Debuting in 1992, Ed Boon and John Tobias’s arcade game Mortal Kombat shook the foundation of popular kulture almost immediately. It wasn’t just the karacter design (digitized versions of real people known as “sprites”) or the in-game mythos, but the… Read More ›
Welcome to Fistful of Features, a celebration of film preservation through physical media and the discussion of cinematic treasures to maintain their relevance in the cultural lexicon. I’m taking a different approach this time around and decided to focus on… Read More ›
February 2021 saw the theatrical release of a new Studio Ghibli film, Earwig and the Witch, and it wasn’t quite as well received as hoped. While the switch from hand-drawn animation to 3D CG was, initially, off-putting, the real issue… Read More ›
The unique benefits of “The Spine of Night” outweigh its sometimes impenetrable downsides. [SXSW Film Festival]
Of the nominations for Best Animated Film at this year’s Academy Awards, Onward, Over the Moon, Shaun The Sheep: Farmageddon, Soul, and Wolfwalkers, not a single one of them was made for anything but family audiences in mind. It’s a… Read More ›
The dinner table is a universal symbol of community, nourishment, and respite, but directors of horror movies often repurpose the place where people come together for a meal to create some of the most awkward and unsettling cinematic moments of… Read More ›
Three years after her directorial debut Head Count, Elle Callahan returns with the allegorical Witch Hunt. A mixture of YA tropes, fantasy, and horror, Witch Hunt imagines an alternate Earth wherein witch craft is illegal in America to the point… Read More ›
Director Paul W.S. Anderson’s video game adaptation “Monster Hunter” possesses the potential to be the start of something grand.
I’m a recent convert, but I love me some Monster Hunter videogames. They’re simple on the surface, but nearly impossible to truly master without pouring countless hours grinding and studying the habits and weaknesses of each bit of prey assigned… Read More ›
A good marketing campaign will make clear what the product is about so that consumers won’t feel flummoxed about how to engage with the object. It’s partly why marketing happens, so that there’s a sense of familiarity. When it comes… Read More ›
Books are a frequent source of mining in cinema. Sometimes their adaptations becomes something larger than possibly imagined (The Shawshank Redemption), while others support the notion that the imagination of the reader trumps anything celluloid can conjure (Artemis Fowl). Audiences… Read More ›
Originally slated for February 7th, 2020, the second-part of the Fengshen Cinematic Universe went into stasis until a brief theatrical rollout in October 2020. Now, though, nearly a year after it was to hit cinemaplexes, Jiang Ziya (also known as… Read More ›
To quote Keanu Reeves, “I love movies.” While he has the joy of making them and watching them, I love them for their transportive abilities. They can move you through time to see a version of what has been, expel… Read More ›
Studio Ghibli’s Earwig and the Witch marks their 22nd feature film and their first 3D animated feature. Adapted from the 2011 novel by Diana Wynne Jones (the second film of theirs adapted from her books, the first being Howl’s Moving… Read More ›
Experience director Ryûhei Kitamura’s newly restored exercise in controlled escalation, “Versus,” in a brand new way.
By director Ryûhei Kitamura’s own admission, labels are reductive and restrictive. Though they may help audiences to know where to look on the shelf for something or programmers to know where to schedule, labels imply as much the absence of… Read More ›
Beautiful and intimate, yet cold and distant, “The Midnight Sky” lacks the cohesion to make it wondrous.
When it comes to George Clooney films, there’s a little something for everyone. You like him endearing and silly, Return of the Killer Tomatoes (1988). You like him sexy and deadly, From Dusk Till Dawn (1996). Or perhaps more maudlin… Read More ›
Propelled by grief, haunted by loss, Johannes Nyholm’s repetitious “Koko-di Koko-da” is an unexpected ear worm of horror.
There is, in nature, an expectation of form and function. The seasons bring about growth and change as Earth undergoes a period of refreshment and blossoming before wilting and decaying, only to start it over again with the return of… Read More ›
“Luz: The Flower of Evil” offers a folk-horror tale that is both all-too-realistic and wonderfully fantastical.
Last year, Ari Aster set the bar high for “daylight” horror films with Midsommar, a terrifying fantasy that casts its disturbing events against a beautiful, blossoming, sunlit backdrop. The genre-play proved to be quite successful for Aster, although the effect… Read More ›
Werewolves. Vampires. Zombies. Each of these monsters of the dark owe their origins to legends and myths, to a time before science when fear ran roughshod over reason. That part of ourselves remains present even now and yet we find… Read More ›
“Reel Conversations” highlights filmmakers behind official Real to Reel Film Festival Selections. On this episode of “Reel Conversations,” Thomas Manning speaks with Jim Picariello, the writer/director for The Mushroom Huntress. Jim Picariello is a Real to Reel alumnus, and The… Read More ›
Despite an engaging aesthetic and good performances, “The Block Island Sound” doesn’t totally manifest. [Fantasia Film Festival]
Everyone has their favorite urban legends, mine typically revolve around abandoned places and towns that have no explanation in their abandonments. Others like bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, or the Bermuda Triangle. It’s easy to see that the latter is… Read More ›