Death Note Clip

This weekend brings another Netflix original movie to the streaming service, and it might be their most controversial yet. Death Note is an American adaptation of the famous manga of the same name, and while there has been some backlash about the whitewashing of the cast, it sounds like the most offensive thing about the movie is the fact that it doesn’t do anything fresh with the material to justify it. There’s nothing explicitly American about this new take on Death Note from director Adam Wingard other than focusing on a mostly white cast in a condensed adaptation that lacks any of the substance of the original.

Check out what some of the early Death Note reviews have to say below. Read More »

Defenders Group

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: the first season of Marvel’s The Defenders.)

When the entire world needs saving, the Avengers are the team you probably want on the job (if this particular world exists in the MCU, that is). But when the local neighborhood needs protection, maybe it’s time for some smaller fish to spring into action. Enter The Defenders, the latest Marvel show to drop onto Netflix for fans to binge over a weekend and then swiftly forget about.

There was a time when a series like The Defenders would feel like a major event, yet there’s a curious lack of excitement revolving around the project. Perhaps it’s become harder to be enthusiastic about an event like this when every form of superhero entertainment is treated like an event now. In other words, it’s become exhausting.

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Logan Lucky

The Logan family is cursed with bad luck. Jimmy (Channing Tatum) can’t hold down a job due to the injury that derailed his future prospects as a football star, Clyde (Adam Driver) lost his hand in the process of returning home from Iraq, and there’s a history of mishaps and misfortunes in their family that seem too bad to just be coincidence. They’re stolid folk, too, to the point that they’re known amongst the locals for being simple. But, as we grow to learn over the course of Logan Lucky, the Logans aren’t idiots. They’re just earnest.

The entire film is built on that kind of earnestness. For the most part, Steven Soderbergh’s return from retirement runs at a handsome clip, as breezy as the NASCAR race from under which the Logan clan is about to steal an untold sum of money. In any other heist movie, that’d be enough, and an impressive feat in and of itself, but Logan Lucky takes it one step further by stopping to smell the roses, too. Jokes run on without wearing out, their punch lines more the scenario that we’re witnessing than any single witticism, and scenes take all the time they need instead of simply making way for the next gag. The best sequences are those that linger; they’re the grounding influence in a movie that could otherwise easily fly away on how ingenious it is.

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Annabelle Creation Review

(This review originally ran following an early screening at Comic-Con. Annabelle: Creation is in theaters today.)

While sequels tend to have trouble measuring up to the originals, in the horror world, there are plenty of occasions in which a follow-up, no matter how deep into the franchise fans have gone, turns out to be a surprisingly satisfying entry into its canon. In the case of Annabelle: Creation, we’re handed a sequel that runs circles around the original, both as a quality film and as a gruesome, terrifying piece of horror storytelling.
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Ghostbusters Extended Cut

It’s kind of amazing that Mike Stoklasa‘s creation of RedLetterMedia and the character of Harry S. Plinkett has lasted so long after first finding viral fame for a seven-part takedown of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace back in 2009. But the internet is full of plenty of wackier things, and despite the fact that this character is supremely annoying to listen to, his video reviews do make plenty of valid points, even if they are combined with some really lame attempts at humor.

While Star Wars has become a prime target for Harry S. Plinkett, every now and then he turns his attention to a movie that garnered a lot of attention from passionate fans and viewers. The Ghostbusters reboot from 2016 (or Ghostbusters: Answer the Call as it’s more officially titled) was certainly one of those movies, and even though it’s been over a year since it was released and most of us have moved on, Harry S. Plinkett has a one-hour takedown and breakdown of the film directed by Paul Feig. Read More »

The Dark Tower TV show

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: the big screen adaptation of Stephen King‘s The Dark Tower.)

The Man in Black fled across the desert, and The Dark Tower movie followed. Bringing Stephen King’s fantasy-epic series to the big screen has been a highly-anticipated dream for many fans of the books. Long have they desired to see the realm of Mid-World realized on the silver screen; to see the adventures of Roland Deschain brought to life. And now that that day has finally come, the results are crushingly disappointing. Because The Dark Tower is one of the most frustrating types of films: it’s neither excellent nor atrocious – it just is. A middling, often lazy film that just sort of lays there like an old, threadbare carpet.

It’s time to travel once again around the wheel and figure out just why this film is such a misfire, and how badly it forgets not only the face of its father but also the very source material that brought it into existence.

Spoilers follow, of course.

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The Dark Tower Review

The Dark Tower is the most sprawling series of stories that America’s great modern horror storyteller, Stephen King, has ever told. This is, unfortunately, a difficult thought to shake while watching the 95-minute film of the same name that serves as the hopeful beginning of a film and TV franchise, because there’s far too much left on the sidelines. The Dark Tower, at its core, is a quintessential story of good and evil, but the way the conflict is represented in this film is staggeringly messy and dull. The ingredients for a great movie exist, but they never truly cohere in a satisfying manner.

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Dead Shack Review

For fans of chuckle-happy zombie schlock, I present to you Peter Ricq’s Dead Shack, a scrappy Sam-Raimi-esque vision birthed from cabin-in-the-woods campfire stories. Laughs are bloody and sentiments family-driven, but one of the more impressive aspects is a low-budget production that masks shoestring restraints (“shoestring” being relative). Gore effects are squeamish and pulpy, unblemished by budgetary shortcomings – and there’s certainly no shortage of flesh-snacking examples to choose from.

A genre film that knows how to have fun while splattering a few heads in the process? You have my attention.

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The Dark Tower

The time has come for fans of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower book series to see how the big screen adaptation of the sci-fi western has turned out. If the first reviews are to be believed (following press screenings that happened just 24 hours before the film gets a wide release, which usually isn’t a good sign), this movie is an absolute disaster.

Find out what critics are saying in The Dark Tower reviews that have arrived online. Read More »

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another wolfcop review

Another WolfCop? Yes. “Another” means that director Lowell Dean’s howlin’ mad midnighter is indeed a sequel, and a ravenous one at that. Back again is Leo Fafard, playing Canada’s favorite donut-scarfing Lycan lawman; a fluffy beast whose moonlight methods are animalistic to the max. Criminals find themselves torn limb from limb with WolfCop once again the prowl, except this second “adventure” plays with double the obscurity. Somehow. “How does one expound upon the very premise of WolfCop,” you ask? Puppetry. Decapitations. Strippers. Moondust. Chicken Milk. Astron 6 cameos. Smacks of Alien…and maybe Mac And Me.

Did the first WolfCop leave you with a nasty genre hangover (we all have a little too much fun sometimes)? Another WolfCop is that hair o’ the dog remedy you’re looking for.

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