Us

Brought to us by the genius mind of Jordan Peele, Us is a film that cannot be brought to justice by any summary. This is a film that you must see for yourself because it is an experience that will have you leaving the theater with so many questions and a unwavering desire to break down this film to a molecular level of understanding. This film has so much, it falls into so many genres: comedy, thriller, horror, psychological, and mystery.

I strongly recommend watching this movie for yourself and avoiding any sort of summary, but for the sake of this review, I will give a basic summary while avoiding any important details because I want you all to experience the mind-blowing cinematography and plot.

Red and Adelaide meeting in the Wilson summer beach house.

Adelaide, Gabe, and their two children, Zora and Jason are taking a vacation and are spending time at their family beach house. We learn that as a child, Adelaide had a traumatic experience at that beach and is reluctant to see it again, but gives in to her family and agrees to go. That same night as they prepare for bed, Jason informed his parents that he spotted a family standing in their driveway, prompting Gabe to stand outside twice as he fails to intimidate them.
Cornering them, this mysterious family reveals themselves to be their doppleganger’s, Adelaide’s doppleganger telling her a story in which she describes herself as Adelaide’s shadow that goes by the name of Red. The family manages to escape their dopplegangers and rush to their friends, the Tylers’ home only to find that they have all been murdered by their own dopplegangers. The Wilsons watch the news to see that everyone in the area is being hunted by their dopplegangers and standing together to form a human chain. Red manages to kidnap Jason, prompting Adelaide to chase after her and enter through the maze of mirrors she had gotten lost in as a child.
Adelaide confronts Red and after a struggle, manages to kill Red, releasing strange animalistic noises as she does this. Jason reunites with her and they escape in an ambulance with the rest of the family. As Adelaide is driving it is revealed that Adelaide had met Red in the house of mirrors as a child and the real Adelaide was forced into the underground with the others while the doppleganger took her place on the surface. Jason seems to have realized this as well and looks strangely at his mother while she casts him a small smile.

Pluto, Abraham, Red, and Umbrae holding hands outside the Wilson peoperty

After watching Jordan Peele’s Get Out, I went in expecting to feel as shocked watching Us as I was with Get Out and was not disappointed. The film can’t beat Get Out, but it is definitely another masterpiece from Jordan Peele. Aside from the fact that these characters are running from themselves, these dopplegangers communicate through grunts and snarls and move in such quick inhumane ways that you can’t help but feel uneasy simply by looking at them. The group of them known as The Tethered, all dawn a red jumpsuit, a glove, and a pair of scissors that they use to kill their surface twins.

Joran Peele has a way of making you laugh in moments you wouldn’t normally have laughed in, and it works a way of deflating this tension before suddenly thrusting you back into this terrifying moment before you even have time to catch your breath. You are ultimately left with more questions than answers, but there is enough there to either piece together the events of past and present as well as create a guess as to what has occurred on and off the screen.

This movie is an absolute recommendation and if you are not a fan of horror/psychological films, I still recommend this film if you like unique and shocking plots.

Rating: 5/5

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Having only seen Peter Parker brought to the big screen, it was extremely exciting getting to see other spider characters brought into this film. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is a beautifully animated film that I can only describe as a homage to comic books. I went in expecting to watch a good movie and came out having decided that this is my favorite film this year. 

Miles Morales and SpiderMan 

Miles Morales is a teenager from Brooklyn that finds himself joining a team of spider superheroes after he is bitten by a radioactive spider. Son to a nurse and a police officer, he is put under a lot of pressure and expectations as he struggles to find joy in his life while fulfilling his parents’ wishes at the same time. Attending a school that he describes as elitist, Miles feels the stress of being expected to do well at this school when he feels that he is not being accepted into the setting. He thinks highly of his uncle who he secretly visits when sneaking off the school campus, and is able to freely share his passion for art with his uncle who encourages his artistic talents. While placing his latest design in an abandoned part of the subway, Miles is bitten by a radioactive spider which begins his transition to a spider powered hero. 

Our heroes are brought together after villain Wilson Fisk’s underground experiments rips holes through dimensions, forcibly bringing different versions of SpiderMan into Miles’ dimension. What makes this movie unique is its way of treating its atmosphere. The film treats itself as though we were looking at a comic book and does something I would describe as remixing images through vibrancy in colors and shapes. From noises being written across the screen to the comic book style narrative boxes, you never forget that you are watching a comic book being brought to life. I initially thought the movie would be quick to be an eyesore, but I found I couldn’t have enough of this animation and enjoyed just how bright the colors were and how these changes in dimensions become these colorful shapes. 

Miles Morales’ parents are key elements to the film and his identity and I appreciated that there was a slow buildup of the plot before Miles was even bitten by the spider. His parents, Rio Morales and Jefferson Davis, are part of his struggles with confidence, though it is never indicated that his parents are anything other than caring about their son. Rio Morales is a Puerto Rican woman that is a nurse and seems indifferent about SpiderMan, and is married to African-American police officer Jefferson Davis who is vocal about his dislike for SpiderMan. Miles’ father’s dislike of the superhero prevent him from revealing his powers to him and ultimately leaves Miles with the stress of having an entire team of spider superheroes yet still feeling alone and incapable of living up to his new abilities’ responsibilities. 

Into the Spider-Verse can be taken as a game-changer for the superhero genre of film and leaves me excited to see what else can be done with the comic books that have yet to have their own film. It is a great watch for both comic and non-comic fans, but comic book fans can definitely appreciate the love and care that went into making sure this movie was true to the comic books. 

I completely recommend you watch this movie for yourself, appreciate its beauty and go watch it again! Also if you are not familiar with superhero films, make sure you stick around at the end of the movie for a hidden ending after the credits. 

How It Ends

This film is categorized as an action disaster thriller to which I both agree and disagree, considering the fact that despite the film relying heavily on its intensity and suspense, was basically a road trip story following the dullest characters possible amidst a disaster. The plot follows Will (Theo James), lawyer and boyfriend to Samantha (Kat Graham) who is pregnant with his child. Determined to get the blessing of Sam’s parents, Will goes to Chicago where he has a not so friendly encounter with Sam’s father, Tom (Forest Whitaker). Tom and Will have a heated argument which leaves Will debating the prospect of even considering to mention his intentions to marry Samantha. Calling his girlfriend the next day, Will is in the middle of a conversation with her when plot thickens, forcing the conversation to end with Sam expressing fear just as the line cuts off. 

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Tom and Will 

Naturally, Will immediately wishes to return to Seattle but at the airport all the flight are canceled with the news reporting that an earthquake has hit the west coast of the U.S. Returning to Tom and his wife’s home, Will informs them of the sudden events and they notice fighter jets passing through. And thus our road trip begins with Tom deciding to get to Sam via car to which he allows Will to tag along. The world is suddenly falling apart with natural disasters and people were quick to steal from each other as Tom and Will are approached by thieves that forces Tom to pull out a gun. Tom, a veteran of the U.S. Marines, gets past security blocking the interstate who informs them that they are on their own as loss of electricity means a loss of communication and support.

They encounter more thieves and criminals which eventually results in Tom fracturing his ribs. Concerned over their run down vehicle, they offer a mechanic they meet two thousand dollars to have her accompany them as their at-hand mechanic in case the car breaks down throughout the trip to which she agrees, because why not, right? Her presence doesn’t last long as she eventually snaps at them, railing her regret for joining them after the constant danger and deaths she has witnessed and leaves them to continue their journey. Tom later dies from his broken ribs, leaving Will to finish alone with him covering Tom and the car with gas and burning it. Seattle is nearly completely disappeared with earthquakes continue every so often, but after finding his apartment, he sees Sam had left him an address where he rushes to reunite with her. 

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Will looking over what is left of Seattle. He wears a gas mask as ash rains over the city. 

To my complete shock, Sam was really there when Will arrives and she tells him that Jeremiah, the neighbor, helped her get away during the danger. The two have sexy times later that night and the next day Will notices Jeremiah looking through Will’s car, leaving him suspicious of the man. Jeremiah attempts to kill Will, saying he though Will was dead and believed Sam had a bond with him, but Will was prepared and immediately killed him. Disaster ensues and Will and Sam are last seen driving away from a cloud of fire, the two kiss and say their goodbyes, and as they drive the clouds seem to slow down enough for them to escape. 

I don’t know where to begin with this film, it was story not even Theo James and Forest Whitaker could save. Will and Tom were a means of putting realistic people in a terrifying natural disaster, but all it did was create brief moments of tension that were not enough to keep me completely entertained or even committed to these characters. Ricki, the mechanic was an opportunity to have a character push character development and there definitely were moments of that especially the scene in which Ricki and Will have a heart-to-heart conversation, but it was instantly made awkward with the too long silence they had staring at each other. 

Tom, the paranoid veteran, was Will’s wake up call to harden up if he wishes to make it back to Sam, but the two never appeared to form a relationship until the moments leading up to Tom’s death in which the two laugh over a story involving a drunken boat accident. The moment is honestly very genuine and made me feel for Will when he realizes he must get to Sam alone. Tom presents himself as a man that holds no trust for no one and when he has Will and Ricki with him, he makes it vocal that he doesn’t want to have any interactions with strangers, including friends of Will’s. It isn’t evident what Tom’s relationship was with his wife as he did, after all, easily leave her behind and doesn’t even seem to mention her when he realizes the extent of these natural disasters. 

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Tom and Will engaging in conversation before Tom succumbs to internal injury. 

Despite not having much screen time, Jeremiah was a character of interest, mostly for his existence seeming unnecessary in the first place. He gives his own input on what he thinks is happening, explaining his theory that this is all a war based on his knowledge of war simulations that he finds similar to what is happening. Will becomes very hostile hearing this which I assumed was him feeling angered over Jeremiah’s attitude about the subject, but it simply came off as Will getting nasty towards a genuine thought over the situation. Also, Jeremiah has the hots for Sam and takes Will into the woods where he plans to kill him. Gee, now why does that look familiar? Maybe because that is exactly what happens in the Walking Dead! Jeremiah pulled a Shane and it made absolutely no sense, this character had no development and was only noted for having crazy eyes over the fire pit at night. 

The film had its moments that kept me on the edge of my seat and I especially found the cinematography beautiful, but I was disappointed with the overall result of the film and wished it would have so much more with these characters and settings. The ending was a cheap shot as it had me demanding for a sequel just to understand what the hell I just witnessed. I never thought I would want a sequel, knowing full well that I would be in for disappointment. All in all, this film is not something I would recommend to anyone and if a sequel is in future plans, then I will likely watch in the hopes that the ending of this one is made clear. 

2.5/5