Tag Archives: Jordan Peele

Cinema Dispatch: Toy Story 4

TOYSTORY4CD0

Toy Story 4 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Pixar and Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Josh Cooley

Sigh… I THOUGHT I WAS DONE!!  I thought that after the third film we’d reached the perfect end point for this series, but instead of coming up with a new idea or even rebooting the franchise entirely, here we are again with the same cast, the same toys, and even more Randy Newman.  I’ve been pretty down on Pixar recently with Incredibles 2 being a HUGE disappointment for me and being rather lukewarm on Inside Out, but they can still do great films like Coco when they put their mind to it and that fact only makes me even more tired that we’re dipping into the same well one more time.  Who knows though, right?  I mean, they managed to make Toy Story 2 one of the best sequels of all time and even made the third film a perfect closure for these characters and this world!  Can they somehow pull it off a third time by making this beating of a dead horse not nearly as horrific as that metaphor implies?  Let’s find out!!

Following the events of the third film, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz (Tim Allen), and all their pals (Joan Cusack, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, Blake Clark, Don Rickles and Estelle Harris) are living with Bonnie and her toys (Kristen Schaal, Timothy Dalton, and Jeff Garlin); enjoying their new lease on life having avoided both the garbage dump and the day care of infinite horrors.  Still, Woody isn’t quite as happy as the ending of the last movie would have indicated because he is no longer the top toy in the room which is led up by Dolly (Bonnie Hunt) instead.  Feeling out of place and probably more than a little bored, he sneaks into Bonnie’s backpack for her first day of kindergarten orientation where he slyly helps Bonnie through the emotionally turmoil and even gets her to make a new toy out of trash and craft materials.  The new toy named Forky (Tony Hale) does indeed come to life which comes to a surprise to Woody and everyone else, and what’s even MORE surprising for a kids movie is that this little bugger is determined to throw himself in the garbage because he’s aware he’s an unholy abomination unto the world and needs to return to the trash from whence he came!  So the good news for Woody is that he now has a new lease on life being Bonnie’s protector by way of protecting Forky, but the bad news is that Forky turns out to be a HUGE handful and he manages to escape out the window during the family road trip.  Woody goes after him, slowly trudges to the town the family is staying at, but as it would JUST SO HAPPEN, Bo Peep (Annie Potts) who went missing between Toy Story 2 and 3 is in this town as a lost toy; helping other lost toys find kids to play with in the park and living her life to the fullest as a STRONG INDEPENDENT badass!  Seems like a perfect little reunion if it wasn’t for the fact that Forky is kidnapped by the EVIL Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) who is a doll in an antique store looking to replace her broken voice box and wants the one embedded in Woody’s toy guts.  Can Woody and Bo save Forky from whatever maniacal machinations Gabby has in store for him?  Will the rest of the toys be able to distract the family long enough so that Woody and Forky can return in one piece?  Seriously, how has a porcelain doll managed to last this long out in the wilderness?  Is she ACTUALLY made out of Adamantium!?

TOYSTORY4CD1

“When you’re out in the world, you either get chipped or you do the chipping…”     “Okay…”     “HAVE YOU EVER SEEN YOURSELF IN FOUR DIFFERENT PIECES!?”     “Well my arm came off that one time…”

Continue reading

Cinema Dispatch: Us

USCD0

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

Directed by Jordan Peele

After Get Out, it was almost a certainty that Jordan Peele would become one of the predominate voices in the industry, but as is the case with any director who comes out the gate that strongly there’s always the question of how they’re gonna follow it up; hence the term Sophomore Slump.  Michael Cimino, Richard Kelly, Joe Cornish, they’ve all had underwhelming second films and it’s not that hard to see why.  Bigger budgets and more creative freedom means that a lot of filmmakers will pursue their passion project which may or may not appeal to as many people (or let’s be honest, aren’t as good ideas as they think they are) which rubs up against the very high expectations to follow up their first film with something even better.  Will that be the fate of Jordan Peele’s follow up to Get Out, or is he destined to buck the trend and give us a new experience that’s just as fantastic?  Let’s find out!!

Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong’o) is your average middle class woman with the perfect family consisting of her husband Gabe (Winston Duke) and her children Zora and Jason (Shahadi Wright and Evan Alex) who head to their summer home for a much needed vacation.  Said vacation however is somewhat bittersweet as it used to belong to Adelaide’s mother before she died and on top of that Adelaide has some less than perfect memories of the place.  You see, back when she was a child she and her parents took a visit to the boardwalk where she wandered off and ran into a little girl who looked EXACTLY like her.  What happened next is something of a mystery, but the point is that it was a very traumatizing moment and the memory of it has put her on edge the entire time they’re there.  It turns out she was RIGHT to be fearful however because in the middle of the night a family of four who look just like them (played by the same actors) and refer to themselves as THE TETHERED break in and start being SUPER creepy around the family with some sort of deadly scheme in mind.  I think it goes Step 1: Murder, Step 2: … , and Step 3: Profit, but whatever the end goal may be the Wilson family is gonna need to find a way to fight back and survive this horrid night by any means necessary.  Can Adelaide and face her greatest fear in the form of the doppelganger she saw so long ago?  What exactly are THE TETHERED after, and do their ambitions extend beyond just torturing this one family for funsies?  What if Thanos’s plan wasn’t just to wipe out half of humanity, but to replace them with evil versions of the other half!?  JORDAN PEELE IS NOW CONFIRMED FOR THE MCU!!

USCD1

“I didn’t survive the attack on Wakanda just for this crap!  Wait, did I survive?”

Continue reading

Cinema Dispatch: Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

CAPTAINUNDERPANTSCD0

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie and all the images you see in this review are owned by 20th Century Fox

Directed by David Soren

Captain Underpants was a big staple of my elementary school years and while I eventually grew out the series after the first five or six books, I still have good memories (albeit vague ones) about those stories and the characters.  Now at one point, even as recent as say 2010, I would have lost my freaking MIND over the idea of a Captain Underpants movie, but with this being made so later after I dropped off of the series coupled with the relatively bare bones marketing I saw for it, my expectations are somewhat tempered going into it even though I would love nothing more than for this series to get a new lease on life.  Does Captain Underpants manage to be a better super hero movie than even the MCU can put out, or are we doomed for another DCCU style monstrosity of epic proportions!?  Or maybe it could be the middle ground of the better X-Men movies… I guess.  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the adventures of George Beard (Kevin Hart) and Harold Hutchins (Thomas Middleditch).  George is the kid with the tie and the flat-top while Harold is the one with the T-shirt and bad haircut.  You should probably remember that.  Anyway, they’re two good natured troublemakers at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School who always manage to peeve of their principal Mr. Krupp (Ed Helms) with their incessant pranking and never ending supply of self-published comic books that they distribute at the school.  Their most popular by far is the Captain Underpants series which involves a super hero who wears nothing but underwear and a cape since most superheroes look like they’re wearing their underwear.  I don’t know how true that is anymore as they mostly wear leather and body armor now, but that’s beside the point.  What’s important is that George and Harold’s latest prank was the final straw to break the camel’s back and Mr. Krupp is going to separate them once and for all by putting them in different classes.  In a last ditch effort to save their friendship, George uses his Hypno-Ring to hypnotize Mr. Krupp before he can sign the papers.  Not only that, but just for the heck of it they ALSO convince him that he’s Captain Underpants as well which is funny at first but proves to be quite a burden as he turns into the hero anytime he hears someone snap their fingers and will only turn back once he’s bene splashed by water (it’s unclear if other substances will work in water’s stead).  Oh, and there’s a mad scientist somewhere in this too who becomes a science teacher or something.  Will Harold and George learn a lesson about their pranking ways now that they have to keep Mr. Krupp from hurting himself or worse?  Eh, probably not, but will Captain Underpants manage to be an ACTUAL hero instead of just a guy running around in his tighty-whities?  Most importantly though, is this just as good as the books I remember reading in second grade!?

CAPTAINUNDERPANTSCD1

“Guys.  Guys.  I’ve TOTALLY got this!”

Continue reading

Cinema Dispatch: Get Out

getoutcd0

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!!

getoutcd1

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

Continue reading

Cinema Dispatch: Storks

storkscd0

Storks and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros

Directed by Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland

Is this just the year of animated bird movies!?  First we have Angry Birds, now we have Storks… okay, it’s just two movies, but that still seems like too many!  I really didn’t know anything about this movie walking in, having only hear the title and maybe seen a poster, which is odd considering that this isn’t some straight to DVD crap from an unknown studio.  Maybe Warner Bros was keeping this one close to the chest, or maybe I’ve just been living under a rock this whole time.  Anyway, is this the follow-up to the LEGO movie that they’re hoping will prove their viability as an animation studio, or will this prove the Phil Lord and Chris Miller in the director’s chair was the only reason that was a success in the first place?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is set in a world where at one time (presumably throughout all of humanity’s existence up until a few years ago) Storks would receive letters from humans and then… I guess use those letters to create a fetus in some sort of machine that grows them to term in a matter of minutes.  It’s not clear how much control the parents have when deciding what kind of baby they want (no gay kids in MY family!) but regardless, the babies that are crafted in this ungodly mechanism are then delivered by the Storks all around the world.  At some point though, I guess the humans learned how to fuck which made the Storks rather redundant, so they decided to switch their operation from baby growing and delivery to basically become Amazon.  Okay… I have several questions about all of this already, but we should probably move on from there.  So when the movie picks up (which can only be about twenty years after they stopped delivering babies), the best Stork deliverer in the business Junior (Andy Samberg) is up for a management position as the current manager Hunter (Kelsey Grammer) is apparently going to the BOARD OF DIRECTORS or something… even though we never see anyone higher than Hunter in the company structure.  For Junior to get his new job though, he has to do one thing; fire Tulip.  Who is Tulip?  Sigh… okay, rewind a bit.  Apparently right before the Storks stopped delivering babies (maybe this was an inciting incident?) one Stork lost his damn mind after seeing how CUUUUUUTE his baby was and broke the baby’s personalized tracking thingy… which is some sort of GPS device that tells them where the baby goes… and it’s the only copy of that information… so the baby is an orphan now and the stork in question flies off AND IS NEVER SEEN AGAIN!  That baby is now eighteen (i.e. they’ve only stopped delivering babies for less than a generation) and FOR SOME REASON wasn’t brought to a human orphanage, but has instead been bumming around the packing facility this entire time doing odd jobs for the company.  To make a long story short; shenanigans happen, Junior and Tulip accidently make a baby with the decommissioned baby-maker (don’t ask), and they have to deliver it before anyone finds out what the hell he did and he loses his job.  For some reason Hunter wants to stop them rather than help them cover it up (does he WANT Junior to be in charge, or not!?), and of course we have to cut back to the kid who sent the letter wishing for a little brother (he’s gonna get a little sister instead, so maybe the human’s DON’T have that much control over what baby they get) and his issues with his parents being gainfully employed.   You ever get the feeling that the writers didn’t actually think anything through when they were writing a script?

storkscd1

“Hey!  Isn’t it funny how you’re a bird, but your riding in a plane!?”     “Yup.  Hysterical.”     “I know, right!?”

Continue reading

Cinema Dispatch: Keanu

KEANUCD0

Keanu and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Peter Atencio

The day has finally come for these two titans of TV comedy to make the leap to the silver screen!  That’s ALWAYS a great idea, right?  Okay, so sometimes the transition from small screen to big screen can be a bit awkward, but the trailers for this movie have inspired a lot of hope in me and many others that this will turn out to be the exception rather than the rule for sketch comedians turned movie stars!  Can the duo pull it off, or is it back to Comedy Central to beg for another season of their show?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the misadventures of Rell (Jordan Peele) and Clarence (Keegan-Michael Key); cousins and best friends who must retrieve Rell’s cat Keanu from the clutches of villainy!  You see, Rell had just had a pretty bad break up and was spiraling into depression without much hope for a brighter future.  That is until a small kitten that’s as cute as a button wanders up to his doorstep; bringing with him a glimmer of light and new chapter in Rell’s life.  But where exactly did this cat come from?  Well, what Rell doesn’t know is that this cat belonged to a local drug dealer who’s entire gang was killed right before he himself was murdered; all done by two tough as nails, long haired, mute mother fuckers who did this… for some reason, and are now hell bent on finding that cat… for some reason.  Not only that, but while Rell and Clarence are out seeing a movie, Rell’s place gets broken into and Keanu is kidnapped by the Seventeenth Street Blips (a crew too badass for the Bloods or the Crips)… for some reason.  Honestly, don’t question why people want Keanu; just assume he’s too cute to NOT steal.  Anyway, Rell and Clarence now must go undercover as tough guys and gang bangers (two things they are quite far from being) if they have any hopes of infiltrating the Blips and getting the cat back.  Will they be able to fool the members of this crew and pretend to be hard long enough to get their cat back?  What about the two crazy-ass murderers looking for the cat?  How are they gonna fit into all this?  Wait, so this ISN’T a parody of John Wick!?

KEANUCD1

“WHAT DID WE DO TO DESERVE THIS!?”     “YOU DID IT!  WHATEVER IT IS, I T WAS YOU!!”

Continue reading