Upgrade Review

Leigh Whannell’s latest film Upgrade is one of the most strikingly invigorated sci-fi watches I’ve been awestruck by in quite some time. I’m talking *hard* sci-fi, with callbacks to anything from eXistenZ to The Matrix to Minority Report. Whannell customizes an “efficient” future not so far from our own, where self-driving Loop Dash vehicles chauffeur around bioengineered super-beings and pizzas aren’t ordered, they’re printed. It’s the kind of SmartHouse, techno-takeover world that Apple users dream of, blackened and revenge-ified by Whannell’s oddly apt Her meets Weekend At Bernie’s scramble – with way more splattered blood and guts. Read More »

barry review

On Saturday Night Live, Bill Hader made his name as a ham. And a good one. As the show’s resident master of impressions (maybe the best the long-running series has ever seen), he was a key supporting player, the goofball who could conjure up an iconic figure with seemingly little effort, the wacky spice injected into any ordinary situation to get you giggling. Hader was always at his best when he was being silly.

So perhaps the most surprising thing about Hader’s new HBO series, Barry, is that he’s not silly at all. In fact, he’s downright withdrawn, playing a character so internalized, anxious and downbeat that the mere act of interacting with other human beings looks like a trial. The second most surprising thing about the show is that Hader’s Barry is an icy killer, a hitman who is ruthless and efficient and damn good at his job.

But what’s least surprising about all of of this is that Hader is terrific. He always is. We all knew he could be funny. What we didn’t know is that he could play the stone-faced straight man to a wacky universe of characters. It’s a thrilling, generous performance, one that lets the supporting cast shine at every opportunity.

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Unfriended: Dark Web Review

What is a franchise? Is it a series of movies that form a grand, ongoing, and connected narrative like the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Or is it a series of movies made with similar stylistic intentions, connected by a familiar aesthetic like the Cloverfield films? That second definition feels like the wave of the future for small genre movies: sell audiences on a movie by slapping a familiar name on it, sort of a “If you liked that, you may also like this” label.

It’s hard to not think about Cloverfield, and that second definition of franchise, while watching writer/director Stephen Susco’s Unfriended: Dark Web. Here’s a horror sequel that looks an awful lot like the first film, but shares nothing with it beyond the fact that it’s told entirely though a computer screen. The threats couldn’t be more different and the tone is a hard left turn from the teen-friendly, popcorn-flavored jolts of Unfriended: Original Recipe. Instead, Dark Web is darker, meaner, and far more clever. It’s more polished, more in control of how to tell a story in this format. It’s a sequel in name only and it’s an improvement in every single way.

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A Quiet Place Movie Review - John Krasinski

When one sense goes, the others are more heightened. It’s the pretty simple foundation on which A Quiet Place is built, a largely dialogue-free film in which every sight, every texture, every movement lands harder than it would in a noisier picture. Director John Krasinski crafts a new and unusual monster movie, featuring creatures that are much gnarlier than you’re probably expecting from an intimate festival entry by the filmmaker behind Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.

Keep reading our full A Quiet Place movie review below. Read More »

The moment Pedro Pascal strutted on screen in Kingsman: The Golden Circle, he proved he was ready to be a bonafide movie star. The actor has been stealing scenes since he first appeared in Game of Thrones, going on to play a starring role in the Netflix series Narcos. Now, he will finally be the lead in a feature film.

Prospect, a science-fiction “space Western” from directors Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell, stars Pascal as a father who travels with his teen daughter (Sophie Thatcher) to mine for riches on a toxic alien planet. The film will premiere at the SXSW festival later this week. See the first Prospect trailer below.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

muppet guys talking trailer

What better way to pay homage to the legacy of Jim Henson than with the five original Muppets actors who knew him best?

Six years ago, five legendary voice actors/puppeteers sat down to speak about the early days of The Muppets, the beloved puppet show created by Henson. Last year, the lovely documentary Muppet Guys Talking depicting that conversation premiered at the South by Southwest Festival to rave reviews. But the movie wouldn’t see a wide release — until now.

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Chappaquiddick Trailer

It’s no secret that the Kennedy family has been stricken with grief on numerous occasions, so much that Ted Kennedy, the youngest brother of John F. Kennedy, once wondered if there was some kind of curse that hung over his name. Now, audiences will see a dramatization of the tragedy that led to this heartbreaking conclusion.

Chappaquiddick takes us back to 1969 when Ted Kennedy (Jason Clarke) was the last hope at continuing the Kennedy family bloodline. During a celebration for a group of women known as the Boiler Room Girls (who worked on his brother Bobby’s ill-fated presidential campaign the year before), he went off for a night drive with one of the female campaign workers, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne (Kate Mara). Little did he know that there was another tragedy in his future. You can find out what we’re talking about in the Chappaquiddick trailer below. Read More »

Marrowbone Trailer

Director J.A. Bayona brought some chills and thrills with The Orphanage back in 2007, but he had some help from screenwriter Sergio G. Sánchez. Now the scribe is behind both the script and the camera for a new rural haunted house thriller executive produced by Bayona.

Marrowbone follows a family who has escaped from an abusive father in Britain to the safe harbor of a small cottage in America known as the old Marrowbone house. After tragedy befalls the mother, the four children (George McKay, Mia Goth, Charlie Heaton and Mattthew Stagg) must fend for themselves while not letting anyone else in the vicinity know about their family’s loss. But as the Marrowbone trailer shows, the family has another more pressing concern as the kids learn they’re not the only ones living in the old house. Read More »

‘A Quiet Place’ Will Open the 2018 SXSW Film Festival


The 2018 SXSW Film Festival kicks off in March and the first wave of movies that will be playing has been announced. A Quiet Place, the new horror film from director John Krasinski starring Emily Blunt, will be the opening night film. However, the programming runs the gamut from prestige dramas like Final Portrait to crude comedies like Blockers to TV shows like Krypton. But perhaps importantly (at least to me!), the fest will see the premiere of Jody Hill’s new movie, The Legacy of the Whitetail Deer Hunter.

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Submergence Trailer

Alicia Vikander and James McAvoy are both part of blockbuster franchises. While Vikander has Tomb Raider coming up, she also appeared in Jason Bourne not too long ago. Meanwhile, McAvoy will play Professor X for the fourth time in the upcoming X-Men: Dark Phoenix and he’s also reprising his role as The Horde in Glass, a sequel to both Split and Unbreakable. But the two took time out of their schedule to make a more quiet, subdued film from director Wim Wenders.

Submergence follows Danielle Flinders (Vikander) and James More (McAvoy) as they meet in a Normandy hotel, falling for each other romantically before they go off on two very different missions. The distance between them will be great (there’s a literal ocean between them), but their love may be enough to keep them going. Read More »