Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer) Haywood’s lives are shaken when strange objects falling from the sky kill their father on his horse ranch. They become determined to prove that UFOs exist. While purchasing electronic equipment at a local store, they make the acquaintance of Angel Torres (Brandon Perea). He realizes they don’t know the first thing about installing what they’ve bought and wrangles his way into doing it for them. But once he figures out what they are up to, not only is he onboard but he has some expertise to bring to the table. Along the way, they also enlist the aid of one-time child actor Ricky “Jupe” Park (Steven Yeun) and documentarian Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott).
Jordan Peele, as always, brings us his own brand of horror/sci fi with a definite side of humor. You
might even remember Daniel Kaluuya from Get Out. In Nope, we are dealing with a UFO that isn’t your typical outer space alien. OJ and his sister have to think outside the box to beat this thing which is wreaking havoc in this small California town. It’s very well done, and I enjoyed it, but not as much as I did Get Out. And I confess to not always understanding what was going on.
While there is definite bloodshed in this film, Peele is careful not to make it a gorefest, as others have done- you see enough to get the idea of what is happening, but not too much. There are flashbacks to when Ricky was a child actor and a horrific event he witnessed. Even after reading the explanation, I still don’t see how it connects with the rest of the film, but that’s just me.
To be honest, I would watch anything Jordan Peele does. I think he’s a wonderful director. Nope has some slow spots, but it has lots of terrific moments. The first time Emerald bursts onto the screen is hilarious, as is her rapid-fire delivery. If you are a Peele fan, you’ll enjoy Nope. And if you’re not – become one. I give this film 4 Stars.
Don’t Breathe 2
Norman Nordstrom (Stephen Lang) lives a quiet life with his young daughter Phoenix (Madelyn Grace). Although he’s blind, he is far from helpless, and he has taught her many important life skills. But the price she pays is a lonely isolation, broken only by occasional outings with their friend Hernandez (Stephanie Arcila). On their last trip, Phoenix encounters a stranger in the restroom, but she never loses her cool and gets away from him, due in part to their dog.
If Norman is overly cautious, perhaps he has reason, considering his past life, when he was less than a good man. But his precautions prove to be in vain when he and Phoenix seemingly become the victims of a random home invasion by some sketchy men. All is not as it seems, though, and Norman’s past is about to catch up with a vengeance, and Phoenix is about to learn some ugly truths. The question is, will they be able to survive the ordeal and make it out alive?
I’ll admit that I didn’t like the sequel as well as the first one, but there is a certain satisfaction gained by
watching people get what’s coming to them. At first glance, neither side is what you might call angelic by any means. But one man will rise to the occasion and prove himself to be more than he thought he was, while the others, pretending to have loving motives for what they are doing, are nothing but scum.
I do like watching Norman in action, and I must say he has taught Phoenix well. I’ll give this film 3.5 Stars.