It is the start of my birthday weekend (I turn 42 on Sunday). My mother just picked up my daughter for a sleepover. I should be out celebrating. Instead, I’m here writing this. Later, I’ll watch TV. Honestly, I’m pretty okay with that. We were going to go see a movie, but we’re still in the post-Christmas / pre-Spring blockbuster lull for movies at theatres. Good stuff is coming soon, but there really isn’t much I want to see and nothing the wife and I could agree on. Luckily, I have access to all sorts of cool stuff on the
Come read about all the cool stuff I watched this week.
Be one of the first to get your hands on Sonic the Hedgehog #1 and other titles.
Press release: IDW Publishing is returning to one of Southern California’s favorite comic conventions- the one and only WonderCon! Held at the Anaheim Convention Center from March 23rd to March 25th, attendees can stop by and see the IDW crew at booth #1109 all weekend. Kick off your convention season with a show full of creator signings, announcements, panels, giveaways, and so much more! Join IDW in welcoming the long-anticipated arrival of the blue blur, Sonic The Hedgehog, at the show! Be one of the first to pick up a world premiere convention exclusive copy of Sonic #1 and get
A mid-season episode made me say "I can't wait until next week." for the first time in years. - Shawn
In which Kim and Shawn regain their interest in the show. Kim: It finally happened! No, Negan’s not dead. No, Rick didn’t shoot himself. So what could prompt my response? I spent 75% of the episode actually interested in what was going to happen next. Furthermore, when it was over, I actually said, “Wow! I can’t wait to see how this turns out!” First of all, we got to see Jerry. Deuces! I’ve missed seeing him on the screen, even if this was a more subdued version of him, he was there. Daryl got in a nod and a few
Sara and John continue the investigation, while Lazlo spends this episode in mourning.
For a miniseries called The Alienist, the second-to-last episode took some chances by making its titular character not the main focus, and instead devoted more time to its supporting cast. It’s a rather bold move, especially since Daniel Brühl has been the show’s best character since the beginning. Both Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans have been intriguing to watch, too, although the latter’s stumbling into trouble has become an unnecessary gag. At the same time, though, neither of them has the same intensity as Brühl, nor do their characters have the same amount of intellect. It’s been interesting watching the
A hilarious fish-out-of-water adventure and an unexpectedly poignant journey into his past.
Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Lionsgate to award one lucky reader The Last Movie Star on Blu-ray, which will be available on March 27. For those wanting to learn more, Hollywood legends Burt Reynolds and Chevy Chase star in The Last Movie Star, the uproarious story about getting older, arriving on Blu-ray and Digital on March 27 from Lionsgate. Written and directed by Adam Rifkin (Detroit Rock City), The Last Movie Star centers around a former movie star facing the reality that his glory days are behind him when he accepts an invitation to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award
This week's new releases include a couple of Criterions, Matt Damon getting shrunk, a Robert Altman horror film, and more.
The biggest gap in my cinematic education has to be silent films. I’ve only seen a few of them and they were mostly a struggle. With no audible dialogue, my attention tends to wane. I start thinking about my day or things I need to do. I look outside or at the messiness of my room. I watch the cat and inevitably reach for my phone, and *poof* the movie slips by without hardly a thought from me. The one silent film I’ve ever loved was The Passion of Joan of Arc. Carl Theodor Dreyer’s telling of the trial and
The Warner Archive Collection cordially invites you to attend the premiere of Rachel Ward's slasher movie debut in High-Definition.
One of several kajillion slasher movies manufactured in the early '80s alone, the American-made Night School sports an oddly Canadian aura about it throughout ‒ from the British director (Ken Hughes, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Internecine Project) and starlet Rachel Ward (in her film debut) to the vaguely familiar, mostly nocturnal urban New England location photography by Scanners cinematographer Mark Irwin, right down to the finale which honors the horror sub-genre's giallo roots. When viewed in this erroneous light, Night School feels like some sort of underrated cult classic. Amusing enough, however, if you stare directly into the big
Don't miss your chance to see this Alfred Hitchcock classic on the big screen.
I started collecting movies sometime in college. Initially, I swore to only purchase really interesting movies - stone-cold classics and interesting arthouse films - but soon enough I was buying all sorts of horrible things if they were cheap enough (somewhere I still have a copy of To Gillian on Her 37th Birthday, bought unseen from the used Blockbuster bin for less money than it would have cost to rent it). Whenever I had some extra money, I’d head to the mall to browse the aisles at the Suncoast Motion Picture Company. On one of those visits, I came across
While the film had a lot of potential in being a survival film with a heartfelt story, it failed to capture the elements I was looking for.
David (Josh Wiggins) is a child of divorce. He lives with his mother in a big city in Texas while his father, Cal (Matt Bomer), lives out in a remote area of Montana. The father and son have had a difficult time connecting over the years, and when 14-year-old David comes for a visit, their relationship is still as strained and awkward as it has always been. But Cal looks to change this by getting his son away from the technological entrapments of his phone and taking him deep into the wilderness to hunt for moose. Hunting was something that
A preview of six more panels you might find me at WonderCon.
WonderCon 2018 gets underway on Friday March 23. The programming slate has been announced on their website, and these are the panels you will likely find me, though my schedule is not set in stone and there are no guarantees at a convention unless you are part of the panel. Make Ours Marvel: Eight Decades of Iconic Creators and Characters11:00am - 12:00pmRoom 207 Over the last eight decades, Marvel has created an expansive universe filled with timeless stories and spectacular visuals. Today, Marvel's films, TV series, and comics continue to bring complex and diverse worlds to life, From an ethnically
Documentary details Clouzot's experimental Inferno, using recently discovered footage from the failed production, to mixed results.
There's a little cottage industry of documentaries about movies that didn't get made. Every few years one of them pops up - Lost in La Mancha about Terry Gilliam's early, disastrous attempt to make The Man Who Killed Don Quixote or Jodorowsky's Dune. Implicit in the premise is that the world of cinema is missing out on a masterpiece - that a world of perhaps game-changing potential is lost to us because of some unfortunate timing, a couple of bad days on a set, or a miscalculation that metastasizes into a disaster. Honestly, whenever I see or read these stories,
Will leave fans looking forward to the next film in the DC franchise.
It’s been some time since the last film Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice where the Man of Steel (Henry Cavill) gave his life fighting Doomsday. The loss of the world’s most powerful superhero affected the entire planet, leaving most without hope. Even Batman (Ben Affleck) feels the loss as he takes responsibility for the death of Superman. But there isn’t time for everyone to grieve. The Dark Knight is still patrolling the streets and has stumbled upon a new threat. Some strange insect-like creatures have been appearing around the world attracted by the scent of fear. After defeating one,
A preview of another seven panels you might find me at WonderCon.
WonderCon 2018 gets underway on Friday March 23. The programming slate has been announced on their website, and these are the panels you will likely find me, though my schedule is not set in stone and there are no guarantees at a convention unless you are part of the panel. World Premiere of Batman Ninja10:15am - 12:15pmArena Witness the Dark Knight as you've never seen him before at the first public screening of the highly anticipated anime film. Batman Ninja takes a journey across the ages as Gorilla Grodd's time displacement machine transports many of Batman's worst enemies to feudal
This week's cool things are strange and wonderful.
After a long, dreary winter, spring is finally here. Our backyard tree is blooming, the temperatures are warming up, and the sun is shining. The daughter is out of school next week, which will likely curb my pop-culture consuming, but this week was full of interesting things. I can’t wait to start talking about them. Tiny Desk Concert: John Prine John Price is a national treasure. He is one of the greatest songwriters of our age. He’s an old man now, but he’s always written songs beyond his years. He just released a new album, The Tree of Forgiveness, and
A preview of seven panels you might find me at WonderCon.
WonderCon 2018 gets underway on Friday March 23. The programming slate has been announced on their website, and these are the panels you will likely find me, though my schedule is not set in stone and there are no guarantees at a convention unless you are part of the panel. Jack Kirby's Centennial Artwork Extravaganza 1:00pm - 2:00pm Room 209 The Jack Kirby Centennial celebration continues with this final presentation of the King's original comic artwork. Hosted by IDW president and publisher Greg Goldstein, this special tribute features a multimedia display of more than 1,300 pages of Kirby's original artwork
There's a tomb and some raiding, but weak direction and scripting doom this one to an early grave.
Alicia Vikander is an inspired choice to play legendary adventurer Lara Croft. She’s a close physical match to the current youthful videogame incarnation of the character, especially after getting in peak shape for the role. She brings Oscar-winning acting chops to the role, ensuring that the character carries dramatic weight. Her attempt at an English accent is mostly laughable, alternating between posh, street, and outright American, but it’s forgivable and almost endearing. Unfortunately, the film’s inspiration begins and ends with the casting of Vikander. Unlike the prior two movies starring fellow Oscar-winner Angelina Jolie as an already formidable adventurer, this
School might get out, but you don't need to stop learning about movies.
In June, Criterion plans on releasing four new titles and a high-definition upgrade. Joining the collection are Lino Brocka's Manila in the Claws of Light, John Waters' Female Trouble, Víctor Erice's El Sur, and Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine. Getting an upgrade is Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring. Read on to learn more about them. Manila in the Claws of Light (#926) out June 12 Lino Brocka broke through to international acclaim with this candid portrait of 1970s Manila, the second film in the director’s turn to more serious-minded filmmaking after building a career on mainstream films he described as
Some strong performances can't elevate the film's dour tone.
Bearing witness to a toxic relationship unfolding in front of you is not a pleasing task, and brothers Carlos and Jason Sanchez are well aware of that. Their feature film debut, Allure, is a realistic portrayal of someone who’s gone off the deep end and redemption seems to be nowhere in reach. You can’t exactly feel sympathy for her, as she destroys her life and damages those around her. Unfortunately, that’s also a major problem with the film. Our main character’s actions are irredeemable, and the movie’s focus is way too serious to get fully engaged. No matter how displeasing
A surrealistic horror film that feels more like Ingmar Bergman than Robert Altman.
Made in the middle of his incredible 1970s run of films that includes M*A*S*H, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, The Long Goodbye ,and Nashville, Robert Altman’s Images is unlike any of those films and in fact is different from pretty much anything in his long, storied career. There is none of the overlapping dialogue that Altman pioneered and his camera, which he typically inserts into a scene letting it rummage around for a story, is more beautiful, constructed, and poetic. Made in 1972, Images premiered at the Cannes film festival where it won Susannah York the award for Best Actress. It
Heartfelt if slight documentary about a rock band's return to Paris in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.
Until the Paris Terrorist attack on November 13, 2015 where their concert at the Bataclan was targeted leaving 89 dead, for non-fans Eagles of Death Metal, if they had heard of them at all, were mostly thought of as Josh Homme's other band. Queens of the Stone Age, Homme's central musical outlet, has been a staple of the American hard rock scene for two decades, while Eagles of Death Metal was the weird side project where he co-wrote the songs, was the rhythm section, and hardly ever toured with the band. If the first third of Eagles of Death Metal:
For what was mostly set up to be a time-waste episode...I was entertained and maybe that's my new standard for this show. - Shawn
In which Shawn and Kim wonder was it just the title that was incomplete or was it the episode? Shawn: Is this episode a Mad Libs where we get to fill in the final NOUN in the title? Was it a typo? Does it obliquely refer to one of the best Peter Jackson films or New Wave bands from the mid-Eighties? DEAD OR ALIVE OR GABRIEL. It was interesting that the most consistent beginning, middle, and end of a story of the past few seasons was with Father Gabriel and Carson the Doctor. I don't know how much screen time
Animated film from Spain tells a dark, sad tale that retains a hint of hope.
In a post-apocalyptic landscape, three friends, a mouse, a piglet, and a little fox, dream of escaping their horrible little island and moving to the city where they might breath the clean air, drink the clean water, and live their lives out prosperously. But they neither have the ability or the means to leave. Dinky the mouse steals “happy pills” from her fundamentalist parents, who constantly berate her and use a baby Jesus doll that literally cries blood to fill her with guilt. Zachariah the piglet lives with his drug-addicted mother who turns into a giant spider when she gets
Allure is hard to watch at times and is rather troubled but its leading actresses, Evan Rachel Wood and Julia Sarah Stone, still give it their all.
Allure follows the story of Laura (Evan Rachel Wood), a troubled 30-year-old woman who works as a house cleaner for her father’s company. She’s someone who lives a life in solitude and has had trouble finding love. But that all changes once she meets a teenage girl named Eva (Julia Sarah Stone), a pianist who is dissatisfied with her privileged life with her overbearing mother. Once Laura persuades Eva to stay at her house and inadvertently kidnaps her, both women end up in a relationship fueled by manipulation and obsession. The best way to describe Allure is that despite its
John and Lazlo head to Washington, D.C. to further investigate the case, while Sara goes rogue to uncover more clues.
At the end of last week’s The Alienist, Mary and Lazlo shared a kiss. It was a moment for both of them, when they felt like the whole world didn’t understand them and who they were, only to have them both come together and realize they are what the other needs. This week’s episode begins with both characters looking forward to being together. Mary had an upgrade in her wardrobe and a smile on her face, while Lazlo was smiling as he was on a train to Washington D.C. But “Psychopathia Sexualis” doesn’t really put all of its focus on
Hope you have some leftover Christmas money because there is a lot of interesting stuff coming out this week.
I hope you have some leftover Christmas money because it's gonna be an expensive week, Blu-ray fans. We’ve got blockbusters, Oscar winners, cult classics and more. Guillermo del Toro’s other-wordly, weird fantasy film The Shape of Water took home four Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. It's about a girl kissing an underwater sea monster during the Cold War. Or something. I really haven’t been paying attention and his films are best seen without having preconceived notions. Luckily, Matthew St. Clair wrote us a review. Honestly, there are at least four other releases this week that I could have
Well Go USA's new 4K transfer of Takashi Miike's splatter classic gives you all the gore you can handle in pristine high definition.
While watching Well Go USA’s new 4K transfer of Takashi Miike’s classic splatter flick Ichi the Killer, you may ask yourself whether or not one needs to see all that gore in super high-definition. Is it necessary, you may ponder, to see the insides of a man cut straight down the middle, or the viscera of a dozen nameless foes sloshed across the floor, blood dripping from the ceiling, or even the title cards rising from a puddle of semen in all its digitally restored, detailed resolution? For fans of the highly influential, totally disgusting, and surprisingly funny film, the
Severin Films sinks its teeth into Umberto Lenzi's hilariously tasteless cult flick. Break out the ketchup.
Though Ruggero Deodato is perhaps Italy's (if not the world's) most "famous" director of gory cannibal movies, the entire bloody movie subgenre can be attributed to the late great Umberto Lenzi (Eyeball, Cannibal Ferox). Eight years after accidentally forming the concept with his 1972 shocker The Man from Deep River ‒ a strange "mondo" take on A Man Called Horse ‒ Lenzi returned to the jungle for something even stranger. Fusing the cannibal flick with a literal cult movie, Eaten Alive! (Mangiati vivi!) manages to exploit the real-life horrors of Jim Jones and the Jonestown Massacre. It also serves as
Even if they don't quite stick the landing, the Ramsay Brothers establish themselves as a duo to watch out for.
People are screaming, kissing, and hugging. They don silly garments and hats as they celebrate the New Year. Standing in the middle of the throng is Lindsey (Alex Essoe), as she scans the crowd in search of her husband, Jeff (Dylan McTee). She finds him outside, smoking a cigarette and avoiding Lindsey’s work friends. Their marriage is clearly fraught with tension and unspoken resentment for one another. Lindsey is the breadwinner; working at a bank to support Jeff, a failed athlete. Their language is clipped and strained. They appear to be in a marital rut. What doesn’t help matters is
This week's cool things include Tom Cruise, George Clooney directing the Coens, and more Stephen King.
I have a tendency to be watching, reading and listening to multiple things at once. My wife laughs and scoffs at this as she doesn’t understand how I can keep things straight in my head. I’m not entirely sure that I do keep things straight, but this is the way I’ve always consumed pop culture. Right now I’m watching two movies (Salem’s Lot and Robert Altman’s Images) reading at least three books (A Christmas Carol, Freedomland, Pet Sematary) and probably have a few more laying around that I started and have forgotten about. I’m in the middle of more TV
No matter your political affiliation, there are plenty of great stories to read about the former president and First Lady and their love of the movies.
During their eight years in office, Ronald Reagan and his wife, Nancy, watched a total of 363 movies during their weekends at Camp David. Not only were they the big box-office hits of that time (1980-1988), but they also consisted of the classics before that era, as well as what Ronald Reagan referred to as the “golden oldies,” which were the films in which he starred. In Movie Nights with the Reagans, Mark Weinberg, a former spokesperson, adviser, and speechwriter to President Reagan, focuses primarily on the films of the 1980s that made the biggest impressions on the couple and
While it reaches for the stars with its jaw-dropping visuals, it still is bogged down by its storytelling and short length.
After delivering the powerful Best Picture nominee Selma and helming the gripping, Oscar-nominated documentary 13th, director Ava DuVernay jumps into the big leagues with the $100 million blockbuster A Wrinkle in Time. However, while the film does reach for the stars with its jaw-dropping visuals mixed with emotional thematic material, it still is nearly bogged down by its predictable and hastily written story. Based on the children’s novel by Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time follows the story of a girl named Meg Murry (Storm Reid) whose physicist father (Chris Pine) has gone missing for four years, leaving her withdrawn.
Including Gillian Armstrong, Eva Marie Saint, Jacqueline Bisset, Melvin Van Peebles, and Michael York.
Press release: Turner Classic Movies is pleased to announce the following have been added to the 2018 TCM Classic Film Festival. Multi-award-winning director Gillian Armstrong will join Robert Benton as a recipient of a special tribute at the Festival. Armstrong will be in attendance for a screening of her film MY BRILLIANT CAREER (1979). This year’s Festival also welcomes the recent Oscar-winning screenwriter and director James Ivory, who will be in attendance with his film MAURICE (1987). Stars Olivia Hussey, Leonard Whiting and Michael York will all be in attendance for the 50th anniversary screening of ROMEO AND JULIET (1968).
"I hate how hard it has gotten for me to watch this show and actually enjoy it or feel anything about the characters." - Kim
In which Shawn and Kim debate to "Just give up." Shawn: After seven seasons and nine episodes, the show finally gave me title cards. Just in case I don't get around to it - thank you. Not to sound ungrateful but locations and dates and times might be considered for future upgrades. MICHONNE. The show has had this annoying pattern of following up major deaths with much less intense episodes that usually carry no weight. I figured that this was either going to be some version of a Benny Hill episode or 74 minutes of Rick and Michonne wringing their
The retrospective begins May 4 and continues through June 23.
Press release: No name is more synonymous with the postwar explosion of art-house cinema than Ingmar Bergman, a master storyteller who startled the world with his stark intensity and naked pursuit of the most profound metaphysical and spiritual questions. In a career that spanned six decades, Bergman directed more than forty films in an astonishing array of tones, ranging from comedies whose lightness and complexity betray their brooding hearts to groundbreaking formal experiments and excruciatingly intimate explorations of family relationships. Starting Friday, May 4th at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre with THE SEVENTH SEAL and continuing through June 23rd, this
Chris Hemsworth lets his hair down (and sleeps with one eye open) in this highly enjoyable change of pace from director Taika Waititi.
Admittedly, I am not the biggest contemporary superhero movie enthusiast. At one point in time, I would have fallen somewhere in the vicinity of such a category, but I essentially dropped out around the same time the current Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as we know it came into existence in 2008. Sure, I catch the occasional superhero flick here and there (including the occasional new DC abomination, which usually only helps me appreciate Marvel's contributions all the more), but I generally remain indifferent to what I see. And then there is Thor: Ragnarok ‒ a film which proves even a
The latest death brings rising tension not just amongst the crew, but also the general public.
Last week, The Alienist ended with the death of another boy prostitute, but unlike the others, this victim had just one missing eye (instead of two), a severed hand, and a scalped head. It’s as if the killer was in the middle of leaving his signature trademark and was interrupted by something. That is also something noted by the crew as they try to find the killer. As Stevie is still traumatized by the fact that he could have possibly been the killer’s next victim, he tries to recall to John what the person looked like. Lazlo accuses John of
Two movies battled it out for this week's pick, but ultimately, the superhero won.
The 90th Academy Awards aired last night. I have to admit I wasn’t all that excited about it this year. No idea why. I’d actually seen more of the films this year than I usually have at this point and it's the one awards ceremony I usually love to sit through. I skipped all the pre-awards stuff but did turn the TV on for the actual show. As per usual, I clicked on Twitter to see what the people were saying about it. Usually, Twitter is a pretty fun place to hang out while watching the Oscars with plenty of
The gang set up a sting operation to catch the killer, while Lazlo's past reveals a particular clue that could harm his friendship with others.
The sixth episode of The Alienist, “Ascension,” begins with a rather long glimpse at a dead horse lying in the streets of New York. It also ends with a death, but this time, it is that of another boy prostitute near the Statue of Liberty. The first death shown has no ties to the story of The Alienist, other than it maybe serves more as a symbol that the genre with which the miniseries is affiliated may in fact be that of a dead horse, but the writers keep finding ways to get around it rather than continuously beat it.
A compelling historical drama about standing up for one's beliefs in the face of great adversity.
Joe Wright's Darkest Hour tells the story of Winston Churchill's first few weeks in office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, a tumultuous time as World War II raged in Europe and the leaders of Parliament couldn't agree on the direction to take. Gary Oldman gives a riveting portrayal of Churchill that will long be remembered, It was helped realized by the outstanding make-up work of Kazuhiro Tsuji and his team. On May 9, 1940, the Labour Party in the British Parliament wants to replace Prime Minster Neville Chamberlain (Ronald Pickup) as Prime Minister because of his capitulation to
Branagh is in his element here and whether one is previously familiar with the great Belgian detective or not, there is a lot to enjoy in Murder on the Orient Express.
As an avid fan of Agatha Christie mysteries on book and screen - especially David Suchet's excellent portrayal of her most famous detective, Hercule Poirot - I had to admit that the preview images of Kenneth Branagh and his take on Poirot's inimitable moustache put me off. What was he thinking? It was simply too ridiculous to be taken seriously. But I am happy to report that Branagh not only pulls off the Belgian sleuth, but he approaches the character and Christie's most famous puzzle with originality and enthusiasm. Branagh is not only the lead actor in the film, but