How Us Examines the Horrors of Privilege

Jordan Peele‘s Us follows Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), from a mysterious and traumatic event as a child to her return there as an adult. In the hall of mirrors of a Santa Cruz funhouse, she encounters her exact double.

The fear of what she saw that night has stuck with her, but now she isn’t a young girl, wandering off alone, but a grown woman, married with two children, driving down to their luxurious beach house for the summer.

For many, this is the epitome of success – the nuclear family, comfortable, privileged. Gabe (Winston Duke) has his boat, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) has her cellphone, and Jason (Evan Alex) has his toys. This isn’t their first trip to their summer home, it’s become routine. These comforts are all put to one side once their home is invaded, and they come face-to-face with their doppelgängers.

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Beautiful Boy Review

Being a teenager is by no means easy. Being a parent of a teenager certainly isn’t either. Whether it’s to the well-meaning and beleaguered father David (Steve Carell) or his introverted and troubled son Nick (Timothée Chalamet), it’s through dynamic that most will immediately relate to Beautiful Boy, but things soon take a darker turn.

Nick’s life is put in grave danger by an unexpected foray into hard drugs, leaving his father wondering where exactly it all went wrong – and what being a good father means in this context.

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The Night Comes for Us Review

Timo Tjahjanto alongside Kimo Stamboel (‘The Mo Brothers’) have been making visceral Indonesian action flicks for years now. Their underrated gem from 2016, Headshot, was often described as a second-rate version of The Raid, yet aside from the obvious connections of blood-splattered violence, intense martial arts and a few shared cast members, both have shown a skill for action filmmaking that shouldn’t be downplayed.

In The Night Comes for Us, Tjahjanto goes it alone, taking on singular writing and directing duties, and is once again joined by alumni from The Raid series. But if this film is anything to go by, even one half of the Mo Brothers is a force to be reckoned with.

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Bullet to the Head: The “Anti-Buddy Movie”

The Netflix preview image for Bullet to the Head features Sylvester Stallone and Jason Momoa swinging wildly at one another in a one-on-one axe fight. This image promises a much more entertaining movie. On the other hand, an action movie starring Stallone in 2012 could have been a lot worse.

Stallone’s career has some definite peaks and troughs. Coming off the brilliant surprise Rocky Balboa and the crowd-pleasing Rambo, he launched into the remarkably unremarkable Expendables and Expendables 2. Following the latter up with an action movie called ‘Bullet to the Head’ didn’t inspire much confidence, and neither the reviews nor the box office receipts did it any favours.

Bullet To The Head

It ended up being Stallone’s worst opening weekend gross in 32 years, failing to make up half of its $40 million budget. But while this is by no means a top tier Walter Hill project, or a top tier Stallone film, many of its apparent failures seem to me to be a deliberate evasion of the tropes of the buddy cop sub-genre. Continue reading →

Death Note Review

There are plenty of people out there who can more authoritatively and comprehensively address the issue of whitewashing in this adaptation of a uniquely Japanese story. But as a fan of both the manga and the anime on which this film is based, I believe that Death Note offers the chance to explore elements of modern America rarely touched on.

In this context, to deal with the smirking certainty of a teenager who remotely doles out vengeance by his own distorted moral code is to get into the mindset of the internet’s own ugly habits of anonymous trolling, abuse, and doxxing. Continue reading →

David Lynch’s Best Soundtrack Moments

Music is a big part of David Lynch’s work, from the eerie soundscapes of his early films to his own studio releases. As his career continued and full length feature films became a rarer sight, he began to make his own music—and now has five albums and a record label to his name.

Twin Peaks‘ season 3 revival looks to include more music than ever, with appearances by Trent Reznor, Sky Ferreira, Eddie Vedder, Sharon Van Etten as well as Lynch alumni Rebekah Del Rio and Julee Cruise. Continue reading →

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 Review

Ayesha, High Priestess of The Sovereign sits on an opulent throne, boasting of the perfect evolutionary state reached by her species. The Sovereign are covered in gold, from their clothing and skin all the way down to their eyes.

In sharp contrast to the supercilious society and their conceited leader stands the Guardians of the Galaxy, a damaged group of misfits barely keeping it together. It’s one thing to create an ensemble as engaging as this, but it’s another to know where to place them.

Lucky for us, James Gunn knows exactly what he’s doing. Continue reading →