Hounds of Love review

This is not an easy movie to get through. Hounds of Love depicts graphic scenes of sexual assault and torture. It’s the kind of movie that makes you question why you enjoy watching horror movies in the first place. Why subject yourself to something like this? Why sit through something that makes you feel like you need to take a shower afterwards?

But nothing here is done for the sake of exploitation or titillation. Hounds of Love is a surprisingly deep meditation on domestic violence and controlling relationships, an astonishingly well-acted piece of film, and it doesn’t end quite the way you’d expect from its rape-revenge trappings. But it’s certainly not going to be for everyone.

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Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hit theaters last night with sneak preview screenings playing all over the United States. That means plenty of people have seen the Marvel Studios sequel, and plenty more will be flocking to theaters this weekend to contribute to the undoubtedly massive box office haul.

Now that the cosmic sequel is finally in theaters, it’s time to ask that all important question: What did you think? Since the original Guardians of the Galaxy became quite the beloved departure from the usual Marvel Studios superhero flick, the sequel has been one of the most anticipated movies in Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So does it deliver? Find out what yours truly thinks below, but beware of major spoilers from here on out. Read More »

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 review

At times, the plot almost feels nonexistent in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Whether during an extended gag, a moment of backstory, or a sincere heart-to-heart, writer-director James Gunn is clearly more invested in character than the sequel’s simple doomsday plot. There’s a looseness, almost a shagginess, to the Marvel sequel that allows the characters to shine brightest in some eye-popping environments.

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Mayhem

There are few better locations to watch horror movies than in the iconic hotel that was featured in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, and the inaugural Overlook Film Festival, which I wrote about in great detail, took full advantage of this. Along with some possible classics (you can read my review of It Comes At Night right now and a full review of Hounds of Love is coming) I spent much of my time there watching movie after movie, and was pleased by the variety of genre films on hand.

Let’s take a look at what I saw, in order that I watched them!

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tribeca reviews my friend dahmer

Another Tribeca Film Festival has come and gone, bringing a new slew of films you should look out for. This year’s festival was particularly jam-packed, with some incredible special events, including a 25th anniversary screening of Reservoir Dogs (using Quentin Tarantino’s personal 35mm copy) and cast panel, talks with industry legends such as Tom Hanks, Kathryn Bigelow and Dustin Hoffman, VR showcases, the premiere of The Handmaid’s Tale, and the literal godfather of all events, an all-day screening of The Godfather and The Godfather II with the cast and director Francis Ford Coppola assembled for a 45th anniversary retrospective panel and reunion to close out the festival.

Sandwiched in-between these star-studded events were some truly incredible films which I had the pleasure of screening and discovering during this sleepless stretch of two weeks. Here are the narrative titles that stood out, that shocked me, thrilled me and left me in dumbfounded awe by the end credits. Here are my Best of Tribeca 2017 films!

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The Law of Non-Contradiction review

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Fargo season 3 by answering one simple question: who f*cked up the most this week?)

This week’s episode of Fargo is heavy on the melancholy. Ennis Stussy (Scott Hylands) kept quiet and miserable in the first two episodes of season 3…mostly because he’s dead. Even when he was a younger man, he suffered like so many other Fargo characters.

To answer the question “Who is Thaddeus Mobley?” Noah Hawley‘s show pays a trip to where many Coen Brothers’ characters have experienced pain: Los Angeles.

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sabrosito review 4

(Every week, we’re going to kick off discussion about Better Call Saul season 3 by answering one simple question: who came out on top when the credits rolled?)

The majority of concerns voiced about Better Call Saul have been about the show’s dual nature. Strictly speaking, the show’s a two-hander, with Jimmy (Bob Odenkirk) going down one path and Mike (Jonathan Banks) going down another. They’re roughly parallel, yes, insomuch as they intersect and will keep intersecting until the events of Breaking Bad come to a head, but there’s still a limit, especially as Mike’s half of the show becomes Gus Fring’s. The mythology there is different; it’s grander, whereas the struggle playing out between the McGill brothers is something a little more tangible. The show’s managed to keep its balance so far, let’s hope it stays that way.  Read More »

the endless review

I could simply begin and end this review with one simple phrase: what are you waiting for? But let me explain. The Endless isn’t just terrific – it’s poised to be that breakout genre hit that It Follows and The Babadook were in past years. This isn’t just hype. The film is sharply written, smart and funny. It’s tense and uncertain at moments, but it’s not overtly scary, which actually works in its favor. There’s no pressure to deliver big scares and there’s no let down when it doesn’t and it allows the film to just be really good.

The film opens with an H.P. Lovecraft quote: “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” This sets the stage for The Endless, but in truth, it also speaks to why some of horror’s best offerings have endured for so long. While audiences love the shocking and terrifying reveals, they can be a mixed-bag that translate into cheap jump scares, laughably bad monsters or special effects that lose their effectiveness over time. But the films that embrace the unknown, that encourage our minds to run wild in an atmosphere of terror and fear often make a lasting impact. The Endless definitely slots into this category of filmmaking.

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it comes at night review

[It Comes At Night premiered as a secret screening at the Overlook Film Festival this weekend. The film came right from the edit bay, and while it’s not final, (they’re still working on a few effects, and it contained no credits) the picture is locked.]

It Comes At Night is either a survivalist’s greatest dream or biggest nightmare. It touches on something that many people have hidden away in the dark recesses of their minds, a plan for when civilization collapses and you have to fend for yourself. It usually involves a secluded location deep in the woods, and with more than a couple of guns.

That’s the case for young Travis (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.), who lives in a secured and heavily armed home with his parents (Joel Edgerton and Carmen Ejogo.) Society might be gone for all they know, because they’ve been living far out in the woods for quite a while, surviving day-to-day.

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manifesto review 1

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what Manifesto really is. A collaborative art project? A chance to marvel at the majesty of Cate Blanchett for 90 minutes? A history lesson on the many movements that have swept through art and politics over the decades? This is all true. But is it unmissable? That’s where things get tricky. On the surface, it seems hard to see the appeal of the film outside of the festival circuit. Manifesto might play well to film and art geeks, but will average moviegoers be lured in by seeing Galadriel play dress-up for ninety minutes? It’s unlikely and yet, by digging deeper into just what Manifesto is trying to accomplish, there is room for the film to make a considerable impact on a generation slowly becoming more politically conscious and active with each passing day.

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