Upgrade is an excellent 90 minute Black Mirror episode. If you enjoy action movies or anything sci-fi I suggest checking out this quiet little movie before it leaves theaters. The basic plot is in the near future a guy has his spine severed when he and his wife get attacked by a group of men. After becoming a quadriplegic, he undergoes an experimental procedure that puts an AI chip in his spine. This chip gives him some superhuman abilities and senses which he uses to hunt down his wife’s killers.
The main character is played by Logan Marshall Green who absolutely needs to be in more movies. Logan Marshall Green is Tom Hardy-lite. There is a charisma and charm to all of his lines where you absolutely believe everything going on despite how ridiculous it gets. His reactions to his newly acquired abilities are really quite funny while being utterly deadly at the same time. The movie is pretty short at just over 90 minutes and really wastes no screen time. Go check this one out, you won’t be disappointed.
The sequel? Spinoff? That nobody asked for turns out to be a perfect summer movie. It is light, fun, and less than two hours long. Is it as charming as Ocean’s 11? No. But I still had a really good time. The movie follows Sandra Bullock who plays Danny Ocean’s (George Clooney) sister. After getting released from prison she reconnects with Lou (Cate Blanchett) to set up a heist at the Met Gala. Cate Blanchett is doing a weird riff on Rusty’s (Brad Pitt) character from the Ocean’s Trilogy that feels a little bit off but I still liked her.
Everybody is given there moment to shine and it is no surprise that Bullock and Blanchett are fantastic. Helena Bonham Carter seems like she is having a blast for once, free from the shackles of Tim Burton makeup or playing a villain. The real MVP of the movie is Anne Hathaway who has slightly less screen time than everyone else (except Mindy Kaling and Awkwafina) but nails every single thing she is asked to do. I forgot what a damn good actress she is and she does it all in this movie. The heist isn’t as complicated as any of the previous Ocean’s Trilogy, nor is it as fun, but it works and offers some great moments along the way.
The only time the movie came off the rails was when James Corden showed up as an Insurance fraud investigator and shoved his stupid late night shtick so far down the throat of the movie that it almost choked and died. Luckily, he disappears and the movie continues on just long enough that you forget about that detour. As the Ocean’s Trilogy proved, there is nothing wrong with spending a few hours watching beautiful people have fun on the big screen.
What the heck did I just watch? Two full hours of an atmosphere of dread, disgust, and tension just ready to pop at any moment. This is a very frightening movie but not because it has jump scares or loud noises. No, this movie is the type of horror found in The Witch. Pure uncomfortable dread. The imagery and camera work always have you on the edge of your seat even when a character is simply working at a desk. I don’t want to ruin the plot for anyone because to mention any of it would be to give some things away but the main thing is that a family of four begins to suffer some strange events after their senile grandmother passes away.
If you love slow burn movies or ones that make your armpits sweat with anticipation then check this out. If you need your horror to have a 6’4 masked person stabbing someone at the end and a jump scare then do not see this movie. I can’t even say I like this movie. It is beautifully done, unique, and executed at the highest levels but I never have any desire to see it again. I do think we’ll hear a ton about this movie during awards season because Toni Collette essentially has an Oscar worthy scene 3-4 times in this movie. She was amazing. If you like discomfort and enjoy being disturbed then go see this immediately.
I wish John Wick showed up and killed everyone in this movie. Clearly a rip off of The Continental in John Wick, Hotel Artemis is a hospital for criminals where no guns or killing is allowed. A bunch of killers all end up there one night and they all have to work together/double cross each other/fight/etc. to make it out alive. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing inherently wrong with the movie and Dave Bautista and Jodie Foster really stand out, but come on… its John Wick For Dummies.
Every possible cliche or arc that a character can go on in a movie like this occurs and in the end there were so many underlying motivations and “twists” that I just didn’t even care. John Wick and John Wick 2 are streaming. Go watch those. Save this movie for a very boring night when it is on HBO for free.