An avid movie watcher, and I have been writing short stories and novels on the side for years now. Hoping to hone my craft here on Vocal!
As an ever growing influx of female led assassin films following on the footsteps of Gunpowder Milkshake, Jolt and The Protege, Netflix tries it's hand again with Kate. It feels a bit on the nose, this trend as it feels as if these studios are simply making half developed films for the sake of checking of a box for diversity. Sadly, the film is largely unimaginative nor is it original as the action flick deploys flashbacks poorly to help fill in the blanks of a barren plot while also having horribly predictable plot twists. That being said, it is still a fun watch largely due to tremendous talent that is Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Ever since her debut way back in Scott Pilgrim as the lovable and mysterious Ramona Flowers, Winstead has been a stand out in films such as Birds of Prey, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Final Destination and even appearing on the hit television show Fargo. Most of her appearances have always been relegated to a co-star so it is nice to see her get her time to shine and she really excels in the action department. Even more impressive, it seems as if she did most of her stunts throughout this often times brutal action romp. The film has it's share of issues, but Winstead and the action on hand really make up for any shortcomings.
James Wan has made staple horror franchises that have gone on to reinvent the genre. Other directors have tried to take his sub genre of torture porn, like he used in the Saw franchise or even the old familial 70's haunted home sub genre, like The Conjuring and Insidious franchises. He is a very accomplished director when it comes to scares while also delving more into the campiness that is prevalent in today's blockbuster films. That campiness he injected into Aquaman and The Fast and Furious franchises must have crept it's way into the making of Malignant as it is one of the most uneven and campy horror films that have been made in a long time. At times it even feels like Wan is simply playing with his fans and viewers with this wacky, nonsensical film. His eye for creating stunning visual effects is still present as is his ability to film a tense scene in one shot, but and again maybe intentionally, the film never makes sense but at it's core is a rather interesting film.
Review: "The Green Knight"
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is an old tale that has seen many different adaptations but David Lowery's take will be one that may just be the best film to hit theaters this year. The original story has an unknown author but remains to be one of the most well known Arthurian stories, it even managed to be adapted by J.R.R. Tolkien at one point. It combines themes of masculinity, heroism and facing ones fears or shame. The opening scenes immediately grab you and make you feel as if you are apart of this meticulously crafted world inside of Camelot, although, the film may not be for everyone as it leaves a lot up to the viewers interpretation and can be viewed by some as too slow of a burn. The obscure dialogue, fantastical world all manage to pull you in making the audience feel submerged into this surreal fairy tale. Arthurian experts may find some issues with Lowery's take but, Lowery has such an incredible poetic eye and alongside him a powerhouse performance by his lead actor that make it nigh impossible for anyone to look away once it gets going.
Review: "Sweet Girl"
All of Jason Momoa's solo films have roughly been the same as of late. Usually a hint of revenge, a splash of family drama and ragged brooding is ever present, but the actor knows his strengths and sticks to them. It is immediately clear why not only Jason Momoa signed on as the male lead for this film, but also produced it. He always does well in action films and truly is one of the better action stars in the industry to this date, so in theory, Sweet Girl would be a success for the streaming giant in Netflix. However, Sweet Girl feels like an uneven mashup of films that came before it that director Brian Andrew Mendoza has a hard time juggling. One moment the shaky cam visceral action scenes take place that remind you of the Bourne franchise, only to then lose all momentum as it drops into a film trying to say something about pharmaceutical companies world wide. As a whole, the film tries to be too much and take influence from better revenge films that have come before it. Even more troubling, the film completely falls apart in the final act with a nonsensical plot twist that even while suspending your disbelief, is still incredibly difficult for any viewer to swallow.
Warner Brothers brought on Lisa Joy to direct this project, and is best known for her work in developing HBO's hit show Westworld. This stands as her first feature film, and sadly it swings big but it's a swing and a miss. Reminiscence stars a lot of talent both in front of the camera and behind it with Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson, and Thandiwe Newton. The stars in front of the camera have a hard time elevating a script that is trying too hard to combine elements of familiar mind bending films that we have seen and loved in the past. From the outside, with all the talent involved, this film seemed like a hit for Warner Brothers but it simply gets in it's own way too often. It also struggles with a bit of an identity crisis, unsure of whether it wants to be a noir thriller or a sci-fi action and not really succeeding at being either genre. Instead, the film just ends up coming off as a lesser Inception or more aptly, Strange Days. In the early 2000s, these kind of films seemed to be flooding the market and just as a whole, other films did what Reminiscence sets out to accomplish much better.
Spider-Man: No Way Home Predictions
Ever since Wandavision started way back in January the internet has been a buzz trying to connect any multiverse happenings to this project. Those connections were for a reason as rumors spread rampant that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield would be joining Tom Holland as their own versions of Spider-Man. Of course, this lends itself to the idea of a Spider-Verse in a sense which was an incredible hit, even while an animated film. With Marvel so heavily hinting at a multiversal war in the Disney Plus series, Loki, all of the rumors made sense. The struggle with such grand expectations is that it can be incredibly difficult for the studios to meet them. Marvel and Sony of course are working together on this film as per their contract with one another, and they released the trailer today (even after yet another leak on Sony's side). Needless to say any worries of struggling to meet expectations should be largely quelled. Spoilers ahead for those that haven't watched the recent Spider-Man or Avenger films.
The Woman in White
At the top of a hill that overlooked a tiny town in Maryland, sat an older house. It sat tall at the top of this hill white pillars holding up the roof in the front, it was gothic in structure adding to the ominous feel of it all. Many of the townspeople dared not venture to this house as it came with an urban legend of a mother who haunted the place. Legend has it that she was a single mother wrought with hatred over her ex who cheated on her, this hatred then boiled over to the children as she took their lives. The guilt of doing so then caused her to take her own life in the pond right outside of the house. Some say they see her as a beautiful young woman crying off to the side of the road, presumably mourning her lost children. Due to this, no one ever had dared step foot up the hill anywhere near that haunted house.
Summer time had arrived, no more rain, no more school. Today was a beautiful day without a cloud in sight and a nice crisp breeze to start the summer off right. At the end of this perfectly idealistic culdesac sat the Russo family. Ed Russo, the man of the house andthe local sheriff. He had the respect of the small town of Germantown, Maryland and was well liked by all. He stood tall over most other folk while carrying with him a cowboy hat which certainly made him stand out. His height and physical prowess was intimidating to outsiders but he was as kind as can be. His wife, Tracey was a school teacher and like her husband, very well liked within the community. While Ed was a bit imposing, Tracey was inviting and beautiful with long blonde hair and blue eyes. The two had a young daughter who was ever so curious about the world, it’s people and quite adventurous. Her name was Olive.