post

Out in Theaters: ‘IT’

Growing up in Maine, I’ve lived in the land of Steven King’s inspiration. I’ve suffered the bone-chattering winters. Lurked the dense, immutable forests, always so convincingly haunted whenever they needed to be. I’ve challenged forbidden historic landmarks in the twilight hours, suspecting authority, or something more sinister, at every dark fated turn. As a boy, I chomped through King’s preternatural catalogue of horror novels, perhaps because of my budding adoration of the genre, perhaps because he was quite simply the most famous guy from Maine I knew of. I’d taken down “The Shining”, “Carrie”, “Misery”, “The Green Mile”, “The Dead Zone”, “Cujo”, “The Mist”, “Needful Things”, “Pet Sematary”, “Christine”, “Firestarter”, “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon”, “Gerald’s Game”, and “Thinner” by the time I was 12. But nothing in King’s oeuvre haunted me more than his 1986 classic “It”. That shit had me shivering in my rain boats.  Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘PATTI CAKE$’

If you’re going to see one movie about a plus-sized New Jersey female rapper this summer, you best make it Patti Cake$, the stunning feature debut from Geremy Jasper. Following in the tradition of Hustle and Flow, Patti Cake$ uses an untraditional hero, Patricia Dombrowski (stage name Killa P) played to unique perfection by newcomer Danielle Macdonald, to craft an unlikely (but entirely lovable) story of talent erupting from unexpected places. Jasper’s film is an independent musical fever dream stuffed to the brim with colorful, well-defined characters, a diverse and talented cast of unknown talent and a killer soundtrack that’ll force its expertly produced setlist of tunes to rattle around your skull for days to come. Like a filmic cocktail of Adderall and Prozac, this mic drop of a movie is certain to make you perk up, pay attention and leave plastered with a smile.  Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘INGRID GOES WEST’

Perfect paired with a few beers and a Xanax, Matt Spicer’s Ingrid Goes West is a psycho-stalker comedy that’s as unsettling and hilarious as a 12-year’s mexi-stache . Aubrey Plaza is devilishly weird as an Instagram-obsessed pariah, a Peeping Jane who turns to social Play-Doh to emulate those of higher social standing, but the role is more than meets the eye. Ingrid befriends up the ladder by copying the purchasing habits of her “friends”, buying the same designer bag or sharing the same favorite breakfast joint, phishing for likes, comments and follows but mostly on the hunt for a new #BFF. Though side-splitting funny, Ingrid Goes West dares to be more than a laugh, unleashing some powerful material essential to our conversations on social media and self-worth.  Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘BRIGSBY BEAR’

An acquired taste for sure, Kyle Mooney made a name for himself being an ass. From checking into kickers inside So-Cal to playing a definitely-on-the-spectrum sports reporter who’s totally out of his league, Mooney has capitalized on mocking mainstream culture, championing a keen ability to satirize entire populations by being the very dumbest version of such. Mostly by making an ass of himself. So imagine my surprise when Mooney’s brainchild Brigsby Bear (written by and starring Mooney and directed by comedy collective Good Neighbor compatriot Dave McCary) is such an earnest and heartfelt affair, if a bit simple-minded, saccharine sweet and stubbornly sunny.  Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘LOGAN LUCKY’

Following a four year stint in “retirement”, American auteur Steven Soderbergh returns to the multiplexes with the kind of snappy, crowd-pleasing, whizzbang fare that throttled him from indie delight to box office superstar. Assembling a sublimely cast trio of Magic Mike (Channing Tatum), Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Bond, James Bond (Daniel Craig) in a delightful supporting role, Logan Lucky, much like the film that rocketed Soderbergh to success (Ocean’s Eleven), rides on the back of its stars’ natural well of charisma as well as a pithy screenplay (courtesy of maybe pseudonym Rebecca Blunt) that constantly waffles between sly, chuckle-inducing commentary and witty narrative sleight of hand.   Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘WIND RIVER’

 

As I write this review for Taylor Sheridan’s new film Wind River we’re experiencing some fairly remarkable meteorological theatrics in the Pacific Northwest. At night our moon is the color of a blood orange, while our sunrises and sunsets are a near supernatural hellfire red. The reason? Our atmosphere is currently congested with smoke from several wild fires tearing through the Canadian coastal ranges to the north, and the noxious haze has created an off-world prism on our horizon. We can only imagine the terrible price somebody’s paying for these gorgeous mutations in our sky down here.  Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘ANNABELLE: CREATION’

No need to beat around the bush, Annabelle: Creation is both significantly better than the 2014 Annabelle, a fast-money gambit courtesy of hack director John R. Leonetii, and not nearly as good as The Conjuring (or the surprisingly still terrifyingThe Conjuring 2 for that matter). There’s very little that might qualify as new in this prequel to a prequel and, as should serve as no real surprise, the scares are limited to the “things go bump in the night” variety. Nothing really dares to linger beyond curtains, aside from the fleeting memory of a few well-timed startles here and there, but David Sandberg, director of last year’s somewhat undeservedly well-liked Lights Out, does a good enough job orchestrating familiar horror cliches into playful tension.  Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘DETROIT’

On the night of July 25th, 1967 two factions coalesced on the Algiers Motel. A small contingent of African American men weathering the storm of Detroit’s 12th Street Riots, and a platoon of enraged white cops looking for the person/persons who fired a gun at their patrol from a window of the motel.

Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘ATOMIC BLONDE’

You wouldn’t be wrong to assume that David Leitch’s Atomic Blonde is something akin to John Wick’s younger, hotter sister. Leitch did, after all, cut his teeth in the film industry coordinating and performing stun twork – as did Chad Stehalski, Leitch’s co-director on John Wick. The two Hollywood cowboys are equally infatuated with style above all else, though in Atomic Blonde’s instance it feels less superficial, even while embracing maybe the most superficial time in history – the bitchin’ 80’s.

Read More

post

Out in Theaters: ‘VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS’

Those who hearken back to the golden Clintonian Summers of the 90’s might remember seeing The Fifth Element on the big screen during its maiden theatrical run. A blockbuster facing a mixed press at the time, but finding near cult status twenty years later. A defining moment for director Luc Besson. Or at least as defining as when he discovered Natalie Portman at a Pizza Hut and cast her in a hitman film with a coked-out Gary Oldman and Jean Reno. Or something like that. Read More