'The First Purge' directed by Gerard McMurray

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Happy Fourth of July! This is my first Purge guys! I know I can't believe it too.  This is the 4th Purge movie, fitting perfectly in on the 4th of July. What took me so long?, I guess with all the random rage and bad news we hear about and encounter on an uncomfortably frequent basis the first three were too close to home and I didn't pay to go see them. That's not really a good excuse, as art that makes a social comment is definitely not the cause of the horrific BS we've been enduring, rather it could give us some tools to think and talk about difficult issues. That's kinda one thing that is great about cinema, especially cinema that doesn't take itself too seriously. Also I'm sorry I was late to the party because this is a decent movie with some terrific new (to me) screen actors notably Y'lan Noel who plays D'mitri, a gangster down to protect his Neighborhood from the elite manipulators who set up his community for slaughter. Give this man an action franchise, he's like a mix of the action hero qualities of Wesley Snipes and a mix of the best African American screen stars' qualities for the last 30 years. 

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Marisa Tomei shows up, hot as ever, as the experimental psychologist responsible for the first Purge set to take place on Staten Island. She is being backed by an alt right third party that has taken over power after the democrats and republicans fall out of power. The real horror in this horror movie concept is how easy it could happen. She's great as this detached idealistic, short sited psychopathic psychologist.

Its all done matter of factly, but with a bit of glee behind it. its probably too close to the bone for a lot of people right now. But its perfect if you are in the right mindset for it. I think of Starship Troopers, or Iron Sky, but more effective because it's closer to the pulse of the wanton rage that has become the backdrop for our lives. 

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The rest of the cast is very good to excellent, but I mean its not going to win any awards but, they are definitely believable as regular people from Staten Island, so when Delores breaks down at the end of the film about how she's worried for America, she's worried for the future of this country. It lands. It lands with me deeply. Sure its a gratuitously violent low budget horror movie with a point about America that is on its 4th go round at the box office. Its still a good movie.

I walked in expecting schlock. I enjoyed it tremendously it was a good time at the movies. I got a lot more out of it than I was expecting because the acting while not Ultimate was grounded in realism and the threats seemed credible within the world and concept of the movie pretty much everything made sense character.. pretty much. I mean you have to allow for suspension of disbelief in these kinds of flicks. 

Ninety percent of the movie takes place at night, and I'm not expecting stellar cinematography in a formulaic horror movie, most of the movie is shot quite well, but the last bit of the movie has a climactic action scene that was so noisy it actually took me out of the movie. Like, so full of digital distortion that it was noticeably terrible.  Like an image shot with way too high an iso .I don't know how to describe it. It looked like dogshit smeared on a 40 foot screen.

I don't know maybe I'm getting picky. I am noticing cinematography more and appreciating it when its awesome these days. The last movie I saw where there was the same digital dogshit issue was 'Bad Samaritan' I remember seeing movies in the film days that had a soft, or blurry or, grainy look but there's something way more noticeable about high noise scenes in the digital era. Low light cameras are cheap these days, I don't understand how or why this happens in movies shown on big screens. I thought it was pretty rare, apparently not. 

Happy Fourth of July. Be safe Everybody!


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