Tag Archives: movie reviews

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.)

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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.

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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 3.0

Reviews of Assholes (by Peter Vack), The Babysitter (by McG), and The Florida Project (by Sean Baker). Spoiler Alert: for Hollywood, one out of three ain’t bad. And no, we don’t mean the above photo….

BY DANIEL MATTI / BLURT FILM EDITOR

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

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Assholes

4 out of 5 stars

From one of the grossest movies to come out of SXSW—and the first ever winner of the Adam Yauch Hörnblowér Award—it’s time for Peter Vack’s new film to hit your small screen, it’s ASSHOLES!!

From the warped mind of Vack, it is a story about love, poppers, and fascination of the brown hole. No, literally. This is exactly what this movie is about and you should definitely watch it, if you know that’s your thing. Well, at least one of those things might tickle your fancy.

The romantic tale of Adah (Betsey Brown) and Aaron (Jack Dunphy) as the relapse from sobriety to falling into, well, each other’s assholes and drugs. From blending the likes of Wes Anderson’s style to mumble core pioneers such as the Duplass brothers, Peter Vack has definitely made a name for himself in a crowd of niche underground absurd indie movies. His streak continues here, from Adah and Aaron running around the downtown streets of New York, causing mayhem as they run into a candid crowd as they indulge in poppers and public sex, to the scene where they summon the a shit demon “Mephistopheles,” or “Mephi” for short, played by Eileen Deetz who you might not know was the face of Pazuzu in The Exorcist.

So if you’re into far out gross mumble core movies I highly recommend this movie. If you are the complete opposite I heard Blade Runner 2049 is still in theaters. (Thanks for that, Matti. Gonna go see BR2049 again as soon as I finish posting this. Hey, when’s a new Stan Brakhage retrospective duet?—Niche Ed.)

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The Babysitter

2.5 out of 5 stars

McG’s comedic horror film “The Babysitter” hit Netflix a couple weeks ago and I finally got around to watching it since I was in the horror film mood and I was awaiting the season 2 drop of Stranger Things (which you could imagine is as amazing as the first one).

If you’re not familiar with McG’s movies, he is essentially a mini version of Michael Bay. Lots of explosions, silly and predictable yet fun story lines, and babes. Pretty much “Chad’s” favorite movie director.

The Babysitter is as mind-numbing as it sounds. Twelve-year-old Cole Johnson (played by Judah Lewis) is a bullied middle school student whose parents still thinks he needs a babysitter and is curious to find out what happens downstairs after he gets tucked into bed by his babysitter, Bee (played by Samara Weaving, pictured above). This plays off of the old story that once you go to bed, the babysitter invites her boyfriend over to get some late night action while there is no parental supervision (gasp!)

.Once Cole goes to bed, he decides to sneak downstairs to find out that the babysitter has invited some guests over to play a simple game of spin the bottle mixed in with truth or dare. There the game turns to a Satanic sacrifice upon one of the goofy, less fortunate “friends”.

As Cole starts to figure out ways to escape the house and from the clutches of each one of the Bee’s friends in ways that mimic Home Alone traps, it ends up being a not terrible movie because you have already seen this movie a dozen times before. Just with different antagonists and another kind of zero to hero character. So I really wouldn’t recommend this movie—or really wouldn’t not recommend this movie. Just hope that you have something else to watch before passing out on the couch.

***

 

The Florida Project

4 out of 5 stars

From the mind of Sean Baker comes his newest film “The Florida Project” where again he tackles humanity, family, friendship—and just being an overall great storyteller. Using art direction and costume design that remind of you of any Wes Anderson movie, Sean relays the story of The Magic Castle Motel in Kissimmee, Florida, right around the corner from Walt Disney Resort.

From the perspective of young Moonee (played by the amazingly talented Brooklynn Prince), her mother Halley (Bria Vinaite), Jack the manager of the motel (Willem Dafoe), and Moonee’s gang of friends who stay and visit, the movie gives you the lighthearted laughs you want in a comedy but also the “pull on your heart-strings” of a drama. From the misadventures that Moonee and her friends take you on, like burning down a house, to Jack trying to be the father-figure to Moonee and boss of a motel of unemployed and struggling families, this has potential Oscar nominations written all over it.