Monday, July 26, 2021

Heavy Metal (1981)

The Heavy Metal/Métal hurlant franchise is awesome, if you are familiar with the material then you probably love it. That is a testament to the fantastic work of French comic artists and the animators who made this first American film. The anthology format of this and subsequent adaptations lends itself well to stories of raw passion and violence.

What is perhaps most interesting about Heavy Metal is that it crosses time and space to tell stories of human triumph over enemies, society, and life in general. It does not falter in its unflinching awareness of how the universe really is. It doesn’t lie as much as the Disney shit.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Us (2019)

Us is a film comprised of foreshadowing, nuance, and ambition. There is a lot of talk of coincidences, clones, and tunnels. There are clones in tunnels.

The concept is foreshadowed for 30 minutes before the plot really starts moving. It’s a psychological horror movie that feels a little like a political thriller. While a film’s tone should normally not take so long to establish, the movie earns its time, using it to educate the audience on the goings on, and there are several surprises.

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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Wrong Turn (2003)

Does Wrong Turn warrant critical analysis? I think so. One would expect a new franchise in the slasher genre to be warmly received, especially during the dry spell of the 2000s. It’s The Hills Have Eyes (1977) meets Deliverance (1972). Both films are more artful by a mile, but Wrong Turn has the magic formula of idiots going into the woods and not coming out.

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Saturday, November 14, 2020

Jason X (2001)

It’s Friday the 13th in space. Rarely does such a collision of genres exceed expectations. When your expectations are anchored in a character with Jason’s long and varied history, anything is possible.

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Sunday, November 8, 2020

Scream (1996)

The only true slasher franchises (stories built around mythical, unstoppable serial killers) are Halloween and Friday the 13th. All of the others have villains who are either too sympathetic or too impotent to rack up a real body count and make the audience jump. Scream falls into that large category of wannabe slasher films, more of a Scary Movie (2000) than an actual scary movie.

This is a horror-comedy that is too clever for its own good, satirizing rather than celebrating. Intentional comedy belongs in comedy films rather than horror films. The unintentional kind is funnier anyways. Not that Scream is a bad movie. It’s pretty enjoyable, but it could have been better in different hands.

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