Before the release of this new Guardians of the Galaxy installment, I felt like Marvel had zombified me. Since the studio’s massive saga-ender Avengers: Endgame, I have continued going to the theater to see each new entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. None of these films have moved me in any sort of way. I simply show up, sit numb in the dirty theater seat, and then leave the film without any strong emotions whatsoever. Even Spider-Man: No Way Home, a film many enjoyed, left me strikingly cold. I simply no longer care about this multi-franchise empire.
However, something about James Gunn’s take on the Guardians works on me in a different way. Where Marvel’s phase four (are we on four? five?) felt like a series of films introducing or re-introducing characters without a meaningful sense of Continue reading Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 (2023) Movie Review →
Sandwiched between the releases of two massive Summer blockbusters, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 3 and Fast X, were a meager selection of smaller films. There’s the hypnosis crime thriller from Robert Rodriguez starring Ben Affleck. There’s the sequel to the quiet, soft hit Book Club. There’s also Sony’s shabby looking live-action anime adaptation Knights of the Zodiac.
Then, there’s BlackBerry. If any of these small and mid-budget movies are worth your time, it is BlackBerry. A tech entrepreneur biopic in the style of a classical tragedy, Matt Johnson’s film charts the rise and fall of Research in Motion (RIM), the startup that developed the BlackBerry. In particular, it zooms in on Continue reading BlackBerry (2023) Movie Review →
My relationship with the John Wick films has been a turbulent one. My review for John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum revised my review of John Wick: Chapter Two. In re-watching the films in preparation for this new, epic-length chapter, I found my fondness for the first film waning. There is enjoyment to be had in all three films, and the stunt work in the first film was arguably a wake-up call to the rest of Hollywood to step up their action movie product.
But I have also found myself increasingly exhausted by the prolonged action sequences, flurries of bullets, and metric ton of broken glass. I had to question, then, what my response to an almost three-hour long fourth film in this franchise might be. My expectations were in flux. Parabellum is Continue reading John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023) Movie Review →
This is installment six in our “Psychotronic Cinema” series. (What is psychotronic cinema?).
There exists a veritable subgenre of horror-thrillers (truly, there are dozens and dozens of these things) where the premise involves some form of gamified scenario centering around torturous or otherwise deadly scenarios. The trend blew up following the massive success of the Saw franchise (a franchise also responsible for popularizing the torture porn film), but it did not begin here. It also saw a recent unlikely revival with the surprise success of Squid Game in 2021.
Series 7: The Contenders is something like a working class, non-science fiction Running Man. Or a non-science fiction The Hunger Games, years before those books were published. It is murder codified into Continue reading Series 7: The Contenders (2001) is an Underseen Gem — Psychotronic Cinema →
Scream VI, as one of the film’s own characters tells us, is a “requel sequel” — i.e., a sequel to a franchise reboot which also follows some, if not all, of the continuity of the original film(s). We have been seeing many of these in the horror genre lately (and we are scheduled to see even more), so this is good territory for a “requel sequel” of Hollywood’s favorite meta-horror franchise to interrogate. Unfortunately, this interrogation falls flats.
This film picks up where the last one left off, with the two surviving sisters of the last Woodsboro murder spree, Tara and Sam Carpenter (Jenna Ortega and Melissa Barrera), relocating to Continue reading Scream VI (2023) Movie Review →
The Golden Globes are passed. The guild awards have happened. The Indie Spirits are now spirited away. The Oscars are one week away. It’s time to talk Oscar ballots.
We’ve already covered each Oscar category with more words than you’ll see here. But some variables have changed since then. And as much as I am one to tinker with these sorts of things until the very last minute, it’s time to commit in digital ink the site’s final predictions. Hopefully nothing unforeseen happens in the next six days.
- All Quiet on the Western Front – Malte Grunert
- Avatar: The Way of Water – James Cameron, Jon Landau
- The Banshees of Inisherin – Graham Broadbent, Peter Czerin, Martin McDonagh
- Elvis – Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick, Schuyler Weiss
- Everything Everywhere All at Once – Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, Jonathan Wang
- The Fabelman – Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg, Tony Kushner
- Tár – Todd Field, Alexandra Milchan, Scott Lambert
- Top Gun: Maverick – Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison, Jerry Bruckheimer
- Triangle of Sadness – Erik Hemmendorff, Philippe Bober
- Women Talking – Jeremy Kleiner, Dede Gardner, Frances McDormand
Will Win: Continue reading 2023 Academy Awards Predictions — Final Ballot →
Guy Ritchie has spent the most recent stretch of his career making passable yet somewhat anonymous and, frankly, lacking action pictures. Following the bungled Aladdin live action film for Disney, which I don’t think was necessarily Ritchie’s fault (he wasn’t the right choice for the material to begin with), he has been trying to get back to the brand of film that made him a name in the first place.
The Gentlemen was fine but not my bag. Wrath of Man has some nice sequences but is repetitive and drab. This time out, Ritchie goes for a sprawling, international espionage thriller — he’s trying for a James Bond or Mission: Impossible vibe.
The film opens with your standard issue “gathering up the usual suspects” routine. Two government bureaucrats (Cary Elwes and Eddie Marsan) discuss the crew for their next important job — something involving Continue reading Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre (2023) Movie Review →
This update is part of our 2023 Oscar predictions series. Check out our full predictions in all Oscar categories.
There were some big moments at yesterday’s Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards, including some surprises which have implications on the Academy Awards acting races (in three of the four acting categories, anyway).
To begin with, Ke Huy Quan won Best Supporting Actor for Everything Everywhere All at Once. Not the least bit surprising, and this notch in Quan’s awards season belt (the most recent of many) means that Continue reading How the 2023 Screen Actors Guild Awards Change the Oscar Acting Races →
These are our 2023 Oscar predictions for Best Picture, part of a series on this year’s awards. Check out full predictions in all Oscar categories.
This article will attempt to adjudicate the state of the Best Picture race for this year’s Academy Awards, as it stands on Feb 25, 2023. There is still plenty of time for things to change and for this race to become a completely different monster. So take this all with that grain of salt in mind.
10. Women Talking
Despite critical acclaim, Sarah Polley’s Women Talking did not show up on Oscar nomination morning. Given the film’s (very) early buzz, it could have picked up Continue reading Ranking The 2023 Best Picture Oscar Nominees by Their Winning Chances →
These are our 2023 Oscar predictions for Best Director, part of a series on this year’s awards. Check out full predictions in all Oscar categories.
- Martin McDonagh — The Banshees of Inisherin
- Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — Everything Everywhere All at Once
- Steven Spielberg — The Fabelmans
- Todd Field — Tár
- Ruben Ostlund — Triangle of Sadness