Even if the feature film debut from writer/director Robert D. Krzykowski was the single worst film of the year, it would still win the award for the greatest and most honest title of any movie ever: The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot. While this may seem like the title of a winking, silly send up of adventure movies, it is in fact a quite ambitious and straight-ahead action work that also finds ways to weave in more contemplative ideas on aging, missed opportunities, and painfully broken dreams. Read More »
Picture this: a group of friends get together for their weekly game night. It’s all fun and games until they get entangled in a mess they can’t get out of and their innocent worlds collide with the dark underbelly of crime. If this sounds like the plot of Game Night, then you’re half right, because it’s also what happens in Unfriended: Dark Web (previously titled Unfriended: Game Night). The major difference between the two (and it’s not the fact that only one is a comedy, because Unfriended is pretty funny) is in its form. The film takes place entirely on a laptop screen. In that sense, it’s a sequel in form only to 2014’s Unfriended (there is no haunted dead girl in this one). Read More »
Posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2018 by Karen Han
If I didn’t know any better, I would say that the Mamma Mia movies are in a genre of their own. There’s no real reason for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again to exist — it feels improbable that it exists at all, as a prequel-sequel of a movie spawned from a musical spawned from the songs of a Swedish pop group. It has no real stakes, next to no story, and barely any connective tissue holding it together. Even the trailers were baffling, as Meryl Streep’s conspicuous absence from them begged the question of whether or not Donna had kicked the bucket between Mamma Mias one and two.
But it hardly matters. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, directed by Ol Parker (Imagine Me & You, both Exotic Marigold Hotel movies), is a complete delight. I laughed, I gasped, and I cried, as did the entire screening audience I watched the film with. How many other films can boast that kind of a balancing act?
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If you’re anything like me and the thought that you’ve accidentally Instagram Live-d your makeup routine induces sudden nausea, than making a living by live-streaming is probably not one of your career goals. But for the subjects of Hao Wu‘s documentary People’s Republic of Desire, live-streaming isn’t just how they make their living, it’s how they make up their sense of self. Though I am unable to get past my inhibitions, I will gladly watch other people sit on their couch and answer the questions that roll in on the screen. It’s become increasingly easier to check out of your life for a moment and check in to someone else’s. But the line between voyeurism and escapism is a thin one that is barely toed by the subjects in Wu’s documentary. Read More »
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Just as countless horror anthologies of past years have been defined by their own grab bag results, Nightmare Cinema is a mixed collection of eerie crescendos and deflating downswings. Joe Dante. Mick Garris. Alejandro Brugués. Ryûhei Kitamura. David Slade. These directors would fill the roster of any movie lover’s Murderers’ Row, and their collective worth skews towards positive reactions with an emphasis on differentiation. Their segments take ambitious swings and rarely skimp on absurdity, to a degree where the highest peaks overshadow the shallowest valleys.
Could this be thanks to Mr. “Projectionist,” Mickey Rourke’s wraparound purveyor of nasty delights whose old-school theatrical torture ushers in each story with opening night menace? Maybe not entirely, but boy does Nightmare Cinema introduce one maliciously memorable mascot. Read More »
It’s fairly cold comfort that The Equalizer 2 is an improvement on its 2014 predecessor. That film’s director and star, Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington, have returned for this follow-up, which is largely more of the same. The first film was exceedingly dour, grim and gratuitously violent, with Washington’s Robert McCall laying waste to all sorts of faceless baddies. This time around, while the reasons why McCall has to fend off bad guys hit closer to home, much of the story is predictable and Fuqua’s unable to rein in the film to a more manageable length. All told, this manages to be a bit better simply by not being that excessive.
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No one was clamoring for a sequel to 2008’s Mamma Mia, the smash-hit jukebox musical based on the popular Broadway play. It was campy, kitschy, and just the right thing to put on in the background as you drank rosé and and reminisced of the glory days of ABBA. And yet, 10 years later, here comes a sequel as dazzling and dedicated to joy as the first one was. And critics say that it could melt our cold, cynical hearts.
The Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again reviews are here and, despite a healthy heaping of cynicism from the critics going into the films, they found themselves tapping their feet to the music. It’s a silly, solid sequel that just may be what we need in these trying times.
See what critics are saying in their Mamma Mia Here We Go Again reviews below.
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Supposedly, if you want to know how wealthy someone is in Beijing, you simply ask them what floor they live on. The bigger the number, the wealthier they are. To live above the air pollution is a much coveted position, one which, in the case of the protagonists of Dans La Brume (the film’s English title is Just a Breath Away), can be a fate changer.
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Any adult will tell you that middle school is one of the most awful parts of adolescence. Faces explode with acne, hormones are raging, conversations are awkward, and everyone sucks. So comedian Bo Burnham decided to make his feature writing and directorial debut recounting just how awful that time in all of our lives was with a wonderful, lively movie called Eighth Grade, and just like that we have a fresh new voice on the page and behind the camera. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, July 12th, 2018 by Karen Han
About halfway through Mission: Impossible – Fallout, I found myself thinking that I’d happily watch Tom Cruise run for the film’s entire duration. In fairness, that’s pretty much what he does as he reprises the role of Ethan Hunt, but I mean it literally. Tom Cruise runs with the kind of mania that means it’s unsurprising he broke his ankle leaping from building to building while filming Fallout — and then kept running in order to save the take — or that he actually jumped out of a plane at 25,000 feet for another sequence in the movie. He runs so fast that it’s impossible not to go along with him. (And he knows it, too. His Twitter and Instagram bios read: “Running in movies since 1981.”)
That energy sustains almost the entirety of Fallout. Directed by Rogue Nation’s Christopher McQuarrie, Fallout does nothing if not cement Mission: Impossible as the greatest franchise we currently have, and manages it by leaning fully into the near-demented earnestness given tangible shape in Cruise’s running. It hurtles along at such a breakneck speed that it might as well combust, and that even talking about it almost feels like spoiling it, as the temptation is to name every insane set piece in simple awe.
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