HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: GET OUT

CAST

Daniel Kaluuya (Black Panther)
Allison Williams (A Series of Unfortante Events)
Catherine Keener (The 40-Year Old Virgin)
Bradley Whitford (The Cabin In The Woods)
Caleb Landry Jones (X-Men: First Class)
Stephen Root (Dodgeball)
Lakeith Stanfield (The Purge: Anarchy)
Lil Rel Howery (Tag)
Erika Alexander (La Mission)
Marcus Henderson (Honeydrippe)
Betty Gabriel (Westworld)
Richard Herd (V)
Keegan-Michael Key (Why Him?
Jordan Peele (The Twilight Zone)

Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out (2017)Black photographer Chris Washington reluctantly agrees to meet the family of his white girlfriend, Rose Armitage. During their drive to the family’s countryside estate, they hit a deer and report the incident. The white policeman asks for Chris’ identification even though he was not driving, but Rose intervenes and the incident goes unrecorded. At the house, Rose’s parents, neurosurgeon Dean and hypnotherapist Missy, and her brother Jeremy make discomfiting comments about black people. Chris witnesses strange behavior from the estate’s black workers, housekeeper Georgina and groundskeeper Walter.Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford in Get Out (2017)Unable to sleep, Chris goes outside to smoke and sees Walter sprinting through the grounds while Georgina prowls the house. Missy talks Chris into a hypnotherapy session, ostensibly to cure his smoking addiction. In a trance, he recounts the death of his mother in a hit-and-run when he was a child, about which he feels guilty, and sinks into a void Missy calls the “sunken place”. He awakens believing he had a nightmare but realizes cigarettes now revolt him. Walter confirms that Chris was in Missy’s office. Georgina unplugs his phone, draining his battery, though she claims it was an accident. Dozens of wealthy white people arrive for the Armitages’ annual get-together. They take an interest in Chris, admiring his physique or expressing admiration for black figures such as Tiger Woods. Jim Hudson, a blind art dealer, takes particular interest in Chris’s photography skills. Chris meets another black man, Logan King, who acts strangely and is married to a much older white woman.Geraldine Singer and Lakeith Stanfield in Get Out (2017)Chris calls his friend, a black TSA agent named Rod Williams, about the hypnosis and the strange behavior at the house. Chris tries to inconspicuously photograph Logan with his phone to send to Rod, but his flash goes off; Logan becomes hysterical, yelling at Chris to “get out”. The others restrain him and Dean claims Logan had an epileptic seizure. Away from the house, Chris persuades Rose that they should leave, while Dean holds an auction with a photo of Chris, which Jim Hudson wins. Chris sends the photo of Logan to Rod; Rod recognizes Logan as Andre Hayworth, who has been missing for months. Suspecting a conspiracy, Rod goes to the police, but they deride him.Catherine Keener, Bradley Whitford, Daniel Kaluuya, and Allison Williams in Get Out (2017)While he packs to leave, Chris finds photos of Rose in prior relationships with black men, contradicting her claim that Chris is her first black boyfriend; the collection also includes pictures of Rose with Walter and Georgina. Chris is blocked from leaving the estate by the Armitage family, including Rose. He tries to attack Jeremy, but Missy hypnotizes him into unconsciousness. He awakens strapped to a chair in the basement. A video presentation featuring Rose’s grandfather Roman explains that the family transplants the brains of white people into black bodies; the consciousness of the host remains in the “sunken place”, watching what is happening but powerless to change anything. Hudson tells Chris he wants his body so he can gain Chris’s sight and artistic talents.Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out (2017)Chris plugs his ears with cotton stuffing pulled from the chair, blocking the hypnosis. When Jeremy comes to collect him for the surgery, Chris bludgeons him with a croquet ball and impales Dean on the antlers of a deer mount. After fatally stabbing Missy and beating Jeremy to death, he drives away in Jeremy’s car, but hits Georgina. Remembering his own mother’s death, he carries Georgina into the car, but she is possessed by Rose’s grandmother Marianne; she attacks him and he crashes, killing her. An armed Rose apprehends him with Walter, who is possessed by Roman. Chris awakens Walter with his phone flash. Walter takes Rose’s rifle and shoots her and then himself. Wounded, Rose attempts to shoot Chris; Chris begins to strangle her but stops. Rod arrives in a TSA car and rescues Chris, leaving Rose to bleed to death in the road as Chris and Rod leave. Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out (2017)Get Out doesn’t replace the scares with humour – Peele is too smart to do that. Instead, he balances the fear with laughs and then laces everything with social comment and that unsettling tone. The fact that Chris is so eminently likable just underlines it. It all adds up to something of a treat – for everybody, not just horror fans.

REVIEW: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE

CAST

Max Records (The Sitter)
Catherine Keener (The 40 Year Old Virgin)
Mark Ruffalo (Avengers Assemble)
James Gandolfini (8MM)
Paul Dano (Looper)
Catherine O’Hara (Beetlejuice)
Nick Farnell (Ned kelly)
Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)
Chris Cooper ( The Bourne Identity)

The film begins with Max, a lonely nine-year-old boy[6] with an active imagination whose parents are divorced, wearing a wolf costume and chasing his dog. His older sister, Claire, does nothing when her friends crush Max’s snow fort (with him inside) during a snowball fight. Out of frustration, Max messes up her bedroom and destroys a frame that he had made for her. At school, Max’s teacher teaches him and his classmates about the eventual death of the sun. Later on, his mother, Connie, invites her boyfriend Adrian to dinner. Max becomes upset with his mother for not coming to the fort he made in his room. He wears his wolf costume, acts like an animal, and demands to be fed. When his mother gets upset, he throws a tantrum and bites her on the shoulder. She yells at him and he runs away, scared by what has transpired. At the edge of a pond Max finds a small boat that he boards.MV5BMTIwMzE2MjM4MV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjA1OTY3._V1_The pond soon becomes an ocean. Max, still in his wolf suit, eventually reaches an island. There, he stumbles upon a group of seven large, monstrous creatures. One of them, Carol, is in the middle of a destructive tantrum (caused by the departure of a female Wild Thing named K.W.) while the others attempt to stop him. As Carol wreaks havoc Max tries to join in on the mayhem, but soon finds himself facing the suspicious anger of the Wild Things. When they contemplate eating him, Max convinces them that he is a king with magical powers capable of bringing harmony to the group. They crown him as their new king. Shortly after, K.W. returns and Max declares a wild rumpus, in which the Wild Things smash trees and tackle each other.
The Wild Things introduce themselves as Carol, Ira, Judith, Alexander, Douglas, the Bull, and K.W. Soon, they all end up piling on one another before going to sleep, with Max at the center. Carol takes Max on a tour of the island, showing him a model he built depicting what he wishes the island looked like. Inspired by this, Max orders the construction of an enormous fort, with Carol in charge of construction. When K.W. brings her two owl friends Bob and Terry to the fort, a disagreement ensues, as Carol feels they are outsiders (Max had said earlier that if any outsiders entered the fort, they would “have their brains automatically cut out”). To release their frustrations, Max divides the tribe into “good guys” and “bad guys” for a dirt clod fight, but Alexander is hurt during the game. After an argument between K.W. and Carol, K.W. leaves once again.

Max finds Alexander alone in the fort and has a conversation with him. Alexander reveals that he always suspected that Max is not a king with magical powers, but warns him to never let Carol know. Soon enough, at pre-dawn, Carol throws another tantrum — this time, about the fort, K.W.’s absence, and the eventual death of the sun (which Max had talked to Carol about earlier in the film). When Carol gets angry with Max for not doing a good job as a king, Douglas tries to explain to him that he’s “just a boy, pretending to be a wolf, pretending to be a king”, thus exposing the truth to the rest of the Wild Things. Carol becomes enraged and ends up ripping off Douglas’ right arm (though only sand pours out of the wound). Then he chases Max into the forest and attempts to eat him. Max is saved by K.W., who hides him in her stomach. Max listens as Carol and K.W. have an argument over Carol’s misbehavior. After Carol leaves, K.W. explains that their lives are difficult, with Carol’s tantrums only making it worse. Max realizes what his mother is going through, and decides to leave the island and head home.

Max finds the crushed remains of Carol’s model island (presumably destroyed by Carol himself in a rage) and leaves a token of affection for him to find (a letter C inside a love-heart made of twigs). He finds Carol and tells him he is going home because he is not a king. The other Wild Things escort Max to his boat. Carol runs to join them after finding Max’s token and arrives in time to see him off. He starts to howl and Max howls back, then all the other Wild Things join in. Carol looks at K.W. and she smiles kindly at him. Returning home, Max is embraced by his distraught mother, who gives him a bowl of hot soup, a piece of cake and a glass of milk and sits with him as he eats. He watches as she falls asleep.
It’s such a beautifully realized film. From its vivid and in-the-moment use of hand-held cinematography , to the songs from Karen O. that are always supportive of the scenes , to the complex relationships between all of the characters. Its welcoming, refreshing and kind of staggering to see someone who knows the way children think, and how we don’t have to be a mixed-up little boy to identify and see ourselves in Max. Where the Wild Things Are works is a spectacle and comedy, it works for children and adults.

REVIEW: CYRUS

CAST

John C.Reilly (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Jonah Hill (Get Him to The Greek)
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)
Catherine Keener (Simone)
Matt Walsh (Due Date)
Tim Guinee (Lie to Me)
Elisa Gabrielli (Bride Wars)
The film opens as Jamie (Catherine Keener) walks in on her ex-husband John (John C. Reilly) as he is masturbating. She had come to his house to tell him that she is getting married. Even though they have been apart for seven years, the news still devastates John, who is already in a depression. Jamie insists that John accompany her to a party the following night and try to cheer up. At the party, John tries various conversational tactics with different women, failing to spark a connection each time. He gets progressively drunker until he ends up urinating in the bushes, where Molly (Marisa Tomei) compliments him on his penis and strikes up a conversation. Molly goes back to John’s house and leaves during the night, after they have had sex.
Molly returns for a second date the next night, and once again, she leaves after they have had sex. John follows her to her house and falls asleep in his car. The next morning, he warily approaches the house, where he is surprised to meet Molly’s son Cyrus (Jonah Hill). Cyrus invites John inside and makes friendly conversation with him. Molly is startled to see John in her house when she returns, but the trio have dinner together. John is slightly unnerved by evidence that Molly and Cyrus are closer than normal for a mother and son.
The next morning, John cannot find his shoes, which he had left in the living room. As the day wears on, he is increasingly disturbed by their disappearance and starts to worry that Cyrus has been messing with him the whole time. He ropes Jamie into meeting Molly and Cyrus, in order to appraise his paranoia. Jamie finds Cyrus sweet, if a little overly intimate with his mother. Relieved, John returns for another night at Molly’s home. As they begin to have sex for the first time in her house, Cyrus screams in his room, and Molly runs to comfort him. She does not return to John, who goes out looking for her in the middle of the night. Instead, he encounters Cyrus who is holding a large kitchen knife. Cyrus explains that he had a night terror, and that Molly has gone to sleep. He then counsels John to back off on the relationship, because he is scaring off Molly. John leaves a note for her and returns home.
In the morning, Cyrus sits Molly down and tells her that John had confessed to him that she was coming on too strong. When she presses Cyrus for more information, he explodes in a tantrum and storms off, checking through the window to make sure he has upset his mother. Molly calls John and begs him to come over, while she waits for Cyrus to return. When Cyrus finally comes home, he explains that he has rented a room and will be moving out. After a few days alone together, John decides that he wants to move in with Molly.
After one date, they return home and begin to have sex, while Cyrus sits in the darkened kitchen. He surprises them both and explains that he has had another panic attack and wants to return home. In private, John finally confronts Cyrus about everything, and Cyrus admits that he has been deliberately sabotaging his mother’s relationship. He moves back home, and John remains wary of him. The night before Jamie’s wedding, he warns Cyrus not to screw up the day, because it means a lot to him. At the wedding, however, Cyrus is hurt when he sees how the event stirs romantic feelings between John and his mother. He confronts John in the bathroom and attacks him, yelling that John will not take his mother away from him. As John defends himself, the two spill out of the bathroom, into the view of the other guests. Cyrus makes it look like John attacked him. John advises Molly to open her eyes, then he storms off, furious at Cyrus.
Later, Molly believes John’s explanation, but John will not consider continuing the relationship, convinced that Cyrus will only continue to sabotage it and that he will end up alone again in a few years. He moves into a dumpy apartment. Meanwhile, Molly confronts Cyrus about his behavior, and she explains that she is deeply unhappy at the loss of her relationship. Cyrus reconsiders his position and visits John, begging him to come back. John insists that he will not, despite his love for Molly. He is certain that Cyrus will only ruin things again. Unsure if Cyrus has left, John opens the door to see him sitting on the steps with tears in his eyes. They exchange some dialogue that denotes a truce between them. Cyrus then asks if he can get a ride home. John inquires as to whether or not Molly is home and Cyrus says that she is not. Once home, Cyrus and John hug to show that the truce is genuine. Once Cyrus goes into the house, Molly comes out alluding to the prospects of Cyrus now using his manipulative power to keep their relationship together instead of trying to rip it apart. John and Molly lock eyes and it looks like the relationship is back on track. The movie ends with John starting to get out of the car.
slice_cyrus_movie_image_jonah_hill_marisa_tomei_john_c_reilly_01
Although billed as a comedy and wrapped in a comedic sheen of one liners, Cyrus is weighted heavily towards the dramatic. There’s nothing intrinsically funny about the situation, and it’s to the directors credit that they didn’t try to force too much comedy out of the film as it would probably have failed miserably. Much of the dialogue is improvised which probably helped to keep the film true to it’s dark centre. All three of the leads are excellent. Very enjoyable.

REVIEW: THE 40 YEAR-OLD VIRGIN

40 YEAR

CAST
Steve Carrell (Get Smart)
Catherine Keener (The Interpreter)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Romany Malco (Blades of Glory)
Seth Rogen (Paul)
Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games)
Leslie Mann (This Is 40)
Jane Lynch (Role Models)
Kate Dennings (2 Broke Girls)
Jonah Hill (Get Him To The Greek)
David Koechner (Anchorman)
Hilary Shepard (Power Rangers Turbo)
Carla Gallo (Bones)
Kevin Hart (Central Intelligence)
Jordan Masterson (Last Man Standing)
Mindy Kaling (Ocean’s 8)
Cedric Yarbrough (Get Smart)
Barret Swatek (American Housewife)
Jenna Fischer (The Office)
Suzy Nakamura (Dr. Ken)
Gillian Vigman (Date Night)
Andy Stitzer (Steve Carell) is a 40-year-old virgin who is involuntarily celibate. He lives alone, collects action figures, plays video games, and his social life seems to consist of watching Survivor with his elderly neighbors. He works in the stockroom at an electronics store called SmartTech. When a friend drops out of a poker game, Andy’s co-workers David (Paul Rudd), Cal (Seth Rogen), and Jay (Romany Malco) reluctantly invite Andy to join them. At the game (which he wins, due to playing online poker constantly), when conversation turns to past sexual exploits, Andy desperately makes up a story, but when he compares the feel of a woman’s breast to a “bag of sand”, he is forced to admit his virginity.
Feeling sorry for him (but also generally mocking him), the group resolves to help Andy lose his virginity. Throughout the next several days, the group’s efforts prove to be unsuccessful, partly because all three men give Andy different and sometimes contradictory advice. They take him to have his chest waxed. Cal advises Andy to simply ask questions when talking to women, which makes Andy seem mysterious. His advice proves to be the most helpful, when Beth (Elizabeth Banks), a bookstore clerk, takes a liking to Andy. Andy starts to open up, and begins to form true friendships with his co-workers. David continues to obsess over his ex-girlfriend, Amy (Mindy Kaling). After meeting her unexpectedly during a speed-dating event attended by the group, he has an emotional breakdown while making a sale and is subsequently sent home by store manager Paula (Jane Lynch), who promotes Andy to fill in for him.
Jay, seeing Andy’s continued reluctance to approach female customers, attempts to force the issue by hiring Andy a prostitute. When Andy discovers that Jay has inadvertently hired a transvestite, he is prompted to confront his friends, and tells them that he is taking matters into his own hands. Andy lands a date with Trish Piedmont (Catherine Keener), a woman he met on the sales floor who owns a store across the street. After Andy and Trish’s first date, in which they are interrupted by Trish’s teenage daughter Marla (Kat Dennings) as they are about to have sex, Andy decides to tell Trish he is a virgin. Before he can tell her, Trish suggests that they postpone having sex, to which Andy enthusiastically agrees; they decide they won’t have sex until their twentieth date. Meanwhile, Paula is impressed by Andy’s salesmanship and promotes him to floor manager.
landscape-1498260166-carell
As Andy draws closer to his twentieth date with Trish, his friends begin to deal with the consequences of their lifestyles. David, still spiraling in his obsession with Amy, has become disillusioned with sex and has taken a vow of celibacy, prompting Cal to lure him out by hiring an attractive young woman named Bernadette (Marika Dominczyk) to work in the stockroom. After overreacting during an argument with an obnoxious customer (Kevin Hart), Jay reveals that his girlfriend Jill broke up with him after learning he had been cheating on her. Andy comforts Jay, who says that sex can ruin a relationship. Jill later decides to take Jay back (she is pregnant, and her misgivings about Jay as a father figure were what had spurred the breakup). Andy and Trish’s relationship grows, and Trish suggests that Andy sell his collectible action figures in order to raise enough money to open his own store. Later, Andy takes Marla to a sexual health clinic, where Marla reveals herself to be a virgin. The counselor (Nancy Carell) remains sympathetic, while the other patients in the clinic laugh at Marla. Andy defends Marla by admitting that he is a virgin as well, but only gains ridicule himself. On the way back to Trish’s house, Andy tells Marla that he only fabricated his virginity to protect her, but Marla deduces that Andy was actually telling the truth, and promises to keep this secret away from Trish, feeling that Andy should later inform her about it himself.
When they finally reach the twentieth date, Andy is still reluctant and resists Trish, upsetting her. An argument ensues, in which Andy accuses Trish of pushing him into changing his life against his will, and Andy leaves for the nightclub where Jay is celebrating his girlfriend’s pregnancy. He quickly gets drunk, and after running into Beth, leaves for her apartment with her. Meanwhile, David finally relinquishes his celibacy and hooks up with Bernadette, Marla convinces Trish to go and make up with Andy. By this time Andy has sobered up and, after witnessing Beth’s methods of foreplay, he starts to have second thoughts. As Andy is leaving her bathroom, he finds his friends waiting outside, having followed to warn him about Beth and encourage him to go back to Trish. They leave together (except for Cal), and Andy returns to his apartment, where he finds Trish waiting for him.
He attempts to apologize, but Trish, having found myriad suspicious belongings in his apartment, now thinks that Andy may be some sort of sexual deviant. Andy tries to convince her otherwise and declares his love for her, but she leaves in alarm and disgust. Andy chases after her on his bike, but at the moment of intercepting her, he collides with her car and flies headlong into the side of a truck. Trish rushes to his side in concern, and he finally confesses to her that he is a virgin. She is surprised to learn that this is the reason behind his strange behavior, as she does not consider it to be important, and they kiss. Later, Andy and Trish are married in a lavish ceremony with everyone in attendance, with a sidelong mention of Andy’s action figures having sold for approximately half a million dollars. Afterwards, they consummate the marriage over a period of two hours and one minute transitioning into a musical scene where the characters sing and dance to “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In”.
Quite simply this is a very funny film Great performances from Carrell, Keener, Rudd and Rogan and from the rest of the excellent supporting cast