The Nutcracker and the Four Realms review “Sour character development ruins a potentially sweet story”

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms posterIt’s November in the US which means it is time to start celebrating Christmas, and along with The Grinch, Disney is kicking things off with their new Christmas film Nutcracker and the Four Realms. Based off the hit ballet, Nutcracker is taking a generally story-less tale and turning it into fantasy war epic similar to the 2010 Alice in Wonderland.

I generally dislike that reimagining from Tim Burton, as it tries to turn nonsense into a Lord of the Rings style action film. Now, another director who has made a superhero movie that I really enjoy has come in to do that exact thing with the Nutcracker, and now I ask you to allow me to explain why that did really did not work. Continue reading

The Sisters Brothers review “A slow burn that never lights”

The Sisters Brothers movie posterJoaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Riz Ahmed, and Jake Gyllenhaal all in a comedy-western, directed by Jacques Audiard which was given fantastic reviews and an amazing trailer sounds like it should combine to make one of the best movies of 2018, right?

I saw this on the film’s opening day in a surprisingly empty theatre and was extremely excited as it had been delayed by weeks. I patiently watched as the trailers and opening credits rolled by, with an entire screen filled with all the production companies moved past to the opening scene. Now, I haven’t seen many westerns, but the ones I have I really enjoy. Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight are fantastic films, both of which I own on Blu-Ray. However, with The Sisters Brothers, I was severely disappointed, and let me discuss why. Continue reading

Bad Times at the El Royale review “Tarantino-esque Fun”

Bad Times at the El Royale poster2012, the year Drew Goddard made his directing debut with The Cabin in the Woods, which is one of my favorite horror movies and my favorite horror-comedy. It managed to combine humor and horror in a fun, creative romp. Six years later, Bad Times at the El Royale had its first trailer released and it was amazing! It had style, it had mystery, it had comedy, it even had an open-shirt Chris Hemsworth dancing menacingly toward the camera.

It had everything. I tried to stay away (in vain) from other trailers over the next 4 months, only seeing one brief trailer which gives something away about Jon Hamm’s character. When I finally saw Bad Times Thursday night, I was extremely excited, especially after seeing the great score it had received on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic. Two hours and twenty minutes later, I walked out and… well, let’s discuss. Continue reading

Halloween (2018) review “A true successor to the original”

Halloween movie posterHalloween 1978 and little-known director John Carpenter terrifies thousands of impressionable horror fans with the introduction of ‘The Shape’. Jamie Lee Curtis becomes the new ‘scream queen’ and all is well in the world of the slasher genre.

Fast-forward to 2009 and Rob Zombie directs the sequel to his reasonably successful remake of Halloween, but it was poorly received by critics and audiences alike. Why? Well Zombie’s grungy, rock-anthem vibe didn’t really sit too well with Michael Myers and the result was a distasteful and messy outing that set the franchise back nearly 10 years.

Of course, in between 1978 and 2009, the series was ripped apart, put back together again until it was a shadow of its former self. Anyone remember Busta Rhymes doing a vague impression of a karate master in Halloween: Resurrection?  Best forget about that. Continue reading

Thoroughbreds review “Amazing performances makes one of the year’s best”

Thoroughbreds movie posterDirectorial debuts are often a mixed bag, Quentin Tarantino, M. Night Shyamalan, and Alex Garland have all debuted with movies that are fantastic, while other directors such as Eli Roth, Corin Hardy, and Paul Feig all made less than average debuts. However, this is one of the best debuts I have ever seen from a director, this time being Cory Finley and the film being Thoroughbreds. I was not expecting a whole lot going into the movie, but my gosh, it is in my top 3 of the year. There’s so many marvelous things to discuss in the film, so I probably should just go into it.

So, as always, starting with the good, the best thing about this movie is without question the acting. If I did an award show, Thoroughbreds would without a doubt win the Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and probably best Cast Ensemble. The only thing that would be difficult about that would be deciding which of the actresses deserves Best Actress, Anya Taylor-Joy or Olivia Cooke. If I had to pick right now, I would say that it would have to be Olivia Cooke of Ready Player One fame. She gives a haunting performance which manages to put emotion into an emotionless character. Continue reading