If you’ve ever wanted to watch a direct-to-video post-apocalyptic western starring former MMA champion Gina Carano directed by the guy who helmed Sliding Doors, today is your day. Take a gander at the trailer for Scorched Earth, which delivers just what I promised.
Friday, December 29, 2017
Thursday, December 28, 2017
Every year, I debate whether or not to make a year-end best-of list. I hate ranking movies (or giving them grades for that matter), and where a movie falls, or even what’s included, varies day-by-day, even hour-by-hour depending on my mood and what I remember.
'Mom And Dad' Trailer: Nicolas Cage Sings The Hokey Pokey And Smashes A Pool Table With A Sledgehammer
Somehow, and I’m not sure how this happened, I never knew that what my life really lacked was Nicolas Cage, screaming “The Hokey Pokey,” while smashing a pool table with a sledgehammer. I know, I know, that should have been obvious from the word go, but it took this Mom and Dad trailer to make me see the light. But now I have, and it is glorious.
Wednesday, December 27, 2017
I’m here all day for Diane Kruger fighting Nazis. The only problem with Faith Akin’s In the Fade is that, instead of focusing on that part of the story, it turns into a middling Law & Order episode.
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
As a writer, Aaron Sorkin has an ability to make me care about topics I don’t usually give two shits about. I’m not particularly interested in the d-bags who created Facebook, but The Social Network makes that story as compelling as it’s going to get. The same goes for Steve Jobs (Steve Jobs), Sabermetrics (Moneyball), and Tom Cruise as a lawyer (A Few Good Men). His directorial debut, Molly’s Game, for which he also wrote the script, follows a familiar pattern.
I should know better by now, I really should, but I can’t help but be irrationally excited for Den of Thieves. I know, I know, it’s a mid-January action movie that looks dumb as shit and macho beyond belief, but it also looks 100% my jam. Watching this new trailer, I can’t help myself, I giggled and clapped the entire time.
Friday, December 22, 2017
Earnest is the best way to describe David Huggins. He’s an affable elder gentleman who works part time in a Hoboken deli, spends his spare time painting, and, oh yeah, lost his virginity to an extraterrestrial. Documentaries are often only as interesting as their subjects, and Brad Abrahams’ Love and Saucers: The Far Out World of David Huggins certainly has an eccentric focus.
Thursday, December 21, 2017
It’s easy to describe most of Alexander Payne’s filmography as “white dudes learn an important lesson: the movie.” And to that end, his latest, Downsizing, feels right at home among titles like Election and Nebraska. Where it stands out is that it finds the director splashing around in the science fiction pool for the first time. The film bears an intriguing satiric premise, tips its hat to all manner of interesting thematic concerns related to that conceit, and begins with promise, only to shit the bed in complete, spectacular, baffling fashion.
It’s award season, mother fuckers! I’m fortunate enough to be part of the inaugural class of the Seattle Film Critics Society (they shot down my name suggestion: Seattle Movie Nerd Party Club). We’ve voted on and handed out awards a few times under this moniker, but before now it’s been a loose collection of like-minded film weirdos, not an actual group with like officers, by-laws, and things like that. I wrote about the nominees the other day, but now the final votes have been tallied and the winners are here. Drumroll please…
Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Do we really need a sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 cartel thriller Sicario? Especially one without the lead character or director from that film? Probably not. But that’s not going to stop Sicario 2: Soldado from happening, and thanks to this first trailer, I’m here for it’s DTV vibe and promise of excessive violence.
Thursday, December 14, 2017
As 2017 wraps up (high fives to everyone for making it through this clusterfuck of a year!) it’s that time where groups and guilds and collections of people who watch a lot of movies get together to vote for the best of the year. I’m fortunate enough to be a part of a couple of these groups (because my opinion is the best one, obviously), including the newly minted Seattle Film Critics Society.
Guillermo del Toro’s latest, The Shape of Water, reminds me of so many of the director’s other films. It contains lush, gorgeous, fantastic elements that astound, tease the imagination, and take your breath away. But it also contains flat, bland, lame-ass choices and needless grandstanding that kills momentum and waters down the impact of what’s otherwise a lovely love letter to classic movies and sweeping cinematic romance.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
According to one of the producers, we might not be smart enough to understand it (we’re just dumb old movie fans after all), but I’m still rather jazzed about Alex Garland’s Annihilation. The adaptation of the first book in Jeff VanderMeer’s Southern Reach trilogy just dropped a new trailer. Check it out below.
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
Steven Spielberg’s The Post doesn’t surprise anyone. One, it tells a famous, well-known story; two, it’s obvious from moment one where it’s heading; and three, it’s not trying to pull a Houdini and execute any startling narrative gymnastics. It also won’t surprise anyone that The Post is excellent, occasionally thrilling, and watching Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, and Spielberg together is like watching a goddamn symphony.
Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Okay, this isn’t a bad way to wake up, going online to find out the first Avengers: Infinity War trailer has arrived. There’s a lot to dig into, but I’ll leave it at that for now. Check it out below. We can discuss it at our leisure later, but know that I’m here for Bearded Cap.
Tuesday, November 28, 2017
Autodidactic multi-hyphenate James Franco has directed a startling number of feature films. Most of them are…okay. He’s shown potential, but while none of his films are truly terrible, even the best aren’t much more than middling. Instead of cranking out four or five mediocre literary adaptations a year, I’ve argued I’d like to see him focus on making one really good movie. And though his pace doesn’t appear to have waned one iota, with The Disaster Artist, Franco may have made his first great film.
When you think comic book movies, you probably think dudes in tights and sky portals and that sort of nonsense. But there are also things like crews of assassins to be found on the funny book pages, which is just what we get from this Accident Man trailer. To be fair, that’s not why I’m psyched about this movie. I’m psyched about this because of Scott Adkins. He’s one of the baddest dudes on the planet, this is one of his passion projects, and he’s not only stars, he co-wrote the script.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Cinematic adaptations of beloved literary works are a dicey proposition at best. No matter how good a job filmmakers do, there will forever be those who decry it as an abomination. I’m normally whatever about these—a good movie is a good movie, even if it’s based on a book I love and even if it’s nothing like said book. I’m not hugely invested in Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time either way. I read it once as a youngster, I remember one of my sister’s elementary school classes turning it into a play, but that’s about it. That said, the trailer for Ava Duverney’s adaptation looks bonkers and epic and all kinds of rad. Take a look for yourself.
Friday, November 17, 2017
Over the past few years, Taylor Sheridan has won acclaim for writing gritty crime dramas like Sicario and Hell or High Water, and his directorial debut, Wind River. Director James M. Dagg, working from a script by the China Brothers, tries to get in on that act with Sweet Virginia. His sophomore feature dredges similar aesthetic and thematic territory. While it succeeds on some fronts, it hits less hard on others, though the finished product is a serviceable, if unremarkable, mumblecore neo-noir.
Thursday, November 16, 2017
You know, sometimes I look at a certain movie and I think, “Did I make that?” Because I’m fairly certain I’m the only one who could possibly want to see it. And that’s the sensation I get watching the first trailer for Rampage. It stars Dwayne Johnson and a giant gorilla, a giant wolf, and a giant crocodile. And based on this first look, it’s already the greatest video game movie ever made.
“I’m just so tired of all these Star Wars.” Okay, I’m not, not at all. Nor did I have the titular line in Star Wars, which has always chaffed. We’re now less than a month away from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which I’m rather jazzed for. And just in case we didn’t already know that, we’re at the point where Lucasfilm is beating us about the head, neck, and face with promotional material. This includes a bunch of new TV spots.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Justice League is clunky and messy. It’s jumbled and misshapen. The presence of multiple directors—Zack Snyder did the bulk of the heavy lifting, though Joss Whedon handled extensive reshoots and rewrites, and roughly 20% of the finished film belongs to him, according to reports—is readily apparent in the mishmash of tones and the fact that it watches like multiple movies shoehorned together. Cringe-worthy choices abound. The fight scenes all look like they’re lifted from a video game promo. And, of course, since this is a superhero movie, the plot revolves around an iconic group of comic book characters searching for CGI boxes powerful enough to destroy the world. But for all the bumps and bruises and problems, and they are legion, Justice League is a hell of a lot of fun.
People are complicated creatures. We’re all capable of cruelty and kindness, anger and compassion. Everyone’s part good, everyone’s part shit. It’s this internal dichotomy that drives Martin McDonagh’s pitch-black comedy/drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and it’s why his characters are more complex and authentic than those we often find on screen. They’re brutally flawed, but devastatingly human. It doesn’t hurt that the phenomenal cast all give career best performances, or at least damn close.
Monday, November 13, 2017
So far, December 15 is shaping up to be the best day of my calendar year. Not only does Star Wars: The Last Jedi open, but Amazon drops the first season of Jean-Claude Van Johnson, and the after-the-fact sci-fi sequel Beyond Skyline also hits. And I might be most excited about that last one. Check out this new clip to see why.
Friday, November 10, 2017
Throughout their history, westerns have often been grim, gritty, and dicey on the racism front. All of which figures prominently into the trailer for Hostiles, the latest from Black Mass and Out of the Furnace director Scott Cooper.
Wednesday, November 8, 2017
This first paragraph has little to do with the movie we’ll be discussing today. We’ll get to that, but I have to get something off my chest first. Multiple times walking out of Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, which, admittedly, isn’t great, I overheard people ask, “Have you heard of her before?” Her being AGATHA FUCKING CHRISTIE. Only the most celebrated mystery writer of all fucking time. Apologies, I needed to yell about that for a moment. I’m rage hyperventilating just thinking about it. Onward.
Friday, November 3, 2017
It makes such an insane amount of sense, yet somehow I never thought about it until right this very moment, but Park Chan-wook adapting a John le Carre novel sounds like a perfect meeting of the minds. And just to be clear, that’s what’s happening. The South Korean hit machine signed on to adapt The Little Drummer Girl in a six-part adaptation. If six hours of Park Chan-wook doing John le Carre doesn’t sound like the best way to spend six hours, we probably wouldn’t be friends in real life.
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
High school was more or less the same for everyone, right? You had football games, prom, cliques, and, of course, rabid, death-obsessed teen serial killers stalking the halls. Okay, maybe I’m mixing up Tyler MacIntyre’s Tragedy Girls with my own experience, I’ll have to check on that. However it breaks down, this puts a whole new spin on the mean girls phenomenon. It’s biting, wicked, and deceptively earnest.
Monday, October 30, 2017
A real-life story of drug addiction, prison, and Muay Thai. You bet your ass I’ve been tracking A Prayer Before Dawn since I first heard about it. There hasn’t been a ton to follow—it debuted at Cannes back in May, but even though it garnered positive reviews, it didn’t make a huge splash. But A24—not necessarily the company I expected to drop a Muay Thai prison movie in my lap—rectified that with this new trailer and it looks like everything I hoped it would be.
Friday, October 27, 2017
Why did it take me two full days to watch this Den of Thieves trailer? It’s everything I like: gritty no-frills action, bank robbers, a brutally generic name, Gerard Butler, O’Shea Jackson, a dude from The Wire (Pablo Schreiber), and a rapper (50 Cent). And it’s the guy who wrote London Has Fallen and A Man Apart making his directorial debut. And it looks like clearance-sale Heat. All of which means it’s just my speed. I knew it was out there, I just slept on it. But don’t worry, I rectified this grievous oversight and all is right with the world.
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster, Dogtooth) doesn’t make simple, straightforward movies. He doesn’t offer easy answers, or often even answers at all. His latest, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, doesn’t depart from this formula, but like his other films, it’s hypnotic, confrontational, and lingers long after exiting the theater.
I have a new favorite movie line. It’s Will Smith yelling, “We’re gonna titty-bar gunfight die.” And yes, that appears to be an actual line from Bright, Netflix’s upcoming attempt to get in on the big-budget fantasy action market. Check out the new trailer below.
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
I know people worry that now Disney owns Lucasfilm and they’re churning out an endless parade of Star Wars films, among other material, they’ll star to lose their magic and become commonplace, like superhero movies. And I know we’re only a few movies deep into the global takeover, but hot damn, we haven’t reached Star Wars fatigue yet. And as of right now, I continue to get chills every single time I watch new Star Wars footage, including this new behind-the-scenes video from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Tangerine director Sean Baker’s follow up, The Florida Project, takes a different track than its predecessor. Last time out, he shot on an iPhone and followed transgender prostitutes on Christmas Eve in Los Angeles. For his next trick, Baker and company shot on real 35mm film and the story revolves around a precocious six-year-old girl on summer break.
December 15 is shaping up to be one hell of a day. Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens, Beyond Skyline opens, and now Amazon is going to drop Jean-Claude Van Johnson, the meta action-comedy series that imagines Jean-ClaudeVan Damme’s entire acting career as a cover for his true calling, international assassin. To celebrate, there’s a new trailer. Yeah, the pilot’s great, this trailer’s great, I have high hopes.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
You may or may not know this, but at this point, I’ll watch anything with Frank Grillo. And that goes double for any movie about backwoods bareknuckle fighting where he plays someone named Chainsaw Angus. Which is the name of his character in the upcoming Donnybrook.
Monday, October 16, 2017
Dude, dude, dude, dude, dude! I get it, that’s a lot of dudes, but I need your attention. And as it’s first thing Monday morning, if you’re anything like me, you’re dragging. But I’ve got something that should pick you right up, and it’s a fresh new Black Panther trailer to kick off the week. There’s also a dope new poster to gawk at.
Friday, October 13, 2017
I’m not fully on board with those who argue we’re hitting a point of superhero fatigue. In general, I enjoy them and look forward to the next chapter. Just over the next two weeks we get Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League, though I’m more concerned (or at least I have more questions) about the latter than the former. Still, it’s hard to get too excited when there’s yet another superhero joint. Especially The New Mutants, mostly because I’m admittedly not hugely familiar with the title (though I love creator Chris Claremont), and the last Fox X-Men movie was so lackluster. But the first trailer is here, and I’m definitely changing my tune.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
As they age, plenty of actors are trying their hand at playing grizzled badasses in revenge-based action movies. The results have been up and down to say the least. Liam Neeson has proven the most successful of these—though I’m not a fan of the Taken movies, the likes of Run All Night deliver the goods. But now it’s time for Jackie Chan to get in on the act with The Foreigner, so everyone else, step away and give the man room to work.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
It feels like 75% of what I’ve written about recently involves Beyond Skyline, and that’s fine with me. Not a fan of the 2010 alien invasion yarn, Skyline, the after-the-fact sequel looks completely badass. And that includes this new U.S. trailer. Perhaps even more exciting than that, is there’s now a confirmed release date on American soil, which is a pretty sweet indeed.
By now you’ve probably watched the new Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer, whether Rian Johnson wants you to or not, ordered your opening day tickets, and plowed head first into the Great Porg Debate of 2017. (Love them or hate them, they’re the new Ewoks, and your stance on the adorable little bastards will define who you are for generations to come.) But what the hell, why not watch the trailer again?
Monday, October 9, 2017
No one currently working does grim, stoic, throwback tough guy quite like Frank Grillo. And his talents look to be put to good use in the trailer for the upcoming Wheelman. Check it out after the jump.
Friday, October 6, 2017
Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 Pacific Rim splits viewers into two categories: those who love it and those who think it’s dumb as shit. Personally, I think it’s dumb as shit, but I absolutely adore watching del Toro do his best impression of a kid in a sandbox banging robot toys into monster toys. That’s precisely what it is, and the finished product is precisely that much fun. I don’t know that it needs a sequel, or that one will be any good, but it managed to (just barely and thanks to the global market) squeak out enough money to justify a follow up. Good or bad, I’m going to watch it and the first real trailer for Pacific Rim: Uprising is here. Check it out below.
Friday, September 29, 2017
It’s understandable to be skeptical of movies billed as “The New Movie X!” or “The Movie X from Blank!” By and large, those comparisons to movies you love don’t measure up. But while I haven’t seen Yuji Shimomura’s Re: Born, from the look of this U.K. trailer, the “Japanese John Wick” hype may well be warranted.
Thursday, September 28, 2017
If you know one thing about me these days, it should be that I’m really, really, really psyched for Beyond Skyline. Like, it’s all I care about anymore. Admittedly, I’m not a huge fan of 2010’s Skyline, but this long-after-the-fact sequel continues to look completely fucking rad. Just watch this new U.K. trailer if you don’t’ believe me.
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
After watching American Made, I’m convinced Tom Cruise needs to work with Doug Liman way more often. Which isn’t much of a reach, as the actor/director combo has the sci-fi adventure Luna Park on the slate in the near future. But between this and Edge of Tomorrow, or whatever title you prefer, Cruise—who I maintain is the last great traditional movie star we have left—hasn’t been this good in years.
After directing Ex Machina (and writing Dredd and 28 Days Later…), I’m down to watch anything Alex Garland does. So, understandably, I’m rather jacked for his upcoming adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling novel, Annihilation. I haven’t read the book, but I love that Garland’s sticking around the sci-fi end of the pool, and the first teaser trailer looks very much like a movie I want to watch.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Okay, here’s your last homework assignment for Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049, at least beyond, you know, rewatching your preferred version of Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi classic. Early reviews are just hitting the airwaves and are overwhelmingly positive—not to make it harder to keep expectations in check or anything. But most of us still have a while to wait, but take a few minutes to gawk at the third and final prequel short.
Thursday, September 21, 2017
The most important lesson gleaned from Friend Request: Beware the Facebook witches, because they are a real thing and they’re coming for you and your friends! Apparently. And while I won’t go so far as to heap praise on German director Simon Verhoeven’s 2016 (it took a while to make it to U.S. shores) horror film for being particularly original, or even all that memorable, it’s solid genre fun. At times. In fact, it has the makings of an awesome junior high sleepover movie.