Hunt For the Wilderpeople Review

Hunt For the Wilderpeople

Rebellious teenage orphan Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) is shipped off to live with a foster family in the New Zealand countryside. Unhappy with his new surroundings, he attempts to run away and hide in the unforgiving wilderness. His reluctant caretaker Hector (Sam Neill) eventually finds him, and the unlikely duo survive in the harsh terrain as a nationwide manhunt is launched to find them.

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Against the Crowd Blogathon

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Thanks to Wendell @Dell on Movies and KG @KG’s Movie Rants for putting together the Against the Crowd Blogathon!

Here are the rules:
1. Pick one movie that “everyone” loves (the more iconic, the better). That movie must have a score of at least 75% on rottentomatoes.com. Tell us why you hate it.

2. Pick one movie that “everyone” hates (the more notorious, the better). That movie must have a score of less than 35% on rottentomatoes.com. Tell us why you love it.

3. Include the tomato meter scores of both movies.

4. Use one of the banners in this post, or feel free to create your own.

5. Comment on this post, or on KG’s Movie Rants with the two movies you intend on writing on.

6. Publish your post on any day from Monday August 22 through Friday August 26, 2016.

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The Best Movie Soundtracks of All Time

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Great movie soundtracks act like an additional actor in the movie. More than setting, more than costume, more than clever editing in the studio, music is the final dimension that conveys emotion, place and character, sometimes without even having to say a single word.

These compilation albums are the best of their kind, and their accompanying movies would have been lost without them. So grab your headphones, sit back and enjoy the tunes—they’re some of the greatest of all time.

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Gleason – Year’s Most Powerful Film

Gleason Documentary5star“It’s not going to be easy, but it’s going to be awesome. Awesome ain’t easy.”

It takes Steve an hour-and-a-half to get out of bed in the morning, but he hasn’t lost his sense of humor or purpose in this world.

While you think you may have a grasp on what this documentary will cover, you really have no idea until you watch it. This isn’t a documentary about football, and it’s not even a documentary about living with ALS. Gleason is about being human and learning how to survive under extraordinary circumstances.

“My intention is to pass on as much of who I am as I possibly can to you,” Steve Gleason says in the trailer to his unborn son, Rivers.

 The film originated as a passion project after his diagnosis with ALS in 2011, as a series of video journals for his son,  but as time progressed, his project became larger than life.

Steve Gleason Tweet

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Suicide Squad – The Superhero Film We Needed to Succeed [No Spoilers]

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“What was that? I should kill everyone and escape? Sorry, it’s the voices. Ahaha, I’m kidding! That’s not what they really said.”

Suicide Squad Now and Then

“FUCK YOU, MARVEL,” announced overconfident Suicide Squad writer/director David Ayer at the movie’s world premiere in New York earlier this week. He’s now eating his words.

Suicide Squad is the unconventional superhero film desperately needed in the DC universe (or universe in general) to combat the superhero fatigue everyone is experiencing. What made this project so unique is that it is the first movie in the series of DC adaptations that is not directed by Zack Snyder. Sounds perfect, right??

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With the disappointment of Batman v Superman, Warner Brothers felt responsible for proving to the world that they had a firm handle on DC Comics characters. They needed a box office hit fast. Suicide Squad was intended to be their saving grace, but with re-shoots and severe tinkering, their sticky little fingers fudged any possibility of redemption. Warner Brothers only has themselves to blame for the film’s 32% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Jared Leto Joker

The hype surrounding this movie has been astronomical. Since it’s killer teaser trailer at last year’s San Diego Comic Con, Suicide Squad was my most anticipated movie of 2016. And their marketing campaign has been building the hype-train heavily for a solid year…more exposure than I can remember from a movie. The problem with movies like this one with such a deep-rooted fan base is that expectations are inconceivably insane. It’s a rarity to please both the fanboys and the critics with comic book source material, but whether it’s positive or negative, everyone is talking about this movie.

But does the movie defy the generic and live up to the hype?

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Stranger Things – The Ultimate 80’s Homage

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“We never would’ve upset you if we knew you had superpowers!”

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If you combine the wonder of Steven Spielberg, the dread of John Carpenter and add a heavy dose of Stephen King, then you’ve got all the ingredients of the SciFi Netflix show Stranger Things.

This 80’s nostalgic-heavy hybrid is this summer’s binge-worthy eight episode television experience involving parallel universes, telekinesis and a whole lot of references to 80s classics and culture.

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On November 6, 1983 in suburban Indiana, 12-year-old Will Byers mysteriously vanishes. Will’s mother, Joyce, frantically begins her own quest to find Will, while Police Chief Hopper begins his own investigation. The next day a mysterious girl with supernatural abilities named Eleven is found by Will’s friends and claims to know Will’s whereabouts. The closer everyone comes to the truth, the stranger things become. They’ll have to evade a government agency with their own agenda, and a sinister supernatural entity, to get Will back.

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This series hits some serious highs with it’s acting (particularly the child actors), it’s atmosphere, electronic soundtrack (I hear you, Tangerine Dream!), nostalgia and the possibility of Winona Ryder’s Winonaissance. The series even has the immaculate stamp of approval from the almighty Stephen King himself, so why do I feel so lukewarm about it?

Stephen King Stranger Things tweet

 

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Swiss Army Man – Year’s Most Uplifting

Swiss Army Man GIF4star-2“If you don’t know Jurassic Park, you don’t know shit.”

If my best friend won’t fart in front of me, what else is he keeping from me?

Swiss Army Man was labeled by critics as “the farting corpse movie” at Sundance where it received controversial reactions at it’s festival screening. The juvenile humor in the movie prompted walkouts from audience members, but what they missed was the rewarding satisfaction of one of the most insightful explorations of a life some of us may have forgotten.

Sometimes it takes a flatulent corpse to remind us what it means to be human and why the simpler aspects of life are sometimes the most important. All farting jokes aside, Swiss Army Man is one of the most original movies I’ve seen in a very long time, but some viewers don’t want to give it the time of day.

Swiss Army Man

The reactions were no surprise to directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (aka the Daniels) who knew they were fighting an uphill battle with their unusual yet wholly entertaining and original script. They departed Sundance with the Best Directing jury prize and explained, “We like to think of our movies as orphans. They’re bad ideas that no one else wants to make.”

Weird, wonderful, disgusting, demented and divisive…why pursue this story?

Swiss Army Man

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The Neon Demon: All Style, No Substance

the neon demon gif2star“She’s a diamond among a sea of glass. True beauty is the highest currency we have. Without it she’d be nothing.”

Beauty isn’t everything, it’s the only thing…which is apparently a news flash in director Nicolas Winding Refn’s latest glam femme horror feature, The Neon Demon.

With a mixture of extreme vulgarity and brilliant glamour, this toxic fairy tale is receiving quite the feedback from critics. And you’d imagine Refn would have it no other way.

Elle Fanning the neon demon

The Neon Demon drew boos as well as cheers at a press screening at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. But the film’s director wasn’t there to see it. “I wait outside [during screenings],” says the director. “I get very nervous. I never enjoy it.” The Danish filmmaker got a much better reception that same evening in Cannes, when his movie received a 17-minute standing ovation (and reportedly also led to two fights).

Refn said he wanted to make a horror film about beauty, a horror satire of Hollywood.Its commentary on the shallowness of the Los Angeles modeling scene didn’t pique my interest. The superficiality of Hollywood/models/actors/society isn’t newsworthy for the majority of us, but, nevertheless, some are hailing this film as “disturbingly wonderful cinema.” But is it really?

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The Lobster – Painfully Pretentious

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2star“We dance alone. That’s why we only play electronic music.”

In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into animals and sent off into The Woods. Best of luck, right?

If director Yorgos Lanthimos wants you to get anything out of this movie, it’s that society influences or constricts our ability to love. As blogger Adam Riske at FThisMovie accurately explains it, “It’s basically if Her was made by someone who hates life.”

If The Lobster is an acquired taste, it’s one that I have not and will not acquire. Ever.

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Finding Dory – A Necessary Sequel?

Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The one thing she can remember is that she somehow became separated from her parents Charlie (Eugene Levy) and Jenny (Diane Keaton) as a child. With help from her friends Nemo (Hayden Rolence) and Marlin (Albert Brooks), Dory embarks on an epic adventure to find them. Her journey brings her to the Marine Life Institute, a conservatory that houses diverse ocean species. Dory now knows that her family reunion will only happen if she can save mom and dad from captivity.

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