Thursday, September 29, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 31
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A QUIET PLACE PART II
ANOTHER ROUND
BARBARIAN
BEAST
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021)
BINGEABLE: A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (2022)
BINGEABLE: ABBOTT ELEMENTARY (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL (2022)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-present)
BINGEABLE: CASTLEVANIA (2017-2021)
BINGEABLE: CHEER (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: HACKS (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: I JUST KILLED MY DAD (2022)
BINGEABLE: JOE PICKETT (2021)
BINGEABLE: KUNG FU (2021)
BINGEABLE: LAST LIGHT (2022)
BINGEABLE: LIFE & BETH (2022)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (SEASON 2) (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: SLOW HORSES (2022)
BINGEABLE: SQUID GAME (2021)
BINGEABLE: STATION ELEVEN (2021)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (2021)
BINGEABLE: THE BABY (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE BEAR (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE GREAT (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: THE MOST HATED MAN ON THE INTERNET (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE PATIENT (2022)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COWBOY BEBOP (1998)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: KIKI’S DELIVERY SERVICE (1989)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE CAT RETURNS (2002)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE SHOOTING (1966)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
BREAKING
C’MON C’MON
ELVIS
EMILY THE CRIMINAL
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE
GUILTY PLEASURE: VAMPIRES (1998)
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
JURASSIC WORLD: DOMINION
LIGHTYEAR
NEW FLICKS: ANTLERS
NEW FLICKS: ARMY OF THIEVES
NEW FLICKS: BULLET TRAIN
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: DAY SHIFT
NEW FLICKS: DON’T LOOK UP
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: FRESH
NEW FLICKS: GEORGE CARLIN’S AMERICAN DREAM (2022)
NEW FLICKS: HUSTLE
NEW FLICKS: I WANT YOU BACK
NEW FLICKS: KATE
NEW FLICKS: MURDER AT YELLOWSTONE CITY
NEW FLICKS: PINOCCHIO
NEW FLICKS: PREY
NEW FLICKS: RED NOTICE
NEW FLICKS: SAMARITAN
NEW FLICKS: THE GRAY MAN
NEW FLICKS: THE NORTHMAN
NEW FLICKS: THIRTEEN LIVES
NEW FLICKS: WATERMAN (2021)
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (2021)
NOPE
PIG
SOUL
THE ADAM PROJECT
THE BATMAN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE NEW MUTANTS
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT
THE WOMAN KING
THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING
TOP GUN: MAVERICK
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES (2021)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MARE OF EASTTOWN
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-present)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)

‘Nope’ is more clever sociopolitical commentary in the guise of horror

NOPE

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF MONKEYPAW PRODUCTIONS AND UNIVERSAL PICTURES

NOPE


Where is it playing?: On demand

What's it rated?: R

What's it worth?: $Full price (Glen Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Full price (Anna Starkey)

User Rating: 4.00 (1 Votes)

Writer-director Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) helms this sci-fi mystery about the Haywood family, who owns a struggling horse ranch providing horses to the film industry. After witnessing strange UFO phenomenon in their remote inland valley, siblings OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Emerald (Keke Palmer) believe the solution to their financial woes is to capture video proof of alien life, enlisting Fry’s Electronics worker Angel Torres (Brandon Perea) and eventually Hollywood renegade auteur Antlers Holst (Michael Wincott) to capture the footage. (130 min.)  

Glen: The film opens with a biblical quote from Nahum 3:6, which reads, “I will pelt you with filth, I will treat you with contempt and make you a spectacle.” Like all of Jordan Peele’s “horror” films, the horror is merely the tip of the sociopolitical iceberg below. In this case, it’s a story about our deep thirst for spectacle and the ridiculous lengths we’ll go to get it. In addition to the Haywood family, the story also includes the Parks—former child actor Ricky “Jupe” Parks (Steven Yeun) and his wife, Amber (Wrenn Schmidt)—who run a super tacky Wild West attraction in the same valley as the Haywoods’ horse ranch. As part of the backstory, Jupe was a survivor of a horrible animal attack on a TV show, which turned the show’s mythos into exactly the sort of spectacle our characters are inviting into their lives. Creepy, at times bloody and gory, and often very funny, Peele’s Nope proves he’s adept at creating a unique brand of social commentary disguised as entertainment. 

Anna: Peele’s brand of horror is right up my alley, and while Nope didn’t play psychologically as much as Get Out or Us, it did keep me in rapt attention. The setting is ripe for feelings of isolation and entrapment; the beautiful canyon soon starts to feel like a trap. After Otis Haywood Sr. (Keith David) dies following a bizarre phenomenon, OJ is undeniably lost. His grief has nowhere to go in his isolated life, even when his sister Emerald tries to draw him out. He’s stoic and understated, a real cowboy. He wants to do good by his father’s legacy, still scared to disappoint the man—even in death. Kaluuya is a true gem and Peele knows it; he cast him in leading roles here and in Get Out. What OJ starts to realize is that this isn’t an alien ship cruising around looking for earthlings to beam up. There’s much more to this complex creature. The tension is wound tight, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t laughs. This is a wonderfully well-rounded film that builds a world instead of a flat picture.

Glen: Nope also turns out to be an insightful film about filmmaking and cinema’s history of exploitation. At one point, as Emerald tries to convince Holst to come film the phenomenon, he considers it by saying, “I do one for them so I can do one for me.” In other words, he does schlocky commercial dreck so he can fund his “art.” He wants to capture the shot to end all shots even if it means risking it all. Think death by selfie. He’s soon at the ranch with a mechanical camera that alien technology can’t short out. Everyone involved is hell-bent to exploit the alien for personal gain. I especially liked the parallelism between Jupe’s animal mauling backstory and OJ’s discovery that looking the alien in the eye will make you its target. What is filmmaking other than looking straight into the eye of the spectacle before us? With Peele behind the camera, we can’t look away.

Anna: I love the cut-tos of the animal-mauling backstory. It’s a piece of the puzzle that at first glance doesn’t seem to have much to do with the main storyline—until it does. I don’t mind a slasher flick, but this type of intelligent “horror” is something I’ll watch time and time again. The acting and the directing are brilliant. Parea as Angel was great comic relief as the dismissive tech whiz turned obsessive team member. Palmer is also wonderful and funny as Emerald, who has no interest in ranch work but has no problem being the star of every show and hustling every way she can to make it in Hollywood. I encourage you to give Nope a chance—it will reel you in and keep you on the line from beginning to end.

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










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Homelessness. Our state needs to address this growing issue and come up with creative solutions.
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Our state is beyond fixing and there's nothing we can do.

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