There have been numerous film adaptations of the work of H.P. Lovecraft, featuring everyone from Sandra Dee (The Dunwich Horror) to Nicolas Cage (Color Out of Space). However, it was the late filmmaker Stuart Gordon who best managed to capture the peculiar and often perverse charms of Lovecraft’s work. With their combination of weirdo humor, bizarre imagery, kinky sex, grisly bloodshed and better-than-expected performances, his Re-Animator and From Beyond became instant cult classics and unquestioned high points of the entire horror genre in the 1980s. Continue Reading →
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
A lot's happened since we last saw the Guardians of the Galaxy (well, besides their brief cameo in Thor: Love and Thunder). Writer/director James Gunn was fired from Marvel in 2018 after some problematic tweets joking about pedophilia were unearthed, in one of the few instances of a successful cancellation from the right wing. Of course, it didn't last long, considering how thin the ground was for said cancellation in the first place; and in the interim, he swanned off to DC, made the fantastic The Suicide Squad and Peacemaker, and eventually found himself sharing the throne of a newly-revamped DC movie universe. Continue Reading →
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
One thing you can say about Christmas and the Guardians of the Galaxy is that both tend to go a bit over the top. One’s affection for either depends greatly on how you feel about a good thing taken to excess. For this critic, The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special hits that delicious “too much, but I can’t help but like it” sweet spot like seconds on the pecan pie. Continue Reading →
Hugh Jackman chases down the ghost of Rebecca Ferguson through futuristic memory tech in Lisa Joy's ponderous, limp tech-noir pastiche.
It would only be frustrating to recount exactly how many opportunities writer-director Lisa Joy (Westworld) throws away in her desperate effort to please in Warner Bros.’ latest, Reminiscence.
It’s not just that Joy fails to follow through on the noir tropes she so clearly wants to pay homage to while attempting to subvert, or a cast that features Thandiwe Newton and Hugh Jackman as jaded private gumshoes in a dystopian Miami, not to mention the near-perfect timing of this movie’s release. Noirs didn’t just come into their own in the years around WWII: some of the best examples of the genre came in the wreckage after, as people still flailing in the trauma of the Great Depression and genocide wondered what the hell was next in a new era of peace and prosperity that some found just as terrifying as what preceded it. 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 →