Us is a horror film written and directed by Jordan Peele, who produced the film alongside Jason Blum and Sean McKittrick (with the trio previously having collaborated on Get Out and BlacKkKlansman), as well as Ian Cooper. I am not a fan of horror flicks but I am a fan of Lupita Nyong’o, so I saw the movie. Honestly, Us was more of a mystery than a horror movie, which I thought was interesting. The film follows a family who are confronted by their doppelgängers (a ghostly double or counterpart of a living person) and has grossed $102 million worldwide. Us received praise from critics for Peele’s screenplay and direction, as well as for the score and acting.
In 1986, Russel (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and Rayne (Anna Diop) Thomas go on vacation with their young daughter, Adelaide (Madison Curry) to Santa Cruz, CA. While at the beach carnival, Adelaide’s mother goes to the ladies room, leaving Adelaide with her father, who is trying to win a prize playing one of the carnival games. Bored watching her father play, Adelaide wanders off and enters a funhouse, where she encounters a doppelgänger of herself in the “hall of mirrors”. After a short search by Russel and Rayne, a traumatized Adelaide is reunited with her parents but unable to speak about her disappearance or what she experienced.
In the present day, a now adult Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o) heads to her family’s beach house in Santa Cruz with her husband Gabe Wilson (Winston Duke) and their children, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex). Adelaide, never forgetting the traumatic incident from her youth, is apprehensive about the trip. On the other hand, Gabe is eager to impress their friends Josh (Tim Heidecker) and Kitty (Elisabeth Moss) Tyler, purchases a boat ignoring Adelaide’s emotional status. Once settled at the beach and into their indivisible activities, Jason suddenly wanders off. He encounters a man in a red jumpsuit, standing alone on the beach with his arms outstretched and blood dripping from his hands. Jason does not tell his family about the man but later draws a picture of him. Later that night, a strange family of four appears in the driveway of the beach house. After several attempts from Gabe get the invaders to identify themselves, they attack him and break into the beach house. The Wilsons realize that the four intruders are doppelgängers of themselves, led by Adelaide’s double, Red. Being the only doppelgänger capable of speech, Red tells the Wilsons the story of a girl who lives a happy life while her shadow suffers. The family is then separated by their opposites — things start to get wild and seriously dangerous.
There is no way I can tell any more of this thriller without spoiling it for you, so I’ll leave it here. I can only say, the adventures between the original humans and the Doppelgängers get pretty intense. From the Tyler twins, Becca Tyler/Lo (Cali Sheldon) and Lindsey Tyler/Nix (Noelle Sheldon) who don’t really like the Wilson children, to Adelaide’s true story revealed, you will see a whole new side to Us. The acting was brilliant and the special effects were outstanding. For me, horror is not how I would define Us. There were a few scary moments but nothing earth shattering and certainly nothing we haven’t seen before. Us was extremely bloody and the anticipation was at an all time high, as we waited to find out what was really going on. There were times I couldn’t tell what was real and what wasn’t real and I didn’t like the way Us ended. When it all became clear, I was ready to vote for a rewrite of the final results. I’ve heard many opinions about Us, some say they liked it and some say it was a waste of time and money. You will have to go see it for yourself and make your own determination. Us is exciting and entertaining so you won’t lose on that accord, Check It Out if you like thrillers.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged abraham, adelaide wilson, Alan, Alan Frazier, Anna drop, ashley mckoy, Becca Tyler, brand, Cali Sheldon, dahlia, danny, doppelgänger, duke nicholson, Dustin ybarra, eartha, elisabeth moss, evan alex, gabriel "gabe" wilson, Glen, io, jack, Jason wilson, jeremiah, jordan peele, Josh Tyler, kara hayward, kitty tyler, Lindsey Tyler, lupita nyong'o, madison curry, nancy, nathan harrington, nix, Noelle Sheldon, pluto, Rayne Thomas, red, Russel Thomas, shahadi wright joseph, syd, tex, Tim heidecker, tony, troy, umbrae, us, wetland, winston duke, yahya abdul-mateen ii, zora wilson
“What Men Want” is a fantasy comedy directed by Adam Shankman and is loosely based on the 2000 film, “What Women Want” in reverse gender. The plot follows a woman who, after drinking a potent concoction given by a shaman, gains the ability to hear men’s inner thoughts. While this is not a new concept, the movie is surprisingly funny.
Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) is an executive sports agent working for Summit Worldwide Management, which is mostly male-dominated. She’s been over-looked for partner several times but believes today is the day. She and her gay assistant Brandon (Josh Brener), who wants to be a sports rep, are gearing up toward a celebration, believing she is going to make partner. Ali is passed over once again, which makes her fighting mad. Ali’s boss, Nick (Brian Bosworth), acknowledges that Ali is a hard worker but he says she just doesn’t connect well with the other men. Ali announces to everyone in the building that she WILL sign rising basketball superstar Jamal Barry (Shane Paul McGhie) and prove to others why she deserves to be partner. Ali goes to meet her co-workers as they try to work out a deal with Jamal and his father, Joe Dolla (Tracy Morgan) but fails.
Ali spends time with her father Skip (Richard Roundtree) at the boxing gym he manages before they go to grab dinner. Skip points out a new bartender named Will (Aldis Hodge), whom Ali finds attractive. She stays there to introduce herself, and Will makes her a special cocktail. They go back to his house where they end up engaging in a wild night of sex. In the morning, Ali is in for a surprise when Will’s six year old son Ben (Auston Moore), appears in the bedroom wearing her panties on his head siting, “Wakonda forever” from the movie, Black Panther. She realizes she is late for work and runs out, showing up to a photo shoot wearing evidence of her wild night.
Ali is scheduled to attend a bachelorette party that evening for Mari, (Tamala Jones) one of her three best girlfriends, which also includes Ciarra, (Phoebe Robinson) and Olivia (Wendi McLendon-Covey), who employed the services of a psychic named Sister (Erikah Badu). Ali is first to get a reading by Sister and is given tea made of weed, Peyote and Cocaine. While dancing, Ali is hit by a questionable object that causes her to fall, hit her head and pass out. She wakes up in a hospital where she discovers she is able to hear her male doctor’s thoughts. Ali is so freaked out by her new found power, she runs all the way to her company building able to hear the thoughts of all males around her. Upset, she tracks down the psychic for help. Sister advices her to use this gift to get what she wants at work. Agreeing, Ali goes back to her job and starts listening to the mind of her colleagues.
I was truly surprised at how funny “What Men Want” is. The original with Mel Gibson was nowhere near as funny. The story is full of scenes that are both hilarious and entertaining. Keep in mind, “What Men Want” is a fantasy comedy and consider my above lead-in to be short and sweet because there is so much more to come in the actual film. The acting is absolutely brilliant as is the plot. Viewers rated “What Men Want” five out of five stars, I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen before. Rotten Tomatoes was just that, a rotten rating of only 43%. I have no clue why they rated the movie so low but I really enjoyed it. Check It Out, you won’t be sorry.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS, STREAMING
Tagged aldis hodge, alison "ali" davis, auston jon moore, ben, brandon, brian bosworth, captain fucktastic, chris witaske, ciarra, danny, eddie, erykah badu, ethan, grant hill, jamal barry, jason jones, joe "dolla" barry, josh brener, karl-anthony towns, kellan lutz, Kevin, mari, mark cuban, max greenfield, nick, olivia, pete davidson, phoebe robinson, richard roundtree, shane paul mcghie, shaquille o'neal, sister, skip davis, tamala jones, taraji p henson, tracy morgan, wendi mclendon-covey, what men want, will
Wonder is a drama directed by Stephen Chbosky and written by Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad, and Stephen Chbosky, based on the 2012 novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio. The film follows a child with Treacher Collins syndrome trying to fit in the mainstream. Having had a child born with a Bilateral Clef Lip, I was reluctant to see Wonder. Unlike the parents of Auggie, I never knew what the bullying was like for my child because I was divorced and had a prominent career that kept me from the close relationship between child, school and myself. After seeing Wonder, I was more mellon collie than ever, however it’s not a problem now, just a distant memory, since my daughter is a beautiful, highly educated women with a career of her own. Wonder reflects more on the bullying than anything else.
August “Auggie” Pullman (Jacob Tremblay) is a young boy raised in North River Heights in upper Manhattan, New York. He has a rare medical facial deformity, which he refers to as “mandibulofacial dysostosis.” Due to numerous surgeries (27), Auggie had been home-schooled by his parents Isabel Pullman (Julia Roberts) and Nate Pullman (Owen Wilson), but as Auggie is approaching middle school age, Isabel and Nate decide to send him to Beecher Prep, a mainstream private school. Fifth grade is tough for Auggie who is ostracized by nearly all the student body. He is bullied by being called a freak and rumors were spread that kids will get the “plague” if they touch him. He does befriend a boy named Jack Will (Noah Jupe).
Halloween is Auggie’s favorite holiday. He has to wear an old “Ghostface” mask and costume because his dog, Daisy, threw up on his “Boba Fett” costume. He walks around school unrecognized and is not tormented while incognito. As he walks through the door to his homeroom, he overhears his friend Jack telling Julian Albans (Bryce Gheisar) that he was “only pretending to be friends with Auggie.” Feeling betrayed, Auggie leaves school and wants to stay home during trick-or-treating. His older sister Olivia Pullman (Izabela Vidovic: older/Maccie Margaret Chbosky: younger), nicknamed “Via,” tells him she is still his friend and talks him out of it. Auggie later confides the incident to a new friend, named Summer Dawson (Millie Davis), but swears her to secrecy. When Jack notices that Auggie has become quiet and distant he asks Summer why, but she only gives him the clue “Ghost Face”. Jack is shocked when it dawns on him that it was Auggie wearing the Ghost Face costume, and thus had overheard everything he said to Julian. When Julian calls Auggie a “freak,” Jack becomes enraged and punches him in the face. A fight ensues between the two, which is soon broken up by their homeroom teacher Mr. Browne (Daveed Diggs). Jack is suspended for two days for his actions. Jack also apologizes to Auggie and the two friends reconcile. They even team up for a winning science project.
This is probably a good place to leave you wanting to see more of this very sensitive movie that is very well done. The acting is brilliant as is the make-up and directing. I really think everyone should see Wonder, especially “bullies” in hopes Wonder will strike a nerve. Anyone could and should put themselves in Auggie’s shoes, it’s not a very good feeling. I think this is a must see movie for everyone. Wonder can now be seen on DVD and Blu-ray. Check it out!
[Wonder is Oscar nominated for Best Makeup and Hairstyling]
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Tagged amos conti, armen bagdasrov, august "auggie" pullman, benjamin ratner, bryce gheisar, charlotte cody, chewbecca, danny, darth sidious, daveed diggs, elle mckannon, isabel pullman, izabela vidovic, j douglas stewart, jack will, jacob tremblay, julia roberts, julian albans, maccie margaret chbosky, mandy patinkin, michael alan healy, millie davis, mr tushman, mr. brown, mr. davenport, nate pullman, noah jupe, olivia pullman, owen wilson, science fair judge, summer dawson, ty consiglio, via, victoria v cruz, wonder