Knives Out Review: Take a Trip Down the Donut Hole.

5 stars
“A whodunnit like no one has ever done it” is the phrase that has been used so prominently in marketing Rian Johnson’s latest film.
Coming off the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was… let’s say controversial, Johnson returns with the completely different Knives Out, a film that follows the investigation into the death of millionaire, crime writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer).

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Thrombey’s death drives the story with an interesting take on the murder mystery.

What follows is a constantly intriguing, suspenseful and humorous murder mystery with a star studded cast including Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield and many more.
The standouts of this cast are, without a doubt, Craig, de Armas, and Evans who all turn in fantastic performances.
Craig is brilliant as the wonderfully over the top detective Benoit Blanc, who has been mysteriously hired to investigate the also mysterious death of Thrombey.
Despite this pivotal role, I think the part of main character actually belongs to de Armas’ Marta Cabrera who has the most screen time, takes the most action out of any character, and plays into the themes of the film.

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De Armas and Craig both lead the film with great performances.

Then there is Evans, who plays the spoiled grandson of Thrombey, Hugh Ransom Drysdale, in a welcome deviation from the roles he usually takes.
Along with these three, the other actors of the film do a great job as well; supported by a witty script with plenty of suspenseful and humorous moments.
These two tonnes blend together so well that it feels like Johnson is  taking the murder mystery genre seriously while satirizing it simultaneously, to gleeful results.
There are also so many well placed small details for viewers to notice as well, demanding a second viewing.

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Amazing subtle details, like how flashbacks change depending on who is telling their side of the story, appear throughout the film.

Knives Out certainly lives up to its phrase of “A whodunnit like no one has ever done it,” as it left me hoping for another adventure down the donut hole with Benoit Blanc.

 

Halloween Review: Delivers Both Scares and a Confusing Title.

3 and a half stars
Halloween 
is the reboot/sequel to Halloween… man that is confusing.
In all seriousness, this movie probably should have been called something different to avoid confusion with the original film and its remake because now there are three films with the Halloween title.
To avoid this confusion, I will be referring to this film as Halloween 2018 from now on.
Directed by David Gordon Green, Halloween 2018 picks up 40 years after the first one, completely retconning all of its sequels.
Laurie Strode, played once again by Jamie Lee Curtis, is now living in a constant state of paranoia because of the trauma she received at the hands of Michael Myers, which has almost destroyed her relationship with her family.
However, when Michael escapes while being transferred to a different mental hospital, Laurie and her family must band together to stop him.
I have only seen the first two Halloween movies but many of the other sequels do not have good reputations so, even with the positive response the film was getting from fans of the series, I came in with a level of apprehension.
After viewing it I have to say that although I did have some problems with it, Halloween 2018 still manages to be an enjoyable and frightening ride with one hell of a body count.
Seriously, this movie is especially gory, which makes the scenes with Michael as he prepares to kill someone even more chilling.

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Michael Myers is once again played by numerous actors, all of whom do a great job of bringing the Shape to life.

Michael is a force to be reckoned with in this movie, truly becoming the Shape and not just a random serial killer seen in other slasher films.
His presence is made even scarier through the film’s amazing soundtrack with both the old music from the original film and new ones sending shivers down your spine.
It also made it surprisingly sad to see some characters bite the dust because, even though most of them fit the typical tropes of the slasher genre. they still had enough nuance for me to care about them.
This was especially apparent with the Strode family, consisting of Laurie’s daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak).
All three gave fantastic performances and my favourite moment of the film had to come from Greer in a surprising moment that had me internally cheering.

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The Strode family is one of the highlights of the film, with all three actresses doing a great job.

I also loved the film’s main theme of trauma, with the final shot of Halloween 2018 being especially gripping.
However, there were certain things that held the movie back for me.
Halloween 2018 makes an unusual change in the series by incorporating comedy into some sections.
But, for me, this comedy never landed and always felt out of place.
Some of the characters did not work for me either.
First there was Karen’s husband and Allyson’s father Ray (Toby Huss) who has almost no point in the movie.
Then there was the plot point concerning Michael’s new doctor Ranbir Sartain (Haluk Bilginer), which I felt was unnecessary in the grand scheme of things and very off-putting.
These problems aside though, Halloween 2018 is still a good time if you are looking to get scared.
Some great character moments from the Strode family and Michael Myers himself are the main highlights.