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
In my humble opinion, War for the Planet of the Apes is by far the best Planet Apes movie I’ve seen and I’ve seen them all. Incredible makeup, incredible acting, incredible story and incredible directing (Matt Reeves). The cinematography is outstanding and the message was loud and clear. This movie couldn’t have come at a better time in our lives. At one point I just weld up and as tears streamed down my face, couldn’t help but wonder why man makes an already difficult world so much more difficult by adding their egos and evil ways to the mix because one thing is certain, WE ALL WILL DIE SOMEDAY! Having said that, I had to give War for the Planet of the Apes a whooping 10.
Now hiding in the woods after being attacked by the US military group, Alpha-Omega, Caesar, who is the current leader of the Apes, offers the humans peace if the Apes are left alone to live in peace. Unfortunately Koba, the former rebellious leader of the Apes, who is now dead, still has many followers that are against Caesar and his clan of intelligent Apes and have joined the US military against Caesar. After a recent attack, Caesar and his clan decides it’s best to go further into hiding by relocating to a new home across the desert where they won’t be found by Alpha-Omega and their mysterious Colonel.
The night before Caesar and his clan are to journey to their new home, they suffer another attack in the night and many Apes are killed, including Caesar’s family, causing him to go after the mysterious Colonel of the Alpha-Omega and the gorilla called Red. Caesar’s youngest son Cornelius is now the only family he has left alive. From this point, the emotions and intensity of the journey is overwhelming. As the pieces fall into place, War for the planet of the Apes is anything but predictable. We find out the fears and secrets that drive both sides (Man and Ape). While the other Apes headed for the desert, Caesar along with Maurice, Luca and Rocket are forced to perform many ill gotten deeds like asphyxiating another Ape, which causes Caesar to worry if he is becoming just like Koba.
Not only is War for the Planet of the Apes the best of the entire franchise, it’s also one of the most entertaining movies of the summer. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed! Below are the cast of characters (apes and humans, alike) with synopsis of each, courtesy of Wikipedia).
CAST OF Apes
- Caesar (Andy Serkis) – an intelligent common chimpanzee who is leader to a tribe of genetically enhanced apes.
- Bad Ape (Steve Zahn) – a common chimpanzee who lived in a zoo before the Simian Flu outbreak and was a hermit before joining Caesar’s group.
- Maurice (Karin Konoval) – a wise and benevolent Bornean orangutan who is Caesar’s adviser.
- Rocket (Terry Notary) – a common chimpanzee who is Caesar’s brother-figure.
- Red (Ty Olsson) – a Western lowland gorilla who was once a follower of Koba, now serving the Colonel to defeat Caesar. Olsson previously played Chief Hamill in Rise.
- Cornelia (Judy Greer) – Caesar’s wife.
- Lake (Sara Canning) – a common chimpanzee in Caesar’s tribe, Blue Eyes’s mate and later Cornelius’s caretaker.
- Blue Eyes (Max Lloyd-Jones) – Caesar and Cornelia’s oldest son.
- Cornelius (Devyn Dalton) – Caesar and Cornelia’s youngest son and Blue Eyes’ younger brother. Dalton previously played Cornelia in Rise.
- Luca (Michael Adamthwaite) – a Western lowland gorilla in Caesar’s tribe.
- Winter (Aleks Paunovic) – an albino Western lowland gorilla in Caesar’s tribe who defected to the Colonel’s side.
- Koba (Toby Kebbell) – reprises his role as from Dawn, appearing in Caesar’s hallucinations.
CAST OF Humans
- The Colonel (Woody Harrelson) – an iron-fisted soldier and the leader of the paramilitary organization Alpha-Omega who is obsessed with wiping out Caesar and his tribe to preserve his people’s role as the dominant species.
- Nova (Amiah Miller) – a bold and kind mute orphan whom Maurice adopts as his daughter.
- Preacher (Gabriel Chavarria) – a human soldier working under the Colonel in Alpha-Omega
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged aleks paunovic, alpha-omega, andy serkis, bad ape, blue eyes, caesar, cornelius, devyn dalton, gabriel chavarria, judy greer, karin konoval, koba, lake, luca, maurice, max lloyd-jones, michael adamthwaite, preacher, red, rocket, sara canning, steve zahn, terry nortary, the colonel, toby kebbell, ty olsson, war for planet of the apes, winter, woody harrelson
I will start by admitting I am a stanch James Spader fan. Having said that, I must further say The Black List is an outstanding series. Of course James Spader is what makes The Black List so special — his unique acting abilities and deliverance is simply brilliant. The story revolves around Raymond ‘Red’ Reddington (Spader) who is on the FBI’s 10 most wanted list. One day he gives himself up to the FBI and then makes a bazaar offer to help them capture the 10 most notorious criminals in the world. There’s only one catch, that he has complete freedom to move about as he sees fit and he only works through FBI agent, Elizabeth Keen (Megan Boone). No one knows why he picked this particular agent since she’s not as seasoned as some of her fellow agents but suspicions are flying. This drama is well written and well thought out. Each week Red delivers and so does the Black List. Very interesting. I’ve been told The Black List is the #1 show on TV. I share in the feeling that it deserves to be there.
Posted in Dramas, LOCAL TV & CABLE CRITIQUES
Tagged brilliant, criminal, elizabeth keen, fbi, freedom, james spader, megan boone, notorious, raymond, red, reddington, the black list