REVIEW: Night Drive [2021]

I didn’t realize ‘good evening’ was an admission of guilt. Russell’s (AJ Bowen) a good guy. We know because his Jount rideshare driver helps a customer by carrying her giant wreath to the door before refusing a tip with a genuine “Merry Christmas.” You kind of have to be if you’re working a thankless job on the biggest holiday of the year so you won’t go insane before igniting a killing spree. “Good” doesn’t equal “saint,” however. He’s not going to pass up a couple hundred dollars when the next…

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REVIEW: John and the Hole [2021]

I was blue in the blue. Adolescent angst. That’s the impetus behind John (Charlie Shotwell) drugging his family (Michael C. Hall‘s Brad, Jennifer Ehle‘s Anna, and Taissa Farmiga‘s Laurie), dragging them through the backyard, and depositing their bodies in an unfinished bunker according to the synopsis of director Pascual Sisto and writer Nicolás Giacobone‘s film John and the Hole. Adolescent angst. I guess you can get away with it too when you declare the result a “fable” as opposed to a nightmare. We aren’t supposed to look so closely at…

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REVIEW: Prom Night [1980]

The killers are coming. Built upon a story by a film student (Robert Guza Jr.) that director Paul Lynch knew, Prom Night delivers a grounded slasher focused on revenge. Written by William Gray, the script begins six years in the past as four children play hide and seek in an old, abandoned building without adult supervision. They play rough with chants about killers to try and spook each other into giving up their location—a style that might scare someone unfamiliar with the tone being set like young Robin Hammond. She…

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REVIEW: Old [2021]

Stop wishing away this moment. The first mention I heard about M. Night Shyamalan adapting Pierre-Oscar Lévy and Frederick Peeters‘ French graphic novel Sandcastle was a tweet that more or less stated how he knew he had to try turning it into a film the moment he put it down. It’s not hard to imagine why since the book is almost tailor-made for the Shyamalan treatment with its mysteriously secluded locale; ensemble cast mired in a tense, supernatural scenario seemingly outside of their control; and a science fiction writer walking…

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REVIEW: Midnight in the Switchgrass [2021]

We all got excuses. I think Bruce Willis‘ agent needs a raise because they are going above and beyond to make sure their client gets A-list billing no matter what project he takes. I’d estimate the actor has about five total minutes of screen-time in Midnight in the Switchgrass—a majority of which is his FBI agent (Karl Helter) being a tired and soon-to-be retired mother hen for his much younger and more driven partner (Megan Fox‘s Rebecca Lombardo). It’s a cushy gig that probably put a few bucks in his…

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REVIEW: Great White [2021]

We’ll get you there. There’s a legend of sorts about a shipwreck on the island locale most tourists ask Charlie (Aaron Jakubenko) and Kaz (Katrina Bowden) to take them off the Australian coast. Only one man survived the ordeal and natives, like the Captain’s cook (Te Kohe Tuhaka‘s Benny), have never forgotten his name. It therefore means something when the trio’s latest fares (Kimie Tsukakoshi‘s Michelle and Tim Kano‘s Joji) take out an urn of ashes and a photograph of that very same man. He was her grandfather and always…

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REVIEW: Pig [2021]

Marge died ten years ago. Rob (Nicolas Cage) wants for nothing from his woodland lifestyle in the middle of Nowhere, Oregon. He has his cabin and his truffle hog: the former providing shelter, the latter companionship. With a whistle she comes trotting over, ready for another hunt. Sometimes it appears she’s the one finding culinary gold under the dirt and others it appears as though it’s him, troweling up some earth to taste. The duo knows what they’re doing and provide their buyer (Alex Wolff‘s Amir) a superior enough product…

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CANNES21 REVIEW: Are You Lonesome Tonight? [2021]

Did you find him? Xue Ming (Eddie Peng) is in jail when we meet him. He’s talking about the boredom of living the same day repeatedly while thinking about how he got there. Deciding it’s better to show rather than tell, first-time director Shipei Wen sends us back to 1997 to find Xue on the telephone with an angry girlfriend just about fed up with waiting. It’s difficult to tell whether he’s on his way to the cinema late or simply going home when he finally leaves, but the path…

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REVIEW: Till Death [2021]

It’s time to wake up. Emma (Megan Fox) arrives at her husband’s (Eoin Macken) law office ready for their anniversary dinner only to hear him say he prefers her red dress. Instead of thinking out loud, he’s stating a problem in need of rectifying. A “joke” that there’s time to stop home and change isn’t therefore a joke at all once we cut to the restaurant, see Emma in red, and begin to understand why the first scene of S.K. Dale‘s Till Death showed her in another man’s (Aml Ameen‘s…

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REVIEW: First Date [2021]

Let’s talk turkey. Tony (Todd Goble) declaring his love over the phone to a woman he just met while hastily (and poorly) packing a suitcase in the hopes of getting out of Dodge before the people coming after him arrive with guns drawn is obviously going to impact what follows. His yet unknown pursuers will inevitably become Mike’s (Tyson Brown) inheritance being the lead in Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp‘s latest feature First Date, their band of criminals in search of something valuable enough to kill anyone that gets in…

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REVIEW: The Woman in the Window [2021]

It’s not really therapy if there’s a knife at your back. No one seems to have been under any illusion that what they were making was in any way original. Director Joe Wright wouldn’t have his old movie lover lead character watching Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rear Window in the opening scene if he did. Much like Disturbia, however, comparing one work to another because of similar basic premises is usually just a way of proving your inability to realize all art is pretty much an amalgam of references anyway. We champion…

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