He’s a big-time cinematic superhero, playing Aquaman in the DC movie universe, but I have to say, I think Jason Momoa is best suited to low-budget, direct-to-video-style action fare. Sure, he’s a ripped Adonis of a human being, but he also has a relatable, everyman quality. And this is on full display in Braven, a solid, reasonably entertaining, if unremarkable new noir-inspired Canadian thriller. It scratches a very particular itch for those longing for the types of beefy-father-protects-his-brood pictures Schwarzenegger and Stallone turned out in the ‘80s.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
If you’re in the mood for a direct-to-video post-apocalyptic bounty hunter saga starring a former female MMA champ and helmed by the director of Sliding Doors, and I know there are some of you out there, Scorched Earth is 100% your shit. For the rest of you, it may not have a place on your must-watch list. Unless you fall into that first category, the Gina Carano-starring, Peter Howitt-directed sci-fi actioner probably isn’t for you. Then again, I’m squarely in that camp, so, hell yeah.
Navigating festival hype is a tricky business. Folks see a movie in the film festival bubble, with film festival goggles, and before you know it, there’s a swirling eddy of buzz and hyperbole calling a particular offering one of the greats. That happens all the time, especially at Sundance, which may or may not still be happening, I don’t know. All too often, the hype either subsides, we never hear from the film again, or when it does hit, it’s straight dookie. I can’t count how many times that’s happened. This year, one of the next best biggest greatest was Ari Aster’s horror mystery Hereditary, and while I’m wary or the hype monster, hot damn this first trailer. This is fire, both literally and figuratively.
Monday, January 29, 2018
Steven Soderbergh is busier in retirement than I will ever be. Then again, so are my parents—I thought the whole point of retiring was to kick back and enjoy not working, but what do I know, I’ll never have the chance to do it anyway. I’m getting off topic. I’m into Soderbergh’s version of retirement, however, because it means we keep getting things like The Knick, Logan Lucky, and his latest film, and first straight horror movie, Unsane, which just dropped this fantastic new trailer.
Friday, January 26, 2018
I try as best I can, and for the most part I’m successful, to keep books and their cinematic adaptations in separate compartments. They’re drastically different mediums. You can do things in a book that you can’t in a movie; novels have space to spool out and expand, while movies have a more rigid time structure. No movie is ever going to ruin a book, no matter how much it changes. And though I don’t expect that to happen in this instance, I have questions about Alex Garland’s adaptation of Jeff VanerMeer’s Annihilation.
Thursday, January 25, 2018
Fred Beckey is something of a myth, a celebrated “dirtbag”—think a vagabond ski bum for the mountaineering set—who sacrifices everything to climbing. Normal people don’t know his name, but the hardcore speak of him with reverence and awe. It’s difficult to live up to such hype, but when we meet the man himself in Dave O’Leske’s documentary, Dirtbag: The Legend of Fred Beckey, he more than lives up to the billing.
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
I love Guillermo del Toro’s monsters-fighting-robots opus Pacific Rim. Sorry, Oscar-nominee Guillermo del Toro’s monsters-fighting-robots opus Pacific Rim. Yeah, I know, it’s dumber than a box of really, really dumb rocks. But it’s got monsters fighting robots and the enthusiasm of a sugar-addled child smashing toys together on a playground and making explody noises.
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
In a career full of nutty, brutal, style-forward horror films, few titles on Dario Argento’s resume are as strange, violent, or aesthetically singular as his 1987 giallo, Opera, which has a nice new Blu-ray release from Scorpion. In one of the bonus features, the director calls it his favorite of his films, and it’s easy to see why. It’s like a collection of all of his visual and thematic faves and watches a bit like if Douglas Sirk make horror movies instead of domestic melodramas.
It’s that time of year, the 2018 Academy Award nominations have arrived. Do with this information what you will. Commence bickering about who should win what, who was snubbed, what film is overrated, and so on and so forth.
Monday, January 22, 2018
Well, this looks like a damn fine time. Admittedly, I’ve never heard of the Philippine action movie Buy Bust, nor am I very familiar with the filmography of director Erik Matti. But judging from this trailer and a quick perusal of his resume, I should become well acquainted with both. From what we see here in this video, this is something I am now very much looking forward to.
Friday, January 19, 2018
This news has been floating around for at least a day or two, so it’s not the freshest dish, but I can’t stop thinking about it and getting really, really, ridiculously excited. It is, definitively, the best news. 30 amazing Shaw Brothers joints have been refurbished and are coming back to theaters.
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Earlier this week, we got our first glimpse at footage from Martyrs director Pascal Laugier’s new movie, the upcoming Ghostland. The release is still a few months out—March 14 in France, so no telling when the rest of the world will get our grubby mitts on it—but now we’ve got a longer trailer to gawk at.
Den of Thieves is just my kind of trash. The directorial debut of London has Fallen writer Christian Gudegast, the sprawling heist film plays like a bargain bin version of Michael Mann’s 1995 classic Heat. Only more macho. Which is impressive, given Heat is already jacked up on testosterone and fragile male egos.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
I dig Train to Busan. It’s one of those movies that comes out every once in a while and reminds us that there’s still life left in what appears to be a particularly drained subgenre, zombie movies in this case. Now, a short time later, South Korean director Yeon Sang-ho is back to put his stamp on superhero movies with Psychokinesis. Check out the latest trailer below.
Monday, January 15, 2018
Pascal Laugier hasn’t made a movie since 2012’s The Tall Man, but his brutal 2008 masterpiece Martyrs may be the defining moment of the New French Extremity movement. (His only other work in that time was an episode of the TV series XIII.) He’s set to return to theaters this year with Ghostland (or Incident in a Ghost Land depending on where you look). If that’s not enough to perk your ears up, there’s a short, to-the-point new teaser trailer to whet your whistle.
The first season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’sTale was not only grim and timely and captured the attention of audiences and end-of-year awards voters for those very reasons, it also encapsulated the entire narrative from Margaret Atwood’s 1985 dystopian novel. Basically, the young series is in uncharted water from here on out. Where season 2 goes remains to be seen, but we have our first look at the upcoming episodes in this new trailer.
Friday, January 12, 2018
“The suburbs are where the craziest shit happens.” True, little dude, true. Between It and Stranger Things, we’re in the midst of an 1980s suburban horror nostalgia tsunami. The latest entry into this cannon looks to be Summer of 84, and as it’s the brainchild of the folks behind Turbo Kid, this new trailer has my full attention.
Though it debuted as a work-in-progress last year at Cannes, Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here is one of my most anticipated movies of 2018. The unfinished version caused a ruckus at the festival, and I can’t wait to watch Joaquin Phoenix thrash sex traffickers with a hammer. Oh yeah, as the release creeps ever closer, there’s a vicious new trailer to watch.
Thursday, January 11, 2018
If you straight up name your movie Revenge, you immediately set certain expectations. And hot damn, the trailer for Coralie Fargeat’s movie that bears that name is a nasty piece of work. I’ve heard tons of very high praise for the film, and am definitely amped to see this, but I can already tell it’s going to be a rough watch.
If you watched a trailer, looked at a poster, read a description, or have any experience at all with Jaume Collet-Serra and Liam Neeson’s previous team ups, Non-Stop, Unknown, and Run All Night, their latest tag team, The Commuter, delivers precisely the movie it promises. It’s like a dumbed-down, idiot Strangers on a Train. There’s mystery, one-shot fight scenes, Liam Neeson kicking ass, and it’s as pointless and forgettable as it is goofily entertaining.
Wednesday, January 10, 2018
There’s much to admire in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread, though I’m admittedly less high on it than many folks. But it lands in a precarious position of being a movie that, while I appreciated and enjoyed certain aspects, outside of hardcore cinephiles, I can’t think of a single person to whom I can recommend this and reasonably expect them like what they see.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
High School Zombie Christmas Musical 'Anna And The Apocalypse' Has A Distributor, All Is Right With The World
Thursday, January 4, 2018
Who knew I’d be so on the hook for a revamped Kickboxer franchise? Okay, everyone who’s ever met me knew that right away. But I am. Kickboxer: Vengeance was pretty rad, if little more than a rehash of the original. So you can bet I’m amped for the upcoming Kickboxer: Retaliation, which just dropped a new trailer ahead of its impending release.
Wednesday, January 3, 2018
Scott Cooper’s Hostiles shares a substantial amount of DNA with old school westerns of bygone eras. It’s the direct descendent of John Ford and John Wayne, in both positive and negative ways. Sweeping and grim, it attempts to shine a light into the deepest, darkest corners of a man’s soul; it’s also dicey in a Searchers way when it comes to the ingrained racism of its protagonist and this particular era of American history.
Tuesday, January 2, 2018
It’s that time of year again. 2017 recedes in the rearview mirror and the promise of 2018 comes at us in the form of questionable January fare, continuing Awards season rollouts, and movies the studios botched and have no idea what else to do with but push into the theaters and hope to recoup as much of their investment as possible. (I, for one, am super into a bunch of the trash coming in the next few weeks.)