Monday - January 30, 2023

Posts Tagged With ‘ Movie Reviews ’

 

Arms Up to Heaven (Movie Review: To The Moon)

October 24th, 2022

I need to give you a little bit of background about how we do things around these parts. I’m privileged because the site I write for allows me to write about anything I want. Nobody has ever said, “Hey, how about not so much of this MCU nonsense?” Nobody has ever DMd me and proclaimed, “You will no longer write about horror movies if you know what’s good for you.” I’m grateful for that.  Despite having free reign to cover whatever strikes my fancy, I think it’s important to have some variety. It’s not only the spice of life, it’s the spice of film criticism. You don’t need... Read More

Michael Myers in the Multiverse of Madness (Movie Review: Halloween Ends)

October 24th, 2022

Over time, audiences have been trained to regard franchises a certain way. The understanding is that everything is connected, and a plot point or character that’s introduced will be paid off in a later installment. Look at the MCU. When a person or concept is brought up, those in the know smile and think, “They’re really going to do something cool with that two to six years down the road!” It wasn’t always that way. Studios got into the habit of treating sequels as “the same, but more” as the original. Die Hard II is basically the same movie as Die Hard, only not as good. If they... Read More

A Journalist of Some Repute (Movie Review: Confess, Fletch)

September 29th, 2022

I’m fond, perhaps too much, of saying that two things can be true at the same time. The first thing is that attempting to reboot a long-dormant franchise is foolish. Nobody is clamoring for a revival of Francis the Talking Mule. Millions of people online aren’t pestering studio bigwigs for an updated Ma and Pa Kettle. Some things, once cinematically dead, should stay dead. So it was for the Fletch franchise. At least, I thought so. Long, long ago, Chevy Chase was one of the world’s biggest stars. 1987’s Fletch was a solid hit for him, and understandably so. It’s Chase’s favorite film... Read More

Revenge Is Like a River (Movie Review: Saloum)

September 29th, 2022

I’ve seen enough American movies to know what they look and feel like. Odds are you’re the same way. Whether you’ve seen an A24 horror film, an entry in the MCU, or a prestige Oscar contender, you have a pretty good sense of the expected beats. That doesn’t mean that every film released in this country is predictable, but what it does mean is that American movies are generally made with American sensibilities in mind. There’s a vast and fascinating world of cinema beyond our borders, and one of the most fun aspects is to gauge how those foreign sensibilities are both different and similar... Read More

The Bracelet (Movie Review: Ava: A Twist in the Road)

September 12th, 2022

Independent film exists because studios exist. Show business, particularly these days, has an almost sociopathic focus on the “business” side. Due to the coming merger of streaming behemoths HBO Max and Discovery+, nearly completed films were shelved and declared to be tax write-offs. TV programs that were deemed to be not profitable enough were canceled and/or removed entirely from the streaming library. In the end, money rules all with the studios. No big surprise there, and the reason that Marvel Studios is the name in four-quadrant popular cinematic entertainment is that the movies make... Read More

Family Ties (Movie Review: Take the Night)

September 12th, 2022

Perhaps more than any other genre, crime films are my jam. Everyone who’s into film has that one genre they prefer just a bit more than the others. Even snooty old film critics will give a pass to their beloved “elevated horror” films or to historical dramas. It’s never been about bias, just personal preference. A film that focuses on scumbags up to assorted scumbaggery? Great, sign me up! I can hang with the sweeping L.A. crime saga of Heat, the chilly nihilism of No Country for Old Men, the jittery panic of Training Day; the list goes on. While I’m not sure the crime genre has quite... Read More

Actionable History (Movie Review: The Woman King)

September 12th, 2022

As recently as 2019,* an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal trotted out that hoary old chestnut about women in the military. You’ve heard this before, the idea that women aren’t as strong as men, are injured far more often, and that by reducing the physical standards of recruits, the lethality of the military will be reduced and the odds of invasion by our hated enemy, Canada, will only increase. Plus there’s the concern that a coed military means a sexually active military, and we certainly can’t have that!** The fact that this lame old argument keeps being made says to me that the people... Read More

A Regular Dude (Review: Vengeance Is Mine)

October 25th, 2021

There have been eleven movies made with the title Vengeance is Mine. The first of those films was made way back in 1912, proving that even in those sepia-hued days of the Titanic, massive dinner parties, and the birth of the Oreo, people also wanted to see movies where somebody who’s gotten screwed over achieves satisfaction. I’m perfectly fine with revenge movies. One of the greatest ever made is John Wick, where a thoughtless act of cruelty unleashes a storm of violence on a truly Biblical scale. For a revenge movie to work, three elements need to be firmly in place. They are: An interesting... Read More

Michael’s Game (Review: Halloween Kills)

October 18th, 2021

He was close. He thought he was ready, but at the last moment, he stepped away. Wait — let me back up and I’ll explain. To set the stage, last weekend I knew my upcoming review would be Halloween Kills, the latest entry in the extremely venerable franchise. The film picks up moments after the end of the 2018 Halloween, and as I had a little free time, rewatching Halloween felt like a good move. As my son Liam has gotten older, he’s been developing his own tastes when it comes to film. He has directors he likes* and films he’s been curious about.** The only genre he hasn’t leapt into is... Read More

Antisocial Worker (The Gateway)

October 11th, 2021

Movie stars are good. Serious Actors are better. Best of all are That Guys.* Even if you’re a casual film viewer, you likely have a favorite That Guy. In blockbusters, they’ll show up in supporting roles, often playing the same 2-3 kinds of roles. Michael Biehn, for example, is an excellent That Guy, and he carved out a pretty good niche playing steely-eyed military types and psychopaths.  Better yet is when That Guys get a chance in the spotlight. This almost always happens in smaller films, and to my mind, that’s a good thing. Those smaller films tend to be more interesting, riskier, more... Read More