Wednesday, December 28, 2016
It’s the last week of 2016, I don’t have any reviews to write, Carrie Fisher just died, and the whole world is covered in shit. For some reason, these bleak circumstances seem a wholly appropriate place to drop a list of my top horror movies of 2016. There are certainly some grim times to be found among these titles.
Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Without fail, some people grouse about how that particular 365-day journey around the sun was a bad year for movies. 2016 is no exception, a circumstance made all the more egregious because so many giant blockbusters sucked ass or, perhaps even worse, wound up inane and tepid and unmemorable in every regard.
Monday, December 26, 2016
It was a merry Christmas, indeed. Not for the usual, warm, fuzzy, holiday nonsense that other people have been compelling me to endure for damn near 40 years against my will. No, on this day we set aside to celebrate fat dudes and the savior of humanity or whatever, I’m in a festive mood because we got our first look at Alien: Covenant, and holy shit balls. Like I said, merry Christmas, indeed.
Friday, December 23, 2016
Admittedly, this isn’t the freshest bit of news, but since it came out a few days ago, I haven’t stopped thinking about it for more than a couple of minutes. After he floored me with Arrival and wowed me with that brief Blade Runner 2049 teaser trailer, I keep saying that I hope director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) continues to splash around in the science fiction end of the pool. And it looks like he may do just that. Reports say he could helm an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s legendary sci-fi novel Dune.
Thursday, December 22, 2016
Already a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play, Denzel Washington's film adaptation of August Wilson's Fences is going to add some accompanying award hardware to the roster this year, most notably in the acting categories. This, even as it struggles, often unsuccessfully, to distinguish itself from its stage roots.
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Because I’m a super fancy film critic (i.e. I spend most of my free time sitting silently in dark rooms watching movies most people never see; writing about them online, where no one reads about them, for little to no money; and talking about these movies no one sees with other likeminded obsessives—jealous?), I get to vote in super fancy end-of-the-year film critic polls. One of these is the Seattle Film Critics Society, which just announced the 2016 Seattle Film Awards nominations.
Back in 2011, André Øvredal made easily my favorite found footage horror joint, Troll Hunter. Though it’s been a bit, the Norwegian director is back with his third feature, and English-language debut, The Autopsy of Jane Doe. And it’s a perfect genre antidote to big blockbusters and end-of-the-year award bait. Don’t get me wrong, I love and appreciate both of those things, but damn it gets exhausting, so it’s nice to have a bit of nasty horror counterprogramming.
Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Movies are an accumulation of thousands upon thousands of choices. The collective decisions of directors, actors, writers, editors, DPs, and even casting agents, add up to the final product that makes it to the silver screen. And sometimes, just sometimes, a single one of those fucks it up for everyone and sends the flaming wreckage of a movie into the waiting fireball of a sun. Such is the case with Morten Tyldum’s deep space romance, Passengers, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.
Monday, December 19, 2016
Bad guys, apparently you didn’t get the message the first time, but you really, really, need to stop messing with John Wick. It’s not going to end well. To be fair, I hope you never learn this lesson, since that would make John Wick: Chapter 2 the last in the saga of the reluctant hitman, and I don’t that to happen because this new trailer and poster look amazing.
Okay, I’m going to come right out and say this: Denis Villeneuve should only make science fiction movies from now on. Arrival is going to land very near the apex of my top movies of 2016 list, and though it’s less than two-minutes-long, the first trailer for the long-in-the-works Blade Runner 2049 looks spectacular.
Friday, December 16, 2016
'xXx: Return Of Xander Cage' Trailers: Vin Diesel Breaks A Gun And Wishes Us A Merry Freakin' Christmas
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
After Whiplash whipped up a frenzy, writer/director Damien Chazelle could do damn near anything he wanted. Helm a superhero movie? Probably could have done that. Tackle a big-budget summer blockbuster or weighty Oscar-bait drama? So many others have followed that path. But what does he do? He makes La La Land, a full-on throwback musical. And he absolutely kills it.
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
What are you doing? Why are you reading this? Odds are, you already know whether or not you’re going to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Hell, most of you probably have tickets (or you’re not seeing it until 2017). You don’t need me to tell you whether it’s good or not. Go see Rogue One. Come back afterwards and we can discuss it then.
Monday, December 12, 2016
Between Vin Diesel’s Dominic Toretto turning his back on his makeshift family, Charlize Theron’s terrible, terrible pseudo-dreadlocks (is she going to a rave?), and a goddamn submarine bursting through the icepack and getting into a high-speed chase with a Lamborghini and a tank, I have no clue what’s going on in the first trailer for The Fate of the Furious, the latest in the Fast and Furious franchise. But holy hell, whatever it is, I love the shit out of it.
Friday, December 9, 2016
Looks like Christmas came early, True Believers. Last night arrived with snow (at least here in Seattle) and two, count ‘em, two, new trailers for Spider-Man: Homecoming. The first is the domestic version, followed by an international take, and together, they feature a nice collection of footage.
Like many film fans, when I hear Hollywood plans to reboot a franchise I love and adore, my immediate reaction is not positive. That said, there have been incredible reboots and re-launches, and for my money, the best is the revamped Planet of the Apes saga. Rise of the Planet of the Apes was better than anyone expected, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is legitimately great—it wound up on my top ten list that year. The next chapter, War for the Planet of the Apes drops summer 2017, and if this first trailer is in any way representative of the finished product, good golly we’re in for another fantastic ape-versus-human adventure.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
When an ambitious young journalist tracks down what he hopes will be a career-launching story, he falls into a world of high-stakes political intrigue. Such is the set up of Nathan Williams’ gorgeous, filmed-in-Washington, shot-on-a-shoestring debut feature, If There’s a Hell Below.
A certain level of utter chaos and mayhem from the guy behind Tokyo Gore Police and Mutant Girl Squad is to be expected, and the trailer for Japanese director Yoshihiro Nishimura’s Kodoku Meatball Machine does not disappoint on that front. Check it out below, it’ll be the most insane two minutes of your day. If it isn’t, holy shit, you’re having a weird one.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
As much as I do enjoy a number of Marvel movies, 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy stands out as my favorite. It’s so different than everything else the comic book studio has produced, and the deep space high adventure is just so damn much fun. So, it’s understandable I’m psyched for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and the fact that it releases fantastic trailers like this latest one only stokes that fire.
Friday, December 2, 2016
It feels like it’s been forever since André Øvredal dropped Troll Hunter in our laps, and to be fair, that was in 2011, so it has been a while. But the Norwegian helmer is back with his first English-language horror offering, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, which his here with a creepy new trailer for you to gawk at.
'The Handmaid's Tale': Take A First Look At Hulu's Margaret Atwood Adaptation Starring Elisabeth Moss
Earlier this year I reread Margaret Atwood’s speculative fiction masterwork The Handmaid’s Tale. It had been a while, but I was struck by how prescient and immediate and current the 1985 novel felt. People are fond of debating which fictional dystopia we’re going to wind up with—the frontrunners are always George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World (though the current landscape certainly feels like a synthesis of the two).