Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings: A Detailed Review

SHang-CHi and Legend of the Ten RIngs: It’s INCREDIBLE!!!

It’s not just a Marvel movie!

Shang – Chi has finally released, and people are running to go see it. Even if I am exaggerating just a bit, if you go check your local theater app you’ll see that the special screenings are pack for tonight and honestly it’s great knowing that this movie is getting the recognition it deserves!

With covid still around and new variants being found it was a dangerous game for Disney not to release it for a home audience, and having them call Shang – Chi an “experiment” is just objectively a disgraceful thing to do, no matter the intention, location, or talking to investors. But seeing the theaters fill up, with precautions of course, it fills my heart with joy for the film getting its deserved spotlight.

As a person that uses the theater experience to get away from certain worries the world brings, I’m glad to report that this film is exactly that, an out of world experience that should be enjoyed in Dolby and/or Imax. Once you begin to watch, you forget it’s even related to the MCU having certain instances that reflect back towards the other films and of course the obvious use of post credit and mid credit scenes of the film that’s used to expand the lore of the world(s). But this isn’t the article you want to read if your only interest is looking through fan theories, no, this will be a different type of review article. I enjoy going a little more beyond than the story and plot, and with this film having incredible Chinese influence and culture, and beautiful choreography I have my hands full, but I promise to make it worth your while.

Overview

Shang-Chi and Legend of the Ten Rings is a work of art having everything you want from a superhero film the fighting, the big bads being actually big bads, heroes reflecting, and so much more. I highly recommend this film for anyone contemplating to go see it, or even if you aren’t I still recommend it. Having an amazing cast, it brings everything together as the audience can normally tell if something is off between them, and Simu Liu and Awkwafina’s chemistry on screen is incredible something I never thought I needed in life. Just look at the picture above, it speaks for itself on the energy of the film and not to mention the great performances of Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, Fala Chen, Michelle Yeoh, Meng’er Zhang. This is definitely a film you have to experience on the big screen at least once and have it on a special screening too. In addition, I have to mention the incredible martial arts portrait and the stunt/ fight choreography performed in the film coordinated by the recently late Brad Allan. But please, don’t just take my word for it check out the trailer below!

Awkwafina middle, Simu Liu right. Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings

Review

I have to mention there is minor and some major spoilers ahead for the film, so please keep in mind as you read.

I can’t state this enough, as everyone in the cast and crew did an incredible job at telling a story. For those that don’t know the story, it follows the life of Shang-Chi a young man whose father is “The Mandarin” although he goes by many names as he’s lived for thousands of years. His father created an empire and army throughout the years and surprisingly when he met his mother settled down a bit from his darker past. It was only until his mother’s death that his father went back to his old ways and even started brutally training him to the extent of being “unkillable”. That’s where we get Shang-Chi, the greatest martial artist the MCU or Marvel ever had. Although, he didn’t want to be a killer let alone for his father so he left and lived for 10 years without his past catching up. After which, he was brought in by his father, who always had tabs on him and now needed him to bring back his mother. At the end we realize it isn’t their mother and Shang-Chi tries to stop his father and the new evil at hand, of course leading to an epic fight and finale.

Now, Simu Liu playing Shang Chi, or as his new alias states Shaun, was a great casting choice and not surprisingly enough Marvel is a big name to be joining now in days. Although he’s not shy of joining amazing roles like Jung in Kim’s Convenience, or other such as being in the Taken series, a short called The Akira Project and a couple of other names. Not to forget mentioning Awkwafina, who we can all agree has been a growing love to see in films since having roles in Crazy Rich Asians, Ocean’s Eight, Raya and the Last Dragon, Jumanji: The Next Level, and many more. Both bring an amazing light to the film and their chemistry is outstanding, even to the extent of having a joke about the two characters marrying each other, and with all honesty I wouldn’t see it as a problem. We also have to talk about the other wonderful cast Tony Leung Chiu-Wai playing The Mandarin, Fala Chen playing Leiko Wu (Shang Chi’s mother), Michelle Yeoh playing Jiang Nan (Shang Chi’s aunt), Meng’er Zhang playing Xu Xialing (Shang Chi’s sister).

All great actresses and actor, having Tony’s portrayal of an immortal militant man and father was outstanding seeing what makes him feared by the world and his brutal ways of working to the softer more tame version brought out by his wife. Now Kevin Fiege has mentioned this film would restore the image of who The Mandarin is and that we’d be surprised by it, and with all honesty he’s right. I wasn’t expecting such a character arch for what was portrayed to be the baddest of the bad, don’t get me wrong Tony’s character was deadly but after his wife’s passing it was a matter of grief that drove him rather than a hunger for power. It honestly brought out an amount of sorrow towards the character in my opinion, as I’ve dealt with grief before not the same as his character had but grief nonetheless, and that’s what I loved about Tony’s portrayal! The subtle ways of speech, mannerisms and actions that showed what was really going on through the characters head all up until his last fight. Now Fala’s portrayal of the sweet graceful mother who could still be deadly in combat was great, and really added to why Shang-Chi was who he was, and as we heard in the trailer above he is both of these polar opposites’ son. Although we don’t see a great deal of the mother, her few instances were amazing and sweet, as how one would imagine a loving mother would be. This can also be said about a loving aunt just like Michelle Yeoh’s performance as the kid’s aunt, which showed beautiful choreography and fierce warrior scenes. Next we have Meng’er’s character of Xialing, Shang Chi’s sister, and we see they are more related than ever with her on screen performance being phenomenal in the fight sequences, and her boss energy. Unlike her brother, she was taught to fight but she watched from the shadows and taught herself, making herself into a killing machine if need be. Not to mention like her father, she created her own empire off of a fight club on the dark web, and showing something dope in the post credit scene.

Meng’re Zhang left, Simu Liu middle, Awkwafina right.

Now aside from great performances by these great actors and actresses, I also have to mention two more things without making this article any longer. The stunt and fight choreography in this film is incredible and beautiful taking roots from the old martial arts called wushu. It’s swift and light yet hard impact movements gave way to amazing scene fluidity and with it had me smiling for the entire night, just seeing such actions being portrayed Simu, Tony, Meng’re and everyone else was amazing!!! I have to give props to younger Shang Chi Dallas James Liu, who was a bad ass showing the skills of a young martial artist and even the performance of a young trained killer like Shang-Chi. Not to mention giving props to Brad Allan who work on the film as the fight coordinator before his passing due to an illness. He was an incredible stunt performer and coordinator that’s worked with greats like Edgar Wright and was a part of Jackie Chan’s team. That goes without saying he put his all in what he could before his passing and he will live on through his works. And we also have Andy Cheng to thank for the fight choreography, who was also a team member of Jackie’s stunt crew. It goes without saying but when you add incredible people to your crew you’re going to get incredible results. A lot of it reminded me of older kung fu movies with the swift movements in the air and tip toeing all around yet certain seem so realistic I don’t want to believe they used wires to create such movement.

The second thing I have to mention is the use of Chinese culture such as the imagery and the like, specifically mentioning this because of the hot water brought with viewers in the Eastern Hemisphere. I can’t and will not speak for their part but must mention that the older comics this movie originates from uses stereotypes of Chinese culture and Asian people as a whole. You can find a lot on this matter finding racist villain names and other like items being a big part of it. As I can’t speak for these viewers and their want to accurately depict their culture and life, I will say that the imagery used in this film was beautiful to me, leaving me with a mystical arts to it and with the choice of a small village by the water I found it calming.

All in all, Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Ten Rings was a spectacular time and experience that brought everything it offered in the trailer. As a person that loves hero stories and “perfect” fight choreography, this film brought out whatever serotonin I can scrap inside my head. I only hope as a filmmaker that I get a chance to also work and create similar works in the future. If you have been wanting to go see it and need a reason, I hope I can be that reason to convince you to go as soon as you can. And for those that are still iffy don’t take my word for it just go watch it and let me know what you think, till next time, peace.

A Quiet Place Part II: A Detailed Review

A Quiet Place Part II: A Sequel As Good As the First?

When success comes to a movie there’s always the question of whether or not a sequel will be made, and if there is one would it ever compare or surpass the first? Few films come to mind where sequels are better than the first, John Wick 2, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Transformers 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Dark Knight, etc.

A Quiet Place Part II definitely is one of those films that surpasses the first, of course it is in my honest opinion accompanied by others. With the first being a massive audience success and the ending leaving for a potential sequel, I was really happy to see the trailer come out in 2020. Still having John Krasinski as the director, we can see his skills improving to tell a story. Now the original family cast returns to play the part Emily Blunt playing Evelyn Bennett, Millicent Simmonds playing Regan Bennett, Noah Jupe playing Marcus Bennett. Adding to the amazing cast as a major character is Cillian Murphy playing Emmett a friend before the chaos now turned stranger.

Overview

A Quiet Place Part II brings out more than just horror elements, it brings out the intensity of action thrillers, and also includes elements of drama as Millicent’s character goes through a lot of self reflection, as she is the main protagonist for the film. Not to worry, there is still the intensity and horror elements that the first movie brought, and I’d even say it brought more having shown the first encounter these creatures had with humans and noise. It goes without saying but having great actors and actresses really brings the best not to mention John’s work as a director and his improvement shows throughout the film, you can even see the rundown for the first chase of the film on YouTube with Vanity Fair. All in all, this film was a great watch and I highly recommend people go check it if you haven’t already, and if you haven’t heard of the second one already out check out the trailer below!

Review

Now the first film left off with Millicent and Emily’s character figuring out a way to kill the creatures, after a mass of them came into their home leaving it burnt to the grown, not to mention the newborn baby walking in a world where noise gets you killed. Nonetheless everything is in a way figured out for the group, but having no home they must venture off into the world ultimately running into their old family friend, Emmett played by Cillian.

Here is where this film partly takes place, although we also get a glimpse of how the family lived before everything changed. Living in a small town and having a weekend baseball game with the little leagues sounds like a peaceful life, until it all comes crashing down and as we can see meteors flying through the sky, in which we figured are the creatures of today’s time.

Seeing this we can stop trying to imagine the chaos, in addition to me going through the incredible sequence I’ll let the director talk about it as he has done a breakdown with Vanity Fair on YouTube over this specific scene.

I also have to mention, he actively states that Millicent is the lead actress in this which is an incredible choice as it brings out a much more detailed story, and we can clearly see she is the protagonist as it’s her journey we begin to follow after the first few minutes, of course having Emily’s character deal with a B-story. Like the first she really wants to prove everyone wrong and help them even risking her own life to go to a possible island of safety, which had a broadcasting station in which turn could be used to broadcast her way to fighting the creatures.

She goes on on her own almost ending up killed as she still can’t actively hear, but gets saved by Emmett who was sent by Emily’s character in order to bring her back. The two fight each other as she wants to continue on and he just wants to bring her back so he can go “home”, reaching a point of agreement to go see her mission through.

The two character’s chemistry create an incredible dynamic duo, and Cillian being a great actor brings all the ropes to the film. His character development is clear and bright as day even reaching a point to put his life on the line for Millicent’s character and other people they end up meeting. Hiss choice of performance is great and I have to mention when first seeing the film I couldn’t recognize the talent with such a beard and wardrobe until my sister asked if it was Scarecrow from Batman Begins or Fischer from Inception.

Having him in the film was a great add on, and I honestly couldn’t see anyone else play the character. Not to mention, like before the chemistry of Millicent and him gave off the same dynamic as the two characters from the famous video game The Last of Us. For those that don’t know it follows the story of Joel and Ellie, two people who found each other in an apocalyptic world and now go on together surviving day by day, which I need to add aren’t related or are in a romantic view they’re just basically really good friends, just like how we see Cillian and Millicent’s characters turn by the end of the movie.

Overall A Quiet Place Part II does an amazing job at continuing the first film without losing any of the qualities. John Krasinski is doing a great job in his directorial work and if you’ve seen the Vanity Fair Breakdown video you can clearly see he is passionate about his work, even stating he was unsure whether he wanted to do a second film until he realizes he really does. It brings out the instinct to root for the little person and this case being Millicent, as she continues to show her acting chops, and as I stated before, hope to see her prove herself more in the industry obtaining more roles and hopefully gaining more major and lead character roles.

If you haven’t already seen this film I highly recommend the two films to anyone looking for a good double feature to watch. It brings out horror aspects, thriller and action sequences and just all around a good time. But as always don’t take it from me, go check out both films and let me know what you think, till next time, peace.

Blood Red Sky: A Detailed Review

Blood Red SKy: Snakes on a Plane… But Supernatural

Have you ever seen Snakes on a Plane starring Samuel L. Jackson and thought I could survive that? Well what if you had vampires on the plane?

Blood Red Sky is a Netflix film with the premise of a passenger on a plane having a deadly disease that she is trying to get under control but it ultimately takes a turn for the worst. The plane is then taken hostage by terrorist having a goal to recreate 911 in London for monetary gain. She ultimately loses control and we see that the disease she was fighting is her thirst for blood as it turns out she’s a vampire. Not to mention she has been accompanied by her son, going to New York in hopes of a scientist being able to help them. With one of the terrorist figuring out what she is, he ends up turning into a vampire as well and all hell breaks loose.

Overview

Overall, as crazy as the summary above seems this film really works with its take on vampires steering away from it being a monster hunting in a small town. We can see the fight that the main protagonist puts in order to control the classic blood urges, and the ultimate savagery near the end of the third act. I wasn’t expecting such entertainment and for a 2 hour runtime it keeps you mesmerized and focused on trying to figure out what’s going to happen in the end, which you probably won’t guess. If you are looking for a good supernatural tone and a bit of gore on Netflix, then Blood Red Sky is a good choice, if you’re still not sold check out the trailer below.

Review

Now we have a few recognizable faces in this film starting with Dominic Purcell, Chidi Ajufo, and others. Of course it isn’t “A-List” actors, or the more talked about actors and actresses, but nonetheless the performance by all individuals really created a piece of what I’m saying could be the next selection of cult classics. In addition, talking about Carl Anton Koch who plays Elias the son of Nadja, the main protagonist and vampire in question played by Peri Baumeister.

There is no surprise when saying that the younger generation of child actors and actresses are storming the industry with great skills and performances and he is no exemption. He plays this traumatic experience incredible and sold to me the pain of seeing his mom lose her humanity while also seeing her get hurt trying to save him. Not to mention his ultimate sacrifice at the end by being the one to have to kill his own mother.

As always I try to not mention many spoilers as every movie I review is one that I recommend to go see if you have the time, so the same goes for this movie. Elias is a child going through many emotions and traumatic events from plane hijacking, seeing his mom get shot, seeing her get hurt, watching people die and overall to top it off ending up having to kill her. Carl shows each distress well, with tears and snot bubbles, in a good way, almost reminding me of Viola Davis’s choice of performance in Fences. You can see in the picture above that he has gone through a lot in the span of a couple of hours and his eyes show each and every emotion being involved, and with all honesty it brought a sense of sorrow for him even if it is a film. By such review, I have to give Mr. Koch a standing ovation and hope to see him in future works as he grows older.

I also have to mention other characters having Kais Setti play a honorable ally even from the beginning, although he is used by the antagonists as a tool, painting him as the terrorists who took over the plane and adding to the stereotype of terrorist being of Middle Eastern descent. His character shows the anger of this racial stereotyping to be frustrating and yet even when being held at gunpoint by military and antagonist he shows his will of fire, but it goes to show how white terrorist can get away with such acts if they blame the one group of people every racist and bigot believes who terrorists are.

I also have to mention the big bad of the film, Alexander Sheer playing Eight Ball, a psychotic man that seems to be enjoying the killing and chaos, even to the point of letting himself turn into a blood hungry creature. His performance of such psychopathic tendencies really was sold to me, as at one point I thought he was a real life menace to society. Not to mention that as I look through his other work I can’t seem to take out of my head his portrayal of a villain, which goes to show that the acting wasn’t bad at all.

Going from the main antagonist to the main protagonist, Peri Baumeister did an good job at selling her character from the disease to fear for the safety of her on screen child. If someone told me that her and Carl were actually mother and son I wouldn’t dismiss the notion, down to the last teardrop she had seeing Elias in such chaos.

The film’s plot, actors and makeup were phenomenal and was a great watch on a Sunday afternoon, having little to nothing in mind while looking for a distraction, Blood Red Sky did an incredible job at taking a new spin to a very old tale of blood sucking creatures.

Overall, although if you are prone to looking at ratings, critics wise this film did great, it may have the audience split in half but I can say that this film wasn’t bad at all. I have a love for watching monster movies and this one certainly got in my top 10 for 2021’s release of new films. But if reading this doesn’t intrigue you enough, just go and check out the film out now on Netflix and let me know what you think. Till next time, peace.

A Quiet Place: A Detailed Review

A Quiet Place: Jim Halpert’s a Director?!

We are used to seeing horror films with classic tropes, having a psychopath(s) as a killer, a legend turned real by speaking its name, nightmare entities, ghosts, demons, etc. But I think A Quiet Place takes a top position on ranks in the alien & horror genre, as it take will leave you speechless, literally. Now when building a horror film’s world we need to have some story, the lore, characters fighting for leadership or more freedom, finding the weakness, and that usually includes having dialogue between the group of survivors, but that’s not the case in a film that has little to no dialogue.

A Quiet Place is a film whose central plot revolves around the idea that noise will be your worst enemy, all because of unknown creatures attacking and killing anything that’s louder than a sneeze in a library. Imagine yourself at 3 am heating up a snack and trying your best not to make noise, only to send a city wide alert with the ding from the microwaved food, waking up an angry parent. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a silent film, not in the slightest, but the fear factor that this movie resonates is the complete silence there is and the intensity to hold your breath with the characters when they are in a deadly scenario.

Overview

Now as a quick overview, I want to say that John Krasinski is very much a loved person for his role as Jim Halpert on The Office and although this isn’t his first directorial work, he is sure now known as an up and coming director. A Quiet Place is a horror film that is out of the norm and although it isn’t the first movie to come up with a noise kills trope to induce fear, it is a major one in today’s game that uses it to its fullest potential in an incredible way. If you haven’t already seen it and need a new fright for a Friday night, then you should check this movie out or if not at least the trailer down below.

Review

Unlike other films where antagonists are usually already established, or at least has some form of lore, this film’s creatures don’t have anything on them other than being blind and attracted to noise. We can see newspaper clipping and such information describing the creatures first appearance and it being unaffected by man made weapons, but ultimately the film starts us months from the first encounter with Lee Abbott played by John Krasinski, Evalyn Abbott played by Emily Blunt, Regan Abbott played by Millicent Simmonds and Marcus Abbott played by Noah Jupe living in a barn house out by the forest.

Seeing this family living as best they can while also maintaining little to no noise really makes you think if you could survive in such a world. Everyone in the film did an outstanding performance, especially having to act without much dialogue and to learn sign language just for the film is incredible.

Not to toot my own horn but I think I would be able to live such a life, especially being shown little secrets of how to make noise without the creatures coming after you.

To me this whole movie is about family…

– John Krasinski, Vanity Fair, Scene Breakdown of “A Quiet Place”

Now with the quote above the director himself takes his movie as more so about family, and what lengths you would go to protect them. With that, going in to rewatch this film since its release in theaters I can definitely see what he means by this, all the way until the end which I will speak on shortly. Now we are very familiar with John and Emily’s acting career, they’ve been in many greatly shot films, so it’s no surprise they were great as partners in this film, not forgetting that they are actually married outside the big screen. John has had much success playing Jim Halpert on The Office, 13 Hours, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, etc. and Emily has been in many films from Edge of Tomorrow, Sicario, Mary Poppins, and now in Disney’s recent Jungle Cruise. But the actress I want to mostly focus on is Millicent Simmonds who, like her film’s counterpart, is deaf in real life which Krasinski said was a great importance when looking for the person to play this character.

As I mentioned, Millicent is deaf in real life and John has stated he also wanted someone that can help him properly bring out elements from a family who has a child that is deaf. John worked with Millicent to bring out the best in the film and that’s exactly what we get. Not only is Millicent’s character an important protagonist for the film, she is literally the key to defeating the creatures in the end. She brings out the real life qualities that people who are deaf experience for their entire life, if not entire majority. She plays her character well having the parents in the film being overprotective, putting extra safety for her and her just wanting to prove she is able to live while also being able to survive without them. She shows her frustration, dedication, and strength to prove she’s capable and in the end she was the one who figured out some sort of weakness for the creatures by using her hearing aid frequency to counter the creatures sensitive hearing.

Overall Millicent Simmonds is an actress I hope to see more of in future films, hopefully in more main character roles. John, Emily and Noah also bring a great dedication to learning sign language for the film as a family with a deaf child or family member would have that skill in order to communicate, it just brings hope for filmmakers to have more actors and actresses with disabilities without patronizing them.

Coming back to Emily Blunt’s performance, as I mentioned she isn’t shy of being on the big screen and this film sees no less of her great skills, having taken a nail to the foot, and giving birth in a bathtub and showing such pain all WITHOUT MAKING NOISE or at least until something louder made noise. She plays her role well as a mother but while I was watching I remembered when I first saw this movie in theaters, hearing everyone gasp as a nail entered her foot and seeing peoples grasp their arm rests while she gave birth in a bad tub all by herself, it really made this film as thrilling as possible. Not to mention John’s overall performance and ultimately sacrificing himself to save his kids, which goes back to the quote above. Everything we see his character do is to protect his kids and his pregnant wife, doing whatever it takes to get it done, even screaming at the top of his lungs to distract the creatures from killing his kids stuck in a car.

Photo by Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock (9484218ac) Noah Jupe front left, Millicent Simmonds back left, John Krasinski right “A Quiet Place” Film – 2018

Without causing this article to get any longer, A Quiet Place really is a thrilling and incredible movie, something I wish I could experience again for the first time in theaters. If having noise hunting killer creatures isn’t enough, then maybe a warm telling of protecting one’s family can have you wanting to check out the film. Not to mention the prequel/sequel that came out this year being a great reason to check out the first, not to worry I’ll have an article written about that one as well. But don’t take my word for it, if you do watch it let me know what you think, till next time, peace.

Candyman (2021): A Detailed Review

Candyman: Don’t look in your reflection?

If you’ve ever played Bloody Mary during your younger years, then you’d understand the fear that comes when staring into an empty mirror hoping that the only thing you’ll see is yourself. And if you ever survived the bloody mary scare, how about you try out Candyman, all you have to do is say his name five times… Candyman.

Nia DaCosta’s new film, titled the same as the the original’s, Candyman has finally come out, and if you fear something being in your reflection then this movie will definitely bring fear into your life. I have to mention as well that with this premiering on August 27, as I am writing this article Nia DaCosta has made history with not only being the first black woman to direct a Marvel film but holding her own with the horror films, as this film has been a box office success, winning 22 million opening weekend. I was amazed by her work in this film and can’t wait to see her future films, now about Candyman.

Overview

Ms. DaCosta’s vision for this film really stood out, aside from the overall fear factor given from the story, her decision in shots are incredible. She understood the assignment, being that a horror film isn’t just all jumpscares, it’s a thought out process of inducing fear, making the viewers uncomfortable and not to mention the incredible use of special effects. This film is made well for the pleasures of both everyday viewers going to see it for the thrill of a horror movie, but also made for the dedicated movie goers, filmmakers, critics, etc. I had an incredible watch not to mention the unexpected real life light flickers that happened while the characters where summoning him, I am definitely going to see it again and I’m bringing my siblings with me to give them an early scary halloween. But if you don’t believe my word for it, just check out the trailer below.

Review

Now I’ve mentioned the director’s incredible abilities, but let me talk about the actors and actresses that also helped interpret the story. Firstly, talking about Yahya Abdul Mateen II’s performance as Anthony, our main protagonist in the film. Mr. Mateen II’s performance brings life to a man whose life is gaining a great turn for the worst showing the complications of not being able to tell whether something is real or not. Anthony goes on through his life trying to put his name on the map but when your name starts getting tied to murders, you don’t know whether to be happy or cautious, well for Anthony it’s clearly a positive as you see in the film. His steady growth into madness throws us the viewers into a sense of figuring out whether he’s actually doing the killings, if something else is at play, if there really is a curse, and overall wanting to know more.

Not to mention the sting he got on his arm, becoming more and more deteriorated for the plot twist at the end of the film. Now I don’t want to spoil the film because I want more people to go see, but having him being such an pawn for “candyman” at the end really threw me into a surprise which I didn’t mind. In addition, with the prosthetics used to provide a honeycomb skin texture, it really threw me for a loop and if you have trypophobia be warned this film has a lot of this at the end. The scenes really had me scratching myself and at times, I just couldn’t handle too much as it looked so realistic, but nonetheless a great addition to the film.

I also have to talk about Teyonah Parris who plays Brianna, Anthony’s partner in the film. At first, one would think shes just a partner for the main protagonist but as we continue forward there’s more into her story that meets the eye. Not to mention the ending of the film and her role on how Candyman’s legacy survives. I left the theater just wanting to know more about her character and her story with her father, and her link with Candyman and Anthony. We can see she has a traumatic past with the death of her father, watching him fall from the window in what seems like their home, her distaste for speaking of said events or even just being associated with his work. They mention her father and his work a bit but unless I missed something, left his story a mystery up for interpretation to the viewer. Ultimately, her performance was great and really threw in a good B-story to the film. Having her have to choose between letting Candyman live or die at the end really threw in an importance towards understanding parts of the legend though, not to mention the use of racial discrimination, police brutality, and abuse of power by white people and police.

We were given why such a legend exists and why certain people are used for the legend to continue, it ties in the the first man being turned into the hooked, tortured and bone showing person because of racial classist and supremacy back in the 1800’s, which I really enjoyed seeing. Having a film show entertainment value and yet still able to send a message without people walking out really says something about the importance of good storytelling.

Now with the antagonist in mind, we just don’t have the legend of Candyman, we also have what I would classify as his follower. Colman Domingo plays William Burke, a person that witnessed Candyman as a child while also seeing his sister dead after playing his game. When entering the theater room you would expect for him to be a good guy that’s helping Anthony figure out how to stop Candyman but the plot twist at the end really throws you out a window. His performance as a hiding antagonist was really sold to me, his switch up from a sane person to a psychotic fanatic really is well done and I give him a standing ovation for tricking me and what I imagine many others too.

Nathan Stewart-Jarrett left and Kyle Kaminski right.

Now although the 2 main protagonists and antagonist are phenomenal, we do have to add 2 great additions into the film to just add some comedic elements into the pacing. Nathan Stewart-Jarrett who plays Troy, Brianna’s brother, and Kyle Kaminski who plays Grady, Troy’s boyfriend. This power couple really just brought a lot of laughs during my watch, although it wasn’t enough to take away the fear factor, it was a nice add on. like adding sea salt to your chocolate chip cookie. Troy and Brianna’s sibling love really give off a realistic tone, having witty conversations, banter, talking a “toxic” partner, the over protectiveness, etc.

I also have to mention one more element involved in the film, the use of marionettes or the paper puppets we see when characters were sharing the story of Candyman. As a director, I always struggled on how to tell certain story elements in a film without the use of just dialogue, without the need of CGI, animation, etc. I would have never thought to use professional puppeteers, which gave of a child’s bedtime story tone.

All in all this film was a great way to spend my Friday night and really has me wanting to see more horror films, especially coming so close to the spooky holiday. I highly recommend people watching this film and giving props to Nia DaCosta as a director. Her skill in scene placement and incredible shots, have me waiting for her Marvel works. But don’t take my word for it, go and watch it today as the film is out now, let me know what you think, till next time, peace.