Hacksaw Ridge and all the images you see in this review are owned by Summit Entertainment
Directed by Mel Gibson
So The Birth of a Nation, while still being directed by terrible person with seemingly no interest in doing the hard work to change that, at least had the benefit of its filmmaker being a new voice with a desperately needed perspective in an industry that had grown pretty monolithic despite the way the world (and their audience) was changing around them. Mel Gibson on the other hand has been around for decades and is already part of that overly white-cis-het culture that needs to be changed (both in Hollywood and everywhere else) which is only compounded by him being a shit bag for WAY longer. Now I’m sure that he struggles with his demons constantly and that those kinds of fights are never easy to win, but no one owes this guy sympathy for those plights considering the harm he’s caused or their money to see his films even if it’s good in its own right. I’m a film critic, so I critique films and all I can do is try to relay what this movie is trying to do, if it succeeds in doing so, and how I reacted to it given the full scope of how and why it was created instead of just on how well they made it. Is this a masterpiece from a deeply disturbed filmmaker, or has the director’s own personal hang-ups dragged down a biopic about a much great man than him? Let’s find out!!
The movie is essentially a biopic of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) whose religious beliefs meant he would not carry weapons or cause direct harm to others, but he still wanted to serve his country and do what he can to help his fellow Americans fighting in the Pacific Rim, so he enlists anyway with the hope of being a medic. Now apparently medics STILL have to carry weapons and get weapons training, but he refuses to do even that much and becomes a target by his commanding officers (Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington) and fellow recruits who consider this an act of cowardice rather than religious conviction, and the movie takes great pains to explore the suffering he went through to earn the right not to carry a weapon as well as how he got these convictions (his alcoholic father Tom played by Hugo Weaving was a big influence), how this act of rebellion can ruin his life as well as the life of his wife Dorothy (Teresa palmer) and what he does once he’s in the field of battle with no way to protect himself. Does Desmond manage to keep his convictions even when faced with the horrors of battle? Will the rest of his unit learn to respect his convictions once he proves himself out in the field? Is the film drenched in religious symbolism and Jesus allegories? Does a bear shit in the woods? And is Mel Gibson a serial abuser?
Lights Out and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros
Directed by David F Sandberg
This movie managed to fly COMPLETLEY under the radar for me. I think I saw one poster and one trailer for this movie before I went to go see it, and frankly it looked no better than your typical Blumhouse sequel or even The Forest from earlier this year. Still, there have been a few damn good horror movies this year (at least three are eligible for my top ten list) so maybe there’ll be something to this as everyone seems to have stepped up their game this year. Can this manage to be yet another great horror movie in the Post Paranormal Activity era, or is this another cheap cash grab to make a few bucks off undiscerning teenagers? Lets’ find out!!
The movie follows Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) who’s living her life as… a tattoo artist I think, with her sort of boyfriend Bret (Alexander DiPersia) but it all gets turned upside down when Child Protective Services calls her up as an emergency contact for her younger half-brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) who’s been falling asleep in class lately and seems to be having very intense nightmares. Unfortunately this is nothing new for Rebecca as her mother is known to go through manic depressive episodes which she was subject to several times as a young girl, especially considering that Martin’s father (Billy Burke) recently died under… suspicious circumstances, which parallels with Rebecca’s own father ran off when she was a kid (*cough* bullshit *cough*) and her mother is going through the same motions. The thing is though that it’s not just her mom being unbalanced that’s causing Martin nightmares. There seems to be a monster lurking in the dark that his mother is acting all buddy-buddy with which is freaky as hell in its own right before it starts banging on his door at night! What is this monster that their mother has invited into the house? Has it ALWAYS been there… hiding in the background… sneaking in the shadows? Is this gonna turn into a gritty reboot of The Funky Phantom!?
Point Break and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures
Directed by Ericson Core
When Star Wars and Creed are bringing back beloved franchises in spectacular fashion, it takes a lot of nerve to try and sneak this movie right in the middle of it. The original Point Break is one of those movies I’ve been meaning to see for a really long time, but never got around to for one reason or another. Still, from what very little I know about it and from how the trailer for this remake looked, it definitely seemed like a shaky proposition to try and bring it back like this. Still, I’ve been surprised by plenty of movies this year and I certainly don’t have the last movie to compare this to. Could this be a solid remake of a minor action classic, or will this be yet another movie to throw in the pile of unnecessary remakes along with the likes of Total Recall whose writer coincidentally wrote this movie as well? Let’s find out!!
The movie follows an FBI agent who as far as I can tell is ONLY referred to by his nickname Utah (Luke Bracey) that is brought in on a case that involves EXTREME thieves that are pulling some Robin Hood shtick with rich corporations. The first of their crimes that the FBI is made aware of is the group driving motocross bikes through the twentieth story of a diamond sorting building and stealing all of them before crashing through the windows and parachuting to safety. How they got the bikes all the way up there and how they weren’t caught once they landed is left a mystery, but let’s just say they escaped by sheer manly bro-force. The reason why the FBI (or at least this one boss of his played by Delroy Lindo) wants Utah on the case is because the guy was an extreme sports practitioner before joining with the FBI. That is… before the accident.
“Remember when I was in the Point Break remake? That was a dark time in my life…”