Nope is a perfect blend of several genres in a large spectacle.

Two siblings who run a California horse ranch discover something wonderful and sinister in the skies above, while the owner of an adjacent theme park tries to profit from the mysterious, otherworldly phenomenon.

Jordan Peele continues to show how he can take the horror genre in several different directions, Nope is Peele’s third film having Get Out and Us under your belt is truly fantastic but how on earth do you top all of that? By creating something that may seem straightforward at first but is quite expensive and massive when you get into it. For starters the cast here are brilliant, Daniel Kaluuya is once again fantastic here and is a absolute powerhouse of an actor as usual, the exact same can be said for Keke Palmer. I believe I have said this before in one review but it needs to be said again, whatever role Palmer is in she always ends up delivering a fascinating performance and here is no different, in fact I would go far as to say this is her best performance yet. Steven Yeun is also quite great here even if he isn’t really a major character here, there’s a lot of moments with his character Ricky that are truly some of the best moments in the film and really expand his character. Lastly there’s Brandon Perea and Michael Wincott who are also really great as well, both play really fun characters and are actually quite hilarious as well. Nope is Peele’s biggest film yet it’s a massive film that explores quite a lot from the setting that the film takes place a horse ranch near a theme park in a desert, the atmosphere is masterfully done. It constantly has the viewer looking around for clues as to what’s going to happen, in fact while the movie does of course have a huge script there’s a lot of moments where the filming tells the story. A ton of quiet moments really put the film in the viewer’s mind to digest it all, the score is incredibly booming especially during the final act that really shows just how powerful the score is. Peele also does a fantastic job of combining several different genres and other directors as well as films like Jaws. Such genres include horror, sci-fi, western and thriller it’s not easy combining so many different genres but Peele and everyone involved do it effortlessly. The sci-fi elements are far different than what is usually done with the genre it’s impressive, as far as director styles or director inspirations there’s a huge mix of Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, M.Night Shyamalan, Alfred Hitchcock and John Carpenter. Spielberg mainly comes from the third act being a huge spectacle and the creature of the film sharing lots of similarities to Jaws. Hitchcock and Carpenter come in with the suspense of the film (some could argue the score is partly Spielberg and Carpenter), Shyamalan comes in with some of the characters and a few of the shots, finally there’s Kubrick who is definitely the cinematography (beautifully done here). But what makes this even better is Peele took each of those genres and directing styles I just mentioned and made every single one of them his own, that is something that is so hard to do. Overall Nope is truly a fantastic film that really reminds me on why I love film so much, it’s such a well done film that will keep you on the edge of your seat! See this film!!

Nope is available in theaters.

10/10 A+

Lightyear is a decent enough adventure that could have went further.

Legendary space ranger Buzz Lightyear embarks on an intergalactic adventure alongside ambitious recruits Izzy, Mo, Darby, and his robot companion, Sox.

Lightyear is Pixar’s newest film which the whole idea of the movie is it is about who the toy Buzz Lightyear from the Toy Story films is based on. An idea that sadly doesn’t get fully utilized, but let’s go over the positives first. First off the animation is stunning, it compliments the whole space theme really well and is the very definition of having a sci-fi feel. The voice acting all around was really strong as well, particularly Keke Palmer, Chris Evans, Uzo Aduba and Peter Sohn. Speaking of which Sox the cat is hands down the best animal sidekick in recent memory, usually I’m not a fan of the usual modern Disney sidekick who’s just there for selling toys and making unfunny jokes. But Sox was a genuinely fun character who had a lot of charm and feels a lot more than a dollar sign, the first half of Lightyear felt a lot like what you would expect from Pixar…the first 30 minutes to be exact. There’s some genuinely touching scenes with a lot of emotions mixed in that really paint an interesting story about blaming yourself and trying to do everything you can to fix a situation. The major problem with Lightyear is what follows after that, the movie quickly becomes a very generic sci-fi story filled to the brim with cliches. A huge part of this is what they decided to do with Zurg, which was a very puzzling choice that really did not add much to the movie. There are some decent bits here and there in the second half, but it’s not enough to put this movie back to where it was in the first half. It’s a lot of sci-fi elements that don’t blend together very well. Overall Lightyear is definitely not a bad film (far from it) it just could have taken it’s ideas from the first half of the movie and pushed them even further.

Lightyear is now in theaters.

7/10 B

Sundance Review: Alice is a better Antebellum but that’s not saying much.

Alice, an enslaved person yearning for freedom on a Georgia plantation, escapes through the woods and stumbles through time into the year 1973. After she meets a disillusioned political activist, she confronts the lies that kept her enslaved.

To address the elephant in the room yes the plot is very similar to Antebellum (2020), with that said I found Alice to be a bit better than Antebellum but that is honestly not saying much at all. What makes Alice better is Keke Palmer’s performance, Keke Palmer is the type of actress that brings so much power to any role she’s given. Alice also does get better towards the end of the movie, with a actual pretty fun ending that wrapped up the movie nicely. However the movie wastes so much time during the first act and a majority of the second act being focused on unfunny jokes, very tiring elements that seem to repeat throughout the movie and very uneven writing that doesn’t blend well with the tone the movie is going for. The writing flaws in particular are what kill this movie, it was really baffling to hear some jokes being told (you know the obvious oh she’s not from this time period so she doesn’t know what this means or what this is), while the movie was trying to take itself seriously at the same time. I really don’t have anything else, it’s a not as bad Antebellum that’s just not interesting at all.

Alice will release March 18th in theaters.

3/10 D-