Monday, September 21, 2020

Tenet (2020)

Tenet (2020)

Writer/Director: Christopher Nolan 


Cast: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh


Christopher Nolan has always had this air of pretentiousness about him as a director. By that I mean that he makes movies that don’t spell things out to audiences and he makes no apologies about it. Either you are smart enough to “get it” or you’re a dumb fuck who has to play catch up with the rest of the smarties. I mean, all his movies are like this. Inception (2010), Interstellar (2014), hell, even his take on Batman had that air of smarty pants about it. Me? I always found his movies wanting to appear smart, but truthfully just hiding behind a lot of meaningless dialog disguised as intelligence. Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m not a Nolan fan. His movies feel like a giant asshole of a film snob made them, you know the kind that won’t talk to you because you don’t know who Jodorowsky or Kubrick is? You don’t deserve to “get it” if you’re not on his level, if your're not in ‘the know’. 

That’s how Tenet feels. It’s as if Nolan said I’m gonna brush up on my time travel and quantum physics and then I’m going to make everyone feel like an idiot for not getting it. This is his most pretentious one yet folks! His attempts at getting us to understand what the hell is going on in the film are feeble. I mean, how do you know this is a convoluted film? When a scientist whips out a white board to explain something to us that’s how. Last time I saw that was in Back to the Future II (1989), when Doc Brown attempts to explain alternate timelines. Tenet feels like this one time I took a university class, but the professor was a shitty professor who didn’t care if you understood what he was teaching or not. I remember raising my hand an asking “this is an introductory class?” I mean, I could attempt to explain to you what this three hour movie was about, but I tell ya, for most of its running time I had a sand grain of an idea of what this movie was about!

I had reached the hour and a half mark of the film (halfway through) and I was still screaming in my head “what the hell is this movie about?!” I was frustrated it. But then came an action scene and I was wowed. I mean, there’s no question about it. Nolan can orchestrate an impressive action set piece. And here I counted about three or four of them, and true they were amazing, but I didn’t really know what we were fighting for. Who where these guys working for? What are we doing here? Oh but it looks awesome, looky, everything goes in reverse! I’m not gonna lie, those time travel sequences, where things are going in reverse except the main characters were cool to look at. 

And I get it when directors don’t want to spell things out. It’s supposed to be a good thing. Because it means the filmmakers aren’t taking us for granted. I can accept this to a degree, but come on, any filmmaker must understand that you have to explain things in an understandable fashion to your audience so they can come along for the ride. So they can buy into your logic. This can be done without spoon feeding your audience. But Nolan’s way is no explanations given. About half way through you’ll be saying “dear god, I better start getting it soon because its been two freaking hours already!” Now here’s the deal with Tenet, even though I was frustrated as hell and I just wanted for everyone to stop talking all this white noise bullcrap, I stayed glued to it till the end. I didn’t get up and walk out, though the idea did pass through my mind. Did I get what the movie was about when it reached its end? Well, sort of. It was about girls right? Kidding.

Bottom line is, if you survive that boring ass first hour were people are endlessly talking about things you won’t understand and in various accents (I counted about 5 different accents) then maybe you will by the end of its running time have a mild inkling of an idea of what this film was about. Time travel, destroying the world….and that’s about it for me. Um, I don’t even know what ‘Tenet’ means! Here, here, I know what you’re thinking. This guys an idiot, he’s one of the ones who “don’t get it”. Well, anyone who knows me can tell you that I love dissecting movies and hidden meanings and symbolisms in films, which is precisely why I was so frustrated with this one. So to sum things up, this is not a bad movie, it has its extremely entertaining spots, but it certainly will defy you to understand it. It warrants more than one viewing. It reminded me of the first time I watched The Big Lebowski (1998) or Inherent Vice (2014), films that you’re not supposed to try and understand from a first viewing. Your supposed to enjoy the shenanigans, not the meaning. These are movies your meant to understand after seeing them for a tenth time. Who knows, maybe years down the line I’ll be like “what a bafoon I was, I totally get it now!” But upon my first viewing I have to say that Tenet was an extremely frustrating film that had some very entertaining and awesome action set pieces. Good luck ‘getting it’ my friends! 

Friday, August 28, 2020

Bill and Ted Face the Music (2020)

Bill and Ted Face the Music (2020)

Director: Dean Parisot


Cast: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, William Sadler, Kirsten Joy Schaal, Julian Belle, Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine


In Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bill and Teds Bogus Journey (1991), we were presented for the first time with Bill and Ted, best friends who are pretty much a pair of losers…with a heart of gold. Turns out in the future, they write this awesome song that’s supposed to bring humanity and the universe together as one. We always wondered what that song that Bill and Ted were destined to compose sounded like, and so, here finally, we get our chance to listen to it and rejoice with the rest of the universe as the third installment in the Bill and Ted franchise finally arrives! 

It should not be left unsaid that the current world pandemic completely destroyed any chances of us seeing Bill and Ted Face the Music theatrically. I mean, I hear it’s showing in about 700 theaters across the U.S., but there aren’t many people right now willing to risk getting the Corona virus to see a movie. So how does a film like this one, long awaited by fans around the world, survive? How does it make its money back? Well, thankfully Bill and Ted Face Music will have a chance to make its money through streaming services that are offering the film for 20 bucks to rent and 25 bucks to buy. And just like that the pandemic has changed our movie watching experience. Truth be told, I love going to the theater to see a movie, so that’s never gonna stop for me. But wow, it felt weird seeing a movie that was supposed to be released theatrically, right in the comfort of my living room. I wish them nothing but the best, and kudos to the producers for adapting so effectively to these world conditions, right now, it’s an adapt or die world out there.

So the question remains, was Bill and Ted Face the Music worth the wait? Hell yeah it was! This long gestating sequel didn’t dissapoint due the fact that it brought back the creative crew behind the first two films, writers Ed Solomon and Chris Matheson, by the way, try and catch their cameo, they have appeared in cameos in all three films! So, one of the best parts about this sequel is that it has a solid script, it doesn’t fall apart or feel sloppy, everything fits because Solomon and Matheson created Bill and Ted, they know these characters better then we do dude. This is a prime example of a film working because it had that essential blue print called ‘a good script’. The film does have elements and gags from previous films, like going to the afterlife and traveling through time to gather famous people, but it also adds a completely new dimension to the film, namely, Bill and Ted growing old. 

And this is something we see a lot in the film industry today, films pandering to nostalgia. We know it, but hell, we love it. We get to see our favorite movie characters grow old with us. Jay and Silent Bob Reboot and the Star Wars films come to mind. And I get it. Movies from e 80s and 90s where special, they were crazier. Zanier, which equals to a lot of fun. To quote an old man “They just don’t make them like that anymore”. I mean, seriously, try explaining the plot of Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey to someone and you’ll find out just how zany movies in the 80’s and 90’s were. I miss that zaniness in the cinema, which is why I enjoyed how in Bill and Ted’s Face the Music, the people behind it didn’t forget that. They go gonzo with this one once again and I loved it. 


Alex Winter and Keanu Reeves play the characters not missing a step, these guys are Bill and Ted again, they haven’t forgotten how to play these guys. It’s awesome to see them together again. To see them grow as characters, become parents. It was an awesome surprise to see William Sadler returning as Death. Speaking of funny, George Carlin as Rufus (Bill and Ted’s guide from the future in the previous films) was sorely missed, but at least his character is remembered in a cool way. We get interesting new additions to the cast in the form of Kirsten Joy Schaal and Julian Belle, which I love because, hello, let’s start casting actual comedians in comedy films thank you very much. And these girls got the funny bone, they deliver. Then we have Samara Weaving and Brigette Lundy-Paine playing Bill and Ted’s daughters. Some fans got the idea that maybe the movie would be more about the daughters and Bill and Ted would play sort of like a cameo, but no my friends, this movie integrates all characters and Bill and Ted are front and center, this movie is about Bill and Ted! And about their daughters! It’s about who they’d be when they are 50, it’s about achieving our true potential, it’s about family and true love and finally, it’s about uniting humanity in one big song of love, peace and unity and we all could use a little more of that in this crazy world we are currently living in. Movie got me chocked up in the end. Truth be told, I had a smirk on my face through out the whole film. It’s a feel good movie for many reasons. Don’t miss the closing credits were you get to see real Bill and Ted fans playing their air guitars and musical instruments. 

You might think that I got my nostalgia goggles on (and of course I do) but if this movie had sucked, trust me, I would have let you know. I got no problem in saying it like it is with any given movie, even when a film is from a beloved franchise. Terminator Dark Fate (2019) I’m looking at you kid. Bottom line my excellent friends, Bill and Ted Face the Music is a dignified sequel with great effects, awesome production values and Reeves and Winter in top form as Bill and Ted. It didn’t disappoint in the least. Stay all the way to the end of the credits for an extra treat you won’t want to miss. 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Zombieland Double Tap (2019)

Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)
Director: Ruben Fleisher
Cast: Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg and Abigail Breslin, Rosario Dawson, Luke Wilson, Bill Murray
Zombie films have proven to be cyclical. Like the undead beings they portray, the zombie genre is resurrected and disposed of according to the public’s interest or the success of one particular film. Back in the 70’s, thanks to the success of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (1978), zombie films made a resurgence. They grew in popularity thanks to all the Italian knock offs that came as a result of Romero’s seminal film. I speak of films like Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (1979) and The Beyond (1983) and a whole slew of Italian zombie films that were released during the 80’s. In America, we saw films like Return of the Living Dead (1985), Day of the Dead (1985), Re-Animator (1985) and Night of the Creeps (1986). In a few years, zombie movies died again and disappeared. During the 90’s, few of them were released in theaters and the ones that did get released were not box office giants. But time passed and in 2002 that all changed, zombie movies were back at the box office and they came back strong! Thanks to box office hits like 28 Days Later (2002), Dawn of the Dead (2004), Shaun of the Dead (2004) and Resident Evil (2002), zombie movies were back in a big way! Zombies even infested our tv screens with shows like the ever popular The Walking Dead, which is still shambling around.

Zombieland (2009) was released around the time when people were still obsessed with zombies. It was a moderate hit, which should have meant a quick sequel. Instead, for whatever the reason, they waited a decade to make it. So now here comes the sequel, a whole decade late. I can definitely say it couldn’t have come at a worse time, because at this point,  people are zombied out. This zombie wave is reaching its end …zombie fatigue is definitely here and it is felt in the lackluster box office performance of Zombieland Double Tap (2019) Yes my friends, my take on Zombieland Double Tap is that it’s a sequel that came about ten years too late. And you know how that goes when you wait too long to do a sequel, people stop caring. If you don’t believe me just see Dumb and Dumber 2 (2014), Zoolander 2 (2016) or any other sequel that waited too damn long to be made. The moment has passed, the magic is gone. I say it’s always a mistake to wait that long. Unless your film is a sequel to a beloved franchise that people can’t get enough off, chances are your long gestating sequel will die a quick death at the box office. 

Why make Zombieland 2 now? When people have had their fill of zombies for years? Apparently the filmmakers have their faiths set on the cast, who at this point are all Oscar nominees or winners. Or they think they have an important enough story that it simply has to be told! But quite honestly it doesn’t feel that way at all. In fact, it’s a very silly movie that exists only to make us laugh and giggle, the story is just an excuse for the comedy antics which is fine by me, the only problem for me is that I feel they could have made it funnier. I’m sure a lot of people will find it an unnecessary film. As it is, it's simply a watchable film. 

It’s great seeing Harrelson, Eisenberg, Stone and Breslin together again. They still have the chemistry, which is really what saves this movie. It's the script that's weak. And that's a sad story too because apparently they waited this long because they were waiting for the right script or it wasn't going to happen. Let's see how this story’s been more than ten years since we last saw them and the zombie apocalypse is still going strong with a (wait for it) new strand of zombie that has evolved and become stronger and faster. The team has decided to find their “forever home” and it’s the abandoned white house. The story revolves around rescuing Abigail Breslin’s character, who has decided to run off with a hippy who doesn’t believe in violence. And they decided to go to Graceland, Elvis's home. So off they go to rescue her, along the way they meet a couple of funny characters. 

But honestly there’s nothing here you haven’t seen before in other zombie movies. An evolved strand of zombies? Check. The zombie free haven they have to get to by the end of the movie? Check. They even have an entire scene that we’d already seen before in Resident Evil Extinction (2007), so this one doesn’t get any bonus points for originality in terms of zombie antics. I did laugh a few times, but I feel that if the filmmakers knew that they were not bringing anything new to the table in terms of zombie mayhem, then they should have at least amped up the comedy and made it a full on super comedy. I mean, I did like the ditzy dumb blonde girl…and the Tallahassee and Columbus clones…but we needed more slapstick, silly stuff. Problem is that the actors on this film aren’t comedians, they are actors who are in a movie that’s supposed to be funny. The film could have benefited from casting actual comedians in the main roles. Why is it that Hollywood keeps making comedies without comedians? I don’t get that. 

It’s not all bad, while this movie does feel a tad unnecessary, it does have a few things that keep it from being a total waste of your time, like for example, there’s the opening sequence that imitates the opening sequence from the first film. If you remember correctly, the first film opened to slow motion zombie mayhem to the tune of Metallica’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’, on this one they do the same slow motion zombie mayhem thing, but to the tune of Metallica’s ‘Master of Puppets’ which is just perfect,  loved that opening credits sequence.  There’s an after credits scene involving Bill Murray killing zombies, make sure you stay for that. There’s a scene that involves Rosario Dawson driving a monster truck that was pretty freaking sweet. But that’s about it. A fun movie my friends, but nothing you’ll remember after you walk out of the theater. It’s got zombies, but nothing we haven’t seen before. It’s funny, but not super funny. So it’s a very been there done that kind of film, very so-so. I guess the correct word for this one is ‘bland’ and that’s not a good thing for a zombie film to be. So in a way, Zombieland Double Tap has dug its own grave. Bottom line is, we are witnessing the last throes of this cinematic zombie wave. I am currently waiting for Zack Snyder’s Army of the Dead to be released, which to be honest has my full attention, my curiosity is peaked. It looks like that will be the film to determine if we’ll see any more theatrically released zombie films in the coming years. Let’s see where this goes.
 Rating: 3 out of 5

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Joker (2019)

Joker (2019)

Director: Todd Phillips 

Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert Deniro

Joker has taken the world by storm. I had a hint that it was going to be better than your ordinary comic book movie when the media started their fear campaign against it. Somebody somewhere made damn sure that major media outlets started spreading the news that going to see Joker might be a dangerous thing because the movie might instigate a crazy loon to sneak into your theater and shot gun you to death. Sure it happened before during The Dark Knight Returns (2008), but that was an isolated incident and we sure as hell are not gonna let one crazy bastard (who started shooting people in a theater while dressed in a Joker outfit) ruin our movie going experiences. They also had people believe that it is way to violent. Okay, so it is violent I wont say it isn’t, but there’s way more violent films out there. John Wick Chapter 3 (2019) and Rambo: The Last Blood (2019) are two fine examples of films that are way more violent and graphic than Joker, so that argument was weak. So why did the media target this film for termination? Why did the powers that control the media focus all their forces against this film? Could it be that it actually had something to say? 

 Glad to say that yes, this film does in fact have a lot to say and I applaud it for doing so because we do live in a world in which being truthful is frowned upon and wearing a mask to hide what we really have to say is the norm.  Film reviewers who weren’t attached to mainstream media (and I speak of bloggers and movie sites) were hailing it as a masterpiece. My movie buff experience has shown me that usually, when the media tries its best to kill a movie, its’ because they are afraid of it. When the media started to label it as dangerous, I immediately put the movie on my must watch list. The media tells me not to do it, I’m gonna do the opposite, because normally they don’t give a shit what crappy movie you go see. But when they’re self-righteous, politically correct minds stand against something so strongly, it’s because they are afraid of it. And ho boy do they have a reason to be afraid of Joker. 

 Sure, it's “just a movie”, but like the highest type of literature, film can also serve as a mirror to ourselves; to society and Joker simply put, is right on the money as to how a huge part of society feels right now. The poor are suffering, the rich are getting fatter and things are tough all over as Cheech and Chong use to say. Yeah people are struggling to survive in this crazy world, many are one paycheck from living out on the streets…one crazy moment away from going totally bat shit insane. And when the masses can’t take it no more, all they need is a little push to drive them over the edge. This is what “they” are afraid of, that those in need of waking up might do so because of this movie. That they might suddenly see what’s being done to them and that seeing the film might push them to do something about it. That is the reason “they” don’t want you to see it. But tell a kid not to do something, and he’ll go right ahead and do it. So others might see the whole “controversy” as a marketing campaign. If it is, it worked like gang busters. 

 Will this movie incite people to revolt? To scream as the main character in Network (1976) did “I’m mad as hell and I can’t take it anymore!”? Actually, that quote is referenced in Joker, leading us cinephiles and movie buffs to understand the mentality behind this fine picture. That mentality of uncovering the insanity behind the status quo of society, showing us, with laser like accuracy, the ones to blame for the state of the nation. What they fear with this movie is that people will see themselves mirrored in the main character of the Joker. And I’m sure many will. We’ve all been in that tight spot, living paycheck to paycheck, praying that pay day gets here…only to see our checks vanish in thin air due to how expensive life is at the moment. So yes, many people will see their lives addressed in this here film.

 Now these are all issues that need to be addressed, we cannot go through life ignoring problems. As we all know, when we do that, problems only tend to get bigger. Issues have to be addressed and talked about, so solutions can surface and progress is achieved. Kudos to the filmmakers behind Joker for that. For harnessing societies collective anxieties in one film. Now, Joker is not the first film to do that and the filmmakers behind Joker know this, which is why they borrowed and paid homage to films of the same ilk. I speak of course of Taxi Driver (1976), The King of Comedy (1982), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Fight Club (1999) and Network (1976). You’ll find bits and pieces of all these movies in Joker. And that’s a good thing in my book, it drew inspiration from similar films and created this amazing film that brings its own original and show stopping moments to the silver screen. 

 I am pleasently surprised with where DC went with Joker. This film is the anti-thesis of Marvel movies. Joker was decidedly adult and dramatic, serious and raw. It’s not a cgi fest, it’s not PG-13, it does not have a post credits sequence…simply put, if you had superhero fatigue, Joker is the cure. Now keep in mind that it is not your traditional “comic book film”, you’re not gonna see heroes posing with the full moon in the back looking all mysterious and menacing. You’re not going to get your traditional Joker either, so don’t expect Joker falling into a vat of chemicals while fighting Batman. No, this film functions more like an issue of ‘What If…?’ from Marvel Comics, an alternate take on the Joker. It’s closer in spirit to what Fox did with Logan (2017), it takes the character to previously unseen levels of dramatic possibilities. It takes the Batman mythos and uses it as an excuse to address social issues and present us with a picture perfect character study of a mental patient. 

 Speaking of which Joaquin Phoenix delivered such a masterful performance. The Oscar for performance of the year is his, I am almost certain of it. If he doesn’t win it, I will lose what little faith I had in the Oscars. If he doesn’t win, there’s something wrong with “the academy”, which has always been a bit looney anyways. Joaquin will convince you of his madness. He really did immerse himself into the role, losing weight to look sickly and being extremely intense on set. He was recorded getting upset because someone was making fun of him on the set, calling him a “diva”. To that I say, why mess with an actor that is “in the zone” trying to create a memorable performance? I side with Joaquin who said “I’m sorry, but he shouldn’t have done it”. And I totally get him. When you see the performance, you see he wasn’t just reading his lines, he wasn’t just “getting a paycheck” with this movie. No, he was living that role, he was meaning it. With this performance, Joaquin puts other actors to shame. This will be, I’m sure, the performance of his life. The one they will most remember Phoenix by. 

 Technically speaking the film is amazing as well. It shows us a very ugly picture of society, sure, but it looks so beautiful. Somebody had the brilliant idea of shooting in New York and making it look like Gotham and I have to say this was a genius idea. Maybe it had something to do with Scorcese producing? As cinephiles everywhere know, Scorcese has always been enamored with the Big Apple, and so maybe his clout made it all happen. Because normally, studios stay away from filming in New York because it is so expensive to shoot there. On a personal note, I had a blast when I discovered they shot the most iconic scene in the film (that of Joker dancing on those long steps) in the neighborhood where I grew up in, in The Bronx. It was so cool to see Joker dancing around my old elementary school! To see him dancing his glorious dance in those steps I went up so many times! 

 Final words: it’s not all the time that we get a film that syphons the way the public feels about society so well. This is the reason why the film is breaking all sorts of records. It’s because people see themselves in the film. Joker has high marks all around, great performances, great script, an amazing musical score (reminiscent of Taxi Driver's own score) and beautiful visuals, a true masterpiece of modern cinema. I love that DC is finally doing the right thing by not trying to duplicate Marvel’s movies, but rather getting as far away from them as possible. Keep it up DC, chins up, you’ve redeemed yourselves with this one! Don’t drop the ball with the next one!  

Rating: 5 out of 5

Thursday, September 12, 2019

IT Chapter Two (2019)

It Chapter Two (2019)

Director: Andy Muschietti 

Cast: Jessica Chastain, James McAvoy, Bill Hader, Bill Skarsgard, Finn Wolfhard, Sophia Lillis

The rule of thumb for sequels to a highly successful film is that the second one will be bigger, louder and more ‘in your face’ than the first film and trust me, It Chapter Two definitely does this. This sequel to Andy Muschietti’s adaptation of Stephen Kings IT is all that and then some. It certainly is longer! Strap yourself tight because this carnival of horrors is 11 minutes shy of being a three hour movie! A little too much for some viewers, I know. I saw a couple of people leaving the theater even before the film was totally over. But for those of you who want their movies to go on forever, because you just LOVE a good movie, well, you’re in for a treat. 

It Chapter Two picks up 27 years after the first one, with ‘The Losers’ all grown up, each living their own separate lives. One is a writer, one is an entrepreneur, one is a comedian and so forth and they’ve all forgotten the horrifying events they lived through together when they were kids. And that’s the way they want to keep the past, forgotten. But when the evil clown known as ‘Pennywise’ begins to kill again, it’s up to ‘The Losers’ to reunite and take on the monster, one final time. Will they have the guts to face their fears and slay the beast? 

 I thought I’d get a bit bored with this movie, because I’d seen the original one a million times, but as it turns out this remake has so many new elements to it, I was actually thoroughly entertained. The good part about this is that you can watch both versions of ‘It’ and you’ll have original moments occur in each. Basically, every major scare sequence has been altered, replaced or enhanced in one way or another by new monsters and nightmares, which is great. In my opinion, that’s what makes a good remake. A film that retains the essence of the original, while still giving us enough new material so that we won’t get bored. So don’t expect that creepy shower sequence you love so much from the original, it’s been replaced with some new creepiness. Yet not all is changed, the film successfully retained that feeling of true friendship and love that is such an essential part of IT and of many of Stephen King’s novels. King loves to tell stories that have that ‘gee whiz aint it fun to be a kid’ vibe to them. The clubhouse, the riding the bikes through the woods, the blood pact and the idea that our childhood friends will remain our friends forever and ever. It Chapter Two felt a lot like King’s Stand by Me…if you mashed it up with A Nightmare on Elm Street. Doesn’t that sound enticing? 

Andy Muschietti makes the film very much his own by adding those creepy cartoony creatures he infused into his horror film, Mama (2013). Remember that one? The one about the creepy entity who decides to raise a couple of orphaned girls? Creepy visuals indeed, but on IT he takes those creepy visuals up to a thousand. Loved the creatures on this one! Don’t expect anything “realistic”, after all, this film is filled with dark fantastic elements like aliens, evil clowns and giant soul sucking spiders. So, if you like your creepy, EC comics style creatures and monsters, you should have tons of fun with this one. A note about the effects, I personally really dug the visual effects aspect of the whole thing, while some people seem to be bothered by the cartoony nature of some of the effects, I personally thought they were effective when taking in consideration the tone of the film. 

Another thing I loved about It Chapter Two was the huge homage it is to the 80’s. I know going back to the 80’s has always been cool (tell me about it I LIVED through them) and some might feel that doing this on any film is old hat, but honestly, I loved the homages to the decadent era. A Thundercats t-shirt, a poster for The Lost Boys, a Street Fighter Arcade machine and A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child (1989) on a cinema marquee were some of the homages I caught. But trust me, there are many more little homages spread through-out the entire film, one amazing one goes to John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), but I won’t tell you how that one unfolds. So be on the lookout for those!

The film does have a lot of levity to it, this has bothered some hardcore horror fans. But we have to remember that horror and comedy have always gone hand in hand. Remember An American Werewolf in London (1981)? How about Ghostbusters (1984)? Fright Night (1985)? Creepshow (1982)? All scary/fun movies. Remember, with the exception of hardcore horror fans who love true blue hardcore horror, the general population probably can’t take too much of the gory red stuff. Plus, this is a big budget horror film, producers want to make their money back and one way of doing this is by having the general population have a little fun with their scares. I mean, it’s not in every movie that three children get slaughtered in graphic ways. Producers know this, so they alleviate the tension with a little levity. Case in point, Bill Hader as Richie. Though if we get right down to it, the character of Richie was always the funny one in the novel as well as the original film. So, we can’t really complain that Richie is always saying jokes, that’s just the way the character was written. On top of all that, Hader is hilarious on It: Chapter Two, a very welcome addition to the film if you ask me. Hader, as far as I can tell, is a comedic star in the making. I got a feeling Hader is gonna be way bigger in the near future. 

Word of advice, go to the bathroom before the movie starts and don’t order the large soft drink or else you’ll be getting up half way through the movie and miss something. I say Muschietti will be making lots of movies in the near future, It Chapter Two has already made close to 100 million domestically, so it is a surefire hit. I’m just hoping that the Thundercats t-shirt in the film means that Muschietti is actually considering bringing the Thundercats to the big screen. Wouldn’t that be something? A Thundercats film is a surefire hit waiting to happen. I just can’t believe some producer hasn’t picked this one up yet! Everybody and their mother is waiting for that movie to get made. Well, at least those of us who grew up during the 80’s! So anyhow, bottom line with IT Chapter Two is that it’s a long film, sure, but a scary, creepy ride worth taking. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 


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