Horror

Review: The Black Phone

Review: The Black Phone

Year: 2021 | Rating: As many of you are well aware, I don't generally "do" horror movies, but I had to make an exception for The Black Phone because I just had to see this performance from Ethan Hawke. And generally speaking, he does not disappoint, at least when he's actually on the screen, which -- in following a standard horror flick trope of not giving the big baddie that much screen time -- isn't that often. Make this two films in 2022 now that left me wanting more from Mr. Hawke (the first being The Northman). If we get a Black Phone sequel (and I would think that we would,…
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Review: Men

Review: Men

Year: 2022 | Rating: Man, I was on-board with Men for so long. Jessie Buckley is wonderful. The music is spectacular. The camerawork, particularly with the use of focus, is dynamic and interesting. The story mixes the realistic with the abstract just enough to keep you guessing and intrigued. Yes, the "drama" portion of this film is engaging and riveting, even at its slow and deliberate pace. Then right at the beginning of the third act, it's like a switch is flipped and the narrative and style delves straight into Blumhouse cheap-horror territory, and that's where Men begins to lose me. Once…
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Quick Hits: Raising Arizona, The Dead Don’t Die, School of Rock

Quick Hits: Raising Arizona, The Dead Don’t Die, School of Rock

Quick Hits In the latest edition of Quick Hits, I take at look at three lesser-celebrated films by iconic American auteurs: a Coen Brothers comedy featuring a madcap performance from Nicolas Cage, the latest quirky offering from the "master of cool" Jim Jarmusch, and a family studio comedy from Richard Linklater that deserves to be counted among his best work. Raising Arizona Year: 1987 | Rating: Welp, chalk Raising Arizona up as yet another Coen Brothers film that I walked away from thinking that it was aggressively...fine. And as usual, I can't really describe why I wasn't enthralled with this…
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Review: The Lighthouse

Review: The Lighthouse

Year: 2019 | Rating: The Lighthouse is a very hard film for me to pin down how I felt about it, because it's such a unique mish-mash of film genres, literary references, symbolic imagery, psychological concepts and mythology. For sure, the horror elements don't really work for me; I think that when most people learn that I don't really "do" horror movies, they think that it's because I don't like being scared or that I'm squeamish to gore, but the fact of the matter is that these elements simply don't affect me at all. This isn't some claim to macho-ness or…
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