For those who may not know – seeing movies in big cities sucks. I can only extrapolate based on my experiences in Chicago, but I assume it’s a pain in the ass in every major metropolis. Why? First, it’s expensive… more expensive than the already-pricey movie experience nowadays. You can essentially pencil in a $60 dollar trip, including food and drinks of course. And it’s a damn FACT that I’m getting popcorn and a drink any time I step in there. Additionally the theaters here in Chicago, while large, are not the most accessible. Outside of the few downtown, there’s only a scattered few throughout the city. The parking garages are small, miserable. Inside the theater? If you don’t reserve seats ahead of time you will likely be sitting in/near the front row. The fellow movie-goers are equally brutal. In fact, last time I was there some jackass behind me answered, not one, but two (!) separate phone calls during the movie. Considering this less-than-rosy picture, a movie has to be VERY good to make it worth seeing around here these days. And the movie I saw last weekend, Get Out, was well worth the trouble.
I’m sure of you have heard some of the palpable buzz about Get Out by now. The film was sitting pretty at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes for a couple weeks (now at a measly 99%…) and has benefited from wide-spread word-of-mouth promotion. The combination helped Get Out rack up an impressive 30.5 million in the opening weekend, which should make the producers happy given the dirt-cheap 4.5 million budget. Get Out was written and directed by rising star/actor/comedian Jordan Peele. Most may know Peele as half of the comedy duo Key & Peele. Key (full name Keegan-Michael Key) & Peele have enjoyed success with their self-titled Comedy Central show over the past few years as well as 2016 comedy film Keanu and their early appearances on the cult-favorite and Saturday Night Live-wannabe MadTV. However, with Get Out, Peele departs from both Key (don’t worry they are still friends) and his associated brand of comedy.
Director – Jordan Peele
Without giving too much away… The story revolves around the lead character Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), a black guy, meeting his white girlfriend Ruth’s (Allison Williams) family for the first time. The couple of five months treks from the concrete jungle of Brooklyn to sparsely populated upstate New York to the Ruth’s family estate. Chris is understandably nervous for the weekend, as is customary when one meets a significant other’s family, but is assured by Ruth that her family will love him. However, the encounter and her family is (shocker) not what Chris imagined and things get very interesting as the weekend plays out.
Get Out blends genres more than any movie I’ve seen in the past few years. I’m only really a marginal fan of Key & Peele but I do know that they often parody horror films/scenes so it’s not super surprising that Peele is able to craft a gripping story that’s more of a thriller than anything. For me, when I’m emotionally involved in a movie, I know it’s good. And during Get Out I was truly on the edge of my seat – and not just because I was sitting on the aisle seat in the second row. The movie twists and turns, leaving the audience just as clueless (in a good way) as to how it will end as the main character. Are there laughs? Hell yeah, lots of them. Chris’ buddy Rod (played by the hilarious Lil Rel Howery) provides several LOL moments and the entire script is witty and well put together. The movie also has a unique take on race relations, enlightening and thought-provoking but certainly not over the top by any means. I thought about Get Out for a while after, piecing together the different parts and potential meanings of scenes. Peele is clearly a special talent and I’m certain this is only the beginning of a long and fruitful career for the New York native.
I urge all readers to check this out but don’t spoil it for your friends. And please – see it at a theater in the suburbs.
Oddities: Key & Peele also star in Season 1 of the Everything Doesn’t Suck-worthy TV drama Fargo…. Allison Williams, who plays the female lead Ruth, is the daughter of recently-fired NBC news anchor Brian Williams.
Photo Credits -universalpictures.com, latimes.com, thewrap.com