The Nerd Corps #446: ‘Malignant’ Review

The nerds are joined for another Saturday Morning Review as we look at the newest James Wan horror film, Malignant. Fellow writer for The Nerd Corps, Luis Angel Garcia, joins us for the review as we talk about this film. I have no idea how to tell y’all that you should listen to this but this was quite the film. Listen to find out about our thoughts on the film along with what people on Letterboxd are saying. Go check this one out!

IMDb Synopsis: “Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.”

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.

Naked Singularity: A Detailed Review

Naked Singularity: THe Reality of the Justice System

If you didn’t already know, the US Supreme Court and the overall US Justice System is one of the most absurd, broken and mal running things in today’s society. It’s really not a news flash as we’ve all clearly seen, yet there are many out there that wouldn’t agree, so to those that don’t agree even with factual evidence I leave you to live your life in your own singularity.

Naked Singularity actively speaks on the matter stated above as we follow the story of Casi, played by John Boyega, who is a district attorney bent on helping the people who are labeled as criminals. He believes they all should be given a second chance, at least to some extent as the majority of cases he receives are based on very minor misdemeanors but would otherwise be label criminal activity to the court of law. This film takes an amazing jab at the problems of the court while throwing a heist theme, physics, and philosophy in the mix.

Now to give you a short run down Casi is a DA who is hit one after the other with false accusations of his character, work and defense for his client by the court of law and his designated judge. He ends up hopeless all while witnessing strange events that only he seems to notice. Until an old acquaintance arrives at his doorstep and opens up a world of choices. This leads to him making the decision of stealing the price tag of a truck load of drugs also trying to be attained by Craig, the main antagonist of the film. He ultimately does get the money and also has the drugs seized making it a clean getaway. With his new found earnings he starts up his new funded attorney office and the rest is up to the imagination.

Overview

I REALLY enjoyed this film as it incorporated many aspects that I’ve studied in my own personal life, such as philosophy, philosophy of laws, physics, and a love for a good heist. John Boyega really plays his character well and although it received a rating well below average of 30% rotten I believe it deserves more praise. I honestly believe more people should go see it as it tells a good story, and even though it seems to be showing in select theaters it is available to be rented on Vudu, and other major media distributors.

If you are looking for more reason to like John as an actor then this is definitely the movie for you, not to mention the incredible characters played by Olivia Cooke, Bill Skarsgard, and Ed Skrein. And also as a personal choice I have to mention my EXTREME DISTASTE for this district judge played by Linda Levin, who plays into why the justice system is so broken, following what the “law’ says is wrong even when the perpetrator has signs of a new leaf.

Review

With more detail I want to speak on how they use the idea of a naked singularity, which in physics is at its over simplification the idea that we are able to see inside what a black hole holds which is a singularity that isn’t normally visible, ergo the “Naked” aspect in the title Naked Singularity. John plays an outstanding role in depicting what happens when a man who believes everyone deserves a second chance get grind down to see the injustices that the system brings all in the name of the law. He posed a good picture of a man figuring out what exactly is good and what is actually bad, which I have a lot of research papers down on, especially when faced of stealing money from drug runners. I loved his ideology and his character development at the end, which is a drastic yet understandable new found face of logic.

I don’t just want to speak on John though, as this film really carried its onslaught of big names, as I mention we had Olivia Cooke who you may know more easily in her role as Samantha /Sam in Ready Player One. She also played an outstanding role having her character deal with tough choices, all while trying to keep herself as safe as she can be while getting tangled with the wrong person. We have to mention Bill Skarsgard too, as a more comic relief best friend to John, although he has fewer instances in the 90 min film, he really brought some fun to the plot and not to mention his switch up from playing Pennywise the Dancing Clown in IT. His few scenes really brought out a laugh from the more dramatic tones this film carries and honestly balances out comedy and seriousness that’s covered in here. We also have to mention Ed Skrein who if you don’t recognize his name maybe you’ll recognize Francis as Deadpool calls him in Deadpool, that’s right, he also plays the big bad in a superhero movie which makes him the perfect contender for a drug mule in this film. He plays his role in an immaculate manner that honestly leaves me wondering if he’s too good to not play the bad guy then will he get other roles?

The dynamic that these character play are spot on and just increases the watchability of the film. Yes they are big names for a movie that many may not recognize but it should have been, and I hope that more watch after reading this review.

Bill Skarsgard far left, John Boyega middle left, Olivia Cooke middle right, Ed Skrein far right.

Overall I give this 5 out of 5 stars, I saw really no problems with the film, it was easy for me to follow and my love for reforming the justice system, philosophy, and physics all stand tall in this film. I can honestly say that if you watch and you don’t enjoy the film then maybe I’m the oddball out, but hey don’t just take my word for it really watch it and let me know what you think, till next time, peace.

Fear Street Trilogy: A Detailed Review

Viewer Discretion is Advised!

Before anything is said about this trilogy I want to address and warn before watching these movies that in these films there are scenes and dialogue that may be triggering to some viewers. These films include trauma in characters, talk and attempted suicide as well as self harm, including deaths of children or people under the age of 18, not to mention the extreme gore. It goes under their R rating, but be advised if such activities listed above are triggers for you, these films may cause harm please tread carefully when watching.

If you or a loved one suffer from self harm or suicidal tendencies please reach out, you may call the hotline for suicide prevention at 800-273-8255.

Fear Street: It’s NOTHING Like Elm… It’s Better!

If you grew up watching or reading R.L Stine’s Goosebumps then you are familiar with the kiddy horror that we love. Classics like Night of the Living Dummy, The Haunted Mask, The Cuckoo Clock of Doom, and so much more are fan favorite, but what if I told you that R.L Stine’s first horror series of books were oriented more for a young adult reader?

Now, what if I said these books were mixed with cult classic horror films like Jason, Scream, and others? Well Netflix’s newest addition to their originals exclusives is the Fear Street Trilogy.

These films are not of the normal trilogy making though, normally when we think of trilogy movies we think and expect to find these movies a few years apart in their release date. This isn’t the case for these three films, in fact, they were released one after the other in the same month, July to be precise, during 2021. It’s an unexpected move from major companies to pull especially if we are talking about creating demand for more, causing more potential financial benefit. Well Netflix was confident enough that these movies were going to gain fans and decided to released them as I mentioned, and with all honesty they were CORRECT! Now I DON’T want to spoil the films so I’ll keep the reviews as spoiler free as possible.

OverView

As an overview, these films are great for what they are marketing, having Fear Street: Part 1 1994 build an amazing start to the series and honestly left me wanting to finish all 3 by the end of the first one. To be completely honest I watch all three in one night and having each be 15 minutes short of 2 hours in runtime, that goes to show how good they were at keeping one’s attention for a total of nearly 6 hours of one’s day.The only problem I have was these movies were the extremely low light shots and sometimes I couldn’t tell if my tv was on or off. Yet these films are a mix of society’s favorite pop culture horror villains while having it’s originality in their origins. They are a great weekend watch if you want to have a watch along with friends, or if you need something to binge Saturday night because you’re not prone to going out, like myself, they’re also great. I’d say they are currently on my top 3 in the horror genre and without spoiling, the twist endings will give you chills. But with all 3 out now, I HIGHLY recommend watching them or atleast check out the trailer below.

Review

Part 1: 1994

The story begins in 1994 as the title suggests, with a town ironically named Shadyside, in which we have one of our major characters we’ll be following named Deena played by Kiana Madeira and Josh, played by Benjamin Flores Jr, her brother. Shadyside lives in infamy as mass murders seem to be a recurring thing, happening every couple of years, with the first recorded event being in 1666 which is rounded to about 300 years worth of killings.

Deena has had troubles after recently breaking up with her closeted girlfriend Sam, played by Olivia Scott Welch and Josh is a shy introvert deeply knowledgeable on murderers, conspiracies and the town’s “lure”. Now after a recent mourn from a recent mass murder the town and their neighboring town, called Sunnydale, certain events led to an escalated situation and then to Sam finding the bones of Sarah Fier a witch from the 1600’s who placed a curse before she was hanged for witchcraft. This curse is speculated by a few to being the cause for the murder sprees that have happened over the years, while others simply blaming the poor providence turning junkies and going psycho. This statement coming from Sunnydale’s Sheriff Goode played by Ashley Zukerman.

So far everyone in town believed it to be just that people having breakdowns and going on murder sprees. Things get intense as Deena, Sam and their other friends fighting to survive the night. When they figure out who and what the killer is, they figure out how to temporarily stop them or at least how to stop it from killing them, in addition to finding out there’s only ever been one survivor setting up for the second film.

All in all, the first part of this trilogy really sold how the other movies were going to be. It’s a thrilling horror movie that really sells the use of practical effects, as at times I was a bit sick at looking at the gore which normally doesn’t happen. There are twist all while technically being the first act out of three total and by that I mean part 2 and part 3 not the structure for a film. Netflix and the films’ director Leigh Janiak really made three films feel like one whole, not time skips just in the way plot and story telling were used here.

Part 2: 1978

We move forward to Part 2 of the trilogy, which sets up after Deena and Sam find out that a survivor exists, being Ziggy Verman played by Sadie Sink as the younger version in 1978 and Gillian Jacobs as the older 1994 version. Although during the first film, Ziggy never actually helped to figure out how to stop the killers, instead she warns the girls at the end saying it will never stop. Deena goes on to find her and ask her to explain and to help them, which Deena finds out that she was actually a survivor from the 1978 camp massacre.

Clearly taking a crack from the original Friday the 13th, it was fun to see that films plot mixed in with the story of the towns curse not to mention the double action in all the gore and violence that takes place in these films. Now I do need to mention that here is where most of the advised triggers happen and although they were rough to see and hear, it added more depth to characters and their stories.

Now seeing as this film is majority the retelling of Ziggy’s memories of that night, we see Sadie’s version as the main character. Sadie and all the other actors like Ted Sutherland who plays a younger version of Sunnydale’s sheriff, were incredible in their roles. She and the others play off of each other in a sense that seemed like we actually got to project someone’s memories onto our screens and I don’t mean like a first person perspective more so that Sadie actually had these events happen to her and used that trauma to play the role. Not to mention the work of McCabe Slye who plays Tommy Slater and the killer in this film, who kept the same monotonic rhythm like I’ve seen Robert Patrick play in T2 as the T-1000.

After we finish the story of that night Ziggy reveals that there might actually be a way to stop the curse of the town which brings us to part 3.

Part 3: 1666

In part 3, as it is titled 1666 it places us in the 1600’s were we see the town’s first establishment. This part really takes a turn and reveals so much on the history and origin of what the town calls a curse. Up until this point we’ve acknowledged that the curse can’t be easily stopped unless we bring an object to where Sam first came in contact with it. When Deena goes on to find the object, upon returning it to the first contact spot she unlocks the truth through obtaining the memories of Sarah Fier, the supposed witch who placed the curse. These memories taking place as if Deena was the witch, and all the towns’ folk being her friends, bringing back the original cast from the first and second part as well now all together.

With that, the first and third act we find out the truth of who and what the curse is, leading to a very climactic third act in the film, and not just for the film but of the trilogy’s entirety. WHEN I SAY YOU ARE NOT READY FOR THE TRUTH YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE ME.

As I mentioned the revelations that come out of 1666 are so unexpected but they also make sense if you went Sherlock Holmes while viewing at the very beginning. While I was watching, the end of the second act gave me chills and left me with goosebumps on my skin until the end. I also have to mention the person that stole the show for me was McCabe Slye as Mad Thomas who without a doubt gave a performance like Robert Pattinson as the old preacher in The Devil All The Time. All I could think about was the similarities between the two and how McCabe’s performance sold for a mad preacher that would blame anyone as heathens and even prosecute innocents as witches and other. But nonetheless Kiana Madeira does an amazing job at playing her part as Sarah Fier.

Final Thoughts

Overall, as I tried keeping it spoiler free, I want to just say that these films were great to watch and a fun time. Kiana, Olivia, McCabe, Sadie Sink, Benjamin Flores Jr, and everyone else really did an outstanding job.

There was ever only one problem that was out of their hands and left in the production crew which was lighting, as many of the night and dark scenes were literally too dark to tell what was going on. It thankfully wasn’t enough to take me out of it but seeing as I watched in complete darkness with no glare on the glass, it was still a problem.

From that being my only take away, I really hope that people who enjoy horror and overall good films go and watch these on Netflix, even if you don’t have one ask a friend, ask your parents, borrow a neighbors account, you have to watch. But as I always say don’t take my word for it, go go go and watch for yourself and let me know what you think, till next time, peace.

‘Old’: A New Concept Wrapped in Unstable Execution

The newest M. Night Shyamalan film crashes and burns with its interesting concept of the horrors of aging at a beach stuck in accelerated time.

CREDIT: Universal Pictures

M. Night is back with another film since his 2019 effort, Glass. This time he is back in theaters with his new thriller, Old. The film stars an ensemble cast of Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Kreips, Rufus Sewel, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Eliza Scanlen, Aaron Pierre, Embeth Davidtz, and Emun Elliott. There are quite some familiar faces in here and quite the range of actors within the film. One would think that this means that M. Night is about to lead us into a wild ride of a film especially after watching that trailer. You are not wrong if that is what you were hoping, but this wild ride is nothing to write home about.

The film looks at various families who leave on a tropical vacation, and while there are invited into a secluded beach where time seems to be accelerating throughout the day. This is a really interesting concept but its execution just lacks overall throughout the film. The presentation is interesting but the cinematography is so jarring that it makes it really hard to follow what is going on at times. While some performances are better than others overall it feels like direction is being met. Some performances feel very forced or just fall flat. The problems of this film really feel as if it falls on the script and direction. Of course, the film features another irresponsible portrayal of mental illness by M. Night that seems to be his norm by now that needs to stop already. It is really hard to pull something out of this that is not the thematic conversation being had by an interesting concept thought up by M. Night.

The film excels at bringing up these feelings of anxiety and panic because of situations that our characters are put in that are out of their control. We see many characters react certain ways towards each other or themselves. Our characters are stuck and just cannot move back because they are being forced to move forward without some solutions or comfort about their current situation. Of course, it feels all too reminiscent of our lives since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. For that, I commend M. Night on having that conversation throughout the film that gave it its emotional backbone.

Old is playing theaters at the moment and has no VOD release date at the moment.