Brittany Runs a Marathon
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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Thank God it's over, but at least the "Paranormal Activity" series could've gone out with a bang instead of the end product here. "Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension" is not the major disappointment the fourth film was and not the decent tread "The Marked Ones" was. It's right in the middle, in meh territory. Sometimes it drags, sometimes it doesn't. And though some parts are entertaining, it doesn't do anything new, which leaves absolutely zero room for originality or scares. And is it just me or do the characters get less likable with each film?
It doesn't break any new ground in the world of raunchy romantic comedy, but "Trainwreck" is still very entertaining and funny, thanks to some sharp and witty dialogue, likable characters, confident direction from Judd Apatow, and a terrific performance from Amy Schumer that puts her on the A-list for funny women in film. Overall, "Trainwreck" is far from what its title suggests.
Though James Ransone and Shannyn Sossamon are good and the film does entertain and have its eerie moments, "Sinister 2" is not nearly as frightening as its predecessor. The wonderful restraint that coupled the violence and heightened the tension of the first film is gone and replaced with more of the gore that we expect from horror movies nowadays. That will please the gore hounds for sure, but disappoint the fans of the first film. And instead of continuing the story in a more original direction, screenwriters Scott Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill ultimately can't decide where they want their story to go and unfortunately wind up retreading old territory. Overall, "Sinister 2" is not awful, but not great either: merely middle of the road.
"The Conjuring", "The Babadook", "It Follows". We can now add "The Witch" to the mix of essential horror viewing of the past decade. Robert Eggers' directorial debut is a stunning one: a beautifully shot, articulate, detailed, perfectly acted and written 90-minute ride into hell. This cast is undeniably powerful. Ralph Ineson and Kate Dickie's William and Kathryn are played with conviction and tragedy, the children are remarkable, even the animals can act (never have I been more freaked out by a goat or a rabbit). But the best performance here goes to newcomer Anya Taylor-Joy as eldest daughter Thomasin, who we are intrigued by yet utterly scared for, constantly wondering what she's thinking but too frightened for her to care. The Witch" almost doesn't need a physical monster to be scary. What's really frightening about the film is the most human fear in cinema in recent memory: man's beliefs. The family at the root of Eggers' story is really a disturbing foundation built on Puritanism (the plot takes place a few decades before the infamous Salem Witch Trials), the constant need at the time to blame someone else for their own faults and flaws. By the end of the film (the last 20 minutes are especially terrifying), a more supernatural motive is established, but until that point, "The Witch" is all about dread and uncertainty in religion, and that's what's really scary. A new classic!
Though "Paper Towns" still has a good story at its core, thanks to John Green's book and the script, the weakness at its core is, surprisingly, the cast. Despite impressive turns by Nat Wolff and Cara Delevigne (she is very promising here), the performances here lack the same sort of charisma and wit so clearly established in "The Fault In Our Stars", and in young adult adaptations, that can be a fatal flaw. But despite that, "Paper Towns" is still an entertaining excursion.