Horror Cliches and How to Fix Them

The cell phones don’t work. Maybe the service is out in these abandoned backwoods, or swamp, or desert, or rural town. If they do, the police sure are incompetent. Or get murdered feet from their car, in front of everyone inside the cabin in the woods, or placid lake with one lone raft in the center that will surely come back later, or house at the end of the street, or the last house on the left, or the isolated graveyard. Also, they always insist on coming alone. Screaming people on the other line doesn’t prompt at least one car of backup. Never. It’s a sin.

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And how about them character archetypes. The Whore. An incessant one-track mind locked on to phallic obsession and Continue reading Horror Cliches and How to Fix Them

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) Movie Review

In Ancient Egypt, a god is buried. But it is not a god, it is a mutant. Apocalypse (Oscar Isaac). Apocalypse can unlock the true potential in any other mutant, and then use those powers for his own design. That, and he can turn people to dust. After his resurfacing in the 1980s, mutants must band together and reform the X-Men in order to take down Apocalypse and his Four Horsemen.

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The first act of the film sets up strong characters and their motivations. We get to see a young Scott Summers (Tye Sheridan) as a teen growing up with uncontrolled powers. Magneto (Michael Fassbender) gets a strong emotional arc to once again Continue reading X-Men: Apocalypse (2016) Movie Review

Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) Movie Review

In 19th century London, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is whisked back into Wonderland. Again. Because, you know, money.

Alice Through the Looking Glass loses much of the charm that could be found in 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, although that film had problems of its own. This sequel is hampered by many elements that were not handled with enough care.

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The narrative as a whole is problematic in that it shares very little resemblance to the source material that bears the same name. This aside, the plot simply carries little weight throughout the length of the film. Not to mention that Continue reading Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) Movie Review

Holy Hell (2016) Movie Review

A film studies student such as myself often views for analysis only those documentary films that are radical, experimental, or genre defining. This neglects the more commonplace documentary of speculation, event dissection, or character study.

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Holy Hell, in film studies rhetoric, could be considered a “synthetic documentary” not in that it is fabricated, but in that it, from scene one, incorporates Continue reading Holy Hell (2016) Movie Review

Weekend Box Office Predictions: 5/27 – 5/30

As May comes to a close, we are well into the Summer movie season. However, aside from one particularly high profile release, we haven’t seen many large box office films raise to the surface. The Angry Birds Movie won the weekend last weekend, nudging out Civil War by about $5 million, but it was by no means a huge Summer release.

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This weekend could launch the 2016 Summer season with the competing releases of X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass. But both sequels could also prove to Continue reading Weekend Box Office Predictions: 5/27 – 5/30

The Nice Guys (2016) Movie Review

In The Nice Guys, two private investigators, one licensed (Ryan Gosling) and one unlicensed (Russell Crowe), go after the same lost woman who has strange ties with the adult film industry.

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Shane Black directs this 1970s crime noir comedy. The film visually feels like a Continue reading The Nice Guys (2016) Movie Review

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016) Movie Review

Mac and Kelly Radner (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne) sell their house under contractual escrow, so they must ensure that nothing in their neighborhood screws up their chances of moving out. Three college freshman (Chloe Grace Moretz, Kiersey Clemons, and Beanie Feldstein) ditch the inherent misogyny of Greek life by creating their own sorority conveniently located next door to the Radners.

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This is Neighbors 2, and, based on its premise, it is Continue reading Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (2016) Movie Review