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Blu-ray Review: The Hunt

June 24, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Blu-ray Review: The Hunt
The HuntThis might be the widest Gilpin opens her mouth in The Hunt.

You know you’ve struck a nerve when the President of the United States criticizes your movie before it even comes out. Such was the case with The Hunt, a dark comedy co-written by Damon Lindelof of Lost and Watchmen fame, which saw its release date pushed back roughly six months after some real-world shootings in late 2019. Was it worth the wait (and the initial controversy)? It’s time to find out.

THE PLOT

After a joking text exchange about hunting “deplorables” gets embraced by the conspiracy crowd, a group of “liberal elites” experience real-world fallout and decide to turn this joke into reality. To do this they abduct a dozen people with the intent of releasing and then hunting them down, though one of them awakens on the flight and is killed en route.

The remaining 11 are left gagged in a remote area where a large container is filled with weapons so that they may arm themselves. Within moments of selecting their guns, the group is targeted by sniper fire. Attempts to escape result in such gruesome ends as stepping on landmines, falling in spike-filled pits and being blown up by grenades. A handful gets clear of the initial area but are soon whittled down to two: Don (Wayne Duvall) and Crystal (Betty Gilpin).

Realizing they’re no longer on American soil, the pair try to get in touch with the U.S. embassy for extraction back home. Crystal sniffs out the deception, however, and concludes that the only way to survive the ordeal is to turn the hunters into the hunted.

THE GOOD

For all of the blow back The Hunt got based on its story of liberals hunting conservatives, one need only watch a few minutes to figure out the whole thing has its tongue planted firmly in cheek. Everyone is a caricature of how one side of the political spectrum theoretically views the other, so the biggest thing you need to ask yourself is if you can take a joke? If yes, then you might have a good time. If not, move along.

There’s tons of over-the-top violence, bordering on cartoonish. For instance, one guy getting shot with arrows incredulously asks what’s with the “Avatar shit.” People are blown up, impaled, gassed, poisoned, sniped and much more over the sub-90-minute run time. That allows things to move fast and the jokes not to wear out their welcome.

THE BAD

It takes nearly a third of the movie to elapse before Crystal has more than a few seconds of screen time, which seems weird considering she’s the lead. Along those same lines, Hilary Swank, who carries by far the most name recognition of the cast, has almost no presence in the film until the final 15 minutes or so. It makes for an odd structure and a final showdown that, while well implemented, doesn’t really feel like a payoff.

Plus, since nothing is taken seriously, The Hunt basically becomes a series of death sequences and one liners with very little plot or suspense to fill the moments between. It’s satire much more than comedy. As a spectacle it’s worth some chuckles. As a full-fledged motion picture it could’ve used a bit more depth. Also, was it us or was Gilpin trying to deliver all her lines while opening her mouth as little as possible? Ugh.

THE BONUS FEATURES

Keeping up with the brevity of the film, the Blu-ray’s extras consist of three short featurettes that run roughly 10 minutes combined. One breaks down the various deaths and another goes over the choreography of the final fight. They’re fine if that sort of thing interests you.

OVERALL

Looking back, the 2019 trailer presented a promise for a more interesting film than what was finally delivered earlier this year. It’s not a bad watch thanks to its outlandish violence and dark humour, but The Hunt feels like it could’ve done more with the premise.

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Video Game Review: Desperados III

June 22, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Video Game Review: Desperados III
Serving as a prequel to the previous games, Desperados III focuses on the origins of series protagonist John Cooper, who finds himself hunting down the man that killed his father in the Old West circa the 1870s. Along the way he’ll link up with four others: Doc McCoy, Hector Mendoza, Kate O’Hara and Isabelle Moreau. Together, they’ll try to overcome the odds and deliver a sense of closure and justice for Cooper.
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Video Game Review: The Last of Us Part II

June 12, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments (0)
Naughty Dog didn’t make a lot of changes to the original’s setup, especially when it comes to combat. Aiming can still feel a little shaky, which, coupled with the frustratingly low number of bullets you can carry, made stealth the preferred option throughout. Melee fights are intense and visceral as you dodge enemy strikes and counter with brutal blows of your own to create an almost choreographed feel. It’s delightfully savage.
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Blu-ray Review: The Way Back

June 5, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments (0)
Affleck doesn’t always connect with us in his leading roles, but he’s locked in here. While The Way Back features a lot of basketball, it’s far more about coping with loss and returning to a sense of normalcy in the wake of tragedy. Affleck’s dependency feels authentic.
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Video Game Review: Maneater

June 4, 2020 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Video Game Review: Maneater
Despite the fun we had with the game, Maneater is lacking in some departments, and perhaps the biggest shortfall comes in the A.I. It’s not good. Predators will always attack you, even if they’re a Level 1 muskie and you’re a Level 30 shark (there’s a mutation you can equip to stop it, but that shouldn’t be necessary). Those same predators will also give up pursuit, even if they’ve nearly killed you, allowing you to feast on smaller fish to heal up.
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