Tag Archives: movie

Goosebumps 2: Not Too Goosebumps?

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Just in time for the Halloween season, R.L. Stine’s most famous (infamous?) creation is back for another go around. ‘Goosebumps: Haunted Halloween’ is for sure a follow up to the 2015 movie.

Or is it?

Having no returning stars beyond the sparsely used Jack Black, who voices Slappy and portrays the on-screen version of Stine, ‘Haunted Halloween’ has some similar beats without most of the rhythm.

Best friends, Sonny and Sam, are out for one think this Fall season: Junk. Seeking to pick up some extra money, they tout themselves as ‘Junk Bros’ a rudimentary trash collection service for neighbors around town. After posting flyers all over the town, they receive one mysterious, un-traced phone call for a junking job. They are told there is no cash for them, but they are welcome to take anything they find interesting.

Arriving at what appears to be an abandoned house, they ultimately find a miasma of random junk, but something does indeed catch their attention: an almost pristine ventriloquist dummy (Guess who?)

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“Karru Marri Odonna Loma Molonu Karrano”

Reading the magic words, like so many before, brings Slappy to life, and he’s out for…family?

While the character is charismatic as ever, there is something absent. Where before he pined for freedom and slaves, of course, he now seeks out a family to call his own. So much so that we see Slappy doing laundry and even bringing a video game to life (what?).

While his powers seem to have expanded, the story here leaves something to be desired.

Fantastic performances all around, the kids and smattering of familiar adults (Ken Jeong as a wacky neighbor, Chris Parnell as a desperate department store employee) are adept at making the best of the content give for some truly amusing, and chilling moments.

While the tone is consistent and the monsters make a much welcomed return, there is a sense that this time around,  the script seems muddled and warped which loses some of the emotional weight and familiarity. Many of the plot points feel mashed together and watered down perhaps through a mill of writers unable to nail the magic of the first.

Kids will be engaged, old fans will surely find some moments to grasp onto, but the bumps don’t quite goose the way they did.

 

‘Eighth Grade’ About as Bad as You Remember

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Comedian, and now writer/director Bo Burnham has released his first feature Eighth Grade, starring Elsie Fisher as awkward, in-between Kayla Day.

Kayla is trying like almost anyone her age to be cool and fit in in the fast paced, technology-laden world of teens today. We watch, many times, as Kayla creates videos for her YouTube channel: advice on things like being yourself and fitting in. These videos highlight the ways in which Kayla makes an effort to find these things in life and within herself.

Throughout, we are privy to awkward conversations with Dad (Josh Hamilton), the muted sharp glares to and from ‘popular’ girl Kennedy and a handful of awesomely socially tragic clashes with equally awkward and removed teen boys. Everyone in their own world amid a sea of extremely thick atmosphere that feels all too familiar, compressed and leaves you gasping.

A note here on the score: It comes far too often, too loud. The chosen songs sound hastily made and are in such jarring contrast with the film itself, it further warps whatever is left to be gleaned from on screen. There is no matching of emotion or intention, merely blaring beats better used elsewhere.

The direction style doesn’t favor glamour shots, opting instead for a well lived-in feel. The costumes and scenery are muted, everyday colorful: very grounded in reality, glittered with iPhones and punctuated by so many uhms and ahs.

Burnham clearly has an adept feel for the material, but this is also his downfall. The strangest bit comes during an active shooter drill (yes, of course) followed almost immediately by an earthquake preparedness drill. This evasion tactic practice leads to some reaching attempts at innocent flirting tinged with a hint of the salacious, terrifying trouble it could bring. On many occasions we are set up with something that pushes beyond the grainy film of the movie into interesting and gripping territory, only for it to be deflated moments after; this uneven rise and fall gives the movie a meandering feel that never quite reaches the apex of understanding it needs to drive home just what is important here.

To say this movie has merit is to say a lot, outside of style and deadly accurate tone, the structure crumbles in on itself and the message, if there is one, is lost. Moments of reflection and success are muddled through and perhaps that is the point, however, this makes for a trying and very painful watch that doesn’t seem to know which audience it wants to pull in.

Is this meant to be a burdened nostalgia cringefest for those that have grown through the struggles of young adulthood? Or is there a message amid the noise for the ones coming up in the now? This film is rated ‘R’, so the latter seems a stretch at best. Presenting the dredge of middle school without resolve is certainly bold, but this film stumbles more than it strides.

If the idea of a mostly accurate depiction of the slow ache of growing pains sounds intriguing, give this one a watch when it comes to DVD or the streaming service of your choice.

A24, highly regarded production company, and noted comedian Bo Burnham have taken us to school, and it isn’t pretty.

 

New Poster For Upcoming Aquaman Movie Revealed

On July 16 we were treated to a brand new Aquaman poster in anticipation for the trailer unveiling at San Diego comic con this Saturday.

The poster depicts Aquaman swimming through Atlantis with loads of underwater creatures gathering behind.

The film is set to be released December 21, 2018

Goldblum Is BACK For Jurassic World 2.

Dr. Ian Malcolm will return to the realm of dinosaurs in the sequel to 2015’s Jurassic World. Jeff Goldblum has signed onto the film, but it’s currently unclear how big his role will actually be. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are returning as our rapturous leads, and will most likely be subject to one of Malcom’s philosophical, spiritual rambles. It’s possible that the might even be treated to a Laura Dern hand waterfall, if they’re so lucky.

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Jurassic World 2 is set to be released June 22, 2018

The New JUSTICE LEAGUE Trailer Is HERE

DC nerds, get hyped. The official Justice League trailer is here, and it’s jammed pack with never-before-seen clips from the upcoming movie.

JUSTICE LEAGUE is set to be released November 2017.