post

SXSW ’17 Review: ‘COLOSSAL’

Colossal, about a drunken dead-ender who discovers she has become an unwitting remote control for a massive horned monstrosity, is a film at war with itself. On the one hand, the spectacularly strange conceit prompts a delicious revision of the monster movie genre. Still, the potential novelty fails to take flight, making Colossal both too strange for mainstream audiences who typically buy tickets for monsters bashing each other movies and not really strange enough to satisfy audiences hoping for something truly nutty. Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘LOGAN’

The superhero genre has (deservingly) caught a lot of flack over the years for its Saturday Morning Cartoons rendition of tentpole blockbuster cinema. The Marvel brand in particular was privy to the lather, rinse, repeat template, providing a steady stable of colorful smart asses who smash and bash and save the world, returning to the status quo (or shwarma) when all is said and done to await their next universe saving event. Then along came Deadpool. Say what you will the R-rated superhero flick – like for instance that it falls in line with many of the same familiar tropes it purports to mock – but the gleefully violent and “adult”-oriented box office smash opened the flood gates for more of its R-rated ilk, showing studios through the ever influential power of green (not Green Lantern mind you), that audiences were more than receptive to “mature” content in their superhero films. In fact, they were damn near starving for it.  Read More

post

‘MOONLIGHT’ Takes Gold in 2016 Seattle Film Critics Society Awards

Seattle, WA – Barry Jenkins’ groundbreaking drama Moonlight was the big winner with Seattle’s film critics community, winning 6 Seattle Film Awards including Best Picture. In addition to winning the biggest prize as selected by the Seattle Film Critics Society, Jenkins was named Best Director and his screenplay, co-written with Tarell Alvin McCraney, earned Best Screenplay honors. The film’s cast took home the Best Ensemble Cast prize, with Mahershala Ali winning Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Juan, a father-figure of sorts to the film’s lead character Chiron, a young African-American male coming to terms with his sexual orientation. Elsewhere, the film nabbed a prize for Best Editing, turning 10 nominations into 6 wins. Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘DEEPWATER HORIZON’

Oil. We use it every day. It fills our gas tanks. Warms our homes. Even makes up the roads we drive. In Deepwater Horizon, the coveted resource turns on man 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana, becoming a nightmarish force that ends the life of 11 crew members onboard the fated vessel and torments the slurry of survivors racing to escape its scarlet abyss. With all the fury of a possessed malevolent entity, the routine drill site turns to fire and brimstone one fated evening, Dante’s inferno is brought roaring to life, and a brave few must do all they can to save as many as they can. Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘BLAIR WITCH’

When Adam Wingard’s newest feature was simply called The Woods, it was one of my most anticipated features of the season. A minimalist poster and bone-chilling trailer only intensified my desire to take in the latest offering from the director responsible for such horror knockouts as You’re Next and The Guest. On more than one occasion, a band horror-loving critics sat huddled in the dusk of the theater, waiting for our latest press screening to gear up, pining for the coming collaboration between Wingard and penman cohort Simon Barrett. And then one night, like a nuclear bomb, it hit. The news that shook the horror community to their bones. We had all been bamboozled. The Woods was indeed Blair Witch. Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘MORGAN’

When you assemble the likes of Kate Mara (House of Cards), Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones),  Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) and Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) you’d expect all the girl power onboard to make for some exceptionally high voltage x-chromosome electricity. I mean we’re talking Ygritte, Sue Storm, Thomasin, Daisy Domergue and Wai Lin all huddled under one hot tin roof, sermonizing, philosophizing and fisticuffing under the purview of a Ridley Scott protege. But all the estrogen in the world can’t overpower Morgan’s tepid and over-familiar “lab monster” plot nor fuel its running-on-fumes third act.
Read More

post

Talking with Craig Robinson of ‘MORRIS FROM AMERICA’

Funny guy Craig Robinson strikes you as the kind of dude with a beefy laugh and a heart of gold. His appearances in film and television throughout the years were jump-started by his turn as ambitious warehouse manager Daryl Philbin in cult TV classic The Office which in turn resulted in a string of parts in Evan Goldberg comedies including Pineapple Express, This is the End and, most recently, Sausage Party as well as features on other notable comedies as Knocked Up, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Zack and Miri Make a Porno and a starring role in the two Hot Tub Time Machine movies (though we wish we could forget that second one.)  
Read More

post

Talking with Jeremy Saulnier of ‘GREEN ROOM’

Jeremy Saulnier emerged from the shadows last year with his not-quite-cult independent smash Blue Ruin. About a man fatally ill prepared to strike justice on the man responsible for his parent’s slaying, Saulnier managed an original voice in a familiar setting. With this year’s Green Room, he’s managed to strike the sweet spot once more. An uncompromisingly violent tale of a hapless punk band (played by Alia Shawkat, Anton Yelchin, Callum Turner and Mark Webber) who come head to head with a Neo Nazi club owner (an intimidating as hell Patrick Stewart) is shrouded in viscus and plays like a violent assault to the senses. Visceral and mean, Saulnier has sharpened his edge as a filmmaker to craft a siege film set in a seedy underbelly society that’s absolutely boiling with tension. Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘DADDY’S HOME’

There was an age of Will Ferrell where just about anything the slapstick buffoon did would conjure a hearty laugh from me. His performances in Anchorman, as the verbose, showboating newsman Ron Burgundy, and Step Brothers, as perma-man-child Brendan Huff, send me into a goofy rage of hacking cough fits to this day. But it’s been a hot minute since Ferrell has been able to lock himself and his signature non-sequitors into a winning project and Daddy’s Home continues that losing streak. Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘ROOM’

In the crippling solitude of a padlocked garden shed, Ma (Brie Larson) and Jack (Jacob Tremblay) bestow meaning unto mundanity. Just as Max’s world is fire and blood, their world is bondage and fantasy. Each item in their life’s limited pantry becomes a proper noun. There’s Bucket, Melty Spoon, Chair 1 and Chair 2. There’s Wardrobe in which Jack sleeps, when Old Nick comes. And of course, there’s Room. Ma, unable to yet explain to her recently 5-year old son that their life is one of mere captivity, spins a wild yarn about all life existing in Room. Everything outside of Room (Jack learns of the outside world via a janky television set) is make believe. Up until now, this fiction has been their salvation, providing an insular bubble wrap for the horrific situation in which they’ve found themselves. But as the tides turn with their captor, Ma and Jack must find the fortitude to free themselves or risk spending the rest of their existence in a 100-square foot space. Or worse. Read More