Monday, December 30, 2019

The 50 Most-Anticipated Movies Of 2020

Now that 2019 is rapidly drawing to a close, and now that I’ve posted my best of 2019 list, it’s time to turn our eyes forward to the futuristic year of 2020. We’ve yet to get flying cars, the widespread acceptance of tinfoil jumpsuits, or even a legit hoverboard, but there are a bunch of awesome sounding movies on the way, so that’s something. With that in mind, here are my 50 most-anticipated movies of 2020.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Brent's Top Ten Films of 2019

Once again, it’s that time of year. I’m not a fan of ranking or even rating movies, though I do. (It’s an unfortunate necessity.) Every year I debate whether or not to do a top ten or best-of list, but I ultimately always do. So without further ado, here are my top ten movies of 2019. And I actually keep it to ten this year. Praise me.

Monday, December 23, 2019

'Uncut Gems' (2019) Movie Review

In 2017, the Safdie Brothers, AKA Josh and Bennie Safdie, delivered Good Time, a frantic blast of chaotic cinematic energy. It follows Robert Pattinson through an escalating series of bad decisions and worse consequences. It’s a movie where you sit back, strap in, and exclaim, hot damn. To which their latest endeavor, Uncut Gems, says, hold my beer.

'Little Women' (2019) Movie Review

Admittedly, when I heard Greta Gerwig was making yet another adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, I wasn’t particularly enthused. I’m a fan of Gerwig, as an actor, writer, and now director—Lady Bird was one of my favorite movies of 2017. But come on, this novel had already been adapted roughly one million times. (And for those of us of a certain age, Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 version is pretty definitive.) Why couldn’t she focus on telling original stories and new ideas and all that? Yeah, I was wrong, this is delightful.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

'Cats' (2019) Movie Review

Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical Cats is well known for being weird-ass nonsense. Now imagine taking that weird-ass nonsense from the stage, using hundreds of millions of dollars to digitally turn well-known actors into hellish feline-mutant-people, then splashing the result across a movie screen. I’m not sure what the hell I just saw, but I definitely know I wasn’t high enough for whatever it was.

This 'Top Gun: Maverick' Featurette Shows The Insane Lengths Tom Cruise Went To Filming This Movie

Because I’m not excited enough about Top Gun: Maverick, they had to go and drop a featurette about Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast flying planes and putting themselves in extreme situations during filming. I find a strange nobility in people putting themselves in harm’s way to entertain. (And yes, I also find a weird beauty in things like Jackass.) Check out this new featurette about just how far Cruise and company were willing to go.

'After Midnight' Trailer: 'The Battery' Team Returns With A "Romantic Creature Feature"

In 2012, writer-director-star Jeremy Gardner dropped a small zombie movie, The Battery, breathing a bit of life into the undead subgenre. Though it’s been a few years, he returns to horror with the “romantic creature feature” After Midnight. If you wonder what the hell that might look like, check out the new trailer below.

Monday, December 16, 2019

The 2019 Seattle Film Critics Society Award Winners

As 2019 winds to a close, before we look at what’s next, it’s a time for reflection. In movie terms, that means glancing back over the past year and taking stock of the films we saw. I’m fortunate enough to be a member of a couple groups of film critics, and one, the Seattle Film Critics Society, just revealed the results of the 2019 SFCS Awards.

'Top Gun: Maverick' Trailer: Tom Cruise Returns To The Danger Zone

Sometimes a movie is so perfect the world collectively agrees to leave it the hell alone, to not remake it, to not crank out sequels just to squeeze a few more dollars out of a recognizable IP. For years, Top Gun was one of those movies. And sure, a sequel 34 years after the fact is wholly unnecessary, but also, holy shit, Top Gun: Maverick looks fucking awesome. Sorry for the salty language, but it does. Don’t believe me? Check out the latest trailer below.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

'A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood' (2019) Movie Review

When you make a movie about a regular, everyday person who encounters a fascinating, larger-than-life individual—especially one based on a real-life icon—and that interesting person isn’t the main character, you run the risk of your protagonist fading into the background, being nowhere near as engaging as this secondary character, and the audience not giving a shit about the central figure in your narrative.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

'VFW' Trailer: Grizzled Veterans Versus Mutant Punks, What Else Do You Need?

Oh damn, is it 1983? Because this trailer for Joe Begos’ old-dudes-versus-mutant-punks throwback exploitation joint, VFW, certainly makes it feel that way. And I mean that as the highest praise. This movie may have been made with me as the target audience. Check it out below. Probably a couple of times.

Monday, December 9, 2019

The 2019 Seattle Film Critics Society Award Nominees

It’s that time of year again. The calendar is running out, the holidays loom on the horizon, and every turns to the past year to reflect and examine. And for film critics, that means looking over the movie offerings and evaluating the haul. I’m fortunate enough to belong to multiple groups of like-minded film nerds, and one of them, the Seattle Film Critics Society just announced our nominations for our end-of-year awards.

'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' Trailer Takes The Nostalgia Wagon Out For A Spin

After the last Ghostbusters movie no one asked for (which I enjoy well enough—it has the same problems almost every Paul Feig movie has), the internet threw such a hissy fit that girls got to wear the iconic jumpsuits and wield proton packs that it was only a matter of time until we got another one. And there’s now a trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Watch it if you want.

Friday, December 6, 2019

'This Is Our Home' (2019) Movie Review

UPDATED: The first 60 minutes of This is Our Home are a solid exercise in escalating tension, the deterioration of a relationship, and creeping psychological dread. For a movie that’s only 73 minutes, with credits, those don’t seem like bad odds. But damn does director Omri Dorani’s film hit a wall at that point. You can practically hear the screech of tires as all forward momentum comes to a sudden halt.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

'In Fabric' (2019) Movie Review

two women gaze into a mirror in a department store

Peter Strickland’s Duke of Burgundy is one of my favorite movies of the last decade, so In Fabric was always a must-see. And when the first shot has a warm, crackling giallo look, a switchblade, and ‘70s style prog rock score, you have my full attention.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

'Knives And Skin' (2019) Movie Review

“I need to know there’s a way out of this place.” So says one of the many teenage characters in writer-director Jennifer Reeder’s Knives and Skin. For kids in a small town, one that feels oppressive and choking, like it’s squeezing the life out of you at every turn, it’s a common feeling. This undercurrent flows through the surreal adolescent noir that borders on magical realist fable or allegory.

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

'Daniel Isn't Real' (2019) Movie Review

As a young boy, Luke Nightingale leaned on his imaginary friend, Daniel, to help him through a tough time. But when Daniel’s jealousy poked through, convincing Luke to poison his mother, it was time to for Luke to lock his pal away in recesses of his mind. At least until he needs him again later in life. Think Drop Dead Fred, only mean and way more psychedelic and you have a good start on what Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Daniel Isn’t Real is all about.

Monday, December 2, 2019

'No Time To Die' Teaser: Get Your First Look At James Bond's Next Adventure

Sure, the last James Bond movie, Spectre, wasn’t the best entry. Or the best Daniel Craig Bond movie. Or even close. (I’m actually in the minority that I enjoyed it in the moment, though it is purely paint-by-numbers Bond.) That said, I’m always going to be stoked for a new James Bond movie, and that includes the upcoming No Time to Die. Check out our first look at new footage below.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

'Inherit The Viper' Trailer: Check Out Josh Hartnett's Small Town Crime Thriller

A bleak, dead end small town; generational cycles of drug use, crime, poverty, and despair; Josh Hartnett. Inherit the Viper reminds me of the town where I grew up. The debut feature for director Anthony Jerjen and writer Andrew Crabtree shows some promise in this new trailer for the upcoming release. Take a look below.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

'Knives Out' (2019) Movie Review

A tried and true Hollywood staple that’s fallen by the wayside in modern times is the whodunnit. And it’s a crying shame, because, when done well, they’re a damn fine time. While I wasn’t a fan of Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, I appreciate the effort. When it comes to Knives Out, Rian Johnson’s new, modern-day riff on Agatha Christie, I appreciate the effort as well as the result, which is an absolute blast and one of the most entertaining movies of 2019.

Monday, November 25, 2019

'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker': Watch A New Clip, TV Spot, And Nostalgic Video

There’s less than a month until Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker takes over the world, so I imagine we’ll be getting a lot of this the next few weeks. And by “this,” I mean new clips, TV spots, and videos that poke at our nostalgia for Star Wars. And I’m here for every second of it. Check out all one of all three after the jump.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

'Antebellum' Trailer: The First Look At Janelle Monáe's Secret New Horror Movie Look Incredible

As a general rule, I keep a close eye on movies and movie news and upcoming movies, but I admittedly hadn’t even heard whispers of Gerard Bush and Christopher Renz’ upcoming horror movie Antebellum until just this moment. That has now changed thanks to this quick new teaser trailer and damn, this looks cool as all hell and I want it right now.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

'The Animal People' Trailer: Check Out This Joaquin Phoenix-Produced Animal Rights Documentary

If you don’t know about the SHAC 7 or the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, you probably should. It set harrowing precedents about free speech, protest, governmental response to activism, and the rights of corporations as they exceed those of actual people. All of which has continued to fester and manifest in terrifying ways. All of that is on full display in The Animal People, a new documentary executive produced by Joaquin Phoenix. The film just held its world premiere, hits VOD soon after years of work, and there’s a new trailer. Take a look below.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Nicolas Cage To Play Nicolas Cage In The Most Nicolas Cage Movie Imaginable

Where to even begin with this one? So, Nicolas Cage may star in a movie called The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Now, it’s not the pretentious title that causes involuntary eye twitching, it’s the fact that he might play a version of himself, who talks to another version of himself from the past. And there’s also a drug cartel and the CIA. Yeah…

Thursday, November 14, 2019

'6 Underground' Trailer: Michael Bay And Ryan Reynolds Destroy Italy With Gleeful Abandon

There’s a segment of the filmgoing public who, with good reason, hates Michael Bay. I’m not one of them. (Outside of the Transformers movies, those movies are trash and their—now thankfully waning—popularity baffles me.) With his next film, 6 Underground, he’s bringing his Bayhem to Netflix and this new trailer is both amazing and terrible in the best possible ways. There’s also one of the most god-awful posters I’ve ever seen.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

'The Bygone' (2019) Movie Review

On the surface, The Bygone looks made for me. A sparse, gritty neo-western about clashing cultures, a disappearing way of life, hard-scrabble folk scraping to get by in a desolate land, all capped off with the potential for violence lurking just out of sight. The problem with the debut feature from brother co-director and co-writers Graham and Parker Phillips (Graham also stars) is that generally all it offers are surface elements, with little waiting below. In many ways, it’s a strong debut, in others, not so much.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

'The Shed' (2019) Movie Review

Sheds are where murder happens. That’s just a fact of life. If you go into a shed, you’re probably going to die a grisly death of one sort or another. Hey, I don’t make the rules. Writer/director Frank Sabatella’s The Shed makes excellent use of this backyard-lurking death trap, mixing monsters, gore, and coming of age drama into an effective, no-frills horror yarn.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Leigh Whannell's 'The Invisible Man' Trailer Torments Elisabeth Moss

elisabeth moss in the shower

Universal’s attempt to kick off a Dark Universe based on their classic monster movies didn’t exactly get off to the best start. The less we say about The Mummy, the better. But when has that ever stopped a studio from rehashing an IP in hopes of cashing in? Next up is a reworking of The Invisible Man from director Leigh Whannell and it looks…super rad. Check out the first trailer below.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

'Doctor Sleep' (2019) Movie Review

Despite critical pans on its initial release, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining became one of the most acclaimed horror movies of all time. Much to the chagrin of Stephen King, who wrote the novel the film adapts, and who famously hates the movie. In 2013, 36 years later, King published the sequel, Doctor Sleep. Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of the follow up attempts to reconcile the two conflicting sides and, with reverence for both Kubrick and King, mostly succeeds.

'Color Out Of Space' Trailer: Nicolas Cage, Richard Stanley, H.P. Lovecraft

Nicolas Cage. Richard Stanley. H.P. Lovecraft. I don’t need anything else to work myself up to frenzied levels of excitement for Color Out of Space. Then again, this first trailer doesn’t hurt things. And oh damn.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

This 'Bad Boys For Life' Trailer Reminds Will Smith He Isn't Batman

I’m an inveterate Bad Boys 2 stan. I maintain it’s the most quintessentially American movie ever made, for good and ill. That said, I’m rather ambivalent about the upcoming third chapter, Bad Boys for Life. I mean, I’m going to watch the living hell out of it, that much should be obvious, but I have little faith that the core duo’s banter has aged well. Anyway, there’s a new trailer full of quips and explosions and bang bangs and a familiar tune. Take a gander below.

Monday, November 4, 2019

'Primal' (2019) Movie Review

Here’s everything you need to know to decide whether or not Primal is a movie you want to watch. It stars Nicolas Cage. He plays Frank Walsh, a hunter/illegal animal salesman who captures rare, fully CGI white jaguar he plans to sell for many dollars. Turns out, while transporting/smuggling said trophy on a ship, it’s not the only dangerous creature on board. The U.S. government, for a convoluted series of reasons, is also transporting notorious political assassin Richard Loffler (Kevin Durand) on the same vessel. If you guess they both escape and Frank has to hunt two of the world’s deadliest creatures while on a boat, you are correct. Also, Frank has a parrot sidekick that he hates.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Kimo Stamboel's 'The Queen Of Black Magic' Trailer Is Here To Freak You Out

It may sound like a good idea, like a unique, memorable experience, but never, ever vacation somewhere that doesn’t appear on a map. We’ve all seen enough movies to know this doesn’t end well. And here to illustrate that point, we have the trailer for Kimo Stamboel’s new horror film, The Queen of Black Magic.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

'Terminator: Dark Fate' (2019) Movie Review

Stop me if this sounds familiar. Dani Ramos (Natalia Reyes, Running With the Devil) just wants to go to her job in a Mexico City car factory. It’s a normal day, arguing with her boss about being replaced by machines, when a shape-shifting killer robot from the future (Gabriel Luna, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) shows up at work to kill her only to be thwarted by a human soldier, Grace (Mackenzie Davis, Blade Runner 2049), also from the future. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

'The Mandalorian' Trailer Pumps Up The Werner Herzog

The first trailer for the upcoming Disney+ Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, was pretty damn great. You know what would make it better? Upping the Werner Herzog content, which is precisely what they did with this new trailer. Check it out below.

Monday, October 28, 2019

'The Grudge' Trailer: Nicolas Pesce Revisits The Supernatural Horror Franchise

Along with The Ring and others, 2004’s The Grudge, an American remake of the 2002 Japanese horror film Ju-on: The Grudge, was at the crest of Hollywood’s fascination with J-horror. (Fun fact, director Takashi Shimizu helmed both versions.) Since it’s been a few years, it’s time to dust off the familiar IP, this time with Nicolas Pesce in the big chair. He brought a great cast, his fascination with bathtubs, and now we have our first look. Check out the trailer for Sam Raimi-produced The Grudge below.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

'The Lighthouse' (2019) Movie Review

Where to begin with The Lighthouse? If you go in expecting the creeping Satanic dread of writer/director Robert Eggers last film, The Witch, you’ll be let down. That’s not to say there’s no creeping dread, because there’s plenty, it’s simply of a different sort. The film edges up to the supernatural, but is more concerned with what lurks inside, deep down, waiting to emerge. It’s also, as my notes taken during the screening attest, “weird as balls.” Somehow it works. I’m not always entirely certain how, but it does.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: 'Girl On The Third Floor' Movie Review

Renovating an old house is a major undertaking in the best of circumstances. And when the house in question is a haunted former house of ill-repute with a bad reputation around the neighborhood, it’s an even dicier proposition. But that’s not going to stop the intrepid Dan Koch (Phil “C.M. Punk” Brooks)—a disgraced businessman, adulterous husband to a pregnant wife (Trieste Kelly Dunn), and secret binge-drinker—from giving it the old college try in Girl on the Third Floor.

This 'Antlers' Trailer Has A Horrifying Secret

So, Antlers was already on my radar, vaguely as it’s a few months off. Still, a horror movie from director Scott Cooper (Hostiles, Out of the Furnace), producer Guillermo del Toro (The Devil’s Backbone), and starring Keri Russell (The Americans) and Jesse Plemons (Game Night) certainly warrants at least a modicum of attention. Better yet, it also has cannibals. But damn, this first trailer took the anticipation knob and cranked it to eleven.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker' Trailer Gives You One Last Look At Your Friends

UPDATED: Now with more poster!

ORIGINAL POST: Now that we’re getting a movie every year or so, plus the upcoming streaming shows and the glut of books and comics and other media, it’s a bit less special, but I will never not be excited for Star Wars movie. And the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits me in all the feelings places. Check it out for yourself below.

Monday, October 21, 2019

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: 'Porno' Movie Review

This is an updated version of an earlier 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.

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: '1BR' Movie Review

Where would horror, as a genre, be without cults? Or new-to-town transplants with troubled pasts searching for and finding what appears to be the perfect new home? For his first feature, 1BR, writer/director David Marmor combines these two genre staples for an up and down affair that, while ultimately a mixed bag with some pacing issues, pays off with solid tense, thrilling creeps.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: 'The Swerve' Movie Review

High school English teacher Holly (Azura Skye), the protagonist of writer/director Dean Kapsalis’ debut feature The Swerve, is harried, ignored, and unappreciated in every facet of her life. Her husband (Bryce Pinkham) is self-involved, her sons are brats, her students can’t be bothered, her alcoholic sister (Ashley Bell) mocks her, and even her own mother (Deborah Hedwall) berates her and puts her down. 

Thursday, October 17, 2019

'The Bygone' Trailer: This Grim Modern Western Should Have Left When It Had The Chance

A violent, gritty neo-western, you say? I’m an easy mark, you have my full attention. And the trailer for Graham and Parker Phillips’ new movie, The Bygone, certainly piques my interest. Check it out below.

Monday, October 14, 2019

10 Movies To See At Brooklyn Horror Film Festival 2019

It’s the spookiest month of the year, what better time for a horror film festival? And on that front, the fourth annual Brooklyn Horror Film Festival has you covered. It kicks off this week, runs through the weekend, and wraps up next week. In the meantime, it delivers a nice slate of genre goodies and horrific treats to gore up your October.

'Daniel Isn't Real' Trailer: Imaginary Friends Are Jerks

What if Drop Dead Fred but evil? That seems to be the general premise behind Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Daniel Isn’t Real. A troubled young man’s former imaginary friend returns to wreak havoc on his life, but in a much darker, more psychedelic way than in the 1991 Phoebe Cates comedy. (Though, to be fair, that movie is pretty damn weird.) Check out the latest trailer below.

Friday, October 11, 2019

HBO Orders 'Maniac Cop' Series From Nicolas Winding Refn And John Hyams

Nicolas Winding Refn has been talking about a Maniac Cop remake for years. Back in 2015 it was as a movie he would produce from Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning director John Hyams. Even then, he’d been talking about that since 2012. That version never materialized and despite periodic rumblings, we all assumed it was one of the many, many potential projects he expounds on that would never happen—it’s a regular occurrence. But here we are, in the year of our lord 2019, and there’s news that HBO is going to let Refn turn Maniac Cop into a series. And the world sucks a little bit less for the moment.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

'Gemini Man' (2019) Movie Review

It’s going to be weird to talk about Gemini Man, Ang Lee’s new Old-Will-Smith-versus-Young-Will-Smith action movie. Not because of the plot or acting or story or any of the usual suspects—though there is, as always, much to discus in those arenas—but because of the technology used to make it. By its very nature, this is going to create multiple different viewing experiences, even more so than the usual 3D, IMAX, etc. format choices, and potentially have more of an impact.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

'Eli' Trailer: Ciaran Foy Teams With Netflix For A Spooky Medical Haunted House

Director Ciaran Foy’s feature debut, Citadel, was one of my favorite movies of 2012, horror or otherwise. I think it’s criminally overlooked when we discuss the best horror films of the last decade. That said, his follow up, Sinister 2, wasn’t great. Still, I’m excited for his latest, Eli, which made my most anticipated movies of 2019 list, even if it has been delayed for some time. It drops on Netflix in a couple weeks and to drum up interest, there’s this creepy new trailer and poster.

'Devil's Revenge' (2019) Movie Review

Devil’s Revenge is horror movie about “a down-on-his-luck archaeologist who returns from a cave expedition that contains a cursed relic that’s also a portal to Hell. He discovers that the only way to stop the curse on his family is to go back to the cave and destroy the relic.” It also stars Star Trek alums William Shatner and Jeri Ryan and is precisely the movie you expect from the title, description, cast, and general low-budget horror schlock. YMMV.