Sunday, May 29, 2016

X-Men Apocalypse: Secret of the Ooze

Somehow, greatness doesn't always come in threes. Way back, sixteen years ago (yes, you are that old), the first X-Men film came out.  It was essentially our introduction into the Marvel train that has been run on us for the last sixteen years. It was good. It was fresh.  It was new. It was cool. Then, a few years later came X2, which was grittier, darker, and better than its predecessor. Finally, we got X-Men: Last Stand which seemed to come out of nowhere, was off both tonally and direction-wise. It was a sloggy romp full of un-welcome characters, ridiculous plot elements, and a damn near cartoonish presence. It was a bad way to close off the series. After a spinoff or two, Matthew Vaughn came and resurrected the franchise with X-Men First Class which gave us the prequel to all the characters we came to enjoy.  Normally, this isn't something to look forward to, but the cast was all-but perfect.  McAvoy as Patrick Stewart as Professor X, Fassbender as Ian McClellan as Magneto, Lawrence as Rebecca Romaijn-Stamos as Mystique... it gave the franchise the kick in the nuts that it needed.  Plus, it gave us even more actors to connect to Kevin Bacon. The next film in the prequel threesome was X-Men Days of Future Past, which, if we're being honest, was a really cool film and may possibly be the best one of any live-action X-Men film. So, if we're following suit with the trend of the previous three, then Apocalypse is gonna suck, right? Well, it doesn't necessarily suck, but it is the weakest of this trio of films.

Due to the fact that the movie is seriously over-populated with characters, a plot synopsis would take a good couple of hours to write/read. The Sparknotes version, however, is that we've made it to 1983. The good Prof has started his school for gifted children.  Magneto is a steel mill worker in Poland (it's not actually AS stupid as it sounds). And some dumbass Egyptians are accidentally summoning the world's baddest X-Men villain.  He arises from his pyramid tomb and recruits some new mutants to help him essentially destroy all of humanity, and most mutants, where only the strong survive.  Those strong, plus Apocalypse, will rebuild a better world for all mutants-- whatever that may actually be. Once figuring this out, roller Prof and company set off to stop this Ivan Ooze-lookin mf before shit really hits the fan.

The film is cluttered with characters, overly long, effects heavy, story light, and not at all the caliber of the previous two films. That being said-- I didn't hate it. The one thing that the X-Men films have going for them is that they're always going to be fun.  Plus, the quality of the acting in the films has never been better (though I did really miss Ole Patrick Stewart and Ian McClellan). I just felt like some of the characters were underused in favor of giving some unnecessary screen time to others that also didn't get their fair share. Plus, Jennifer Lawrence really seemed to be sleepwalking her way through this one. One of the newest characters that really interested me was young Storm (Alexandra Shipp) and she's given about four minutes of dialogue and like six minutes of screentime. She has a great set-up to her character that could've easily provided some much needed arc of the story, but again, after her brief introduction, kinda disappears into the background.

Then there's Oscar Isaac as big bad Ivan Ooze Apocalypse. You guys should all know by now that bro-ner I have for Isaac. He's very quickly become one of my favorite actors to watch because he's very versatile and fun in any role he takes on. Yet, I think he was completely wrong for Apocalypse. Not that he did a terrible job, because he didn't... but it's not exactly a job that was difficult to pull off.  He's covered, head-to-toe, in blue makeup the entire movie, his voice is basically auto-tuned the entire time, and when it's not, he speaks in a British-y whisper. He was definitely frightening and a pretty sick character, but Dolph Lundgren could've been cast and there wouldn't have been much of a difference. I did, however, like the writing of the character.  He's, in essence, an all-powerful mutant who views himself, incorrectly, as a God. Within that mindset of biggest swingin' dick on Earth, he goes power-crazy and tries to wipe out the Earth Darwin-style. It's a cool character that may not have been handled as cool as it could've been (or maybe as it was written in the comics-- that's one area I have no idea on).

The only other gripe I have with the film is the lazy animation. Most of the other films have utilized very realistic CGI within a film series where it is absolutely necessary. This movie, there were several scenes where I was taken immediately out of the action because I was wondering how, in 2016, the CGI could look that... off. The technological advancements that we make daily, and the incredible budget I'm sure the film had, one aspect of the film to not go cheap with are the effects... and it kind of did. Other than that, it was an overall enjoyable film. I would've liked to have seen a bit more story and character that the previous few have been able to provide, but for a summer popcorn superhero film, it could've been Last Stand worse. Fassbender and McAvoy are great as usual. A few of the new mutants are fun, in the brief time we get to hang out with them. And Evan Peters really deserves his own movie. (Also, am I the only one that thought the Wolverine cameo was kind of stupid... like pointlessly stupid... especially when he takes off running through the snow...?)

At the end of the day, it's still an X-Men movie.  Most hardcore fans (I assume) won't be furious with the result.  It may be kind of a let down because this current storyline has been very well done, but there's a lot to be had here.  And I will applaud Marvel-- they may be dickless when it comes to the Avengers films by literally killing no one and putting no one in danger-- this isn't really ever the case with the X-Men movies. They're pretty violent for superhero movie standards and people do get killed in, often, violent, bloody (PG-13 bloody, but still bloody nonetheless) ways. If this is the last one of this series of films, it's obviously not the amazing conclusion everyone was hoping for, but it's sufficient for what it is. It's still better than Captain America: Civil War.

P.S.-- Here's a hint for your next movies, Marvel-- heavy Jean Gray involvement in an X-Men film usually doesn't end well.


Friday, May 27, 2016

The Do-Over: Sandler's New Movie Is Surprisingly Not A Rancid Ballsack

As you know, I am have been a staunch Sandler supporter.  I was still there after he made I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry when people started to question whether or not Sandler's comedy was starting a decline.  I was there after the first Grown Ups that made me question Sandler's sanity in general. I was there when Just Go With It actually made me laugh, but no one else.  I was there when Jack and Jill came out-- and that's when I had to stop being there. Watching Adam Sandler dressed as a woman and spewing hackneyed "jokes" that wouldn't pass muster even in the early 90s was too much.  I couldn't defend him anymore.  I still watched his movies though-- believing that one day he'd have that one comedy that resurrected the Sandler of old and showed all the naysayers that he was still funny.  Then came That's My Boy, Grown Ups 2, Blended, The Ridiculous 6, and arguably one of the worst uses of digital film in the history of moving pictures, PixelsThe Do-Over is not that rejuvenation that will convert all the anti-Sandler activists, but it isn't a fetid pyramid of buckets filled with curdled goat piss-- and that, my friends, is a big improvement.

Charlie (David Spade) is a loser. He works at a bank within a supermarket, his wife hates him, his step-kids don't respect him and he's essentially the biggest wuss in the world. Enter Max (Sandler), a proclaimed FBI agent and former high school friend of Charlie who takes pity upon him and sets up a way for Charlie to escape his terrible life.  He fakes their deaths and the two take over the identities of two unclaimed dead bodies.  Fortunately for them, these dudes were loaded and left them a ton of cash and mansion in Puerto Rico.  Unfortunately for them, they're on the FBI Most Wanted List as well as being tracked down by various hit men. The two of them must now figure out who everyone thinks they are while avoiding being killed.

Here's what's surprising about the movie-- there's actually a story.  Yes, this sounds like one of those cheap high concept Sandler premises that he somehow figures out a way to bastardize (like Click-- great premise-- awful execution).  However, there is a actually a pretty decent and twisty story happening on screen. Screenwriters Kevin Barnett and Chris Pappas do a suitable job of putting these characters into not just comedic situations, but moments that will pay off and not feel 'cheap' during the big reveal at the end. In fact, they almost pay too much attention to story and character that they may have lost moments of comedy that were looked over. Now, in the case of a Sandler film, favoring "comedy" over story isn't exactly a welcome thing. But, this isn't your typical hack, body fluids spewing everywhere, type Sandler film. It honestly looks like he's trying here.

Sandler in this film is Sandler in every film.  He's there to have a good time, hang out with his friends, spout a few fart jokes, and get paid.  He's the same here, but he's decently likable.  It's Spade's Charlie that really runs the film. Spade's characters usually center around a self-centered, narcissistic, cocky douchebag.  Here, he owns the title of loser. He's meek and never strays from character, but doesn't play it like a shlocky cartoon. It's probably, honestly, his best role since Tommy Boy. Paula Patton joins the film as the wife of one of the deceased-- she's okay-- she's underused. Kathryn Hahn shows up randomly as Sandler's psycho ex-girlfriend-- she's okay-- actually, she's pretty great. Luis Guzman shows up to drop ball sweat on Spade's face-- it's dumb-- but you gotta love Guzman. Nick Swardson shows up to get continuously hit by cars-- he's okay-- severely underused. It's all about the two main leads having fun and figuring out the mystery of the manhunt that's after them.

So, I guess the biggest problem of the film is that it just isn't that funny. It's not un-funny the way Sandler has been un-funny in the past.  It's not unfunny because there's a four minute scene of a donkey shitting on a wall... it's un-funny because story keeps happening around it. It's also a bit homophobic and demeaning to women (as are most of Sandler's movies), but then there are moments where it redeems itself both with its female characters and gay ones. Then, back to offensive, and not in a good way. Sandler's character is supposed to be a foul-mouthed, free-spirited, dickhead who can spout any sort of offensive retort to women, gay people, etc. And he can get away with it, but sometimes it transcends character and is just crudely un-funny and offensive, sticking out like a sore thumb.

There are a few moments of comedy and they'll give you a chuckle or two, but overall it's just an okay film to pass a couple of hours.  If anyone else had been attached to this movie, it probably would've been a major let down. But, the fact that it's Sandler makes a mediocre movie look like Casablanca. If you're still a Sandler fan, you'll enjoy it.  If you used to be a Sandler fan, you'll probably enjoy it.  If you've sworn off Sandler entirely for the rest of your days-- well, I won't be the one to convince you, and even then, you probably shouldn't watch it. I guess the best part about it is that if you hate it-- at least you didn't pay money to see it in theaters.


Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Nice Guys: Marriage Is Buying A House For Someone You Hate

This is a review for two movies.

When I was in high school, around 17 years old, I liked to go movie hopping at the AMC in Ontario, California. We would have half days every other Wednesday.  I'd leave school early with a girlfriend, or a friend, or whoever would go to the movies with me and we'd head "down the hill". We'd stop at my favorite burrito place and head to the AMC to see two to three movies in a day (paying for only one, of course).  One time, in 2005, I went and saw a film that I hadn't heard of called Kiss Kiss Bang Bang starring a, then irrelevant, Robert Downey Jr., and a, surprisingly still relevant Val Kilmer.  This movie wasn't widely advertised or distributed.  However, sitting there, watching one of the most hilarious and unique films of my teen years, I realized this was going to be one of my favorite movies of all time. Box office wise, it tanked. Critically (and I didn't know this because rottentomatoes wasn't really a thing yet, either), it soared. So, when it came out on DVD, I purchased it immediately and showed it to everyone I could think of.  No one had heard of it either because for some reason it didn't get a wide release, and somehow I was able to stumble upon it in the asshole of the Inland Empire, Ontario. But, every person I showed it to loved it [almost] as much as me. This movie was also responsible for the career resurrection of Downey Jr. It's the reason he was cast as Iron Man and began his second reign as an A-list celebrity. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a movie that defines my late teen years and one of my biggest inspirations to become a writer. As I did some digging, I researched the writer/director, one Shane Black.  I come to find out that he wrote some of my all-time favorite movies including: Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout, Last Action Hero, and the movie/script I've probably seen/read more than any of them (that I'm sure you probably haven't heard of), The Long Kiss Goodnight.  His writing style is so unique and quippy and quick and clever that my dream is to one day be as half as good as him, now officially claiming him as my favorite screenwriter.

So, where is all this going?

I preface with that "anecdote" in order to call upon two points: 1) If you have not seen Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, then immediately find it somewhere and watch it because it's one of the most intelligent and quick-witted movies I've ever seen. And 2) to get you keenly, and immediately aware of how good and well-written The Nice Guys is. Shane Black, after tackling the big-budget summer popcorn genre with Iron Man 3 goes back to his roots of the buddy action-comedy. There are essentially two staples to a Shane Black script (that doesn't involve Marvel): Christmas and irresistible chemistry between the two leads of the film (I mean, the dude wrote Lethal Weapon when he was twenty-one). The Nice Guys is no different, well, minus the Christmas.  It's a throw-back film to both the buddy flick and a bit of noir as well. But, it's without a doubt, my favorite movie of the year so far.

Without giving much away, The Nice Guys follows two private investigators Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) and Holland March (Ryan Gosling) as they try and solve a missing persons case throughout the bowels of late 70s Los Angeles. The two have their own personal interests at heart and don't exactly mesh well with one another, however their interests cross paths and-- tada!-- they're forced to work together (something that sounds cliche, but is handled very creatively). Along the way is March's 13-year-old daughter Holly, who just so happens to steal every scene that she's in.

There is a lot that goes right within the film-- first off the chemistry between the two leads.  When I'm looking for a smaller summer comedy, my first instinct isn't to find the "comedy" that stars Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as they don't necessarily strike me as actors with the best comedic timing and ability to improvise. Either I'm completely wrong, or the script is handled so sharply that all they had to do was act. I'm going with the former on this one because I was/am shocked at how well they play off one another with such great comedic timing. This is a duo that I could watch in three, four, five sequels and not get tired (in theory).

There's also the story.  It's a wonderful balance of slapstick and violence that it legitimately has everything a viewer looks for in a film. We go to movies to be entertained and that's exactly what this film does-- it seeks to entertain while still telling a very clever story. There's mystery, there's explosions, there's shoot-outs, there's quippy back-and-forths, there's heart, there's everything. Without resorting to lazy writing and and an abundance of CGI, this film is able to stand tall among the giants of the summer blockbusters. Unfortunately, it's probably not going to make the money it deserves. Sandwiched in between two Marvel films and three animated kids movies, this will probably be the one that you keep telling yourself and others that you want to see, but don't actually make your way to the theater to see it.  I urge you to put the rest of the summer fare on the backburner and make this movie the priority. Movies like this one should be the reason to go to the theater. And a movie like this solidifies Shane Black as still my favorite screenwriter in Hollywood.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising: Electric Boogaloo

Sequels are a strange beast when it comes to comedies. Most of the time, in a comedy especially, the story is completely told with nothing else left to say. However, the sequel comes when particularly hilarious characters can go on equally, if not better, comedic adventures.  There have been some very good sequels to comedies (22 Jump Street, Clerks II, Christmas Vacation, Home Alone 2, Bad Boys 2) and there have been some very BAD sequels to comedies (The Hangover II, Evan Almighty, The Whole Ten Yards, Little Fockers, Son of the Mask).  Most of the time when a sequel is bad, it's because the writers don't try to put our established comedic characters in new and wacky situations... they put them into the same exact situation in a different location... or, it's a quick cash grab with a new cast, but the same title just to draw in a crowd with very lazy writing. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising hits that middle ground between new adventure and same old story that winds up making a movie that generates a lot of laughter, with a lot of the same material being recycled. However, unlike The Hangover II, and more like Home Alone 2, the movie often succeeds more than it fails.

Neighbors 2 begins essentially where the first one left off-- Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) have sold their home which was once next door to a fraternity headed by Teddy (Zac Efron).  Their home is now in escrow and they have thirty days to make sure everything involved with selling the house goes down without a hitch.  Enter Shelby (Chloe Grace Mortiz), an 18-year-old freshman just entering college and wanting to join a sisterhood. Due to her father's strict ways in high school, she didn't get the luxury of friends-- the aspect of college she craves the most.  When she learns that it's law in the United States that sororities are not allowed to throw parties at their own houses (just frats-- and frat parties are essentially just date-rape dungeons), she and a couple of new allies decide to rent a home to start their own sorority-- one that doesn't cater to a one-sided gender standard. The house, unfortunately, just happens to be next door to Mac and Kelly in the middle of escrow. After trying to reason with the girls about no parties for thirty days and getting nowhere, it's all out war again.

Like I said, it's a lot of the same going on from the first movie, but as much as we enjoyed the characters from the original, they're back in funny fashion once more.  Watching Teddy team up with the 'adults', now that he is one, is actually a pretty funny move. The one thing that Neighbors 2 does that really impresses is it deals with some actual issues this time, instead of just showing the hilarity in the differences between college kids and thirty-somethings. The movie pretty accurately tackles gender stereotypes and roles in our society and what has been acceptable forever, is actually pretty messed up. It also accurately portrays fraternities as what they really are-- a bunch of future date-rapists, who aren't able to let the "glory days" of high school behind, and who view all women as property, rather than people. This sounds a lot deeper than it actually is in the movie.  It does have something to say socially, but does so in a comedic fashion. This is, to me, the best way to use humor.  Sometimes we just want someone to slip on a banana peel or get hit in the nuts so we can laugh our asses off and forget about reality for a couple of hours.  But, the other beauty of comedy is being able to take the bad and the darkness of the world and show how fucked up it is by using comedy as a means to a message. Neighbors 2 doesn't entirely get it right, but it's a valiant effort, and that's what counts.

There are some decent (even organic) character development within the film as well. Mac and Kelly are still worried about being parents, especially now that Kelly is pregnant once more, but now they're more worried about being good parents. They want to be able to raise their daughters right, without screwing them up, in a world that only seems to push women down. Teddy, who we last saw as an Ambercrombie and Fitch live-store-mannequin, still works in store with a bunch of high schoolers. He's never really been able to grow up and has a constant want to be needed by someone. All of his friends have careers and loves and have done that thing all college grads fear-- start actual life. It's a nice character motivation for him.  He doesn't side with Mac and Kelly because they're besties now, but because they genuinely need his help, and that's all that matters to him.

The movie has some very funny moments and a few swing-and-misses.  But, overall, as far as a comedy sequel goes-- you know exactly what you're in for. If your expectations are to see a film that's as good as it's predecessor, it will not exceed expectations, but it will also not lower them either.


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Captain America: Civil War: A Fight So Civil It Doesn't Make Sense

You gotta hand it to Marvel... they're doing something pretty fantastic.  Not only did they piece together a shit load of A-listers one by one with solo films only to get them all together for The Avengers films, but they keep bringing them back to continue the story and the mythology. Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johannson could legitimately do any movie they wanted to right now, but they keep doing these Marvel films.  That's a testament to the kind of film empire Marvel has right now. Some of the films have been very good (the first Avengers, the first two Captain America's, and the first and third Iron Man's) and some have been mediocre to crap (Thor 2, any and all Hulk movie and the second Avengers), but the one thing they are is consistent. They connect everything together to make a well-oiled cohesive superhero collective that can be a lot of fun to watch.  Can be. Captain America: Civil War, or what essentially amounts to The Avengers 3, is a bit of a blah mess to me. I understand that people who have lived the comic books since childhood thought it was a pretty great representation-- but as a movie lover and outside observer... I was just left kind of meh.

I'm sure you've all seen the movie by now but a quick rundown of the plot would be that the world is tired of the Avengers running amok and protecting the "world" but causing devastation throughout as well.  The question begged is: "if one civilian dies in the midst of the protection-- is it worth it?" It's a great theme to explore, but it's sort of set aside in favor of computer animated action scenes. Anyway, the United Nations has decided to make some sort of treaty that they all have to sign in order to stop them from going out and superhero-ing on their own. They need guidance. So, half decide it's a good idea (Iron Man) and the other half think it's bullshit (Cap). Then there's a bunch of subplots involving a rogue CIA dude, Bucky aka the Winter Soldier causing shit and Cap not manning up to put a stop to it, an African diplomat in spandex, etc. It's legitimately too overcrowded it get it all into one meaningless summary. But, that's kinda how I felt about the movie. As cool as it was seeing everyone together (and there are literally more superheros in this movie than there are in the first Avengers film), it's just too much to keep track of everyone. Especially when they're fighting each other over something that could take place at a table with some cups of coffee.

And that's the biggest thing for me-- as a movie lover, not as a comic book reader-- that their feud or civil war or whatever just didn't make any damn sense to me. There's an entire scene at an airport where they just innocently fight one another, though not try and harm one another, over who has the bigger swinging dick.  I'm right, no I'm right, no I'm right-- please. If the movie is exploring themes as responsibility of one's actions and yet they haven't learned a damn thing in their family feud... what point is actually being made. First, it was upsetting how 'convenient' it was that the airport that staged the fight just happened to be abandoned, but second, if half of this team is fighting to keep themselves in check-- why in the hell are they causing all this damage to an innocent European airport.  I mean, there are no civilians, but buildings and planes are crumbling in loud, CGI fashion.  The Cap/Iron Man/Winter Soldier fight at the end-- I had no problem with it.  It had built to one inevitable conclusion and the reasons surrounding the fight made sense.  This first one, though (in which Johannson literally asks Jeremy Renner as they're fighting each other, "we're still friends right?"), made no sense whatsoever and was a futile fight effort.  You know no one is actually going to hurt anyone else and half of those dudes didn't need to be there in the first place.

Another gripe I have with the movie-- and again this could be explained better in the comics, I don't know, I haven't read them-- is the motivations of Cappy and Iron Man. Cap, to me, was a goody-goody who followed the rules and did what was best for his country. Therefore, if his country wanted to lock them into a treaty-- everything we know about his character suggests he'd be all for it. Iron Man, on the other hand, is a wild card who gets off on challenging the status quo, yet HE'S the one trying to convince [apparently now rogue] Captain America to get on board.  I didn't believe either of their character changes for a second.  Finally, one of my last gripes is a big spoiler, so if you want to read it... go down past the grade and check it out.

Personally, I felt that this was the least entertaining Captain America film even though it felt nothing like a standalone Cappy movie. I think what Marvel has going for it is that they do have good actors and the writing for most of the characters is solid. They're able to weave very serious themes throughout the films with very real characters. There's also a good amount of levity with some of the humor that plays throughout. All of the acting is strong, but I couldn't help but feel as if this one was just a louder version of everything leading up to it. It was far too crowded of a movie and a lot of what could've made an interesting story made way for huge action sequences with, yet, more CGI buildings crumbling to the ground. I don't feel as if there's anything new being thrown my way. It's just louder explosions in different locations. And, if the writing wasn't so good, it could be a forgotten Michael Bay-esque adventure. There were really no stakes for any of the characters and what I mean by that is I didn't think anyone's lives were actually in danger.

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it-- I'm just sick of the superhero genre taking over. It's getting to the point where it's repetitive and boring (which is why I loved Guardians of the Galaxy so much-- it was different, it was fresh, it was new). From what I've heard this is leaps and bounds better than Batman v. Superman and I can definitely tell that it's true. However, it just didn't do anything for me to bring me back to the excitement I had when the first Iron Man movie was released and we were just on the cusp of seeing how great the Marvel universe on film could be. One of these days Marvel is going to realize their repetition and, hopefully, HOPEFULLY, grow a pair of balls.


********SPOILERS BELOW*********

For those of you who have seen the film, it really upset me that Marvel has zero balls. Like, none. DC doesn't make the high quality films that Marvel does, but they have balls to actually put people in danger and, God forbid, kill someone.  Cap and Iron Man both survive their fight with nothing more than their egos hurt. Shit, they couldn't even kill Rhodes.  They had to immediately show us that his heart was still beating. No one is ever in danger.  No villains ever get what's coming to them. No stakes are ever raised.  If I go into a movie knowing everyone survives and it's actually a civil war (brother versus brother) I want to be able to think that one of them may possibly lose their life. But, Marvel, owned by Disney, has no balls at all.  Zero. None. No one gets that hurt.  No one's life is threatened. No one is in any danger. Man up Marvel. Or sit the hell down.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Green Room: The Go-Find-This-Movie-As-Soon-As-You-Can-So-You-Can-See-It-In-All-Its-Glory Movie

Big box office summer movie season is officially upon us.  You know with the release of some sort of Marvel and Avengers related film that it's time to see giant movies, loud explosions, big stars, packed theaters, and a lot of money made. And I'll admit that summer is a pretty fun time for movies. You're never expecting anything brilliant, but it's almost always fun.  It's fun to see big special effects and larger than life characters, and it's also fun to see which movie studios spent millions and millions on a movie that gets a 6% on rottentomatoes and bombs (this year I'm calling Warcraft as the universally hated and biggest financial loss for a studio).  However, summer is also my favorite times because there are always a few smaller, even "indie" films that sneak through quietly and wind up being some of the best films of the year (in 2014 it was Chef, last year it was Maggie). This year, Green Room definitely makes its presence known and if there's any way you can find it in a theater near you, I suggest you get on it before it is gone.

Green Room follows a punk band "The Ain't Rights" making their way through the Pacific northwest siphoning gas just to get their band-van on the road.  They meet a radio DJ who screws up a gig they traveled to play. In return for his blunder, he hooks them up with his cousin who works for a music club that just so happens to be a neo-Nazi skinhead club.  This is nothing they're not used to, so they play their set and bounce. However, as they're about to leave, one of the band leaves her phone in the green room.  As her and another member go to fetch it, they walk in on a murder. From there, they're all forced into the green room, have their phones taken from them and are kept hostage in the room until everything is straightened out. This is when the club's owner, Darcy (Patrick Stewart), is called. He decides that the band has seen too much and gathers together his neo-Nazi band of misfits in order to kill the shit out of them. He devises a plan to make it look like they've been killed outside the property, so all of the skinheads are advised to use their knives instead of their guns. Of course, the band fight back and what happens throughout the rest of the film is a tense, taut, and emotionally scarring as this becomes crazy good thriller.

Clearly, after reading this, if this doesn't sound like your cup of tea, then it probably won't be. This isn't me trying to get everyone who reads my reviews to go see this movie. Obviously, I know that a film like this is only for those who have a certain appreciation for horror movies.  So, if that's you, then you're definitely going to want to seek this movie out wherever you can. It's the best kind of horror too-- one that combines elements of the unknown behind doors as well as the ultra-violent us horror fans thoroughly enjoy. But, it's also that horror movie that doesn't rely on the paranormal or the serial killer-- this is real horror.  This is real life. These are ignorant, brainless white supremacists that follow orders and have no problem slicing and dicing at will. These people do exist and these clubs do exist and there is a possibility (very tiny, but still possible) that anyone in this certain scene could wind up in the situation our protagonists end up in.  Writer/director Jeremy Saulnier doesn't hold anything back.  He strikes early. These skinheads are not to be fucked with and fear nothing.  Not because they're so tough, but because there's hardly a brain cell within their hairless heads that tells them this is a bad idea. In fact, one of the best elements of the film that I liked is that most of the skinheads in the movie are little puny wiener kids that, with hair, wouldn't scare a four year old. But, it's because they're within the grasp of a very dangerous belief system, if you hand one a machete, you better believe they won't think twice (or at all) before using it.

It's a highly violent and very dark film that keeps its audience on the edge of their seats from early on in the film. It's a very clever film that doesn't resort to cheap scares and characters that run upstairs when the killer in the mask is chasing the half-naked blonde chick.  These characters react to their predicament in ways that combine both cleverness and stupidity.  They don't sit and wait to be killed, but they also don't Macgyver intricate weapons out of small tools they find around the room. These are real people with very limited options in a truly terrifying situation.

Patrick Stewart is also a menacing presence with his very quiet leader of the skinheads.  He never raises his voice, and he never acts out of emotion. He's a very cold and calculating villain and those are the ones to truly fear.  The stillness in his voice send shivers down your spine.  This is a very rare film that, if it interests you at all, or if you just want to get your heart racing to the point you might throw up, then checking this movie out in a dark movie theater is the best experience you can have right now. While everyone else is jerking themselves off to Iron Man fighting Captain America because their moms have the same name or something... skip the packed theater and watch a movie that truly deserves your money and your fear.