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Posts Tagged ‘Warner Bros’

Blu-ray Review: The Nun

November 30, 2018 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Blu-ray Review: The Nun
The NunI rebuke you, horror movie tropes!

Warner Bros’ Conjuring universe rolls ever onward with its fifth feature-length installment, The Nun, exploring the origins of the titular character first seen in The Conjuring 2. James Wan, who wrote and directed both Conjuring films, helped with the story here but handed directorial duties over to Corin Hardy (The Hallow) to try and expand the overall fiction.

THE PLOT

Following the apparent suicide of a nun in a Romanian convent, the Vatican dispatches Father Burke (Demian Bichir; The Hateful Eight) and a young nun, Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga; American Horror Story), to investigate. Upon arriving they meet with Frenchie (Jonas Bloquet), who found the body while delivering supplies, and convince him to guide them to the castle despite Frenchie’s concerns about the place.

Once on site they’re taken to see the body, which has mysteriously changed position since being placed in cold storage. On her they find a key, though what it unlocks is unknown. Inside they speak to the Abbess, who tells them that they must wait until the following day to speak to the nuns due to them staying silent during the night.

While Frenchie departs and Burke and Irene stay, all three have horrifying and unexplained encounters that night, prompting the Father to surmise there’s a powerful evil present. Work still has to be done, however, and the pair decide to press on with the investigation despite the obvious danger they’re in. Can they unravel the evil behind the goings on in the convent, or will they end up victims of it?

THE GOOD

One thing that has always stood out in films from the Conjuring universe is quality acting, a relatively rare thing in the horror genre. That continues here with Bichir, who we loved in The Bridge, heading a solid slate of performances for all three primary characters. Jonas is likable and gets to add what little levity there is, and Taissa ably projects strength, faith and vulnerability at the center of it all.

Visually, The Nun doesn’t miss a trick. Shooting on site at actual castles gives everything a grounded feel, and there’s plenty of slick work done with lighting and camera angles to build foreboding and maximize tension. The fact that Bonnie Aarons plays the Nun allowed them to minimize CGI as well, adding another level of realism on the visual side.

THE BAD

In most ways, this is the weakest of the five movies set in the Conjuring universe, and that starts with a lack of consistency from the threat they’re facing. One minute it seems like the visions can’t affect people in the real world, then the next they’re being physically assaulted by them. On the flip side, the people seem powerless against said visions, and then suddenly they’re shooting them with a shotgun. There’s no rhyme nor reason to why things work or don’t throughout the film.

Along those same lines, it’s unclear how powerful the Nun demon actually is. Are we supposed to think that all of these visions, animated corpses and so on are controlled directly by her? Or is that just “evil” as a catch all? And why is she randomly stalking them rather than just trying to kill them all the time? It doesn’t make any sense.

The Nun also features a much higher reliance on jump scares than the four previous films, and much of it seems to exist purely for those moments. We lost count of how many times they had something menacing in a shot, rotated the camera in some way and then, when it reset, it was gone. It was like the movie was working down a list of horror tropes and checking them off one at a time.

THE BONUS FEATURES

Twelve minutes of deleted scenes rates as the best of The Nun‘s extras. While there’s nothing that we strongly felt should’ve remained in, it’s not throwaway content, either, with scenes that fill in some back story. The most interesting is an extended talk with the nuns where they fully reveal a critical location, the removal of which changes the closing moments. Featurettes on filming in Romania and the character of the Nun join a Conjuring timeline to round out the offerings.

OVERALL

While perfectly serviceable, The Nun fails to match its predecessors, deploying a paint-by-numbers horror experience that’s unlikely to stay with you after the credits roll.

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Video Game Review: Hitman 2

November 16, 2018 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Video Game Review: Hitman 2
Although Hitman 2 scraps the episodic release of its immediate predecessor, it very much retains the feel with its distinct locations rife with different approaches to the main job and numerous additional threads to be followed. That means that while the game is relatively short on locales, each one is treated like a sandbox that can be played through multiple times.
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Blu-ray Review: Teen Titans GO to the Movies!

November 7, 2018 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Blu-ray Review: Teen Titans GO to the Movies!
Part of the film’s charm is putting serious characters in ridiculous situations, and it does so to great effect. Watching the Titans ride big wheels to travel back through time to prevent origin stories from happening is probably the highlight of that approach whether they’re fixing Krypton or guiding the Wayne family through a safer part of town.
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Blu-ray Review: The LEGO Ninjago Movie

January 13, 2018 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Blu-ray Review: The LEGO Ninjago Movie
On the coastal city of Ninjago, life is good… except for the incessant attacks from the sinister Lord Garmadon (Justin Theroux) and his Shark Army from their offshore volcanic island base. Fortunately for the citizens of Ninjago they’re protected by a secret ninja force whose giant mechs have been able to thwart Garmadon at every turn.
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Video Game Review: Middle-earth: Shadow of War

November 3, 2017 | by Herija Green | Comments Comments Off on Video Game Review: Middle-earth: Shadow of War
Following the events of the original, Shadow of War sees Talion, still bound to the spirit of the elf Celebrimbor, travel to Mount Doom to forge a new Ring of Power without Sauron’s influence to dominate the ring. Celebrimbor is captured by Shelob, however, and held for ransom, forcing Talion to trade the newly created ring for the elf’s freedom.
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