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MOVIE REVIEW- EVIL DEAD Silences Horror Remake Critics, Underlined By a Brilliant Director and Unrelenting Performance From Jane Levy

EVIL DEAD is led by a breakthrough director and show stopping performance from Jane Levy.

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evil_dead_2013In the Early 1980’s Sam Raimi got together with friends and made a cheap horror flick about friends that go to a cabin in the woods and awake an evil demon. The movie became the stuff of legend, all while introducing the world to Bruce Campbell and a new version of horror, complete with slapstick, gory fun.

Now with all that, we have to remember that that little horror flick was cheaply made, and not an acting triumph by far (aside from the notable performance from Campbell). Its real success lied in the director. As you watched Raimi’s bloody film, you got the feeling somewhere the cast  was laughing hysterically at you as you squirmed through the raunchy violence. He created dollar store camera tricks that became legendary within the indie horror circuit, and the EVIL DEAD easily became that  cool horror flick you watch with your friends on a stormy Friday night.

Fast forward to 2013, more than 30 years after the first EVIL DEAD, and that triumph has been passed on. Raimi and Campbell joined forces to reboot the franchise with newbie director Fede Alvarez at the helm, and have reworked the story to make this (besides the not so casual nod to the franchise and the almost slapstick, ultra-gore contained throughout),  a fresh look for both fans and non-fans alike.

Mia (Jane Levy), is a troubled addict looking to come clean with the help of her barely around brother David (Shiloh Fernandez), his girlfriend Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore), and Mia’s two good friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas). The group heads to Mia and David’s creepy cabin, (obviously located deep in the woods) to get Mia to quit cold turkey. Early on we are warned that this is not Mia’s first attempt at being sober, and she has a knack for erratic and reckless behavior in the process.  This makes for a somewhat helpless heroine, especially when things start getting strange, (it’s hard for any friends to believe her when she talks about seeing faces, and we can understand why–especially following her rough encounter with a tree…)

Soon enough, the group discovers, among many other things, a basement filled with skinned cats, a shotgun, a shed filled with tools, a book wrapped in barbed wire and a black garbage bag.  And when that glorious spell from that little book is read, the fun begins…

EVIL DEAD is by far the best of the  long line of horror reboots that studios have recently shelled out.  Raimi took Alvarez under his wing and Alvarez succeeds tremendously. After a brutal opening scene, Alvarez’s ode to THE SHINING creates scale for the events to come, and during some beautiful, overwhelming shots introducing the cabin and its surroundings, he shows us every gruesome tool that will be used by the demon later on as nonchalantly as possible (slick).

Once we start to get into the meat of the story, the characters take over. Jane Levy plays the hopeless and helpless addict perfectly. Her moans and screams as she struggles to sober up are amazingly convincing, and from the moment the demon possesses her, she becomes a whole different person, handling disturbing moments with horrifying glee as she laughs, curses and giggles throughout every scene. We have seen plenty of actresses handle the girl possessed role yet not since Linda Blair in THE EXORCIST has one been so convincing.

EVIL DEAD is an outstanding work of horror from a genre that remains inconsistent at best. Beautifully shot, solid acting, and top notch effects (not to mention enough blood to make Dario Argento blush), it is one of the first must-see horror films of the year. Fans of the original should flock to theaters, and so should horror fans, as this might be the first glimpse of great bloody horror in many years.

NOTE-Stay after the credits for an important narration and a short post credits sequence.

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‘Pitch Perfect’ Barden Bellas Virtually Reunite To Perform Beyonce’s ‘Love On Top’ And Of Course It’s Aca-Amazing!

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A little aca-quarantine can’t stop these bad belters.

A lot of casts have been virtually reuniting during this quarantine with some distant gatherings more memorable than others. Of course, anytime the ladies of Pitch Perfect get together it’s a singing spectacular that goes viral almost instantly and this time is no different.

Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins reprised their roles as the hostile hosts of the a cappella singing competitions, Gail Abernathy-McKadden-Feinberg and John Smith respectively, as they introduced the Barden Bellas. The powerhouse singers including Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Anna Camp, Brittany Snow, Hailee Steinfeld, Chrissie Fit, and Hannah Mae Lee then crush their rendition of Beyoncé’s “Love On Top.” And you know if you’re going to cover Queen Bey it better be good. Oh and streaming the song will not only sound good but it will some good too because proceeds from downloads of the cover will benefit UNICEF’s efforts to support children in Lebanon and around the world who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Aca-amazing!

To donate to UNICEF directly click here.

To stream/download the song click here.

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Disney Reveals Early Unseen Sketches Of Buzz Lightyear Who Was Almost Called ‘Lunar Larry’

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The space ranger could have looked a lot stranger.

It has been 25 years since Toy Story hit theaters…god we’re getting old…which means we have loved Buzz Lightyear for decades now. The beloved space ranger has become a staple in pop culture with his zest for adventure and signature catchphrase but what if Buzz was never “Buzz?”

To celebrate the milestone anniversary Disney has shared sketches of the early concepts for Buzz Lightyear who was actually going to be named “Lunar Larry.” Points for alliteration but sounds more like a cheesy superhero parody than a cool, futuristic action figure that every kid would have on their Christmas list. The pencil drawings vary in style but most of them feature an “LL” on the rangers chest. As time went on, the renderings began to look more and more like the Buzz we all know and love.

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Along with the sketches, Disney also announced the launch of their virtual film festival “Pixar Fest.” The family-friendly fest will premiere on August 9th in the UK with an epic stream of Pixar movies on Disney+ along with other exciting content such as watchalongs, animator masterclasses, quizzes, arts and crafts for kids, and product releases. 

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Disney Just Released A ‘Hocus Pocus’ Board Game And It Looks Wickedly Fun

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*Souls of innocent children not included.

Grab your broomsticks, stir up the cauldron and light your magic candles because game night just took a wicked twist!

Partnering with Ravensburger, Disney just released a Hocus Pocus board game and it will make for a magically good game night. This board game is unique in that game players are not competing with one another, rather they must all work together to stop the Sanderson sisters from completing their potion before sunrise. With the help of Thackery Binx the cat, you will have to dodge Winifred, Sarah and Mary as they cast spells and use potions to thwart your valiant efforts.

“The Black Flame Candle has been lit. Now the Sanderson witches you must outwit; Or with a wretched evil potion, a foul spell they’ll set in motion. Stun the witches and ruin the brew before the sun can rise anew! Work together to stop the Sanderson sisters from draining the lives of Salem’s children by ruining their potion before the sun rises!” It’s like being in the movie!

Credit: Ravensburger

The Hocus Pocus board game is available for $19.99 on Amazon and includes one cauldron board, 50 Ingredient cards, a Witch board, 13 Spell cards, a Sun token, 4 trick tokens, a rulebook, and one black cat Binx meeple. It’s perfect for ages 8 and up and 2-6 people can play at a time. The game takes about 30 minutes to complete which is perfect for a game night with friends and family…don’t want another never ending Monopoly situation here.

To purchase your own Hocus Pocus board game click here!

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