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Movie Review: “The Hunt” is a Bloody Catch

In 2018, the hilarious political comedy “The Oath” showed audiences how harsh extremist on either side (Conservative or Liberal) can be. The film was about a politically divided family, trying to make it through Thanksgiving. Things got rough quick, and at times, it got violent. But in the new action/horror film, “The Hunt”, they take the violence and politics to a whole new level; while still trying to prove the same point, just not as effectively.

“The Hunt” caused a lot of controversy before it was ever released. It was originally slated to open in theaters last fall, but was halted due to the film’s premise and mass shootings during that time.

The film opens with a group text thread among liberal friends. They make a joke about taking out their anger on “deplorables” during an upcoming hunt at the Manor. The next scene shows a rich group of people on a plane with people they have drugged and stowed away. Soon 12 of them are all spread out, unconscious, and in a field with gags in their mouths. Once they are all awake, they see a big box with various weapons for them to have a fair fight. We eventually find out, these chosen conservatives are being hunted like animals by liberal elitists.

Before anyone gets heated or offended, this thriller has no real insight into politics. It is too afraid to pick a side. Instead they make both the Republicans and Democrats equally dumb, with the exception of two women (Hilary Swank and Becky Gilpin).

The film features a talented all-star cast including Swank, Gilpin, Emma Roberts, Justin Hartley, and Ike Barinholtz. Though everyone adds to the hilarious humor of the film, it’s Swank and Gilpin who steal the show. Gilpin is quietly comical, while impressing with her kickass survival instincts. But it’s her nail-biting showdown with Swank that will have you cringing and cheering. However, the gore is not for the faint of heart. At times, I couldn’t even watch. There’s a bloody, graphic death at every turn.

While the purpose of the film might be lost, the humor and action is easily found. There is a lot of fun to be had with these idiotic characters (on both sides) and the gruesome, sometimes, shocking deaths they experience. It encompasses the same kind of satire and excitement from last year’s “Ready or Not”. Sadly, the premise is not as unique.

Ultimately, “The Hunt” feels like a funny version of “The Purge” films with a role reversal. It’s an entertaining, fast-paced, mindless thriller that provides plenty of laughs and shrieks.

Rating: 3.5/5

“The Hunt” opens in theaters March 13.

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Top 10 Best Films of 2019

10. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Right off the bat, I’m already intrigued by any film about Charles Manson and the infamous murders. But if you slap on Tarantino’s name and his all-star cast, I’m pretty much sold. “Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood” is hilarious, surprising and a whole lot of fun.  Not to mention, Brad Pitt is my favorite male supporting performance this year.

9. Honey Boy

“Honey Boy” is a therapy session we have no business sitting in on, but we’re grateful to be there. The film gradually reveals the tragedies and misdeeds that shaped Shia LaBouf. We gain a better and beneficial understanding of the actor, as well as empathy for his father, who ended up being a blessing and a curse in his life. “Honey Boy” is still my favorite original screenplay of the year. It’s intense, powerful, and an all-around great film.

8. Bombshell

Okay, before anyone gets political about this movie, let me remind you that the film is about the lawsuit again Roger Ailes and the other men involved in sexually harassing certain female employees at Fox News. It’s a gripping “ripped from the headlines” story that depicts abuse of power and the struggles women face in the work place. Theron, Robbie, and Kidman shine, while Charles Randolph’s script pulls you in and holds you tight.

7. Knives Out

“Knives Out” showcases Rian Johnson’s remarkable artistry as a writer/director. The film follows a fairly standard murder mystery formula in its initial set up. But as the mystery begins to unfold, there’s enough twists and turns to prove nothing is what it seems. Audiences are left guessing till the very end. Throw in a stellar cast and great social commentary, and you’ve got one of the best whodunit movies.

6. Booksmart

At first glance you may be thinking that this is just a female version of “Superbad”. While there are times that it feels reminiscent of that film, “Booksmart” is its own kind of wonderful. There’s a great message about balancing hard work and a social life, and through Kaitlyn Dever’s and Beanie Feldstein’s chemistry and quick-witted performance, we also learn that if you can go through life with just one good friend then you can count yourself lucky.  Olivia Wilde succeeds in making a hilarious, raunchy teen comedy from a female perspective. It’s a rarity that’s a true pleasure to watch.

5. Little Women

Why make another “Little Women” adaptation? Because we all needed Greta Gerwig’s magical touch on this delightful tale. Gerwig taps into the same honest vulnerability she succeed in through her Oscar nominated film, “Lady Bird”. Because the truth is, she knows how to write complex and emotional characters.”Little Women” is a beautiful and uplifting movie with a message that women’s stories and their endeavors are worth telling.

4. Long Shot

I’ve said this before, but romantic comedies are a dying genre. So when there’s actually a refreshing spin on one with a good story, I have to give it credit. Honestly, I just enjoyed the hell out of “Long Shot”. And believe it or not, Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen make a great couple. The film goes beyond the clichés of a “Pretty Women” storyline. Fred (Rogen) doesn’t get some big makeover to become a socially acceptable partner for Charlotte (Theron). Instead, the film is about being with someone who you’re truly yourself with and loves you for YOU. Whether it be at a raging night club or elegant gala, the two are always goofing around in a flirty/romantic manner that everyone can admire.

3. Avengers: Endgame

This one doesn’t need much of an explanation, because this film was AWESOME! After 10 years and 21 films, Marvel carefully weaved all these characters and storylines together to create one of the best super hero movies of all time. Watching these beloved characters fight together in the battle we’ve anticipated for so long brought me tears of joy and sadness. More than anything, I’m proud of “Avengers: Endgame”.

2. Marriage Story

Yes, this film is about a couple, Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlett Johansson) getting a divorce. But, there’s so much more to this movie. First off, Driver and Johansson give two of the best performances of the year. There is a screaming match between these two that makes me want to give them both the Oscar right now. There’s also so much to learn. You can take “Marriage Story” as a lesson in love. Get to know these characters, understand why they didn’t work as a couple and avoid their mistakes. A major one being lack of communication. And remember, this is a dark comedy.  So, even though there’s dark times, there’s also some laughs and sweet, lighthearted moments.

1. Jojo Rabbit

Director/writer/actor, Taika Waititi, plays an imaginary friend version of Hitler to a young boy named Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis). Jojo is a Nazi fanboy who idolizes Adolf Hitler like a celebrity. But things change for Jojo when he discovers his mother (Scarlett Johansson) has been hiding a teenage Jewish girl (Thomasin McKenzie) in their attic. “Jojo Rabbit” is a satire that reminds audiences how comical and ridiculous it is to discriminate against people who are different from you. The film also does a wonderful job at relaying the message that kindness can prevail over evil. Stop the hate and open your hearts. “Jojo Rabbit” is an enlightening story with uplifting and positive values.

The Best of the Rest:

11. The Peanut Butter Falcon

12. The Perfection

13. Late Night

14. The Art of Self-Defense

15. Dolemite is My Name

16. Brittany Runs a Marathon

17. Parasite

18. Fighting with My Family

19. Blinded by the Light

20. Waves

Top 5 Worst Films of 2019

5. Greta – One of the worst Lifetime movies I’ve ever seen.

4. Dumbo –This was just so boring.

3. Godzilla: King of the Monsters – Lots of people died in this movie, but I can’t remember who any of them were.

2. Lucy in the Sky – The 3 men who made this might as well have blamed everything on Lucy’s period. God awful script.

1. Dora and the Lost City of Gold – No! Just no!

Trevor’s Top 10

Honorable Mention: Parasite
10. Little Women
9. Ready or Not
8. Dolemite is My Name
7. Bombshell
6. The King
5. Marriage Story
4. Jojo Rabbit
3. Long Shot
2. Rocketman
1. Avengers: Endgame