If you have finished watching the film Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) and are looking for other movies like it, here is a list of options to consider.
Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom
A decade's worth of superhero movies goes out with a big, stupid grin on its face.
One would hope that a film franchise with as much money poured into it as the DC Cinematic Universe would rage, rage against the dying of the light. Yet here we are, limping towards the end of a slate of superhero flicks marred by terrible reviews (Shazam! 2), controversy (The Flash), or sheer too-little-too-late-ness (Blue Beetle). As the superhero genre continues to flag in a year of duds, DC's set for a reinvention, a clean slate courtesy of former Marvel it-boy James Gunn and co-head Peter Safran. Before they can wipe the board and start all over with the label's slate of classic capes, though, there's a few rounds left in the last guy's chamber to fire off. That's what Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom feels like, easily the least objectionable of the DC films to come out in 2023. Problem is, that's not saying much.
A sequel to Aquaman should have been a slam dunk: Director James Wan's 2018 take on the King of Atlantis was a welcome breath of neon-soaked pop art in a franchise studded with Snyderesque dourness, leaning into the innate silliness of an underwater take on Flash Gordon. Jason Momoa is as effortless a casting as you could imagine for DC's hardest-to-pin-down superhero, brimming with giddy frat-boy energy. At its best moments, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom leans into its star's goofiness and even lets it infect some of the rest of the cast. But there's no escaping the feeling of weariness, both for a cast and crew who are just repeating the novel beats of the first and an audience that's just plain starved for something new. Continue Reading →
Upon the news of the passing of William Friedkin, every headline reporting on the news focused on two films. It’s not surprising that the media spent so much time talking about The French Connection and The Exorcist, two bona fide masterpieces that paved the way for a new era of American filmmaking. What was disappointing was this seeming willingness to reduce a cinematic legend’s legacy to a burst of time in the early 1970s, thus dismissing the five decades that followed as either negligible or outright unworthy of interest. Continue Reading →
At the risk of making a "getting a lot of Sorcerer vibes from this" guy out of myself, The Hunted—William Friedkin's 2003 old-master-hunts-rogue-student thriller really does make for a fascinating counterpart to his earlier men-on-a-desperate-mission masterwork. Both delve into the lives of damaged, forlorn, isolated men on perilous quests for deliverance. And both of those quests lead deep into madness. Both pointedly contrast man-made, flame-choked hellscapes (Sorcerer's exploding oil well, The Hunted's secret mission amidst the Kosovo War) with the vast, amoral green of the deep forest (Columbia and Oregon, respectively). Both turn on setpieces that thrill while maintaining a grounded (if not necessarily "realistic") feel and weave surreality in with care. Continue Reading →
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End
Though their core plots aren’t similar, all three movies in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy share the common thread of emotionally immature men clinging to the relics of their youth, often to the detriment of their friendships and romantic lives. Specifically men of Generation X, who tend to glorify their younger days, and the pop culture associated with it, at a level that borders on delusional (and as a Gen X woman I can tell you we’re not much better about it). Continue Reading →
Director Tyler Spindel's track record is scattered, composed of primarily-for-streaming movies including The Wrong Missy and Father of the Year. He has an affinity for the David Spade experience, in other words. His latest, The Out-Laws, doesn't feature Spade and doesn't do much to suggest that Spindel's body of work will ever grow more than scattered. Continue Reading →
らんま½ 劇場版 決戦桃幻郷!花嫁を奪りもどせ!!
The new horror film The Invitation opts to take a cue from Smash Mouth’s “All-Star” and hit the ground running. The very first scene of Jessica M. Thompson’s latest directorial effort depicts a woman deciding to escape a lavish home by way of suicide. With the help of a piano string and a medium-sized statue, she’s soon a corpse dangling in the living room of this mansion. Accompanied by pronounced cues on Dara Taylor’s score and claps of thunder, this demise is a striking way to kick off a movie. It’s also, unfortunately, emblematic of a critical narrative misstep from which The Invitation never quite recovers. Continue Reading →
An admittedly intriguing blend of bleaker-than-bleak comedy and holiday spirit is undermined by noxious writing and character work.
If you do not yet know about Silent Night’s big twist, I’d strongly recommend you set his review aside. Talking about Camille Griffin’s directorial debut requires talking about its twist. To sum up: Silent Night is awful. It aims to blend dark comedy with sentiment via an audacious story but does little with its intriguing core idea. What it does do does not work.
It’s Christmas, and married couple Nell (Keira Knightley) and Simon (Matthew Goode) are preparing to host a celebration for a group of their old school friends. Their pals include snotty Toby (Rufus Jones) and Sandra (Annabelle Wallis), obnoxious Bella (Lucy Punch) and her girlfriend Alex (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) and James (Ṣọpé Dìrísù), and his girlfriend Sophie (Lily Rose-Depp), whose youth and American heritage make her an outsider amongst the others. Continue Reading →
The Godfather Part III
Although it’s since been cemented as a derided flop upon its release 30 years ago this month, The Godfather: Part III (1990) was neither the critical nor critical disaster people remember it to be. It was a decent financial success and would go on to be nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture. However, a number of factors cropped up to help trash its reputation. It had a chaotic production that reached its apex when red-hot star Winona Ryder, cast as Mary Corleone, left the production just before her scenes were to be shot. Francis Ford Coppola replaced her with his non-actress daughter Sofia. Continue Reading →