Movie Review: Death Note

Shall we begin?

Death Note is based of the 2006 anime hit with the same title. It involves a high school kid, Light, who picks up a death note, where whoever’s name is written will die.


The Good

Starting with the positives, one of the coolest aspects of the movie is Ryuk, the death god, voiced by Willem Dafoe. Though we don’t see very much of him, Ryuk is one of the characters they got right. His enigmatic yet humorous take on the events around him makes us like the character and with Willem Dafoe’s voice acting, it’s fun whenever we see him on screen.
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Another fun thing about the movie are the deaths themselves. If you’re someone who enjoyed the final destination series. The deaths and gore are very reminiscent of that. Some of the death scenes deliver impressive imagery but brutal at the same time.


The Bad

Unfortunately the movie is filled with flaws and incredibly dumb character decisions. Light, played by Nat Wolff is one of the most inconsistent characters in the movie. Being built up as one of the smartest characters in the movie, he’s easily swayed by his emotions allowing him to create decisions that makes you rip your hair out.

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Another problem is Lakeith Stanfield as L, even with a physical death god in view, the movie manages to stay grounded. L on the other hand felt like he’s a part of a completely different movie. His over the top mannerisms are not only distracting but it makes hard for the audience to believe that he’s working with the FBI or the CIA. Lakeith himself is a good actor however the over the top writing of his character didn’t do him any favors.

Lastly Mia Sutton, played by Margaret Qualley, is one of the most unnecessary characters they have in this movie. Her overreaction to the events around her makes her character unbearable. Not to mention she has moments that make you scoff and roll your eyes.


Rating

Lakeith Stanfield and Nat Wolff in the Netflix Original Film "Death Note"

Overall this version of Death Note isn’t very good, though it has some great moments our three leads were poorly written and even the story in itself is isn’t good. The movie felt like there were plenty of conflicting ideas and decisions that went in it and it shows. It’s incoherent script dragged this movie down and with very little saving grace, the fans of the hit anime will surely be disappointed.

Good Bad 2/5
  • Ryuk
  • Cool Death Scenes
  • Insufferable Leads
  • Dumb Character Decisions
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Movie Review: Split

He’s done awful things to people and he’ll do awful things things to you.

Split is directed by M. Night Shyamalan and it stars James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy and Betty Buckley.

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M. Night Shyamalan is back with another thriller Split, James McAvoy is a man diagnosed with 23 personalities, however upon abducting three teenage girls, the girls find that a 24th personality is emerging and it puts all three of them in grave danger.


The Good

M. Night has done it again, following his last movie, The Visit, Split is surprisingly decent. James McAvoy who portrays Kevin and his other personalities is great. He is doing the performance of his life and it’s working on his favour. The personalities, though not very distinct from one to another, they are still interesting to watch and you want to know each persona that lives within Kevin’s (James McAvoy) body.

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The other characters are also great especially Anya Taylor-Joy, who despite their worrying situation manages to stay calm and think competently, though we are given a backstory as to why she is the way she is, she portrayed her character well and we root for her and her friends.


The Bad

There’s very little to complain about the movie one of it is the personas themselves, as mentioned they are not very distinct from one to another, apart from when Hedwig occupies the body. Simply put the highlighted personalities aren’t as fleshed out as the movie makes it out to be.

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Though this isn’t as much of a problem as the movie’s third act which the movie goes through a huge transformation in tone, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing but it does brake the movie’s rules, until they introduced the notorious Shyamalan twist. Though as forgivable as it is, it felt like a free pass to explain the occurrences in the third act.


Rating

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Overall Split is another great Shyamalan movie, Split is a good follow up from his previous movie, The Visit, and Shyamalan should keep walking this route. Split is thoroughly entertaining with great acting and great cinematography. The twist itself will no doubt divide the audiences, some people will love it, some won’t and it’s a case of either you roll with it or you don’t. That said, Split will make you look forward to future Shyamalan projects as long as they’re not big budget blockbusters. Split is highly recommended.

Good Bad 4/5
  • James McAvoy & Anya Taylor-Joy
  • Very Suspenseful & Entertaining
  • Not very distinct personalities

Movie Review: Don’t Breathe

It’s kind of messed up to rob a blind guy, isn’t it?

Don’t Breathe is directed by Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead). Starring Stephen Lang, Jane Levy and Dylan Minnette.

When three thieves decide to rob a blind man’s house in hopes to score a wealthy sum, little do they know that the man is a more than capable of defending himself from any threats they may possess.


The Good

With a simple yet intriguing plot, Don’t Breathe delivers with it’s cinematography and thrills. The way this movie was shot especially inside the blind man’s house was incredibly well done. There are a lot of long takes going in and out of the rooms and it is fascinating to watch.

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Along with the great cinematography the movie also deliver with it’s thrills as the story is manipulative but in a good way. At one point you are rooting for the old man the next scene you discover that there’s more to him than expected. The story itself is good enough to keep you watching the film and the suspense will put you on the edge of your seat.


The Bad

Jane Levy;Dylan Minnette;Daniel Zovatto

Unfortunately the movie falls flat on it’s characters as the people who we’re suppose to root for are incredibly dull. Apart from Stephen Lang (The Blind Man) our trio are very one-dimensional and unlikable to where you almost want root for The Blind Man to get them.


Rating

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Overall despite it’s flaws, Don’t Breathe is still a thriller worth checking out. The suspense and intrigue keeps this movie going and the cinematography is great. Stephen Lang is terrific as the blind man and with a story that keeps you at the edge of your seat, Don’t Breathe is a highly recommended watch.

Good Bad 3.8/5
  • Great Cinematography
  • Thrilling Scenes
  • Stephen Lang
  • Unlikable Characters

Movie Review: The Shallows

GET OUT OF THE WATER, SHARK!!

The Shallows directed Jaume Collet-Serra, starring Blake Lively as a surfer who ends up battling a Shark in an isolated beach.

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Nancy (Blake Lively) has seem to found Paradise when she reached a beach where her mom used to surf. Little does she know that beneath the crystal clear blue waters lies a predator ready to devour anything in it’s path.


The Good

This movie was a whole lot of fun, for a movie featuring only one character, Blake Lively did a great job carrying the movie. A lot of  it relies on her facial expressions and they’re delivered perfectly.

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The cinematography was quite impressive as well as the movie was able to create incredibly tense nail biting situations that without a doubt will keep you at the edge of your seat. Another great aspect about the cinematography is how you’re able to clearly see what’s happening whenever an underwater shot comes up.


The Bad

As great as Blake Lively was in this movie, there were some questionable moments which raised several questions. There were a lot of moments where you can see her, dragged against sharp rocks and corals and what should be lingering painful effects of those hits seem to just fade away as she ends up completely fine afterwards.

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Another issue was the shark itself, in this case was able think methodically on it’s attacks. Creating the feeling that this wasn’t a normal shark behavior at all but the movie sells you that the shark was simply disturbed, however it’s incredibly planned attacks says otherwise.


Rating

Overall The Shallows is still an enjoyable thriller, Blake Lively manages to give a performance that you can root for and it’s great to see a badass leading female to lead an hour and thirty minute movie. Though very simple when it comes to the story, the battle between Nancy and the Shark was enough to keep you watching till the suspenseful climax.

Good Bad 3.8/5
  • Blake Lively
  • Great Cinematography
  • Suspenseful Sequences
  • Fast Recovery on Injuries
  • Unbelievably Smart Shark

Movie Review: The Invitation

Each one of us is on a journey and we feel it’s important to be on this journey with the people you love.

Will (Logan Marshall-Green) and his girlfriend were invited to a dinner party hosted by Will’s ex-wife (Tammy Blanchard). As Will walks around his former home, relieving the painful memories that he’s left behind, he notices that there’s something sinister behind the dinner party.

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The Good

The Invitation is slow-burn movie with pretty decent build up but great climax. This movie is very unpredictable and the writing is manipulative in a great way. As an audience you’re not sure who to trust and unable to identify who’s dangerous and who’s not. This results to an uneasy viewing experience and it does a great job keeping the eerie feeling through out the movie.

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As the movie kicks into overdrive in it’s third act, everything comes together. The climax is filled with suspense and delivers some incredibly shocking moments. The ending is great, the last shot of the movie is a must-see as it delivers a truly defining WTF moment.


The Bad

There are a lot of things to like in the movie but in the end it’s very flawed. There are character decisions that don’t make sense and speaking of the characters none of them are likable. Our avatar, Will spends most of his time sulking and isolated. Though we are given a backstory from his tragic past, his writing becomes annoyingly repetitive.

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Another problem is the pacing. The movie moves incredibly slow and though it’s a slow burn movie there are scenes that felt unnecessary which if cut out would still keep the slow, methodical pacing but would overall improve the movie.
The acting felt mediocre and for a house filled with people, none of them have one decent thing to say.


Rating

Overall The Invitation is a decent suspenseful film. It didn’t rely on jump-scares or scary visuals but it builds up an incredibly creepy sensation and it’s enough to make you uncomfortable. The third act, all the way to the ending is a must see and without a doubt one of the most memorable scenes in the movie. However problems with it’s characters, pacing and story telling stopped this from being a great. People who don’t have the attention span to sit and listen to meaningless banter might be bored out of their heads. However for those who enjoy slow-burn films with high-tension climaxes would appreciate this more.

Good Bad 3.7/5
  • Third Act
  • Uncomfortable Atmosphere
  • Unnecessary Scenes
  • Unlikable Characters
  • Questionable Character Choices

Movie Review: The Witch

Wouldst thou like to live deliciously?

Set in 1630s New England, The Witch is a story about a family ex communicated from a Puritan settlement, in return forced to live in the wilderness and terrorized by possibly a Witch living near their home.

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The Good

Easily the creepiest movie and possibly the best horror movie to come out this year. The Witch is an incredibly unsettling experience. The sound is haunting and it lingers even after you’ve seen the movie. It’s increasingly disturbing as it goes and it does an amazing job creating an eerie environment that would definitely give you goosebumps and make you squirm on your seat.

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First time director Robert Eggers understands horror and he knows what makes you uncomfortable. He did an incredible job with this movie and his actors and actresses did the same. They are all very good in the movie, each bringing out the best performance they can get from one another. Anya Taylor Joy who plays Thomasin is without a doubt the breakout star in this movie. With her convincing and strong performance she did a great job playing her role.

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The cinematography is great, the movie has very bleak visuals which creates a feeling of hopelessness and though you want to root for the family to prosper, you can tell it’s all downhill from the get go. The story is very unpredictable and it keeps you guessing what’s going to happen next.


The Bad

Though it did an amazing job creating an extremely uncomfortable environment. The movie does starts very slow. Some might find this boring though when the horror and unpredictability kicks in, it’s a disturbing experience all the way to the end.

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Seeing how the movie’s set in the 1600s the character’s dialogue are filled with “thou” and “thy”. This in return, might make it difficult for viewers to understand the movie and at times I found myself needing subtitles.


Rating

The Witch won’t be for everyone, horror fans who loves jump-scares will most likely find this movie boring for the most part. However if you’re someone who enjoyed movies such as It Follows, Let The Right One In or The Babadook, The Witch is something you would appreciate. It’s a slow burn of a movie that builds up to an intense climax and it’s one that lingers hours after you’ve seen the movie.

Good Bad 4.5/5
  • Strong Performances
  • Eerie and Uncomfortable Atmosphere
  • Haunting Sound
  • Slow Start
  • Hard to Understand Dialogue

Movie Review: Hush

Blumhouse Productions is at it again with their low budget thriller/horror movies. Blumhouse, of course produced memorable thrillers such as The Gift, The Purge and some not so memorable horror films such as The Gallows and sometimes high-quality drama like Whiplash.

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Hush follows a deaf mute writer who lives in a cabin in the woods. However when a psychotic killer takes an interest in her, Maddie, enters a dangerous game of cat and mouse as she fights for her survival in this unexpectedly fun yet intense thriller.


The Good

The movie is heavily carried by our two leads and they’re both fantastic. There’s very little dialogue in the movie but it works. Seeing as Maddie, played by Kate Siegel, is deaf mute the movie does an amazing job putting us into her shoes by doing subtle changes in the sound whether the sound is magnified or subdued.

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Though Maddie herself is a flawed character, we root for her from start to finish. The tension and suspense is there and several shocking moments you won’t see coming complements the movie perfectly.


The Bad

As great as the movie was, it has it’s flaws. For a character like Maddie who’s deaf mute and isolated in a cabin in the woods. One would think she would have some form of protection. But she doesn’t and it does make you ponder and could possibly take you out of the movie momentarily.

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Rating

Overall Hush is great and takes the home invasion sub-genre to a whole new level and it’s refreshing. The simplistic and linear story works and the two leads did an amazing job playing their respective roles. Hush is a simple but strong suspenseful thriller and highly recommended to everyone.

Good Bad 4.2/5
  • Two Leads
  • Intense and Suspenseful Scenes