Mooreviews’ Must Watch/Might Not Have Heard of Movie Recommendations (May 28th)
To make the current quarantine life a little easier, every two weeks I’ll be throwing out some recommendations of films that everyone can access across different streaming sites!
Writer/director Jordan Peele’s follow-up to his 2017 Oscar-winning horror hit, Get Out, delves deeper into the horror genre through a suspenseful battle against ourselves.
Us follows a family on a summer vacation that turns deadly when they hunted and forced to survive against an evil force that looks just like them. After watching Us, it’s no wonder that this film became such an instant classic. With an incredible score from Michael Abels, horrifying and simple costume design from Kym Barrett, and a strong story from Peele full of details and Easter eggs that make re-watching inevitable. Every twist and turn is full of suspense and Peele ups his horror game through The Tethered by creating bone-chilling doppelgangers with mysterious deadly motives. Not to mention, you get twice the top-tier performances from the entire cast with Lupita Nyong’o giving one of the strongest, terrifying, and powerful performance of both the horror genre and of 2019. To this day, you can still hear people voice off across the web about Nyong’o being robbed of barely seeing any awards recognition – myself included.
Get Out put Peele on the map, but Us shows that he’s already mastered the craft in delivering pulse-pounding suspense, a story full of surprise, and characters that are destined to become iconic to the horror genre. If you somehow missed Us, there’s no better time than now to check it out.
Alita: Battle Angel
Defying the odds of American anime adaptations, director Robert Rodriguez brings a legendary anime to life in a visual and emotional way with Alita: Battle Angel.
The film follows Alita (Rosa Salazar) – a deactivated cyborg that’s revived by Dr. Ido (Christoph Waltz) but can’t remember anything about her past life and goes on a quest to figure out who she is. This is easily Rodriguez’ most visually stunning film to date with the character designs being incredibly unique and looking slick through all the incredible action sequences. From the Motorball sequences to Alita kicking some major cyborg ass, there’s plenty of action to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Salazar also delivers a very strong breakout performance and makes Alita’s growing romance with Hugo (Keean Johnson), her strength, and her determination to find the truth very believable, relatable, and engaging. Not to mention, it’s actually a good adaptation of an anime – which is truly a rarity and makes Alita worth watching in its own right.
It’s still disappointing to me that so many people skipped out on Alita: Battle Angel when it was in theaters because they missed out on an anime adaptation full of action, strong visuals, and damn good lead performance from Salazar. To this day, you can still find fans shouting for a sequel, so you’ve got to check it out ASAP!
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
If you’re in the mood for some jaw-dropping action, there’s nowhere better to turn to than Keanu Reeves in the John Wick series – especially with Chapter 3.
Chapter 3 of the iconic action franchise follows deadly assassin Wick after a major price has been put on his head and every assassin is looking to claim it. Reeves and director Chad Stahelski are truly at their best in Chapter 3 as watching Wick use everything he can get his hands on, including guns, knives, and even horses, to stay alive is an absolute blast. There’s a sense of paranoia and brutality that’s unlike anything in the series and Reeves continues to make Wick one of the most iconic characters of his career and of the action genre. The cinematography from Dan Lausten is perfect as Wick is constantly going into different areas and I’ve never seen action so smooth that you simply can’t look away. There’re also great supporting performances from Halle Berry, Ian McShane, and Laurence Fishburne that add unique personalities and storylines to create a stronger depth to this world of assassins.
The cheers and roars that took place when I saw Chapter 3 in theaters are something that I’ll never forget and we’re truly in Keanu Reeves Renaissance. Action junkies need to flock to this standout action sequel that shows Reeves at his best and delivers action sequences that are out of this world.
Bringing the world of Pokémon into the world of live-action, Detective Pikachu gave a whole new look to what a Pokémon movie could be and offered a fun, thrilling adventure for the whole family.
Following a young boy named Tim (Justice Smith) looking for his father and a determined Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) posing a detective looking for his partner, Detective Pikachu offers a unique noir adventure that takes viewers in a new kind of Pokémon world. Seeing Pokémon interact in the real world is a fan’s dreams coming to life and the more realistic features create unique depictions of iconic characters that are stunning. There’s a great adventure and friendship between Tim and Pikachu that drives the film and is incredibly endearing and emotional – especially at the end. There’re plenty of callbacks and nods to the games and animated series that fans will absolutely love and action-packed fun that’ll please any viewer and keep them hooked from start to finish. It’s an experience that’s perfect for fans and non-fans alike and an adventure fittingly fun for the whole family.
There’s so much potential for more films to explore a more realistic Pokémon world and it’s all because of what’s presented in Detective Pikachu. If you’re looking for a new kind of Pokémon experience or just a fun family adventure – Detective Pikachu needs to be on your watchlist.
Giving Octavio Spencer her first leading role, which is an incredibly shocking statement to say, director Tate Taylor’s Ma is an incredibly fun horror flick that lets Spencer run wild in a way that viewers have never seen her.
The film follows a group of teens that become friendly with a lonesome woman that goes by Ma (Spencer) and end up becoming enveloped into her deadly scheme of revenge. Spencer is an absolute treat for horror fans as she makes Ma’s traumatized past and crazed actions intriguing and the relationship built between the kids and Ma is actually kind of interesting. The film balances past and present really well to create surprising connections and motivations when Ma finally loses it. There’s also a very fun and believable mother/daughter connection between Juliette Lewis and Diana Silvers – who both give great performances throughout. Even for some of the cliché aspects, Spencer and the rest of the cast elevate everything to a standard that keeps viewers engaged. Not to mention, seeing Spencer enact some of the horrors that Ma does to those around her shows her in a new light that very fun to see unfold.
Ma is another great horror film in Blumhouse’s library and is a fun, fitting role for Spencer to finally let loose and be a strong lead. Anyone looking for some fun horror moments will easily be pleased by what Ma has to offer.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Legendary’s Monsterverse finally comes together with Godzilla: King of the Monsters as it offers heart-pounding action and monster fights galore.
The film follows a group of scientists a part of a cryptic organization called Monarch as they attempt to impede an incoming battle for dominance between the legendary Godzilla and a three-headed titan named Ghidorah. Honestly, if you’re looking for incredible, visually stunning monster battles, King of the Monsters delivers exactly what you’d want. Not only does this film contain a battle of the ages between Ghidorah and Godzilla, but it also contains both new and classic monsters from the franchise – including Mothra and Rodan. It’s a battle that you actually kind of find yourself invested in because of how destructive things get and how much of a heroic figure that Godzilla becomes. Not to mention, I actually kind of dug the family issues between some members of the team and there’s a greatly satisfying and emotional moment with a heroic act from Dr. Serizawa (Ken Watanabe). Sure, some of the characters and dialogue are cheesy as hell, but it’s all a part of the fun and the film certainly delivers that in spades.
Frankly, there’s so much King of the Monsters does in setting up future outlets for the Monsterverse to continue that are greatly exciting and will be fascinating to see unfold in the future. No Godzilla fan should miss out on King of the Monsters and anyone looking for some kick ass monster battles should definitely check it out as well.