ready player one box office

“This is not a film that we made. This is, I promise you, a movie” director Steven Spielberg said to the audience at the surprise premiere screening of Ready Player One at the SXSW Film Festival. He continued on, mentioning how this “movie” needs to be seen on a big screen. Spielberg made it clear: Ready Player One is a pop culture experience. Pair that statement with the cult ’80s poster recreations and other nostalgia-centered marketing, and you see that the team behind this production also views the movie as such.

And while it is indeed an experience, it is not always a positive one. But it’s mostly a good one.

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Ghost Stories Review

Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s remarkably ambiguous Ghost Stories is unconventional, structurally bonkers and bloody-freakin’-brilliant. As an adaptation of their widely-popular West End theater fixture, both men translate stage cues to fainthearted filmmaking in ways that never feel stuffy or overproduced (something like Miss Julie). Tear-away backgrounds that connect wholly different locations are just as astounding cinematic tricks as they’d be in person if only to ensure this daring blend of dread and inquisition be that much more an unsolvable puzzle. How do you get away with crafting a successfully sublime “Whothunkit” about the unknown? I don’t know – ask Ghost Stories. Read More »

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 Strangers: Prey at Night Review

The merit of most sequels is hard to evaluate without bringing up their predecessors — especially when it’s The Strangers. The 2008 horror film written and directed by Bryan Bertino that had all the makings of a rudimentary home invasion thriller ended up being a statement on the weaponization of idle behavior among seemingly innocuous young adults. It remains brutal, unsettling, and remarkably relevant.

So director Johannes RobertsThe Strangers: Prey at Night has big shoes to fill. But that’s okay, because it doesn’t ever really seem concerned with besting the original film. Instead, it moves with the confidence of an entirely separate narrative, one that just so happens to not only pay homage to the 2008 film, but also successfully present its message to a 2018 audience.

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A Wrinkle in Time Review

Disney’s A Wrinkle in Time represents a long-overdue milestone being passed. The fact that the film’s director, Ava DuVernay of Selma and 13th, is the first woman of color to helm a Hollywood film with a budget over $100 million is remarkable; that it took the industry until 2018 to allow this barrier to be broken is unforgivable. But A Wrinkle in Time, leaving aside a marketing campaign that portends a new mega-bucks franchise, is a surprising, distinctive, sometimes mawkish, sometimes emotionally wrenching, and all-over-the-place journey. While the film is not always satisfying, its ambitions are winning enough.

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With “A Fool’s Hope” and the two-part “Family Reunion and Farewell,” Star Wars Rebels has finally come to a close. Though fans were understandably disappointed when executive producer Dave Filoni announced that season 4 would be the last, this decision allowed Filoni and his creative team to end the beloved, game-changing series on their own terms. Indeed, this past season of Star Wars Rebels has pulled out all the stops when it comes to the more mysterious elements of Star Wars lore. But it has also stayed true to the show’s main characters: Ezra Bridger, Sabine Wren, Kanan Jarrus, Hera Syndulla, and the entirety of the Ghost crew.

The three-episode finale brought back a whole host of familiar faces and sent others into space for some new and enticing adventures. There were Loth-wolves. There were temptations to the Dark Side. And there was a spine-tingling time jump. The Star Wars Rebels series finale may not have been the flashiest episode of the show, but it tied up several themes and storylines in a tight little bow…while giving us hope for a whole new series of adventures.

/Film’s resident Star Wars experts, Allyson Gronowitz and Rosie Knight, sat down to talk about the Rebels finale, its grand reveals, and how the overall series impacts the Star Wars universe and fandom. Naturally, major spoilers follow.

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mohawk review

Ted Geoghegan’s Mohawk hits select theaters and VOD this Friday, March 2, and you should make a point of seeking it out. This deft blend of history and horror is not an easy sell to a general audience, but it’s definitely worth seeing. Here are four key reasons you’re going to want to watch this film.

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