The Black Phone Review
By Paul Anthony
I will always start a review on a Blumhouse production by saying yes, they produce a lot of horror films but at the same time these films can be a hit or a miss, so the question is The Black Phone a hit or miss? The film was made on a budget of about 18 million and as of the writing of this blog has made 157 million dollars which makes you seem like it is a hit, but we got a lot to talk about here. The film is based on the 2004 short story of the same name by Joe Hill. The film is led by Ethan Hawke. So, let’s take a look at the plot.
The film takes place in 1978, here we meet Finn and his younger sister Gwen. Finn plays baseball and life seems normal though we quickly learn that this little town north of Denver. The little town is dealing with a child murderer, well at this point it’s just a kidnapper because the bodies haven’t been found just yet. The Kidnapper is dubbed the Grabber by the town and kids that are close or have been around Finn start to disappear. One day the police interview Gwen because word got around that she said something regarding the cases that haven’t been made public which annoys her alcoholic father and punishes her by beating her because she tells him that her dreams come true, and these are visions. We quickly learn that Finn’s mother had these dreams as well and that’s why she committed suicide, and he doesn’t want that fate for his daughter. The worse thing happens, and Finn runs into the Grabber, and he becomes the next victim. The Grabber informs Finn once he awakes that he is in a soundproof basement so he can scream but no one will hear him and the black phone that’s been in the basement and hasn’t worked since he was a kid. Nothing happens over the next few days but then the phone rings and each time the phone rings it’s a voice from a past victim and gives him advice how to escape but reveal they never did because they ran out of time and its game to the grabber. The last call is his friend who teaches how to use the phone as a weapon. At the same time Gwen finally has her father approval to use her visions to help Finn and the cops finally agree to work with her and with her help they find a house though no one is home and cops can’t find any bodies until they find the basement where he buried the victims and at that point Finn is fighting the Grabber and gets the upper hand then break his neck and kills and only to escape. We learn that he was only across the street from where the victims were buried. Finn shortly returns to school and now has more confidence from him surviving the grabber.
Now, some of the things I like about this film was Hawke’s performance and how the film used him, he wasn’t in every scene, and he didn’t need to be. The film didn’t rely on jump scares to move the movie along. Instead, it told a story and when the grabber was on screen, he was a threat. The movie made good use out of a small buget, and the effects were on par. Now in the end I am giving this film a Hit and a great grade of a A rating and think if you are true horror fan then you’ll enjoy this film.
Thirteen Lives Review
By Paul Anthony
Ron Howard movies are some of the best movies I have ever seen, I knew once I saw that this film was directed by him that I just had to watch it and review it. Honestly, I am glad I did. Now Sadly I don’t remember much about this real-life situation that did happen in Thailand in the summer of 2018. The budget for the film was 55 million and the length of film was 2 hours and 23 minutes. The film starred Viggo Mortensen as Richard Stanton, Colin Farrell as John Volanthen, Joel Edgerton as Richard Harris and Tom Bateman as Chris Jewell. The film was filmed on location in Thailand which had to be cool for the actors to visit the country.
The film starts with the boys practicing football (Soccer in the United States) and everyone is reminded of a birthday that is set at 7 pm because it is one of the player’s birthday, which one player goes straight to the house to help set up everything up. The rest of the team, with the young assistant coach who agrees to take the remaining 12 kids to the Tham Luang Cave to go explore for a little fun. Things go as plan at first but then it begins to rain which through channels at the top of the cave it begins to flood the cave trapping the kids and the coach deep inside the cave. When the team don’t show up for the birthday party that is when the parents alert the police and soon realize they have a bad situation on their hands. As the Royal Thai Navy Seals arrive to dive in the cave to search for the boys, they realize they aren’t able to do it because though they are trained divers for the open sea, they aren’t trained to swim through caves and therefore unable to rescue the team. At this point the governor due to a tip calls upon John Volanthen who also calls his friend Richard Stanton which both are experts in cave diving and recue. They quickly arrive in Thailand and at first no one really wants them there. Nevertheless, they go in and after hours finds the boys who are all alive, they report back and show the proof that everyone is alive, but Richard realizes getting them out is near impossible, Thats when they bring in Richard Harris a doctor both Stanton and Harris know there is only one option to get them out and Harris doesn’t want to do it at first but then finally agrees, the plan is to treat the boys like a package basically tying them up and sedating them, which works but requires three days each day saving four at a time and not one life was lost and the divers and the volunteers who helped divert the rain water from the cave to prevent the cave from getting worse are hailed as heroes.
If you did follow this event on the news than of course you knew the ending but what you didn’t know is what the people had to go through to get them out and that is what kept, you hooked on this film and made you watch every minute of it. Howard did an amazing job at telling their stories and keeping you engaged in the film. This film didn’t have any big action scenes or monsters because it didn’t need to, the writing was on the wall. The actors did a good job at making you feel their pain and frustrations that they had to go through. You didn’t need a lot of character development because the story was the rescue itself. I believe this is another hit for Howard and I love it to be honest and, in the end, I am giving it an S for a grade this was the perfect film in my eyes
Predator Movie Rankings ( Including the 2 Alien vs Predators)
By: Justin Hopkins
It is so good to see my favorite franchise thriving at the moment. The human hunting alien is killing it over on Hulu, with Prey at the moment, and our review of said movie is over on our YouTube channel. Leaving only one thing left to do, and that is to rank them from worst to best. A tough challenge for someone who loves most of these films, but I am onboard for anything that lets me talk about Predator for a little while longer. So without further ado, lets dive in shall we.
The bottom of the barrel, worst of the bunch. The only movie on this list that I have not gone back to re-watch since I saw it in theaters. The worst part is, there is a good movie in here somewhere. It had so much potential. The Fugitive Predator having to work with the humans to take down the Upgraded Predator. Cause the movie was at least tolerable till he died. The dialogue was terrible, they never caught on to the fact the jokes have to stop in movies like this, and the end was garbage.
6-Alien vs Predator: Requiem
While I can still find some enjoyment in this entry, still not that great. Wolfe, the lone Predator carries this movie on his back and I do like the Predalien we get here. Kelly was a really good character, who we really should have spent more time with over the dipstick brothers, especially, Ricky, seriously, they could have killed him. How are you going to make us suffer this character and not give us the satisfaction of his death. Also, having the final fight that we’ve been waiting the entire film for, end with the government bombing the town, is just cheap way to end it.
Don’t read to much into this placement. I love this movie. So much of Predator lore and weaponry comes from here. Loved going to the city setting after being in the jungle. The City Hunter himself was a different kind of hunter compared to the Jungle Hunter. Not showing Donald’s character honor in the way the previous one showed Arnold in the final fight and we got to look at the Trophy Room, which set the ball rolling for….
4-Alien vs Predator
Speak of undeserved hate. This movie was a blast. Yes, it probably should have been released as with an R-rating, but the story was great. Showing some backstory of the Predator’s history on Earth and how they use the Xenos as the ultimate prey. That the younger Predators must hunt to prove themselves as worthy Hunters. Each species got the chance to shine and we were introduced to Scar, who was so much fun to follow. Seeing the Predator working with a human for a change. A quality that has intrigued me so much. Would love to see them come back to this idea down the road.
This was so much fun. Seeing the game preserve planet. Giving us the Predator Dogs and the clans at war with one another. The characters of different backgrounds having to come together and figure out what is going on and how they could possibly overcome and escape. The Topher Grace swerve handled perfectly and made you feel even more sad for Nikolai sacrifice himself for him.
Amber Midthunder made me care bout Naru. I can’t remember the last time I went into one of these movies and did not cheer on the Predator. From start to finish, they built such a great world. The characters are well thought out. Casting was spot on. The effects and kills were great and would absolutely would love to see them revisit this world again. While it is sitting in second place, it is not here comfortably. This movie is going to age like a fine wine. Sure to earn the title of classic and may very well over take the top spot. Which of course,
Yeah, it is. I am going to keep this short, cause can only hurl praise on it so many times. It gave use a wonderful world and a marvelous Alien. Set a high bar and I love that we keep getting entries that try to match. For my money, all except one failed to be enjoyable and I’ll take all they dish out.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!