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Today:  02/04/2023

Review: 'Mindcage' is an ambitious albeit flawed thriller

Posted January 31,2023 - 04:34 PM

Mindcage

If Mindcage were made in the mid-1990s, it's possible that it would have been right up there with Seven in terms of culturally-relevant filmmaking, but alas it's 2023. While viewing Mindcage is sort of a trip to a simpler time when serial killers were all the rage, it didn't pack in all the conveniences of the intervening 30 years and we are left with a bit of a nostalgic fluff piece where the parts are definitely more than its sum.

And yet, there is just something mesmerizing about John Malkovich and his performance alone is worth a watch. That said, I'm not surprised that critics are mostly panning this movie while audiences seem to be connecting with it in a much more positive way.

We constantly talk about the disconnect between critics and "real audiences," but this void is the...

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Review: 'Paradise City' slightly squanders a golden opportunity

Posted December 20,2022 - 03:33 PM

Paradisecity

The last (and only) time we saw Bruce Willis onscreen with John Travolta, Bruce was filling John with lead as Pulp Fiction was reaching its crescendo. Ever since that moment, movie fans have been clamoring to get the two titans of action films together once more.

Enter Pardise City.

What should have been a slam dunk, home run, and whatever other sports metaphor you want to toss around is another wasted opportunity in the waning moments of Willis' career. Since his Aphasia diagnosis, as fans, we have been counting down to the end of Willis' acting resume with one disappointing movie after another.

Thanks to Bruce Willis' consummate chase for that elusive payday, he has no shortage of films in the can. Of course, no one knew about his condition when he was filming these movies and the...

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Review: 'Smile' is a bit familiar, but still a good scare

Posted December 13,2022 - 04:48 PM

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As most of you know by now, my daughter and I record a horror podcast, so any chance to review a horror film allows us to watch it together. This was the case when the opportunity to review Smile came up.

I'm a huge horror nerd and I had been hearing so many good things about Smile, I was sure that my review would be glowing. Well, I wouldn't go so far as to call it glowing, but there were a few derivative moments that made me wonder what all the fuss was about.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but I would adjust your expectations if you're expecting something as revolutionary as Nope or Pearl. Still, Smile was a decent watch and a worthy addition to the annals of horror.

After witnessing a bizarre, traumatic incident involving a patient, Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon) starts...

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Review: Vestron gets into the holiday spirit with 'Silent Night' collection

Posted December 13,2022 - 04:03 PM

Silent night

It's no secret that I absolutely adore the Vestron Video Collector's Series from Lionsgate. It doesn't hurt that I watched most of these films when they came out repeatedly.

But as we've detailed here numerous times, this Vestron series is taking these cult movies and giving them the red-carpet treatment they deserve. With the spate of streaming services popping up, there's a real void for films from smaller studios or boutique labels that no longer exist.

Many times, these films get lost in litigation (Dogma anyone?) and never see the light of day again. Sometimes, however, these movies get a boost thanks to the fine people at Lionsgate. The result is the Vestron series where not only are the films being made available again but they are loaded with bonus features that would make any...

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Review: 'Clerks III' is a heartfelt declaration to living life to the fullest

Posted December 06,2022 - 04:53 PM

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Look, I make no apologies. I absolutely adore Kevin Smith. I have been fortunate to meet him on several occasions and even introduce him during the Red State stop at my alma mater, Butler University back in 2011.

Heck, my daughter was conceived that very night, and no, prima nocta was not invoked by Smith. So, if you're expecting anything less than a glowing review, then I'd recommend you keep searching.

And yet, not two minutes into Clerks III, I was full-on cursing Kevin Smith for one particular event that occurred in the interval between Clerks II and the latest movie. I will try to avoid as many spoilers as possible, but no guarantees. Somehow, I was able to navigate the minefield before watching it and I truly hope that you go into it as pristine as possible.

Clock back into the...

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Review: 'Medieval' goes, well, medieval in this violent historical film

Posted December 06,2022 - 02:27 PM

Medieval

As someone with a young child participating in her first band concert last night with her shiny new clarinet, I've been inundated with countless renditions of 'Good King Wenceslas' in the last several months. So, imagine my delight when I dug into Medieval and saw King Wenceslas on the screen.

Only one problem, he wasn't THE King Wenceslas of the fabled Christmas carol. Apparently, Kings Wenceslas are as common as Kings Henry in England and this story revolved around Wenceslas IV while the famous song is based on the original King. Five hundred years between them aside, I wasn't prepared at all for all of the exquisite violence that marked the end of the Middle Ages.

It's one thing to learn about the brutality of feuding nobility and the ravages of the plague in a history book. Still,...

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Review: 'Pearl' brings technicolor to horror

Posted November 15,2022 - 05:10 PM

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As many of you know, my love of horror has been rekindled recently as my tween daughter begins her journey in this wonderful genre. Since we are starting back in 1960 with Psycho and trying to work our way up in a lazy chronological order, it will be a while before she sees films from Ti West or Jordan Peele.

And yet, it's hard to keep her on track because these newer films are really leading to a renaissance of the genre. I have already seen a handful of fantastic horror films in 2022, but West's X might be the best of the bunch.

A throwback to the classic slasher films of the 1970s, X is both an homage to these films and something uniquely its own. The driving force behind X is the dual performances from actress Mia Goth. She plays both Maxine, an aspiring adult film star, and...

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Review: 'Earth Girls Are Easy' is latest Vestron home-run

Posted November 08,2022 - 05:14 PM

Earth girls

It's no secret that I absolutely adore the Vestron Video Collector's Series from Lionsgate. It doesn't hurt that I watched most of these films when they came out repeatedly.

But as we've detailed here numerous times, this Vestron series is taking these cult movies and giving them the red-carpet treatment they deserve. With the spate of streaming services popping up, there's a real void for films from smaller studios or boutique labels that no longer exist.

Many times, these films get lost in litigation (Dogma anyone?) and never see the light of day again. Sometimes, however, these movies get a boost thanks to the fine people at Lionsgate. The result is the Vestron series where not only are the films being made available again but they are loaded with bonus features that would make any...

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Review: 'Dig' hits rock bottom, but redeems itself

Posted November 08,2022 - 04:21 PM

Dig

They say that nepotism is dead, but you only have to take one look at Hollywood to realize that's not entirely true. Hollywood has long been known to foster relationships with families that spawn multiple generations.

For the most part, these relationships result in wonderful performances from actors and actresses who have been in the business their whole lives and know what to expect. Well, it seems that we have another generation of Hollywood kids beginning to take after their parents and we couldn't be more excited.

Maya Hawke is turning heads for her performance in Stranger Things and she's the spitting image of her famous parents. It's impossible not to see Uma or Ethan when watching her and yet, she also brings a considerable presence that is all her own.

Likewise, I had truly...

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Review: 'Top Gun: Maverick' is well worth the wait

Posted November 01,2022 - 04:49 PM

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With the possible exception of Avatar: The Way of Water, no other sequel released in 2022 was as anticipated as Top Gun: Maverick. The oft-delayed (thanks COVID!) film is a sequel to Tom Cruise's 1986 prestige film Top Gun.

While the delays had nothing to do with the quality of the movie, the already pent-up anticipation had nowhere else to go but up. In other words, would Top Gun: Maverick be crushed under the weight of unreasonably high expectations?

I'm happy to report that not only does Top Gun: Maverick deliver the goods, but at the risk of blasphemy, it actually surpasses its predecessor in terms of quality. Yes, it really is that good.

After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy's top aviators, Pete "Maverick" Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is where he belongs, pushing...

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