Friday, April 12, 2024

'Arcadian' (2024) Movie Review

nicolas cage in the movie arcadian
Raising twin teen boys is a harrowing enough proposition, but when you have to raise twin teen boys in the middle of an end-of-the-world scenario, it’s even more fraught with peril. And sibling rivalry, and raging hormones, and dammit-dad-leave-me-alone-I’m-brooding. In this exact predicament is where Nicolas Cage’s Paul finds himself in Arcadian. Not only does he have to protect his sons, Joseph (Jaeden Martell, It, Midnight Special) and Thomas (Maxwell Jenkins, Lost in Space), from monsters that come in the darkness, he has to keep them from killing each other. No minor feat.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

'Blackout' Movie Review

a man about to turn into a werewolf
After messing with vampires and Frankenstein, in Habit and Depraved respectively, indie horror fave Larry Fessenden returns with his take on werewolves in Blackout. Set in a small town in upstate New York, painter Charley Barrett (Alex Hurt, son of William Hurt, which comes into play in one uniquely pointed way) makes his way through his last day in town, wrapping up loose ends, visiting friends one final time, and trying to right a few lingering wrongs on the way out the door. Complicating his exit, it turns out Charley is a werewolf and responsible for a number of recent deaths the elder powerbroker of this minor hamlet, Hammond (Marshall Bell), has chosen to blame on Miguel (Rigo Garay) despite a lack of evidence.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

'Road House' (2024) Movie Review

Jake Gyllenhaal in Road House
A big part of the charm of Rowdy Harrington’s 1980 cult classic Road House is, aside from Patrick Swayze kicking all the ass and being cool as hell while doing it, how straight-faced it plays everything. From lines like, “Pain don’t hurt,” to a monster truck pancaking a small Missouri town, to a world where bar bouncers are world-renowned celebrities, it’s all presented as very serious business.

Friday, February 23, 2024

'578 Magnum' (2023) Movie Review

Alexandre Nguyen looking dour.
There’s nothing quite like watching a movie missing much of the connective tissue between scenes to make you appreciate that facet that so often goes unnoticed and underappreciated. You may not always recognize the work it does, but holy hell, do you miss it when it’s gone. And that is a big, big problem with Vietnamese writer/director Luong Dinh Dung’s 578 Magnum. The film is, however, Vietnam’s official Oscar entry for 2023, and though there are definite highpoints, there are also gargantuan problems to skirt.

Friday, February 16, 2024

'Lights Out' (2024) Movie Review

Mekhi Phifer hugging Frank Grillo
Lights Out knows what you came to see. (And it's not the horror Lights Out.)You came to see Frank Grillo throw down. And throw down he does. Constantly. It’s also precisely the movie it advertises itself as, and while your mileage may vary, if this is your thing, this is very much your thing. It begins with a tactical running battle and moments later there’s a bar brawl. If that sounds like a good time, you’re in luck.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

'Land Of Bad' (2024) Movie Review

Hems-pocalypse Now!
In Land of Bad, Liam Hemsworth plays Kinney, an inexperienced communications officer embedded on an op with a hardened Delta Force team. Unqualified and in far over his head, he’s only there because he was the only one around for an urgent, last minute rescue mission. The reason Kinney was around when duty called? Because he missed a flight. He missed a flight because he had diarrhea. 

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

'Restore Point' (2023) Movie Review

a detective and a corpse
What if you could save your life at a certain point and, if you die unexpectedly, can then reset to that moment, like a video game? That’s the general idea of director Robert Hloz’s Restore Point, a slice of dystopian sci-fi. A solid, sturdy neo-noir, the film combines a twisting mystery and cool world building with an intriguing idea that plays something like Chinatown by way of Minority Report, both thematically and aesthetically.