Saturday, June 10, 2017

It Comes at Night

★★★★★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"You can't trust anyone but family." That's an excellent quote from Joel Edgerton in It Comes at Night, one of the most terrifying & disturbing films I've ever seen. Edgerton plays Paul, a former teacher who lives in a secluded, boarded-up house with his wife, Sarah (played by Carmen Ejogo), his son, Travis (played by Kelvin Harrison Jr.), & their dog, Stanley. They are secluded because of a very dangerous & highly contagious disease that has crippled the outside world. One day, someone breaks into the house. After knocking the intruder unconscious & tying him to a tree for a day, Paul concludes that the intruder is not infected. The intruder introduces himself as Will (played by Christopher Abbott), who is seeking water for his family who is stuck in an abandoned house 50 miles away. After giving Will water, Paul & Will go to bring Will's wife, Kim (played by Riley Keough), & Will's son, Andrew (played by Griffin Robert Faulkner), who are not infected either, to Paul's house, as Sarah believes that with more people there, they can defend it better.

After bringing Kim & Andrew back, Paul goes over the rules: the red door is the only entrance & exit in the house, & it must be locked at all times, with Paul or Sarah possessing the key; the firearms, including Will's, will be locked in the safe; when they venture outside, they must be in groups of 2 or 3; & they never go out at night, unless it's an emergency. Will & Kim agree, & the two families eventually become to grow closer to each other. But eventually, fear & paranoia begin to ravage the house, & no one can trust each other.

The cast is amazing. Trey Edward Shults's direction & screenplay are excellent. The cinematography by Drew Daniels is stunning. The film editing by Shults & Matthew Hannam is excellent. The production design by Karen Murphy is amazing. The sound editing & sound mixing is excellent. And the film score by Brian McOmber is haunting. This is one of the best horror films I've ever seen. It's a perfect example of how fear can turn even the most honorable men into monsters, a message that is ever so timely in the world today, especially in America.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Wonder Woman

★★★★★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"I will fight for those who cannot fight themselves." That's an amazing quote from Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman, the best film in the DC Extended Universe so far. Set during World War I, Gadot plays Diana, Princess of Themyscira, AKA Diana Prince, AKA Wonder Woman. She desperately wants to train as an Amazonian warrior, but her mother, Queen Hippolyta (played by Connie Nielsen) refuses to let her train; however, her aunt, General Antiope (played by Robin Wright), secretly trains her. One day, American spy Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine) crashes his plane near Themyscira. Following Trevor are a group of German soldiers, who attack Steve, & by extension, Themyscira. After defeating the Germans, Steve tells the Themyscirians of the War & that they must help him. Diana believes that Ares, the God of War, is behind it. Diana goes with Steve to London to help find Ares. Now, they must infiltrate the Western Front to find Ares, destroy him, & end the war.

The cast is amazing, especially Gal Gadot, who gives the best superheroine performance ever, & Chris Pine, who works really well with Gadot. Patty Jenkins's direction is excellent. The screenplay by Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder & Jason Fuchs is excellent. The cinematography by Matthew Jensen is stunning. The film editing by Martin Walsh is excellent. The costume design by Lindy Hemming is excellent. The production design by Aline Bonetto is astounding. The makeup & hairstyling is amazing. The sound editing & sound mixing are excellent. The film score by Rupert Gregson-Williams is amazing. And the visual effects are stunning. This is one of the best superhero films of all time.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

★★★½ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"You would've seen a lot more if you kept your cakehole shut!" That's a hilarious quote from Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, a flawed but overall pretty good addition to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Set in the 18th century, Depp reprises his role as Capt. Jack Sparrow, who is hunted after by the undead Capt. Armando Salazar (played by Javier Bardem) for tricking his crew to sail into the Devil's Triangle & causing them to die. Salazar has sent Henry Turner (played by Brenton Thwaites) to find Jack to warn him, who is on the island of St. Martin after failing to rob a bank. In St. Martin, a young woman named Carina Smyth (played by Kaya Scodelario) is about to be hanged for supposedly being a witch (but all she did was know about astronomy & horology, which made you a witch back then if you were a woman who was smart. I know, it's stupid). Jack is also about to be guillotined for attempting to rob the bank; however, Henry saves both Jack & Carina. Together, they, along with Jack's crew, try to find the mythical Trident of Poseidon, but a familiar friend has teamed up with Salazar to find Jack: Capt. Hector Barbossa (played by Geoffrey Rush), who now owns a huge fleet of ships.

The cast is excellent.  The direction by Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg is great. The screenplay by Jeff Nathanson & Terry Rossio is great. The cinematography by Paul Cameron is excellent. The film editing by Roger Barton & Leigh Folsom Boyd is great. The costume design by Penny Rose is excellent. The production design by Nigel Phelps is amazing. The makeup & hairstyling is excellent. The sound editing & sound mixing are excellent. The film score by Geoff Zanelli is excellent. And the visual effects are stunning. Although the direction, narrative & editing are underwhelming at times, it's still a great film boosted by great performances & excellent technical achievements.


½★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"We're going to have to do what Baywatch does best. The truth is, one of you will probably die." That's an awful quote from Dwayne Johnson in Baywatch, a very unfunny film. The film is based on the 1989-2001 TV series Baywatch. Johnson plays Lt. Mitch Buchannon, the leader of Baywatch, a team of lifeguards in Emerald Bay, Florida. Also on the team are Stephanie Holden (played by Ilfenesh Hedera) & C.J. Parker (played by Kelly Rohrbach). Much to the chagrin of beat cop Garner Ellerbee (played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) & Mitch's boss, Capt. Don Thorpe (played by Rob Huebel), Mitch is loved by the community. At tryouts for the team, three people make the team: surfer Summer Quinn (played by Alexandra Daddario); fat nerd Ronnie (played by Don Bass); & 2-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Matt Brody (played by Zac Efron), who is doing community service as part of a plea deal after vomiting during a race after a night of a hard partying. Mitch is not happy with Matt being on the team, as he thinks Matt is not mature enough for the job. But when 2 men are murdered near the beach that are connected to drug smuggler & businesswoman Victoria Leeds (played by Priyanka Chopra), the team must get everything together & take her down.

The cast is awful. Seth Gordon's direction is terrible. And the screenplay by Damian Shannon, Mark Swift, Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon, Jay Scherick & David Ronn is pitiful. This film is probably the most unfunny comedy I've seen in a long time.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Lovers

★★★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"Everybody knows I'm an idiot, alright?" That's a hilarious quote from Tracy Letts in The Lovers, a uneven but overall good dramedy. Letts plays Michael, a middle-aged man stuck in a dead-end job. Him & his wife, Mary (played by Debra Winger), have been distant from each other. Michael has been cheating on Mary with Susan (played by Melora Walters), & Mary has been cheating on Michael with Robert (played by Aidan Gillen). They both plan to divorce each other in order to be with their respective lovers, which they will tell each other soon. One morning, Michael & Mary wake up to find themselves embracing in bed. After this, they find themselves falling back in love again, much to the chagrin of their respective lovers. But the arrival of Michael & Mary's son, Joel (played by Tyler Ross) & his girlfriend, Erin (played by Jessica Sula) starts to unravel everything.

The cast is amazing. Azazel Jacobs's direction is mediocre. Azazel Jacobs's screenplay is great. The editing by Darrin Navarro is mediocre. And the score by Mandy Hoffman is amazing. Although there are some big rough spots, this is overall an okay dramedy.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

★★★★★ - A Review by Cameron Kanachki

"You have an atomic bomb in your bag! If anyone is gonna have tape, it's you!" That's a hilarious quote from Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the best film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. Pratt reprises his role as Peter Quill, AKA Star-Lord, who, along with Gamora (played by Zoe Saldana), Drax (played by Dave Bautista), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), & Baby Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), are commended for saving the galaxy. After giving the Sovereign leader Ayesha (played by Elizabeth Debicki) valuable batteries in exchange for Gamora's half-sister Nebula (played by Karen Gillan), Rocket takes some of the batteries for himself, which leads to the Guardians being attacked by a Sovereign drone fleet. However, the Sovereign drone fleet is suddenly destroyed by someone. 

The Guardians then crash-land on a nearby planet, where they meet the person who destroyed the Sovereign drone fleet: Ego (played by Kurt Russell), Quill's father. Ego came to Earth, used a human guise, & fell in love with Meredith (played by Laura Haddock), Quill's mother. While Rocket & Baby Groot stay behind on the planet to fix the ship they crash-landed in & to guard Nebula, Quill, Gamora & Drax are invited to Ego's home planet, which is also Ego, as he is a Celestial who manipulated the matter around him into his planet. With Ego is Mantis (played by Pom Klementieff), Ego's empath servant. Ego has been trying to find Quill since Yondu Udonta (played by Michael Rooker) brought him from Earth when Quill was a kid. Quill is fascinated with Ego, but Gamora believes that something doesn't quite add up.

The cast is excellent. James Gunn's direction & screenplay is amazing. The cinematography by Henry Braham is astounding. The editing by Fred Raskin & Craig Wood is excellent. The production design by Scott Chambliss is spectacular. The makeup & hairstyling is amazing. The sound editing & sound mixing are excellent. The visual effects are astounding. And the soundtrack is absolutely fantastic. This is one of the best superhero films ever made.