Thursday, July 18, 2019

Fantasia 2019: 'DreadOut' Movie Review

Dammit, teens, when are you going to learn no amount of social media follows is worth venturing into haunted abandoned buildings? For the sake of horror movies, I hope the answer is never. And at least they didn’t learn before Kimo Stamboel—one half of the Indonesian filmmaking duo The Mo Brothers (Headshot)—delivered his first solo directorial effort,  DreadOut.

So, This 'Top Gun: Maverick' Trailer Is Great

Outside of maybe Red Dawn, Top Gun had more of an impact on my life and who I’ve become as a person than any other movie. And that’s saying something, as movies have and continue to define my life to what is probably an unhealthy degree. That said, I always passed off years’ worth of Top Gun 2 rumors as just talk that would never come to fruition. And once it finally became clear a sequel really was going to happen, I assumed it would be a tossed off joke we’d all make fun of for years. But here we are. I just witnessed the first trailer for Top Gun: Maverick, and fuck me, I have a new most-anticipated movie of 2020.

Fantasia 2019: 'Porno' Movie Review

If you lament the lack of graphic genital torture or exploded testicles in modern horror cinema, you’re in luck. First time director Keola Racela’s  Porno has the cure for what ails you. It also has demons, repressed religious nerds, an uptight straight edge kid, and more Encino Man references than one might initially expect. Gory, ridiculous, and often legitimately scary, it’s a perfect movie to watch late at night, preferably with a rowdy, intoxicant-lubricated crowd.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Fantasia 2019: 'The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil' Movie Review

This is an updated version of an earlier review.

To lump all South Korean cinema together and paint the industry with a singular, this-is-what-they-do brush is to do it a disservice. It cuts across genre boundaries, topics, and subsets, with standouts in each category along the way. But goddamn, do the South Korean filmmakers do dark, thoughtful crime thrillers really well. OldboyI Saw the DevilThe Yellow Sea, the list goes on. The latest addition to this canon is Lee Won-tae’s The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Fantasia 2019: 'Master Z: Ip Man Legacy' Movie Review

This is an updated version of an earlier review.

This will surprise absolutely no one, but Yuen Woo-ping can stage the hell out of a fight. The guy is a legend for good reason. And he displays this particular skill front and center in his latest directorial effort, Master Z: Ip Man Legacy, which features choreography on par with some of his best. Inventive and thrilling, it runs the gamut from incredibly technical martial arts acumen to high-flying wire artistry that calls to mind his work on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

'Into The Ashes' (2019) Movie Review

Sometimes, on paper, a movie has all the ingredients necessary for success, but for one reason or another—or many—just doesn’t work. Such is the case with writer/director Aaron Harvey’s Into the Ashes. It contains most of my favorite cinematic things—Frank Grillo, violence, a grim revenge tale—but other issues bog down the film and, it brings me no pleasure to report, it simply isn’t very good.

Monday, July 15, 2019

'Luz' (2018) Movie Review

The first thing that stands out in Tilman Singer’s eerie, esoteric horror thriller Luz is the sound. It begins with oppressive, ominous notes, droning synth tones, creaking doors. At times over the course of a sparse 70-minute runtime, layered dialogue, a hypnotic prog-heavy score, and brooding pitched noise builds to a nightmarish, overwhelming cacophony.