Reel Reviews: ‘Get Out’ and ‘The Great Wall’

By on March 1, 2017

There was no giant swell in ticket sales for previously released feature films at the box office over the weekend stemming from whatever movie decided to win best picture at the 89th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 26. And the winner is a comedy of errors. Meanwhile back in the theaters…

Horror continued its box office reign as Blumhouse’s “Get Out” easily nabbed the number one spot by unseating “The LEGO Batman Movie.” Blumhouse, the product of producer Jason Blum, makes good money cranking out low budget horror movies like “Paranormal Activity” and “The Purge.” The company’s latest release, “Get Out,” caught the attention of critics and movie buffs, and rightly so.

“Get Out” tells the story of Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya, Marvel’s Black Panther) and Rose Armitage (Allison Williams, “Peter Pan Live!”), an interracial couple who decide to visit her parents one weekend. Armitage tries to reassure Washington who is treading into a heavily affluent, Caucasian dominant scenario unlike he’s ever seen. Well, there’s even more when he realizes he’s the subject of a plot to zombify/enslave African Americans for the highest bidder.

“Get Out” is almost, almost a great cult hit. Where something like “A Clockwork Orange” or “Brazil” would score a bullseye in a cinema archery contest, “Get Out” puts a definitive shot in the blue ring. It certainly does not miss the target, but it could have been soooo much better! Comedian Jordan Peele (of Key & Peele fame and “Keanu.”), who is producer, writer, and director of “Get Out,” shows his lack of experience behind the camera lens and lets perfectly stunning cinematography drop in favor of a bit of gore and feeble attempts to enhance a wandering storyline. Another problem with “Get Out” is its social commentary.

“Dumb &%$# white people,” joked the gentleman behind me after the movie ended; he and his girlfriend where white.

Part comedy (reminiscent of a poorly executed Wes Anderson film) and part (classically motivated-Hitchcockian) horror, race relations — which are a central theme in this movie — seem to take a back seat and become more befuddling than poignant.

Is this a good movie? Well, anytime I can have this kind of discourse after watching a movie means, in my opinion, it is a good movie. I just wish “Get Out” was better executed…no pun intended.

Matt Damon has a starring role in “The Great Wall.” Critic Michael Upton says the film is full of “fight scenes, ferocious fire, dazzling damsels, and diabolic demons.”

Matt Damon has a starring role in “The Great Wall.” Critic Michael Upton says the film is full of “fight scenes, ferocious fire, dazzling damsels, and diabolic demons.”

 

‘The Great Wall’

Matt Damon decided he wasn’t going to put too many pokers into his production of “Manchester by the Sea,” and decided to hand the acting reigns to his long-time Boston-bud, Casey Affleck — good thing for Affleck who won his first Oscar with the performance.

Bad thing for Damon is the free time opened him up to take the roll of wayward hired hand William in “The Great Wall,” an historical sci-fi piece spouting the legend and purpose of the Great Wall of China. This will be one of those movies Damon can never shrug; it’ll be the butt of jokes for decades to come, but it did look like he had fun. And I had fun watching it.

For pure escapism, “The Great Wall” is a good choice. Surrounded by fight scenes, ferocious fire, dazzling damsels, and diabolic demons, William makes a man of himself and saves the world. Yippee! Happy ending.

Want something more? Go see “Logan” this weekend.

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

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