Get Out

Daniel Kaluuya

Catherine Keener

reviewed by Tom-Tom

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In early 2017, Jordan Peele shocked everyone. Not only was he releasing his directorial debut film but it was to be a horror film. Everyone knows of Key & Peele, of course. Who hasn’t seen the various sketches in which Peele portrays former President Barack Obama with more vocal than visual accuracy along with partner Key “interpreting” what he “really” means to say to great peals of laughter from the audience?

Masters of comedy and horror do have common ground, though. They both require techniques of suspending the disbelief of the audience while guiding them along a yarn towards a hilarious punchline or a horrifying set piece. Lesser artists in either genre rely solely on throwaway gags or jump scares respectively. They’re ostensibly aiming for a cumulative effect that creates a whole which is greater than the terrible parts but the results are almost always just terrible.

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Sicario

Emily Blunt

Benicio Del Toro

reviewed by Tom-Tom

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The name Denis Villeneuve may not mean as much to filmgoers as his various oeuvres Incendies, Prisoners, or Enemy. I have seen the latter three and can attest to the strengths of the director’s style which includes a weighted intensity and patient yet significant panning of the camera. The intensity isn’t moody as in a Lynch film, although it bears the same dreadful feeling of imminent threat closing in on the protagonist(s). He doesn’t set store with memorable dialogue but rather ordinary, albeit never repetitive or trite speech that provides almost a documentary-like feel as the movie moves towards its inexorable conclusion. After the late Autumn frigid forests of Prisoners, and the dingy brick buildings of Enemy, we now get the Southwestern United States in Arizona and New Mexico. Utilizing mostly darkness as a tool in the aforementioned films, here he uses blinding sunlight over the flat desert wasteland, a bit of a change in style, visually, for the filmmaker.  The effect is more shocking as very early on in Sicario, we are blindsided by threat lying in broad daylight.

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