Tag Archives: Film reviews

Pearl Review

Earlier this year, director Ti West took his audience on a crazy and dazzling journey with the film X. Now seven months later, he takes his audience to the world of Pearl, a prequel to X set on the farm from X, but in the early 1900s, in the olden days of filmmaking.

In the film, Mia Goth plays Pearl, a girl with many feelings of loneliness and desire, who is living with her harsh mother Ruth, played by Tandi Wright, and her disabled father, played by Matthew Sunderland. Pearl lives a depressing life of solitude and rules, with little love, and she becomes desperate to find fame. Her search for it, though, is one that is rather harrowing—and deadly. She meets a film projectionist, played by David Corenswet, who shows her classy olden films. She meets others in the film industry, including Misty and Howard, played by Emma Jenkins-Purro and Alistair Sewell. Pearl’s desire to find fame causes her to become vindictive—enough to want to kill.

There are many similarities between Pearl and X, but Pearl contains less violence than X. The violence in Pearl is still graphic, but tempered by Goth’s performance. Like X, Pearl involves the concept of sex and filmmaking, which seems to be a big theme with West’s directing. In X, it was all about porn actors and directors trying to make a movie on a farm. After all the fun of their sexual escapades and filming of adult films, they begin to be terrorized by the landlords of the farm. Pearl is, again, about a girl living on that same farm, but decades earlier.

The theme of sex and movies being frowned upon in the olden days of filmmaking was interesting. Instead of Pearl being shy about it, though, she wants to be the one involved in sexual activities in films, despite it being an era where having sex in movies was not common. For Pearl, it’s not only about being a star, she also wants her desires to be met. And if Pearl can’t get sex, she is ready for others to pay the price. Though not quite as violent as X, Pearl is easily the most eccentric, and the most crazy and erotic, directing I have seen from West.

Despite its eccentricity and disturbing theme Pearl does give an interesting look back at the classic days of filmmaking. I very much enjoyed that aspect of the film. There are some repeated aspects and events from X, but this is a prequel so some of that is to be expected. The horror in Pearl being calmer than in X was a plus. Overall, I would call Pearl a crazy ride of terror and killings, with some laughs thrown in. I am giving the flick three and a half stars.

The Woman King Review

Viola Davis is fierce and spectacular in a historical and epic tail in The Woman King. Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, and written by Maria Bello, and Dana Stevens. Both writers have a strong screenplay to create Davis’s character to be ferocious and brave and have strong dignity and leadership. The Woman King is one where Davis’s performance is also Oscar-Worthy. She has the heroic voice, the heroic backstory, and inspires young warriors for growth to accomplishments towards defeating their enemies. I love The Woman King because of its continuity of trial and error, and when the errors come around, Davis is the one who inspires her warriors to not let their guard down.

This historical tail being based on actual events contains many historical aspects. They include slavery, authority, and different classes among women warriors. With the 1800s setting, there is a great deal of historical weaponry, and historical training. The Woman King knows its direction to take being a true tail from the 1800s. It knows how to find its importance and its authenticity. I felt the events going forward was real, as was the fact that the women in the film are destined to be warriors.

Davis plays General Nanisca. The one who oversees the all-female warriors that are called the Agojie. Their purpose is to protect the African Kingdom of Dahomey. The King is King Ghezo and he is played by John Boyega. He questions what Nanisca’s purpose is with the lady warriors she recruits. With the many young lady warriors ranging from Amenza (played by Sheila Atim), Esi (played by Shaina West), and many others, Nanisca makes it her goal and her job to strengthen their mindsets and their combat skills to prove to their king they can be warriors. The Woman King is audacious of many achievements among the story and the performances, and it is truly a beautiful film. The scenery around South Africa is beautiful too. With many historical aspects and clear imagery, The Woman King is a treat for many.

I am someone that is fond of films that does what it can to have its history and century have realism and symbolism. The Woman King has realism in which it is a true story, and it has symbolism towards women. The symbolism is to make them bound to be warriors. Going forward, the hope and aspirations are in this ride of adventure, love, and above all leadership. As I said before, Davis is the leader of the Agojie, and a king both in the film and as an actress.

The storyline is paces itself. It lays out the foundations of the purpose of the film’s setting, Davis’s performance, and the values of the many means of women being fierce. I love The Woman King, and I love Davis, and I love The Woman King. I hope it receives Oscar buzz. Four stars for The Woman King.

Clerks III review

In 1994 Kevin Smith directed a movie with a few of his friends called Clerks. The gang reunited again in 2006 for Clerks II. And finally, the time has arrived. The gang of misfits, bizarre humor and clever pop culture jokes is finally back. That’s right, Clerks III is here. The film is a monumental achievement of comedy that pushes the envelope in the obscenest, yet funniest ways. The laughs and gags continue, but even more so than ever before in the franchise.

Some may find the humor in this and the previous Clerks films over the top, but that is what makes it genius. And no film in the franchise is more genius than Clerks III. There are tons of one-liners, and many topics that I could relate to and recall as they revisit many portions of the previous Clerksfilms through satirical conversations and discussions on a variety of gag topics.

In Clerks III the characters we all love are back, including Dante (played by Brian O’Halloran), Randal (played by Jeff Anderson), Elias (played by Trevor Fehrman), Jay (played by Jason Mewes), and Silent Bob (played) by Kevin Smith. They all bring giggles and laughs with gags that are memorable and pure genius. Even Silent Bob shows his funniness through his facial expressions. My mind was rambling with laughter from the very start and there is a punch line around every corner in Clerks III.

This is how the fun continues in Clerks III. After sixteen years Dante and Randal have departed from the Mooby’s fast-food restaurant and are back working at the Quick Stop. Jay and Silent Bob are still doing their usual loitering and Elias is still around. So the normal from the original Clerks has returned, but everything changes when Randal has a heart attack. Randal recovers and he decides to make a movie based on his life from Clerks and Clerks II. Randal is determined, and he even says, “I worked in a video store for twenty years, and I watched movies all day long—I went to my own film school!” I have not laughed so hard with a film by Smith in a long while.

Mewes and Smith have kept the franchise strong as Jay and Silent Bob. In Clerks III, they are the center of much of the revisited scenarios from Clerks and Clerks II, and they bring in lots of the perspective, as they bring their humor to the table with the wittiest attitudes and gnarly adventures. Clerks IIIwould certainly not be the same without Jay and Silent Bob. Despite their crazy disagreements with Dante and Randal, they are all a knockout of joy.

Although Clerks III is, again, incredibly funny, it does not take a formulaic approach to its humor. And I love how none of what is important from the previous films is forgotten. In one scene they are all talking about the process of moviemaking, and Jay shows everyone a videotape. But he does not actually have a VHS player, so they attempt to watch the film by holding it up to the light. It’s bizarre and stupid, but it’s also a clever reference back to the VHS days and to the first Clerks, when Randal worked in a video store. Randal still argues movie franchises with Elias. Jay and Silent Bob still loiter to a ridiculous extent. Dante is still just Dante, making crazy decisions but ultimately being Randal’s best friend. All of these guys were born to be in the Clerks films, in a franchise that is spectacularly funny. Can Randal make his movie? Catch Clerks III and find out. But be prepared for sore lungs from laughter. Four stars for Clerks III.