Monday, March 13, 2023

The 2023 Oscar Winners

everything everywhere all at once
It doesn’t always happen, in fact it’s pretty rare, but every once in a while my movie tastes line up with the Oscars. This just so happens to be one of those years. Everything Everywhere All at Once was easily my favorite movie of 2022 and it won, well, damn near everything. And now we can officially call her Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh, which is pretty fantastic.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

'The Park' (2023) Movie Review

teen girl with a machine gun
Writer/director Shal Ngo’s feature debut, The Park, is a tale of opposite forces, both colliding and pulling against each other. Playfulness crashes into sadism, goofiness bangs heads with savagery, practical concerns compete with wild dreams, and, most centrally, hope struggles to overcome despair. It’s Mad Max via Lord of the Flies, blending action and horror in a post-apocalyptic saga of roving child murder gangs, earnest friendship, and an abandoned amusement park.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

'The Outwaters' (2023) Movie Review

bloody man face
There are certainly examples I like quite a bit—Trollhunter, the Rec films, a few others—but for the most part, I don’t and never have enjoyed found footage as a cinematic approach. It’s never done much for me, and I generally find the drawbacks outweigh the benefits as an aesthetic and narrative conceit. That admittedly large caveat out of the way, Robbie Banfitch’s The Outwaters uses this format to dive headlong into experimental cosmic horror. This microbudget affair puts a fresh sheen on the subgenre, and though it tumbles into familiar pitfalls and engenders extreme, polarized reactions from viewers, both warranted and understandable, it ranks toward the top of the found footage pile.

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

'She Came From The Woods' (2023) Movie Review

camp counselor with a lamp
Ah, summer camp, where generations of teens have gone to learn outdoor skills, fall in love, lose their virginity, and subsequently be murdered by either psychotic killers or supernatural forces beyond their control. Or, in the case of Erik Bloomquist’s horror-comedy, She Came from the Woods, both. 

Friday, February 3, 2023

'Little Dixie' (2023) Movie Review

frank grillo in a suit
There are two kinds of Frank Grillo movies, Frank-Grillo-gives-a-shit and Frank-Grillo-doesn’t-give-a-shit. Essentially projects he cares about and jobs he takes for a paycheck, and it’s obvious which is which—in one he’s clearly engaged and the other, well, you can guess. Little Dixie, the latest from writer/director John Swab (Ida Red), with whom Grillo has worked several times now, fortunately falls into the latter category. Also, Frank Grillo with a chainsaw. (Which, unfortunately, is not as cool as it sounds.)

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

'Mad Cats' (2023) Movie Review

two armed men in front of a flaming oil derrick
A lazy, layabout slacker, a missing brother, and a pack of anthropomorphized cats bent on executing sketchy pet shop owners. That’s the basic premise of writer/director Reiki Tsuno’s Mad Cats. This inherently strange tale mixes banger martial arts throwdowns, kinetic gun play, a weirdo mystery, and “forbidden catnip from ancient times.” The result is chaotic and odd, with an off-kilter approach that balances comedy, melodrama, action, and ambition.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

The 2023 Oscar Nominees Are Here

michelle yeoh with hot dog fingers
The 95th Academy Award nominations are here…and that’s all I really have to say on the matter. Some of these are great and I agree with them. Others, as usual, are absolute head-scratchers. Make of this information what you will.