Tag Archives: movie review

2nd Chance (2022) Movie Review

2nd Chance premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival

Ramin Bahrani is a director known primarily for fiction filmmaking. He made the Fahrenheit 451 adaptation for HBO. Last year, his script for The White Tiger was nominated for an Academy Award and a BAFTA. It perhaps does not come as a surprise then that Bahrani was initially approached by producers to make the story of Richard Davis, the Michigan man who developed the modern bulletproof vest, into a fiction film. And Davis’ tale could potentially make for an engaging fiction, given how outlandish aspects of it are.

This film could focus on Continue reading 2nd Chance (2022) Movie Review

Resurrection (2022) Movie Review

Resurrection premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Films which hinge on a central revelation are difficult to talk about. The experience of a film like this can be significantly altered if one already knows the revelation ahead of time. I won’t go into much detail about the plot of Andrew Semans’ Resurrection, for this reason. Just suffice it to say that your curiosity and subsequent shock at the revelation in Resurrection are required components to enjoying the film. And I think the film thoroughly fumbles its central conceit.

Which is not to say that the mystery surrounding the strange situation unfolding in front of us is not compelling, nor that the reveal itself is not Continue reading Resurrection (2022) Movie Review

Watcher (2022) Movie Review

Watcher premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and is competing in its U.S. Dramatic competition.

Chloe Okuno’s feature debut Watcher is a thriller in the Rear Window tradition. Americans Julia (Maika Monroe) and Francis (Karl Glusman) move to Bucharest after Francis receives a promotion. Julia does not have a job here and does not speak Romanian, two facts which isolate her in her new environment, leaving her on edge as she goes about her days largely alone. And it does not help that Continue reading Watcher (2022) Movie Review

Emergency (2022) Movie Review

Emergency premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival and is competing in the festival’s U.S Dramatic competition.

Carey Williams’ 2018 film Emergency won Sundance’s Special Jury Prize for short-form filmmaking. He adapted this short, with KD Davila serving as screenwriter, into a feature film of the same name. The film is one part buddy comedy, one part coming-of-age movie, and one part drama reflecting on multiple tensions present in the American conscious. If this sounds like three things which do not go together, you aren’t wrong. The extent to which one buys into the tonal tightrope walk Emergency is attempting is crucial to the enjoyment of the film.

I bought in. Perhaps not hook, line, and sinker. But taking this film on its own terms, following it through its kinks and lumps, I was met with a Continue reading Emergency (2022) Movie Review

Scream (2022) Movie Review

The extra-textual more or less fuels Hollywood at this point. Intertextuality and metatextuality exists in all manner of blockbuster cinema. And this certainly bleeds through to the audiences. Even casual moviegoers have become intimately aware of the larger, interconnected puzzle that makes up the Marvel cinematic universe, enough so that Spider-Man: No Way Home is released not as some esoteric nerdcore comic book movie which only the most knowledgeable fans are able to follow. No, it is one of the most profitable films ever, regardless of pandemic concerns.

This is not to discredit audience literacy over the way Hollywood functions, of course. And the self-referential, metatextual, etc. has been around in cinema for Continue reading Scream (2022) Movie Review

A Very Loose Review of Spider-Man: No Way Home (and every other 2021 Marvel movie)

Warning: this review hints at major spoilers for Spider-Man: No Way Home.

I haven’t posted on this site since October 15, almost two months to the day that I’m writing this. But I’m going to pretend like that’s not the case, and that I’m a normal film critic and not a graduate student with a job who has realized that it is hard to find time to balance one’s responsibilities with film critic hobbyism.

Anyway…how about that Marvel Studios, huh? Bouncing back from a rough year at the theatrical box office, Disney’s theatrical cash cow had four movies in the can for 2021. Following a glorious financial success with Avengers: Endgame, the studio needed a firm reset of its film properties (its streaming series properties have done their own legwork in moving the IP forward).

Which is what made Black Widow such a strange property. Arguably Continue reading A Very Loose Review of Spider-Man: No Way Home (and every other 2021 Marvel movie)

Halloween Kills (2021) Movie Review

Halloween Kills is so busy being a sequel to Halloween (2018) and Halloween (1978) that it forgets to be a coherent horror film. Don’t get me wrong, David Gordon Green’s follow-up to his 2018 hit reboot is a bloody mess of a slasher movie (in a good way). But it is also a bloody mess of a script (in a bad way).

When Green and co-writers Danny McBride and Jeff Fradley (Scott Teems replaces Fradley on this sequel) decided to scrap franchise continuity to focus on Continue reading Halloween Kills (2021) Movie Review

Fantastic Fest 2021: Barbarians, Knocking, Found Footage Phenomenon — Movie Reviews

The Found Footage Phenomenon, Barbarians, and Knocking are screening as part of Fantastic Fest 2021.

The Found Footage Phenomenon

The Found Footage Phenomenon is just what it says on the tin: an overview of the phenomenon of found footage horror films that sprung into the mainstream after the massive success of The Blair Witch Project in 1999. As a primer for the uninitiated,  Continue reading Fantastic Fest 2021: Barbarians, Knocking, Found Footage Phenomenon — Movie Reviews

Fantastic Fest 2021: The Slumber Party Massacre — Movie Review

The Slumber Party Massacre (2021) is screening as part of the 2021 Fantastic Fest.

The original The Slumber Party Massacre, written by Rita Mae Brown and directed by Amy Holden Jones, holds a special place in my heart, as it does for a number of slasher fans. The 1982 cult film was delightfully subversive, coming in the midst of the glut of slashers from the 1970s-80s

Needless to say then, that there are big shoes to fill for this remake (from my perspective, at least). This said, Continue reading Fantastic Fest 2021: The Slumber Party Massacre — Movie Review

Fantastic Fest 2021: V/H/S/94 — Movie Review

V/H/S/94 is screening as part of the 2021 Fantastic Fest.
 
V/H/S/94, the fourth installment in the cult horror anthology film series, follows the franchise’s weakest entry, V/H/S: Viral, a forgettable and occasionally downright lazy film. 94 marks the return of Simon Barrett and Timo Tjahjanto, the former of which had a hand in both V/H/S and V/H/S/2 and the latter of which directed a segment in the second film. It seems evident that this film is meant to be a course correction of sorts.

 

These films garner mixed reception overall, but I’ve had fun watching the first two films with friends. They aren’t Continue reading Fantastic Fest 2021: V/H/S/94 — Movie Review