The Hate U Give, The Strangers: Prey at Night, Only the Brave, I Think We’re Alone Now

This set was very entertaining and moving. At times however, one film “The Hate U Give” had me doing some deep soul searching and that’s not always fun, especially when I seem to have experienced a bit of a paradigm shift in the way I see black/white interaction as presented. It was uncomfortable but I still recommend everyone see it.

That’s what makes movies great sometimes, they help us codify our views. I love all people of all colors and I hope we can get blacks and whites together making movies that focus on a solution to the nightmare of racial inequality. Beside that, I have a 9/10 rated horror film that surprised me it was so good, a “fire” movie that takes place near some of my relatives’ homes in Arizona, and a tale about preferred isolation and an apocalyptic non-love story. Stay real out there until next time. Whether you agree with me or not, as always, thanks for listening.

The text transcript below is posted primarily for SEO purposes. You’ll find my written reviews at rileyonfilm.com

I Think We’re Alone Now
The Apocalypse genre has almost become saturated. Still, it’s really interesting so there is always room for one more I say. (As long as it’s good.) In this case “I Think We’re Alone Now” ITWAN isn’t a zombie based one, it’s more of a relational, isolated one like another I saw last year called Bokeh. In fact the two look almost twin like as far as empty city streets and locale goes. Maybe that’s why I expected ITWAN to be more about the relationship between Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning than it was. Well also probably the title being the name of a popular Tiffany love song in the 80’s.

I Think We’re Alone Now (2018) R | 1h 33min | Drama , Mystery , Sci-Fi | 21 September 2018 (USA) Trailer 2:27 |The apocalypse proves a blessing in disguise for one lucky recluse — until a second survivor arrives with the threat of companionship. Director: Reed Morano Writer: Mike Makowsky Stars: Peter Dinklage, Elle Fanning, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Reed Morano is the director … ladies get ready for this: She directed “the Handmaid’s Tale.” She also did an amazing film I reviewed recently called “Frozen River.” I think those on her resume are bound to get attention.

But here my amazement slides back just a bit. At 40 mins in we still don’t know what’s going on. Then for another 40 we think we do but the rest of the film proves us wrong again. I think this story is basic enough you could start developing it with details and relational aspects earlier. Paul Giamatti and Charlotte Gainsbourg are also in this but they doesn’t show up until half-way through. The story is good but it seems they over developed the introduction which hurt the storytelling in my opinion. The final act is superb.

I enjoyed this film and imagine I will see more from Reed Moreno in 2019. 7/10.

POST VIEWS: 2
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POSTED ONOCTOBER 26, 2018EDIT “ONLY THE BRAVE”
Only the Brave
I don’t think I am alone when I say I’m a sucker for a true story about everyday heroes. This looked to me to be a redneck sort of Trump loving movie when I saw the trailers. It also looked kind of sappy. The way I came around to seeing it was through IMDb when I compared three search criteria: 1. User Rating 7/10 2. Num of Votes (lots!) and 3. metascore: 70 something. So, it drew me in that way and I am so glad it did. What a movie!

Only the Brave (2017) PG-13 | 2h 14min | Biography , Drama | 20 October 2017 (USA) Based on the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, a group of elite firefighters who risk everything to protect a town from a historic wildfire. Director: Joseph Kosinski Writers: Sean Flynn (based on the GQ article “No Exit” by), Ken Nolan | 1 more credit » Stars: Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges
Human lives are always interesting on screen. The hard part is adapting stories to the screen so other humans get it. That is done very well here. There are many tropes of typical masculinity films but this one steers clear of anything outright or in your face. There might as well have been a Trump campaign poster at the party but no politics were shared. I think it was made appealing to the right wing but anyone with an open mind can love this film. Being a left winger, this film about red necks fighting fires with cowboy hats on made me swing a little right just for the runtime. 8/10.

POST VIEWS: 53
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POSTED ONOCTOBER 26, 2018EDIT “THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT”
The Strangers: Prey at Night
I thought it looked cheesy when the tagline was “Let Us Prey.” and derivative but SOMETHING WAS TELLING ME ABOUT STRANGERS 2.

This film is now as of writing this review streaming on Prime Video

I saw the big guys’ low scores but SOMETHING WAS TELLING ME ABOUT STRANGERS 2
It came and went with a whimper in cinema SOMETHING WAS TELLING ME ABOUT STRANGERS 2
And that something was right!

The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018) R | 1h 25min | Horror | 9 March 2018 (USA) A family of four staying at a secluded mobile home park for the night are stalked and then hunted by three masked psychopaths. Director: Johannes Roberts Writers: Bryan Bertino, Ben Ketai Stars: Christina Hendricks, Martin Henderson, Bailee Madison
Our director here is Johannes Roberts, the director also of “47 Meters Down.” While that is a far from perfect movie, it works as shark horror/suspense and it takes creative chances all over the place.I found it to be one of my favorites last year. The director shows himself to be simple as well, I like that a lot.

I’ve given you the synopsis as always so I’ll skip the pleasantries. I loved the dark look of this film. I loved the idea of being isolated, which each victim is at one point or another. Being face to face literally a foot away from your killer is another amazing visual. Oh and let us not forget the ideal usage of the masks and the axe.

Finally, I liked the element of the victims going into fight or flight or panic attacks. When the brother is using the phone his hand is violently shaking. That’s how it would be. I don’t know about you but I get sick and tired of perfect heroes in horror who seem to know just what to do with their crossbow etc. This is real, it’s way more scary.

After getting through the first 1/4 of the film, I loved every minute thereafter. I’m not sure how necessary that first 1/4 was. I give the film a 9/10.

POST VIEWS: 55
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POSTED ONOCTOBER 25, 2018EDIT “THE HATE U GIVE”
The Hate U Give
For many years I’ve taken the position that the white man has been a devil through so many years. This film has caused me to alter that position. As whites who want racial peace, we need to look forward with people of all colors. In the past 2-3 years I feel I have seen more hate against whites in movies and the news than I recall in my 49 years on earth. This film addresses what keep the hate alive but isn’t daring enough to show a solution. That would have been a much better way to end this film.

The Hate U Give (2018) PG-13 | 2h 13min | Crime , Drama | 19 October 2018 (USA) Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. Director: George Tillman Jr. Writers: Audrey Wells (screenplay by), Angie Thomas (based upon the novel by) Stars: Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Russell Hornsby
Our director is George Tillman Jr. Who directed a film I have seen depicting race and social issues called “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete.” Like another director I really respect and enjoy, Spike Lee, his resume reads like a social equality syllabus. While this film was too graphic and didn’t offer enough solutions in my opinion, and it also felt very anti white, I will be watching for his movies in the future. He definitely has a finger on the pulse of Black America. I want to point out though that villainizing whites is racist also.

This shows racism as a chain. It starts with a cop shooting, then we examine the cop. If we find in a grand jury he shot out of self-defense, we let the cop go. But the chain may have started with the black person in the car who reached for something that looked like a gun. Everybody needs to be more conscious of the other race including the cop. Disrespect usually doesn’t cost ones life but when one it told by the police to know move and she/he does, what can I say a terrible and almost impossible situation is created.

I am almost unable to type after seeing this film. It GUTS you. It gives young people a lot to talk about and you know what? It’s a hell of lot more balanced and presented than the racist images in “The Purge One.”

If you plan to go to this, black or white, please bring an open mind. There are times the acting is bad and the writing worse but the message is crucial to all of us so I recommend it in the highest way. Peoples of all colors need to start loving each other and each others’ babies for this to stop. 9/10.

Author: Damien Riley

I'm an old school blogger who went full movie blogger and podcaster! Now, I post short reviews about movies I see. This is my podcast, I hope you enjoy listening.

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