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

 

 

 

 

 

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Velvet Buzzsaw(Movie Review)

After the success of  2014 film Nightcrawler, the perfect combo, Dan Gilroy and Jake Screen Shot 2019-02-01 at 2.29.35 PMGyllenhaal teams up again for Netflix original film Velvet Buzzsaw. This psychological thriller tells the story of different people in the art world. Morf Vandewalt (Jake Gyllenhaal) a well-known art critic.Rhodora Haze (Rene Russo) former punk rock girl who established her own art gallery and who’s losing her most adored client Piers (John Malkovich). Gretchen (Toni Collette) and ex-museum curator that’s trying her hands on private art buying. At last, Josephina (Zawe Ashton) Rhodora’s protegee who find a bunch of cursed paintings from an unknown artist. Captivating her colleges and taking the art world by storm.

As you can see the director ensemble a great cast with amazing actors, but the small problem was the film had too many characters. Actors, such as Natalia Dyer( stranger things), John Malkovich and miss Toni Collete played small roles. They had soo little to do compared to the other ones. Making the characters not well developed .wishing they had more screentime throughout the film. As always,  Jake Gyllenhaal immerses himself into his role by embodying a pretentious art critic. Being that one memorable character that stands out on the movie.

velvet-buzzsawThe film itself is a strange one. Writing some of the characters in a cartoonish way. Basically satirizing the stereotypical art hipster person you see in these kinds of environments. From the first until the half of the second act of the movie is filled with exposition. But, the delivery is mixed with some humor. Making it very entertaining along the way. When it came down to the last act, things get a little crazy by adding small specs of horror on the film such how the paintings take their revenge on these money hungry artists. Making the thriller scenes stand out and becoming my favorite parts of the movie.

Velvet Buzzsaw is Dan Gilroy’s take on the art world. Criticizing the commercialization of art and how dark it. Using satire and small horror elements to engage the viewers.  Is the film a bit messy? yes. Is this film for everyone? no. But the movie sure does bring good performances such as Jake Gyllenhaal and that for me, makes a solid and kinda fun movie worth watching.

I give this movie 3 / 5 Ventril Dease paintings.

 Trailer for Netflix original Velvet Buzzsaw :

 

Bird Box (movie review)

Netflix is back at it again with another original film. Bird Box is a 2018 film adaptation of Josh Malerman novel. This movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and it follows the story of Malorie. The movie is set in three different periods of time. Before and after the unknown creature comes, and the present day; where she needs to cross the river with children. Trying to find a safe place and a community to take shelter of the unknown monster. But the catch is they have to be blindfolded because  “If you look, you will die”.The film has an Allstar cast including Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, Jacki Weaver, and Trevante Rhodes.Resultado de imagen para bird box netflix

For starters, let us talk about the elephant in the room. Bird Box is what would happen if you combine A Quiet Place with The Happening. There I said it. But, this film brings a certain uniqueness to it. Sure, it does have that formula of a post-apocalyptic movie but what makes it different from the other, is how it concentrates more on character growth and survival being secondary subplot of the film.

Since the beginning of the movie, it was stated obvious who had survived through the 5 year period that the film had. But it mainly focuses on the journey the main character Malorie had until the present day. Bird Box has many characters and good actors portraying them. John Malkovich gave us a really good act as a secondary character but the one that stood out was Sandra Bullock. Giving us a stunning performance that makes you immerse and care for her character throughout the film.

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Being a post-apocalyptic movie it sure gives us a feel to it. Placing the characters in eerie environments and giving us shots that it felt claustrophobic. The only small problem with the movie I had was how just they didn’t show this unknown creature. Yes, I love when films use ambiguity because it lets us the viewers go in an imagination spree and it makes it more suspenseful but this is one of those cases where my curiosity broke and I would have loved to see what was making the characters go insane.

Bird Box is a thriller film with a solid post-apocalyptic narrative. It’s a character study where it goes in-depth on Malorie’s story. Giving us a journey of self-discovery, motherhood acceptance and how far would you go for your loved ones. It’s a film that would surely make you immerse on the story and grip your seat.

I give this movie 3.5/5 birds chirping.

Bird Box Trailer :

Reversing Roe: Commentary

Reversing Roe is a 2018 Netflix documentary about the debated of abortion in America. The director’s Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern give us a small history lesson in the first act of the film. Leaning up to the point of the case of case of Roe V Wade. A landmark decision in 1974 on the supreme court about the constitutionality issues of criminalizing and restricting abortions.

Through the film, they capture different standpoints on abortion whenever is pro-life or pro-choice. It sheds light on the issue in a variety of ways. In a political standpoint, it was an interesting thing seeing how Republicans such as George W Bush , and even Donald Trump were in favor of abortion until they were in the process of being elected as president. Showing how a small change in their statement can win the masses. There’s also the religious side of it. When they are presenting statements on why the abortion is wrong, protesters tied their argument with religion.

The film shows the hardship that people who work in the abortion clinic have. Physician Colleen McNicholas, where she takes the task to travel in various clinics because there are not enough people to do their line of work. Or the case of George Miller, who was assassinated by a religious conservative. How an organization such as Operation of Rescue, have an enjoyment in closing clinics and having pictures as trophies.

One of the scenes that caught my attention was the interview they did to Wendy Davis. On June 25, 2013, she committed a thirteen-hour filibuster to block Senate Bill 5. This Senate bill includes restrictive abortion measures in the State of Texas. It was interesting seeing how powerful women like Wendy Davis went all her way into committing a filibuster to defend women’s healthcare and rights.

Reversing Roe is a documentary that touches on one of the most controversial topics of our time. It sheds light on the struggles of women’s body rights. How the government and religious institutions have a big influence in making these law’s that enforces restrictive measures for women’s healthcare.

Trailer for the Documentary Reversing Roe :

 

{ Video by Netflix }

{picture by Netflix}

Cam: A take on modern horror (Movie Review)

 

Throughout the years, technology has always been in a state of constant evolution. We have been exposed to this nonstop and has gotten into a point that we no longer live without technology. Always having our phones in our pocket or taking our laptops everywhere we go. The film industry has taken this concept and made it of its own. Mostly mixing technology and horror to bring us a new take in this genre. From movies such as Unfriended, Searching or the hit series Black Mirror; it shows us the downside of the internet in a shocking way with just a touch of horror. This year, Netflix launched a new film called Cam, where they dug into this concept in a new and innovative way.

Cam is a modern horror film directed by Daniel Goldhaber and written by Isa Mazzei. The story is about young cam girl Alice ( Madeline Brewer ) who goes by her online name Lola. Her only goal is to be on the top 50 cam girls on the website where she streams. Obeying peoples desires and pushing the boundaries in her performances. After one of her performances, Alice wakes up to find that a look-alike is streaming on her page. Having her identity stolen.

When it comes to the portrayal of sex workers in the film industry, they have always been the victims of violence and abuse, begging for their lives or overly objectified. Former cam girl and screenwriter, Izza Mazzei, took the task of giving us a new perspective.  Showing Alice’s personal struggles with her family accepting her line of work and uncomfortable enviorment with men. Humanizing the character by putting her in situations that are out of her control and trying to win her identity back.

The film shows the dark side of the internet in a new and original way. Covering topics that aren’t discussed and dives into an industry that has been frown upon. We see the character Alice basing her worth in views and popularity. Genuinely being happy when she gets into the top until she was thrown down by another girl. It Shows how people these days become obsessed with the number, statistics and how they tend to worry a lot in presenting their image online.

Explicit content is one of the core basis of this film. A cam girl being the premise of the story it, it doesn’t shy away in nudity. Because it portrays very realistically the lives of these people in such industry with a twist.

Cam is not your typical horror film. It doesn’t need jumpscares or eerie music to make it scary. What it does is the concept of having your identity stolen and how uncontrollable the situation can be. It shows what the character goes through in taking her life back from someone behind the screen.

 

I give this movie 4/5 smashing heads on a table.

WARNING :

 

This film shows explicit content and suicide. Viewer discretion is advised.

PS:  If you wanna know more about the screenwriter Izza Mezzei, here is an interesting interview Refinery29 did!

Cam Trailer : 

 

{ Video by Netflix }

Pictures by Netflix}

The Haunting of Hill House: Series Review (non-spoiler)

When it comes to haunted Houses it’s an overused theme in the horror genre but “The Haunting of Hill House” takes this concept and transforms it into something new and innovating. Directed by Mike Flanagan (the same director that did Gerald’s Game) takes the chilling 1959 gothic horror novel by Shirley Jackson and reinvents it; taking the story and turning it into a 10 episode series.

The story focuses on the Crain Family: Hugh and Olivia and their five children: Steve, Shirley, Theodora, Luke, and Nelly. Is the summer of 1992, the Crain family temporarily moves in the old mansion called Hill House to renovate it and sell it. Throughout their stay, strange and paranormal events happen to them; forcing them to move out. Now as adults, the group of siblings are being haunted by their past.

Writing a nonlinear narrative can be a tricky thing but this series mastered the use of that technique. The way the shows progress is by telling the story in different time periods. It may seem confusing at first but the beauty of it is how everything connects at the right time. Each character has an episode, taking the right amount of time in character development; perfectly connecting them into the story.

The cinematography on this series is one of the most perfectly crafted ones I’ve seen in a long while. Episode six is the prime example of perfect camera movement; consisting of an 18-minute long-shot in one take. The continuous shot helped progresses the narration in a very creative way.

In horror movies or series you mostly get the typical eerie sounds and expected jump scares but this series helps break the mold of that equation. Yes, sometimes it does require a little of it but it doesn’t overuse it; knowing how to use it one the right moment. The series also uses creepy imagery that some of the viewers might find unsettling to see. One of the key parts of making the series scary is the use of scenery; having dark colors to create uneasiness or even when it’s in a normal scenario you could see something disturbing in the background.

The Haunting of Hill House,” tells the story of the Crain family. On how this family is affected by grief and loss. Its a journey of dealing with unresolved trauma with a touch of supernatural elements. Surely fans of the horror genre will have a thrilling moment watching this series.

I give this series 5/5 screaming meemies.

TRIGGER WARNING

 

This series contains elements of Suicide and drug abuse.

Trailer for the series “The Haunting of Hill House” :

The Making of Episode six:

{ picture by Netflix  }

{ first video by Netflix  }

{ Second video by Netflix }