Get Out – Spoiler Free Review

As recently as January of this year, I was made aware of the fact that our brains contain 90 to 95 percent water. Deep within the confines of the ebbs and flows permeating our mind’s eye lies an ecosystem of thoughts, emotions, beliefs, and norms. We often associate these four traits, on average, as essential to the development of a human being.

Of course, humans are not without their flaws, and so our perception of people cannot be a simple black and white canvas whose portrait or landscape orientation paints an idealistic picture that, as the saying goes, speaks a thousand words. In reality, numerous painters will be needed to complete the convoluted series of photos that reflect the roller coaster known as life’s trials and tribulations.

Get Out, a film by Jordan Peele (Key and Peele), takes the concept of an inter-racial couple and develops this roller coaster in a tale showing the harsh realities of oppressive, subservient behaviour in upper middle-class America. Having seen many satirical horror-comedies since I began doing amateur critiquing of films two years ago (e.g. Scream, Scary Movie), nothing has come close to the near-perfect balance of scary-funny than this. Underneath this see-saw of emotions however is a fulcrum of excellent character development, stunning cinematography, and a plot twist I’m still thinking about five or so hours after watching the film.

Aside from the technical details, I really enjoyed how the antagonists were a psychologist (hypnotherapist)-neurosurgeon tandem. Not since Shutter Island have I seen a lead character fitting in the mould of what the film genre’s portraying; a psycho-analytical look at the world of brain specialists/doctors and how manipulative they can be to get what they desire in dangerous places. The messed up stuff this family does to an extraordinary intellectual, with the goal of rendering him to a fragment of what he once was (an ordinary every-man in their pseudo-cult) is disturbing and gruesome, yet highlights the subtle oppression and racial undertones the film pushes forward to its audience.

In terms of performances, my standout would have to go to Catherine Keener, or hypnotherapist/psychologist Missy Armitage. You might also know her as Trish Piedmont, the woman Steve Carell’s gets to “know” in The 40 Year-Old Virgin. Oddly enough, I found her performance to be in the same vain as Kathy Bates’ role (super-fan Annie Wilkes) in Rob Reiner’s 1990 Stephen King adaptation of Misery. Both are manipulative and hell-bent on their sinister plans to come to fruition (Annie forcing James Caan’s Paul Sheldon to write her stories and Missy deploying similar tactics to be a part of her cult). Also, the fact that I watched Logan a day ago enabled me to appreciate the power of mind control and the influence it has on others.

So in conclusion, is this a movie that needs to be watched at some point in time? Absolutely. Is it a movie whose thematic content stands against the test of time? Absolutely. Is this going to be the start of a newfound appreciation for psychological thrillers? Perhaps. But one thing is for certain: Get Out is an experience that manages to successfully escape the grip of horror tropes like jump scares, and replaces it with thought-provoking socio-political commentary that challenges the viewer to think about what they have just watched. Just don’t think too deep, or else you might be trapped in an eternal never-ending void, forever.

SCORE: 95/100.


Grand Slam Review: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Texas Rangers (June 28, 2015) and Other Highlights

Three strikes and you’re out: That was the feeling I received after watching the last batter whiff at a pitcher’s, um, pitch in ninth inning of the Jays Rangers game yesterday. Here, I will review the game in three stages through the viewpoint of a pitcher: the starting pitcher, the setup men, and the reliever/closer. Also, I’ll be telling you some other highlights throughout the jam-packed day I had.

The starting pitcher for the Jays was Drew Hutchison, the ace of the Jays. His stellar 7-1 win-loss (W-L) record coming into this game has been marred a bit by his earned runs average (ERA), but nonetheless, he was solid in this game, giving up four hits, three walks, an unearned run, and eight strikeouts for his fifth straight win. He also oversaw a 3-0 lead from the American League’s most dynamic offense. Most of the time, I was thoroughly impressed by his accuracy with his pitches, putting a Mark Buehrle-esque game with strikes in areas that pitchers would love to whiff at, but can’t because of the last-minute turns. If he keeps this up, we can definitely move past the horror that was the Ricky Romero era, especially towards his last years in the Jays leading up to his demotion in the minor leagues. Welcome to the Jays, folks!!

With the game now 3-0, Hutchison’s penchant for strikes and his overall presence began to dwindle, and so began the process of calling up on the bullpen to help maintain the lead. The first pitcher John Gibbons (our manager) calls up? Aaron Loup, who is far and away our worst setup man in the bullpen. How bad you ask? He didn’t even last the inning he was called up for, and gave up two runs which made Texas down one. But more than that, however, is that because he didn’t pitch a full inning, there is a chance he’ll be pitching in the next series against the woeful Red Sox. Take that in, Jays fans. We’re gonna get used to the Ricky Romero in the bullpen for at least another game. Fortunately, we got a good performance from Steve Delabar, who you might remember pitched an immaculate inning (nine pitches, three strikeouts) a couple of years ago. Despite a couple of duds on his part that game, Anthopoulos really found a diamond in the rough with him, and I’m really looking forward to his progression as a future lead setup man.

The unequivocal star in yesterday’s game was Roberto Osuna, our closer/reliever. He really showed his worth to the team, getting out power hitters like Mitch Moreland and Shin-soo Choo out on strikeouts, with the former out leading to his second save and a Blue Jays win. Much like Delabar, I’m really looking forward to seeing his progress as the lead closer, a role currently occupied by a down-year Brett Cecil.

*takes a deep breath.* Okay, so on to the highlights of my day. Upon getting into Rogers Centre and getting our panel hats (because nothing smells giveaway day more than a panel hat day), I was very fortunate to get signatures from Jamie Campbell, the lead sports anchor on Rogers Sportsnet’s “Blue Jays Central” and Gregg Zaun, a former Blue Jay who plied his trade as a catcher. After the game, a couple of my friends decided to go eat somewhere, with our first stop being at a Casey’s at Simcoe and University. After learning how packed it was, we walked for a bit and stopped at John and Adelaide; yes guys, I ended up going to a Hooters for the first time. My thoughts? Boobs, and lots of them. No but seriously though, the food wasn’t too bad, and it wasn’t poorly priced given that it was downtown. 10/10 would go again, and not for the reason you’re thinking 😉

Until next time folks,
Kelvin P

Benefits of Taking French All Throughout High School

So here I am watching an episode of Friends, where Phoebe teaches Joey, the struggling actor, French for his play. Phoebe recites the words “Je m’appelle Claude,” or “My name is Claude.” The former’s accent is natural and the latter’s sounds like the lad at the local pub who gets drunk for the first time. His audition is coming up the next day. To remedy his woes, he enlists the help of an educational CD, with the person telling him the numbers from one through five in French; he responds by saying words like floo, flay, bloo, and blah. The audition starts, and suddenly I see a man looking eerily similar to James Earl Jones (AKA Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy), Joey, and his co-star acting out their respective roles. Given what we know about Joey’s command of the French language, it was certain he wasn’t going to get the role. In comes Phoebe, who tells the James Earl Jones look-a-like that he’s (and I quote) “mentally retarded.” Jones then relays the message forward to Joey saying that his French was really good, but that he wouldn’t get chosen for the part.

What I got from that episode was how awesome it’d be to have French be a part of your language arsenal. My next thought was why most Canadian high schools don’t emphasize the importance of this language in their curriculum. Here are some reasons why schools should consider implementing a four-year high school French curriculum.

Picture this: You are in high school, and you are taking a French course in Grade Nine. Then, because you aren’t in a French program, you decide to not pursue this course for your next three years. We’ve been so accustomed to learning about the English language and all its nooks and crannies, yet whenever we learn French, people avoid it like the plague. It’s important to remember that French is an official language for Canadians, especially when it comes to finding jobs and travelling to others parts of the world. Most employers see languages as a plus, and having even intermediate competency will definitely bring a smile on their faces. Also, if you travel to other areas where French is spoken, the cost of having to buy a dictionary or investing time and effort in finding a translator can be eliminated, thereby making your experience that much more worthwhile.

Let’s say that you, a male, stumble upon some drop dead gorgeous female, who knows only how to speak French. You’ve been waiting your entire life to finally see if your pick up game’s good or nah. What better language to do it then French, a Romance language. Provided you can do a good job and not mess up things like which words are masculine or feminine, you’re gonna be picking up more chicks than ever before. Heck, you might even be famous if she happens to be the talk of the town. Let’s all hope we don’t end up like Joey and bloo de la bloo de la bloo bloo blay our way into a conversation.

Until next time folks,
Kelvin P ^____^