I can’t believe I’m writing this, but Zack Snyder’s Justice League justifies its own existence. Actually, I’ll go even further than that: I truly enjoyed the Snyder Cut, despite thoroughly disliking the 2017 theatrical cut. The new version is overly long for a theatrical film, but in an era when Marvel is turning out hour-after-hour of content as TV shows, this HBO Max feature finally makes some sense of what Zack Snyder was getting at in his otherwise largely incoherent DC movies. As an exercise in unadulterated auteur theory, it’s pretty good and thoroughly interesting, warts and all.(more…)
‘Lucky’ (2021): Just a Part of Living in this World
Lucky is a new horror film on Shudder that comes out of SXSW 2020, and is a movie that I came away extremely impressed with. Honestly the film only grows in my esteem the more I think about it, and there’s a lot of substance in its brisk 83 minute runtime. I’ll give my initial [spoiler-free] thoughts before digging into the details of the ending.
A quick plot synopsis: May Ryer (played by Brea Grant, writer of the film) lives with her husband Ted in what seems to be a loving (if somewhat chilly) long-term relationship. One night, May awakens to a masked intruder breaking into her house. When she wakes up her husband, he informs her that “that’s the man that comes every night and tries to kill us.” Together they fight him off and “kill” him, only for the man to disappear, Michael Myers-style. I’ll leave the synopsis at that, suffice it to say that the questions and danger only begin there.(more…)
WandaVision and the Creative Tether of the MCU
This weekend, like a lot of people, I finished the first (only?) season of Marvel’s WandaVision TV show. I didn’t expect to have strong opinions about the show – I’m someone who normally watches all of the MCU films as they come out, but doesn’t really give them a ton of thought afterwards. Sure, this show has a really interesting premise and style, but it will probably be more of the same… right? Well the show really surprised me and grabbed my interest, and I have a lot of thoughts about its finale. [Spoilers] are ahead.(more…)
‘Pete’s Dragon’ Review: Wonder over Nostagia
Pete’s Dragon (2016) is a magical live-action Disney adventure that harkens back to family films of decades past. It is a children’s film that treats its audience with respect, and is very mature in its exploration of magic and wonder. Recently I had the pleasure of attending the premiere at the El Capitan theater in Hollywood, courtesy of The View and Fantasy Movie League. The experience was delightful, and I have many thoughts about the film itself. I am going to keep this post mostly [spoiler-free], keeping the conversation to my thoughts about characters, pacing, and tone. (more…)
‘Swiss Army Man’ Spoiler Review: A Corpse Multi-Tool for Your Survival Needs
Swiss Army Man was perhaps the most polarizing film of Sundance. There are stories of how people walked out of its premiere screening, and it’s easy to see why. Depending on expectations, this film could be a kinetic masterpiece or an extended fart joke. Personally, I think the film is the former. This movie is completely insane, and I believe that “The Daniels” (Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) are the next Neveldine and Taylor, but with a stronger eye for the cinematic. My opinion is that this movie is best if you go into it completely fresh, but unfortunately the trailer gives away a number of surprises. If you haven’t seen anything, I recommend stopping here and just seeing the film; however, I’ll do my best to keep spoilers to what’s in the trailer for the first portion of this review. (more…)
‘Deadpool’ Review: The Suit isn’t Green or Animated
I was able to catch an early screening of Deadpool, and am pleased to say that it is definitely the Deadpool movie that fans have been clamoring for since X-Men Origins: Wolverine totally tanked the character. I’ve never been a huge fan of the character, but I found the movie darkly funny throughout, and on par with similar entries like Kick-Ass or Kingsman: The Secret Service. Here are some mostly spoiler-free (as if spoilers matter here) thoughts. (more…)
Things I Learned from ‘Terminator Genisys’
I’m a fan of Terminator films. The first two movies are classics, and I didn’t hate Rise of the Machines. The franchise is ripe for another entry, and with James Cameron endorsing the new film, I figured it was worth checking out. How bad could it be?
Famous last words. I was really, really disappointed with Terminator: Genisys. Here are my biggest takeaways from the film. I’m tagging this post as [spoilers], I guess, though honestly if you’ve seen the trailer and any mediocre action movie in the past 15 years, the movie doesn’t offer many surprises.
Review: ‘The Primary Instinct’ Exceeds Listeners’ Expectations
This review was written following the International Film Festival of Boston.
A few weekends ago I was able to catch a screening of David Chen and Stephen Tobolowsky’s The Primary Instinct, which premieres tonight and tomorrow at the Seattle International Film Festival. Based on the highly successful podcast The Tobolowsky Files, the movie is a concert documentary in which Stephen recounts stories of his life, finding existential meaning in a variety of seemingly disparate stories. The result is a fascinating experience unique to Tobolowsky, and one that must be witnessed to be understood.