If you have finished watching the film Constantine (2005) and are looking for other movies like it, here is a list of options to consider.
The latest chapter in Sony's Spider-Man Universe makes Morbius look like a masterpiece.
In an age where the Marvel Cinematic Universe has categorically lost its luster, it's tempting to imagine how green the grass is on the other side of the hill. To imagine that someone, somewhere, is doing inventive work with some of America's most pervasive modern myths -- without the heaving strain of an interconnected narrative, a cast of over-it actors, or visual effects teams stretched beyond their breaking point. You won't find it, however, in the strangely-dubbed "Sony's Spider-Man Universe" -- that casually connected series of antihero films (the Venoms, Morbius) that attempts to cobble together its own Sinister Six from the contractual scraps Disney left Sony after its acquisition of Marvel Studios. And Madame Web, the latest grasp at superhero relevancy in a dying comic book movie landscape, is easily its messiest, most forgettable shrug in that direction.
It's astonishing to think that Sony could put out a worse product than 2022's Morbius -- a misfire of a mad-scientist picture that at least contained a few interesting images and the perverse sight of Matt Smith gnashing his pointy vampire teeth through a chopped-up villain performance -- but boy, Madame Web manages it. It's a passive whisper of a film, one that barely registers its own existence. The only reason someone would even deign to make it is because they're contractually obligated to maintain a specific character's intellectual property, not to mention a heaping stake of product placement from Pepsi. Continue Reading →
Kids deserve better than yet another dull, going-through-the-motions misfire.
The animation world was recently startled by Warner Bros.' announcement that they planned to shelve their recently completed feature Coyote vs Acme for a quick tax write-off, rather than spend money to release it. Not to be outdone, Disney Studios offers up Wish, an animated feature that is the kind of artistic misfire that deserves to be hidden away and never spoken about again. This is a creation so alternately bewildering and banal that it's implausible that at no point during the entire creative process did anyone point out the seemingly obvious fact that virtually none of it works on even the most basic levels.
Wish takes place in the kingdom of Rosas, which was founded and is currently ruled by Magnifico (Chris Pine), a seemingly benevolent sorcerer who offers peace and protection for all those who live there. The catch is that they must surrender their deepest wish to Magnifico, who stores them in the lab in his castle in bubbles and once in a great while returns one to the person who made it. Inexplicably, the people of Rosas think this is a good deal, none more so than Asha (Ariana DeBose), a teenager who is all in on both Rosas and Magnifico and is hoping that the latter will present her beloved grandfather (Victor Argo) with his wish to commemorate his upcoming 100th birthday. Continue Reading →
As horror movies fans, we (and I’m very much including myself here) talk a good game about wanting to see something new and different in the genre, but there are plenty of old reliable tropes that still work with us. Zombies, kaiju, masked killers, all of those have a better than good chance of drawing in audiences, without trying too hard to bring a fresh new angle to anything. We also love child in peril and creepy kid movies, and Samuel Bodin’s Cobweb manages to incorporate both, to mixed results. Continue Reading →
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
One of the things I enjoy most about the moviegoing experience is coming out of a film feeling as if I've actually learned something that I didn't know before, or had not even occurred to me in the first place. That's exactly the feeling that I got while watching Sam Pollard’s The League, a documentary about the history of Negro baseball leagues in America. Going in, I suppose I knew the basics about the subject and could name such key figures as Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige, but Pollard, who previously directed MLK/FBI, and executive producer Questlove delve much deeper, and the results are indeed fascinating. Continue Reading →