‘Get Out’ Hits DVD and Blu Ray With A Shocking Darker Alternate Ending

Film: Get Out (Blu-ray & DVD)

Released By: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Release Date: May 23, 2017

Retail Price: $34.98

The 2017 horror/thriller film Get Out is most likely a movie that everyone has at the very least heard about, written by Jordan Peele. Peele (largely recognized for his comedic presence in Key and Peele or MADtv) took a step out of his comfort zone and created Get Out which strays from his genre norms by tackling a horror film with satire and nods to racial injustices as well as present-day inequalities. The film centers on Chris (played by Daniel Kaluuya) who is dating Rose (Allison Williams) having reached the all important parental introduction aspect of the relationship. The pair embarks on a trip to upstate New York to visit Rose’s family when things take a turn and Daniel’s concerns about an interracial relationship are intensified with something far worse.

Initially, there is a premise that ties into learned paranoia with Chris feeling isolated being the only black man amongst several white men and women who come off so “supportive” of the pair it smells disingenuous and increasingly grim. That’s when the film takes off into a satirical horror film that delves into murder, racism, hypnosis, and a supporting character who finds the funny in just about every situation. The first act of the film feels much more like social commentary on today, quickly shifting to address slavery and perspective on history that many films have had a hard time telling efficiently. While many want to label Get Out as a horror film, it is the social messages and discussions it sparks that indicate it has more to offer as a thought provoking social thriller (with satire) over anything else.

Kaluuya plays the role of Chris as if you can read nearly all of his emotions without any dialogue when it comes to the transition through love, to paranoia and nervousness and ultimately the anger required to overcome the themes of the film. Not to mention, so many moments of the film are like stills for an art exhibit through capturing the characters (Chris) story. The character Rose felt perfect for Allison Williams (not because I think she is similar at all, she’s not a monster) but because Allison Williams is someone generally known for comedy as well – but in Get Out she shows off qualities that you wouldn’t think her character had or that Williams would be featured in. Prime example, the phone conversation she has with the comedic Rod (Lil Rel Howery) was something that gave Williams her chance to show different acting chops.

The home release edition of Get Out contains an additional ending that was meant to address yet another issue – the increasing incarceration of black men in america. As you may have known, the ending for the film was mostly optimistic given what Chris had gone through but things could have gone differently if he had used the alternate ending, Chris getting arrested for the end result. He would have been able to live with it having stopped their heinous crimes, but luckily Peele found that it needed a more hopeful approach that was a great conclusion to a group of characters with some wicked scary karma headed their way.

With a stand out cast and crew backing the film, themes taking on modern forms of racism (via this dreadful Trump era) there can’t be many negatives said other than the incorrect advertisement as a straight up horror flick, because Get Out may shed light on the horrors of racial tension and inequality, I view it as something deeper that many deemed necessary for the society we are living in. All the way to the last scene, there are moments that point out the way people are conditioned to think (the car scene with Chris) that make it a classic in the making for audiences. Get Out deserves recognition for spotlighting liberal racism and so much more, making it a film that is sure to get people talking – exactly what Peele wanted.

Overall Grade: 8/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

– The exploration of being an interracial couple today was a humorous spin on something that actually needed to be showcased.

– The cinematography in Get Out was purely magical, horrific and brilliant simultaneously.

– I am curious to see how Peele will follow up the success of the film with – perhaps something in the slasher variety?

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‘Your Name’ Is An Anime Classic In The Making

 

Funimation

 

Anime Film: Your Name

Released By: Funimation

Release Date: April 7, 2017

Japan has contributed several compelling anime films over the years that have become an overwhelming commercial success, but nothing quite lives up to the widespread achievements of the 2016 drama/fantasy film titled Your Name. The animated film (by Makoto Shinkai) initially was released in Japan last July, having earned more than any other animated film in Japan’s box office history. With such prominent bragging rights from box office alone, the film eventually found it’s way to the US – set to provide a theatrical run starting on April 7. In Japan alone, the film has raked in over $300 million (USD) that surely deserves to grow for essential storytelling, but more on that soon enough.

To provide you with some back story to the film, Your Name follows two high schoolers by the name of Mitsuha and Taki who lead very different lives. Taki is a young man who lives in the flourishing city of Tokyo and he stars opposite Mitsuha, a girl living in the rural small town of Itomori. While it sounds like a simple enough premise, their lives are unexpectedly forever intertwined. Out of the blue, with absolutely no connection to each other, Taki and Mitsuha exchange bodies and wake up to find themselves living in a new identity. Sure, it goes back to regular shortly – but the swap continues to take place and forces the two to work cohesively to operate two lives as one. To do so, they leave notes and messages through paper, phone and more importantly on themselves to keep each other in the loop about developments that bonds the pair unlike other films, anime and television. As one would expect, the two decide they want to meet in person for the first time sparked by a shimmering meteor that completely alters their lives.

Because of the fact that the film focuses on two key roles, the time to solidify both personalities is perfected by Shinkai. Your Name beautifully introduces us to their world (and individual lives) by throwing us into it just like the initial body swap that kicks off the film. It’s a masterful approach to hook viewers that carries over for nearly two hours, feeling like a lifetime in the best way possible. What carries such a strong message is the bond between both of them that shows an unprecedented love. Being forced into the other’s life makes it feel sturdier than most for the fact that they are forced to discover as much as they can. It creates an opportunity for typical humor on traditional gender roles, but more importantly shows one of anime’s greatest and most respected narratives honing in on the timeless story of love.

Towards the midway point of the film (no spoilers coming from me, I promise) the conflict of the film becomes one that feels as if true tragedy is looming. The transition encompasses the perfect way to raise the bar and push the film into a movie that adds intensity to the already important emotional makeup. Your Name later goes on to make the final act bring the last pieces together by using all of it’s genre strengths. Giving viewers the balance of love, drama and occasional comedy together brilliantly cements Your Name as a theatrical masterpiece that will make anime film directors work harder and aspiring creators push themselves for the shot at gifting the world with a unique depiction of love and how impactful it can be on your life – and that’s something that is honest storytelling at its finest.

The animation provided in Your Name is that of excellence. From the design of characters, settings, and fantasy driven scenes, there isn’t a single moment that will disappoint. This truth is best seen when Taki takes a trip through something otherworldly as if viewers are being guided on a artistic quest that helps the plot blossom into its final act. Every animated scene makes a perfect picture, essentially molding Your Name into a film with uniquely stunning cinematography. Though the original Japanese voice cast still stands with excellence, the English dub by Funimation creates a powerful production that is sure to be considered timeless.

In its entirety, Your Name is an anime cinematic experience that strays from traditions to forge its own path. The story is one that can be appreciated by people from various walks of life to different ages because family, love and dreams of your own destiny are relatable to us all in one way or another. The anime film rightfully stakes its title has the highest grossing animated feature in Japan because the storytelling goes above and beyond while supplying stunning visuals to guide us through the tale. If you get the chance to see Your Name in theatres you won’t want to miss an opportunity such as this – it is another piece of evidence that anime is still offering solid productions with individuality.

Overall Grade: 9/10

Aedan’s Final Thoughts:

– The differences between our two protagonists gave them depth and likability that was imperative to the growing investment in Taki and Mitsuha

– The framing that took focus on landscape and the paranormal aspects gave viewers exemplary art to gaze at for the entire film.

– The ending was somewhat bittersweet, offering hope while leaving me wanting to know more about the primary characters

SDCC Debuts “The Killing Joke” And Here’s Why It Disappoints

killing joke
nerdist

Over the course of the years, DC has presented a plethora of successful animated feature films that illicit a generally favorable reaction from fans – so when DC announced The Killing Joke would be included next, fans went crazy. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the “celebrated” graphic novel, it includes the character of Batgirl being shot and paralyzed by the Joker and pushed into the background until eventually becoming Birds of Prey leader, Oracle. The films creators stated beforehand that they really wanted to give Barbara Gordon a storyline as opposed to the lack of plot for her in the comic, but the film left me with a bad taste in my mouth and here’s a few reasons why:

Batgirl is merely used as a plot device.

In Batman The Killing Joke, they try to add character depth to Batgirl, but as it progresses you realize her main purpose is to fuel the feud between the Joker and Batman. After the major event of the plot occurs involving Barbara, she becomes a ghost in the film and her inclusion quickly dwindles which further proves her trauma wasn’t going to truly take her down a different path other than making Batman more gritty and angry, which we’ve all seen plenty of times before.

The film feels overtly sexist.

During the film’s duration, they add an extremely forced sex scene between Batgirl and Batman, completely tainting the mentor-like relationship they’ve always had. The sex scene didn’t act alone, but it’s the doe eyed Barbara Gordon and the rather cavalier Batman that fulfills cliches of media depicted relationships. Batgirl can’t just be a badass, she has to be distracted with her adoration for Batman (that shouldn’t even exist) and all of her scenes are focused on that unlike methods used for male comic book characters. It’s okay to care, it’s not okay for female heroes to only be portrayed as lovesick damsels who can’t function to the capabilities of their male counterparts.

Fascination with sexual violence.

Fans of the film and graphic novel are die-hard fans of The Killing Joke in a world with thousands of comics and truly moving tales, but what plot earns itself a film? Well that would be the one that deliberately suggests rape after a gruesome shooting and paralysis to a character who already fits the unfortunate tragedy stricken female. Having an audience become privy to the unbuttoning of a blouse after being shot in the spinal column serves no purpose other than twisted shock value.

Aside from my obvious major complaints, the character of Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) is one that deserves to be told, but there is no doubt in my mind that she deserves better. As I tried to find the positives out of Batman: The Killing Joke, I was often reminded of why I can never find a justified reason to back the original (or even new) creative material – and when a few audience members around me applauded after the most unsettling moments of the movie, I couldn’t fathom what was viewed as acceptable by those who enjoyed the film.