Drew’s Movie Reviews Turns 7! My Fave Five New Movies I Watched in Year 7

Hello, friends!

Drew’s Movie Reviews has turned seven! That right, yesterday was my blogiversary which means I have been blogging for a full seven years now. Where does the time go? To celebrate, over the last few days I have posted reviews of all the Vacation films, beginning from the 1983 original to the 2015 “reboot.” If you missed any of those reviews, here are the links to those posts:

Vacation
European Vacation
Christmas Vacation
Vegas Vacation
Vacation (2015)

Lastly, to close out my blogging year, here are my five favorite films I saw during my seventh year of blogging:

Good Boys movie poster5) Good Boys

When I first saw the trailer for Good Boys, the first thing I thought of was Superbad but with elementary school kids. And being a big fan of Superbad, I was instantly sold. This is a very crude film. When I say it’s like Superbad but with kids, I mean the sense of humor and language is exactly like Superbad so watching young kids curse like sailors might not be for everyone. However, that’s one of the reasons that this film was so funny to me. Mix that with their naivete and you have a mix for some outrageous and humorous moments. All of the young actors did great and I was laughing from start to finish.

Knives Out movie poster4) Knives Out

After Star Wars: The Last Jedi, I was weary of watching another Rian Johnson film. I’m so glad I gave Knives Out a chance because it was one of the most refreshing films to be released in 2019. This movie is filled with twists and turns. When you think it’s going to zig, it zags. From the time the mystery is introduced to the final scenes, Johnson keeps you guessing. Knives Out breaks the conventions of what you expect from a murder mystery film and that’s part of the enjoyment. On top of that, the cast is top notch. Everyone is great in their roles and it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite. A second or even third watch is worth it just to better see how each of the pieces are laid out throughout the film and better appreciate how it’s all brought together at the end.

Uncut Gems movie poster3) Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler is often pegged as a comedic actor, so when I saw he was going to be in a more dramatic role, I wanted to check it out. At the center of Uncut Gems is Sandler’s Howard Ratner, a New York City jeweler with a gambling problem and an overall terrible person. Most movies give some sort of redeeming quality to their main character so the audience can root for them. Uncut Gems does not. From the get-go, Howard is set up as a protagonist that is nearly impossible to get behind. The entire movie I was expecting the worst to happen, and this is where my enjoyment of this film comes from. I found myself constantly on edge watching and waiting as Howard’s life goes from bad to worst and he continuously makes bad decisions. And the entire time Sandler is in top form, maybe the best he’s ever been. Uncut Gems is an unusual film but that’s part of its disturbing charm.

Ready or Not movie poster2) Ready or Not

I went to see Ready or Not in the theater on a whim. As it turns out, it was a good whim to follow. I would be lying if I didn’t say that part of the reason this film has ranked so high is from the surprise factor. Ready or Not did not receive much advertising or fanfare before its release so I knew little about it going in and I don’t blame you if you missed this one on its release. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re missing out on a fantastic dark comedy horror. Despite a talented cast around her, Samara Weaving manages to carry the film as the latest member of the Le Domas family. I constantly found myself both sitting on the edge of my seat and laughing at this dark comedy. What an unusual and fascinating combination.

Eighth Grade movie poster1) Eighth Grade

Surprisingly, Eighth Grade was the only film not released in the last twelve months that made it on this list. I guess this last year was not good for me in terms of watching great movies at home. I chose this film for my first entry of the Ultimate 2010s Blogathon to serve as a snapshot of the decade. It was my first time watching it (hence why it’s on this list) and I was blown away. I thoroughly believe this is the best coming-of-age film I have seen. This movie is so raw and accurately captures the pressures of being a teen. Kudos to Elsie Fisher for giving such an outstanding performance that I did not expect from someone her age. For the second year in a row, a coming-of-age film has made my list of essential watches. Not too shabby.


Year seven is now officially closed! Thank you for all the support over the last year! I appreciate all of the comments, likes, and views. I wouldn’t keep blogging if it wasn’t for all of you. 😀 Thank you for being here with me on this journey and I can’t wait to see what the next year brings for Drew’s Movie Reviews.

Follow DMR on Facebook, Twitter, and Letterboxd to stay up to date with my cinematic adventure.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay positive. Stay weird.

Until next time, cheers!

Ready or Not Review

Ready or Not movie posterSynopsis
Grace (Samara Weaving) just married Alex Le Domas (Mark O’Brien), the love of her life. In the Le Domas family, it is tradition to to play a game whenever someone new joins the family. For Grace, The game takes a sinister turn when she must hide for her life.

Review
When I saw the trailer for Ready or Not, I was hooked. Lately I have been trying to watch more horror-y movies ever since I was a guest on an episode of Damien’s podcast and this film looked to be right up my alley. The trailer was humorous but still seeped in horror elements. Leaving the theater, Ready or Not was everything I could have hoped for and more.

I think what I enjoyed most in this movie was how darkly hilarious it was. It actually reminded me a lot of Game Night. Where Game Night is a dark comedy with thriller elements, Ready or Not is a thriller/horror with dark comedy elements. Also like Game Night, Ready or Not never takes itself too seriously. It is also very absurd at times and it revels in that absurdity, making it all the better. If Ready or Not had tried to be a serious film despite its ludicrous and somewhat supernatural concept, I don’t think it would not have been nearly as entertaining.

Even though I was constantly laughing, this film kept me on the edge of my seat. It is mostly a thriller but it also employs many techniques used by traditional horror movies to build anticipation and make you hold your breath. This is actually more of a horror/thriller but with more of the latter with some of the former sprinkled in. Because of this mix of humor, horror, and thriller, Ready or Not never feels like it drags on, keeping at a brisk pace and never letting go. Even with this movie’s pace, it feels like it’s just the right length at around 100 minutes or so. Some things could have been explained a little better with a few extra minutes but that’s pretty trivial and doesn’t detract too much from the film.

With such a focused cast, it fell on Samara Weaving to carry much of this movie. Luckily, she is more than up for the task! Weaving is fantastic. She has some of the funniest lines and moments in the film and pulls them off with ease. Weaving has a few action moments as well that she handles like a pro. Her performance is filled with both energy and vulnerability. Basically, she’s the perfect fit. I’m unfamiliar with most of her work but she is definitely on my radar now as an actress to look out for.

The entire story takes place in or around the Le Domas family mansion. As such, it needed to be as much of a character as the actors. The set designers managed to do just that. Everything is absolutely gorgeous and brimming with personality. Despite only spending 100 minutes in the Le Domas residence, it feels like there is a tangible history to the mansion. Truly an excellent set design.

I thought Ready or Not was GREAT 😀 Circumventing many horror tropes and expectations, this darkly twisted comedy will keep you on the edge of your seat with thrills while at the same time will have you rolling with laughter.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Matt Bettinelli-Olpin – Director
Tyler Gillett – Director
Guy Busick – Writor
Ryan Murphy – Writer
Brian Tyler – Composer

Samara Weaving – Grace
Mark O’Brien – Alex Le Domas
Adam Brody – Daniel Le Domas
Henry Czerny – Tony Le Domas
Andie MacDowell – Becky Le Domas
Elyse Levesque – Charity Le Domas
Nicky Guadagni – Aunt Helene
Kristian Bruun – Fitch Bradley
Melanie Scrofano – Emilie
John Ralston – Stevens
Liam MacDonald – Georgie
Ethan Tavares – Gabe
Hanneke Talbot – Clara
Celine Tsai – Tina
Daniela Barbosa – Dora
Chase Chruchill – Young Alex
Etienne Kellici – Young Daniel