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Review: “A Quiet Place” Screams with Silent Suspense

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A lesser film might have made this story’s apocalyptic threat of bizarre monsters take place on day 1, but A Quiet Place makes the wise call of telling its story roughly 400 days later. I’ve seen the humanity collapses movie before and they’re usually pretty clunky in stumbling towards the danger. Here is a movie where the terror is present from the very beginning, drawing the viewer in with its nerve-wracking silence and the tragic consequences of being heard.

The movie provides an intelligent handicap of not having a single piece of audible dialogue until we’re about a third of the way through the story. Through the silent actions of a family and limited use of sign language, we learn the rules of living in a monster-infested America. The creatures that feast on flesh have such remarkable hearing for their prey that shoes are out of the question, inside and outside. If you make a loud enough noise, the monsters can track you down within seconds and kill you even faster. The Abbott family learns this the hard way and we learn that not even children are safe.

John Krasinski plays Lee, the father that struggles to keep going and protect his family. Having already lost one member of the Abbott clan, he strives to protect his pregnant wife Evelyn (Emily Blunt), his deaf daughter Regan (Millicent Simmonds), and his frightened son Marcus (Noah Jupe). It’s not easy. They reside at a farm with surrounding neighbors in the distance. Lee tinkers away in the basement on gadgets to help his daughter hear, monitors cameras to keep an eye on every inch of the property, and studies up on the best way to fight off gruesome aggressors. And he better find out fast as there’s a baby on the way, easily the worst time to be having one.

Co-written by Krasinski, this is a story the easily wraps the viewer into its depressing world, where children struggle to accept the future and parents heartbreakingly try to help them reach tomorrow. There’s a guilt racing through the mind of everyone that they haven’t done enough, that if they were one step faster or one decision quicker, this all could’ve been different. This frustration has an intoxicating boil the way it must all be delivered with utmost attention to one’s audible actions. By the time the silence can be had no longer and one lets out a scream, it carries a heavy weight.

As I expect from such a concept, this is not an easy horror film to watch. While it has its share of earned jump-scares, most of its spine-chilling aspects come from the very fear of the future. It’s for this reason that I feel I must place a footnote for parents and expectant parents especially. Easily the most eye-popping of sequences is when Evelyn, alone and injured, must brave her pregnancy without making a peep while monsters scurry around her house. Blunt’s devotion to such a multi-layered performance makes her the most clever and badass of characters that the story naturally gravitates towards her motherly instincts to lead the way. That being said, Millicent Simmonds is a real standout for a young actress that doesn’t utter a single audible word. Her scenes are unique to watch in how she reacts without hearing anything, the soundtrack dropping completely during many of her close-up shots.

There’s a lot to love about A Quiet Place, from its chilling atmosphere to the nailbiter escapes to the more-than-satisfying conclusion. But I think what I enjoyed most was the effective use of no sound, where scenes and characters could breathe and be watched without a truckload of exposition or a blaring musical score to hold the attention of the audience. But, again, another footnote, be mindful of this aspect in the film’s freedom from senses. The lack of sound is going to make an awful lot of popcorn bag rustling and drink slurping too audible in the theater. This sounds like it may be cause for the film to be preferred home watching, but I certainly want to stress seeing this in the theater, if only to watch the reactions of the audience during the edge-of-your-seat third act. For that reason of being an uncommon blend of artful direction and gripping terror, I say brave the noise.

[author title=”About the Author” image=”http://popstermedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/mark_mcpherson-300×221-150×150.jpg”]Movie Reviewer Mark McPherson has been all about movies since working at a video store in his youth. His talents range from video editing to animation to web development, but movies have always been his passion to write about.[/author]

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Izzy

Movie Magic: The De-Aging Technique of The Irishman

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Robert DeNiro de-agedHave you read Izzy yet? If so, you know that Izzy makes the apples that give the Gods their youth and immortality. It also seems Robert De Niro discovered one of Izzy’s apples too… In Martin Scorsese’s upcoming biographical film, he stars as Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran, a labor union leader and alleged hitman for the Bufalino crime family. The trailer for the movie, which will premieres NEXT WEEK (!), also features a “de-aged” De Niro. “We’re so used to watching them as the older faces,” Scorsese said in an interview on the A24 podcast. “Does it change the eyes at all? …If that’s the case, what was in the eyes that I liked? Was it intensity? Was it gravitas? Was it threat?…How do we get that? I don’t know.” Some might consider this magic and I for one can’t wait to see the impact of Izzy’s apples on screen for myself. ????

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“Captain Marvel” Retains Top Slot at the Box Office

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It’s no surprise that in its second weekend, the first Marvel Cinematic Universe of 2019 is still riding high. Captain Marvel, the latest in the MCU with Brie Larson starring as the lead, generated another $69 million over the weekend, placing its domestic total at $266 million. Tallying up the international box office, the film’s global total to date is $760 million. Despite the online controversy, the film is looking to be another strong box office smash for Disney and Marvel.

As for the premieres for the weekend, and there were plenty, they were all over the map. Just below Captain Marvel was the animated adventure Wonder Park, bringing in $16 million, another film with controversy when the director’s name was removed from the picture after sexual harassment charges. Five Feet Apart, the dying teen drama about a romance amid cystic fibrosis, only came in at #3 with a weekend gross of $13 million. And debuting the lowest in the top 10 for debuts was Captive State, a sci-fi dystopian tale, only making $3 million. The film debuted so low the little film No Manches Frida 2 was able to sneak about it at #6 with a gross of $3.8 million.

Drops were fairly low all around for the returning films, mostly because Captain Marvel was dominating the previous weekend. The only milestone worth noting is that The LEGO Movie 2, after six weeks at the box office, finally cracked $100 million. And the sun is now setting on Green Book’s post-Oscar run by coming in at #10 for the final weekend of its top 10 run over the past few weeks.

View the full top ten weekend box office results below:

Captain Marvel ($69,318,000)

Wonder Park ($16,000,000)

Five Feet Apart ($13,150,000)

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($9,345,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($8,085,000)

No Manches Frida 2 ($3,894,000)

Captive State ($3,163,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($2,135,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($1,900,000)

Green Book ($1,277,000)

Next weekend, Captain Marvel may very well have some competition when Jordan Peele’s new horror film Us hits over 3,600 theaters.

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“Dragon” Continues To Soar, “Funeral” Close Behind, “Green Book” Back

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With little competition for the weekend, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the animated fantasy saga, was able to secure the box office once more. In its second weekend, the animated epic made $30 million to push its domestic total to $97 million. So far the film has done about the same as the previous film and is on track to stay in the top 10 for a few more weeks in March.

Debuts this weekend were small with one big exception. Tyler Perry’s latest Madea film, A Madea Family Funeral, naturally made a relatively big splash with its dedicated audience. Starting at #2, the film made $27 million for its first weekend. No word on the budget yet but it’s most likely on a budget as most Tyler Perry productions are, so it’s safe to call this a success, especially for debuting with a box office so close to Dragon.

The rest of the premieres were not as strong at all. Greta, the new thriller starring Chloe Moretz, debuted all the way down at #8 with $4.5 million box office. To be fair, however, the film was in a constant battle for its spot as three other films also reported earnings around $4 million for the weekend. Of note, Green Book, fresh off winning the Academy Award for Best Picture one weekend ago, splashed back into more theaters to arise even higher in the top 10 with its domestic total now sitting at $73 million. Don’t count on it remaining there long as bigger blockbusters will be swooping as we plow through the last remnants of winter movies.

Check out the full listing of the top 10 box office weekend results below:

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World ($30,046,000)

Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral ($27,050,000)

Alita: Battle Angel ($7,000,000)

The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part ($6,615,000)

Green Book ($4,711,000)

Fighting With My Family ($4,691,284)

Isn’t it Romantic ($4,645,000)

Greta ($4,585,000)

What Men Want ($2,700,000)

Happy Death Day 2U ($2,516,000)

Next weekend is once again all about Marvel as their latest superhero solo film, Captain Marvel, will be appearing in 4,100 theaters.

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