Jason Voorheees

No film in the Friday the 13th canon will ever be mistaken for great cinema. At their best, they’re mindless, overblown entertainment. At their worst, they’re dull, insipid, mean-spirited trash. And Jason Voorhees, while iconic, may be more than a bit lacking in the traditional Great Villain criteria – his motivations are inconsistent, his origins nonsensical,…

Review: The Ring (2002)

Full of beautiful cinematography, and positively dripping in an atmosphere of dread and inevitability, Gore Verbinski’s trendsetting remake of Ringu did J-horror better than any American director since. The film follows Rachel Keller, an investigative reporter tasked by her sister to solve the mysterious death of her niece, who watched a cursed videotape and died…

Review: Logan (2017)

Logan is as great a superhero film we’ve ever gotten and that we’re ever likely to get. It transcends the form to become one of the all-time greats of the genre,  joining films like Richard Donner’s Superman, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. James Mangold’s haunting, western sensibilities are…

Review: Jaws & Its Many Sequels

Some films should never, ever be sequelized. Masterpieces, which cannot be improved upon, expanded upon, or continued in any meaningful way. Sometimes, sequels to films like this defy expectations. Sometimes, you get a Godfather Part II, which equals or exceeds in the strengths of its predecessor, or something like the surprisingly deft Psycho II, which…

Announcing The Great Villain Blogathon 2017!

Originally posted on Speakeasy:
Time once again to face the evil with the annual Big Bad Blogathon celebrating cinema’s worst villains. Just pick a favourite movie villain, whether outlaw, thug, crazed fan, dictator, mistress, monster, slasher, gangster, alien, animated or artificial intelligence; pick any scoundrel to scrutinize, rascal to respect, or evildoer to evaluate, from…

Review: Drag Me to Hell (2009)

Sam Raimi’s long-awaited return to horror was a campy, over-the-top thrill ride, with performances ranging from inauthentic to scenery-chewing: not all of the jokes land, and almost none of the scares do. Its romance is generic, and its tragic ending is perhaps unearned. But I enjoyed it anyways. Why? Because it’s Sam Raimi returning to…

Review: Green Room (2016)

Jeremy Saulnier’s certainly got an interesting style hasn’t he? Sure, the action/thriller everyman hero against impossible odds is nothing new, but throw in excessive gore and amp up the idiocy of the characters, and you have the oddly offbeat, grippingly tense world of a Saulnier thriller. I haven’t seen Murder Party, but Blue Ruin and Green Room,…

Review: The Neon Demon (2016)

Full disclosure: I’m a big fan of Nicolas Winding Refn, and I wanted to love The Neon Demon. More full disclosure: I didn’t. I liked it, to be sure, but I didn’t love it. At the very least, The Neon Demon is a step up from Only God Forgives. It seems Refn took notes from…

TV Binging Reviews

I’ve been binging a lot of TV lately, a lot of things I’ve been meaning to get around to, and now I have. I don’t normally write about TV, but there’s a first time for everything. Let’s go! If Hannibal isn’t one of the best TV shows ever, I don’t know what is. Created and…

Review: La La Land (2016)

Whiplash was a heart-pounding, intense experience, one of the best films of 2014, with 2 of the best performances of 2014. La La Land is an uplifting, heartbreaking experience, one of the best films of 2016, with 2 of the best performances of 2016. La La Land is beautiful, in more ways than one. It’s an…

Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Rogue One is a perfectly adequate Star Wars film. It doesn’t hit the same euphoric height of The Force Awakens (the second best blockbuster of 2015 behind Fury Road), and falls flat in many ways due to paper-thin characters, a meandering first act, and overt nostalgic pandering, it still hits strong in a year full of…

Review: They Live (1988)

John Carpenter’s seminal political satire about class warfare and the subliminal messages in media is an incredibly intelligent big dumb action movie. That is to say, it’s structured as a big dumb action movie, but with an intelligent message. But it’s not all high and mighty satire, it’s also big, dumb, and entertaining. Roddy “Rowdy”…