Friday, April 13, 2018

Truth or Dare - Review

In 2018’s second game themed film, Blumhouse brings the world Truth or Dare. A studio that has slowly become somewhat respected in the horror genre, returns to the days of releasing really dumb movies. If a film titled Truth or Dare ever had potential to be good, the filmmakers destroyed any that and instead delivered one of the worst films of the year.

Isle of Dogs - Review

Anytime a director like Wes Anderson, with his track record and distinct style, releases a new film, it feels like a gift to film lovers. A return to stop motion animation nine years after Fantastic Mr. Fox makes that gift even sweeter. The picturesque nature of Anderson fits neatly inside the detailed world of stop motion animation, a perfect combination if you will. Throw in dogs on top of that and it’s really hard to imagine the final product being anything but quirky and fun.

Friday, April 6, 2018

A Quiet Place - Review

Perhaps the most underappreciated element of a truly great horror flick is the use of sound. The implementation of the creepy or the complete unsettling silence, sound in scary situations is vital to executing an effective horror. One of these well-made films, in surprising fashion, comes from an unlikely source, a former television comedy star in John Krasinski, who seemingly announces his entrance onto the scene with an incredible film.

Blockers - Review

Is it possible for there to be two great comedies from major studios before the first quarter of 2018 is even over? After Game Night received its praise earlier this year, it seems Blockers is getting its fair share now as well, though the two are wildly different outside of their ability to separate from typical studio fare. Simply put, Blockers is a gender bent, raunchy, teen comedy that is a mashed up 2018 version of multiple past films into something that surprisingly works.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Ready Player One - Review

Internet takes and discussions on the potential quality of Ready Player One have been ongoing since the first trailer dropped with may forgetting one important man behind the production: Steven Spielberg. Coupled with a quality source material from Ernest Cline and it’s hard to imagine how the film could be anything less than a fantastic big screen experience at minimum. All of the proper pieces for the equation are there, but what do they add up to?

Friday, March 23, 2018

Pacific Rim: Uprising - Review

A sequel not bringing back the original director is never the best omen for its potential success, at least from a critical standpoint, and that director being fresh off an Oscar win is even more disappointing for fans of the first film. Luckily there is still plenty of Jaegar and Kaiju action to make up for the lack of creativity and a charismatic lead in John Boyega certainly can’t hurt either.

Friday, March 9, 2018

A Wrinkle in Time - Review

An adaptation of the beloved novel A Wrinkle in Time was always going be put under a microscope. Add onto that the expectations that come from one of the more exciting working directors in Hollywood today signing on in Ava DuVernay, plus the fact that she is the first African American woman to direct a film with a budget over $100 million, and you’ve got a pretty hefty amount of pressure in play. And with expectations, come disappointments as well.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Red Sparrow - Review

A woman put through rigorous training to make her a machine for the Russian government to use in whatever way they see fit, until she begins to have her own doubts about the government she serves. But enough about Black Widow. This R-rated spy thriller seems very similar to the Marvel heroin, however, far more brutal and violent than a Marvel film could be. Could this film deliver what Marvel has yet to?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Oscar Predictions - Part Four: The Big Six

Unfortunately for the viewing public, it appears, at least on the surface that every single one of the big categories is a lock (outside of Best Picture because it really can’t be a lock anymore, but more on that later). But there have been upsets in the past with apparent easy winners, so it’s at least worth looking at a little bit, so here are the final round of predictions for the 2018 Oscars, the Big Ones.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Oscar Predictions - Part Three: The Indicators

Halfway through the categories and most of the smaller ones are finished. With the heavy hitters waiting in the wings for tomorrow, the bigger but not quite the biggest awards come now. With a few categories that could be heavy indicators of what is to come with THE big one, here is Part Three of Oscar Predictions.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Oscar Predictions - Part Two: Shorts and Features

Part One was full of fairly straightforward picks on who should take home each trophy, but Part Two is where Oscar picks are broken. With three short film categories that are the equivalent of throwing a dart at a two inch target while blindfolded, and the feature categories that are less up in the air but still could get crazy. Without further ado, the predictions for the shorts and features:

Monday, February 26, 2018

Oscar Predictions - Part One: Sights and Sounds

With only one week left before Hollywood’s biggest night, it’s time to break down the nominees and make some final predictions. Over the next four days, each of the twenty-four categories will be discussed, from the favorites to the potential upsets and finally a prediction. Up first, the technical categories.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Game Night - Review

Studio comedies over the past few years just haven’t been cutting it. Whether unoriginal retreads or unfunny messes, true comedies haven’t been too successful (critically or commercially). But the key to any comedy from the onset is an interesting premise, and thankfully Game Night has that and a pretty solid cast to boot, all the markings of potential at least.

Annihilation - Review

Not far removed from his exceptional Ex Machina, director Alex Garland steps behind the camera again for another Sci-Fi venture. This time the weirdness is elevated to ridiculous levels, creating a world that’s as equally mesmerizing as it is terrifying. Throw in an excellent cast full of talented women and the recipe is set for a successful film.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Early Man - Review

As a studio, the often forgotten Aardman Animations releases very few feature length films. Since 2000, the studios first venture into the feature film game with Chicken Run, Aardman has only released seven feature films. To various degrees of reception, of course, but all relatively successful. And following a rather weak 2017 in terms of animation, getting an Aardman release just two months in is a good sign for 2018.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Black Panther - Review

As if Marvel Studios needed any assistance to garner attention and praise for their cinematic universe, now 18 films deep, they go out and put together their best cast and crew to date. Starting with a solid leading man with Chadwick Boseman, and introducing him in Captain America: Civil War, was a great start, but placing the sheer immeasurable talent around him almost insured that Black Panther was going to be successful.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The 15:17 to Paris - Review

As Clint Eastwood appears to be ever increasingly pulled towards telling stories of real life heroes, his newest film takes it a step further by including the actual individuals who lived the event. Undoubtedly an interesting and harrowing tale of heroism amidst a potentially monumental tragedy, The 15:17 to Paris takes a brief yet tension thick event and attempts to translate it into a feature length, ninety-minute affair.

Fifty Shades Freed - Review

On the bright side, at least Fifty Shades Freed isn’t split into two parts. The finale of the most unlikely franchise comes around to grace us with its presence one last time. The optimistic angle means hoping and praying that the threequel can be just a bit better than the predecessors, even if that doesn’t mean much in the long run.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Winchester - Review

In a weird coincidence, the first two horror films of 2018 feature women over the age of 70 as the lead. Insidious: The Last Key featured Lin Shaye (74) and Winchester features Helen Mirren (72). While Shaye has been a part of the Insidious franchise for a while now, this is Mirren’s first go at schlocky early year horror and let’s just say the yearly January atrocity came just a week too late.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Maze Runner: The Death Cure - Review

To have a director stick around for all three films in a trilogy, one that isn’t exactly killing it at the box office or with critics, is probably the most commendable aspect of the Maze Runner franchise. Wes Ball returns for the third and final installment for some more entertaining action over anything of substance that the franchise has been since the beginning. It’s nothing if not consistent, even if it feels like the last gasp of the dystopian, young-adult novel adaptation sub-genre.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Phantom Thread - Review

In a film that features the last performance from one of the best actors of all time in Daniel Day-Lewis, it is hard to fathom why anyone would need more incentive to see said film beyond that. But if you need more convincing just look at the director behind the film in Paul Thomas Anderson and you could see that Phantom Thread was bound to be a worthwhile endeavor from the start. The combination of these two master artists just can’t be missed at this point.

12 Strong - Review

Soldiers on horseback. The imagery evokes the classical Western and the hero it so often features. It’s easy to see why the story of the Horse Soldiers was on Hollywood’s radar, never missing a chance to visually set a film apart while also telling an inherently interesting story. Toss in a charismatic lead to slap on the poster, a handful of firefights, and a bunch of banter and that war film is ready to go, clich├ęs and all.

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Commuter - Review

With perhaps one of the biggest back half career shifts, Liam Neeson’s role as the action star has been kept afloat by director Jaume Collet-Serra’s continued collaboration. In their fourth time working together in seven years, the director-actor combo looks to continue their string of semi-successful, enjoyable action films with The Commuter.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Insidious: The Last Key - Review

Perhaps the least enjoyable month as far as films are concerned, January has rolled around again to end the wonderful quality of the last few months. However, the month has been producing a few surprises lately and while certainly not always great films, the overall quality isn’t a completely lost slog of a month. Not to mention the Insidious series is a pretty solid horror franchise and the newest entry, at least from a visual standpoint, looks interesting. Is it possible that January isn’t the dumping ground for bad movies anymore?