Tag Archives: films

Daniel Matti: Movie Thoughts – Three New Film Reviews 4.0

Reviews of Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri (by Martin McDonagh), The Killing of a Sacred Deer (by Yorgos Lanthimos), and Creep 2 (by Mark Duplass and friends).

BY DANIEL MATTI / BLURT FILM EDITOR

(Go HERE to view the Blurt Movie Thoughts master page, which has links to all previous installments.)

***

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

4 out of 5 stars

With a movie title like that, you figured it would be a movie that would be hard to remember but after leaving the film, Three Billboards will be stuck in your head for a while. From the hilariously dark mind of Martin McDonagh (In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths) comes his newest film, and he doesn’t stray away from his normal style of filmmaking—movies that are filled with vivid characters who come to the screen to do damage in numbers. Here, the cast includes Francis McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, John Hawkes, and Peter Dinklage.

Mildred Hayes (McDormand) who is a recently-divorced, still-grieving mother over the death of her daughter who was raped then brutally murdered, rents out three billboards seven months after the murder, all located within a few feet of her house and on a road not many travel down. The billboard read, in order, “Raped while dying”—“And still no arrests”—“How come, Chief Willoughby?”

Chief Willoughby (Harrelson) and racist officer Jason Dixon (Rockwell) are notified about the billboards, which brings on a series of events to try to figure out who killed Mildred’s daughter.

With a topic such a rape and murder you would think that you would not be ready for a movie filled with belly laughs, but here, it is quite the opposite. Martin McDonagh movies have characters who are as evil and conniving as they are laughable (either at or along with).

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was initially out in select cities, but distribution was subsequently expanded and it is currently in most markets.

***


The Killing of a Sacred Deer

5 out of 5 stars

From the warped mind of Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, Dogtooth) comes his latest, amazing, but yet hard to stomach movie. Now, when I say hard to stomach you can take that in two ways. As in, this movie is shit, or this movie has a couple scenes that will make you cringe in your chair. This movie will definitely make you cringe in your chair.

Starring in the film is Colin Farrell as Steven Murphy, a cardiothoracic surgeon who befriends Martin (Barry Keoghan), a grieving young teenage boy whose father was lost on the operating table years ago when Steven performed surgery on him. Martin comes over for dinner and befriends the rest of the family, which includes Nicole Kidman as Steven’s wife, Anna, along with their children Bob and Kim (played by Sunny Suljic and Raffey Cassidy).

Martin tries to repay the favor by asking Steven over to his house for dinner. He obliges, but then later, Martin’s mother makes sexual advances towards him, making him uncomfortable and eager to leave. Martin then tracks down Steven at the hospital where he works to let him know that he has placed a curse on Steven and that he must choose one of the members of his own family. As the curse moves forwards—including paralyzing Bob and Kim along with making them not eat—tension is built through the movie via a free-jazz style soundtrack that puts a cold sweat on the back of the viewer’s neck, leaving you anxious to have some resolution in the near future.

With dizzying camerawork and a stunning acting from the whole crew, this is one that will go on to make it into this year’s top 10 movies.

***

Creep 2

4 out of 5 stars

Found footage horror movies are something that filmmakers either hate deeply or love immensely. From The Blair Witch Project to V/H/S to Paranormal Activity, there have been some that rule the genre as well as those you can instantly forget came out.

From Mark Duplass (The League, Creep, and a lot of other amazing projects), Patrick Brice (Creep, The Overnight), and Jason Blum (CEO of Blumhouse Productions) comes the sequel to 2014’s Creep, a movie that you might have watched on Netflix in the wee hours of the night as you searched for something unique to watch. If you haven’t yet, make sure to go watch Creep now before you read anymore. It’s definitely worth watching.

Here, Sara is a videographer/blogger who has a YouTube series titled “Encounters” where she meets eccentric characters, ranging from people who like to cuddle to some who just want them to be in a hot tub with. From her not knowing what to do next and thinking of ending her series, Sara finds an ad where somebody has offered to $1,000 to film them for an entire day. Who that person is, Sara will then go on to figure out that is none other than, Aaron (Duplass), aka “Peach Fuzz.”

If you remember the first Creep then you might have had the same horrible dream of the character “Peach Fuzz” and how Mark Duplass can play a delightful, but yet sinister and terrifying murderer.

Aaron reveals to her that he is a depressed killer who feels like he is losing his momentum and passion, then invites Sara along for the ride that she definitely was not expecting. Sara soon goes toe-to-toe with Aaron via games and trying to be ahead of the curve as she documents her day with the murderer.

If you’re looking for something that will make you squirm, laugh, and say “what the fuck” out loud a lot, make sure you watch Creep 2, but only if you’ve seen Creep first.

 

 

Daniel Matti: Movie Thoughts – Three New Film Reviews

Reviews of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (by Luc Besson), A Ghost Story (by David Lowery), and Kuso (by Steve Ellison, aka Flying Lotus).

BY DANIEL MATTI / BLURT FILM EDITOR

(Go HERE to view the Blurt Movie Thoughts master page.)

***

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Directed by Luc Besson

(3.5 out of 5 stars)

Luc Besson is not a common household name. For most hardcore action movie fans he is something of a staple name when it comes to the genre. Directing such movies as Le Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional, and The Fifth Element. Also on his resume is a long list of writing credits including the hits Taken, District B13, and The Transporter series.

Valerian and City of a Thousand Planets is Luc’s newest film to hit the screens. Based off the late comic book series “Valerian and Laureline”, Valerian is now France’s most expensive movie ever made. Essentially letting Luc make his dream project. A dream project that is stunning but has its flaws.

While watching the movie myself I was nothing but pleased with the visual effects that were on par with Avatar (c’mon, Avatar had some beautiful visual effects) and a story line that was fun and comic book like (unlike Avatar). The dialogue was a little campy at times, but it seemed to be meant to be that way. The ongoing struggle between main characters Valerian (played by Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (played by Cara Delavigne) was the ‘ biggest weakness. The two characters were not a 100% match made in heaven or space, for that matter.

Overall, the film is a fun summer popcorn flick that will definitely please some of the audience, but not all who are looking for the year’s perfect film.

 

A Ghost Story

Directed by David Lowery

(3 out of 5 stars)

The newest movie by David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara is an exploration of love, death, and the afterlife.

Spoilers ahead:

A brutal car accident that leaves “C,” played by Affleck, dead. “M” is played by Mara, and both will have to find their ways of dealing with death and the afterlife.

Most of the film plays around with the thoughts of an afterlife and that if when we die and were to become a ghost (with a sheet over us—yeah, like in Peanuts), we will wait for whoever fulfills our life most. “M” quickly leaves the house that she and “C” once shared, showing that “moving on” is sometimes difficult but also necessary at times. As “M” leaves, “C” is left there waiting for her as more tenants move into the house that they once shared.

 This movie is full of turns that will keep you here ‘til the end and will leave you with your own thoughts and expressions on death—but will also leave you scratching your head at times.

 The biggest flaw in the movie is the scene near the middle of the movie, where a group of friends throw a party and a partygoer goes philosophical and tries to sum up death and the afterlife while cracking jokes. For the most part it comes off as the guy at a party who, when he opens his mouth, you immediately go to the other room to avoid him at all costs.

 The imagery of the entire film is really what holds it together, but other than that I would say this one is a rental after you knock back a few cold ones.

 

Kuso

Directed by Steve Ellison (Flying Lotus)

(4 out of 5 stars)

Steve! Steve! Steve!

Recently the film Kuso by Steve Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, aka Captain Murphy, gave hardcore fans a real shock and awe for their money. With a cast that is full of Steve’s friends (including Hannibal Buress, David Firth, Anders Holm, Regan Farquhar aka Busdriver, and the one and only George Clinton) the film will have you saying what the fuck out loud more than just a couple times.

Clocking in a little over 90 minutes, Kuso is nonstop something. Something that is hard to stomach, visually that is. Something that is amazingly pleasing to the ears.

With the help of other musicians, the film is scored perfectly. Alongside the visuals that are hard to digest with your eyes, your ears are tested to keep the fuck up. Mr. Oizo, Aphex Twin, Busdriver, Akira Yamaoka, and Flying Lotus himself all lend their diverse taste in electronic music to the film—that I have to say, is one of the best and most disgusting films of the year. It’s easily of the most disgusting films I’ve ever seen, on par with films like Salo, or 120 days of Sodom, or A Serbian Film.

Horror geeks and fans of electronic music will find this movie to be a hit. Everyone else, grab a barf bag and prepare for your eyes to have “Kuso” rubbed in them.

 

***************

Daniel Matti is a 29 year old movie/music enthusiast who drinks too much whiskey and tries to watch movies on a daily basis. Contact him via email: dmrorschach (at) gmail.com