Saturday, April 14, 2018

A Quiet Place

A Quiet Place is a science-fiction horror film directed by John Krasinski who stars alongside his wife, Emily Blunt, and is produced by Michael Bay and his production company, Platinum Dunes. The film centers on a family surviving in an Earth that has been invaded by aliens who rely on sound due to having no eyes and have to go day by day in trying to make as little noise as possible in order to avoid them. Krasinski and Blunt play a married couple with children who have managed to stay alive due to the fact that they already knew sign language as one of their children is deaf and have been able to communicate with each other since the invasion. Due to how sensitive the alien's hearing is most of the film has no dialogue and a lot of the sound is natural and what you expect in an abandoned town, the forest, waterfall, and other such natural noises that the family must be careful not to make louder. The performances of both the leads and the children is really good, especially since the actress who plays the deaf daughter is actually deaf. Well paced and with really good scares, every time there's a noise that you don't expect or causes a much louder noise than usual is one of the best ways to get your blood pumping due to not knowing whether the aliens will be drawn by the noise and where they will come from as they are fast and mainly silent until they get close. The aliens themselves have a very spider like design and a part of their heads can be removed to reveal a large ear like thing that they use to pick up the faintest of sounds. This is a horror film that proves that even with a PG-13 rating, you can still be terrified and surprised by what they have without relying on a ton amount of gore and violence. One complain I do have is that the deaf daughter is kept from going downstairs to the basement of their home and it's never explained why. The ending where they figure out how to defeat the aliens and ends on the family about to attack back in a cliffhanger was awesome. Over all: 100%
2018 top list so far:
1. A Quiet Place
2. Black Panther
3. Ready Player One
4. Game Night
5. Thoroughbreds

Ready Player One

Steven Spielberg directs Ready Player One, which is based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Cline, and stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, and Ben Mendelsohn. The film is set in a dystopian future of Earth in 2045, wherein the majority of the population escape from the problems of the real world by playing a virtual reality world, OASIS, wherein they could interact with other players and play as well known and playing levels based on numerous pop culture elements based on what the creator loves, like driving the Adam West Batmobile or playing as the Iron Giant. Ready Player One's main story deals with the death of the creator and how he left a game in his digital world wherein if anyone wins it will win full ownership of the world and the company that runs it. The whole point of this film is a love letter to both our love of pop culture as well as our obsession with the concept of easter eggs and trying to find references to other things as they are cleverly hidden. Much like last year's Lego Batman, this film's greatest aspect is its clever use of references to various forms of pop culture such as movies, video games, shows, comic books, and other forms of media. While it's fun to see people making themselves look like well beloved characters like Joker and Hello Kitty and use well known gadgets and weapons such as Mechagodzilla and the bike from Akira, sometimes it can be a little bit too much of pop culture references and at times distracting. The performances are all really good, especially from Mark Rylance who plays his character as very nervous and somewhat socially awkward, and the effects are really beautiful. Steven Spielberg's direction is, as always, a delight and the best choice to direct due to his long and incredible contribution to pop culture even if he chose not to put references to his own films. While it's fun to see so many references and that many of the characters have a deep love for pop culture and that's what helps them win, the way the film depicts them at time can be a bit overdone and kind of mocking. A very silly thing throughout the movie is that Cooke's character has a birthmark on one side of her face and she fears people mocking her for it, and my problem is that you barely ever notice it and with certain lighting it's barely there. While flawed, this film is just fun all around and makes you wish that we all could access the OASIS. Over all: 95%
2018 top list so far:
1. Black Panther
2. Ready Player One
3. Game Night
4. Thoroughbreds

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #5

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #5 begins some time after the fourth issue with the juiced up Don taking down several of Bane's forces by himself, even when they've also been enhanced by the Venom. Batman and Leo have to convince him to not use the stuff by reminding him how his genius and intellect is his best quality, while an injured Splinter is taken to Batman's universe to be healed by a Lazarus Pit, all while Bane takes over most of Manhattan. As with the previous issues, the artwork is fantastic and well detailed, the drama is well written and executed, the characters are all true to past works, and the comedy is done at the right places. Much like the previous issue and its surprising and powerful cliffhanger ending, this issue manages to top it by having Batman break into Shredder's prison cell with his suit to get his help to defeat Bane. Despite not showing Batman's face beneath his mask, one can tell that he's thinking this as a last resort and the desperation of trusting such a dangerous character. Over all: 100%
Top list so far for 2nd set of comics:
1. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #5
2. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #4
3. Thor: God of Thunder Vol. 1 #1
4. Wonder Woman Free Comic Book Day 2017 Special Edition (2017-) issue #1
5. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #2
6. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1
7. Incredible Hulk (1999-2007) #92: Planet Hulk Part One
8. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #3
9. Tate's Not At Comic Con Local Indy Anthology #8

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #4

Picking up right where the third issue of the crossover left off, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #4 has Batman, Robin, the Turtles, and Splinter surrounded by an enlarged Bane and his enhanced soldiers as they fight their way out of this situation which becomes worse when Splinter is badly injured. The fight scenes are well drawn and fun to look at and the drama afterward works really well when the Turtles, especially Don, have to deal with Splinter's injuries and whether or not he would make it. This is the strongest issue of either this crossover or the first one between both franchises, especially as Don continues to doubt himself to the point he's willing to inject himself with a small dose of Bane's formula. Ending with that kind of cliffhanger is bold and could have gone wrong in so many ways, but leading up to it makes sense. Over all: 100%
Top list so far for 2nd set of comics:
1. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #4
2. Thor: God of Thunder Vol. 1 #1
3. Wonder Woman Free Comic Book Day 2017 Special Edition (2017-) issue #1
4. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #2
5. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #1
6. Incredible Hulk (1999-2007) #92: Planet Hulk Part One
7. Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II #3
8. Tate's Not At Comic Con Local Indy Anthology #8

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Thoroughbreds

Being Anton Yelchin's last film before his death, seeing him in Thoroughbreds was very tragic at times. Yelchin costars with Anya Taylor-Joy and Olivia Cooke wherein the two play former friends who both plot to kill Joy's stepfather who emotionally abuses her. While Joy's character is initially skeptical about the idea, Cooke plays an emotionless sociopath who has no qualms about going through with it even blackmailing Yelchin's character, a young drug dealer recently released, to do it. The film is very slow, methodical, and has a very artsy way of telling its stories, but mostly done in a way that is very entertaining. For his last film, Yelchin's performance is very strong even if his role was very short and many of his scenes are really memorable. Joy and Cooke have such a perfect chemistry between each other that you wonder if the actresses were friends before shooting. The direction is sometimes very prodding and can be slow many times, the writing is good but certain parts aren't really needed, and the ending feels like there should be more. Over all: 89%
2018 top list so far:
1. Black Panther
2. Game Night
3. Thoroughbreds