Tag Archives: Betty Gabriel

Cinema Dispatch: Upgrade

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Upgrade and all the images you see in this review are owned by OTL Releasing and BH Tilt

Directed by Leigh Whannell

Well if it isn’t my good friend Blumhouse Tilt!  How’ve you been, buddy!?  Sure, you’ve released two of the WORST movies I’ve seen in the past few years, but let’s let bygones be bygones; especially now that you’re teaming up with Neon who’ve made one of the BEST movies I’ve seen in the past few years!  Your newest movie is certainly getting a lot of buzz recently with great word of mouth and a kick ass trailer, so maybe there’s some hope for you yet, as long as you don’t work with Eli Roth ever again!  Can Blumhouse’s latest film turn out to be an under the radar smash hit from a studio that’s VERY hit and miss?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the sad tale of Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) who’s living his average Cyberpunk protagonist life in a slightly cyberpunk future with his soon to be a cliché wife Asha (Melanie Vellejo) and everything is going about as well as you could expect for the first ten minutes of one of these movies!  Grey fixes up old cars for rich people, Asha works at a cyber prosthetic company, and they couldn’t be happier if they tried!  That is until their automatic car goes haywire, drops them off on the wrong side of the tracks, and they’re immediately assaulted by a few punks who kill her off (wow, what a surprise…) and leave poor Grey for dead!  He somehow manages to survive however, though not without losing the use of his arms and legs, and he’s ready to give up on life when one of his wealthy customers Eron (Harrison Gilbertson) offers him a chance to test a medical miracle called STEM which is basically a small computer they insert into the spine that still hasn’t gone through OFFICIAL testing, but will surely give him back the use of his limbs along with a few other bells and whistles.  After some initial hesitance (Grey isn’t one for all this new-fangled technology stuff), he agrees to do it and sure enough starts walking again almost immediately.  Slight side effect though, there’s an AI inside the chip starts talking to him and STEM (Simon Maiden) seems more than eager to help Grey find the men who killed his wife and bring them to some sort of justice.  Well Grey is certainly up for that, especially since the cop on the case (Betty Gabriel) hasn’t turned up many leads, but they have to be careful because not only does Grey need to keep the rest of the world from knowing he can walk again (he even signs a NDA about the procedure), he also has to keep his activities hidden from Eron who’s more than likely following his every move and wouldn’t be too pleased if his next step in medical science was used to rip people’s hearts out.  Will Grey and STEM find the people who killed his wife and get him that sweet sweet vengeance he so desperately craves?  What other side effects besides hearing voices and kicking extra amounts of ass will Grey have to deal with now that he’s got STEM sharing brain space with him?  I mean, it’s not THAT bad, right?  Who WOULDN’T want your operation system constantly reminding you to install critical updates right into your auditory cortex!?

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“I think we should do like a flying back flip and kick him in the head!”     “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”     “FOR THE LAST TIME!  MY NAME IS GREY!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Get Out

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Get Out and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by Jordan Peele

2016 turned out to be a fantastic year for horror movies; not just for the ones that ended up on my best of the year list, but also the ones that aimed to be middle of the road seemed to step up their game and try harder than you’d normally expect from the genre. Now sure, 2017 started with The Bye Bye Man, but even 2016 had some low points with The Forest and Incarnate.  Plus, we’ve also gotten the excellent, if problematic, Split not too long ago which is already one of the better films this year; horror or otherwise.  Now we’ve finally gotten to the BIG one which is Jordan Peele’s directorial debut that’s been getting a lot of positive buzz from when it was first announced all the way up to now with those Fancy Schmancy “professional” critics who are raving about it after they saw the “Critics Screenings”.  Well I had to drive thirty miles in the rain AND hail to see this damn thing, so it BETTER be as good as everyone is saying it is!  Is this thoughtful and well-crafted horror film that everyone says it is and that we desperately need right now, or did the hype machine get out of control with this movie which admittedly can sometimes happen with horror films?  Heck, I wasn’t the biggest fan of You’re Next, and that movie was instantly touted as a classic of the genre!  Anyway, let’s find out!!

The movie begins with Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) heading off to meet her family for the first time in what is sure to be a painfully awkward experience for everyone.  Sure enough, Mr. and Mrs. Armitage (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener) are just as “down” and “hip with the youngsters” as you’d imagine from older white people, but Chris seems to know what he as getting into and is just taking everything in stride until he get back home after the weekend is over.  Of course, things only get worse as Rose’s brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) enters the picture is an obnoxious dweeb as well as a bunch of the Armitage’s other white friends who are VERY excited to meet Chris.  On top of that the Armitage’s have two black servants, Georgina and Walter (Betty Gabriel and Marcus Henderson), who look to have gotten the Stepford Wives treatment, though only Chris seems to be noticing this.  Tensions mount higher and higher as more clues are uncovered by Chris and it’s starting to seem that he may be in more danger than he initially realized.  Can he get out before he becomes the victim of whatever these white people have planned?  What happened to Georgina and Walter that has them acting so strange?  Did we SERIOUSLY get one of the best movies of the year from the guy who co-wrote Keanu?  That wasn’t a BAD movie, but god DAMN is this a step up!!

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Fucking white people.  Not only are we pulling this crazy shit, but we’re doing it in the rumpus room!?

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Cinema Dispatch: The Purge: Election Year

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The Purge: Election Year and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures

Directed by James DeMonaco

For the past few months, there hasn’t been a movie I was more excited to see than this one.  I still haven’t seen the first movie, but the SECOND one is a really great B-Movie in the vein of John Carpenter or even modern day directors like Gareth Evans.  It was more than just an action shlock-fest though as it really wanted to say something about its premise in between the outrageous violence.  This one though?  This looks like they’re going full-tilt on having something to say about society, politics, and violence in our culture!  In between the brutal murders and silly costumes of course.  Does this manage to be yet another sequel this year that ends up better than the previous film, or have they run out of genuine ideas and are now just parroting hot button issues?  Let’s find out!!

The movie takes place two years after the events of The Purge: Anarchy where Frank Grillo’s character from the that film FINALLY has a name (Leo Barnes) and has somehow found his way to being the head of security for Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) who is poised to win the Presidential Election that year and will hopefully end the purge.  Unfortunately for her, the ruling party in the US Government (the New Founding Fathers of America, or NFFA) would very much like to keep their jobs and to keep the purge going so they can kill lots more poor people, so their plan to stop the senator is to change the rules of the purge so as to lift the ban on killing government officials; leaving them free to send a whole bunch of mercs (neo-Nazi ones of course) to take her out.  Well not if Frank Grillo has anything to say about it!  He manages to get her away from the assassins after their initial assault on the Senator’s home and they end up finding a few people trying to survive the night and more than willing to help the senator who will bring an end the purge once and for all.  These include Joe Dixon (Mykelit Williamson) who owns a small convenience store that is being threatened that night, his employee Marcos (Joseph Julian Soria) who wants to help his boss, and Laney Rucker (Betty Gabriel) who is one of the volunteers that helps people get medical treatment during purge night.  Can this rag tag group of badasses manage to outrun the NFFA?  Will Senator Roan be able to win the election, or should they find a way to ensure her victory this very night?  There have been what, fifteen purges already?  You’d think some of these people would find it all passé at this point.

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“We’re hardcore bro!”     “You’re all a bunch of posers!”

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