The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes
Despite a challenging premise and an overlong runtime, the Hunger Games prequel makes the most of the hand it’s been dealt.
The character of Coriolanus Snow is an odd choice for a Hunger Games hero. In the original books and films, as played by screen giant Donald Sutherland, Snow was a cold-hearted, cruel dictator clearly meant to echo real world fascist leaders. Here, in the prequel story The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (say that five times fast), Coriolanus (Tom Blyth) is just a sensitive, emotional teen dreamboat whose main goal is to provide for his family in the wake of the violent revolution that tore apart Panem, the country formerly known as the United States of America. Continue Reading →
Thinking about getting into the Saw franchise 10 movies in? Here’s what you need to know.
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the work being covered here wouldn't exist. 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 →
Joy Ride is a film filled with rude and crude jokes throughout and often fairly ramshackle in its construction. Those with more delicate constitutions may be chagrined to discover it tends to reduce its few Caucasian characters of note to little more than punchlines. It also contains—let me consult the next page of my notes—more big laughs than any other film I’ve seen so far this year. Plus, carefully layered among its more outrageous elements, you’ll find a surprising amount of heart. The result is both a genuine delight and a wonderful alternative to the soul-deadening blockbusters that have glutted multiplexes this summer. Continue Reading →