Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Abel Ferrara’s pandemic-shot terrorism thriller, Zeros and Ones, presents a difficult mystery to unravel. In the end, it remains to be seen whether or not finding a concrete solution is even entirely possible, but the sparse, lean, meditative tale offers an esoteric and, most importantly, compelling journey of obtuse motivations, dubious loyalties, and looming violence.
Friday, November 12, 2021
The near-ish future of Night Raiders, writer/director Danis Goulet’s debut feature, sets up a dystopian society where an oppressive government requires children under 18 be placed in the Academy, a kind of militarized boarding school that brainwashes and programs kids. Niska (Elle-Maija Tailfeathers, The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open) lives off the grid in the wilderness, sheltering her daughter, Waseese (Brooklyn Letexier-Hart), from such a fate. When Waseese is taken, Niska falls in with a group of Indigenous resistance fighters led by Ida (Gail Maurice, Trickster) and Leo (Alex Tarrant, NCIS: Hawaii) to liberate her and other children.
Friday, November 5, 2021
Stolen gold. Nazi conspiracies. Tangled webs of greed, betrayal, and vengeance. Jesse V. Johnson’s Hell Hath No Fury hath damn near everything a historical action thriller needs.
Wednesday, November 3, 2021
The “one take” film, movies staged to look like they play out in a single, unbroken shot, have been used quite a bit as of late. There’s the upcoming thriller Boiling Point, Japanese horror One Cut of the Dead, and the highest profile recent uses, the Oscar-winning Birdman and 1917. Results can be mixed and the approach has limitations and pitfalls, but it’s an ambitious undertaking. The latest from director James Nunn (Eliminators), the unoriginally titled One Shot, uses this strategy to craft a strong gritty, low-budget DTV-style action film. And it’s hard to go wrong with a movie fronted by Scott Adkins.
Monday, November 1, 2021
A group of guerilla filmmakers set out to shoot a low-budget zombie movie in a condemned building. Unfortunately for them, a gang of vicious criminals also want to use the soon-to-be-demolished structure for their own nefarious ends. When the crew witnesses a brutal execution, they have to figure out a way to survive. Which more or less means sending their stuntman and master martial artist, Donnie (Jean-Paul Ly), to fight the bad guys.
Personally, I’ve never understood the broad fascination with Boba Fett in Star Wars fandom. He looks tough and was badass in limited screen time in Empire. I’ve always felt the sparse, looming presence and few words went a long way to create an air of mystery and a certain mystique, and aside from that I've never found his appearances elsewhere particularly interesting. But his “end” in Return of the Jedi is so bumbling and unceremonious it’s laughable. But people are obsessed with him, so what do I know? Anyway, now Lucasfilm is attempting to retcon the bounty hunter into a good guy (or good-ish guy) and here’s the first trailer for the upcoming Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett.
Friday, October 29, 2021
On its own, New York Ninja is plenty crazy. A bonkers-ass 1980s action movie that’s cheap and campy and utterly absurd at every turn, it’s the type of artifact many people stumbled across on late night cable as kids and were like, “Hell yeah, this freakin’ rules.” And it’s does rule, and we’ll get back to that. But the story behind how this movie actually came to be released is even more unbelievable than the plot of the film. Well, maybe, New York Ninja itself often defies belief.