RocketMan is the perfect movie to celebrate Pride Month

I left my viewing of “Rocketman” smiling ear to ear.

For the last few months Ive been watching many amazing movies; old and new. But I had come realize over the last few weeks, that a great number of them were either incredibly DARK or ended on slightly nihilistic note. Theres nothing at all wrong with a film that deals with morally bankrupt charterers, in fact some of my favorite films include : Reservoir Dogs, American Beauty, The Master, etc.

But to be blunt. Some of the best films Ive ever seen, are kinda downers.

Rocketman changes that tune ( pun intended), by being great biopic that, while not shying away from the darkest parts of Sir Elton Johns early life ( sex,drugs and Rock n Roll), it doesn’t wallow in darkness or cynicism. Instead it chooses to focus on a story of perseverance, neglectful childhoods , and most importantly, finding self-worth in a truly toxic environment.

The film opens with Elton John (played by Taron Egort) dressed in a bright orange devil suit storming down a corridor. As the song “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” plays, we come to find out that Elton is not rushing to perform to adoring fans, but instead has come to rehab center to seek help and explain the events of his life that have led to this very moment. As Elton tells his story, he also physically relives it, with the musical number “The Bitch is Back” taking him back to his childhood.

From there we experience the fantasy-like odyssey that is Elton’s life. Beginning with him discovering his close-to-genius talent with the piano, while dealing with his callous and unloving parents, who seem to see him as an annoyance. Then we go onto his start into pop stardom; meeting his longtime collaborator and friend Bernie Taupin, being discovered by a label and impressing American audiences with his voice and showmanship. Things seem to be going well for Elton.

However with all this success is going on, we truly see and feel how lonely Elton is through all of this. Struggling with sexual identity, afraid to open himself to anyone except his friend Bernie, who is immeadiatly accepting of his friends struggles. Coupled with the baggage of having horrible parents and only feeling genuine from a very small group of people, the film portrays Elton John as figure constantly seeking approval and love, while also becoming more and more flamboyant with his costumes. As his success increases, so does his insecurity and reliance on drugs and alcohol. This is all further stressed by the arrival of John Reid, who becomes Elton’s manager and lover. On the service John is suave and intelligent, but as time goes on we see how truly manipulative and emotionally damaging he really is.

Remember when I said this movie wasn’t depressing?

However through all these trials and traumatic emotional episodes, Rocketman tells a story of redemption and self-care. The classic theme that “all that glitters is not gold”, is used exceptionally well here and that before seeking love and approval from other people, one must first love themselves. All of this beautifully told through great musical numbers, my favorites being “Honkey Cat” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road“. All of actors seem to be loving their roles and play their parts with humor and emotional weight.

The film isn’t perfect though. Some of the writing is VERY corny ,a little too on the nose , and it doesn’t help the story starts to drag near the end. Also, while the movie doesn’t shy away from the problematic parts of Elton Johns personality, It still felt like some punches were pulled in reference to Elton infamous anger issues and temper tantrums. If the film was any more hokey, it might feel like a vanity project.

But what truly makes Rocketman special is its never-say-die attitude and optimism, combined with breathtaking cinematography and documentary-level eye for detail; with all of Elton’s famous stage costumes and mannerisms captured on screen.

I had a blast watching Rocketman. This biopic is a hyperactive musical that’s brimming with life and tongue-in-cheek creativity, that also doesn’t try to look away from or censor some of the darker and explicit aspects of the aging Pop-stars life.

7.5 out 10

Slacker News: “CYBORG JOHN WICK????????”Keanu Reeves to appear CYBERPUNK 2077 video game (release date:2020)

The John Wick Star and release date revealed at E3.

Cyberpunk 2077 has revealed a little bit of its grimy sci-fi story, most notably that it will start the perpetually youthful Keanu Reeves, star of John Wick and Bill & Ted. Check out the cinematic trailer above. 

Reeves also came out on stage to tell us the release date. Cyberpunk 2077 is due out on April 16, 2020. Getting Keanu Reeves to announce your game’s release date is, I’m sure we can all agree, a strong move. 

The trailer takes place after the events shown off in last year’s gameplay reveal, with V—a man this time—returning to his big shot employer to get his reward. Through a flashback, we find out his buddy was killed during the job, and V almost joins him.”

Source:https://www.pcgamer.com/cyberpunk-2077-release-date/

SLACKER NEWS: A magic 8 Ball Horror Movie is being made by Mattel and Blumhouse?

Integrity has left the chat

Who asked for this??? Seriously?

Apparently the geniuses over at Blumhouse and Mattel still want to ride the current wave of ironic horror movies based on children’s games and toys.

A movie centered on the fortune-telling toy, which dates back to the 1950s, is being developed by Mattel Films and Blumhouse Productions. “Fantasy Island” director Jeff Wadlow is attached to helm and will script with collaborators Jillian Jacobs and Chris Roach.

Image result for but why

Robbie Brenner, head of Mattel Films, said, “There are no partners better suited to tell the Magic 8 Ball story in collaboration with Mattel Films than Jeff Wadlow and Blumhouse Productions, whose unique approach to the thriller genre has captivated audiences worldwide and has gained widespread accolades.”

Just to point out, Jeff Wadlow directed the terrible horror movie Truth or Dare, that came out a year ago to negative critical reception.

This movie will likely make a gazillion dollars……

Movie Review: The Clovehitch Killer

The Clovehitch killer is a deceptive, small scale, small town thriller.

At some point or another, we’ve all probably wondered what dark secrets our parents kept from us. A curiosity, an intrusive thought that you probably push out of your mind just as soon at it appears.

No child wants to think the worst of their parents. That something evil or twisted could be lurking beneath their loving smile. And most of us go our whole lives without even considering it.

But what if you had reason to? What if certain circumstances almost pushed you to find out what exactly is going on behind the scenes of your so called “perfect family”. What if everything you thought you knew, got flipped on its head?

The Clovehitch Killer, directed by Duncan Skiles, swan dives into those troubling questions. Shot with such care and patience, its probably one of the best thrillers of 2018. Definitely one of the best serial killer movies in a long while.

The film follows 16 year old Tyler Burnside (played by Charlie Plummer), a kindhearted, yet naive teenager who lives with his devout christian family in the town of Clarksville, Kentucky. The town is haunted by the legacy of The Clovehitch Killer, a serial killer who brutally strangled 10 female victims, before suddenly disappearing 10 years ago. Tyler participates in a boy scout troop, led by his father, Don Burnside (played by Dylan Mcdermott). Don seems like your typical christian small town dad. Friendly to fault, loving towards his wife and 2 children, working a blue collar job to bring home the bacon, stressing “honesty” and “family time”. The Burnside clan: Tyler, his father, his mother Cindy (played by Samantha Mathis), and his little sister look like a perfectly normal family.

But things start to take a turn, when on one night, Tyler sneaks out to meet his crush Amy. Before they start to do exactly what horny teenagers do, they find graphic bondage porn in his dads truck. This obliviously disgusts Amy, and immediately freaks out Tyler. Was this what his father was into? What else was his father hiding? This incident is the spark that ignites Tyler to find out what else his father was keeping from him.

The Clovehitch Killer is not just another run of mill thriller. Its a carefully filmed, slow-burn mystery. Its shot very minimalist and tight, with scenes lingering and allowing suspense to build. Never needing cheap jump scares or pointless action to keep watching. Just using great storytelling and bone-chilling imagery.

Charlie Plummer gives a very convincing performance as Tyler, The viewer is given an amazing sense of just how isolated and conflicted Tyler feels in this situation, never over-acting or just looking like some wooden lanky doll. He truly understands the character he’s playing and the situation hes in.

But the true star of this movie is Dylan Mcdermott, who pretty much blows everyone else out of water in comparison, giving a haunting performance. He somehow comes across as sincere and warm, while also coming across as skin-crawlingly deceptive. A man who could either be simply mis-understood, or genuinely sick in the head.

I love thrillers like this. Ones that actually try to grasp true human terror and tragedy. It dissects the veneer of small town life, and how you never truly know anyone, including those closest to you. What exactly do you do when a loved may have committed violent atrocities, and even more frightening to think about, how do you stop them?

I give The Clovehitch Killer an 9/10

*The movie is available on Hulu

Rated R

SLACKER NEWS: Tinder now letting users identify their sexual orientation

Just in time Pride month, Tinder is adding information and options about sexual orientation and gender identity to its profiles. The company has teamed up with GLAAD to roll out a new feature that will help users properly convey their identity.

Users can now simply go into their profile, tap on “orientation”, they can choose up to three terms that describe their sexual orientation. Those descriptions can either be private or public, but will likely be used to inform matches on the app.

Tinder has also updated the on-boarding experience for new users so that they can include their sexual orientation as soon as they sign up for the dating app.

Source: http://blog.Blog.gotinder.com/orientations/

Album Review: ZUU – Denzel Curry

ZUU is a bumping summer album that’s chock full of bangers and future party anthems. Its not as conceptual or polished as his instant classic album: TABOO, but still leaves me excited for more to come.

For those of you not familiar with Denzel Curry aka Denny Cascade aka The black metal terrorist, Denzel Curry is an American rapper, singer and songwriter, from Carol City, Florida. An MC who has quickly positioned himself to be one of the most charismatic , as well as sonically versatile rappers currently in the game. Calling Curry a one trick pony or even “boring” would probably deserve a slap in the face, with influences ranging from nu metal and punks band like Rage Against The Machine and Nirvana, to old school Outkast-esqe vibes. This all sprinkled with touches of trap beats and reverb drums, and of course Curry’s signature blunt but wildly distinguishable voice.

This time around the focus on his upbringing and representation of South Florida takes center stage on this new project, coming off more braggadocios and confident than ever before.

The titular track “ZUU” serves as a tone setter and immediately distinguishes itself from his previous album, filled trap drums and echoing bass, complete with a howling melodic chorus. In contrast TABOO kicked off somber, increasing with angst through each catchy yet darkly comedic song. It dripped with melancholy , paranoia, and bouts of manic euphoria.

ZUU comes off confident, ready to fight all comers. This tone is perfectly captured in the second song on the track list, RICKY, which was also one of the two singles that supported the promotion of the album. RICKY is a hard hitting track, that explores Curry’s childhood life lessons he learned from his parents and environment(the title and cover of the track being Curry’s father). Its clear to see why this was chosen as the promotional track. THE SONG JUST DESERVES REPLAY, held up by its punchy motivational chorus and Curry’s effortless energetic flow.

Another Highlight on the album being the track “SPEEDBOAT”, which on first listen I thought “meh, its just another generic-ass song about money”. But on the second listen, I realized just how somber and passionate some of lyrics are, inferring that even though the money Curry’s acquired has provided him more security, at the same time it has made him more of a target than ever before. One of the lines even referencing the death of the late XXXTENTACION; “My dawg didn’t make it to twenty-one, so I gotta make it past twenty-four.”

My personal favorites on the album being the insanely fun and the insanely aggressive tracks: “SHAKE 88” and “P.A.T”, respectfully. Just the way Curry manipulates his voice and tone, you cant help getting hype right with him. It is my hope that “SHAKE 88” becomes one the more circulated songs party anthems this summer. If don’t hear it in multiple clubs and bars this summer, Ima be stressed.

While most of album is great, there are some low points. The song BIRDZ featuring Rick Ross didn’t really do much for me, and Ross’s verse I almost immeadiatly forgot. BUSHY B INTERLUDE sounding like a dime a dozen trap track that’s so short and echoing, that it almost sounds unfinished, and was just thrown on the album as an afterthought. The sketch right after “BUSHY B”, “YO”, is hilarious and pokes fun at the south Florida slang and was more entertaining then I was expecting, just wish there more of it.

And as stunning and full of attitude ZUU is, it still doesn’t manage to achieve over the legacy of TABOO, which was such an ambitious album, brimming with storytelling, a dark atmosphere, and back to back songs that to this day I’m still not tired of. But that doesn’t mean ZUU falters either. ZUU is Curry’s most accessible project to date, perfect for anyone who may have been put off by the bleakness of TABOO, and want something more a bit more positive with a theme of overcoming adversity while also never forgetting your roots.

ZUU is an ode to all lessons and struggles that comes with success, it is Denzel Curry’s victory lap back to his home of Carol City, Florida.

7.8/10

Favorite Tracks: RICKY, SHAKE 88, P.A.T, ZUU, SPEEDBOAT

Least Favorite: BUSHY B INTERLUDE, AUTOMATIC, BIRDZ

Track List:

  1. ZUU
  2. RICKY
  3. WISH (Feat. Kiddo Marv)
  4. BIRDZ – (Feat. Rick Ross )
  5. AUTOMATIC
  6. SPEEDBOAT
  7. BUSHY B INTERLUDE
  8. YOO – (SKETCH)
  9. CAROLMART – (Feat. Ice Billion Berg)
  10. SHAKE 88 – (Feat. Sam Sneak)
  11. BLACKLAND 66.6
  12. P.A.T – (Feat. PlaythatBoiZay)

Slacker Reviews: ENEMY (2013)

Enemy Theatrical Poster
Damn homie, my minds playin tricks me

The only real enemy here, was my expectations

I’m not gonna lie. I had such high expectations for this mind melting thriller. The poster was creepy in a vintage/minimalist way. The trailer for the movie was mysterious, and I was a fan of Jake Gyllenhaals performance in Nightcrawler, a thriller he starred in a mere year AFTER he starred in Enemy.

Enemy was NOT what I was expecting. Both, in a good and bad way.

Lets get the plot summary out of the way. The Story is about a mild-mannered college professor Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) who discovers a look-alike actor and delves into the other man’s private affairs. The film goes on to explore subtle themes of the repressed subconscious, anxiety, and compulsion.

I’m gonna start off with what I loved about the film before I get into the many things that left me shaking my head unsatisfied.

For starters, Jake Gyllenhaal is gripping in this. He plays a dual role in this as both main characters, and the subtleties he displays to differentiate between them are just great. The history teacher, Adam Bell, is a very quiet and meek man. His life consists of teaching, coming home, eating, and sleeping with his girlfriend, who treat each other more like one night stands than actual lovers. His life mirrors the historical patterns he talks about during his lectures. He is a shy, boring man, who only shows some kind of ambition when he finds out he has a twin. From then, he becomes a man on mission to find out whats going on, albeit going about it in the most roundabout and paranoid way possible.

On the flip side, his twin Anthony Claire is much more confident and outgoing. More sure of himself and headstrong. He has a wife, and an apartment that’s well furnished and glistening. The complete opposite of Adam in almost every way. Gyllenhaal handles this tightrope act with ease, without resorting to overacting or turning these characters into horror movie stereotypes. You truly do come to see these as different characters, even if the movie plays to conclusion that they might not be.

Gyllenhaal masterfully plays both characters, propped up by great editing and lighting.

The film has hazy nightmarish atmosphere to it. Almost everything looks dull, brownish and muddy. The world feels cold and uncertain, maybe even fake. There are numerous dream scenarios in the movie that revolve around sexual lust and spiders; spiders that seem to grow and seep into our main characters reality, like ignoring a problem that only becomes larger the more you ignore it. This motif of spiders, lust, and anxiety, eventually come to a head in the films final scene, that comes so out of left-field, that it will either terrify you or leave you scratching your head.

This is where we get into my problems with movie. There are so many ideas, themes, and suggestions, but none of them result in anything of actual substance. For anyone who manages to sit through this slow burn thriller,they will likely leave with a completely different interpretation of whats going on than the next person. Nothing about the movie is certain and it does not attempt to hold your hand.

Normally, I don’t mind that in a movie. Ive seen other psychological thrillers that leave a lot whats going on to the audiences imagination. Where the director refuses to compromise just to have mainstream movie-goers go home happy. Not to sound like a pretentious ass-hat, but this is very much a thinking persons movie. Designed for discussion and analysis. Its just that analyzing the movie is more enjoyable than actually watching it. Too many ideas and too much build up get in the way of actually enjoying the movie. I was CONSTANTLY waiting for something to happen, waiting for all this tension to be released in a surprising sendoff or twist. What I got was much more quieter and subdued. A sly whisper instead of a bang. Even though the film is technically sound in its own right, better than most of the dime-a-dozen crap that’s pushed in theaters, Id be lying if I said my viewing was mostly enjoyable. The first hour was great but as time went, the more unease and impatience grew. “Get to the point, GIVE ME SOMETHING”, was one of the thoughts that appeared in my head near the end.

I cant really give the film points for originality either. Although it changes many details from the novel its based on , the concept of having a doppelganger isn’t territory at all, and the film uses the special effect of twin magic sparsely. The scenes that do showcase both twins interacting are great, but they do leave you wanting more.

It could be said that my own expectations betrayed me. I had this movie in my Netflix queue for about a year, as if i was waiting for the perfect time to watch this gem that I had saved for myself and put on a pedestal. That turned out to be a stupid idea. I had built up this movie so much own mind, that what I got wasn’t at all what I expected, and sadly that ended up hurting my experience. The movie might be more enjoyable on re-watch, although I cant say the urge is strong.

In the end, I went on to prove one of the movies biggest arguments right.

You are your own worst enemy.

I give Enemy a light 7 out of 10.

Enemy was directed by Denis Villeneuve

Based on the 2002 novel “The Double

Rated R for : Strong language, Sexual themes and Nudity