The most important lesson gleaned from Friend Request: Beware the Facebook witches, because they are a real thing and they’re coming for you and your friends! Apparently. And while I won’t go so far as to heap praise on German director Simon Verhoeven’s 2016 (it took a while to make it to U.S. shores) horror film for being particularly original, or even all that memorable, it’s solid genre fun. At times. In fact, it has the makings of an awesome junior high sleepover movie.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
Wednesday, September 20, 2017
A snarky, modestly clever, at times startlingly violent riff on James Bond’s urbane international man of mystery, Kingsman: The Secret Service is a decently fun watch. It’s not a movie I’ve ever felt the need to see again, and it’s one that, the farther I get from it, the less I find to enjoy. On the whole, it ultimately feels like a bunch of irritating bros laughing and chugging beer. That’s fine, but there’s nothing more to it than that. But The Secret Service made a butt-ton of money, so writer/director Matthew Vaughn and company are back with a sequel, Kingsman: The Golden Circle. And the word that repeatedly comes to mind is overkill.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Admittedly, I enjoy movies with large, sprawling mythologies that don’t always stick to the confines of what we see on screen in a theater. I also often enjoy promotional build up to movies that do things a little differently, that add context or additional value to the movie. What I don’t like is when that same supplementary material becomes required reading for said movie. I don’t know that this is the case for Blade Runner 2049, but with a new prequel short, it’s starting to feel that way. (You can read my more in-depth thoughts on the matter HERE.) That said, it’s still pretty cool. Check it out below.
Everyone loves those Red Sparrow books—I haven’t read them, but they’re well liked to say the least. Jason Matthews novels have taken a place in popular culture that titles like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train have held in recent years. And with such popularity and widespread cultural cache comes the inevitable big screen translation. Though it doesn’t come out until next year, the first teaser for Francis Lawrence’s Jennifer Lawrence (no relation) starring Red Sparrow is here. Take a look.
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp novels are the kind of books your dad picks up at the airport ahead of a long flight. Potboiling espionage thrillers, they read like Tom Clancy light. (They feel more like they’re written by someone who reads a lot of spy novels rather than someone who actually knows anything about that world.) Similarly, Michael Cuesta’s big screen adaptation of Flynn’s 2010 American Assassin—there are currently more than a dozen books in the series—feels like diet Jason Bourne. This potential franchise starter has Bourne envy, big time.
Friday, September 8, 2017
Jung Byung-gil’s The Villainess opens with a sprawling first-person action sequence. Filmed to look like one continuous take, it involves guns, knives, hatchets, swords, dudes kicked through windows, and showers of blood. It’s brutal, relentless, and sets the tone for the action-heavy revenge narrative that follows, thematically as well as aesthetically.
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Okay, okay, 2010’s alien invasion movie Skyline wasn’t great. And sure, it’s been seven years, but what the hell, why not knock out a sequel? And while you’re at it, why not invite Frank Grillo, Iko Uwais, and Yayan Ruhian to the party? Seriously, what’s the harm? In short, Beyond Skyline looks way more awesome than anyone expected a Skyline sequel to ever look, and if you don’t believe me, check out this new Indonesian trailer and a couple of posters.
Wednesday, September 6, 2017
After years of best laid plans, multiple filmmakers, and an endless stream of herky jerk starts and stops, a big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel, It, finally arrives in theaters. Maybe the best-loved book by one of the world’s best-loved authors, fans have been on edge about this—King adaptations haven’t always been…good. But It stands at or at least near the top of heap in terms of quality. Eerie, atmospheric, and true to the book in the best ways, despite large-scale changers, It should satisfy both extant fans and horror enthusiasts alike.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Dammit. I’ve been excited for Let the Corpses Tan (Laissez Bronzer les Cadavres) since I first heard mention of its existence. After Amer and The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears, I’m in the bag for whatever Belgian duo Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani do. But Corpses is making the fall festival rounds and there’s a new trailer that’s…I hesitate to use the word perfect, but it shows precisely what I hoped to see.
Okay, so Tomas Alfredson’s upcoming adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s serial killer thriller, The Snowman, looks grim, tense, and disturbing. What footage we’ve seen overflows with creepy imagery, it has a fantastic cast, and should be a white-knuckle ride later this fall. There’s nothing even remotely humorous about it. So why can’t I take it seriously? Why do I laugh every time it comes to mind? Because the protagonist’s name is Harry Hole, that’s why. Don’t get me wrong, the film still looks promising as all hell, but I know myself. I know I’m going to laugh inappropriately when the movie introduces Detective Harry Hole. That’s a fact. Anyway, here’s a new international trailer. (Yes, I know it's pronounced "Hoo-Leh," but I'm still going to giggle.)
Friday, September 1, 2017
This morning, my Twitter timeline is full of people defending season two of HBO’s True Detective, something I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed before. Why today of all days, you might ask? Well, because last night, the cable giant announced their plans for True Detective season three, and they sound incredible. So everyone is crapping all over season two and the supporters have valiantly chosen to defend the much-maligned arc’s honor.