let’s break it down: IT chapter two (mini-review)

It’s been 27 years after the last encounter with pennywise. The Losers Club have built their own lives but after one call and a promise, they come back to their old town, Derry to settle the score once and for all. After the big hit of the first film, IT Chapter two created big expectations. Many of them saying it was their most anticipated movie of the year.  For this small review, I’ll divide it into three categories: good, alright and it could have been better. 

Good

The casting couldn’t have been more perfect. Each of them perfectly represented how the losers club looked like as adults. Everyone shined in their own little way but strangely enough, Bill Hader ( Playing adult Richie ) was the one that steals the spotlight. Being the comedic relief of the film and each of his jokes made the audience laugh. Personally, he was my favorite thing that came out of this film. On the other hand, what little screen time Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise ) had, he gave us the creepy moments we wanted. When it came down to the cinematography aspect of the film, it had some great shots that portrayed eerie, creepy and claustrophobic feelings on the big screen. 

Alright

The introduction of the losers club all grown up was too fast-paced. When it came to them together as adults you don’t feel that big bond they had on the first film. Not giving a slight chance for them to foment that bond once again. Half of the film is told by flashbacks and I just felt that it didn’t bring a lot of new stuff on the characters development. If you’re gonna see IT, what would you want to see? Pennywise right ?? well he doesn’t appear in most of the movie runtime but rather he transforms himself into the characters nightmares. Leading up to my next argument: the monster designs. These designs try to give 80’s horror vibe but it just didn’t work for me because the CGI was highly noticeable to an extent that it just made the monsters look weird.

It Could have been Better 

The third act of the film felt cramped up. Tring to cover most of the details in a period of time and leading them up to make editing choices that could have been better in another way.  Sometimes , it felt that the purpose of the gory scenes in the movie was to fill some gaps. That if you would have taken it out, it wouldn’t affect the plot.

IT Chapter two certainly has its ups and downs. The cast is spot on and has great performances. However, the film heavily relied a lot on the use of many flashbacks to tell the story. Suffering from a small lack of originality. If you wanna know how the story ends and be entertained , I recommended this film.

 

SMALL NOTE: I personally haven’t read the book. My opinion comes exclusively from seeing the film.

WARNING: If you’re interested in seeing the film, there are some scenes were they use flashing lights and it could be triggering for some people causing them to have epilepsy.

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Radio Ambulante : El uso de sonidos para complementar la narrativa en “Los Cassettes del exilio”.(reseña Podcast)

¿Qué es Radio Ambulante? Es un podcast fundado por Carolina Guerrero y Daniel Alarcón con el propósito de narrar crónicas latinoamericanas. Combinando el periodismo narrativo y la investigación. Cada episodio toca un tema diferente. Ya sea derechos humanos, la política, estatus socioeconómicos, salud mental etc. En el episodio “Los cassettes del exilio” habla sobre el asunto de la emigración y el exilio.

Publicado en el 2017, este episodio narra la historia de Dennis Maxwell. Nuestro narrador viajó a Chile para visitar a su familia. El hermano aprovecho su visita para pedirle ayuda con su mudanza. Sacando las cajas del closet, el abre una caja y encuentra una colección de cassettes. El papá de él estuvo exiliado en Francia por una década y esto cassesttes se convirtió en la principal comunicación entre el padre y la familia.

Para lograr transmitir la historia a los oyentes y captar su atención, se usaron diferentes recursos y elementos que se destacaron a través de la narración. Haciendo que los oyentes tengan una experiencia diferente y que lentamente se sumergieran a la historia. Una de las técnicas que se usaron para poder seguir la narración y facilitar a la audiencia en la comprensión de la historia era las diferentes voces que se usaron. Es decir, además del narrador principal, cada personaje tuvo la oportunidad de hablar y narrar la historia. Por este medio, podemos tener una pisca de como era las personalidades de cada personaje. Ya sea las voces del padre, la madre y el hermano. Cada cual tenia una voz peculiar que lo destacaba.

Por el otro lado, hay resaltar como el uso de sonidos amplifica la narración. A través de la historia hubo sonidos leves que aumentaba la experiencia. Ya sea cuando la familia prendíala grabadora, el sonido de la cinta rodando o simplemente tocando los botones. No necesitabas que el narrador describiera cada acción ya que nosotros tenemos la habilidad de hacer la conexión del sonido con la historia.

Una de las escenas que se destaco fue cuando el narrador estaba hablando sobre el viaje imaginario del globo aerostático con el “abuelo”. Usaron el sonido del viento para simular que están en el aire; junto con la voz de un niño que te hace percibir que esta perdiendo el equilibrio por los vientos fuertes.  El ruido cuando raspas el hielo, simulando que están tocando la punta de los cerros. Para finalizar esta escena, se escucha los niños riéndose. Tan solo con estos sonidos podemos notar como los personajes se sentían en ese instante. Transmitiendo un momento de felicidad.

Otra técnica que se uso en este episodio es la música para crear ambiente. Al transcurso de la historia, el narrador emite diferentes emociones. La música nos deja saber como el personaje se sintió en el momento. Ya sea cuando el narrador contaba un evento triste; estaba acompañado por el sonido de un piano. Otro instante seria cuando el narrador emitía sentimientos de nostalgia; la música que lo acompañaba era una guitarra. Dependiendo como el narrador se sentía, la música y el instrumento variaba.

Los Cassettes del exilio” es una historia de como se construye una relación de padre e hijo a través de una grabadora. Formándose parte de su vida cotidiana. Los elementos que se usaron para contar la historia fueron los cambios de voces y los sonidos. Estos sonidos ayudaron a expresar los sentimientos del emisor (el narrador) al receptor (la audiencia). Además, nos ayuda a extender la información y la idea que se quería transmitir en la historia. A veces no tenemos que ver una imagen, sino nuestra percepción de sonidos y música nos puede abrir la mente e imaginarnos una historia.

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A deadly game of hide-and-seek with “Ready or Not” (Movie Review)

Resultado de imagen para ready or not movieWould you play a game of hide-and-seek on your wedding night? Young bride Grace did and paid the price. Ready or Not is a Thriller/ dark comedy starring Samara Weaving as a bride that marries Alex Le Domas, a man from a wealthy family. Le Domas family has a tradition of playing a game on the wedding night every time a family member gets married. But it’s not your typical game of old maid nor chess. Turning this long family tradition into a lethal game fighting for survival.

It’s not new within films to have a plot-driven by games. We have seen it on Saw, Tag You’re It and many more. But this movie takes the concept and gives us an original and fun story. “Fuck rich people!”, this line from the movie sums up the whole premise. With a hint of social commentary, Ready or Not takes you on a world of these close-minded characters and turns it into satire. On the other way around, the writers turned the ordinary problems with family and completely twist it into horrific situations. Sometimes in-laws could be a hassle but for Grace, it was a living hell.

Samara Weaving takes the spotlight from everyone else. She’s funny, violent and she got that charm that makes her stand out. Her character as the young bride is put in god awful scenarios that you just can’t help but cheer for her and pray she’ll get her revenge. Could she be the next scream queen? On the other hand, we have Adam Brody playing as her in-law and throughout the film, you can see he’s the only “sane one” of the rich family. But the movie leaves you wanting to know more about his backstory. Resultado de imagen para ready or not movie

The film doesn’t shy away with the gore. It’s bloody, violent and disgusting. There are scenes that could make your head turn around and not face the big screen. If you have a strong stomach go ahead and watch it. In addition, the movie is genuinely funny and has a pretty dark sense of humor and you’ll find yourself sadistically laughing. It’s written away where it has a perfect balance between horror aspects and comedy. Knowing when the time is right to throw a punchline.

Ready or Not is a wickedly fun and entertaining movie to watch. It makes you laugh with his macabre humor but makes your head turn away in the gory scenes. An action-packed movie with a lead heroine that the audience would certainly enjoy.

I give this movie 3.5 / 5 awful in-laws.

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is surprisingly frightening (Movie Review)

Resultado de imagen para big toe scary story
Illustration by Stephen Gammell

As you’re nervously walking around the scholastic fair; you stumble upon a book that captures your eyes. The cover is a clown with a gruesome grin. Even doe you’re scared,  it doesn’t stop you from opening it and flipping thru the pages.  You see a child with a sad expression digging in his garden. Suddenly he finds a toe. The child brings it to the house, thinking it’s a plum and eats it with his stew. It’s late at night and his parents are sleeping but he’s wide awake. “Then he hears footsteps and the creature comes into his room and yells at him saying “Where is my to-o-o-o-o-e?!“. Frighten,  you quickly throw the book away and leave the fair. The memory is ingrained in your memory until now.Resultado de imagen para scary stories to tell in the dark movie

Director André Øvredal and Producer Guillermo Del Toro brings your nightmares back to life with the film adaptation of Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.  The story takes back in 1968 America. Stella, a girl obsessed with monsters, and her friends for Halloween night they go to the abandon mansion of the Bellow family. They say that the house is haunted by Sarah Bellow. A girl who turned her misery into scary stories. But, who would have thought they could come to life?

Evil Dead, Oculus, Drag me to Hell; It’s a common trope within horror to use curse objects as the main theme. It certainly not an original story and we have seen it before but the director explores this element in certain ways. Being that the main source of inspiration is a children’s horror book, you’ll think that the film would have been made as an anthology ( such as the Twilight zone movie or VHS). But, they created a story wherein a clever way incorporated these shorts stories. The way that the story was told was not through adults but children as the main victims. Putting them in horrific situations.Imagen relacionada

The script was created by Del Toro and Dan & Kevin Hageman. Being that the film is based on a children’s book, they don’t dumb down the story to the viewers.  It’s creepy and disturbing when it needs to. With the help of the director, Øvredal captures the dark and eerie feeling that Del Toro wanted on the big screen. However, being that the characters are children, the dialogue felt cheesy at times.  On top of that, the pacing of the story was a little off. Mostly because we get an amount of character buildup and side story before the actual “scary parts” happen.

The highlights of the film were when scary stories come to life. The build-up and the payoff of the scenes were well executed by creating tension when was needed. On the other hand, you’ll recognize some of the childhood stories such as The Big toe, Harold the scarecrow, and others. Seeing the creatures on the big screen you can feel the essence of Guillermo del Toro all over it. Capturing the details of the once black and white illustrations and turning them into real-life gruesomeness.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a fun creepy movie. Even doe it’s a formula that we have seen before, its a solid story with unsettling creatures. It’s a perfect movie for young (and adults ) cinephiles who aren’t too keen on scary films but want to slowly introduce themselves to the horror genre.

I Give this movie 3 / 5 toes on a stew.

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Midsommar: Movie Review

Director Ari Aster earned a lot of attention in 2018 with his film Hereditary; a story about the deterioration of a family after a gruesome tragedy. Getting the most deserve praised by critics and the film community. After his debut film, he announced his next project Midsommar. It’s no surprise to be one of the most anticipated films of 2019.

The movie stars Florence Pugh as Dani. After a horrific tragedy, she becomes emotionally unstable and tries to find comfort from her emotionally distant boyfriend, Christian played by Jack Reynor. Dani learns that her boyfriend and his three buddies made plans to attend a festival in Sweden where it’s only celebrated once every 90 years and thus tagging along with them.Imagen relacionada

when it comes to writing a story, Ari Aster main focus is grief/trauma. Telling it in the most disturbing and horrific way possible. Ari continues to explore this on Midsommar with Florence pugh character as she tries to handle her emotions after her traumatic event. Showing instances of her having anxiety, panic attacks, and disassociation through the film. Ari also opens up a conversation about toxic relationships and how it can affect the psyche of a person.  How she was constantly sorry about her actions, always taking his side and being a victim of pure pressure. Watching this character struggle is not a good sight to see and makes you almost sympathetic.

On the visual aspect of this movie, it focuses on the senses. Beautiful bright colors, a lot of wides shots to show the scenery and the use of nature. One of the most interesting things about this film is the high contrast of colors with the actual story. Being such a dark narrative but using such vivid colors gives it such a twisted undertone to it that just makes you uncomfortable.

Resultado de imagen para midsommar horror Since the beginning until the end of the movie, you’re in this journey with these characters. Never knowing what’s gonna happen next. One of the tropes that help incite the state of confusion was flipped over shots, long shots, and wide shots. Another way was how they incorporated the theme of drugs within the story. How the characters where mostly drugged through the film. Enhancing the state of confusion by showing their psychedelic trips and incorporating it on the shots; using distorted images, brights colors and hallucinations.

Strangely enough, being a horror movie, it has funny moments. Will Poulter’s character is the comedic relief of this gruesome story. Personally, I didn’t felt that the jokes were forced, rather I was surprised by some of the actions and they even referenced a film for a punchline. On the other hand, Florence Pugh acting stands out by delivering the emotional punches of the movie. However, there were some characters that were just there without any resolve nor development. It felt that they were put in the story to help progress the plot.

Midsommar relies on disturbing imagery and an eerie score to provide tension. What I like about Ari as a director he discards the classics horror tropes and gives us an original way to make our skin crawl. He doesn’t shy away in showing us very graphic and gory scenarios to get a reaction out of the audience. If you’re a fan of horror you don’t wanna miss this out.

I give this movie 4 / 5 flower crowns.

TRIGGER WARNING: This movie contains themes such as suicide, substance abuse, and body gore.

Here’s my Hereditary movie review 

 

 

 

 

 

Detective Pikachu: Movie review

When It comes to anime / videogame live-action films I’m always hesitant in seeing it because of the bad history and backlash they had within the community. Soo, when I heard that there was going to be a Pokémon movie I was lost for words.  Leaving me asking a lot of questions such as, How are they gonna bring this world into reality? What about the character designs?  What’s the story even going to be about? Nevertheless, I went to the theaters with an open mind and a touch of curiosity. Resultado de imagen para detective pikachu movie

Detective Pikachu is directed by Rob Letterman (2015 Goosebumps ) and it starts Justice Smith has Tim Goodman, a former pokemon enthusiast. After his dad was in an accident, Tim has to go to Ryme City, a metropolis were humans and pokémon coexist. He meets his dad’s former pokemon, Pikachu voiced by Ryan Reynolds. But, it wasn’t just a normal accident and it’s up to them to investigate.

The setting of Ryme City felt something straight of an anime. Using a variety of bright colors and neon-lit to set the environment.  The city wouldn’t be as it is without the pokémon; putting one in every corner. Seeing pokémon’s of the first generation until the recent one, these little CGI monsters were fun to watch come to life. A movie that was shot in a 35mm can’t help but look stunning.

Resultado de imagen para detective pikachu movie review The movie was consistently entertaining and funny because of Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu itself. Making jokes throughout the whole movie . Also giving us interesting chemistry between him and Tim. But at times,  when the dialogue became simple or flat, Pikachu came and saved the day.

The movie is a simple yet solid story. Yes, Sometimes it gave us cliché tropes but it was balanced between funny and dramatic moments. Detective Pikachu is a film that fans from the franchise would love and an introduction to the world of pokemon for the younger audience.  It’s a goofy, lighthearted comedy that everyone can enjoy. I mean, Who wouldn’t love to see their favorite pokémon come to life?

I give this movie 3/5 Pokeballs

 

 

 

 

 

Extremely wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile: Movie Review

On this day and age, true crime cases have been a popular theme within the entertainment business. Streaming services such as Hulu and Netflix aren’t new in this subject. Launching several documentaries, mini-series, movies, and so on. It’s not surprising that sooner or later there was gonna be one related to America’s most famous serial killer, Ted Bundy.  Early in the year, Netflix came out with a  four-part documentary series called Conversations With a Killer: the Ted Bundy Tapes. After the success of this mini-series, the creator, Joe Berlinger, announced his next movie called Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. A film about …you guessed it; Ted Bundy.Resultado de imagen para extremely wicked

After the announcement of this such film, many questions came up. How are they gonna portray this? What specific event is it gonna partake on? Are they gonna romanticize this evil man? Is the movie gonna make us sympathize with him? All of these questions were valid and reasonable.

The film focuses on the relationship of Ted Bundy and his girlfriend, Liz Kendall played by Lilly Collins. How they met and became a family; all leading up to the murder trials. The movie is told throughout her point of view. The director doesn’t glamorize the killer but rather sympathizes with the girlfriend. Showing us how slowly her mental health is deteriorating and helping us understand why it took her soo long to get out of his control. Resultado de imagen para extremely wicked

On the other side of the Story, there is Ted Bundy played by Zac Efron. The film portrays him as the documentaries and papers stated him to be; a manipulative and an arrogant person that charmed his way into peoples lives.  The film didn’t need to show us the murders for us to get this unnerving and creepy vibe from it. Zac Efron’s performance was really great in this film and I could even say it’s his best role yet. There were some scenes were his acting really stand out such as Ted Bundy’s indictment and court scene. Where he meticulously recreated his actions and speeches.

Being a movie about real-life events, they withhold a lot of information that happened. Only getting glimpses of it by using flashback narration. But, the movie at first felt too fast paced and a little slow on the third act. Sometimes it concentrated way too much on certain events and it became a little repetitive. The movie tried to cram up a series of events that happened for more than 10 years into an hour and forty minutes runtime. But nevertheless, they tried their best to highlight the important events to build a solid story.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile is a film that doesn’t glorify the killer. It didn’t need to show us the grotesque side of the story to give us the viewers an uneasy vibe. It’s a solid movie with great performances from Zac Efron and Lilly Collins. 

I give this movie 3.5/5