Tag Archives: Brittany Snow

REVIEW: “X” (2022) A24

Paying homage to the slashers of previous decades is nothing new, but director Ti West’s new movie “X” definitely puts a different spin on this one, one that brings to definition a new term for film type: Porn-horror-emdy, as it’s truly a dark comedy, mixed with some of the weirdest horror yet seen, all the while shooting a porn movie.

It’s 1979, and strip-club owner Wayne (Martin Henderson), had gotten a group of friends, and employees, together to shoot a porn film that will make them all famous. There’s Wayne’s girlfriend Maxine (Mia Goth), Bobby-Lane (Brittany Snow), and Jackson (Scott “Kid Cudi” Mescudi), who will star in this one of a kind film as of course, this won’t be just any old porn film. This is going to be a ‘good dirty movie’ as wanna-be serious writer, director, editor, and cinematographer R.J. (Owen Campbell), tells anyone who will listen, and he’s here to prove that it’s possible to do just that. He’s ready to do anything and everything it takes to make it so, and he’s brought along his girlfriend Lorraine (Jenna Ortega), as boom-mic operator. Of course, given that this is the lowest of low budget productions, the cast and crew are all together at a remote farmhouse in backwoods Texas, owned by an really creepy elderly couple who are supposedly unaware of what goings on are to take place. And as predicted, the bodies start dropping.

As the majority of the film revolves around this singular location, an old farm seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Texas, you know it’s just ripe for plenty of slasher turns, what you don’t expect is the who and the why. It helps here that characters are written well, likable and fun. Despite the sleazy-ness of the material they’re attempting to make, they don’t feel shallow or sleazy themselves. They believe in their work and the reasons for making it, and in turn, so do we the audience. While it may have been nice to get a little more depth out of them, they clearly have history and there are things hinted at that never get much development, they’re at least a decent crowd of folks who are fun to be around.

But the direction they take with some of the “horror” late in the movie is off-putting. It’s understandable what they are going for here and it’s point, and trust, the point does come across almost in all the wrong ways. It still doesn’t change how you feel which is unsettled, and grossed out, but not in the right ways, not in the ‘scared’ way. Luckily you have a wonderful kicking-it-back to the 70’s soundtrack, that bounces the film up a beat, along with a great cast doing a really great job. Most especially to take note of here is Brittany Snow, whose turn as a wannabe porn star makes for a hilarious return to horror for the actress, along withJenna Ortega, dubbed the ‘church mouse’, giving us a transforming surprise. Meanwhile, Mescudi does an formidable job as the guy full of bravado, a veteran who fears nothing, even when he should. Still, this is Mia Goth’s movie as she pulls double duty as both the lead character and as house owner Pearl. Even when buried under tons of makeup, her performance comes strongly through.

“X” is by far not a perfect film, and like pretty much all slasher films, there are some characters who exist just to get killed off in predictable fashion, and none of death scenes are horribly scary, but the true fear lies within the point of the film which can also be gag-able as well. Summing it all up, “X” is a trip, but the cast is a blast – the film isn’t as much so. But it’s definitely different.

Grade: C

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Premiere Review Screening: Tuesday, March 15, 2022 ~Courtesy of A24

“X” from A24 is in theaters Friday March 18, 2022

PITCH PERFECT 2 (2015) Universal

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Yep…the Bella’s are back with new additions and some of the same cliches. The boy’s are there too though not so predominant this time round, even the Green Bay Packers brought a batch of a cappella linebackers to this one, along with a wanna-be group, The Tone Hangers.
But what would the story be if not for new rival a cappellas, German based “Das Sound Machine” featuring the beautiful badass “Kommissar” (Brigitte Hjort Sorensen) & her side-kick “Pieter” (Flula Borg) to duel it out with with an ending that comes as no surprise to anyone. Even so, never underestimate the power of the teen girl viewing audience as the ‘Pitches’ took down ‘Mad Max’ for top grossing film of the weekend box office. pp5

The tone of the film is set in the opening routine, in which Rebel Wilson’s “Fat Amy” has a wardrobe malfunction on stage while dangling upside down at a performance in front of the POTUS & FLOTUS no less. This unlikely set-up forms the premise that takes us through what happens when the group is suspended from competing – unless they can pull off a win the world a capella championships in Copenhagen which no American team has ever done before.
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It’s pretty much all the same crowd – our jaded commentators “John” (John Michael Higgins) & “Gail” (Elizabeth Banks – whom most impressively also directed the film); leader of the pack “Beca” (Anna Kendrick) who also has a side-plot in wanting to become a music producer and keeping her music internship a secret from the rest of the Bellas, a cappella over-achiever “Chloe” (Brittany Snow), butch girl “Cynthia Rose” (Ester Dean), will do anything “Stacie” (Alexis Knapp), the ultra whisperer “Lilly” (Hana Mae Lee), “Flo” (Chrissie Fit) immigration story survivor extraordinaire and yes, of course previously mentioned, “Fat Amy” (Rebel Wilson). Even “Aubrey” (Anna Camp) shows up though is graduated and running a ‘boot camp’ for a cappellas where they get their harmony back with some hi-jinks to give us a laugh or two. The films secondary biggest plot revolves around Hailee Steinfeld as newcomer “Emily”, the group’s latest addition, who writes and sings her own original music which is unheard of in the a cappella world. Steinfeld is pretty terrific and has good screen presence and holds her own as the newbie here.
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There are some solid singing and dancing performances throughout with highlights in scenes in which the rivalry between the Barden Bellas and German reigning champions Das Sound Machine comes to a head; some hilarious confrontations between lead singers Kommissar and Beca follow with a few of the one-off scenes being a bit clumsy, though the sequence at the private party sing-off is a high point as it’s fun and musically clever.
At this point though, the humour factor is getting cheap, the fat jokes are wearing thin and getting on your nerves. Others are falling hard & flat and some are just leaving a bad taste in your mouth they are so crass and offensive.
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I did like the first Pitch Perfect, but in that ‘oh it’s cute way’ that you do like some films as it gave you that ‘Rocky’-underdog feel to it. This one, while it has it’s entertaining moments, lacks that. All the plot points are stepping stones for the climactic finish in Copenhagen, when everything comes together in by far the best part of the whole film, with dynamic harmonies and rhythms, it’s just too bad the film best perks wait until the very end to grab you.

Grade: C+
@pegsatthemovies

Pitch Perfect 2 is in theaters nationwide.

RATINGS SCALE: A = OSCAR-WORTHY; B = ABOVE AVERAGE; C = AVERAGE; D = NOT RECOMMENDED; F = SKIP IT ENTIRELY (+ OR – GIVES IT AN EDGE UP OR DOWN)