I wanted to like Horns so much. I’ve enjoyed writer/director Alexandre Aja’s pulpy genre output since 2003’s French horror flick High Tension, and enjoyed the hell out of the campy, gore-laden Piranha 3D. Horns looked more ambitious than those films, though, still working the genre tropes that Aja uses so well but expanding into a broader, more fantastical realm, adapted from Joe Hill’s novel. The trailers looked great, I loved the cast (starring Daniel Radcliffe and featuring Max Minghella, Juno Temple, and Joe Anderson), and with a premiere at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival, it seemed like Horns might be something a little bit special. Continue reading
There are so many orphans in pop culture. Seriously, if you want to be a hero or a chosen one, you basically have to be orphaned first. And so, inspired by a delightfully time-wasting Twitter conversation, I’ve created a March Madness-style competitive bracket, beginning with a round of 32, to determine the Most Important (Fake) Dead Parents. Continue reading
Between the Chicago International Film Festival (10/9 – 10/23) and an increasingly busy commercial release slate, I’m going to see something like 31 movies in 31 days. How many do you think I can get reviewed? Over/under 15?
Over the last couple years, I’ve soured on football. I come from a football family—my mom had to reschedule her wedding around a Texas/OU game—and football is a big deal where I come from. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve lost my taste for football. It wasn’t one specific thing that did it, but more the accumulation of years of bullshit at both the college and pro levels, but things have really gone south over the last couple years. Exhibit A. Exhibit B. Exhibit B2. Exhibit C. Exhibit D. Exhibit-Fucking-E. You get the picture.
Summer movie season is over, let award season begin.
There’s no way that guy’s real name is Blake Rayne. Just none.
I get asked two questions a lot: 1) Does Marvel pay you for the good coverage, and 2) why is everything superheroes these days?
2) Because the world is scary and we want to believe in heroes.
John Michael McDonagh’s Calvary, the follow up to his stellar directorial debut The Guard, is not as funny as that buddy-cop parody, and is a hell of a lot more dark. Which is kind of saying something, because The Guard is already pretty dark. But where The Guard skates along the edge of the darkness and gallows humor that defines law enforcement officers the world over, Calvary lives in the darkness of the human soul, weighing the various kinds of crimes that can slowly rot someone from the inside out. It’s a deep film—sometimes a depressing one, sometimes a moving one—but overall Calvary is a methodical examination of 21st century spirituality and what it means to be evil or to forgive. Continue reading