Tag: Stephen King

‘Stranger Things 2’ Review

‘Stranger Things 2’ Review

IT’S HERE. IT’S FINALLY HERE!!!! Short review: Dear Duffer Brothers, I LOVE YOU. The end.

No, but seriously, I was salivating at the thought of a season two of this show. Like most people, I fell in love with ‘Stranger Things’. Mostly because it caught me completely off guard. I knew nothing about this show when season one came out and I got recommended it from just the buzz off the internet. Then I watched it all in like two days and I fell in love with the kids and just the feel of the show. It literally captured some of my favorite stories and films from the 80s all in one show. Spielberg films, Stephen King stories, and coming of age films from the decade are just some of the obvious influences of the show. All the characters I was in love with and I felt like I was playing Dungeons and Dragons with Mike, Dustin, Will, and Lucas. And plus this show was just so damn fun. Now, when I originally heard that there was going to be a season 2, I hesitated. Because I loved season one so much and I really did not want the ‘sequel’ to tarnish the original. SPOILER: It does not. This season is better than season one. ‘Stranger Things 2’ does everything a season two of ‘Stranger Things’ should have done. Dial the 80s nostalgia up to 11, check, introduce more awesome and fascinating characters into the mix, check, more back story for “Eleven”, check, ghostbuster costumes, check, and finally develop the existing characters with an even more emotional weight to them, check. I was blown away of how this surpassed the first season in every way.

This season picks up a year after the events of the first season. And I swear to you it’s like the Duffers didn’t miss a beat. It’s so obvious that they have the style of the show down pact. I obviously don’t want to spoil anything about the show, but in order to talk about season two’s plot, I have to SPOIL something for season one so just a warning here. So as you know they got Will out of the upside down and Eleven is stuck in the upside down in the end of season one. We meet Will and the gang during Halloween, but things are happening to Will….strange things. Like I said the direction in this show is fan-freaking-tastic. The Duffer Brothers, Shawn Levy, and now a newcomer to the series Andrew Stanton all do an incredible job. I was SO happy to see Stanton involved with this show. If you don’t know Stanton is a regular at the animation studio Pixar and has directed some of my favorite films of theirs like “Wall-E’ and ‘Finding Nemo’. The performances are just as good here as they are in season one. All the kids are just so great. I want to hang out with them all so bad. But obviously, Millie Bobbie Brown who plays ‘Eleven’ steals the show again. She is truly a special talent. When she matures and becomes an even better actress, she is going to be HUGE. Winona Ryder is back as Joyce and she’s even better in this season. You can tell that she learned a lot from the first season of playing this character and she knocks it out of the park again. David Harbour as Hopper again is another standout. The thing about this show is there is no weak link. Everyone is great. The new characters are great as well. I love Max who is a new girl in town who gets involved with the gang and she is great. But I was so excited that I heard Sean Astin was going to be part of this season. I’m a huge fan and I loved him as Bob in this season. Another major pro of this season is the pace of it. With the exception of one episode, (that I will talk about later), this show didn’t really have a “filler” episode. Each one of the nine episodes propelled the story along with interesting and super fun plot elements. I was so surprised that I liked mostly EVERY turn and risk that the plot took in this season. My favorite episodes by far were MADMAX, The Spy, and The Mind Flayer. As for negatives, I think most people who have seen the season know what I’m going to say. Episode 7: The Lost Sister was a weak point for ‘Stranger Things’. In my opinion, it is the worst episode that ‘Stranger Things’ has done so far. The execution of that episode was very weak. And I wasn’t a huge of the style that the director chose to do in the episode. While I liked the concept of the episode, I just think they failed at executing it to their fullest.  But other than that I FREAKING LOVED THIS SEASON! Bring on season three!!!

9.5/10

‘IT’ Review

‘IT’ Review

Short review: This movie scared me. A lot. Long Review: Stephen King has  A LOT of novels and short stories. Many of them have been turned into films and TV shows. ‘IT’ being one of Stephen King’s most beloved books, it was bound for a studio to make an adaptation of this one. We had a two-part mini-series on TV back in 1990 that starred Tim Curry as Pennywise. I have never seen the mini-series nor read the book so I will not be comparing those to this movie. I will be judging the movie just on its own merits. And I’m happy to say that this is a damn good horror movie.  I was pretty excited to see this because, like most people, I saw the trailer and was genuinely freaked out by it. I don’t do well with clowns at all. I was really scared of them as a kid. Still am. So as you can probably tell, this movie frighten me quite a bit. If you don’t know what this movie is about, the plot is a group of bullied kids, known as the “Losers Club”, band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children. The thing that I loved this movie for and what I think most people will get out of this is that this movie is a fantastic blend of two genres: Coming of age and horror. This movie is actually an extremely sweet, funny, and emotional coming of age film, expertly fused with a R-rated horror film. And a SCARY one at that. Some of the images in this film I know will stick with me. My favorite thing about this movie by far is the “Losers Club”. All the kids, every single one of them, is fantastic. They each have a distinct character trait and background and they all have amazing chemistry with one another. My favorites were Richie and Eddie. But they’re all great, seriously. All these kids have bright futures in front of them as actors. I can see people having conversations arguing who their favorite is. Director Andy Musechietti constructs these scares in a unique way. The jump scares are really fun and sometimes very unexpected. Not gonna lie I jumped a few times. Now let’s discuss what everyone wants to know. How was Pennywise the clown? I thought Bill Skarsgard was excellent in this role. He was really charismatic and inviting, so you were drawn to him every time he was on-screen. He had many voice inflections and body movements that really creeped me out. One thing that I loved about Pennywise too was the effects on him. They used some CGI and practical effects on him and I was impressed how seamless it was. There were a couple of shots where it was noticeable but for the most part it looked really good.  Another thing that was great about this film was the way it looked. It was shot beautifully and had a nice color palette to it. My last positive is this film takes some risks with its story. It does things with the kids that I wasn’t expecting them to do and I applauded them for doing that. They really pulled no punches with these scenes. For example the opening scene. If you’ve seen the movie…..you know what I’m talking about. I do have a couple of negatives though. In my opinion there were a couple of cheesy things that happen towards the end of the movie that I felt were really unnecessary. Also, all the adults in this movie are horrible people. It seemed to be a theme in the film, I just wish that theme was a little clearer of why all the adults in the movie were so horrible. And like most horror movies, I could telegraph some of the scares. But other than that, I think this is an awesome and fun horror film. I loved both the horror aspects of this film as well as the sweet coming of age elements. I love all these kids and was having a blast the whole movie and honestly didn’t really want the movie to end. I honestly believe that this version of Pennywise is going to go down in history as one of the best horror movie villains of all time. Up there with Freddy Kruger and Jason.

8.3/10