thriller

Atomic Blonde– Video Review

Charlize Theron + comic book movies= Atomic Blonde and we’ve got our review!

What did you all think of Atomic Blonde? Hit us up in the comments below and let us know!

Port of Dorks Podcast Ep. 16: The Dark Tower & Atomic Blonde

The Port of Dorks Podcast is back! In episode 16, the dorks discuss the roller coaster movie that is The Dark Tower and the new Charlize Theron spy thriller Atomic Blonde!

What do ya’ll think about these films? Did you like or dislike one more than the other? And who is more brooding: Charlize or Idris? Let us know in the comments below!

Review: Hollow script can’t keep ’47 Meters Down’ afloat

Director: Johannes Roberts

Starring: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine

Synopsis: Two sisters vacationing in Mexico are trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. With less than an hour of oxygen left and great white sharks circling nearby, they must fight to survive (IMDb).

Rating: PG-13

Year: 2017

It seems every year or so we get a shark-based survival thriller. Last year Blake Lively was stranded just off shore by a Great White in The Shallows. This year Mandy Moore and Claire Holt are stranded at the bottom of the ocean. 47 Meters Down to be precise. Though despite the titular depth, this film’s script feels rather shallow.

Moore and Holt play sisters vacationing in Mexico after Moore’s boyfriend apparently left her for being “boring.” It’s here that younger sister Holt gets the bright idea that the two should go cage diving with total strangers whom they met the night before at a party as a way to make Stuart (that’s Moore’s ex-boyfriend) jealous. Take that, Stuart!

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It’s become a rule at this point: B-list thrillers must feature stupid people making stupid decisions. 47 Meters Down happily obliges. Actually, it’s borderline offensive how idiotic these ladies are. Neither of them point out how dangerous the whole situation is, even after something like, oh I don’t know, blatantly acknowledging the poor condition of the diving cage as well as the illegal chumming of the water that the men of the “Sea Esta” engage in.

When Moore does eventually begin to have second thoughts, Holt snaps her back to party girl mode simply by reminding her how totally jealous Stuart will be once he sees the pictures of them underwater with real sharks. That’s how shallow and cliché the catalyst that sets this plot into motion is. Ugh.

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As for the two handsome strangers who entice the ladies out to sea, they are not given names up to this point. They are only referred to as “the guys” by one of the sisters as a part of a throwaway comment. Even the captain of the ship (Matthew Modine) is introduced as “Captain.” Not Captain Taylor or Taylor, just “Captain.”

We learn so little about this trio of men during the course of the film that I was under the assumption that the filmmakers were intentionally withholding information for the purpose of revealing some shady intentions during an obligatory third act twist. Nope. The script simply did not call for any background development.

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The problem with not maturing your characters, especially in a thriller like this, is that your audience will be emotionally detached once the true horror starts biting down. Unfortunately, this was my experience with 47 Meters Down. There was so little to these characters that I felt isolated from and uninterested in what was happening to them.

In the end, that’s the true horror of 47 Meters Down. The script is so light on development that the venture feels like a waste of time in a world of films like The Shallows. Even sitting at the bottom of the ocean whilst consumed by darkness and running dangerously low on oxygen, Moore and Holt still find time to discuss Stuart. It’s script details (or lack there of) like that which had me rooting for the sharks.

Grade: D

What did you all think of 47 Meters Down? Are you looking forward to seeing it during your Fourth of July break? Let us know in the comments down below!

Get Out (2017)- Review

Director: Jordan Peele

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener, LilRel Howery

Synopsis: A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend's mysterious family estate (Source: IMDb). 

Rating: R

As one half of the Comedy Central sketch duo Key & Peele, Jordan Peele has built a career around straddling the line between witty social commentary and straight-up satire. With Get Out, the writer-director examines race in America through the lens of classic suburban thrillers like Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives. What results is not only the first great horror film of 2017, but one of the year’s first great films, period.

Daniel Kaluuya is magnetic as Chris. He’s a soft spoken, charming African American man who is apprehensive about meeting, for the first time, the parents of his equally charming, Caucasian girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams). Upon arriving at Rose’s lavish childhood home, Chris notices black caretakers overlooking the Armitage’s large plot of land. Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener are delightfully shocking as Mr. and Mrs. Armitage, who assure Chris that things aren’t as they seem.

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After an eerily intimate sit-down with Rose’s hypnotist mother, Chris slowly realizes that uncomfortable dinner table discussions are the least of his worries. At this point, Peele gradually dials up the heat on his audience, who now has no choice but to identify with the frog in the pot as circumstances become increasingly dire. In this aspect, Get Out can be classified as a solid thriller. Peele has great instinct for what unnerves people and for stacking the tension psychologically without relying on gimmicky jump scares.

However, sub-textually is where Get Out truly earns its place among the great horror thrillers. Obviously, Chris is the frog in this situation but extrapolating this metaphor further exposes the contentious relationships between the majority and minorities in America, specifically between blacks and whites. Chris is the victim of a very real system designed to exploit his blackness for the ultimate gain of white America. This deeper revelation adds a terrifying new dimension to the horror behind Get Out.

Grade: A+

The Mummy Trailer #2 Reaction

Click the link below to check out our reaction to the latest trailer for The Mummy reboot starring Tom Cruise!

The Mummy Trailer #2 Reaction

Are you excited for this movie? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Life (2017)- Review

Director: Daniel Espinosa

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Olga Dihovichnaya, & Ariyon Bakare

Synopsis: A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth (Source: IMDb).

Rating: R

In space, nobody can hear you yawn. In the theater, however, everyone can and during my particular screening, there was plenty of it. To be fair, it was late at night and we were all comfortably reclined in premium leather Lazy Boys. Still, with as creative a spin on the genre as the film presents and the amount of talent involved, it should have been much easier to stay awake for Life.

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You can tell Director Daniel Espinosa (Safe House) and writing duo Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese (Zombieland, Deadpool) had high aspirations for their sci-fi horror flick, going so far to as emulate Ridley Scott’s Alien to the point of tedium. And though Scott is still exploring the origins of the xenomorph with his ongoing anthology, Life offers a much simpler and more relevant revelation.

Instead of hatching from gooey eggs on some distant moon a hundred years from now, their monster (later dubbed Calvin by Earthly school children) is unearthed from a Martian core sample by present-day astronauts living aboard the International Space Station (or ISS). And instead of an intricately inspired extraterrestrial (thank you, H.R. Giger), Calvin is more of a microbial jelly. On paper this somewhat more grounded explanation sounds scarier. On screen, however, narrative tension becomes the first victim.

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As probable as everything up to this point sounds, Calvin is rather improbable. Shortly after breaking free from its enclosure, it becomes apparent that this squid-thing is nearly indestructible. Despite their best efforts, our crew never stands a chance. Calvin is always the smartest, strongest, most observant thing in the room.

Of course it doesn’t help that our scientists keep making bad decisions. Because of these things, Life never lives up to its promised cat and mouse premise. Instead, it’s a game of waiting to see who’s gonna bite it (rather, get bit) next. And it’s a game that, despite the familiarity of such films, could have been much more fun to play had the characters been a bit more fleshed out. You can almost tell who’s getting offed next based on who has the least amount of backstory.

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However, the most frustrating things about Life is its persistent hand-holding. It overcompensates for its narrative shortcomings with an overly dramatic, in-your-face score designed to not let you forget how you’re supposed to be feeling at any given moment and expulsions of blatant exposition (at one point one character says “Calvin’s in the air vents!” when we just saw Calvin go into the air vents) in case you dozed off.

Life‘s not all bad, though. For instance, Espinosa does a nice job with the environment. I never doubted for a second that the crew was floating about in space aboard the International Space Station. Of course, some of that credit goes to the stunning work from the visual effects team. And though the characters themselves don’t have a whole lot going on, the performances help make them just tolerable enough to the point where I cared to stick around through the ending. That’s gotta mean something, right?

Grade: C+

Life lands in theaters Friday, March 24th.

Have you seen Life? What did you think? Was it a total Alien ripoff or did you find something about it to cling to? Let us know in the comments section!