Friday, March 27, 2015

It Follows

It’s official; when it comes to horror, comedy, or even action movies, movie critics have absolutely no idea what their talking about when it comes to their reviews of them. And I get the irony of being an actual critic myself when making this statement but if you have ever read a single review of mine, you’d know that I am not the typical critic; I write reviews for normal movie goers, not for other critics.

So naturally when I saw the reviews for It Follows and they were all making these grand declarations that it is the best horror movie in a decade, my eyes began to roll. I’ve heard this song before and people only say these kinds of things because they have forgotten what true horror movies are like. Hollywood has fed the movie goer so many watered down PG-13 versions of “horror” movies that when actual blood or boobs pop up on the screen, they don’t know how to react.

It’s similar to when Ashton Kutcher got all excited and married Demi Moore after hitting it for the first time; it’s not like he hadn’t had sex before, it’s just that he hadn’t had sex with a desperate and experienced 40 year old woman. I mean come on, she was married to John freaking McClain for years, you think she didn’t know how to do work in the bedroom? The guy dates porn stars; she had to keep him satisfied somehow!

So the one good thing It Follows had going for it is that it has Maika Monroe as the lead actress in it, she also starred in last year’s The Guest; a movie that actually does qualify for the “best horror movie in a decade” tag. She seems to be on the path of becoming the new queen of scream as she is following the Jamie Lee Curtis script to a tee; playing the beautiful victim who doesn’t expose her boobs in any of her horror movies.

The issue with her character in this movie is that she doesn’t follow the rules of horror in order for her to stay alive. Wes Craven broke them down in Scream; you can never look back when you’re running, never say I’ll be back because you won’t, and you can never do drugs, alcohol, or have sex because of the sin factor.

Well it’s the last one that gets her into trouble. After falling for her date’s charms, she gives it up in the back seat of some old school car that probably doesn’t even have working air conditioning and once she does, he lets her know that he has passed “it” on to her. Genital herpes? No, that would be a lot easier to deal with. He passed on some weird curse that now has random ghosts following her in an attempt to kill her. They move slowly but they are smart; and she, along with everyone else who is cursed, are the only ones who can see them.

Now the movie does sound cool, and there are actually quite a few things in this film that I really liked. But in the end, all this movie was, was another I Know What You Did Last Summer, just with a better score and more sex. So because the ghosts move so slowly, you can simply run or drive away to buy yourself some time but they eventually do catch up to you. But because they move so slowly, it takes a lot of the fear factor away. They just seem like dumb zombies that you can play funny tricks on, if you were so inclined. While this movie gives away hints that it takes place in the 80’s, the tricks that worked well in 80’s horror movies don’t necessarily apply today.

They should have adjusted like 28 Days Later did and given their ghosts the ability to run; that at least would have added some tension to the movie.

 I will however give It Follows this, there are a decent amount of freaky things that do happen in it, especially when the victims are trapped in a room with these stalking ghosts. One of the film’s best scenes takes place in the indoor pool in the film’s climax where there is a standoff with the annoying spirit. But the problem is, you have to actually get to these situations, there are far too many dead scenes where it’s simply kids reading pointless poems or having socio-economic discussions about 8 Mile Road.

The score thankfully heightens the fear factor at times, and the director does a decent job of utilizing slow motion capture in a few scenes to further add style to his “revolutionary” film but this movie has far too many issues for it to deserve the love it’s been getting. If you do wind up seeing this film, I strongly suggest that you lower your expectations before doing so.

I rate this movie as kind of WEAK!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Gunman

The Gunman’s director Pierre Morel has been a part of quite a few fun yet over the top films that I’ve absolutely loved; well thoroughly enjoyed anyway. And that’s the problem with him, 10 seconds after convincing yourself that his movies are good, this natural human element called intellect kicks in and you realize that all you really saw was over stylized trash that had a ton of car chases and explosions in it. But you know what, I like good looking trash and I’m not sorry for it either!

Morel directed From Paris with Love, Taken, and the actually very good District B13 while also working as the cinematographer for the movies War and Unleashed. So naturally he’d be the one you’d get to direct an international thriller about a gunman right?

Well after seeing the Gunman, the only thing he will be directing on American soil from now on will be the porn version of real movies. “Pierre Morel directs The Gunman 2: He’s Ready to Unload!” Sorry, I know that was low even for me but it’s been far too long since I’ve mentioned porn on this site.
But now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, The Gunman is about an old ex special forces team who now works in the private sector. They are on contract in the Congo to protect a humanitarian project but are also on location to assassinate the local president who was in charge of the mining contracts in Africa.

Sean Penn plays Terrier, the group’s most skilled gunman. He is the one chosen by the team’s leader Felix (Javier Bardem) to take out the president and is forced to immediately leave the country as a result of it. But in the process he has to leave the woman he loves behind without any explanation for it because the operation they undertook wasn’t entirely on the books. A few years pass by and Terrier seems to have finally moved on from his killing days as he’s now a part of a humanitarian effort himself. He is working peacefully in the Congo and is trying his best to make a difference in the world; that is until a non military unit randomly seeks him out and attempts to murder him.
He now must now find out why these people are coming after him and why they want him dead. His journey to find answers takes him back to people from his past, some of which are happy to see him and some that are not.

Now if Morel had approached this film the way he did Paris with Love, this could have been a really fresh movie. He instead tried his best to make an intelligent thriller that involved corrupt corporations and a complicated love story but sadly that just simply isn’t his bag. He needs to have athletic bad guys who have the ability to base jump from building to building while doing kung fu. He needs old men with automatic weapons that can take out entire Eastern European armies all by themselves.

And while there are a few fresh gun play scenes, especially the one that takes place in a mansion in the middle of Barcelona, there just aren't enough of them. Sean Penn is incredible shape for this movie, so physically he is able to play this part but the problem that lies with him is that he’s just so damn unlikable. This is something that’s plagued him his entire career and nothing happens in this movie to change it. You almost find yourself wishing that someone would take out his girlfriend just to so you can see his character lose in some way.

The movie drags on too long at times and you find yourself wondering why Idris Elba is even in the movie in the first place. It’s like when they advertised Steven Seagal in that airplane movie and he wound up only being in the first 15 minutes or so before he died! Thanks for making me waste $10 Hollywood! I’m already broke as it is.

Anyway, this movie isn’t terrible, it’s just that it’s one of those Netflix kind of movies that you watch oer a two day period. I give it a rating of kind of WEAK!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Best of SXSW 2015

After the week and a half long marathon that is SXSW, your body's immune system begins to shut down and you start noticing that the water section of your local grocery store is surprisingly understocked as there has been a mad rush on Ozarka! Are people getting ready for the zombie apocalypse or are they really just trying to rehydrate in a desperate attempt to prepare themselves for the brutal work week to come?

Well before I personally reached this point of desperation, quite a few awesome things happened to me, and quite possibly a few others as well, as I tried to reclaim my youth this SXSW. For the most part I failed in my lame and pathetic attempt of regeneration but before I realized that I'm just a younger version of Walter Matthau (Grumpy Old Men) I was able to take a few notes along the way on what I considered to be the highlights of this year's festival.

Hip hop was on center stage this year and I have to say that for the most part all of the artists delivered. For one, they all showed up where they were supposed to and were all relatively on time; this is a modern day miracle for Black people and it should definitely not go unnoticed.

Vic Mensa out of Chicago was a clear stand out as the one show he had early on in the festival set the tone and the bar for what was to come later on in the week. Every SXSW has that one moment where you can simply look at the performance and instantly know that that person on stage will be a bona fide star. This moment happened last year when I saw Sam Smith (admittedly I didn't quite understand why at the time but I noticed everyone else's reaction to him around me) and it happened a few years earlier when I saw Young the Giant. Well Mensa came on stage and immediately grabbed the attention of the capacity crowd as he ran through grimy hits like Feel That and Wimme Nah. And this is something that's considerably hard to do at one in the morning when after a full day's worth of drinking, most people's thoughts are on late night food and/or sex. But by the time he got to Orange Soda and Down on My Luck, even the hardest G in the crowd found himself letting go of his cool demeanor and was caught jumping alongside of me like a 12 year old schoolboy. Be sure you catch Mensa while you can before he's playing to large arenas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jUGAVUwhRU

Next up was Run the Jewels, a hip hop duo that's taken over the genre right now and consists of El-P out of New York City and Killer Mike from Atlanta, Georgia. EL-P is able to perfectly blend his progressive mix of old school hip hop and semi electronic beats with the deep and angry rhymes of Killer Mike and the results have crowds loosing their minds for 45 minutes straight. The raw energy these two bring on stage is palpable and maybe too much so as one hefty fan walked on stage and tried to attack El-P during one of their performances. I guess he forgot the fact that Killer Mike weighs like 300 pounds and looks like he eats small children for snacks.

After this incident, the Austin Police Department was on high alert as they brought in Robocops to monitor the festival. I seriously had a robot yell at me the following "Sir with the red bike, please get closer to the curb so that you are not impending traffic!" No one around me could figure out where this voice was coming from and it took all I had in me not to randomly flip off the voice in hopes that a giant robot man would fly down from a rooftop with a semi automatic weapon to attack me. This incident alone was cooler than the stupid reboot of that movie that came out last year. Check out Run the Jewels as they are FRESH!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-S9mtYowPY

I am going to combine the next two as they played the same showcase and each had their sets cut short due to time. But the artists I'm talking about are Rae Sremmurd out of Mississippi and Kaytranada out of Montreal. Rae surprised me as I had previously heard their music and thought that it was both fun and funny but nothing more. But I had no idea that these two country boys knew how to command a crowd. I found myself booty shaking to songs about dropping money in strip clubs and only liking bad bitches like every other social degenerate out there. For better or worse these two will definitely blow up this year.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzMrK-aGCug

I've raved about Kaytranada for almost a year now and after seeing this DJ perform live, I like him and his versatility even more. He can do anything from hip hop to house music and can do so at a high level. When he brought out a few hip hop artists that he's worked with over the past year, you could immediately tell that his beats took their game up to another level. While they were ok performers, everyone in the venue knew the real talent lied with the beat dropper, and that you can expect everyone in the game to reach out to him soon.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rppKW9eIvE

So since I found myself cursing more than I ever have in my life and also caught myself randomly dropping the N word, which is something that I NEVER do, I felt it was high time to mix it up a bit by seeking out the soothing sounds of distorted guitars. This way I could at least mosh the aggression out of my system.

Speaking of, why do people wear expensive shoes to these festivals? All they're doing is making a conscious decision to waste the hard labor of a 12 year boy in China! I saw $200 pairs of Jordans getting covered in beer, mud, and self loathing; why else would people do this to themselves?

So as I was ruining my four year old pair of $60 Puma's from dancing and freaking out to the crushing guitars of the Canadian rockers Metz, I noticed that they were just as hung over and tired as my friends and I were. "You'll have to forgive us as we've been here since Sunday and we no longer have the energy to play songs back to back. We need a little break." He of course followed that up with a giant swig of Hamm's Original to help get his mind right. And as the beer began to flow in their system and they felt last night's buzz returning, they slowly turned into the amazing live act they've become known for. They shredded through crowd favorites like Wasted and Wet Blanket before introducing songs off their new album which sound just as good as their debut album. Their sound doesn't make them the most accessible band but if you want to rock your socks off, feel free to give these guys a listen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6qGeNVwwfw

Cloud Nothings is a three piece power punk band that started in the lead singer's bedroom and now they are gracing the stages of one of the world's biggest festivals in SXSW. Their lyrics of "I thought I would be more than this" in Wasted Days or "I need time to stop moving, I need time to stay useless" had young kids crowd surfing and old men tearing ligaments in the mosh pit. If you ever want to feel 16 again, give these guys a listen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxeNn_O5u5E

I just recently allowed myself to once again like Twin Shadow as the first time I saw him, it was unbelievably hot outside, I over served myself at my pre party, and his show was packed to the gills making it nearly impossible to enjoy it. Plus I didn't like the fact that he looked like the kind of guy who'd have quick sex with my girlfriend in the artist lounge while I went to buy him a beer.
But he has improved his act tremendously since the last time I saw him perform live as he no longer relies on lasers and smoke machines to bring his recorded music to life. Instead he now has a real band to play every instrument in his songs and you can see how that energizes him on stage. Messing around with nothing but a keytar and a beat machine on stage can't help but make you feel like an uptight German with a mock turtleneck. Check out Shadow but just keep an eye on your girl at all times.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wg4IhOpndrQ

The last act to check out is the electronic group Odesza. I was only able to see a song and a half of theirs but what I saw was pretty damn good. This Seattle duo has vocalists on quite a few of their tracks but none of them were able to come down and perform live with them but that certainly didn't take away from what they were able to deliver live. If you want something to groove to before you head out at night, definitely give these guys a listen.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdzI-191xhU

Well that's it for me, I'm going to fly to London and marry the cute girl I met at the Bomb Tacos stand.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Happy Death by Albert Camus

For those of you unacquainted with Albert Camus, all I can say is “get off your ass and go read something.” This guy is like the French Ernest Hemmingway. He’s a badass. He won the Nobel Prize in literature, fought nihilism, fought communism, fought fascism, fought Jean Paul Sartre, fought Nazis, wrote the “viva La France” rag “Combat,” hung out with George Orwell, and basically all around killed it until dying in a car accident at 46.

He was born in French Algeria, as a Pied Noir (basically a white French family in an Arab country), and as such, was sensitive to the plight of equal rights, humanism, and ultimately created and defined the philosophy of Absurdism. Many people assume him to be an existentialist, but this is not entirely accurate. His commentary through literature deals with the pragmatic reality of ethical behavior in a postmodern and arguably “meaningless” universe. Philosophically his starting point was the necessity of “suicide” as the only ethical or reasonable solution to meaninglessness, however through argument he shows that this is simply not the case. In other words, there are still meaningful ways to live that don’t require the act of suicide, even though the universe is meaningless inherently, humans can still create meaning not as an act of illusion, but as an act of ongoing principle. In his words, “as humans we must entertain Death and the Absurd, while never agreeing to their terms.”

He’s most well-known for his novel The Stranger which deals with these themes as the protagonist reflects on the act of murder and the absurdity of living or dying while in prison. But after his untimely death in 1960, his then wife and his estate released posthumously his “cahiers” (a fancy French word that means “notebooks.”) In these notebooks there are a collection of mostly unfinished short stories, articles, and a few unfinished novels, one of which is called La Mort Heureuse or “The Happy Death.” I recently read this in one sitting on an airplane after finding it a dollar paperback bin at Half Price Books and it flipped my wig cap way back y’all.
On the surface the novel is mostly a sketch and completely unfinished or polished. It exhibits an imbalance in structure and only hints at the author’s later genius, however this can be easily dismissed as it was his first (think early 20’s) attempt at writing a novel. It also has elements of autobiographical insight and mirrors elements of his early life.

But regardless, under the surface you have a damn good and rather entertaining story about a dude named Patrice Meursault. Patrice lives in Algiers and his description of a rather empty life living in the apartment he once shared with his now dead mother is quickly engrossing as you sense that he is a strong and intelligent man without the means to being “happy.”
He works as a clerk during the day, and in the evenings he spends time with a rather lukewarm girlfriend. They attend movies or have dinner. The relationship is basic without either one of them really having much attachment to each other, until one night his girlfriend waves to an unknown man and Patrice feels jealousy. She later admits that the man they’d seen had been an ex-lover and Patrice is thrown into a philosophical maelstrom in his attempt to deal with his feelings of possessiveness even when he knows there is nothing to really love about this woman. Ultimately it becomes known the ex is actually a wealthy invalid by the name of Roland Zagreus who Patrice agrees to meet with in order to better understand why he feels jealousy at all (especially for a cripple).

The two become “friends” and Roland tells him that he is filthy rich, and that it is good to be rich, because wealth buys time and time is needed for a man to learn how to live (and die) happily. Roland believes he can no longer live happily due to this inability to walk or to care for himself. We are not told how Roland came to be an invalid, but it has been argued that this is a literary device meant to reflect on the nature of the infirm (Camus had Tuberculosis as a young man and actually wrote this novel while convalescing.)
Patrice realizes that Roland has a safe full of money, after Roland asks him to go and get a gun out of it so that he can hold it and think of suicide in the dark after Patrice leaves. This is ironic, as Roland tells Patrice that he is staunchly against the act of suicide, but (as the French will do) he enjoys holding the gun and knowing that it remains within his power to pull the trigger at any time.

Patrice later returns, opens the safe and murders Roland in cold blood. He then takes his money and decides that he will do everything he can in order to learn how to live “happily.” All he needed of course was money, and the time that it buys to learn happiness.
This is a similar theme to The Stranger, except Patrice does not get caught. He travels in Europe for a time, seeing what life on the road has to offer. He visits a prostitute and finds joy in the happiness that his money bought for her. Finally he returns to Algiers and buys a house in the country. He marries a woman that he pays to lives in the city, and only invites her to visit him when it suits him. He has only one friend in the countryside, a doctor, and they spend most of the rest of the novel waxing philosophical about the nature of solitude and happiness and the meaninglessness of life. Patrice swims in the ocean every day, and works to find what he’s looking for in life.

He ultimately gets sick, and becomes bed ridden. He invites his wife to visit and his friend. They sit together and he goes in and out of consciousness. Until finally he gives up the ghost while thinking of the man Roland that he killed so many years ago. To him there is bliss in the idea that despite his murder, he used Roland’s money for the purpose of finding happiness and this was a good life. So therefore as he lays dying there is peace and a happy death.

“And stone among stones, he returned in the joy of his heart to the truth of the motionless worlds.”
French translations into English although easier than most other languages can leave some things lost in translation. The French language is much more philosophical in nature and much less direct that English is, and therefore some of his musings throughout the book fall flat in my opinion. There is also the imbalance aforementioned in the structure of the novel, which I believe hinders its readability. But I would still recommend this one. It’s not as good as the Stranger, but there’s an innocence to it that I found refreshing. It reminded me of an early Kerouac or Henry Miller.

Camus has always been my favorite of the French philosophers, perhaps because he’s so realistic. He doesn’t waste much time with theory, he only tells what he sees in true and stubborn French fashion.

Donc, en conclusion, celui-ci peut rester ... je lui donne une nouvelle!

By Matt Cowart

Friday, March 13, 2015

Run All Night

I am sure that there will come a time when we will all grow tired of seeing Liam Neeson play the old man badass; one who has the ability to beat up bad guys that are half his age and have better weapons than him. But that day isn’t today! Only Neeson can be in a movie where in a car chase scene, he is the one chasing cops and not vice versa; only he can get away with openly gunning down cops in the streets of New York and no one says anything. My cousin put it perfectly, the only way he can top himself now is if they go full old man badass mode and cast him versus Bruce Willis. Why has this not happened already? And why doesn’t Neeson have a catch phrase like “Yippee kaya mother$%^!” Someone needs to call 2Chainz immediately and get him on this, if anyone can find something unintentionally fresh to say with the word mutherf&^% in it, it’s him!

Well in his latest movie where he’s an old man with a special set of skills, Neeson plays a former mobster hit man Jimmy Conlon whose past has finally caught up with. Every murder he’s ever committed and every poor choice he’s made in life has taken its toll on him and has turned him into a drunk who people regularly ridicule and look upon in disgust, including his estranged son Mike who hates him for abandoning him and his mother.

His boss and childhood friend Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris) keeps him around because of their tight bond and because he feels as though he needs to look after him. But one day Shawn’s hothead son Danny gets mixed up with some shady Albanians and finds himself in trouble. And after a bad exchange takes place, Mike now finds himself as a target of Danny’s because he witnessed something he wasn’t supposed to.

Neeson shows up and kills Danny in order to protect his son and now finds himself as the target of his lifelong friend Shawn.
What’s great is that it doesn’t just stop there, because there are dirty cops on Shawn’s payroll, they also get involved with the feud along with another hit man, Common. Yes, that’s Common the rapper. So in a span of 16 hours, Neeson has to find a way to mend the relationship with his son while also protecting him and his family, and deciding whether or not this is the end of his loyalty to his lifelong friend Shawn.

There’s tons of gun play, car chases (as mentioned earlier), random explosions, night vision, and trash talking, so there’s really nothing more you can ask for. I think Neeson realizes that he doesn’t have a catch phrase so he randomly drops nuggets of awesomeness just before he kills someone. And there is a great shoot out scene in one of the nicest looking projects you will ever see in New York, it looks like some posh high rise out of Berlin. And my cousin also pointed out that this project building had the most snitches she’d ever seen in her life, since when did Black people start trusting the police?

This movie works because Neeson is so comfortable playing this role that it’s almost like he was born for it, and Ed Harris is his usual solid self. Plus it’s hard to mess up a movie where gangsters are trying to take out a hit man who also has cops and other random hit men chasing him. It simply means more action and less lame talking.

All I have to say is that Neeson does it again and that you should definitely go check it out. Run All Night gets a rating of FRESH!

Monday, March 9, 2015

SXSW 2015 Preview: BJ the Chicago Kid, Odesza, and Kaytranada

Uh oh! I just saw a group of hipsters pile out of an electric Mini Cooper like they were a liter of puppies, all of whom happened to be rocking mop tops, checkered t-shirts, and skinny jeans! I thought we had another week before these guys invaded Austin? Oh well, I guess it's time for me to hit up my favorite local spots before the 3x5 space that was once a hostess stand is converted to the main stage for a SXSW showcase featuring Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts. But before I do that, here are a few more acts to check out in what is possibly the greatest two weeks ever in Austin!

The first act to check out is BJ the Chicago Kid, he is a skinny Mannie Fresh look alike who obviously hails from Chicago, Illinois. He’s a deep singer-songwriter who writes depressing songs about people dying and... well that’s really about it. Someone needs to get this guy a Blow-pop or some kitten videos to watch stat before he commits suicide. I mean like dark music more than the next man but even this stuff made me hit up Nirvana’s Negative Creep for some encouragement. The man has been in the game for a while and he has worked with some heavy hitters like Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy-Q, and even Kanye but I suggest you only listen to him when you’re in a really good mood. For now he gets a rating of kind of WEAK.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpK87RVHnHM

The second band to check out is Odesza, two hipsters out of Seattle who make electronic pop music. Some of it is simply chill out music to bob your head to but a lot of it will have you dancing like you're on the Maury Povich show as they have figured out the perfect balance between electronic and pop. It’s not the kind of music that will have you whipping your hair like Willow Smith does but it is universal enough to hit up that market and still allow you to keep your self respect if you find yourself digging it. And to help separate them from some of their counterparts, I like the fact that they bring in guest vocalists on quite a few of their tracks; so hopefully this will keep them from falling into the bargain bin section of electronic artists in the next two to three years. They get a rating of FRESH!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdzI-191xhU

The last artist to check out is Kaytranada, a DJ out of Montreal who makes funky hip hop music with a touch of house mixed in. I know what you're thinking, something comes out of Montreal besides strippers??? Yes, apparently that city does have more to offer than women of the night and awful French Canadians! Plus I don't think strippers ever actually leave the city. Anyway, this is the kind of music you'd expect to hear in a lounge that has mixologists; but it's cool enough that you'd ride to it on your way to the club. I would check out Disclosure, At All, or just his entire mix tape Instrumental Hip Hop is Dead as it definitely gets the party going once the base drops. I rate this guy as very FRESH as I see him as the future of hip hop!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rppKW9eIvE



 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Chappie

Whether Crappie director Neill Blomkamp knew it or not, it was high time for a Short Circuit reboot. It had been far too long since a goofy white guy with a mullet like Steve Guttenberg’s taught a robot how to dance. Plus who doesn’t love a movie about a talking robot? There are far too many teenagers out there who don’t know anything about Johnny 5 or his quest to be alive and what’s even sadder is the fact that they don’t know about the power of the mullet.  Why did we all of a sudden abandon the idea that our heroes could have such awesome hair fashion? It didn’t matter if it was a muscular Jean Claude van Damme or a gangly and sensitive Guttenburg, the power rested in the locks and it made them invincible, just like Sampson.

Even Black heroes had fresh hair back in the day; just look at Billie Dee Williams’ perm in Empire Strikes Back, Apollo Creed’s short Jeri curl in Rocky, or even Wesley Snipes’ box cut in Blade. I spent countless hours in the beauty chair trying to get my hair to look like Apollo’s just so I could do fresh dances like he did while wearing short gold shorts. When you grow up in small town Texas, you don’t really have a lot of role models and you have a ton of time on your hands.
But I will say that Blomkamp does have a love for robots and thanks to the success of District 9, he can make movies about them for the rest of his career. He made a few mistakes with his second film Elysium but it looks as though he learned from that and came back strong with his latest sci-fi epic Chappie.

Chappie takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa, a place where crime has become so rampant that the government relies upon robots to police their citizens. These robots are big, agile, and deadly, but more importantly they are controlled by computer software. The company that makes the robots is obviously flourishing but there is a competition that exists between their two main engineers which eventually leads to disaster.

Deon (Dev Patel) dreams of being able to create an AI robot that is able to reason, dream, and think like humans do; and due to his persistence and ingenuity, he eventually becomes successful in building a prototype in Chappie. His rival Vincent (Hugh Jackman) has designs on selling his giant military grade robot which is controlled by humans to the police force. Neither of their ideas are exactly greeted with open arms but that doesn’t stop either one of them from trying to get their creations out in the open. And it’s when they do, that all hell breaks loose.
Blomkamp is known for his social commentary in his movies and this one is no different. While some of the exchanges between Chappie and his parents, Die Antwoord, might lose some people; it’s the perfect statement on how we as humans can screw up a beautiful creation that would otherwise be used for good or our advancement with our stupidity and misguidance. And yes, you read that correctly, Die Antwoord is in this movie. Blomkamp loves them and he decided to cast them as two of his main villains. They actually do a solid job playing underground criminals and if you like their music, it’s all over this movie.

And speaking of music, Hans Zimmer’s score takes the action in this movie to a whole new level. By the time they were breaking out gravity bombs and rocket launchers, I almost stood up in the theater and cheered. This is seriously the best action Blomkampt’s had in any of his movies.

But what really makes this movie work is Sharito Copley providing the voice and personality for Chappie. He plays the wide eyed and na├»ve Chappie to perfection and he makes you truly feel like he’s more human than robot. So there are some pretty gut wrenching scenes as Chappie learns the harshness of the real world.
Like I said, some of the funny exchanges that happen between him and Antwoord might take some people completely out of the movie but for die hard sci-fi fans you will absolutely love it. It’s both a heart breaking and exhilarating movie and I suggest you check it out. This is as close as you can get to a rating of tight without actually making it, so I give it a rating of unbelievably FRESH!