Tag Archives: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

Cinema Dispatch: Us

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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!!

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

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Cinema Dispatch: Aquaman

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

Directed by James Wan

Well I guess this is one way to put 2018 to a close.  It’s been over a year since the last DCCU film stumbled into theaters and failed to make back the ludicrous amount of money put into it, but since Warner Bros hasn’t given up just yet on turning their superheroes into box office gold (it worked for Wonder Woman at least!), we’re getting at least one more stab at making this initial run of movies work before moving onto what MIGHT be an entirely new continuity with Shazam next year along with another Wonder Woman movie.  With nothing left in the tank and one more Hail Mary left to go, can Warner Bros and DC knock it out of the park as the year is coming to a close?  Let’s find out!!

Following the events of Justice League, Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) is just chilling with his dad (Temuera Morrison) and saving the occasional submarine from pirates.  After a recent successful venture that left one particular pirate named David Kane (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) rather ticked off with our sub-nautical super hero, Arthur figured he’d just hang out at the bar for a bit before passing out somewhere.  Sadly rest and booze is not in the cards at the moment as a fellow mer-person named Mera (Amber Heard) who we saw briefly in Justice League shows up to Warn Arthur that war is brewing and he’s the only one who can stop it.  To explain this, we’ll need to do a bit of a FLASHBACK to the mid-eighties where his father Thomas and his mother first met.  His mother JUST SO HAPPENED to be the runaway princess Atlanna of the Kingdom of Atlantis (Nicole Kidman) and fell in love with Thomas which eventually led to Arthur being born.  However, after an attack from Atlantian soliders, Atlanna decides to go back to protect Arthur and become the bride of some dude who gets her pregnant and then chucks her into some dark hole in the sea after their son is born.  Said son Orm (Patrick Wilson) is the current king of Atlantis and is consolidating power with the other mer-people tribes including the one that Mera belongs to which is ruled by her father Nereus (Dolph Lundgren).  Did you get all that?  Good, well Orm’s plan is to take over Surface World with an army of mer-people, but since Arthur is part of Atlantian Royalty by birthright, he can challenge Orm to the throne and turn around his expansionist policies before Surface World has to start nuking the ocean.  Okay, so if Arthur wants to save the world (which he’s not too keen on but begrudgingly accepts) he has to stage a coup of some sort and convince the Atlantians of his right to rule.  How the heck is he gonna do that!?  Well, that’s where this other guy Nuidis (Willem Dafoe) comes in as he’s Orm’s head Vizier but has secretly been training Arthur this whole time and has a plan for him.  Okay, MORE backstory.  To sum it up, the first Atlantian King had a super powerful trident and if Arthur can find it, then his claim to rule will be that much more legitimate.  Find the trident, avoid Orm’s army, and steer clear of that David guy who has a serious grudge now and may even have access to Atlantian technology to boot.  Sounds reasonable enough, especially with Mera helping him out the whole time!  Can Arthur solve the mysteries of his people’s past and find the one thing that will make him the ruler he was born to be?  Even if he does find it, can he truly be a leader to these people given that he’s of both Surface World AND Water World lineage?  Will he say MY MAN at least once in the movie!?  Just once!  It’s all I ask!!

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“MY MER-MAN!!”

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Cinema Dispatch: Baywatch

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Baywatch and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Seth Gordon

I may not know much about the Pamela Anderson/David Hasselhoff series, but if there’s one thing I do know it’s how much I LOVE Dwayne Johnson and how much I REALLY LIKE Zac Efron!   Both these guys don’t always get the credit they deserve for just how good they are with the former’s career mostly consisting of crowd pleasing popcorn flicks and the latter having a pretty rocky career; alternating between decently received comedies and underperforming dramas.  While I may not have an affinity for the series that this is directly based off of, I can appreciate a lot of what I saw in the trailers leading up to this and it seemed like a possible bright spot in a year that really hasn’t been that great for comedies so far.  Does this send up a nineties  television landmark manage to be a 21 Jump Street style success, or did this franchise really peak with Pamela Anderson and David Hasselhoff running in slow motion?  Let’s find out!!

In Emerald Bay Florida, there is a team of elite lifeguards, led by Mitch Buchannon (Dwayne Johnson) that saves people, stop thieves, and pick up litter to ensure the happiness and wellbeing of their beach’s visitors.  We enter the story just as they’re about to start recruiting some newbies and a hotshot Olympic swimmer named Matt Brody (Zac Effron) is there to assume one of the spots as he has a letter from the local government guaranteeing him a position.  Mitch takes him on board, but the road to being a TRUE member of Baywatch, which currently includes Stephanie Holden and CJ Parker (Ilfenesh Hadera and Kelly Rohrbach) as well as two other newbies Summer Quinn and Ronnie (Alexandra Daddario and Jon Bass), he’ll have to prove that he’s more than just a good swimmer as this job takes dedication, heart, and a true commitment to protecting those who depend on them!  In fact, the whole team will have a chance to prove just that as local entrepreneur Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra) is up to no good and is letting the remnants of her criminal activity (drugs and dead bodies) wash up on THEIR beach!  Oh, now this will not STAND; especially when you’ve got Mitch “The Rock” Buchannon on the case!   Will the Baywatch crew be able to stop Victoria’s evil schemes before it’s too late?  Will Matt finally learn to think of others and be part of a team?  Just how much chiseled pecks and bodacious babes can they cram into one movie!?

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It’s like Pain & Gain, but we actually LIKE these people!!

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