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Get Out


Horror movies are often accused of being dumb, with bad acting and terrible scripts. However recent US Horror flick Get Out has been a hit in America and praised for its satirical edge. I managed to see an advance screening of this before it’s out in the UK next week. So is it worth your time?

Meeting your girlfriend’s parents can be scary enough, but Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) is nervous that his white girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) hasn’t told her parents that he’s black. Turns out he was right to be nervous of this trip, but not for the reasons he expected, and as things take a disturbing turn, Chris may not make it out of there at all.

Get Out seems to be one of the most talked about movies of the year, and not just because it covers some serious themes regarding racism and stereotyping but also because it’s also a brilliant movie. One of the things this movie takes delight in is making you feel uncomfortable, whether it’s because of the horrific events in the film or how the so-called liberals in the movie talk and react to Chris being in their neighbourhood. As well as thrilling the audience Get Out also wants to make its audience think about racial and social issues.

Director Jordan Peele is more known for comedy in the US and while Get Out can be really funny at times, it is first and foremost a horror, and an effective one at that. While there are a few jump scares to be had Peele is more concerned with leaving his audience in a constant state of tension. Just like Chris, you know something isn’t right but not sure exactly what is going on and the movie keeps you on edge throughout. Then when the film does play its cards out and you see where the story has been heading this entire time you start thinking about earlier scenes in a  different way.

Brit actor Kaluuya has impressed before in TV series Skins, and movies like Sicario, but he really gets to show off his acting chops in Get Out. Kaluuya’s face is brilliantly expressive, conveying every possible emotion throughout this movie, and makes Chris a sympathetic and likeable lead that you really are worried about his safety (and indeed has you screaming “Get Out” at the screen). While Kaluuya shines the most the rest of the cast are also great in particular Catherine Keener and Bradley Whitford as Rose’s parents who are creepy even when they are trying to come across as pleasant. As the girlfriend Rose, Williams also shows there’s more to her then we’ve seen in Tv series Girls.

There’s very little wrong with this film, in fact the more I’ve thought about it days after the screening the more I liked it. Perhaps the only thing is that towards the second half of the film we keep cutting away from the horror of Chris’ predicament back to his friend Rod (a hilarious Lil Rel Howery). This does undercut some of the tension that’s been building as his scenes are lighter then the rest of the movie. However Rod also provide some much need laughs when things get dark so it may just be me being picky.

 Rating 4.5/5 – an effective horror that also makes you laugh and think, look out for more from Peele and Kaluuya in the future


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Empire Live: Swiss Army Man and Imperium

So last weekend I was at the Empire Live weekend at the O2 where I got a chance to meet the star of Swiss Army Man Daniel Radcliffe.


Daniel Radcliffe was looking a bit under the weather at Empire Live

OK so I didn’t get to meet the man himself but I did see a special double screening of the actor’s two new films with an introduction in person by Daniel Radcliffe himself. I’m pleased to report he was as self deprecating and funny as he comes across in interviews. But what of the films themselves?

Swiss Army Man


Hank (Paul Dano) is alone on an island and contemplating suicide when a man’s corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) is washed ashore. As he has been isolated for so long Hank develops a weird friendship with the corpse-Manny-who slowly seems to be developing strange powers and may be coming back to life. The two then begin a strange jounrey back to civilisation.

Swiss Army Man is a weird film but as it says itself maybe its OK to be weird and not perfect and to celebrate the ugly things about yourself.

To say that Daniel Radcliffe’s best role post Harry Potter is as a corpse may sound like an insult but he’s truly great as the dead man who seems to be coming back to life. As Hank’s optimism grows so Manny becomes more alive and displays new powers with Dano and Radcliffe make for a hilariously great partnership.

Swiss Army Man is such a strange creature that it manages to make a film about a farting corpse into a heartwarming, life affirming movie. It’s also very funny. But I can also imagine this film will prove to be devisive among audiences. Some will love it and others will hate it. At the Empire Live screening we were given a free bottle of Heineken and it’s probably helped throw me into a film as odd as this.

Rating 4/5 -it’s the best film about a suicidal man and a farting corpse you’ll see all year, high praise indeed!



FBI Agent Nate Foster (Daniel Radcliffe) goes undercover to investigate white-supremacist groups. However Foster is not used to working as a field agent, can he handle the difficulties of maintaining his cover and discovering connections to a posisble bomb plot?

As an FBI agent going undovercover as a Neo Nazi, this does not seem like a natural fit for Radcliffe but then real life FBI agent Michael German (who is the inspiration for this film)  didn’t seem like an obvious choice to go undercover either. In his post Potter career Radcliffe has admirably aimed to go into as many varied roles as possible, which while commendable it has not always completely convinced. However Imperium and Swiss Army Man sees the actor finally come into his own and seem more comfortable in these new roles.

Imperium is a more conventional film than Swiss Army Man and makes a good drama thriller. It won’t hold many surprises for its audience and has over familiar plot beats but is also engaging throughout. The director Daniel Ragussis creates many tense scenes like a rally that discends into violence. The cast is good with Radcliffe convincing in the lead role while Toni Collette also manages to sink her teeth into the role of his superior in the FBI.

Imperium may appeal more to the average cinema goer and won’t be as divisive as Swiss Army Man but it also won’t be quite as memorable.

Rating 3.5/5 – tense and thrilling but lacks originality


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Rapid Review: Central Intelligence


Back at high school Calvin (Kevin Hart) was the popular jock voted most likely to succeed, whereas Bobby Weirdicht (Dwayne Johnson) was an overwieght, lonely kids who was constantly bullied by the other kids. The only one who was nice to him was Calvin, who once helped him out after their classmates pranked Booby in front of the whole school. Twenty years later Calvin meets Bobby again-now going by the name Bob Stone. But this freindly reunion is more than it seems, as Bobby is a CIA agent and needs Calvin’s help to clear his name.

There are probably going to be a lot of people who think this film is really stupid but I found it really funny. The movie’s strength is casting Dwayne Johnson and allowing him to really go for it as the physically tough but otherwise sensative and overly caring Bob. Whether it’s his love of Unicorns or his ongoing admiration of his ‘best bud’ Calvin, Bob is an instantly loveable character and Johnson is hilarious. The action scenes are quite fun, whether it’s Bob fighting Bourne style with unusual weapons such as a banana or Calvin unwittingly fighting against CIA agents.

Perhaps at times Hart can be a bit overshadowed-performance wise- compared to Johnson’s insanely fun character. Towards the end the film also starts to feel like it’s dragging out it’s running time too much with it’s plot around finding the film’s baddie-the Black Badger.

Rating 3.5/5 – a side-splitting turn from Johnson helps makes Central Intelligence an enjoyable and undemanding summer comedy


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2015 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas

It was the night before Christmas…and Lauren is watching movies in bed and racking her brain trying to remember if she got everyone’s presents!

Merry Christmas Everyone!



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Rapid Review: Cooties


Just a short post today as I’ve got a bit of a cold. But I wanted to mention this movie which has just come out on dvd/on demand.

Substitute teacher and wannabe horror writer Clint (Elijah Wood) finds himself back teaching at his old school. But he realises that times have changed and kids are much more vicious than in his day. And thats before a virus spreads that turns children into zombie like cannibals.

Black comedy/horror isn’t a genre that everyone likes, however for those like me who enjoy a few laughs along with gore then Cooties is one you should watch. As the remaining teachers and few uninfected children band together the film hilariously follows the exploits to get out of the school unharmed. All the teachers are funny with special mention going to Rainn Wilson as Wade the PE teacher-turned warrior and Saw writer/star Leigh Whannell (who also co-wrote Cooties with Ian Brennan) as the creepy but knowledgeable Doug.

While not overly scary the film doesn’t lack on the gore with children tearing apart adults limb from limb. As long as you can stomach it Cooties is a fun flick that will make you laugh and feel a bit gross.

Rating 3.5/5 – a constantly funny and amusingly gory movie



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The Cineworld Movie Quiz: Which 2015 film character are you?


I was recently contacted by Cineworld to participate in their quiz to find out which character from 2015’s biggest movie I’m most like. The answer was interesting. Read below for the result!

A Minion from Minions. You’re the joker of the group, and always up for a laugh. You’re great fun to be around, but often your playful attitude will get you into trouble. It’s in your nature to be part of the group and you have a “just go with it” attitude. You often find your stomach dominates your day.

I believe this result comes from me spending too much time talking with my nephew Rafferty about his favourite characters the minions. I’m turning into one!

To find out which 2015 film character you are follow the link below and let me know who you got!


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