Tag: 2018 movies

The Equalizer 2: Film Review

By Brennan Dubé | United States

“The Equalizer 2” stars Denzel Washington and is the follow up to the 2014 action/thriller “The Equalizer.” Director Antoine Fuqua returns to direct the sequel and he hopes to further the story of a badass lyft driver, “Robert McCall”, played by Washington. The film has a few different plot points, but the main story is about McCall trying to seek revenge. Along the way he also keeps a neighborhood boy from falling into the hands of a local gang.

Washington is truly a badass on screen and anytime a scene is focused on him involving some ass-kicking that needs to be done, this movie shines. The action sequences were very entertaining and fun to watch, much like the original. The plot however, is not as strong. The beginning of this film lacks overall drive and focus, and there is no factor that makes the movie overly compelling. This results in the first half of the film really feeling like it dragged on with not a real intriguing end goal. As the film progresses the second half does pick up a lot and there is a scene in the middle that really excited me back into the film and was a true game changer. The scene involved Washington and Ashton Sanders and it is a strong dramatic scene that had me really feeling these characters emotions.

The rest of the supporting cast in the film does a solid acting job, but most of the characters are not very compelling or notably interesting. Washington’s portrayal keeps the movie afloat and makes for an enjoyable time as he really is great at playing these types of characters. While I don’t believe there will be a “The Equalizer 3” I am glad this film was produced.

While entertaining, the movie didn’t feel all that fresh and it simply felt like any traditional sequel. It is always good to see some R-rated gore and violence from two time Oscar winner Denzel Washington, but not even this film darkens the true shine of Denzel in the main role, serving up a strong performance as well as an entertaining one. With regards to the gore, there wasn’t a ton of jaw-droppingly gross scenes. However, the gore was strong enough to keep this film R-rated.

If the twist and inciting incident of this film happened much sooner, I would have much more enjoyed this as a fast-paced action joy-ride. Even if more focus was put onto the story of Washington and Sanders, I would have found more enjoyment in the film as those two shared some very good scenes that felt emotional, charming and real.

The big plus: Denzel. Denzel. Denzel. Fun action and some badass moments.

Where it lacks: No real strong drive and a drag of a first half hold this film down.

Score: 64/100

‘The Equalizer 2’ offers up some solid action and is a worthy, but not as stellar addition to the first film. The film lacks a true focus early on and you feel like asking yourself “where are we going with this?” in the first half. When the movie picks up later on it does feel like a really good thriller that does have a few scenes of true excitement and thrilling pleasure.

Upcoming Releases:

July 27: Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Teen Titans GO! To the Movies

August 3: Christopher Robin, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Searching, The Darkest Minds

August 10: The Meg, BlacKkKlansman, Dog Days


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July Movie Preview: A Rundown of the Biggest Hits

Brennan Dubé | @Brennan_Dube71R

July 4

The First Purge

This will be the fourth installment in the ‘Purge’ franchise. However, it will be the first not directed by James DeMonaco although he will still return to write and produce this film. On a budget of just $13 million, Universal Pictures should make a solid profit on this film considering two of the last three ‘Purge’ films have surpassed $100 million at the box office. This prequel action-thriller will be a hit at theaters due to the ‘Purge’ name attached to it. Despite poor reviews from critics, these films continue to obliterate their budgets and draw in crowds that enjoy a good thrill.

July 6

Ant-Man and the Wasp

The sequel to the 2015 film ‘Ant-Man’ will open up in theaters this Friday. Riding the wave of ‘Infinity War’, it should make some rather significant cash. The first film opened to $57 million in July of 2015. It went on to gross over $500 million globally, a little low in terms of Marvel movies but still a good draw considering ‘Ant-Man’ is much lower profile than the other heroes featured in the past few years. ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ will draw in the family crowd and the superhero fans, and should go for a win at the July box office.

Whitney

‘Whitney’ is a documentary about Whitney Houston that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May. It will get its theatrical release this Friday. The film will have a limited release, meaning it won’t be released nationwide right away. Instead, it will slowly expand its theater count as most documentaries do. The documentary will feature never before seen footage and rare performances as well as exclusive demo recordings by Whitney Houston.

July 13

Skyscraper

The Dwayne Johnson action/thriller, ‘Skyscraper’ will be released this month and should play out like any usual Dwayne Johnson film. If it follows the course of ‘Rampage,’ which was released earlier this year, it will open around $30 million and go on to gross a good sum at the box office.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ debuts this month and is the first ‘Transylvania’ film to be released in summertime. This animated feature should do well and with a very conservative budget of $65 million, they will be able to make a strong profit. Both previous films opened to $42.5 and $48.4 million respectively. The third may see a different result due to a summertime release, but I still expect it to be a good draw among families as most wide release animated films are.

Eighth Grade

This A24 studio film received high praise at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year and is expected to be a big hit among critics when it opens this month. The movie is a coming of age comedy-drama. Early screened critics have this film currently sitting at a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

July 20

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

This is the sequel to the hit 2008 film ‘Mamma Mia!’ which went on to be the 5th highest grossing film of 2008. It grossed $615 million on a budget of just $52 million. The sequel is expected to follow up with similar success, considering much of the star-studded cast is returning and there haven’t been many true musicals as of late. The musical film fans may be craving something and that would definitely help this sequel.

The Equalizer 2

Denzel Washington returns to star in ‘The Equalizer 2,’ an action/thriller. The film should have a good draw among action movie fans and it gets a small jump on the next ‘Mission Impossible’ film, which comes out the following weekend. The first film had a budget of $73 million and went on to gross $192 million globally. This will release in the first weekend following the World Cup which may help out its chances with doing better in foreign markets.

Unfriended: Dark Web

This found footage horror/thriller film is a stand-alone sequel to the 2014 film ‘Unfriended’ which went on to gross $64 million dollars on a budget of just $1 million. The movie was filmed secretly last year and had a surprise announcement in March of this year.

July 27

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

This will be the sixth film in the ‘Mission: Impossible’ franchise. Tom Cruise continues to defy all odds with some never before seen stunts in this film. The movie will get a good draw from casual movie goers as well as action movie fans. Should ‘Fallout’ do well, expect more ‘Mission: Impossible’ movies to come.

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

This animated film based on the television series is releasing this month. The movie is written by the writers of the show and is directed by series producers, Peter Rida Michail and Aaron Horvath. Warner Bros. will hope that this animated superhero comedy will get a good draw from the family audiences.


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Hereditary: 2018’s Most Anticipated Horror (Reviewed)

By Brennan Dubé | @Brennan_Dube71R

The most anticipated horror flick of 2018, helmed by some to be this generations ‘The Exorcist.’ Here is my review of ‘Hereditary.’

‘Hereditary’ has gotten a lot of buzz lately after the praise it has been receiving coming out of film festivals and early screenings. I went into this movie with high expectations and I can safely say they were fulfilled. ‘Hereditary’ stars Toni Collette and it follows a family’s journey following the death of Toni Collette’s characters mother. Out the gate I expected a film where the dead grandmother will come back to haunt and possess this family, but it was so much more and so very different from that.

‘Hereditary’ has some dark tones and very profound subtle suspense that it is able to instill terror inside of you without actually scaring you yet. The tone of this movie is set very early on and the films vibe and suspense never seems to let up. You constantly feel heavier and heavier as the movie plays out. Director and writer Ari Aster did an incredible job with this movie. His patient film making allowing the scenes to play out and the suspense to build in front of our eyes without rushing things at all was his key to success.

This storyline is not fresh nor original, it is rather unoriginal and something that has been played out many times before, but ‘Hereditary’ takes a completely different route from what we are used to and shines while doing so. The imagery and angles used in this film were absolutely stunning. They added to the tone and freakiness of the scenes and rooms in the home. To further applaud the designers and visual directing with this film I must say I found myself several times throughout this film applauding and taking note of just how top notch the angles used were. This factor played an important role in the film as it allows us to see things subtly in the background that help us to piece together this movies story.

‘Hereditary’ took some twists that I did not anticipate but nonetheless they all helped to create a further layer of fear and terror within the viewer. The cast in this film did a wonderful job, firstly Toni Collette is moving in her role as the mother of the family. Some of the more emotional dialogue she had to convey was really powerful and it helped to create suspense as well as sad touching tones when needed.

Alex Wolff, who plays the son in the family, also does a great job in this movie. I was rather impressed with his performance and I hope success follows him. The movies young star, Milly Shapiro, does a great job in this movie and this being her first feature length big screen release, I am even more impressed by what she had to offer. The first half of this movie is really quite frightening and it plants the seeds necessary to advance the story into the second half. I felt somewhere in the second half of this movie the flow began to lack and it got a little off track. Quickly however, ‘Hereditary’ jumped back on and continued to impress. The supernatural elements of the film did take me out for a brief moment but surely it polished itself up and got better as it progressed.

The big plus: The dark suspenseful tone mixed with layered storytelling and great performances from the cast leads ‘Hereditary’ to victory.

Where it lacks: The familiarity with the second half of this movie and unoriginality of the story is prevalent, but don’t fear as it offers quite a unique taste.

Score: 87/100

‘Hereditary’ is not groundbreaking, it doesn’t reinvent the horror genre… but it does tell a great story that I am definitely going to watch again. It delivers a perfect mix of unsettlingly terror that touches viewers on a personal and very emotional level. It puts a feeling in your stomach early on and this feeling will not escape you. It’s a smart movie that gets you thinking. For his first feature length film, writer and director Ari Aster made a gem that is definitely one of the best movies I have seen so far, this year.


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