A Murder at the End of the World
Hulu’s crime thriller/environmentalist warning is less than the sum of its references, but star Emma Corrin earns viewers’ attention.
The plot for A Murder at the End of the World goes a little something like this. A wealthy tech genius invites a group of similarly impressive individuals—including a detective who seems not to belong—to an isolated location for not entirely clear reasons. A murder sets everyone on edge as competing interests suggest several suspects and impede a proper investigation. Things only get worse as more die, and a storm ensures the group has no means of immediate escape.
If you find yourself thinking back to Glass Onion, rest assured you can’t be the only one. Functionally, the series plays as a kind of Anti-Glass Onion, the film’s cracked mirror image. While it is still plenty critical of the rich, it treats them with significantly more credulity. Their reputations earned, they’re genuinely talents apart from the rabble. The big issue isn’t that they're idiots and buffoons but that they’re squirreling away their gifts from the masses. Continue Reading →
There's at once too much, and somehow not enough, of the whimsical DIY spirit of writer-director Robert Rodriguez in his latest film, the shaky B-thriller Hypnotic. The Austin native made his name in the halcyon days of '90s indie filmmaking, shooting his first feature (El Mariachi) for a mere $7,000 at the tender age of 23. Since then, he's leveraged that inventiveness into a cottage industry of his own based out of his hometown of Austin, Texas, whether it's kid-friendly fare (Spy Kids), big-budget CGI blockbusters (Alita: Battle Angel), moody noirs (Sin City) or grindhouse splatterfests (Planet Terror, From Dusk Till Dawn). Hypnotic is all and none of those things, a chintzy lo-fi Christopher Nolan riff that doesn't have nearly enough life to work. And yet, there are just enough charming elements to save it from outright dismissal. Continue Reading →
The Suicide Squad
In the last decade, there have been numerous shitty attempts to replicate the success of the Marvel Studios formula, but Suicide Squad (2016) may be the worst of the worst. Writer/director David Ayer’s dark and gritty tone clashed with the pop music-heavy trailers, marketing that included songs already used by – and meant to remind viewers of – Guardians of the Galaxy. In the end, the studio hired that same trailer company to re-cut the movie, which was released into theaters as an incomprehensible mess. Noticeably missing a “2” in its title, The Suicide Squad is essentially a 200 million dollar do-over. It’s the movie Warner Brothers should’ve made five years ago. Continue Reading →