Category Archives: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.

Mandy (2018) Movie Review

Should I start with “Cheddar Goblin”? Or does that warrant its own article?

Mandy is the second film from writer-director Panos Cosmatos, his follow up to the 2010 film Beyond the Black Rainbow. It is a hazy dream of a film—a dream or a nightmare, depending on your perspective. At times, it spins inside an LSD vision alongside its drug-addled characters. Other times, it is a ’70s-inspired exploitation splatter flick. On both accounts, Cosmatos imbues the rural forest landscape with a fantasy quality. Even as fantastical elements are granted real-world explanations, the characters feel as if they are trapped in a psychedelic snowglobe of cosmic mayhem.

It’s pretty badass.

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The eponymous Mandy (Andrea Riseborough) lives with her partner Red (Nicolas Cage), a grizzled lumberjack with a penchant for terrible jokes, in a cottage deep within the forests near the Shadow Mountains. She sketches drawings, reads fantasy novels, and is fascinated by astronomy. Together, the couple lounges through their nights watching B-movies.

Their isolated existence, though, is shattered by a Continue reading Mandy (2018) Movie Review

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Kin (2018) Movie Review

Kin may secretly be the most infuriating movie of the Summer.

It starts out innocuous enough: a stereotypical depiction of Detroit, in which everyone we see is either struggling financially or making ends meet through crime. Eli Solinski (Myles Truitt) is suspended from school after a fight and spends his days doing chores for his adopted father (Dennis Quaid). His brother Jimmy (Jack Reynor) is en route, just out of prison.

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Jimmy is the root of all of the family’s problems, it seems. He owes money to the people that offered him protection in prison. When Taylor (James Franco) catches wind that Jimmy may not have the $60 thousand required, he Continue reading Kin (2018) Movie Review

How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2018) Movie Review

It is 1977. Croydon, London. Enn (Alex Sharp) and his two punk friends sneak into a club and subsequently search for the after party they weren’t invited to. Instead, they stumble upon a much different party. A much stranger party. Men and women, clad in leather suits that accent their genitals, mill about. People in blue body suits dance robotically. People in yellow body suits enjoy their individuality and physical form.

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It’s all a bit, dare I say, alien.

It isn’t hard to put that together when Enn falls in with one of the yellow-suited lot. Zan (Elle Fanning) makes reference again and again to Continue reading How to Talk to Girls at Parties (2018) Movie Review

Sorry to Bother You (2018) Movie Review

Sorry to Bother You is the sort of film that wants to do so much, and delights so much in each thing that it attempts to do, that it is hard not to get caught up in the manic world and unique artistic voice. On the other hand, the further you go into unpacking the densely-packed funhouse of oddities in the film, the harder it is to wrap your head around why you enjoyed the viewing experience in the first place.

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To be clear, it is difficult to explore this funhouse without delving into crucial plot details that are better experienced untarnished, as predictability is a word that holds no meaning in the final third of the film. But there is something that Continue reading Sorry to Bother You (2018) Movie Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Movie Review

Driving home from the theater last night, I saw something really quite lovely. Turning down a curved street, and entering my line of vision for no longer than a second, I saw two people in conversation sitting on a ledge outside of a hotel. The pair—one a man, his back to me, and the other a woman, a warm smile on her face and a soulful tenderness in her eyes—each sat with their legs pulled up to their chests, almost as if they were mirrors of each other.

They were experiencing a genuinely human moment, captured through the film of my windshield. It was a silent movie. It ran for 1.5 seconds or less. But that snippet had more life, energy, and emotion than every shot in Solo: A Star Wars Story put together.

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Now, you may be thinking: what do two people sitting on a ledge in real life have to do with a multi-billion dollar franchise’s sequel/prequel? In execution: nothing.

But maybe these people are Continue reading Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Movie Review

Fahrenheit 451 (2018) Movie Review

The HBO film Fahrenheit 451, adapted from the book by Ray Bradbury, begins with a quote attributed to the Bill of Rights: “It is better to be happy than free.” The attribute is erroneous. It’s fake news. (See what they’re doing here?)

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Ramin Bahrani adapts the Bradbury novel to address new media, and this fake quote encapsulates the central mission statement of the vague government body in the film. This is a government who tasks fire fighters with burning books instead of putting out fires, the aim being to Continue reading Fahrenheit 451 (2018) Movie Review

The Endless (2018) Movie Review

The creative pairing of Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson have produced three feature films: Resolution, Spring, and now The Endless. I will admit that I have not seen their previous two films (although, they made a short for the anthological horror sequel V/H/S: Viral that I did not care for).

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Without the context of their previous work, and not really knowing anything about The Endless prior to seeing it, I found the experience of the film to be Continue reading The Endless (2018) Movie Review