Monday 25 April 2022

Morbius (2022) - Movie Review

Once again, the Sony side of the Marvel cinematic landscape has released a film that has garnered… mixed reactions, let’s say. Much like with the first Venom, it has become yet another invented battleground for casual audiences to rail against The Critics™ (forgetting that we are all critics at the end of the day), with lashings of terrible official write-ups while the #MorbiusSweep movement… honestly, even in these post-irony days, I can’t tell if this is just a meme or if people are actually getting into this film. Unlike the first Venom, though, you won’t find me ‘picking a side’ in this particular pissing match. I don’t really get the intense backlash this has faced (well, mostly don't, but we'll get to that), nor do I think it’s an underrated gem worth white-knighting for. It’s just… okay.

Sunday 24 April 2022

The Bad Guys (2022) - Movie Review

Time for another unorthodox heist film, so soon after the anti-heist of The Duke, and I was quite torn initially going into this. On one hand, it’s the latest DreamWorks animated release, and if nothing else, they also manage to provide interesting material to dig into, even if it doesn’t always hold up alongside its competition. But on the other hand, we have writer Etan Cohen, whose rather inconsistent track record reached a serious nadir a few years back with his work on the unbearably smug Holmes & Watson. As much as I love heist films, this really could go either way and… well, it kinda goes for both of them?

Friday 22 April 2022

Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022) - Movie Review

At the tail-end of 2016, I reviewed a film called Swiss Army Man. It remains one of the most surreal features I’ve ever covered on this blog, and I loved the absolute hell out of it… although, by its own admission, it’s most certainly not going to work for all audiences. It’s a cult film made by decidedly cult filmmakers, and considering it found its way mainly into the more arthouse cinemas in my area, Daniels (the writing/directing team of Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert) seemed destined to stay on the fringe. Then their latest collaboration was released, to the most mainstream cinema local to me, and is seemingly adored by everyone. And what makes that fact even more astounding is that this film that has caught on like wildfire? It’s not even that much of a change-up from what these guys usually get up to.

Saturday 16 April 2022

The Duke (2022) - Movie Review

A little over a year ago, I found myself in the midst of quarantine brain and, in a desperate attempt to return things to what can charitably be called ‘normality’ as we know it around here, decided to pick out a random film that was showing at the time and just… get the hell out of the house for a bit. Said film was Blackbird, an ensemble film that, while I honestly haven’t thought much about it since publishing my initial review of it, I can at least look back on with some fondness for not totally wasting my time.

And here I am again, in need of getting myself out of a static rut I have found myself in of late, and once again deciding to essentially throw a dart at the Now Showing list as an excuse to get back to work and (more importantly) get back into a stable routine. And once again, I find myself looking at a film by Roger Michell, who also made Blackbird, and… well, let’s just say that my previous criticisms about not feeling as strongly about the material don’t apply here. Hell, if I’m being honest, there’s a lot about this that I like.

Thursday 14 April 2022

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent (2022) - Movie Review

Time for another preview screening, this time courtesy of StudioCanal… and man, after how much he crushed it last year, I leapt at the chance to check out the next Nicolas Cage flick. When you’ve spent so many years (decades, even) being such a singular talent that you’re just as animated as any one of the roles you’ve taken up, then yeah, why not star in a movie where you’re performing as yourself? Sure, there’s films like The Weather Man, Joe, and the previously-reviewed Pig, which showed certain facets of his real-life persona, but this is as direct as it gets. And the end result, while consciously made up of a lot of familiar parts, is quite mesmerising in that way that only Cage-starring films can manage.

Wednesday 13 April 2022

X (2022) - Movie Review

Sex and horror are strange bedfellows. As types of entertainment that exist outside of the mainstream’s safe zone, they’re inexorably linked, but they also have an uncomfortable relationship with each other. One of the most referred-to stereotypes in horror movies, and particularly slasher movies, is that if a character has sex on-screen, or has ever had sex in their fictional life, they are going to die. Films like the Friday The 13th series, where it seemed like Jason Voorhees had a sixth sense for people fucking nearby (an idea that became literal with Jason X).

Now, while there’s a general understanding that, yeah, that’s the actions and motives of the villain, so it’s not implicitly meant to be a viewpoint that should be adhered to… well, when it gets to the point where that stereotype of ‘sluts die’ is something that gets brought up consistently not just with discussions of older films, but is brought back in a lot of modern meta-horror features as well, you have to start wondering if that repetition is to acknowledge how regressive that worldview is, or to reinforce it. See also: The black man being the first to die in a horror film.

Tuesday 12 April 2022

Loveland (Expired) (2022) - Movie Review

Independent Aussie sci-fi films are quite the rarity, which is quite a shame as an Australian filmgoer who loves sci-fi and also loves supporting (good) local product. As such, respect is due for this film existing in the first place, as a lack of budget and, in a lot of cases, a lack of production ambition often get in the way of such things. But when looking at this film specifically, again with that minimum respect in mind, there’s a fair amount that I like about this, and just as much, if not more, that I have questions about.