Movie Review: ‘Don’t Breathe’ Will Take Your Breath Far Away !
This year has been a good one for hyper crazy thrillers that kick your ass all over the theater- seeing two movies so far that successfully beat the tar out of the audience. The first was the incredible ‘Green Room’ and second being ‘Don’t Breathe’ the new movie from Fede “Evil Dead” Alvarez. Let me tell ya his new movie released this last weekend is a nonstop nail biter! It lives up to the hype. It’s got the grimy goods and then some and you’re not likely to find anyone able to dose off during this crazy ass thriller.
The story is simple, set in the desolate, barren areas of Detroit Michigan, three young burglars plan to rob a down on his luck blind man who’s recently gotten a six figure payment for the death of his daughter. As you might guess things don’t go quite as planned because by now everyone knows blind people are all total badasses. I guess that’s the way it goes down in the movies anyway right? Well this particular blind guy should face off with Daredevil sometime cuz he’d likely give him a serious ass whoopin!
I really don’t want to give away much of the plot as it is full of some interesting twists and turns. What I will say is Alvarez pulls no punches here, much like his ‘Evil Dead’ reboot this one rarely gives you a chance to breathe, only this one to it’s advantage has a much more likable cast. It’s a dark and gritty tale that really excels because of it’s completely convincing actors and incredible set piece. Yeah, the blind man’s old decaying home is a perplexing dark labyrinth of nooks and crannies with plenty of surprises tucked away. You’ll never feel more frustrated about trying find an exit out as this one unfolds. This movie’s got one helluva “final girl” too played by Jane Levy, she’s definitely got the chops!
The “villain” is played with amazing ferocity by Stephen Lang who’s hulking presence gives him an almost superhuman quality. It’s strange too how this movie turns the concept of facing off with a blind person into an incredibly menacing experience. You’d think the opposite but here the fact that he IS blind is one of the most terrifying things about the whole experience. Never has sneaking around been more nerve wracking! This is easily one of the most intense movie theater experiences I’ve had in quite some time.
I highly recommend this one for people who like being on the very edge of their seats with a racing heart for 90 minutes. For those who can’t hack it this one definitely won’t give you the warm fuzzies. The movie isn’t really full of crazy gore or anything like that but it’s a tightly packed mega tense cat and mouse game unlike anything you’ve probably seen before. It’s really one giant epic battle. I’d also like to ad that this ones likely going to go down in history for making you never look at turkey baster the same. That I promise – check this out if you’re feeling like a challenge!
The Great Lakes Avengers Return to Protect the Midwest!
Ok after all of my recent Marvel Comics bashing I had to take a minute here to mention that I’m actually pretty pumped about the upcoming Great Lakes Avengers ongoing series! Since 1989 when John Byrne (one of my top comic book idols) introduced the underdog team to the Marvel Universe in West Coast Avengers #46, I’ve been a big fan. In fact I listed them as one of the obscure Marvel teams I thought would make a great movie or better yet a comedic Netflix series after the success of the D-listers The Guardians of the Galaxy. Of course I have my bias as well, growing up in Wisconsin, that’s where this team is from. If you ask me the Midwest just doesn’t get enough love in the comic books. So the fact that these guys are still representin’ means a great deal to me.
I highly suggest checking out some of their earlier appearances, the classic Byrne West Coast Avengers is a great place to start but back in 2005 Dan Slott gave us an excellent 4 issue series as well. Most notable from the series today was the inclusion of Squirrel Girl to the team in that series, who we all know now is one of Marvel’s hottest titles.
That’s a great place to start and you get a chance to see in ‘Misassembled’ the origins of the team as they take on some serious Marvel Villains who arrive in their neck of the woods to raise some hell. The team finds themselves in serious trouble as they face a real threat for the first time. It’s cool little story with some great humor.
This new series finds the original core group back together in smaller numbers this time as Squirrel Girl has left the team and original member Dinah Soar died in battle over a decade ago. The team consists of Mr. Immortal, a mutant with a superhuman healing factor and the ability to survive the most gruesome deaths, Big Bertha who’s the most popular fashion icon in Milwaukee WI & has the ability to bulk up like the Blob, Doorman a mutant who can create doorways using alternate universes to pass through solid objects and finally Flatman, the openly gay two dimensional version of Reed Richards.
In the new series the team have been anointed official Avengers and are stationed in Detroit to keep the region safe. The team on the cover of the first issue appear to be milking the fact that Squirrel Girl was part of the team and are seen carrying around a cardboard cutout of her. I’m hoping that they can convince Squirrel Girl to join the ranks again, it’d be a selling point for the book but more so she was a perfect addition to the team.
It’s clear we’ll be getting quite a humorous depiction of the team once again and I can’t wait to see what kind of mischief they get into. The new series comes out this fall by Matt Gorman & Will Robson.
Before ‘It Follows’ was ‘The Myth of the American Sleepover’!
I had to take a quick moment here to mention a cool little indie flick back from 2010 that really slipped almost completely under the radar for most everyone. “The Myth of the American Sleepover” was directed by David Robert Mitchell who’s much more well known for his colossal hit horror flick from last year “It Follows”. Easily one of the best horror major movies of the last five years it got me wondering if the director maybe had anything else under his belt? One quick search on Netflix brought me to his first feature film.
Clearly Mitchell has got some serious talent and his first film is equally impressive but in very different and oddly familiar ways. Yeah The Myth of the American Sleepover actually kinda feels like It Follows minus the dismal horror. It’s a great coming of age flick with a full heart but equally oddly awkward teenage characters. It’s really a story about four teenagers again in Detroit looking for romance and action on the last weekend of summer.
You’re not going to find any cookie cutter characters here either, these kids act just like real teens and much like in It Follows the time period in the whole thing takes place is nearly impossible to peg down. Something i really dig. The movie brought back the feel of many of my own personal experiences as a teenager, I could almost picture myself running around town the same night as the kids in the movie. Another aspect the movie shared with It Follows was the odd almost dreamlike quality to it all. It’s hard to explain but this one has that same trance like feel which made It Follows such a gem.It also shares a couple of the same actors. And lastly the director must love the big indoor school swimming pools at night setting because I think these teens were at the same one in the finale of It Follows….hmm….
“Myth” feels like it’s somehow set in the same universe as it’s creepy younger brother. If you’re a fan of stuff like Freaks and Geeks, Richard Linklater flicks and are looking for something a little different most definitely check out The Myth of the American Sleepover. I’m really curious what David Robert Mitchell has up his sleeve next!
A Band Called DEATH: The Founding Fathers of Punk Rock!
I just saw the recently released documentary “A Band Called Death” documentary on VOD. Let me guess, you have no idea who Death is? Well that’s not a surprise as the band is only recently getting the recognition they most rightfully deserve and it only took about 40 years! So just who the hell are these guys? Well without spoiling too much of this excellent documentary I’ll say this, they were punk before punk was punk. Yeah Death formed way back in 1971 and they were an all black punk band long long before The Bad Brains. Yep before The Ramones these guys were kicking some serious ass.
Three brothers all who had the passion for bands like The Who and Alice Cooper got together to make some of the most ass kickin’ punk rock songs of all time. To say these guys were ahead of their time is an understatement as they were turning up loud and fast during a time when the Motown scene was booming. Not a label would touch them with a name like Death but they never faltered for nearly ten years these guys went virtually unheard and only released a 45 record to the public yet had an amazing full album that never saw the light of day until recently. They eventually disbanded and that’s where the story gets real interesting.
This is easily one of my favorite rockumentaries I’ve ever seen it ranks right of there with ‘The Story of Anvil’ in terms of portraying the true fight of an underdog band. It’s a truly heart warming movie full of some amazing rock and roll and a load of great stories. If you’re a fan of music in general you have gotta check this out. If you thought you knew everything there was to know about punk rock and it’s origins the you need to see this. The unlikely rise of a band called Death who formed over forty years ago proves that dreams really can and do come true…