Saturday, 27 August 2022

Bullet Train (2022) - Movie Review

Over the last few years, I’ve been riding 87North’s dick pretty damn hard. David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, ever since they gave Keanu Reeves a turbo boost with the first John Wick, have been remarkably consistent in delivering some of the most exciting action flicks in recent memory. If the term ‘elevated horror’ is allowed to be in common parlance, then what these guys do has to be called elevated action. As such, I was quite jazzed about the chance to see Leitch in the director’s chair again. But while it’s definitely fun, it seems that even he couldn’t keep up his enviable momentum forever; he had to hit a lag eventually.

Thursday, 25 August 2022

The Black Phone (2022) - Movie Review

Ethan Hawke is one of my favourite actors working today. While he certainly has the skill to back up that kind of acclaim, my love for the guy’s work comes mainly out of how insanely eclectic he is. The Northman, Cut Throat City, The Truth, Stockholm, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, The Magnificent Seven, Predestination, Boyhood; not only is the man up for pretty much anything a director could possibly throw at him, but he’s also willing to go into unexpected international corners to spread the love around. So when news hit of him being cast as the villain in a horror flick, hell yeah, I was on board for that… but while Hawke certainly delivered, it’s a testament to just how good this film is that he ends up being at the lower end of this film’s positives.

Monday, 15 August 2022

Thor: Love And Thunder (2022) - Movie Review

After languishing as the dark horse of the main four Avengers of the MCU, Thor seems to have found a firm footing and identity thanks to director Taika Waititi. Namely, that he is the comic relief of the team. This has admittedly been a thing with him since the Kenneth Branagh film, but with Taika’s unique brand of social cringe, it effectively smoothed itself out and made for a high point of the already-impressive Phase Three with Thor: Ragnarok. Naturally, much like Christopher McQuarrie sticking around for the more recent Mission: Impossible films, bringing him back for another trip with the space Viking is a good move. And sure enough, it’s most certainly a Taika Waititi film… although I wouldn’t particularly blame certain audiences for wishing it was more than that.

Friday, 12 August 2022

Nope (2022) - Movie Review

One of the more oft-repeated phrases about the nature of comedy is that it is more-or-less a matter of ‘tragedy + time’. After enough time has passed since an awful event, that is when it is possible to see the more humourous side of something that, in the moment, would’ve been too shocking to exhume such mirth from. But I’m not sure that is really the case, at least nowadays. We collectively have so much access to visual and auditory information, and have subsequently learnt to digest it at such a rate, that we have surpassed the idea that the passing of time has anything to do with the ability to make light of tragic events. I first got that impression when I heard my first joke about Michael Jackson’s death, which was on the same day it broke the news cycle; unless the bracket of time is measured in mere minutes or hours, that doesn’t appear to be accurate anymore.

Instead, I’d argue that it’s a matter of distance rather than time. Temporal distance can be a part of that, sure, but as far as turning something horrible into the kind of material that someone would willingly indulge in, it can be a cinch when there’s enough distance between the subject and the observer. If it happened to a stranger, or someone you know more by reputation than through any personal contact, making light of it is far easier to do than if, say, it happened to someone you know more personally or, more pointedly, if it happened to you.

Now, why am I bringing this up when talking about this film in particular? Am I making the same mistake that the Oscars made back in 2017? Well, hopefully not. Rather, I’m getting into this for two other reasons. One, because whenever I get to discussing Peele’s films, my writing turns out a lot denser than usual, so I’m just setting the tone as best I can. And two, because what truly makes this film horrifying is in how it examines that subject/observer relationship, both when it comes to our entertainment and our everyday lives.