Get Out Review (2017)

Director: Jordan Peele

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener

Rating: R


Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) is a young African American who is dating Rose Armitage (Allison Williams) After five months of dating, they decide to go and visit her parents’ home. Chris is skeptical at first because of his race, but does agree to put his best foot forward and visit her family. Soon after they arrive, Chris believes his family is something more than what they come off as and has to figure out a way to expose what they are doing and convince his girlfriend that her parents are not who she believes them to be.

What The Film Did Well:

This is a beautifully shot movie, especially for one in the horror genre. Some of the shots just of the environment were breathtaking and some of the better shot I’ve seen in a while. The movie was shot and mixed with some amazing subtly mixed sound that keeps you invested and wanting more. The tremendous combination of sound and visuals makes this movie what it is and at times chills you to the bone. It does not just rely on a score for sound as it has current soundtracks as well that helps make this movie and the sequences that occur so real.

Get Out is a movie that does an excellent job of portraying race issues that are still in America. Throughout this movie, it points out the everyday struggles of it is like to be a black man in America, especially for someone who might be in an interracial relationship. At various point the main character Chris, who is dating and visiting the family Rosie examines Chris like he is more of an object than an actual person. At some points, the way they look and admire Chris is reminiscent on how slaves would be looked at when they were thinking about being bought.

The performances throughout Get Out were amazing as well. Daniel Kaluuya play the main character of Chris and he was amazing. This was the first time I have seen him as lead in and I hope that he will continue to be cast in bigger and bigger lead roles. He acts in such subtle ways, but yet so believable and helps carry this film in so many ways. His costar Allison Williams was as good as Kaluuya and in equal ways, helps carry this film. Another performance and what stood out above everything else was Jordan Peele (Key and Peele) and he absolutely blew me away. When I heard that he was going to be writing and producing a social thriller/horror movie I doubted him, but he hot it out of the park. He did such an amazing job in showing what typed of social issues still exist and did it in such a beautiful way. He deserves so much credit for the writing on this and hope he gets the recognition in writing when it comes to award season.

What The Film Didn’t Do Well:

There’s not anything in this movies that I thought didn’t belong or anything I hated. With that being said, the one thing I wish they would have done more of is keep the audience in the dark for a little longer. Although, get Out does a fantastic job of having mysterious elements, I felt that it let audience in on what is actually going on a little too early. I would have liked to been guessing what is happening than shown when I did, but it did not hurt the movie.

Final Thoughts

Get out was a great movie. From a writing perspective, it might be the best movie of the year, if not top five. Overall it gets an 8.5/10 and I up there in overall quality. It has originality and near perfect execution. It has a different tone and message that movies don’t always get right. I hope Jordan Peele continues to write and direct movies like these because we could use more of them.

Get Out

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House of Cards Season One Review (2013)

House of Cards Season One Review

S1E1: “Chapter 1”

The first episode of the first season in House of cards introduces us into the entire and complex cast. Francis “Frank” Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is a house majority leader from the state of South Carolina. Chapter 1 takes place right after the 2012 election where Democrat President Garrett Walker (Michael Gill) whom Underwood says he supports, but is not necessarily friends with. Underwood anticipates that he will get the nod for new Secretary of the State. When Underwood is snubbed, it is obvious that it is a bother to him and wants to get revenge and prove this administration wrong by gaining power in government. This opening episode also looks at Rep. Peter Russo who is from the state of Pennsylvania and has a love interest with his office receptionist Christina Gallagher (Kristen Connolly). The other highlighted character in the pilot is reporter for the Washington Herald Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) who is blogger who is trying to get her big break in the political news industry.

I personally loved this pilot. It was dark and mysterious and just gripping episode. Kevin Spacey is amazing and does a great job of playing this anti-hero with this progressive southern accent that was very unique in its own way. It does an excellent job of setting you up with anticipation for the series and has you speculating to what Underwood is actually up to.

Rating: 8.5/10

Image via Netflix

S1E2: “Chapter 2”

Chapter 2 continues with Underwood plotting to try and work his way in the political game and framing the Secretary of State nominee, Michael Kern (Kevin Kliner). Underwood does this by bringing up some skeletons in Kern’s closet when he was a college newspaper editor and exposes some controversial ideas he had about Palestine and Israel that could have a negative effect on United States and their foreign policy. Underwood meets with Zoe again feeding her some insider details close to the White House, including a draft of a potential bill.

This episode, although a little down in quality compared to its predecessor continues to help build and guide the story along. It looks at some of the complexities that Underwood deals with on Capitol Hill and why he wants to get into a position of power. It also looks at the newspaper business and the media industry and the struggle that Zoe hints at and tries to point out to her superiors that it may be a dying industry.

Rating 8.3/10

Chapter 2 Poster

Image via Netflix

S1E3: “Chapter 3”

Chapter 3 take Frank Underwood out of Washington and back home to South Carolina. Due to a teenagers’ death while texting a driving while being distracted by a peach shaped water tower that Underwood has supported in the past, he goes back home to try and mend the wounds in the community. Underwood’s political opponents in South Carolina are trying to urge the parents to go ahead and sue Frank since he was the main supporter of the building of the water tower that eventually killed their daughter. Underwood is able to use his manipulative ways and southern calmness to try and assure the community and family he will take this into his own hands and find a compromise that will benefit the community and have the family at ease. Back in Washington, Zoe becomes a little too eager and tries to be a pusher when it comes to getting the next big story. This does not initially sit well with Frank.

This was another solid episode and was great to see Frank in setting outside of Washington D.C. It helped guide the evolution of frank Underwood as a character. It was neat to see him and a politician in general outside of their normal setting and his manipulating abilities continuously blow me away with each episode. I loved how they wanted to show politicians are more than just those in Washington and sometimes they do have to do things outside of that world.

Rating: 8.4/10

Image via Netflix

S1E4: “Chapter 4”

Chapter 4 takes an excellent look at both the inside workings of Congress and the character of Zoe. In this episode, Frank Underwood returns from his trip from South Carolina and is trying his best to build and get a Education reform bill ready for proposal. It shows how Underwood is a master a manipulating people to go against their own personal values. This episode also has a big focus on Zoe who continues to publish huge political news stories and gets offered a promotion to White House Correspondent at the Washington Herald and it displays her personal struggle when she is unsure if she wants the promotion or not.

Another good episode, I liked it for showing the inside aspect of Congress and the drafting of a bill. Part of that has to do with me being a nerd when it comes to political science, but it was really neat to see what really happens when drafting a bill. It also has a nod to President Lyndon B. Johnson which was neat and a fun easter egg that I spotted.

Rating: 8.4/10

Image via Netflix

“Chapter 5”

This episode was jammed full of content and was one of the better episodes in season one so far. It stars by Underwood and Marty Spinella (Al Sapienza) feuding over the education reform. As Underwood is trying to get the bill passed, Spinella is leading a teachers’ union to try and stop the bill that Underwood is backing and develops a plan to ruin Franks wife, Calire Underwood (Robin Wright) charity event. Spinella develops a picket line with citizens and teachers to stand across from their banquet. While all this is happening, Rep. Peter Russo is spiraling into a severe depression and using cocaine and drinking heavily because of he had to shut down a shipyard in his hometown 12,000 jobs and his girlfriend Christina has left him. In his depressed state, Russo goes to confront Frank at home after the fundraiser. To his surprise Underwood gives him two choices: get his life straightened out along with his career and run for governor in the process or end everything right here, right now. This episode also progresses the relationship of Frank and Zoe to new levels as well.

I loved this episode for one big reason: the struggle of Russo. This really dives deep into how bad his situation is and he spirals deeper and deeper into his depression and addiction issues. Every episode it seems that his character gets another added layer and the complexity of him increases. He’s a character that has such a destructive and toxic personality that you want to see more of and how his story turns out.

Rating: 8.7/10

Image via Netflix

“Chapter 6”

Chapter 6 sees the evolution of the relationship between Frank Underwood and Marty Spinella as the strike for teachers continues and gets out of hand. It has a great ending in the episode that changes how you feel and view the entire episode. Frank Underwood plots to take down Spinella, which would eventually paint Underwood and his family has a victim and Spinella as an antagonist that is against education as a whole. This episode also focuses of Russo and his decision to run for governor of Pennsylvania, which again layers his character so well.

Another amazing episode. As I watch each episode the more and more I love what is progressing with the story and the characters. There’s not one character that I really dislike and even though some of them seem a little overdone I believe they will continue to improve as the show goes on and it will continue to love the characters and episodes.

Rating: 8.7/10

Image via Netflix

“Chapter 7”

This episode highlights Russo’s governor race and what Frank Underwood is doing to help and support him. Underwood’s second in command, Doug Stamper (Michael Kelly) is one the is watching over Russo the most. Stamper is the one that is making sure Russo keeps his addiction in check, which includes him going to AA meetings with him. Stamper also has a run in with an abused prostitute that he reaches out and helps by supplying here with somewhere to stays as long as she stays off the streets. Although this story line seemed a little out of place, it showed how humanity in characters that do not always show their humanity.

I really enjoyed this episode for it showing the everlasting struggle of Russo and his addictions. I liked seeing how he has progressed as a character and hope he is the highlighted character in future episodes and points out his struggle to try and keep clear. This episode also points at some jealousy for power between the Vice President and Frank Underwood when the Education reform bill is signed and the president notes it as a success for Underwood rather than the Vice President.

Rating: 8.5/10

Image via Netflix

“Chapter 8”

Arguably the blandest episode of the season so far. This highlights the opening of a library for Frank Underwood down in his old school in South Carolina. It spends most of the episode showing Frank getting drunk and running around their old stomping grounds and just was not too enjoyable to watch. This episode also shows Russo in his old hometown trying to reason with the people being laid off from the Shipyard which was cool seeing the type of groundwork that needs to happen when running a campaign that not everyone realizes.

There’s not a whole lot that I loved about this episode. I think one takeaway that was pointed out in the end is that these politicians, especially Frank have a separation between their professional lives with friends and family and their work lives in politics and corruption. This series has alluded to this theme so far, but this was the episode where it was the most relevant and obvious.

Rating 7.5/10

Image via Netflix

“Chapter 9”

Chapter 9 was a significant increase in content and entertainment compared to the previous one. The highlighted character in this episode comes in conflicting relationships. The first is Zoe and Franks relationship. Zoe suggests to Frank that they tone it down and have their relationship be strictly professional and Frank does just that. When Franks tops feeding Zoe news stories, she quickly realizes that it may have been a mistake to suggest that and tries to re kindle their work and play relationship. Another relationship highlighted in this episode is on the campaign trail with Russo and the Vice President. The Vice President seems to be intentionally sabotaging Russo’s campaign and they need to hash things out in order to try and get his campaign going in the right direction.

I really enjoyed this episode. It showed what really can happen on the campaign trail and it seemed to show some comparisons to this fictional VP and Joe Biden. It was a more excitable episode and towards the end throws a curve ball that could end up being a focal point of the rest of season one.

Rating: 8.7/10

Image via Netflix

“Chapter 10”

Holy crap this episode was full of scandal and corruption This entire first season has building up to one thing that will happen and over the last two episodes it has completely flipped around and has the last three episodes in this season going a different way. Everyone in this show has been caught up in some sort of scandal and political corruption Some of the scandal has been set up by other characters in the show and towards the end it become so cringe worthy to watch, but it is a car crash you just cannot look away from. The best episode so far and sets up the end of the season in phenomenal fashion.

Rating: 8.9/10

Image via Netflix

“Chapter 11”

Wow. In one word, that was what this episode was. For the most part, it continues on the story of where Congressman Russo is after his falling off the wagon and back into a alcoholism based spiral that has Frank freaking out about what will happen next. During this episode, Frank is forced to gamble everything and reveal his full plot to both the POTUS and his Chief of Staff. Underwood is very hesitant and has to weigh both options to reveal what he’s been trying to plot with Russo to the oval office. This episode also reveals that the relationship between Claire Underwood and her old friend Adam is falling apart, while Frank and Zoe have decided to officially keep their relationship strictly personal. All while this is happening Russo has spiraled out of control and battling all of his old demons.

This episode was so packed full and had the feel of a season finale in all its glory. I’m hopeful that this is a good thing, but only seeing how the last two episodes of the season will reveal if this having that feel is a positive. I am hopeful that the last two episodes will be as good if not better than Chapter 11. This episode had a twist that I thought would happen, but a lot earlier and within that twist it took another turn that I didn’t really expect.

Rating: 9.1/10

Image via Netflix

“Chapter 12”

This episode was a little flat compared to recent ones, but showed that House of Cards has turned into chess match. Frank Underwood is sent to St. Louis to vet a potential Vice President replacement. As he arrives, he quickly learns that it is actually he that is being vetted for Vice President. Underwood seems to be acting in a brash way, as he refuses to even listen to the VP nominee, who is asking for a favor and returns to Washington. On the media front, Zoe Barnes is investigating Russo’s past hoping to find the truth.

This episode was overall great. It leads into what could be a great season finale and I honestly do not know what to expect. Going into this episode, it seemed like everything was going smoothly in one direction, but then flipped it around and went a different way. I kind of have a feeling what will happen in the season finale, but I would not be willing to be on the direction it goes in Chapter 13.

Rating: 8.7/10

Image via Netflix

“Chapter 13”

Like the episode previous to this one it was a little flat in an excitable sense. It feels drawn out and you are waiting for something to happen with the appointment of a new Vice President and nothing is happening. There were a few times I thought that maybe they would just leave us with a big cliff hanger to build off of on the next season. Finally, there is a big payoff where Frank Underwood is granted the Vice Presidency. This gets me excited for the next season because just knowing Frank Underwood he will not be done and I expect him to use this spot as leverage for himself.

Rating: 8.7/10

Image via Netflix

Season Thoughts:

This was a great season from start to finish. House of Cards has great feel to it and keeps you on the edge of your seat and in tone created by both cinematography and music has a Gone Girl feel. It only had one bland episode with Chapter 8. Overall it gets an 8.5/10. One of the better inaugural seasons I have seen since season one of Game of Thrones or Breaking Bad. This season and this show keeps you on your toes and I hope it continues to do so. Frank Underwood is a great antihero and I hope they continue with the great character development that they started this season.

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