Taken on their own, the last 15-20 minutes of Summer of 84—the latest from RKSS, the Canadian filmmaking collective behind Turbo Kid—work reasonably well. They would have worked even better if the film had done a single thing in the previous 80 minutes to earn the climax. It feels like they started with the end, but had no idea how to get there.
Thursday, August 16, 2018
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Erik Matti’s BuyBust is almost great. As it is, it’s a solid actioner, especially for those of us who favor the gritty, down-and-dirty style usually relegated to the direct-to-video realm. Especially rough around the edges and chaotic, and full of weird-as-hell flourishes, it’s mean and violent and bleak as hell—be prepared for beheadings and morally questionable dirty deeds American movies shy away from. Matti and company offer a non-stop buffet of tension and potential disaster for the stars, all wrapped in an intriguing commentary on the current state of Philippines society and the draconian drug war under Duterte.
To know him is to have strong feelings about him. Whatever your stance, French button-pusher, Gaspar Noé, is back with his latest attempt to shock and awe and discomfit, Climax. (I, for one, really want his wife and frequent collaborator, Lucile Hadžihalilović, to make another movie, because her last one, Evolution, was an all-timer.) With a title like Climax, and the man himself behind the camera, you know we’re in for a wild ride, and if you didn’t, this new trailer drives that point home.
Wednesday, August 8, 2018
If you know anything about The Meg, even the simple fact that it involves Jason Statham and a giant shark, and have ever seen a movie, it’s easy to predict what you’re going to get when you sit down in the theater. And The Meg delivers precisely the movie it promises, for better and worse.
Mario Kassar is best known for producing movies like Total Recall, First Blood, Terminator 2, and a certain style of American action movie through his Carolco Pictures. But he’s apparently teaming with Indonesian filmmakers to develop Foxtrot Six, an action/sci-fi film starring the likes of Julie Estelle, Hammer Girl from The Raid 2, and Oka Antara (The Raid 2, Killers). It’s been in the works for a while, but the first teaser dropped today. Check it out.
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Thinking of arthouse powerhouse A24, what comes to mind? Deft, off-kilter indie dramas? Unusual coming-of-age tales? Prestige horror? Odds are, when you think of A24 and their output, you probably don’t immediately go to gritty Muay Thai prison dramas. Well, with the release of Jean-Stephane Sauvaire’s A Prayer Before Dawn, that line of thinking certainly has to change.
Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Calling All Earthlings isn’t a great documentary. It’s messy and unfocused, threads show up and wander off willy nilly, and overall, it’s a jumble that lacks much oomph, narrative coherence, or discernible arc. It’s also bonkers weird, occasionally fascinating, and offers a unique look at a peculiar slice of wing-nut outsider Americana.