Happy Wednesday all you Bleary-Eyed fans! It is of course time for…
Our submission today comes from one of the most talented Jedi Knights in the known Galaxy, but that does not include South Carolina, they’re on their own and I don’t think he would even go there. At any rate, Jedi Knight Brik’z is what we in the Universe call a builder. Not only does he work tirelessly to vanquish Sith from the Galaxy, but his specialty with The Living Force is construction. Some say that as a Youngling, Brik’z would often spend his time creating constructions in the Jedi Temple.
In fact, his mastery of the mysterious substance known as Laygeaux is unparalleled in the Galaxy (and this time I include South Carolina).
Below I ask you to witness Jedi Knight Brik’z creation of the infamous villain known as Grand Admiral Thrawn:
For those of you who have never read the “Heir to the Empire” Trilogy by the insanely talented author Timothy Zahn have missed out on the best story since The Empire Strikes Back. Also, I don’t care how you do it but if you’ve missed out on these books, remedy that now. In fact….These ARE the books you’re looking for…. *hand wave*
At any rate, Thrawn was a tactical genius who, even though the Emperor was completely xenophobic, managed to rise to the rank of Grand Admiral. In fact, his ruthlessness and tyranny are unmatched in the Star Wars Universe and unless Kylo Ren can come up with multiple-world dominating strategies (even minus a Death Star), he’s not going to hold a candle to Grand Admiral Thrawn.
We thank Jedi Knight Brik’z for showcasing his talents and wish him luck as he ages and eventually is a Jedi Master of Laygeaux.
Until next week, May the Force be Ever in Your Favor.
Good morning Bleary-Eyed Fans, we at I Watch too Many Movies sincerely hope you had a great weekend and that a were-badger didn’t bite your face and now you’re going to turn into a badger every other Tuesday, but not on Holidays. Let’s take a look at this weekend’s box office haul:
1) Hotel Transylvania 2- $47.5M
Is anyone really surprised about this? I mean, we haven’t had a good family/animated film since what, Minions? This was way overdue. Not sure why they did a sequel other than Adam Sandler hasn’t collected every demographics money yet. I really enjoyed the first one, so I can’t imagine this one was too far off the mark. Just hope they tossed in more adult humor this time around. Even for a Sandler flick, the first one was pretty tame. I can’t imagine they took it to new heights, but the trailer looked good and I can imagine you could take your kids to more inappropriate movies (don’t click that link unless you’re okay with cannibalism….)
2) The Intern- $18.2M
Not surprised this one was in second place, but I expected a little more money out of it. I found the movie charming enough to warrant a recommendation for a date movie or a family film with slightly older kids. You can check out our review here. Or you know, just scroll down some.
3) The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials- $14.0M ($51.7M Total)
Last week’s number 1 movie dropped a couple spots with a measly $14.0 M this weekend. You know what I realized, they had to put “The Maze Runner” in the title or no one would have even known what this film was. That’s how far they’re reaching for dystopian young adult novels to make movies from. It’s also the trick HBO’s “Game of Thrones” uses (that’s only the name of the first book). There are apparently 5 books in this series, so hopefully they won’t have to do the last movie split thing in order to make their money. Well, maybe they will if it continues its lackluster performance through its run.
4) Everest- $13.1M ($23.1M Total)
Maybe I was wrong about this film, staying in IMAX 3D or 3D in general isn’t killing it too badly. It actually moved up in the countdown (count-up? We started from #1, what do you call that? It’s like, what do you say when someone coughs? “Shut the hell up!”?) At any rate, at least a few people showed up to see Terminator John Conner climb a mountain.
5) Black Mass- $11.5M ($42.6M Total)
We were really hoping more “word of mouth” advertising would have made this film a lot more successful. Seriously, we expected the millions (5) of people who read our reviews would have come in droves to see this Johnny Depp winner. Oh well, it was made on the cheap and will likely earn some Academy Awards as well as a tiny bit of profit. Even though he only played a supporting role, I wouldn’t be surprised if Benedict Cumberbatch didn’t just stare into the eyes of the producers and take all the money. Seriously, have you seen that guy’s gaze?
That wraps up our Monday morning report. Hopefully you’re out of the shower now and learned your lesson about taking tablets and phones into the shower in the first place (seriously, just read this while you eat breakfast).
This week we’ve got some special treats for you. I’ll be taking in the terrific animated film The Iron Giant on Wednesday. It’s a special event, so I highly recommend you try and catch it if it’s showing in a theater nearby. I’ll try to be less terrible and review it for our Throwback Thursday post and get people psyched about the inevitable Blu-Ray release. Our Wednesday Wars post will showcase another talented individual and his Star Wars related creation. Then finally, we’re going to do a lesser giveaway on our Facebook page for the first two people who comment on this post on the actual page. You’ll have your choice between a Black Widow or Hydra charm bead that you can enjoy or give to anyone you’d like. And I swear, if someone puts “First”, I will find you and stab you.
Also, I guess no one wants a free copy of Age of Ultron since we’re still 21 people away from getting to a 100 “Likes” on our Facebook page. It doesn’t take much, after all, it’s just a pyramid scam, and those are totally easy to execute.
Now I’m not blaming e-commerce for anything. I’m blaming us lazy humans, but you know what? That’s OKAY! Be as lazy as you would like to be and enjoy all the benefits modern society offers you. I sure know I do. Hell, I work for an e-commerce site and I couldn’t be happier. Today’s rant (I think I’m supposed to review a movie too) isn’t about e-commerce business changes, but just setting the scene for a cute movie with two very likable and talented actors.
The Intern quickly showcases the best case scenario for retirement. Well, the best case scenario for any man is actually being Robert De Niro, but since we don’t have any Malkovich like shenanigans available, we’ll have to settle for retiring, hopefully, as his character does. Ben (De Niro’s character) has no serious health issues, a beautiful home, airline miles to go anywhere, and showcases some pretty badass tai chi. Of course there have to be holes in his life: he lost his wife and has the general feeling of something missing in his retired life. Enter the “Senior Internship Program” for a successful e-commerce apparel company.
First of all, it was a damn delight seeing De Niro act in a manner different from his typical roles. There wasn’t the silliness of Meet the Parents, stress of Silver Linings Playbook, or even the early hard ass years of Goodfellas. He just plays the man everyone wishes were in their life. If this is anything like De Niro’s real personality, then he’s one of the best humans on Earth.
Next we have Anne Hathaway being quirky, cute, and solid as ever. I really enjoyed her character as she definitely showcased powerful women in the workplace without her having to result to being evil. It was so refreshing to see, I almost missed the fact that the filmmakers were actually trying to make her an intolerable busy mess without a heart, but I guess Miss Hathaway just can’t be an awful person for very long. Hell, she even went and made a sentimental Catwoman and that’s a tall order. Or maybe I was just distracted by her performance. Eh, whatever it was, her acting clearly bucked the writing she was given.
It’s really the pairing of the two actors that works extremely well in this film. Not only does the whole movie revolve around a traditional businessman working with an e-commerce tycoon, but it’s really excellent to see the more experienced De Niro play off the younger Hathaway and vice versa. There is no other way this could have come about with the premise of the film, but they certainly gelled together well and, for the most part, holds this entire movie together. That and an amazingly hilarious scene with De Niro and three other young interns taking on a ridiculous “heist-like” adventure.
There is also a lot of commentary on the changes to modern society. Women as executives, men as house-husbands (favorite line: Hathaway’s character corrects De Niro with “They prefer ‘Stay-at-Home-Dads'”), open workplaces, everything “vintage” being cool (De Niro’s briefcase) and typical young men and women having no clue how to interact outside of academia. It’s a real motif throughout the film that explains how all these twenty-somethings went to amazing colleges and have incredible degrees or something, but De Niro’s character has to use his old school experience and charm in order to clean up simple messes. I get it, guys dress weird nowadays and women are unfortunately relegated to lesser positions in the workforce, but you don’t have to beat me over the head with it in every scene.
The film has a beautiful core story and an excellent pairing of main characters, but throws in an extra sub-plot that doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the movie. I really feel those scenes took away from an otherwise great experience. Basically, I just wanted to see more of Hathaway and De Niro and I don’t believe anyone would argue with me on that.
True to form in most soft comedies these days, there are no real stakes here. Other writers might have taken darker chances with some of the characters and pushed the line on the weaker sub-plot, but frankly I’m glad they didn’t do that. It was fine as it was, but really it’s just harmless and relaxing cinema.
Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:
De Niro and Hathaway are a pair that should do everything they can to work together more often. It’s a perfect date movie. Even a family will enjoy this one. It’ll make everyone laugh and you’ll enjoy the vast majority of the film, regardless of a oddly placed sub-plot. Check it out on Blu-Ray or Digital. It’s an enjoyable viewing.
Good evening Bleary Eyed Fans. Is everyone settled in and ready for another weekend of box office mayhem? Not likely. I doubt Hotel Transylvania 2 and The Intern are going to break any records, but you’ll still get your review from your everyday trusted idiots, me and The Manchicken.
Thursday was supposed to be a “Throwback Thursday” review day (which I totally botched) about The Monster Squad. I was going to get on here and tell you how awesome it was and has aged extremely well, especially Stan Winston‘s excellent creature designs, but no one from the movie really went anywhere. No Stand by Me luck here.
That’s actually it, I didn’t have too much more, so consider Throwback Thursday a success (stop looking at my past failures and look at the failures I’m committing now. Note- I didn’t make the pumpkin what it was, but I stood by and watched it happen.)
On Friday’s we figured we could get a little work out of our fans. Each Friday, we want you to fill in the gaps that Hollywood left there like a sinkhole. Do you know if the top stops spinning in Inception? Ever wanted to tell everyone about how Clerks was actually a sequel to National Lampoon’s European Vacation? Everyone has their own head cannon and we want to know.
Today I’m going to tackle one of the silliest logical skips of all time: Anakin Skywalker’s fall to the Dark Side (and bonus, why would Padme ever love him??)
So here goes my grand theory of how a young boy with adventure on his mind and amazing skill turns into a child murderer. It also explains why Padme could ever fall in love or even marry such a childish and horrible human. My theory hangs on seven words spoken by Obi-Wan in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope:
“These aren’t the Droids you’re looking for. ”
Jedi mind tricks. Said to only work on the weak minded. Well, when Anakin is concerned, Padme still sees that sweet boy who gave her a beautiful hand carved necklace and helped save her planet. Now Anakin and her are thrust together and have several, and very lame romantic moments (especially after he admits to killing an entire village of Sand People). Whether Anakin was doing it on purpose or not, he was Jedi Mind Roofying the crap out of her. Just subtle little work from such a powerful Jedi, of course she’s susceptible. Even if he didn’t know he was doing it, he wanted it. So you have an extremely immature and powerful Jedi who desires this woman and has never had any self control let alone a stable childhood, alone with a young woman who wants to keep the Galaxy together, but is forced to hide because everyone wants to kill her. Seriously, that sounds like a situation ripe for Jedi Mind Rape. Now we look at his ultimate fall and the creation of Lord Darth Vader.
Just as Anakin manipulates Padme (subtly and over a long period of time), so does the Emperor do to him. Simple human manipulation at first, but once his mind becomes open, he starts using stronger methods. Now Anakin attempts to resist (unconsciously) but Palpatine knows how to push his buttons and Anakin is so clouded with mistrust and worry, he doesn’t see the Sith Mind Control at work. Hell, the future is even so clouded by the Dark Side Palpatine was generating that even Yoda, the most powerful Jedi, could not sense who the Sith Lord was. It’s no wonder that manipulation and Sith Mind Control worked so easily on Anakin. It was only a brief moment of clarity that he ran and told Mace Windu of Palpatine’s true nature.
Only once Palpatine is completely in Sith form and engaged, all those years of mind control come in and then Anakin snaps. First, protecting the Emperor by killing Mace Windu, losing all self will due to fear, and then his allegiance turned. The siring of Darth Vader is so easy and takes so little work on Palpatine’s part, all of his programming has already taken its toll. And to get Anakin to exterminate the Jedi left in the temple (and yes, I mean the Younglings too), he MUST have been completely Sith Mind Controlled. Even though he was an jerk, he wasn’t a monster yet. He was at his weakest psychological state, and all Palpatine had to do was give the command, just like Order 66.
Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:
Anakin manipulates Padme into loving him, and his darkest deeds done in Episode III were done because of the mind control that the greatest Sith known in that Universe had manipulated a weak-minded, scared, and vulnerable kid.
It is once again Wednesday (which surprised me because I thought we added a day in there when Fall started) and of course it’s time for…
You know what would have been really cool? Using the actual Star Wars font. I’m sure there are ways to do this, but I have no idea how. You think I might have wanted to learn this stuff before I agreed to work on a website with someone. Too bad, it’s The Manchicken’s problem now. He’s my coding slave while I say stupid words that make you people laugh…I think. Well, there is no thinking about him being the coding slave. That’s just a fact.
Today our Wednesday Wars images come from my own Jedi Master, Retired Jedi Master William-san-Joe. Unfortunately, he was seduced by the Dark Side and now goes by the pseudonym Lord Soiler. Now that he is evil, I have to destroy him, or at least make fun of how often he goes fishing…
As my former mentor and Master, I have no joy in what I must do, but I can not allow him to continue in his evil ways or continue buying beautifully detailed and awesome Star Wars Beer Steins! But us at I Watch Too Many Movies still thank him for his addition to our Wednesday Wars spotlight this week.
Remember to send us in your excellent Star Wars pictures or anything Star Wars related you believe other Bleary Eyed Fans would enjoy. Until next Wednesday,
May the Force be with you!
(Seriously, it would be so much cooler with the Star Wars font!)
So, the quick review is that I love this film. It’s everything that a childhood hero film should be, and it shows us a good example of how revenge for hurt can be destructive and turn us into something we never wanted to be.
I love this film, my kids love this film, my girlfriend loves this film, you will also love this film. If you don’t love this film, just mention it in the comments section the purchase price for this review will be refunded to you.
Hiro Hamada – Ryan Potter
Tadashi Hamada – Daniel Henney
Baymax – Scott Adsit
Fred – T.J. Miller
Go Go – Jamie Chung
Wasabi – Damon Wayans Jr.
Honey Lemon – Genesis Rodriguez
Robert Callaghan – James Cromwell
What-it (Plot Summary)
Set in the city of San Fransokyo (yes, half San Franciso half Tokyo) Hiro Hamada is a kid genius – who graduated high school at 14 years old – who is throwing his talent away making fighting robots and hustling others out of money betting on his own fights. His older brother, Tadashi, is off at his “nerd school” doing research on his project to make a personal medical companion.
Tadashi convinces Hiro to try his hand at applying for the university, and then gets him to make a project which would allow him in. After a very successful demonstration and presentation, a seemingly-accidental fire breaks out. In the course of re-entering the building to rescue his mentor, Tadashi tragically dies leaving Hiro alone and paralyzed with grief.
He stumbles upon a nefarious plot involving his brother’s death, and seeks to deliver justice to the wrong-doer with the help of his brother’s college lab buddies, and the help of his brother’s science project. They all become what every kid has wanted to be: a super hero.
How’s-it (Voice Acting and Animation)
I really enjoyed the voice-acting in this film, as well as the animation. The detail in the animation is amazing. Hiro’s hair has so much detail you can make out strands of hair. When they show carbon-fiber mesh you can see individual bound fibers. Somehow, though, it still remains true-to-form for an animated feature: it’s more colorful than real life, it still feels more fantastical, and the features of faces and other things are glorious caricatures of their real life analogs.
Ryan Potter gives a voice acting performance that I hope will has opened some doors for him. It’s compelling, and it fits the character perfectly. Likewise, Daniel Henney made me believe that he was his animated character (though it’s not his time acting in a comic film). Scott Adsit does amazing in his role as the robotic voice of Baymax, and my kids all lose their marbles when he delivers the line “hairy baby.”
The city of San Fransokyo is amazing as well. The Golden Gate bridge has been merged with very stylized traditional Japanese architecture to make something neat and different. Also, this film’s animation succeeded where so many other animated films fail or seem to avoid: the action-packed dark room.
I won’t spoil any more of this for you, but it’s just great.
I really enjoy this film. I bought this on Disney Blu-Ray and I think my kids and I have watched it at least three times. I also remember going to watch this with my two oldest kids and my girlfriend as a group and it was a treat in theaters as well (IF YOU GET THE CHANCE TO SEE THIS ON THE BIG SCREEN, DO IT).
I really hope you enjoy this film as much as I did.
The Toonsday Review Segment
Every Tuesday I will endeavor to review an animated or comics-related feature film. This time it was Big Hero 6, next time I don’t know what I will pick (I’m spontaneous, what can I say?). If you have an animated film you would like me to review, please say so in the comments and I’ll be happy to add that to my list.
I have not read the court transcripts or watched the news programs or actual documentaries on this gang or its crimes, nor do I intend to. I’m a guy who watches too many movies and then writes about them, I am not a historian. The people who made you this film are also likely not to be historians, but rather film makers. The actors were trying to entertain you, maybe inform you a little bit, but I doubt that they lost any sleep on the seeming discrepancies in the historical record either.
Johnny Depp plays the character of James Bulger as he leads his group of between two and five henchmen on a series of crimes throughout Boston in the late 1970’s. They run rackets, they push dope, they kill people. Johnny Depp can be scary as hell. He portrays James Bulger as he goes through the very serious, profound, and tragic events which change a fun-loving but misguided mobster into a monster who lashes out at anybody who even indicates that they would be capable of betraying him.
James Bulger is not alone, of course. He makes a pact with a childhood friend, John Connolly – played brilliantly by Joel Edgerton – who is an FBI agent investigating organized crime in Boston. Agent Connolly grants James informant status, which gives him a significant amount of freedom to continue his crimes without scrutiny. Agent Connolly presents James Bulger as a misguided boy-scout (my hyperbolic words) who has been helpful in cleaning up Boston’s underworld while burying any investigation which starts going in the direction of Bulger.
My Thoughts on the Acting
So, as the website says, I watch too many movies. I’ve seen a lot of Johnny Depp films from Benny and Joon to Sweeny Todd (one of my favorites), and of course all of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. My biggest complaint of late has been that Johnny Depp has played the same character over and over again for the last decade with minor exceptions. While I think this guy is an amazing actor, I’ve been sad to see how he has been cast lately. I went into this film thrilled to see something different, and Johnny Depp delivered.
Surprisingly, I think the weakest actor in this film was another one of my favorites – and evidently everybody else’s as well – was Benedict Cumberbatch. I thought the role of Billy Bulger, despite being a lesser supporting role, could have been done better. I wasn’t buying the accent, I wasn’t buying the simultaneous concern and contempt, and I wasn’t buying the way that he was so close to his brother yet still so distant. Part of that is the script, and part of that was Benedict. I don’t get the feeling that he was really into this one.
This film was amazing. It’s a feather in the cap of all involved, evidence of continued greatness on the part of Johnny Depp, and it really shows that each and every person involved in this film knows how to spin a tale – based on real events – which has the ability to help an audience see that tragedy has an effect on people, that the good guys are sometimes crooked and stupid, and even that sometimes you are right to feel sympathy for the bad guy.
As we get the hang of this whole movie review site thingy (yeah, thingy is a thing, what, you wanna fight about it?), we want to give you more than just movie reviews. And as for myself, it’s always exciting to see how the top five films fared during the past weekend, or watch in horror as train wrecks develop with film reels strung everywhere like toilet paper on Halloween. So without further ado, here is what was happening over this weekend:
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials- $30.3M
It seems like people can’t get enough of young adults running through the post-apocalypse. Why are we so interested in this case? I remember seeing the first one and it just felt like all the others that are out there and a poor copy at that. True there was an air of mystery to these films, but, really, we all know we watch just because we secretly want to see kids die and that’s not something you can say in public without being labeled some sort of weirdo. If you went to see the movie just for Aidan Gillen (Littlefinger on Game of Thrones) then I’ll give you a pass because I would pretty much watch anything in which that guy appears.
Black Mass- $23.4M
While gangster movies aren’t the money makers they use to be like during the ’90s, everyone enjoys a good Johnny Depp. It proves a sad state of film when the original movie based on a documentary with plenty of blood and excellent performances takes second fiddle to a sequel to the mediocre version of The Hunger Games. Manchicken is hard at work on our review for this excellent film.
The Visit- $11.4M ($42.3M Total)
Our first hold over from last week. Apparently some word of mouth saved this film from dying completely its second week in the box office. It’s either that or people wanted to see old be go psycho. While I enjoyed Shyamalan’s efforts, I think you can see old people going crazy by walking to your local McDonald’s and ordering the Senior Coffee. I want to do that and see what they say. Will they card me to see if I’m 55+ or will they just let me get away with it? And seriously, who drinks McDonald’s coffee? Old people, that’s who.
The Perfect Guy- $9.7M ($41.4M)
Another hold over from last week. While old people may be the terror of the season (2 weeks), there is still enough room for a good ole Fatal Attraction ripoff. We haven’t seen this film, so we can’t speak to it, but I would watch it just to see Michael Ealy since I can’t watch him in the brilliant Almost Human. Seriously, I appreciate Fox putting out more science fiction and fantasy shows than a lot of other networks, but it’s getting old for them to run them out of order then cancel them when they don’t get ratings.
Another film we missed this weekend but a little surprised this one didn’t do better. It was poised to give the right amount of suspense and action audiences typically enjoy, but perhaps it was a little foolish to release it strictly in 3D when a good portion of the population can’t experience the effects well and don’t want to pay the surcharge. But it’s not like I see a lot of movies or anything, so my opinion won’t make it to the movie studios.
That’s our quick Monday morning recap from this past weekend’s Box Office. Did you see one of these films? Did it deserve to be higher or lower on the list? Tell us in our comments section. Don’t forget about our first giveaway and of course send us something Star Wars related for Wednesday Wars. I’d hate to have to showcase Manchicken in his Star Wars Underoos (at the tender age of 33…)
Until next time, get out of the shower and don’t forget to put clothes on for goodness sake.
As many of you know, there is a certain film that will be releasing on the 18th of December. What that film might be is a mystery that even the Vegan Deities cannot discern, but to be sure, some sort of force, if you will, is at work. Most likely the force of gastrointestinal problems because they don’t eat meat, but perhaps they can fathom a world outside of their obnoxious, gassy bubble and divine what will cause a stir that day.
Not likely, they’re too busy kissing birds. So, ear biting is cool as long as you don’t swallow. Sounds like a smoking or sex work around.
Anyway, we all know that Star Wars: The Force Awakens comes out that wonderful day in December. Ten years ago was the last Star Wars film we saw and it, well, it…um…eh, it’s up to you. The reason you either hated that movie or enjoyed it was whether or not you believed that attempting to keep Padme alive is a good enough reason to exterminate Younglings. And did Obi-Wan forget that? I mean, he just gives the damn thing to Luke.
That was in 1977, 38 years ago, before they showed what happened ten years ago…ugh, doing prequels is a bad ideal all around. Time doesn’t work that way. Let’s forget anything was ever said above and move on.
In order to celebrate the release of The Force Awakens, every Wednesday (Wednesday Wars?), we will showcase something from a fan of “I Watch too Many Movies”, notable info from the interwebs, or even some fun trivia which will turn into prizes. Yes, you read that correctly, we have enough capital to buy your loyalty!
This weeks Wednesday Wars submission comes from our good friend Darth Andrews on Facebook. With his Force powers he managed to mash up some excellent figures. Without further ado, I present to you: General Stitch Grevious:
We thank Darth Andrews (admit it, you’d tremble at that name) for his contribution. As much as I love the news on the internet, I’d much rather see awesome stuff from you all. So send me pictures of your collection, your Halloween costume when you were two, or your ER bill when you attempted to use The Force on that bully in 8th Grade.
Until next week, May the Force be with you…while you do mundane things and such.
Earlier this year I was treated to a surprisingly good STD ad called It Follows. Many people would suggest it was the greatest horror film in ages but I firmly disagree. While it was a wonderfully creepy movie and excellent allegory for Herpes, I wasn’t horrified by what I saw. I mean seriously, the characters didn’t even follow the rules!
Just had to get that out of my system since we didn’t have this site back in March. I digress. 2015 has been a fairly anemic year for horror films, I really believe it’s because they just haven’t made much money and unlike superhero films, you can’t just toss a huge action sequence at the audience and then watch as their brains drool out each ear. Nothing wrong with that as long as you stuff your mouth with enough popcorn, everything will be fine. You need more substance in a horror film and that’s becoming harder and harder to come by these days because our world is full of more real life horrors than any ghost story can muster.
I will say, October will give us a few options: Goosebumps(family horror, could be funny), Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (they’re done with these after this, right?), and of course Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak (likely to be brilliant but sadly lacking in giant robots). I’d give Hollywood credit for releasing at least one actual horror film during this season, but as it’s their job to put out scary movies for Halloween, that’s like saying the Starbucks Barista just spelled your name correctly on your cup…after asking how to spell it.
That’s a lot of the reason why it surprised me when the second week of September debuted a found footage film about two kids meeting their grandparents for the first time. The Visit did not have a lot of marketing. In fact, I don’t believe it got into full swing until a few weeks ago. Most of us just saw the underwhelming trailers and the crocheted movie poster. Well, maybe it’s a stitched movie poster, but that’s not the point. Still, someone is going to correct me… I will applaud them for having the balls to actually list the director in both the trailer and the poster. Something the marketing department from his last movie forgot…
I know what you want to know. Did M. Night Shyamalan actually create a film that wasn’t ashamed of him? The answer is a definitive….sorta. What I will tell you is he set a creepy mood and let it grow over an hour and a half. To be quite honest, this film just seemed simple, even by the numbers. I believe that’s what was done well…nothing was overblown or took an extreme suspension of disbelief to enjoy. Every actor maintained their personas, no inconsistencies with how they reacted to the various jump scares and hard tension. The “monsters” of the film were eerie and more than a bit disturbing, but just enough doubt to keep things interesting. Everything just clicked.
Like I said, Shyamalan set the mood and let it crescendo to a disturbing finale. There are several things in the last 20 minutes of the film that I’ll have to rinse my dreams with a hefty dose of Sandra Bullock to forget, but I bet there are a lot of you who were looking for that. Or just want to dream of Sandra Bullock. That’s okay too.
It’s an odd day when you see a film, especially a creepy one, enjoy it, and while reviewing it, fail to find anything really wrong with the movie. Perhaps it was because I came in with low expectations and got a bit of substance, but there just wasn’t anything to hate here. Unfortunately the same can be said conversely: there wasn’t really anything that will have any staying power either.
M. Night has told some fantastic stories. Many of you still get chills while thinking of The Sixth Sense or Signs (if I never see a real cornfield, that’ll be fine with me), but have had your trust broken by almost anything else he’s done over the past fifteen years. I can tell you this film seems like his mea culpa. He desperately wants you to watch his films again, and if he has to go back to basics, he’ll do it. I really think that’s why this film worked. Shyamalan, you’ll be fine if you listen to me: “Go back to your roots, tell interesting stories before shoehorning a plot element where it doesn’t belong or attempting to shift any paradigms, oh, and don’t cast Jaden Smith in anything. AN-Y-THING.”
Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:
M. Night Shyamalan creeps every audience member out with tension that pops like an unexpected balloon explosion and will keep the hair on the back of your neck planted firmly in the “freaked out” position. If you’re in desperate need of a few scares, you’ll find them here and while you might lose a little sleep over The Visit, you’re ultimately going to forget it.