I hate to say this, but I actually missed ‘Wonder’ when it was released in theaters. Now that I have finally watched it when it was held at my city’s park a few Fridays ago, I must say that I regret not going out and seeing this movie on the big screen. ‘Wonder’ is a movie that manages to balance hopefulness, emotion, and humor all through its near two hours. Though it almost feels sidetracked at times, and one moment could come off as manipulative, ‘Wonder’ is never dull.
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For a while, Mike Flanagan’s ‘Before I Wake’ was suspended; at the time, Relativity Media (the original distributor of the horror film) filed for bankruptcy, causing it not to have a theatrical release for quite some time. Who knew that it would be a Netflix original film in 2018! It was quite the surprise to see that the film – starring Kate Bosworth and up-and-comer Jacob Tremblay – had finally got the release after quite some time. I decided to watch ‘Before I Wake’ with my girl two weeks ago when she was in the mood for a movie. She was excited, yet I was skeptical. Horror movies are lacking in quality with incessant jump scares, and over-exploitation of gore just to get a reaction from audiences. Thankfully, ‘Before I Wake’ uses very little of these out-of-nowhere shocks, and mainly delivers a surprisingly deep story to overcome its horror movie tropes.
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Colin Trevorrow’s ‘The Book of Henry’ is a movie that is not quite sure of what path it wants to take. Gregg Hurwitz’s screenplay is a map so poorly structured that, from the 10-minute mark, the film feels lost. ‘The Book of Henry’s destination comes in the form of a thriller in the style of the great Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Rear Window’, with a little bit of Martin Scorsese’s ‘Taxi Driver’, and Danny DeVito’s ‘Throw Momma From the Train’ to be a welcoming and inventive experience. Yet 15 minutes along the road, it takes what Bugs Bunny calls “A wrong turn at Albuquerque” to the realms of family drama. I blame the fact that this screenplay is – according to Trevorrow – 20 years old, so the script must have worn off with time. Why did Trevorrow decide to take on this mission to direct ‘The Book of Henry’ instead of give up when he saw the script? I’m not sure, but I guess he wanted to do something while waiting for ‘Star Wars Episode IX’ to come in 2019.
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For the past couple of days, ‘Shut In’ starring Naomi Watts has been baffling me. I will never understand what this movie is about or what went wrong when writer Christina Hodson and director Farren Blackburn were trying to conjure up the perfect psychological horror-thriller. There are some good things about this movie that gives it that potential; (Lighting to set the mood during its “suspenseful” moments, sound design to tell us more about a certain character than exposition in a screenplay, and good performances.) its problem comes from the execution of its plot, which is also very hard to figure out.
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