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The Battle for Blade Runner

The Guest Recommendation Review Anthony Darnell

Three Must-See Halloween Movies for 2017

With Halloween just around the bend, I’ve been taking a look back at the best, and somewhat overlooked, horror movies from recent years.

While the endearing nostalgia of Stephen King’s IT enthralled late-summer audiences, I felt it lacked a certain oomph in the scares department. It Comes at Night was a unique take on the zombie/plague genre, but it didn’t have an interesting enough, or emotionally satisfying, resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed both, but I didn’t think they had enough pizazz to make the list. Read more…

Fuck you, Darren Aronofsky, and the Jennifer Lawrence you rode in on.

Let me begin with an apology: this will be a profanity-laced, spoiler-filled review of mother! If that’s not your cup of tea then hit the back button, close your browser window, or light your goddam house on fire—oh, that’s how the movie ends, by the way; Jennifer Lawrence lights the house on fire and then God—played by Javier Bardem—removes her crystalized heart from her charred-to-a-crisp body, places it in a display case, and that resets the movie back to the beginning. See? There’s gonna be fucking spoilers EVERYWHERE! Read more…

Star Wars Empire Strikes Back Carrie Fisher Irvin Kershner Behind The Scenes Princess Leia

Unscripted: How the Famous ‘I Love You/I Know’ Scene Really Came Together

It’s a legendary story, but it’s not true: When Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) confesses her love for Han Solo (Harrison Ford) in Empire Strikes Back, the scripted reply was, “Just remember that, because I’ll be back.” Feeling that the line lacked a certain je ne sais quoi, Ford changed it.

“I love you.”

“I know.”

It’s humorous, poignant, and a spot-on character-driven interaction. It’s often cited as the best actor-improvised line in movie history, but, here’s the thing, it wasn’t improvised. Read more…

DUNKIRK: The Test of Time

If you thought Baby Driver was the must-see movie event of the summer then hold onto your butt! With heart-stopping special effects, lavish cinematography, and intimate, matter-of-fact storytelling, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is a soon-to-be-classic.

With recent films Inception and Interstellar, Nolan leaned heavily on ham-fisted theatrics, exceedingly complicated plot structures, and booming soundtracks. In Dunkirk, Nolan strips much of the histrionics away to tell a lean and mean, true-to-life story of survival. Far and away, it’s his best work since The Dark Knight. Read more…

Retroactive Continuity: The Secret to Star Wars Success

Yep. You read that title correctly. Here’s another goddamn article about Star Wars!

Star Wars celebrates its 40th anniversary this year and the ubiquity of George Lucas’s groundbreaking creation is enough to choke a rancor. Every time you get online, there’s a slew of clickbait promising spoilers, beat-by-beat breakdowns of the latest trailer, and advertisements for the newest doodad with Star Wars stamped on the box.

It takes a near-herculean effort to slog through the crap and remember what it is that makes Star Wars SO FUCKING GOOD. Read more…

Baby Driver (2017)

The lights dim; a less-than-witty set of M&Ms remind us to quiet our cell phones; and then something strange happens. Writer/director Edgar Wright thanks us for “getting off the couch” to see Baby Driver as it was intended: in a movie theater.

With the rise of Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO, and Amazon Prime Video, being a part-time couch potato is all the rage. From Game of Thrones to Transparent, binge watching long-form media is part of our cultural currency. Not only are these stories marvelously performed, written, and directed, but they’re an easy way for us to quickly relate to one another. Discussing the entertainment we consume is a shorthand approach for creating meaningful connection. Read more…

Hounds of Love (2017)

If you enjoy hard-hitting, tough-to-stomach entertainment, then Hounds of Love, the impressive debut film from writer/director Ben Young, is right up your alley. Hands down, it’s the most unnerving, disturbing, and effective horror movie of 2017 so far.

I have to be completely honest; this is a difficult movie to recommend. There are “fun” horror movies and then there are “not-so-fun” horror movies. The “fun” horror movies are the ones you can watch with a group of friends and laugh when you’re all spooked by a jump scare (think ScreamHalloween, or Paranormal Activity). The “not-so-fun” horror movies are the ones that stay with you long after you’ve seen them. They’re the kinds of movies that have a disquieting way of lingering in the back of your mind (think Cannibal Holocaust, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or Possession). Hounds of Love falls hard into the “not-so-fun” category. Read more…

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

“Before I show you the results of my trifling experiments, I would like to drink to our partnership. Do you like gin? It is my only weakness. To a new world of gods and monsters.” —Dr. Pretorius, Bride of Frankenstein

Interview Magazine

“Star Wars Stars: Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford.” Interview Magazine. Jun. 1977. Photos by Matthew Rolston.

When Heroes Die

Spoilers to follow.

The best Westerns don’t have happy endings. Movies like Unforgiven, High Noon, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid end on the lowest of low notes. Our heroes save the day, but they make tremendous personal sacrifices (most often their lives) in order to do so.

Of course, as far as endings go, there’s none better than John Ford’s The Searchers. Ethan Edwards, a haggard and out-of-place Civil War veteran (John Wayne), rescues his abducted niece (Natalie Wood) and returns her safely home. In one of cinemas most famous and bittersweet scenes, Edwards turns around, forgotten by his family, and walks off into the desert silhouetted by a doorway. It’s a near-perfect ending. The doorway is a threshold between the outlaw West and civilization; a metaphor for the character’s internal struggle to find his place in the modern world. Read more…

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story poster artwork by Alexey Kot.

Star Trek IV: The Blockbuster That Broke All The Rules Turns 30

2001: A Space Odyssey Q&A

Jeff Goldsmith interviews actors Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood about the making of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Stories Of Your Life and Others

Stories Of Your Life and Others is a collection of eight science fiction short stories by Ted Chiang. “Story of Your Life,” the fourth short story in this collection, was adapted into the 2016 film Arrival.

ARRIVAL: Bridging The Divide

While the US is seemingly tearing itself apart through narrow-minded interpretation and megalomaniacal levels of self interest, it’s invigorating to see a movie that explores the way in which we communicate with each other. Through a step-by-step deconstruction of language, context, and meaning, Arrival reminds us that we’re all just one small piece in a very large puzzle that’s still being put together. Read more…

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