4/20 Massacre is something to smoke about! Film Review

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Breathe it in, suck it in and let me begin, 4/20 Massacre is the film to get you high on horror and humor that you should be watching right now, (cough, cough, cough) all the puns intended.

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Directed, written and edited by Dylan Reynolds, 4/20 Massacre tells the story of 4 women, (Vanessa Rose Parker, Stacey Danger, Justine Wachsberger and Marissa Pistone) who go camping to celebrate a friend’s, (Jamie Bernadette) birth on her birthday weekend which so happens to be, 4/20. When they arrive, they encounter a backstory friendly ranger,(Jim Storm), a freaked out guy carrying a backpack full of ganja,(Mark Schroeder) and a guy shooting up some sort of varmint, (Jim Round) and despite the random meeting of all of these colorful characters they continue into the desolate woods. Even though the birthday girl and her childhood best friend would go to these woods growing up, a few things have changed like a hidden marijuana farm guarded by a deranged maniac. The films asks the questions, Will these friends reach the ultimate high or ultimately die?

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I want to give a compliment to Reynolds for writing some believable interactions with the five female leads and nice scenes between these characters that definitely pass the Bechdel test. The cast is well rounded with the characters backstory and history with each other that is subtle but substantial. Earlier films in the woods such as, The Descent and all female led casts such as Black Christmas can be sensed thought out as well as Halloween, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and a bit of Nightmare on Elm Street. The music is effective and catchy and as the films goes further along one can definitely hear influence from films like Friday the 13th, Friday the 13th part VI and Swamp Thing with a nod to Quentin Tarantino in there as well.

While the character of Donna (Danger) is a bit of a cliche’ as the stoner of the film, she does give insight to the audience and her fellow castmates that 4/20 is not only about smokin’ the pots but also the horror that has fallen on that day throughout history.

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While I would say the direction, editing and production were all top notch, there are definitely standouts in the film. First being the performance of Bernadette’s, Jess. Bernadette plays her with believable ease in the face of terror and her character is the most rational and relatable when the shit hits the fan. Bernadette is definitely an actress I will be looking out for in future films. Secondly, while I was annoyed by a character bringing a bong to the woods, it was the double use of the bong that I thought had one of the best examples of the film’s practical effects which were extremely well done in an independent film. Spoiler Alert, in other words someone gets killed by a bong, it was my favorite scene with the gore and camp and one of my favorite kills for 2018. It. Is. EPIC! And last but not least, while the kill scenes were bloody and believable, it was a scene between two of the ladies where someone is put in the “friend zone” that was possibly the most brutal and one of the harshest rejections on screen that I have seeen, in large part because of the superb performances and the dialogue in my opinion.

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Shot in 10 days, out in the woods and it is a horror film that is completely in daylight, this is something else, woman! Reynolds has cornered the market on a stoner slasher holiday, horror film that has drama, action, gore and a bit of humor. With memorable performances and practical effects I believe this will be one of the better independent horror films to come out in 2018 and I would recommend giving a gander. Inhale, Exhale and Scream when it comes out on DVD and VOD April 3rd.

If you see me at the movies, I’ll be The Blonde in Front!

The Oscars 2018

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It’s that time again, when the crΓ¨me de la crΓ¨me of Hollywood and the world gather together on a Sunday the end of February-to the first two weeks of March, get all dressed up in their best designer duds, have their speeches prepared and vie for the golden boy that they will take home and maybe place on the back of their toilet. As I said in my best of post, 2017 was one hell of a year for film and honestly, it’s about damn time. This year’s nominees in the “best” categories are actually pretty accurate and this was not an easy feat because there was definitely an overabundance of options that year’s past were not so fortunate to have. So without further ado, behold my list of the winners of the 90th annual Academy Awards.

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BEST DIRECTOR

  • Will Win –Guillermo Del Toro – Shape of Water
  • Should Win – Guillermo Del Toro – Shape of Water
  • Jaw dropper – Jordan Peele – Get Out I would be ECSTATIC if this happened and if not, Guillermo deserves it.

BEST PICTURE

  • Will Win – The Shape of Water/Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Should Win – The Shape of Water/Get out
  • Jaw dropper – Get Out only because it seems a number of Academy members haven’t seen it

BEST ACTRESS

  • Will Win – Frances McDormand ‘Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • Should Win – Sally Hawkins/Frances McDormand they both had the strongest performances
  • Jaw Dropper – Meryl Streep ‘The Post’ because it has been quiet regarding her nom

BEST ACTOR

  • Will Win- Gary Oldman ‘Darkest Hour’
  • Should Win – Gary Oldman ‘Darkest Hour’ Daniel Kaluuya ‘Get Out’
  • Jaw Dropper- Daniel Kaluuya ‘Get Out’ only because of Academy members skipping the viewing

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Will Win- Sam Rockwell ‘Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Mo’
  • Should Win- Willem Dafoe ‘The Florida Project’
  • Jaw Dropper-Christopher Plummer ‘All the Money of the World’

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Will Win – Allison Janney ‘I,Tonya’
  • Should Win – Allison Janney ‘I,Tonya’
  • Jaw Dropper – Mary J Blige ‘Mudbound’

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Will Win – ‘Mudbound’ Virgil Williams and Dee Rees
  • Should Win – ‘Mudbound’ or ‘Molly’s Game’ Aaron Sorkin
  • Jaw Dropper – ‘The Disaster Artist’

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Will Win- ‘Three Billboards outside Ebbing, MO’ Martin McDonagh
  • Should Win- Jordan Peele ‘Get Out’Β 
  • Jaw Dropper- none, this is the hardest category of them all

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Will Win- ‘Blade Runner 2049′ Roger Deakins
  • Should Win – ‘Blade Runner 2049′ or ‘Mudbound’ Rachel Morrison
  • Jaw Dropper – all nominees are exceptional so good luck

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • Will Win – ‘Coco’
  • Should Win – ‘Coco’ ‘Loving Vincent’
  • Jaw Dropper – ‘Boss Baby’

BEST SONG

  • Will Win – “This is Me” ‘The Greatest Showman’
  • Should Win – “This is Me” The Greatest Showman “Stand Up for Something” ‘Marshall’
  • Jaw Dropper – None because all of these songs are phenomenal

BEST SOUND EDITING AND MIXING

  • Will Win – ‘Dunkirk’
  • Should Win – ‘Dunkirk’
  • Jaw Dropper – anything other than ‘Dunkirk’

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Will Win – ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ ‘Blade Runner 2049’Β 
  • Should Win – ‘Blade Runner 2049’ ‘Guardians of the Galaxy 2’
  • Jaw Dropper- ‘Kong: Skull Island’

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Will Win – ‘Shape of Water’Β 
  • Should Win – ‘Blade Runner 2049’Β 
  • Jaw Dropper – ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Unfortunately I did not see a single short, foreign film or documentary but I do think ‘Faces Places’ will win for documentary and ‘A Fantastic Woman’ for foreign film.

Whomever the winners are, this is definitely a deserving lot of talented people that has made some incredible pieces of art for 2017. Good luck, nominees and may the odds be ever in your favor! We’ll see if my Oscar Nostradamus channeling comes thru this year.

Until next time, if you see me at the movies, I’ll be The Blonde in Front! πŸ˜‰πŸ‘±β€β™€οΈπŸŽ¬πŸ“½πŸŽ₯🎞🀳