Aug 23 2019

Ready or Not

Following a long family tradition, new bride, Grace (Samara Weaving), is welcomed into her husband’s family with an invitation to play a game at midnight. But, what starts out with an innocent premise quickly turns dark as Grace finds herself in the line of fire from all of her new in-laws. Now, surviving the night will be the name of the game, this could be a total bloodbath. Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett, Written by Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy this splatter-fest delivers the goods with cringe worthy crossbows, stabs, gunshots, and screams all doused thoroughly with an air of ironic comedy. Not ironic but rather impressive, it’s important to point out the apparent simplicity involved here is much like a child’s game, easy to learn but takes a lifetime to master, and, in this case Bettinelli-Olpin and Gillett are well on their way to showing their clever mastery of the thriller/horror. For Weaving, niece of Hugo Weaving, the acting gene is clearly genetic as she nails this physical and psychological performance from start to finish. Cinematically one question does come up, the choice to shoot several chase scenes with a shaky hand held camera, a debatable decision, but this is splitting hairs. Come for the thrill, stay for the carnage, Ready or Not will not disappoint. Ready or Not is rated R.

Aug 23 2019

Angel Has Fallen

Top dog/guardian angel and Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is framed for an attempt on the President’s (Morgan Freeman) life. Now, reliant only on his own skills and talents Mike will have to go well above and beyond what he ever imagined in order to clear his name, keep the country safe, and protect those closest to him. Directed by Ric Roman Waugh and written by a small team of writers this rough and tumble, action, adventure, die hard-esque romp of impossible dodges, punches, stabs, car chases, and explosions leaves little to the imagination from start to finish, including the not so disguised gambit of a twisting plot. Then again, we’re not here to watch chess masters outsmarting each other in wits or prowess, rather, as the film describes it, we’re here to watch old lions do what lions do best, yawn, check that checkbox. On the other hand, if it’s a popcorn chomper with no delusions of grandeur to round out your weekend, stop, look no further, you could do a lot worse. Realistically, the film sits more as a rental, but hey, you want the big theatre explosion experience, no fault there either. Angel Has Fallen is rated R.

Aug 16 2019

Good Boys

On the cusp of becoming teenagers three lifelong friends ditch school in a semi prepubescent musketeer adventure whilst carrying illegal drugs, running from teenage girls, and trying to find their way to a much anticipated consensual kissing party. Will the Beanbag Boys endure or will 6th grade pull them apart? Directed by Gene Stupnitsky and co-written by Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg this irreverent comedy comes in the form of essentially three stale-ish joke models being told and re-told, which, while not entirely effective, does manage to land a handful of chuckles; specifically, jokes centered around the naivety of youth and misunderstanding of modern colloquialisms. But, in terms of comedy freshness, the born on date here appears to be a bit underdeveloped. Still, the film’s three leads, Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, and Brady Noon, manage to carry the weight of higher expectations just fine with extra charisma and nutty chemistry in this brief 89 minute romp. Maybe a matinee, but just fine as a rental later, Good Boys is rated R.