Archives for posts with tag: Emily Blunt

Grade B

In the near future, an alien race that hunts based on sound, are armor plated, and has claws that can slice through 2 inches of steel have taken over Earth.  Somewhere in upstate N.Y., a family of four — with a baby on the way — survives the invasion by making as little noise as possible.  But as the mother’s due date nears, death to the entire family may be unavoidable.

My most memorable, movie moment of “A Quiet Place” is the scene when one of the monsters follows Emily Blunt (who plays the mother) into the bathroom as she is about to give birth.  Not only is the scene very tense, it showcases Blunt’s tremendous acting abilities, which is one factor why I give this very flawed movie a high rating.

Ready for my discussion on this movie’s shenanigans?  One: the monsters are blind, yes, and they hunt based on sound…and nothing else, not smell, not taste.  Ok, maybe where these monstrosities come from there is no need to taste and smell…maybe…although that is a hard sell considering these are predators.   Two: these creatures somehow overpowered the military of the entire world, or at least that of the U.S.  Yes, these aliens are powerful and fast, but have you seen the hardware the U.S. Armed Forces have at their disposal?  Three: are we supposed to believe not one person on the planet figured out earlier that we should combat these aliens with some type of sonic warfare?   Instead the world as we know it has ended, and only then **SPOILER ALERT** does one deaf teen and her mom find out the aliens’ weakness.   And for those who say “well, maybe they did come by the millions, which explains how Earth was taken over,” I say to you that the movie doesn’t go into much detail on how the invasion occurred.   I understand it wants to concentrate on the family’s survival; but without a concrete, solid framework to set the rules, “A Quiet Place” opens itself up to questions and dissections which will reveal its flaws.  I could go on with more logical problems with this movie, but I don’t want to write a novella.

Fortunately, this movie has great acting, good cinematography and direction.  It is filled with suspense and tension that stays high all throughout the story.  Although flawed in many ways, I still found it very entertaining.

— M

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“Sicario” takes us into the brutal world of Mexican drug cartels, their infiltration into the United States, and America’s response to this threat, legal and illegal.   This is a dark, twisted version of “Alice In Wonderland,” and could be titled “Alice The FBI Agent in Cartel Land.”

Emily Blunt is “Alice The FBI Agent” who volunteers to work with an inter-agency team to bring down high-ranking members of a Mexican, drug cartel that have set up shop in the U.S.  Josh Brolin is the secretive “Cheshire Cat” who leads the team — he grins and smirks often, but behind those smiling eyes is a cold-blooded soldier who will carry out his orders any way he can.  More shadowy than Brolin is Benicio Del Toro, the “Mad Hatter” who has an “appointment” with the leader of the Mexican cartel so he can fulfill his own agenda, whatever that may be.  Blunt can, at any time, remove herself from the inter-agency team and go home; but she wants to know how deep the rabbit hole goes and what is at the end of it despite the risks to her career, her sanity, and her life.

At the top of the list for my memorable, movie moments of “Sicario” is the part when Blunt and her teammates have an upper-echelon cartel member in their possession and they are on their way back to the U.S. border.  Traffic at the checkpoint is a nightmare and the area has become a parking lot.  The Americans know they are in a good spot for an ambush by the drug dealers, and within seconds they spot two cars loaded with serious looking Mexicans carrying an assortment of guns.

Taking the number two spot for my memorable moments of this movie is the scene when Blunt’s team crossed over into Mexico in their black SUVs, and moments later they are escorted by a dozen Mexican police vehicles manned by fully armored cops carrying heavy weapons.  Blunt takes all this in with widened eyes which grow more fearful when she spots naked, headless bodies of men hanging from a trestle, presumably victims of the cartels.

It’s rare for a movie to keep up a high level of intensity through most of the story, but “Sicario” does just that.  There are many “critics” out there who are secretly paid by movie studios to use phrases like “grabs you and won’t let go until the end” in their reviews.  Well, “Sicario” does just that: it grabs your attention from the first shot to the last.  I was very entertained, Maximus!

— M

Combine “Starship Troopers” with “Groundhog Day” and you have a good idea of what “Edge of Tomorrow” is about.

In the near future, alien creatures called Mimics have invaded the Earth, quickly taking over and destroying much of Europe.  A United Defense Force has been created, comprising of armies of multiple nations.  Hmmm…why not just use NATO?  Anyway, the UDF has created a battle suit that looks like the robotic loaders that is in the movie “Aliens.”  With these battle suits, and a bad-ass female soldier (a very fit and toned Emily Blunt) who is an expert at killing Mimics, the UDF finally has a fighting chance against the alien invaders.

“Wait a minute,” you’re probably asking.  Isn’t Tom Cruise’s character the bad-ass, the last hope of Earthlings?  Nope, not for the first act; and that is what makes “Edge of Tomorrow” a very nice surprise for me.  This is the first Cruise movie that I’ve seen where he is a coward.  Despite being an officer in the US military and the poster child for getting others to sign up for the UDF and giving their lives to save the Earth, Cruise has no combat experience and isn’t looking get any. In fact, when pressed into the UDF service to fight on the front lines for the biggest invasion against enemy territory, Cruise runs away!  He’s not even on the battlefield, but in the UDF’s headquarters in London; and he’s running from all these military personnel as if he can actually make it all the way back to the States without getting caught!  This was one of my most memorable moments of this movie.

As you may have guessed, Cruise doesn’t get too far in his escape plans.  He is busted down to a private and sent to join a squad that will be dropped into the fight on the next day (the big invasion).  Cruise is a babe in a very nasty part of the woods, and within minutes of being dropped into the fray, he is killed.  But somehow he has attained the power to go back one day in time every time he gets killed, with a complete memory of what happened, allowing him to sidestep all the pitfalls that would kill him.

Blunt, finding out about Cruise’s power, enlists his help to try to turn the disastrous invasion into a successful one; but both find it is a very, very difficult thing to do.  Think of it as a video game that is so difficult, you can only advance a little at a time before being killed.  The part that you’ve played already is easy, but the rest of the game is unknown.

Unfortunately for Cruise, he will have to die many, many times if he wants to get it right.  But dying is painful, and he dies in many ways.  At first, Cruise’s deaths are usually funny; and the movie comes off mostly as comedic.  But as his deaths rack up, Cruise starts to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, or simply “shell shock” as it was called in the old days.  His multiple lives also has the benefit of making him a highly skilled warrior.  This is when the movie’s tone shifts to that of a serious, sci-fi story.  Movies that do these tone shifts usually come off as schizophrenic and uneven, but in this case, it works very well.

Pretty much all of the movie works very well.  I didn’t expect to like this movie as much as I did, so I hope you give it a chance; and maybe you’ll like it also.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention my most memorable, movie moment of “Edge of Tomorrow.”  That would be the scene when Cruise sees Blunt for the first time.  She’s in a training room, calmly doing some Yoga pose that shows how fit she is.  Upset that Cruise has invaded her space, she stands up and gives him a threatening stare.  This…woman…is…absolutely…stunning.   Hmm…I guess Blunt is a big reason why I like this movie so much.

— M

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