commentary and depth. And how does that turn out? Eh. I honestly think that they don’t mix too well. I was going along for the ride and I had fun with the silly plot and then it tried to be smart and deep and it kind of took me out of it. This isn’t exactly smart satire, so it couldn’t pull off having both the action-thriller stuff and the “deeper” stuff. So overall the plot is… meh. However, there was a brief moment in it that actually answered a question I had about this stupid franchise… so there’s that. But the plot overall like I said is kind of meh.

The characters in this movie… yeah, I don’t really like them. For the most part they are bland, forgettable, and not very interesting. Frank Grillo as Leo Barnes is pretty much the exception to this, because he’s awesome. He was great in “Purge: Anarchy” and he’s great here… he’s a motherfucking badass! Elizabeth Mitchell is also a character that I thought was kind of interesting. For one, her character was very adamant about shutting down the “Purge”, which is good because it’s like the stupidest idea ever. And she also worked because Mitchell gave a really good performance. She and Grillo actually had a little bit of chemistry in the movie, so that’s fun. We also got Mykelti Williamson as a store owner that gets fucked over by the insurance company and he was really good in the movie. The rest of that cast… who gives a shit? Most of them are bland, but there are also some that are INCREDIBLY annoying! Specifically, a couple of young woman harassing Williamson’s character. Seriously, I wanted to slam my face into a god damn wall every time they were in a shot. So yeah… the cast is a mixed bag.

The score for the movie was composed by Nathan Whitehead (just like in the previous movies!) and I think that he did a pretty good job. Now, his score here is nothing that I would listen to on a daily basis, but I do think that it was pretty well composed and it fit the movie very well.

This movie was (just like the previous ones) directed by James DeMonaco and he did a pretty good job with it. Now, I’m not gonna say that what he did was great, but for what it is… it’s not bad. Visually speaking, this movie actually looks pretty good. And the action in the movie was really fun. It’s not groundbreaking or even great, but it was really fun to watch. I also have to mention the writing… Jesus Christ, it’s bad. As I was watching the movie, characters continuously delivered really bad dialogue. At a few times it was fun, like when Mr. Badass (Grillo) delivered them or when Mykelti Williamson said them. So yeah… the writing wasn’t really that good (not that I expected it to be good).

This movie has not been very well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 54% positive rating. On Metacritic it has a score of 55/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,0/10.

“The Purge: Elecetion Year” is a really dumb but also kind of fun action-thriller. It has a meh plot, okay characters, good performances, good music, and pretty good directing/action. However it is brought down quite a bit by the plot trying to be deeper than it is, a bunch of annoying characters/performances, and some really bad lines. Time for my final score. *Ahem*. My final score for “The Purge: Election Year” is a 6,21/10. So it might actually be worth a rental.

My review of “The Purge: Election Year” is now completed.

It’s finally over! *Checks imdb*. Wait… “The Purge 4”? Coming 2018!? God damn it…