Friday, July 28, 2023

'Restore Point' (2023) Movie Review

a detective and a corpse
What if you could save your life at a certain point and, if you die unexpectedly, can then reset to that moment, like a video game? That’s the general idea of director Robert Hloz’s Restore Point, a slice of dystopian sci-fi. A solid, sturdy neo-noir, the film combines a twisting mystery and cool world building with an intriguing idea that plays something like Chinatown by way of Minority Report, both thematically and aesthetically. 

Thursday, July 27, 2023

'Devils' Movie Review

devils south korean movie fantasia 2023
The easiest, most obvious comparison point for director Kim Jae-hoon’s Devils is John Woo’s 1997 Face/Off. While not an exact one-to-one correlation, the two are similar enough that it’s definitely worth a mention and provides a good idea of what to expect. Both revolve around a cop and a serial killer who swap bodies and the ensuing game of cat-and-mouse, though Kim’s film works more in thriller territory than Woo’s bonkers action realm. None of this is meant to be dismissive, and though they walk similar lines, Devils does enough by the end to differentiate itself and make excellent an intriguing use of its core concept.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

'Sympathy For The Devil' (2023) Movie Review

nicolas cage and joel kinnaman
It’s hard to make a movie about two people alone in a car compelling. It’s been done, but unfortunately for Sympathy for the Devil, that’s not one of the film’s strong suits. Even Nicolas Cage fully let off the leash to riff and ramble and devour scenery and rant about the Mucous Man sprinkling boogers into his childhood nose isn’t enough to make this interesting or save an otherwise tepid, humdrum thriller.

Friday, July 21, 2023

'Blackout' Movie Review

a man about to turn into a werewolf
After messing with vampires and Frankenstein, in Habit and Depraved respectively, indie horror fave Larry Fessenden returns with his take on werewolves in Blackout. Set in a small town in upstate New York, painter Charley Barrett (Alex Hurt, son of William Hurt, which comes into play in one uniquely pointed way) makes his way through his last day in town, wrapping up loose ends, visiting friends one final time, and trying to right a few lingering wrongs on the way out the door. Complicating his exit, it turns out Charley is a werewolf and responsible for a number of recent deaths the elder powerbroker of this minor hamlet, Hammond (Marshall Bell), has chosen to blame on Miguel (Rigo Garay) despite a lack of evidence.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Fantasia 2023: 10 Films To Check Out

Wait, it’s been a year already? I guess that’s what happens when time loses all meaning. The good news, however, is that since a year has passed it’s already time for the 2023 installment of the Fantasia Film Festival in ye olde Montreal.

Friday, July 7, 2023

'Once Upon A Time In Uganda' (2021) Movie Review

this is wakaliwood!
If you’re a fan of action movies, you owe it to yourself to dive into the filmography of no-budget Ugandan film studio Wakaliwood. Shot in a slum, with budgets that top out in the hundreds of dollars, mastermind Isaac Nabwana, a former brickmaker, has assembled a beyond-ragtag crew that has pumped out some of the most energetic, entertaining action movies you’ll ever see. The story of how this exists in the first place is even more unlikely than the plots of the movies, and Cathryne Czubek’s documentary Once Upon a Time in Uganda tracks the saga of the wildest action movie studio around.