The Meg delivers a fierce prehistoric bite without falling prey to campiness or gratuitous gore. The shark thriller has more science fiction elements than expected. Director John Turteltaub (Cool Runnings, National Treasure) has a story to tell with the monster hunt. This is both a positive and negative. The characters are fully fleshed out, but the narrative lulls with their excessive dialogue. Thankfully the bone chomping action kicks in on cue…Read More
Ari Aster's Hereditary isn't scary, in the traditional sense. Meaning, the first-time feature-film director doesn't rely on jump scares or cheap gimmicks to goose you out of your seat.
No, Hereditary is scary in an unconventional way. It unnerves you. It gradually earns your trust, because it wants you to believe, wholeheartedly, in its campfire tale so that when the final card is shown, you'll tumble over the edge with the movie into the full grip of insanity. Make no mistake, the final act of Hereditary is an assault. But it's one that this movie earns, through each deliberate and disturbing step…Read More
Stop-motion animation is a remarkable art form. There is a certain luddite aspect to it, as the powers of modern computers could render in hours what it takes weeks for artists to physically build. But there is arguably no cinematic medium greater at conveying levels of detail or handmade craftsmanship. It ultimately makes for a unique screening experience, as you find yourself drawn into each sumptuous frame as you're embedded in the story.
Of course, not every filmmaker can pull off making a stop-motion animated movie... but writer/director Wes Anderson absolutely can…Read More
Luckily, despite some storytelling and technical shortcomings, the film is ultimately a flawed-yet-powerful look at international policy, racial politics, and familial obligations that hits the mark farrr more often than it misses...Read More
In 2012, Marvel released The Avengers and fundamentally changed the idea of what's possible in blockbuster filmmaking. Five years later, DC has finally managed to bring its own superhero team to life with Zack Snyder's Justice League, and while the result is enjoyable, it also could be better. While it's nowhere near as innovative as its Marvel counterpart, and kind of a hot mess in a few fundamental ways, Justice League is also an insanely fun time as it absolutely nails these DC heroes, offers up some phenomenal fan service, and promises a ton of hope for the future of the DCEU...Read More
Ridley Scott's Blade Runner is arguably the biggest and best cult movie ever made. Its original form was famously dismissed by critics and general audiences alike, but subsequent re-edits and the persistent fluorescent and rainy vision of futurist Syd Mead which has been used constantly in both old and modern anime, have allowed it to stay relevant in pop culture to the point where it's now viewed as a sci-fi masterpiece. The film took the long road in establishing its legacy -- but director Denis Villeneuve's(Sicario, Arrival) new sequel, Blade Runner 2049, won't be taking that same path. It won't take 35 years to view it as a sci-fi masterpiece because this time around, people are going to recognize it immediately...Read More
Horror films have different effects on different people. Personally, I'm a challenging cinephile to shock, but I still have an infinite respect for material that can clearly be recognized as frightening and well made. That in mind, director Andres Muschietti's IT made me feel something that I haven't felt since probably when I first saw The Witch. As I watched Bill Skarsgard's wholly disturbing clown, Pennywise, simultaneously terrorize on-screen children and the audience around me, I was filled with a juxtaposing, wonderful joy. It's not only exciting to see a movie that can elicit such an impressive visceral reaction, but also create a rich, cinematic world that somehow manages to be both terrifying and inviting...Read More
With WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES, as the title suggest, war is the status quo. Director Matt Reeves returns (co-writing this film, along with Mark Bomback, who also had a hand in scripting DAWN) in what is hands down the boldest and bleakest APES entry yet, once again shifting the focus further into the world of the apes...Read More