Reviews

A Quiet Place Part II Review

Part I fans, get your tickets as soon as you can, this sequel delivers and then some.

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I still remember when I saw the first trailer for 2018’s A Quiet Place. At the time I honestly thought the concept of not making a sound was very silly premise sure to be filled with cheap scares and terrible moments to highlight the gimmick. Then I watched the movie, and what director/writer/actor John Krasinski pulled off made me a believer. The tension was high, the concept of sound hunting aliens was used effectively, but most importantly the film told a great story. I felt for the Abbott family, I wanted them to make it. I wanted them to forgive themselves for the death of one of their children, something that clearly damaged the entire family unit parents and children alike. It’s all to say I loved the first film.

Now typically in a sequel to what felt like a pretty contained story to an original idea, usually goes completely off the rails awful. Part II doesn’t do that; Part II is just as good if not a tad better than our first days with the Abbot family. Part II picks up immediately after the climatic and destructive ending to Part I. The family can no longer stay at what was once their home, it’s defensives destroyed and the farm in flames, they make a desperate journey to find refuge elsewhere. From there the movie takes off showcasing some of the dark elements of human survivors left with nothing but savagery and desperation. It felt somewhat like the popular AMC show The Walking Dead, where after you understand the literal monsters, the heroes begin to see that humanity can equally live up to the same evil standards as blood thirsty aliens or zombies. That said while the movie is billed on getting a heavy dose of terrible people, this movie continues to stick to the much more significant threat of alien creatures. While the Abbott’s may have found a weakness to the creatures, it doesn’t mean the deadly things can’t still rip them to shreds if they aren’t careful.

All of this bleakness would probably be a bit too much if it wasn’t for the main driving force of Part II. Where Part I seemed focus on forgiveness and learning to move on from tragedy, Part II ultimately is a story of hope and fighting for it. It passes the torch from being a story about the parents Evelyn and Lee (played by Emily Blunt and John Krasinski) and instead on their children, Regan and Marcus (played by Millicent Simmonds and Noah Jupe). These two young actors stepped up to the plate and really delivered carrying this movie’s heart and soul. To counter this hope was Cillian Murphy’s Emmett. A man who has lost everything, he is devoid of hope, and it’s his pairing with Regan that makes for the most powerful moments of the film. None of this is to say that Blunt doesn’t have some strong moments herself. It’s all to say this film has a great cast, and a story that focuses on them.

I could gush on the acting and story all day, but I have to give some major credit to the editors of Part II. The way moments are cut together dancing between several storylines while ratcheting up the terror or triumph in several parts of the film was so satisfying. I’m not one who tends to notice editing unless it’s bad, but this was a film where I couldn’t help but appreciate how they were layering things together. And finally, how could I not mention the sound editing / mixing? Just like the first film they effectively use the absence of sound as an effective tool to illustrate tension, as well as emotional beats for characters too. One moment with Simmonds was especially moving.

It’s crazy to me how much I can say about a slightly under hour and forty-minute film, but that’s just how good it is. Just like the first, every element is well crafted and built to elevate a story about people in an extraordinary situation. I know Krasinski was apprehensive of making a sequel to begin with but after watching this one, all I can think about is is how much I hope he convinces himself to make a Part III. Part I fans, get your tickets as soon as you can, this sequel delivers and then some.

Preview

2020 Movie Preview

2020 is upon us! Which means we have another year of amazing movies to look forward to! 2019 was a pretty impressive year so let’s see what 2020 has in store. Below are some of the movies I’m looking forward to this year.


A Quiet Place: Part II – March 20th

I loved 2018’s A Quiet Place. John Krasinski did a great job creating a tense horror movie that also happened to have a lot of heart with the Abbott family. The world he created was interesting, like a new take on zombies. From the looks of this first trailer it appears that Krasinki is looking at the same page book that the zombie genre has used when your characters have learned a true strategy against the nightmare, reveal that humans are just as bad as monsters. I’m in, but then they threw in the talented Cillian Murphy? Yeah I’m in double for this one.

The New Mutants – April 3rd

What a wild journey this movie has had. Originally it was supposed to come out in 2018, then it was delayed for “retooling”. Then Fox was sold to Disney, then it was delayed again, and now the word is the retooling (cough producer meddling cough) has been thrown out the window and we are set to see the original vision of this movie. That alone makes me interested to see what the fuss was about, but really I was excited for this movie since they announced it. A coming of age horror movie with mutants from the X-Men Universe? Yeah, that sounds crazy awesome.

No Time To Die – April 10th

First there was Casino Royale. Welcome back Bond. Then there was Quantum of Solace. You okay there Bond? Then Skyfall. Bravo James. And then there was Spectre. Uuuh what happened?

It’s been a mixed bag with the Daniel Craig Bond films, but even with the bad ones, it’s always a good time to see Daniel Craig in the role. i have higher hopes for this one, I enjoy the visual style of director Cary Joji Fukunaga, and the new cast members (Ana de Armas, Rami Malek) are both excellent actors that I can’t wait to see in the world of Jams Bond. This is Craig’s last go as 007 and another odd numbered entry so I’m hoping all of these ingredients gives us another great film before the end.

Black Widow – May 1st

And the Marvel Train keeps on moving! Black Widow is giving me serious Winter Soldier vibes, which I absolutely loved. It’s been a long while since Marvel has made a movie that I haven’t enjoyed and this entry does not look like it’s going to break that streak. I wasn’t sure how interesting a Black Widow movie could be when they first announced it, but if this trailer is anything to go by, it’s going to be another fun ride.

Wonder Woman 1984 – June 5th

Two female leading superhero movies within a month of each other? What kind of madness is this? The best kind if you ask me. Wonder Woman 1984 looks like an even more fun movie than the original. What I loved about the original, the chemistry between Diana and Steve, is back. Add in the fun 80’s vibes and it’s looking like this sequel might rise above the original. I’m crossing my fingers for a Captain America style growth to this franchise with this second entry. Here’s hoping.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife – July 10th

I never did see that odd Ghostbusters reboot that came out a few years back. It didn’t feel like the old Ghostbusters in terms of mixing horror and comedy. Luckily this new entry, that’s a continuation of the classics looks to strike that balance that made the originals great. I’m also liking the Stranger Things / Goonies vibes with focusing on a younger cast of characters.

Tenet – July 17th

Nolan is one of my favorite directors. His movies are huge, pull off insane filmmaking feats, have great ensemble casts, and booming scores. Tenet looks insane. Like a time bending spy movie. Almost like taking bits of Inception and Interstellar into one movie. I’m also really excited to see more of John David Washington and the future Batman Robert Pattinson.

Last Night in Soho – September 25th

An Edgar Wright horror movie? The same guy who made Shuan of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Baby Driver? Yeah that alone is all I need to hear. His movies have a unique voice that I thoroughly enjoy. Also it happens to star two actresses that have been on a solid rise over the last couple of years between Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie. I can’t wait to check out what Wright has in store for us next.

Godzilla vs. Kong – November 20th

This is the title fight we have all been waiting for. Rocky vs. Creed? No way. This is the heavy heavy heavy heavy weight. The Godzilla and Kong movies have been a lot of fun, and I still can’t believe we are finally going to get to see these massive titans go head to head this year. I got my money on the ape, always bet on the underdog.

Dune – December 20th

I’ve never read the book Dune. I hear it’s pretty great for fans of sci-fi. Even so, this is my most anticipated movie of the year because of the man directing it. Denis Vileneuve. The guy is a movie making master as far as I’m concerned. His last three movies? Sicario, Arrival, and Blade Runner: 2049. Those are some top tier movies there. Then there is the cast of this monster of a movie: Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem, Stellen Skarsgard, I could keep going and going with this one. It’s nuts. BUT WAIT, there’s more. Hans Zimmer is handling the score. Yeah just take all the money, I’m there opening night.