Press release: GKIDS, the acclaimed distributor of multiple Academy Award-nominated animated features announced today they will bring Wolfwalkers to cinemas nationwide, with the film set to open in 500 theaters starting November 13. Tickets are available now at WolfwalkersMovie.com, and participating theater box offices. The U.S. theatrical release will include multi-day event screenings in partnership with Fathom Events on November 13, 14, and 15, as well as simultaneous full theatrical runs with Landmark, Angelika, LA’s Vineland drive-in, and other independent theaters nationwide and in Canada starting November 13. The film premieres globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, December 11. An
October 2020 Archives
Wolfwalkers is the latest from two-time Academy Award-nominated director Tomm Moore and director Ross Stewart and co-produced by the award-winning animation studios Cartoon Saloon.
HBO's miniseries offers an alternate glimpse of American during the 1940s and makes obvious comparisons to today's events.
Based on Phillip Roth’s novel of the same name, David Simon’s adaptation of The Plot Against America takes a look at an alternate timeline of the country during the 1940s. It imagines what would have happened if aviator and political activist Charles Lindbergh ran for president and won over Franklin Delano Roosevelt. But Lindbergh is portrayed as radical and xenophobic, and his vision seems to be leaning more toward running the country like a dictator. Does that sound familiar? It should. If you follow the news at all, the comparisons to the media's portrayal of President Trump and their constant
Alex Gibney's Damning Documentary, 'Totally Under Control', Available for Free Today Through Election
It will be a generation before we know the full extent of the damage wrought by this pandemic, but Totally Under Control will stand as the definitive account of the Trump administration’s incompetence, corruption and denial in the face of this global pandemic.
Press release: Beginning today through Election Day on Tuesday, November 3rd, NEON has made Alex Gibney’s Totally Under Control available to stream for free on its website. The company is also setting up high profile Twitter Watch Parties throughout the week along with Q&As with directors, Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan & Suzanne Hillinger. Totally Under Control filmed quietly over the last few months and was completed just days prior to its launch on October 13th. The film, which debuted at #2 on Apple its opening week, is currently streaming on Hulu. Read Ram Venkat Srikar's review. This week the striking
Burt Sugarman's The Soul of The Midnight Special: Volume 1 (1973-1976) DVD Review: A Soulful Nostalgia Trip
Be instantly transported to soul, funk, and disco's golden era in this five-DVD set.
Long before MTV, if you wanted to see your favorite artist perform their latest hits, you had limited choices: see them on American Bandstand, Soul Train, The Tonight Show, or on variety shows. Many of these programs, however, featured artists lip-synching their newest singles. During the 1970s, The Midnight Special, along with Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, stood out for having completely live music in front of a studio audience. NBC’s The Midnight Special, which aired from 1973-1981, kept music fans up late with current and classic artists from the rock and soul fields. Time Life has compiled some of the
Obscure British serial killer film details the grubby life of a real life (if slightly fictionalized) murderer.
Obscure, cheap, short, and brutal, Cold Light of Day is a surprising discovery of British cinema. Shot on 16mm, the occasionally extremely grainy footage matches the grubbiness of the sets, the characters, and the entire sordid story. Inspired by real life British serial killer Dennis Nilsen, who may have murdered as many as 17 young men, chopping up their bodies and keeping various pieces of them on his property, Cold Light of Day opens with the murderer, here called Jorden March, being caught by the police. There's no struggle or fight - they knock on his door, he comes with.
Bong Joon-ho's modern masterpiece headlines a new week of stellar releases.
Everything you've heard about director Bong Joon-ho's rightly acclaimed and celebrated 2019 modern classic, Parasite, is definitely true. It's a remarkable and truly original depiction of greed and class discrimination that remains the best and most timely film of last year. When it won the Oscar for Best Picture, I was happy but not really that surprised. It's rare now that the Best Picutre Oscar goes to an actual Best Picture. It's a film in which I think is going to age incredibly well for years to come, if we should still exist then. Joon-ho's darkly comedic vision portrays the
Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winning drama gets the Criterion treatment.
One of the hardest things for a filmmaker to do is blend multiple genres together and do it so seamlessly. The balance of tone and mood can drastically shift once it makes its way from one focus to another, and that tends to lead some films on a downward spiral. But the way Bong Joon-ho handles his latest film, Parasite, is so unique. The blending of dark satire and tense drama is masterful. Bong takes a topic with which he’s familiar (class inequality) and turns it into something that is wonderfully helmed and feels like new territory. Parasite tells the
A perfect addition to your Halloween viewing schedule.
In a small, dark bar, in a small New York hamlet, Kurt (John Adams) eats a grubby little dinner and has a few too many beers. It is snowing and pitch-black when he drives home. He swerves to miss a few deer, running across the road and then hears a bump bump. He's hit something. That something turns out to be 14-year-old Echo (Zelda Adams), who was out sledding. Kurt is visually upset, he's not a psychopath after all, but he's also been around. He knows the score. If he calls the cops, they'll give him a drunk test and
A film deserving of recognition thanks to a story that could be told in any genre and a great leading performance by Gregory Peck.
Set in the Southwest Territory of the 1880s, a Texan named Jimmy Ringo (Gregory Peck) was known the fastest gun. While this designation has earned him respect, it also causes some to fear him and others to test the legend, a burden that The Gunfighter carries in Henry King's taut western. While en route to Cayenne, Ringo stops off at a saloon. A kid named Eddie (Richard Jaeckel) starts running his mouth. Ringo tries to avoid a confrontation but is forced to kill him. Even though he was in the right, it is suggested he leave town because the kid
Upcoming prequel comic reveals the genesis of the Blade Runner division.
Press release: Titan Comics and Alcon Media Group are excited to announce the February 2021 debut of BLADE RUNNER ORIGINS. Set ten years before Titan’s current bestselling and award-winning Blade Runner 2019, the year-long comic book series will follow the events leading up to the creation of the Blade Runner division, reflecting the world, characters and events first seen in the genre-defining films Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049. A senior bioengineer for the Tyrell Corp is found hanging in her sealed laboratory, the victim of an apparent suicide. LAPD Detective Cal Moreaux—a war-scarred veteran of the bloody Off-world conflict
A wonderful remembrance yet also a great frustration.
Set to air November 22 on Showtime, R.J. Cutler's Belushi is a standard biographical documentary that tells the regrettably all-too-familiar tale of the rise of a talented individual who succumbs to personal demons. In case the title isn't enough to go on, the subject is John Belushi, who became a household name in the latter half of the '70s as an original member of Saturday Night Live's Not Ready for Prime Time Players. He went on to have a successful career in movies and music as well. In 1978 at only 30 years old, he added a #1 album with
If you are well-versed on this red-eyed harbinger of doom, you may not gain a lot of new insight.
If you grew up in a town that has local legends, you no doubt grew up hearing the stories that shaped your town's history. The residents of Point Pleasant, West Virginia know about these kinds of legends all too well. On December 15, 1967, 46 people were killed when the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant, West Virginia collapsed during rush hour. But before the tragedy, people around Point Pleasant reported seeing a large winged creature with glowing red eyes. This creature came to be known as the Mothman. This legendary creature is seen by many as warning of impending doom.
Two adaptations of the same novel, made decades apart, about a yakuza too violent and self-destructive even for gang-life.
Both Kinji Fukasaku and Takashi Miike were unlikely survivors in their different eras of Japanese cinema. They both were highly prolific, and rare among their peers when the fortunes of the Japanese film industry turned for the worse, they kept working, pivoting into different genres and styles. Fukasaku worked steadily through the '70s and '80s when many of his peers fell by the wayside, and though Miike by all rights ought to have burned out with his amazing productivity (over 100 feature films in three decades of filmmaking, sometimes more than five in a single year) he's still going strong.
A classic film animation fans will revisit and future generations will continually discover.
Made by the Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon, Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart’s Wolfwalkers is the third in Moore's Irish folklore trilogy, following The Secret of Kells (2009) Song of the Sea (2014). However, this film is so good audiences won't want him to stop at three entries. Set in Kilkenny, Ireland, 1650, the inhabitants of the walled city are troubled by wolves in the surrounding woods. Arriving from England, Bill Goodfellowe (Sean Bean) is a hunter tasked with remedying the situation. His young daughter, Robin (Honor Kneafsey), wants to assist her father and take part in the hunt, rather
A documentary how art can give tangible context to our grief and how it can help those left behind.
Do you remember where you were when you learned that your life had just changed forever? Perhaps it was when you were offered that job you had been hoping for. Or when the love of your life walked into the room. Those are good moments we never want to forget. But what do you remember about the moment when your life changed forever due to tragedy? Were you at home? Were you at work? Did someone else tell you? Did you see it on the news? As you think about those moments, can you remember how your body felt? Did
One of the greatest trilogies in film history gets another upgrade and headlines a new week of releases.
What else can one say about the Back to the Future trilogy that hasn't been said already? It is still one of the most wildly inventive and popular trilogies in the history of film, inspiring so many filmmakers, imitations, and some realistic depictions of the future. There is spirit, humor, and just the right amount of danger to fully win over even the most unimpressed film lover, or people who aren't into these types of movies. The original classic stars Michael J. Fox as iconic character Marty McFly, who gets sent back in time to 30 years earlier to 1955
These films take viewers behind the scenes and also puts them in the spotlight as the original Captain Kirk examines the cultural phenomenon.
The Captains Collection is a four-disc set from Shout Factory! that presents four Star Trek-related documentaries written and directed by William Shatner for the EPIX cable channel. These films take viewers behind the scenes and also puts them in the spotlight as the original Captain Kirk examines the cultural phenomenon. The Captains (2011) finds Shatner interviewing actors who followed in his footsteps portraying starship captains in the Star Trek franchise: Patrick Stewart (Jean-Luc Picard, The Next Generation), Avery Brooks (Benjamin Sisko, Deep Space Nine), Kate Mulgrew (Catherine Janeway, Voyager), Scott Bakula (Jonathan Archer, Enterprise), and Chris Pine (James Kirk, Star
A manifold crowd-pleaser from multi-hyphenate talent Radha Blank.
The benefit of artistic expression is that it allows artists to vent their frustrations. Whether it’s through a script, a poem, or in the case of our main character, music, art serves as a way for people to make their voice heard and bare out their emotions they keep bottled up. Much like how multi-hyphenate talent Radha Blank commands our attention as she announces her arrival, the central protagonist of The Forty-Year-Old Version is one that’ll surely make her voice heard. Radha, played by Blank herself, is a struggling playwright living in NYC who makes ends meet by teaching an
Go behind the music as Springsteen and the E Street Band record together live for the first time since Born In The U.S.A.
Press release: “Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You” captures Bruce Springsteen recording his new album “Letter To You” live with the full E Street Band, and includes final take performances of 10 originals from the new record. The feature-length vérité documentary features full performances from the E Street Band, in-studio footage, never-before-seen archival material, and a deeper look into “Letter To You” from Springsteen himself. Written by Springsteen and directed by his frequent collaborator Thom Zimny, the film is a tribute to the E Street Band, to rock music itself, and to the role it has played in Springsteen's life. Apple
Something to look forward to next year.
The Criterion Collection will be releasing four--er, make that six titles to welcome in the new year. New titles are Larisa Shepitko’s The Ascent, Bing Liu’s Minding the Gap, and Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese. Blu-ray upgrades are being given to the three final films by Luis Buñuel collected in a box set: The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The Phantom of Liberty, and That Obscure Object of Desire. Read on to learn more about them. Three Films by Luis Buñuel (#102 / #290 / #143) out Jan 5 More than four decades after he
Includes 33 complete episodes, rare behind-the-scenes footage, a 28-page collector's book, a bonus DVD and more!
Press release: On October 11, 1975, Saturday Night Live, a topical comedy sketch show, made its debut on NBC. Created by Canadian-born comedy writer Lorne Michaels, it would go on to become a renowned launch pad for generational talent and unforgettable characters and become the longest-running, highest-rated show on late-night television. The first five years of Saturday Night Live featured some of the most beloved cast members of all time, including Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, and Laraine Newman and they set the stage for some of the most hilarious live
The first Japanese science fiction film shot in color is as surprisingly stylishly made as it is old-fashioned.
All science fiction is dated. Even the most up-to-the-minute, forward-looking piece of work is still a work of its time, and time passes. An old science fiction movie is going to look old. The special effects aren't going to look contemporary. The science will not be up to date. The way things work in the story are not the way things actually happen. So how, in the spirit of open-hearted appreciation, can a modern viewer approach something like Warning from Space, released in 1956? The premise isn't going to be new to anyone with a cursory knowledge of even the
An excellent and truthful depiction of African American life and love that still feels all-too modern.
In the 1970s, the blaxploitation genre of film exploded, and it was usually centered on stories of masculine black men, fighting against 'The Man', where women were always the side pieces or sexual playthings who were just along for the ride. However, there was a gender reversal where strong black women got revenge against the higher powers that be. This all changed with once-blacklisted director John Barry's marvelous Claudine, a remarkable 1974 portrait of society on hard times, which was one of the very first films to depict, with honesty, the way life treated people, especially African Americans, with a
The extra shorts are a welcome bonus especially for DC fans who know the obscure characters.
A sequel to the animated film Batman: Under The Red Hood, which I previously reviewed, Batman: Death in the Family is an animated film based on 1988's Batman: A Death in the Family, the landmark comic book event that allowed fans to determine the fate of Jason Todd / Robin by calling one of two 1-900 phone numbers. Viewers of the Blu-ray are also given the ability to decide how the story proceeds. The Joker (John DiMaggio) is beating Jason Todd / Robin (Vincent Martella) with a crowbar in a warehouse. Batman (Bruce Greenwood) is on his way to rescue
Scream Factory's deluxe edition of one of horror history's most iconic franchises tops a new week of solid releases.
Halloween (1978), when it was released, set the standard for the slasher genre, which would go on to have an extreme boom throughtout the 1980s. However, as fantastic as it was and still is, it was tense and suspenseful, but not gory nor bloody. The original Friday the 13th (1980) took it even further by adding blood and gore, which was a big hit when it was released. But unlike Halloween, Friday was reviled by critics for its lack of originality and excessive violent content. When you see it now, it's not the gorefest that many people said it was.
A conscientiously infuriating and trepidatious documentation of a systemic failure.
The obligation while reviewing documentaries that has always challenged and fascinated me is to create a clear distinction between the film's subject matter and filmmaking craft. Totally Under Control is no exception, and is, perhaps, a bigger challenge as compared to other documentaries ascribed to its germane nature with which it addresses the prevailing COVID-19 situation. One certainly cannot - and should not - overlook its relevance. After all, the film’s fundamental motive is evolving as you read this. Probably the most felicitous film you can get your hands on at the present, Totally Under Control is a conscientiously infuriating
Jean-Luc Godard's violent and unpredictable 1965 road movie comes back to Criterion.
The legendary and unclassifiable filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard is reaching his 90th birthday this year (in just two months from now), and I think that this is a good time to celebrate early by reviewing a film from his past. Although some of the premises of his film are relatively thin, there is enough style, visuality, and of course, politics, to make you forget how unmemorable they actually are. This is the case for his 1965 satirical landmark, Pierrot le Fou, which not only remains one of his most accessible, but also one of the most influential films of the now-bygone
Elle Fanning and Selena Gomez are comedic standouts among the talented cast.
A Rainy Day in New York is Woody Allen's 48th feature film as writer/director and is finally making its way to theaters in the United States after being dropped by its distributor Amazon in 2018 and an international rollout that began last year. It finds him yet again covering overly familiar ground as two twenty-something upper-class kids run around Manhattan for a day in this romantic farce. Our two main characters are Gatsby Welles(Timothée Chalamet) and Ashleigh Enright (Elle Fanning). who met and started dating at a New York liberal arts college. This is his second college because he's disinterested
A difficult, disturbing, but creepily accurate depiction of the perils of Hollywood.
Obviously, I don't have any experience of Hollywood, but seeing films and tv shows about it through my ordinary eyes, it's safe to say that it seems to be an unsettling world full of malaise, decadence, and cutthroat darkness. This dark side of success, fame, and fortune is a subject matter that has been told time and time again, but never in such a bleak and unforgiving way as director Bernard Rose and co-writer/producer/co-star Lisa Enos' tough 2000 masterwork Ivansxtc, which is also a stark tribute to the power of art house/indie film. Shot on high-defintion video and based on
A quietly sublime and unassuming portrait of desperate adulthood and hard lessons.
We all have moments of reflections and uncertanity, whether we are so eager to grow up into adults, or when we are adults sometimes we see that maybe being so is not exactly what we thought or hoped for. We think that when we get older we have more freedom and decisions to make ourselves. However, we can get discouraged about the many responsibilites that we have to deal with when getting to a certain age. And I think that director Azazel Jacobs' beautifully subtle 2008 indie Momma's Man definitely and successfully defines that subject. Mikey (Matt Boren) is a
A fine collection of films from one of my favorite studios.
Last week I reviewed a 10-film collection from Blumhouse Productions, a relatively young studio that specializes in low budget films. This week I'm reviewing a 10-film collection from another relatively young studio that also specializes in relatively low-budget films. But where Blumhouse tends to make genre films with mostly unknown actors and directors, Focus Features leans more towards prestige pictures with well-known filmmakers. Blumhouse's reason for existence seems to be making as much money as possible with as little risk as they can afford, quality and artistic merit be damned. While Focus Features aims for awards season with high-quality Oscar
Jean-Luc Godard's 1965 stylish masterpiece starts off a new week of releases.
I know that legendary director Jean-Luc Godard, by many, should be taken with a grain of salt (or ten), but for me, he is one of the greatest filmmakers of all-time. He marches to be beat of his own drum, and he makes films the way he wants to. Obviously, he always includes politics in his movies, whether subtle or outrageous, and his characters (at least some of them) feel as if they're from another planet. However, that is what's so unique about them. There are so many references in his work to history, relationships, religion, and of course, the
Enjoy these cool things.
I think I speak for nearly everyone on the planet when I say that this year has not gone as expected. It has been utterly insane on a global, local, and personal level. I try to keep everything - my work life, my family life, my blogs, and writing - running smoothly. It helps to keep busy. But sometimes it gets to be a bit much. Last week, I wrote this article and then forgot to publish it. To be fair it was my wife's birthday weekend and I always prefer her to writing movie reviews, and then on Sunday
The animated special features original audio from 1967, with the Doctor played by Patrick Troughton.
Press release: The first three episodes of Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones premieres back-to-back on Wednesday, October 7 at 8pm ET/7c, with the last three episodes premiering back-to-back on Thursday, October 8 at 8pm ET/7c, as a part of BBC AMERICA’s Comic-Couch programming block. The Faceless Ones is the mostly missing eighth serial of the fourth season of Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from April to May 1967, starring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor. Only two of the six episodes are held in the BBC film archives with snippets of footage and still images existing
Kelly Reichardt's lovely western focuses more on character than it does genre tropes.
This tumultuous year saw several films see a brief theatrical release before being pulled altogether. Unless it was something that came from the Mouse House or had another major studio backing, a lot of those films would end up getting lost in the streaming service shuffle. Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow is just one of the many titles that were getting its rollout underway before the shutdown. Readily available to watch at home since June, the movie is more of an old-timey western that deserves the big screen over the small screen. It’s gorgeous, no matter how you watch it, but
Featuring every episode of Steven Universe; Steven Universe Future; the smash hit TV movie, Steven Universe The Movie plus hours of all-new bonus content.
Press release: Grab your popcorn and get ready to sing your hearts out as Warner Bros. Home Entertainment brings Cartoon Network’s award-winning series into your homes with the release of Steven Universe: The Complete Collection on DVD December 8, 2020. This ultimate 15-Disc Collector’s Edition Storybook features custom-made pieces of art on every page by Chromosphere. Inside, it is filled with every episode of Steven Universe, Steven Universe Future, as well as the smash hit TV movie, Steven Universe The Movie. Enhance the magic with hours of all-new bonus content including: Animatics, Minisodes, Commentary, Steven Universe The Movie: Sing-A-Long, and
It has, and don't call me "Shirley."
The seventh title in the “Paramount Presents” line is Airplane!, a hysterical send-up of the disaster-film genre, and specifically Zero Hour! (1957), which writers/directors David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker (ZAZ) borrowed so much from that they sought the rights to create a “remake.” It is jam packed with so many jokes it requires multiple viewings to take them all in because they take place in the foreground, background, and even on the audio track. Airplane! has a serious story as its frame. During a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago, the flight crew and a number of passenger
Brandon Cronenberg's sophomore effort is ridden with anxiety, distress, and shock. But you'll crave for more.
When someone asks me what a film is about, I’m often puzzled whether to share the synopsis of the film, or tell what the film is actually about. Take the case of Parasite, for instance. It’s the story of a poor family infiltrating a rich family to make money. What is it actually about, though? The persistent, wide gap between classes in a capitalist world. A layered screenplay bestows such depth, the duality, or what we call, subtext. Ignore the subtext, you still have a coherent film. Likewise, I can surely tell the story of Brandon Cronenberg's sophomore effort, Possessor.
This Festival of Fright puts the franchise in a good light at their most appropriate holiday.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided the writer with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this Blog Post. The opinions shared are his own. Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases the 31st direct-to-video movie in their Scooby-Doo franchise on October 6, 2020. The trailer claims this to be "Their First Halloween Mystery Movie", although that ignores the excellent Scooby-Doo! and the Goblin King and the lesser entertaining but Halloween-themed Scooby-Doo! and KISS: Rock n Roll Mystery. The animated movie arm of the franchise has settled into semi-anual release schedule and in the quickly changing landscape of Home Entertainment, I feel