Archive for Mystery & Suspense

Monkeypaw Productions,

Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon, Anna Diop, Kara Hayward, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nathan Harrington, David M Sandoval Jr., Madison Curry, Duke Nicholson

The Wilson Family is on vacation up in Santa Cruz, Ca near the seashore. They need a break, and some time to unwind. But after a visit to the famous boardwalk, when they return to the cabin, four strangers are standing in their driveway. As they investigate further, they determine that the four characters look like each of the family members, and as time passes, they definitely intend harm to the Wilsons, their neighbors, and lots of other people. It’s going to be a long night.

I wanted to see this movie opening weekend. I’m glad I did, as I’m starting to see a lot of whines and complaints about this movie, most of which are not really justified. This is a really creepy story with lots of violent actions, and a great deal of suspense. However, it’s not you usual horror film with no real story, just lots of loud noises and sudden jumps. This is a deeply dark and suspenseful story that is quite complex with a lot to think about and figure out. So those who just want another straight forward horror fest are going to be disappointed. You need to be aware that the story is a lot more complex than it appears on the surface, and be prepared to invest some brain cycles to figure it all out. Secondly, this is the second film from Producer/Director Jordan Peele. This makes it normal that people would want to put the two films (The other one is Get Out) side by side and compare them This is a big mistake because these films are not at all alike. Now on the other hand, there are some problems with this movie. It might be because it’s only Jordon’s second film, or it could be simply some bad advise. It’s also hard to discuss this all without giving away too much, but speaking generically, they took great pains to try to explain how this all happened. Unfortunately, it’s not a very good explanation, and leaves us with some really strange plot problems. It seems like the tried to throw in a twist in the end, as it seems proper to do, but it doesn’t work at all with the entire rest of the movie, and was very ill advised. Sometimes we are better off not knowing the cause for the crisis, and it is better to leave a lot more up to the viewer to determine what it all means. Still, I did enjoy this film (although my companions in theater did not) and I think it was worth the trip to see it. I do like stories with thoughtful questions and deeper meanings, and every horror film does not need to be a shallow slasher with no plot. I just wish they had done a little more work on the script to fix some of the problems in the story. This film would have been a lot better with a little more thought into the plot holes and how to plug them up.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, Lawrence Bender Productions, Little wave Productions,

Isabelle Huppert, Chloe Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Jane Perry, Jeff Hiller, Parker Sawyers, Brandon Lee Sears, Arthur Lee, Rosa Escoda

Frances McCullen (Chole Grace Moretz) is a waitress in an upscale Manhattan restaurant who lives with her roommate Erika (Maika Monroe). She is suffering the recent loss of her mother. One day she finds a purse left on the subway, and decides to return it to the owner. When she arrives at the home of Greta Hideg (Isabelle Huppert) she finds her a friendly, if not a little lonely, elderly lady who invites Frances in for coffee. They both find a friend in each other, until it becomes obvious that there is much more to Greta than meets the eye, and she has some really serious issues. Frances tries to cut the friendship off, but Greta isn’t that easy to get rid of.

This is one of the nicest thrillers I have seen in a long while. Chloe has turned into an amazing actress and she really does a great job in this film, but Isabelle Huppert is absolutely amazing in her role as the crazy lady. Her performance is completely terrifying and she gets a lot of credit for pulling this off perfectly. Sometimes the villain takes it way over the top, but her performance is just understated enough to keep us on the edge of our seat. The other cast members did a good job too, and maybe the credit goes to the screenwriters for such an excellent script. Anyway, it’s a Gothic type thriller right of the pages of the present Manhattan as the backdrop is very well chosen as well too, as it does a lot to add to the story. If you’re a fan of high energy thrillers, this is a great example of the genre, and one I would highly recommend. Excellent job!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Columbia Pictures Corporation, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Regency Enterprises,

Claire Foy, Sverrir Gudnason, Lakeith Lee Stanfield, Sylvia Hoeks, Stephen Merchant, Claes Bang, Cameron Britton, Vicky Krieps, Synnøve Macody Lund

Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy) is a hacker who is hired by a computer programmer to retrieve a program called Firefall, a program which is capable of accessing all the world’s nuclear codes. Frans Balder (Stephen Merchant), the programmer, wrote the program, but now feels it is too dangerous to have out there. Lisbeth is able to retrieve the program, but they are unable to unlock it. Once the program is stolen by Jan Holtser (Claes Bang) a mercenary steals the program and then the chase is on to recover it, providing they don’t die in the process in this high adventure chase story.

If there ever was a movie who’s trailer has nothing to do with the actual movie, this is it. I saw the trailer in the theater a number of times and it looked like a good story, but when I actually got to watch this DVD, I found myself totally lost in this movie. I didn’t ever really catch up and found it really confusing. There a lot of major problems in the story, and the technology of how the program has be retrieved really doesn’t make any sense. The whole premise is real strange. I just really did not get into this movie, and I just didn’t really enjoy it. I don’t recommend this movie. It just had nothing interesting in it to make it worth the time. I suggest you skip this one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Mas Films, Paradox Films, StudioCanal,

Liam Neeson, Micheal Richarson, Tom Bateman, Tom Jackson, Emmy Rossum, Domenick Lombardozzi, Julia Jones, John Doman, Laura Dern, William Forsythe, Aleks Paunovic, Ben Hollingsworth, Nathaniel Arcand, Glen Gould, Bradley Stryker, Elizabeth Thai

Nels (Liam Neeson) is a simple hardworking snow plow driver who keeps the road open to a popular resort destination in Colorado. Its a small town, but has really gotten very popular after a fancy ski resort opened. When his son, Kyle (Micheal Richarson) turns up dead from a heroin overdose, Nels doesn’t believe it was an accident. He starts to investigate on his own, and finds a connection so some very shady drug racketeers from Denver he stars seeking vengeance on them This leads to one final showdown that is really something to see!

This is a typical Liam Neeson movie of revenge hunting to the max. This is a bit darker than most of the others, but has a lot of similarities. The best part of the film is the beautiful scenery in the Rockies in the wintertime. It is truly breathtaking. The suspense is really intense, and it’s easy to follow. It took a while to get everything straight as the beginning jumped around a bit and made it kind of hard for me to follow for a while, but after I got every straightened out in my head, it was really easy to follow. Laura Dern is a great actress and was kind of wasted in this movie, and I’m not sure why. She didn’t have much to do, and her character was very superficial. I wish she had been given more to do. In some respects it is a bit over simplified. It is extremely violent, though, with lots of blood and guys all the way through, so it earns it’s R rating for the extreme violence, but it is a very exciting roller coaster of a movie. It was very intense, and well worth the time.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Goddard Textiles, TSG Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox,

Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Lewis Pullman, Chris Hemsworth, Nick Offerman, Russell Crowe, Alvina August, Mark O’Brien

The El Royale is a run down hotel on the border between Nevada and California near Lake Tahoe. Half of the rooms are in one state and the other half are in the other, decorated especially for each state, but there is a red line running down the middle of the main lounge that divides the room in half. The hotel used to be a hot destination, but is dying since they lost their gambling license and all the slot machines are out of order. Now no one stays here. A tired old priest (Jeff Bridges) shows up at the same time as a lounge singer (Cynthia Erivo) who is staying at the El Royale because it is very cheap. When they enter the lobby the find the hotel empty except for a traveling salesman who is also looking for an attendant. Over time, a few more people show up, but nobody is what they appear, all are hiding deep secrets, and things are going to go bad due to a whole bunch of bad choices as well as a great number of misunderstandings, and it truly is Bad Times at the El Royale for everyone.

I was intrigued by the trailer and really wanted to get to see it in the theater, but for some reason I never made it. I was excited when this was released on DVD, and was anxious to see it. It was well worth the wait, and I’m glad I finally got to see this. In fact, it was so much fun, I watched it twice. This is a mystery from start to finish, and it was really fun trying to figure out who the people really were. As you go along, as soon as you figure it out, you find out you’re completely wrong. As the pieces are revealed bit by bit, the puzzle comes together, and it was a really exciting movie. This reminded me a lot of “The Hateful Eight” in the way that nobody actually was who they claimed to be. This was a very insightful film, very dark, but yet somehow really beautiful. The way they built the set completely from scratch, and built the entire lobby building as a single set, allowing them to do long and complex shots in a single take without a cut. It was very well crafted and I enjoyed the movie twice from start to end, and really enjoyed the extra features that were were included on the DVD with info about how and why the film was made the way it was. The actors were superb. Jeff Bridges and Jon Hamm were outstanding. Cynthia Erivo did all the singing herself, and she was exceptional. Though this movie is pretty dark, there are enough puzzles and loose ends to keep us very interested in what’s going to happen. I am glad they didn’t tell us who was in the film at the end. I’m sure I know, but I’m only guessing. I really enjoyed this film.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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