2018’s horror thriller A Quiet Place is one of the bigger surprises of 2018 not because it was actor John Krasinski’s second time in the director’s chair, but because it used the conventions of horror to tell a compelling and… Read More ›
“Hail to the Deadites” is the imperfectly perfect documentary for the imperfectly perfect “Evil Dead” series fan.
Inspiration can strike just about anywhere. Maybe it’s in the silence of doing nothing; the mind unobstructed by screens, music, or other noise becomes able to roam freely through the possibilities. Other times, inspiration comes from a question you ask… Read More ›
Crime thriller “HYDRA” may spend more time on dialogue than the fights, but each throwdown is worth the price of admission.
When it comes to a certain kind of film, audiences almost always know what they’re in for based on who’s distributing it. Arthouse drama or fantasy? The mind goes to A24. Family-friendly in live-action or animation? First thought: Walt Disney… Read More ›
“Fear Street Part 3: 1666” sticks the landing as it ends the trilogy where the core narrative began.
“I get knocked down, but I get up again. You are never gonna keep me down” – Chumbawumba The first installment in the Fear Street trilogy of Netflix films was a loving, if not sometimes heavy-handed homage to the resurgence… Read More ›
Documentarian Julien Faraut successfully preserves the incredible story of the 1964 Japanese volleyball team, even if the presentation lacks the energy the true story deserves. [North Bend Film Festival]
Storytelling is all about execution. You can have the most fascinating, compelling, edge-of-your-seat concept, but, if the execution flounders, nothing else matters. Take the story about the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo which saw the introduction of volleyball as an… Read More ›
Norwegian comedy “Ninjababy” blends humor and animation, illustrating the complexities of navigating an unexpected pregnancy. [North Bend Film Festival]
Mixed media films are not particularly unique in and of themselves, but, when done well, they add an element of otherworldliness or imagination to the story. The rotoscoping in Waking Life (2001) empowers the scene with Timothy “Speed” Levitch to… Read More ›
Adventurous, heartrending, and undeniably raw, “CODE NAME: Nagasaki” offers a reimagined documentary told through the language of cinema. [North Bend Film Festival]
When it comes to self-discovery, there is no one right path, no universal means for those who walk this earth to become comfortable with themselves. This is the struggle, the burden we all share, whether we’ll admit it or not…. Read More ›
Pop culture propagation and Looney Tunes nuttiness are just the tip-off for “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
The last year or so has seen sequels to long-ago films released — Bad Boys for Life (2020), Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) — and we’ve still got Top Gun: Maverick (2021) and Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021) still to… Read More ›
Coming off the heat of “Part 1,” “Fear Street Part 2: 1978” cools the intensity as the middle of the trilogy.
After a strong, but not mind-blowing first installment with Fear Street Part 1: 1994 last week, Leigh Janiak and Netflix’s unique approach to a horror trilogy based on R.L. Stine’s young adult novels adapted as hard-R slashers had decent-sized shoes… Read More ›
“Peace by Chocolate” isn’t tempered to satiate an instant craving, but to preserve a legacy. [Tribeca Festival]
Immigrant stories are treated as all-to-common and extraordinary in the same breath, especially in the United States and Canada. The majority of people who live in both countries did not originate there and each possess a legacy of doing terrible… Read More ›
Despite mixed success with the action and emotional resonance of the drama, you can still see the promise within “Silat Warriors: Deed of Death.”
Though the highest grossing films in Malaysia mostly come from the international market, one shouldn’t discount the country for its own cinematic successes. There’s docudrama The Big Durian (2003), the first Malaysian film to screen at the Sundance Film Festival,… Read More ›
“Fear Street Part 1: 1994” may be a YA adaptation at its core, but that doesn’t stop it from getting buckwild.
There are some things that just work better on Netflix. For as much as some films like The Old Guard and The Midnight Sky practically beg to be seen on a big screen, the streaming giant does offer films and… Read More ›
Saint Maud is one of my favorite films I’ve seen this year, and I think it’s a damn shame how A24 treated it by hocking it to EPIX, of all streamers, for its tiny release. It represents the best that… Read More ›
Anachronistic historical revisionist animated action comedy “America: The Motion Picture” delights on first viewing with plenty to appreciate upon repeated indulgences.
Ordinarily, listing out who produced a film is never a promise of quality. It lets you know who helped create and shape the project, sure, but it’s not a guarantee that the new thing is as good as the previous…. Read More ›
Introduced in Iron Man 2 (2010), Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow, has been a key component in nearly every Avengers story since. If not for her, Tony (Robert Downey Jr.) and Rhodey (Don Cheadle) would’ve been toast well… Read More ›
#18 of the Paramount Presents line is the Blu-ray debut for adult western “Last Train from Gun Hill.”
For just over a year, the Paramount Presents premiere home video label from Paramount Pictures continues to restore and release films from within their deep well of material. It began with Fatal Attraction (1987), King Creole (1958), and To Catch… Read More ›
Tragically haunting, “My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To” forces the audience to consider difficult questions.
Quiet horror is not a particularly marketable asset to a major studio, and it’s because of that that we just don’t see much of it in the immediate landscape of the genre today. Audiences demand bigger thrills, louder jump-scares, and… Read More ›
When it comes to adapting games, especially video games, for cinema, the track record is low for success. While there’s some fun to be had in Doom (2005) or Mortal Kombat (1995), it’s best not to mention any appreciation for… Read More ›
Without stooping to sensationalism, Dawn Porter’s “Rise Again: Tulsa and the Red Summer” offers hope amid horror.
In 2020, documentarian Dawn Porter explored two very different political figures via her films John Lewis: Good Trouble and The Way I See It. The first followed Congressman and activist John Lewis, who passed away in 2020, while the second… Read More ›
By-the-numbers action thriller “Assault on VA-33” surprises in its examination on veteran treatment.
Around Elements of Madness, story is everything. We’re not looking for giant budgets, major studios, or the biggest names; we’re looking for an interesting idea or an engaging twist on something old. Enter the Scott Thomas Reynolds-written (2nd Chance for… Read More ›