Friday, October 22, 2021

09 Oct 21 - No Time To Die

"...We have all the time in the world..."


 "...this is the end..." (Skyfall by Adele), blogspot readers, yet this is more than a swan song ...a final Daniel Craig performance as Commander James Bond 007 with license to kill appearance. It's an ode to the longest running movie franchise that started with Sir Sean Connery in Dr. No spawning countless imaginative Q gadgets, the memorial evil geniuses as the baddies who were always out to clip James' 007 wings, the sexy, beautiful but deadly Bond girls with clever names like May Day (from A View To A Kill) and Pussy Galore (Goldfinger), and of course the Bond theme songs performed by top artists like Tina Turner, Louis Armstrong, Tom Jones, Gladys Knight, Garbage and the legendary Shirley Bassey. *sighs* The next actor - male or female will have very large shoes to fill as the next 007, blogspot readers.

No spoilers in this review as always, blogspot readers. 

No Time To Die plot begins with years later after Bond's last mission ...he's no longer in service and living peacefully with the love of his life. However, leaving Her Majesty's service doesn't mean you don't stop looking over her shoulder either because it doesn't take long before James is slowly drawn back into that former life when a laboratory in London is destroyed. What it contained was a deadly DNA-altering virus (almost like real life but without the DNA-altering part) which is now in the hands of someone unknown. Through the twists and turns of each clue as well as secrets revealed leads Bond closer and closer to his new nemesis (Rami Malek) behind this plot. Does Bond save the humanity from the evil plot this time, blogspot readers? 

For the answer and the "wow" moment of an ending, SouthSide highly recommends checking out No Time To Die.

SouthSide believes this one of the best ...probably the better out of all Bond movies ever made ...and she has seen most of the Bond movies made starting with Dr. No. This current Bond movie contains a lot of "firsts" within it such as the opening not doing the usual opening or projecting a reversal homage to a Bond movie predecessor which also includes a famous Louis Armstrong song. Plenty of "easter eggs" tucked inside this movie that had this reviewer closely watching the opening title sequence (very clever putting bits and pieces from Daniel Craig's other Bond openings) to noticing the original Aston Martin DB5 to many other hidden gems. Somehow it brought tears to this reviewer's eyes too. Yes, blogspot readers, tears will be flowing especially at the end. Now that was a first for SouthSide. No other Bond film has done that to her ..ever. Daniel Craig does give it his all during every scene in No Time To Die, blogspot readers. The stunt and action sequences are definitely intense ...sometimes even hardcore to imagine that he did most of them whether he's swinging on a rope off a stone ledge of a bridge in Italy or surviving explosive blasts in deep waters. A few scenes kept this reviewer's heart pounding and had her sitting on the edge of her seat.

However, the one part ...person that blew SouthSide away was Bond's new nemesis - Lyustsifer Safin (love the new spelling of Lucifer) portrayed by Rami Malek. And this is NOT your typical Bond villain here, blogspot readers, like Goldfinger, Ernst Stavro Blofeld (head of Spectre) or Kanangya (from Live and Let Die). Rami's approach to his Bond villain persona was completely different in which you don't usually see. He's someone who speaks to you rather calmly ...peacefully in a smooth subtle vocal tone yet very persuasive and suggestive with his words. Watching him convey his persona even without speaking with the use of his eyes as he stares longingly was frightening, blogspot readers. And sometimes it's not what he says that delivers his evil message. Those eyes as well as body language sent chills down SouthSide's spine. Though his screen time is somewhat brief, Rami Malek has definitely elevated being a Bond villain to the next level. This reviewer feels sorry for the next actor - male or female taking on the villain role. They certainly will have to up their acting game including the long staring gaze, blogspot readers.

Of course, no Bond film will be complete without the lovely beauties adorning 007's arms. However, during No Time To Die, we're introduced to a new class of Bond girls who are not only mysterious but also are kick- ass deadly as well as kick ass without James' help. Nope, not your typical damsels in distress anymore. Both ladies, Lashanna Lynch (as Nomi aka the new 007) and Ana de Armas (from Knives Out) as Paloma ...fresh out of a 3-week training course (yeah right) were cleverly written to be immune to Bond's dinosaur misogynistic charm and piercing blue eyes. SouthSide knows for certain she would. Men with blue eyes are her "kryptonite", blogspot readers. The other Bond beauty, Lea Soydoux as Madeliene Swann holds a special place within James Bond's heart as well as a few secrets in this movie. There's one secret to which he holds dear and it's also a definite first for this franchise too. SouthSide loved the look of real chemistry between these two actors that went beyond the sexual lust and tension to the point you could honestly believed James loved her until the...

Ah ...then there's the music! Hans Zimmer and his original movie soundtrack taps into nostalgic Bond theme by John Barry as well as creating some of his own that's now part of Bond movie history. SouthSide highly recommends checking out Zimmer's music for No Time To Die to which she did before reviewing the movie. She listened to the music first that she could see the movie inside her head from the way it told the story. While actually watching it, she found Zimmer's composition quite exhilarating and easily pushing the action or plot along like intricate quick-paced tango dance steps. Putting both music and movie together - totally mindblown moment here, blogspot readers. Also, Billie Eilish impressed SouthSide with her saddened melancholy theme song, No Time To Die. Though quite moody, dark and hauntingly emo, the song itself strangely sums up James Bond's life and career as a 007. The addition of Louis Armstrong's We Have All The Time In the World was a fitting touch, blogspot readers, that got the tears flowing again.

Sadly, all good things ...heroes must come to an end, blogspot readers. Don't leave right away after the last scene. Stay for the LONG list of "thank you" to the army of people behind the scenes who helped make each of Daniel Craig's Bond movies legendary. Like always, there's a "James Bond will return" message tagline at the very end. Huge shoes to fill after this heartfelt send off, blogspot readers.

Overall, SouthSide highly recommends seeing No Time To Die ...don't fret over the long movie runtime. You'll get caught up with the movie plot's twists and turns that you won't realize how long it was until it's over.

Until next time, support your local scene,

SouthSide

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

02 Sept 21 - Candyman (2021)

…I am the writing on the wall, the sweet smell of blood. Be my victim… 

Say his name, blogspot readers, if you dare …not once but five times if you dare. 

It’s another adventure around town and this time SouthSide took in a movie at the famous Logan Theatre to see Jordan Peele’s Candyman (2021). Before she begins the review, let’s get a few things straight. Let’s NOT call this a “spiritual” sequel to the 1992 original version of the same name. However, there’s a slight difference between the original and this version, blogspot readers. Besides the horror side this storyline, Jordan Peele and his writing team also incorporated real life horror that effects inner city residents on a daily basis – police brutality, residential re-development/gentrification of a ghetto neighborhood and closet as well as open racism. Throughout this movie, many truths were exposed, blogspot readers, especially when one of the characters expertly noted how real estate developers entice White renters to rent in the low income neighborhoods like Cabrini Green with promises of trendy shops and cafes if they stay for a couple of years or so. 

Don’t believe SouthSide? This reviewer can remember the days when Cabrini Green was infamously known for gangs violence and generational welfare/public assistance/low income working class families. She can even remember a time when Mama SouthSide frantically told young SouthSide and her friends to roll up the windows and lock the doors while visiting the neighborhood as a church youth group for the first time. Yes, blogspot readers, middle-class Black Americans never dared venture anywhere near Cabrini Green out of fear of being robbed and or shot …perhaps murdered. Former (now deceased) mayor Jane Byrne as a publicity stunt live inside an apartment at Cabrini Green …of course with armed police security just to prove it was safe to live there. Another interesting fact, Candyman is loosely based on a real life murder (it happened in 1987) in which the murderers did come through the bathroom mirrored medicine cabinet. 

 That was Cabrini Green then.

 …Candyman is a way to deal with the fact that these things happened to us, are still happening… 

Cabrini now – the neighborhood has been gentrified, blogspot readers, and is a little safer these days. The infamous high rise apartment buildings have been demolished thus paving the way for newer and more modern mix-income buildings, single-family homes and condos …trendy shops and coffee cafes …a selective enrollment magnet high school named after a famous American football player and a Target – built on the site where the original Candyman was filmed. SouthSide sometimes get a weird feeling that it’s haunted whenever she shops there. Yes, gentrification is a real “horror”. So is the hive mind of police officers today and the brutality they bring against innocent people of color to which Jordan Peele and director Nia DaCosta terrifyingly bring to this sequel …especially towards the end of the movie. 

As always, blogspot readers, NO SPOILERS here. SouthSide highly recommends checking out Candyman (2021). 

SouthSide does advise viewing the 1992 Clive Barker original before seeing Jordan Peele’s version …solely for reference because theref are mentions about the original woven throughout the storyline. In case you don’t remember, the original was about a graduate student Helen Lyle who was researching her thesis about urban myths and legends. Her subject …then turned obsession – Daniel Robitalle aka Candyman. Now, it’s decades later baby Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) is all grown up and a struggling artist living in the gentrified Cabrini Green area with his girlfriend – Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris), art dealer/curator. Currently lacking any inspiration for an upcoming art exhibition, Anthony one day explores around the vacant row houses of Cabrini and becomes intrigued by the story of Candyman told to him by a Laundromat owner William Burke (Coleman Domingo …Victor Strand of Fear the Walking Dead) who by unfortunate chance met a Candyman as a young child. One tiny change here to the story about Candyman, blogspot readers, there were others besides the original Tony Todd character. And just like Helen Lyle, Anthony’s interest soon turns into obsession to which things gradually begin to happen to Anthony as well as people associated around him …some facing terrible, horrifying fates after saying his name. 

The one question on SouthSide’s mind while reviewing this movie – does Tony Todd make an appearance? 

Well …sorry, blogspot readers. SouthSide’s lips are sealed tight. She’ll have to shed innocent blood before revealing that surprising tidbit to you. 

Besides the rumored appearance of Tony Todd, this reviewer was happy to see the return of Vanessa Williams reprising her original character role though briefly as Anne-Marie McCoy, Anthony’ mother. Her brief appearance solidifies the urban myth (or legend) about the Helen Lyle story …she went crazy during her research about Candyman thus kidnapping Anthony as a baby to be used as a sacrifice. Not entirely true, if you have seen the original Clive Barker movie. This reviewer liked the artistic approach to this sequel by showing the beauty and the horror which traps the Cabrini Green neighborhood …seen both fictionally and in real life. She like the use of shadow puppets throughout the movie (and during the credits) to tell the tales of other Candyman incarnations. Want to know an interesting fact? Those row houses in the movie are still much there, blogspot readers, however this reviewer believes not inhabited. She does appreciate Jordan and his writing for truly capturing the horror narrative to which many people of color face today when confronted with police authority. The narrative sent dark chills down SouthSide’s spine during that one particular scene towards the end. It certainly had this reviewer cringing in her seat …heat pounding hard despite experiencing the intense swell of anger when the undercover officer ran his spiel for which story Brianna was to choose to admit. Many probably won’t understand what and why he was doing that. However that, blogsot readers, was racism and horror at it’s worst yet a reality faced by many like Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tamir, Rice, Laquan McDonald, Emmett Till and many more. You see, blogsport readers, horror doesn’t have to be all blood, guts and gore. It can be every day occurrences most turn a blind eye to. 

SouthSide highly recommends checking out Nia DaCosta’s Candyman in theatres. She’s looking forward to the day when it’s out on DVD to run a Candyman movie marathon

Until next time, support your local scene,

SouthSide

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

13 July 21 - The Forever Purge

“…Only full blooded Americans are welcomed here…” 

Blogspot readers, United States is divided. Besides by gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation and social class status, the biggest one is by race. There’s heated tension in the air in these days due to White supremacy and hatred against immigrants crossing the border seeking asylum for a better life. Real every day life however, blogspot readers, this is also the basis for the latest Purge movie – The Forever Purge. Ripped straight from the headlines, art has finally imitated the reality of life United States but without the ideal of annual “Purge” where all crime and murder is legal for 24 hours. Still one question remains – is the purge necessary? Keep that particular question in mind as you continue reading this review. 

The Forever Purge, the fifth movie within the Purge Series, picks up where Purge: Election ends. Apparently, the New Founding Fathers have suspended the annual purge for some time but now are reconsidering that decision since there’s an steady influx of immigrants crossing the Mexican border to the US. This causes a rise of White supremacy, hatred towards immigrants taking American jobs, fears of “rapists and bad hombres” spiking crime, and a return of the notion “America for real Americans”. Something that’s currently happening today. The movie centers around two families – one is our immigrant couple, Juan (Tenoch Huerta) and Adela (Ara de la Regera) [SouthSide doesn’t understand why the writers failed to give them a last name – more about that late], who cross the border seeking a better life in the U.S. The other family are wealthy Texan ranchers known as the Tuckers featuring Caleb Tucker (the patriarch of the family), son Dylan and his pregnant wife Harper and Dylan’s sister – Emma. SouthSide found it refreshing to have a character like Dylan in this particular Purge movie, blogspot readers. He clearly exemplified the “I’m not racist towards anyone but…” White American especially telling a friend during a dinner gathering he didn’t want his kids learning/speaking Spanish. 

Meanwhile, back to our immigrant couple, Adela works as a supervisor at meat packing plant while Juan works as a cowboy at the Tucker ranch. Reports of the annual purge returning …tensions are visibly seen across the tiny Texan town where they live. People purchasing their guns and weapons of choice as well as noticeable signs of a supremacy/Neo Nazi group, known as Purge Purification, is staging to make an appearance. Luckily, they’re able to hide with others in a safe house for twenty-four hours while many others aren’t …but those who survive to live another day aren’t either because someone has decided it’s time for a “Forever Purge” . The notion of taking back the country from “haves” for the “have nots”. Yet it’s mostly about cleansing the nation from immigrants who aren’t “full blooded Americans”. It’s total chaos across the U.S., blogspot readers! As luck would have it, our immigrant couple and the Tuckers are pitted together to cross the US-Mexico border in El Paso, TX for safety …and they have the difficult task of doing it within six hours. The journey alone tests their beliefs and faith within themselves as well as each other. It also happens to open Dylan’s eyes to which he somewhat experiences what Juan and Adela had when crossing Mexico to the US but in the reverse – leaving the US into Mexico to be the “American Dreamers”. Sorry, blogspot readers, no spoilers here, yet, this reviewer will say this – The New Founding Fathers America is being destroyed by a concept that no longer can be controlled. 

Quite a change of pace for a movie of this caliber. Surprisingly, with The Forever Purge being more political than its typical bloodied, murder fest, SouthSide thoroughly enjoyed it, blogspot readers. She was expecting elaborate methods of murder/crime/torture however, that took a backseat behind the concept/plot. The murders/killings are still embedded in this movie but it wasn’t really the focal point something this reviewer believes the writers wanted a more of a message approach than a violent hour and forty plus minute movie watching. From such tone, it’s clear that everyone has forgotten United States was and still is a nation of immigrants …unless you can trace your ancestry back to a Native American tribe. Then too, as pointed out in this movie, the purge was designed by the wealthy to rid the “ills” of the country – legally so they can golf the next day without any remorse. The people who purge are simply their lackeys doing their dirty work for them. Even when Dylan Tucker (Josh Lucas) states “everyone should stick to their own kind”, he does make a valid point, blogspot readers, because he doesn’t understand the Hispanic/Mexican culture and puts out doubt that they in turn understands his. The “American Dreamers” (what American refugees are called in Mexico) is a fun way to poke at DACA. SouthSide found herself laughing at the NeoNazi savoring each sound the bullets as he expertly names the gun they came from. This guy was totally rockin’ out to the pops and bangs. The only problem this reviewer had with Forever Purge is why our immigrant couple have a last name. She knows it’s not really important that they have one but why didn’t the writers tagged Juan and Adela with a “Vega” or “Vasquez” or a any common Hispanic last name. They were, after all, the main characters of this movie! 

Recommended.

Until next time, support your local scene,

SouthSide

Friday, May 21, 2021

21 May 21 - Spiral: From The Book of Saw

…John Kramer was right. The spiral a symbol of change, evolution, progress…” 

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide is back! Did you miss her? She certainly did miss you …the fans, bands and the crazed adventures. So, let’s forget about 2020 …the year that everything went to heck in a heartbeat. It’s time we focus on getting back to “normal” with a few changes of course such as mask wearing and social distancing. So, to kick off her first SouthSide On The Town blog post, SouthSide decided to test the waters by seeing the latest chapter from the Saw series – Spiral.

Spiral: From The Book of Saw boasts a couple of heavy A-list actors which is quite unusual for a movie of this horror caliber. It stars Chris Rock …yes, that comedian Chris Rock debuting in a serious role, blogspot readers, as Detective Zeke Banks and Samuel L. Jackson …another definite yes that Capital One spokesperson portraying Chris’ father, Marcus Banks who was once the captain of the department where Chris’ character works currently as lead detective. One warning before SouthSide divulges a bit of the movie’s plot. No spoilers here. You simply have to see this one for yourself. 

So, blogspot readers, are you ready to play a game? Ready to live or die …then make your choice. 

The plot revolves around a Jigsaw copycat murder that leads to a few more. Someone has a serious grudge against the Metro police department especially since the victims are somehow connected to Detective Zeke Banks. However, wait a minute …John Kramer, the original mastermind behind Jigsaw is dead. Yes, blogspot readers, that’s quite true. Yet, you have to admit he probably left an impressionable mark certain people who were wronged in life. See, Detective Banks is not really liked amongst his peers …all because he ratted out on a fellow officer years ago and with every chance taken, they tend to remind him of that indiscretion until one of their own becomes the first victim of the Jigsaw copycat. It’s not a pretty end for our victim either. Blood splatter from the camera lens view was totally cool, blogspot readers. 

Now, if you’re squeamish when it comes to blood splatter and or intense violent scenes, then SouthSide highly recommends you wait until Spiral hits the DVD/Blu-Ray medium. This movie definitely has some cringe worthy moments to which had SouthSide squirming in her seat a little. Yet, what is a Saw type movie without its infamous traps designed to “punish” the victims …though not on a John Kramer level. Spiral’s copycat killer is a novice but quite creative …so he or she is still learning and perfecting their craft. 

What makes this movie somewhat different from the other eight chapters of Saw is the copycat seems to has a personal motive or agenda even though this the police aren’t left clueless or running around in circles. Chris Rock’s character knows that as well as his new rookie partner Detective William Schenk (Max Minghella) who gets some sound but comedic advice about being a married detective. This is the moment where a bit of Chris Rock comedy shtick shines briefly …something not truly seen in a Saw movie. This reviewer liked the fact the writers, Josh Stolberg and Peter Goldfinger designed this chapter to set itself slightly apart from the others. Good idea. In fact, she enjoyed the references to The Wire and New Jack City …a movie in which Chris Rock starred in as Pookie the crackhead. Also, there’s a reference to original Saw movie towards the end. Yes, blogspot readers, something personal is going that this copycat wants to punish the dirty cops. Basically, he wants to teach them a lesson for the wrongdoing they did in the past. 

Why is Detective Zeke Banks targeted? What does all of this have to do with his father? Who is pulling the strings as the Jigsaw copycat? Who lives or dies? 

Go see Spiral: From The Book of Saw to find out, blogspot readers. 

SouthSide enjoyed this movie even though she felt parts of the movie plot was a bit rushed here and there. The writing team could have gone an extra few minutes slower with the BIG copycat killer reveal despite the mountain of hints and clues pointing towards who it is. In this reviewer’s honest opinion, they made it way too easy for the average moviegoer to figure out that mystery. SouthSide also liked how director Darren Lynn Bousman shows us Detective Bank’s emotional breakdown and range from expressing grief over the loss of a good friend and fellow co-worker to a couple of scenes of intense rage and frustration because the copycat killer is teasing and taunting him with his neatly stringed packages. SouthSide would be feeling the same thing if someone was literally getting under her skin with such elaborate “games” of deadly chance that’s murdering her co-workers. And lastly, there’s a definite hint for a sequel, blogspot readers, at the end. Question is how will the writers play out between our protagonist and the antagonist …and will it top Spiral? 

The takeaway about Spiral, blogspot readers, is this – it totally changed the (hidden) horror movie rules. What rules? Oh, everyone knows them …or should know them especially one particular – casting Chris Rock and Samuel L. Jackson just elevated this genre into a whole new spectrum. Never once did SouthSide ever thought she would see Chris Rock cast in a serious role. That touch of his trademark humor within the beginning scenes reminds the viewer he still retains his humorous side within the serious tone of the scenes played out on the screen. And despite being serious most of the time, Samuel L. Jackson displays a comedic side to him with the best movie quote ever delivered within this franchise series – “You wanna play games, motherfucker? Alright, I’ll play”! Now that was really badass, blogspot readers. His character was about to cower to a copycat killer …not usually seen in a Saw movie. SouthSide welcome the flip to the script and hopes the sequel doesn’t deviate from that direction. 

Spiral: From The Book of Saw is currently in theatres now. SouthSide recommends seeing it. 

 Until next time, support your local scene,

SouthSide

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

07 Nov 19 - Icon For Hire



Depression and other mental health issues ...being a survivor ...seeking and gaining acceptance ...fighting one's pain ...finding one's true self and worth and more - things this generation are facing head-on every day than over thirty years ago, Blogspot readers. Tough subjects many bands wouldn't dare touch or highlight within their music. However, SouthSide recently discovered one such band who completely understands how tough life can be when tossed an emotional and or physical curve ball as well as offers sound yet comforting advice through their highly energized alternative guitar-rock music.




Icon For Hire recently returned to Chicago's famous Subterranean Lounge for a one-night only, all ages performance with Veridia ...and believe it or not, this reviewer was looking forward to seeing this dynamic group of musicians. Days before the show, SouthSide had the extreme chance to listen to Icon's music finding it rather interesting the band chose to tackle issues only a person would privately confide to a counselor or therapist behind closed doors. Yet, by putting that "out there and in the open" ...like Pink (as in Floyd from The Wall) exposing his emotions for all to see, Icon doesn't shy away with its message of hope despite having to face the bad and ugly by sugarcoating it for the fans.


Yes, Blogspot readers, it may be a rough and tough world but do not despair because you are a survivor. You can do it ...just have faith in yourself. Themes in which Icon For Hire wonderfully touches on through songs like Hope of Morning, Happy Hurts and Now You Know. The one song which truly tugged on this reviewer's heartstrings was Hollow where lead vocalist Ariel Bloomer in this live version poured out the deep, gut-wrenching emotions heard inside the lyrics. One could only imagine what she was experiencing in the past to put such feelings into a powerful song like that. Another example was their acoustic version of You Can't Kill Us - in SouthSide's opinion was way better than the recorded version. Here is where Ariel's voice absolutely shined with passion when accompanied with an acoustic guitar and harmonizing vocals from the vocalist of Veridia. Two vocal powerhouses that literally had the venue from top to balcony enthralled by this special performance. If you really want to feel the earth move as well as shake and roll, get ready to Jump along with Icon and the band's fans, Blogspot readers ...nothing like experiencing grown adults jumping around you on the balcony while each fan is sing along to every song.

SouthSide highly recommends checking out Icon For Hire while the band is currently on its west coast tour at a local venue near you. Be prepared to hear inspiration and motivation ...hope and acceptance ...be the best "you" that you can be, Blogspot readers, be a survivor.


For more information about Icon For Hire, you can find them on Facebook or head to their official website http://www.iconforhire.com.


Until next time, support your local scene,
SouthSide

Friday, October 4, 2019

1 Oct 19 - The Field

Hey, blogspot readers, something strange and spooky is happening within a farmland field ...and it's not those mysterious children of the corn either.

Picture this, if you will, a happily married couple in the autumn of 1961 running towards their farmland until...suddenly and unexpectedly the wife disappears ...vanishing without a trace. Where did she go within the field?

That, blogspot readers,is just the beginning of this supernatural, psychological thriller (with a bit of romance) mystery of this indie movie, The Field.


Now, flash forward to modern day at the new sold Dondlinger Farm owned newly transplanted couple from Chicago, Ben (Tim Higgins) and Lidia (Kara Mulrooney) in an attempt to rekindle the lost romance of their stalled marriage. It's a second chance at love, blogspot readers.He is a former chef now turned photographer while she is an interior designer but together, they're totally out of place in this quiet community of Manitowoc. Yet, you can tell this couple is determined to make it work.

Aw, the cinematic trappings of a romantic movie ...not so fast, blogspot readers. There are creepy things and weird dreaming (among other occurrences) that begin to happen between our two main characters. Besides Ben getting so caught up with his ghostly images appearing in his photos, Lidia uncovers strange photos and finds of her own which may involve Runistic/Satanic rites that were once documented by the town's art gallery owner, George (Barry Bostwick).

Please, also note, the townspeople harbor their own level of creepy vibes throughout The Field. There's the Manitowoc County sheriff, Roy Dondlinger (Mark Metcalf) who cruelly outs the new inhabitants with his surly brand of welcome at the local diner upon noticing Ben eating the very last slice of Warren Cafe's infamous blueberry pie. That's strike one against our main characters. The local cashier (Mark Borchardt) at the local hardware store who enjoys spouting his own version of guru, zen-like Celestial prose to Ben and George (Bostwick) who was a former New York photographer/ad man harbors some dark secrets to his past and connection to the farm and field. And there's Edith (Veronica Cartwright). She, blogspot readers, is an unsolved mystery wrapped within herself to which you might soon get the feeling she's not whom she really is due to her off mannerisms.

The more secrets are uncovered or discovered about The Field the more suspenseful and strange the movie becomes, blogspot readers. That's the psychological thriller beauty of this indie supernatural film. Various connections or as filmmaker Tate Bunker coins it as "mythology" to the farmland field will begin to lead you, the viewer, down different paths of perhaps different parallel dimensions occurring at the same space of time. It's that kind of vibe that will stick with you until the very end ...ah ha - no spoilers by this reviewer here, blogspot readers. You have to see The Field.

If SouthSide had to compare this movie among other commercially produced or with other genres she has seen, she would have to say there's a tiny bit of Jordan Peele's US (you will know it when you see it), mixed with Alfred Hitchcock suspense, and the supernatural element of Clive Barker or Ari Aster (for the ruinistic symbols and details) with some heart-racing moments and the added touch of romance just to lighten the mood ...a little. However, SouthSide would like to add a word of caution, blogspot readers. When viewing the trailer for this movie, don't immediately assume The Field is a "horror"movie. No real horror to be found here ...just good old fashion suspense and surprises that will come unexpectedly throughout.

SouthSide could go on and on raving how great The Field was ...from the script writing to the directing and wonderfully well-placed music that blends as well as highlights the dramatic suspense and spookiness together to the acting with totally believable characters just to convince you to see this movie. Nope, she would rather let your mind be intrigued after reading this review and or viewing the trailer. During this age of reboots, remakes and sequels having sequels, it was very refreshing to view something so original and out of the Hollywood ordinary which allowed this blogger's mind get spookified by the creepy farmland trappings in between a few laughs that weren't forced upon her as a comedic set-up and then question her sanity along with Ben and Lidia the further she watched The Field.

Oh before SouthSide signs off - yes the farm used in The Field and surrounding land as well as town of Manitowoc is real, blogspot readers.Just don't expect her to venture into the field alone either ...merely a precaution.

Highly recommended

Until next time, support your local scene,
SouthSide

Thursday, July 11, 2019

9 July 19 - Midsommar

Warning - there are NO spoilers in this review

Midsommar ...the highly anticipated follow-up to Ari Aster's break out cinematic hit, Hereditary, blogspot readers, was recently seen by this reviewer and she highly recommends seeing it ...especially on the big screen for its colorful beauty and optical effects ...as well as the subtle horror that doesn't grab you right away like most movies within this genre. The keyword here is color. Contrast to Hereditary in which you are immersed within the dark, Ari takes you out of the dark and puts his characters and you the movieviewer in constant daylight at the height of the summer solstice in a quaint place that's in the middle of nowehere ...where everything and everyone is not what or they seem to be, blogspot readers.

What's different about Ari Aster's Midsommar besides touching on murder, suicide and death, he also tackles a relationship that is on the brink of breaking up though neither person wants to be the one to do the "breaking up" part. 

Meet our millennial couple, Christian and Dani ...and boy, do they have problems, blogspot readers. They want to break up but seem don't know how. Yes, they are that couple in dire need of a couple's relationship expert to help assist them in this delicate matter. Even Christian's friends can easily see there's problem with his relationship with Dani ...urging him to break up with her until ...tragedy strikes Dani which somewhat brings them "closer" together.

He's there for her yet not really "there" in sense of comfort and whatnot. In comes the idea of spending the midsummer solstice at a remote commune in Sweden where Christian's friend Pelle is from to celebrate the 90th tradition of midsommar. Festivities, fun, food, etc etc to be had during this nine day festival in which the invited guests are encouraged to participate. Seriously, blogspot readers, that's actually when the real fun as well as horror begins for our four American and two British characters.

Not going to spoil it for you, blogpsot readers, but if you have seen Ari Aster's Hereditary, you will understand and appreciate the way there's always a gradual buildup to the horror scenes. Midsommar will not disappoint you. SouthSide does advise that you keep a sharp eye on a few things throughout the movie like the bear in the cage and the walls around the commune.

Color, blogpot readers, is very important when viewing Midsommar despite opening dark and gloomy before dazzling the eyes with such vibrant array of colors from the clothing to the May Queen's flower crown. Never had SouthSide seen a movie in which color is also the prime focus and character ...especially within a horror movie. Ari Aster has started something here, blogspot readers. Color in his movies has way of being beautiful as well as frightening to hide what's lurking unseen (or seen) throughout this movie. Ari Aster's bedazzling array of color usage and paletting is quite jaw-dropping, blogspot readers, Violets, blues, pinks, reds, yellows, greens etc seem to pop to life on the big screen.It was in this reviewer's mind, deliciously terrifying which could make Midsommar a film class study on how color can effect directly as well as indirectly a certain scene or mood.

Yet, it's not all about color that what makes this movie such fun to watch. His casting choice was spot on, blogspot readers, featuring Florence Pugh as the emotionally clingy, wrecked Dani and Jack Reynor as the "I want to breakup with you but can't" Christian. These two had a natural chemistry between them which made it seem so real and believeable each time ...either separately or together on the big screen. SouthSide loved Vilhlem Blomgren as Pelle - that creepy Swede who comes from the secret remote cult-like commune village ...never really telling his friends what the nine day festival entails. And there's also William Jackson Harper (as Josh) and Will Poulter (as Mark) - who btw meet gruesome deaths that are never shown on screen but you somehow get the hint of happened to them. Oh yeah, keep this phrase "skin the fool" in your head too. There's also engaged British couple, Connie (Ellora Torchia) and Simon (Archie Madekwe) who were invited by their friend Ingemar (Hampus Halberg) who just happens to be Pelle's "brother".

During Midsommar, there will be moments when you feel as if you're experiencing a bad acid trip from the way certain scenes would appear to be "breathing" and "alive" through Ari's camera tricks. Things here have a way of becoming one with the characters or moving about them that throws off their sense of what is reality and what is not. They barely had any left after consuming homegrown drugs, sleeping pills and "special" teas during the midsommar festivities that you too will start feeling the trees breathe and becoming one with nature. And also, it wouldn't be an Ari Aster film without some weird ritualistic chanting, pagan references and rituals and music that pulls every scene together with the characters and what they're doing in that particular scene. Some might get weirded out by the sex scene with Christian and one of the maidens who has chosen him. Not going to say what happens but it's very interesting to watch Reynor's reaction as if he didn't know Ari was to have that happening during this particular scene.There's a lot of screaming going on too. Screaming to expell all the pent up emotions kept hidden and tucked away inside for far too long, blogspot readers, to which sets up the final shocking scene that ends Midsommar.

Not going to tell you what happens. See the movie, blogspot readers.

Granted Midsommar does take a slow start at the beginning to set up the characters and their arrival to Sweden, this movie will have you cringing in fear from the intense yet suspenseful scenes. It's overall a vividly colorful work of art that brings horror out of the darkness and into the light underneath the sunny beauty that is midsommar. The ending will either mind fuck your head or have you laughing.

SouthSide was simply blown away, blogspot readers, and she's going to see it again.


Until next time, support your local scene,
SouthSide