If you have finished watching the film King Kong (1933) 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 →
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 →
The Last Voyage of the Demeter
The Last Voyage of the Demeter feels like a movie from a different era. To a point, it is—writer Bragi Schut first drafted his adaptation of the 'Log of the "Demeter"' sequence in Bram Stoker's Dracula in the early 2000s. It's a capital letters Hollywood Creature Feature—a grimmer straight horror cousin to 2004's action/horror hybrid Van Helsing. At its best, it's an admirably gnarly monster flick—bolstered by sturdy craft from director André Øvredal and consistently good performances from a game ensemble. At its worst, it loses confidence and resorts to bumbling attempts to guide its audience by the hand—most notably in its prologue and epilogue. Continue Reading →
“We can’t change ourselves, only what surrounds us.” Sylvie (Anouk Grinberg) says to her son Abel (director Louis Garrel) in the opening minutes of The Innocent. Louis Garrel has appeared in movies since he was 6 years old, making his debut in a movie directed by his father, Philippe Garrel, the last French New Waver, and his mother, actress Brigitte Sy, (1989’s Les baisers de secours aka Emergency Kisses) about a director and his actress wife. Louis Garrel appeared in seven of his father’s films, several directed by his former partner Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, directed movies with ex-wife Golshifteh Farahani and current wife Laetitia Casta, and played his father’s peer and champion Jean-Luc Godard in Le Redoubtable, based on the memoirs of Anne Wiazemsky, whose niece Léa is in The Innocent. Continue Reading →
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
It’s been almost 40 years since that little plumber in the red hat jumped into a warp pipe and into our hearts. Super Mario Bros., released for the original Nintendo system in the US in 1985, is still the perfect video game. It’s simple (you just got to jump around), it has iconic music, and its colorful world is hypnotic even with all those cute creatures trying to kill you. Continue Reading →
If nothing else, 65 proves that Adam Driver plays a marvelous survival hero. After his ship crash-lands on an uncharted world, his Mills is dazed and wounded—but not to the point that he does not remember what to do in an emergency. He's got a checklist memorized, and he can follow it until he's back together. As Mills treats his wound, catalogs the damage to his ship, and ultimately dons an environment suit to survey his crash site, Driver's body language shifts. Wooziness gives way to groundedness, and halting movements become smooth. Driver makes it clear that even when despairing and terrified, Mills knows what he's doing. Continue Reading →
Jurassic World Dominion
In the video game version of the original Jurassic Park for the Sega Genesis, you can choose to play the side scroller as either Dr. Grant or a Velociraptor. Of course, you choose the raptor almost every time because dinosaurs are cooler than humans. It’s a great lesson for making a fun video game, but not for making a successful movie franchise. Continue Reading →
Beauty and the Beast
Once Upon a Time… Continue Reading →
Minuscule 2 - Les mandibules du bout du monde
In the decade since his cult hit Rubber, French provocauteur Quentin Dupieux has been churning out small, absurd movies at a steady clip. Mandibles – his third U.S. release since the start of the pandemic – is yet another wonky tale of le ridicule, clocking in at a mere 77 minutes. Beach bum Manu (Gregoire Luig) is hired by a rich benefactor to transport a mysterious suitcase; specifically told he must do so in a car, he stumbles on an unlocked, dusty yellow Mercedes, and picks up his buddy Jean-Gab (David Marsais). Everything’s going smoothly until the pair notice an odd rumbling emanating from the trunk of their stolen automobile. Turns out, they’ve been riding around with an enormous, disgusting fly. Continue Reading →
Takashi (Masanori Mimoto, Yakuza Apocalypse and one of Hydra's action coordinators) is a quiet, reserved man. He's the chef at Hydra, a Tokyo bar well-loved by its regulars. To those regulars, he's a mystery wrapped in an enigma, but damn can he cook. To Rina (Miu, Netflix's Followers)—Hydra's bartender and Kenta (Tasuku Nagase, Kamen Rider Wizard)—its waiter, he and his stillness are a regular part of their lives. Rina considers him an adoptive big brother/uncle since he knew her vanished father. Kenta both admires his cool and resents his (relative) closeness to Rina. Takashi is Hydra's constant. He knows just what to cook for a regular in the middle of a bad break-up who orders "anything." He stops potential fights before they can start. And he keeps a leary eye on a sleazeball he suspects of being a sexual predator—making sure that the women the creep might be targeting get home safely. When the schmuck does indeed out himself as a date rapist, Takashi puts the fear of death into him. How is he able to do all this? He's observant. Why is he observant? Because he's a retired assassin. Continue Reading →
Night at the Museum
The thing about guilt is that it can wear you down until you’re more a cluster of exposed nerve endings than a human being. That, at least, is the premise behind The Night, a new psychological horror and debut film from director Kourosh Ahari. Set in Los Angeles and spoken almost entirely in Farsi, The Night is a wonderfully odd mix of being spare and a bit too much all at once. Continue Reading →