Phantoms (1998)

Film Title

Phantoms

Synopsis

Something evil has wiped out a town in Colorado. Someone has to try to stop it

Director

Joe Chappelle

Cast

Peter O'Toole
Rose McGowan
Liev Schreiber
Ben Affleck
Clifton Powell
Nicky Katt

Phantoms is awful, in that special way movies like Lawrence Kasdan and William Goldman’s Stephen King adaptation Dreamcatcher are awful. Author and screenwriter Dean Koontz is often considered the poor man’s King (perhaps unfairly, as his novel Intensity is one of the best thrillers of the 1990s), so it is fitting that Phantoms should have […]

Monkey Shines (1988)

Film Title

Monkey Shines

Synopsis

Monkeys always eventually resent cripples. 

Director

George A. Romero

Cast

Jason Beghe
John Pankow
Kate McNeil
Joyce Van Patten
Boo
Stephen Root

George A. Romero’s Monkey Shines is the story of Allan Mann (Jason Beghe), an athlete who is struck down by a semi-truck at the start of the movie, rendering him quadriplegic. He is forced to use one of those wheelchairs operated by blowing into a straw in order to get around, and after he hits […]

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

Film Title

Deep Blue

Synopsis

Sharks are not amused by human scientists trying to find a cure for Alzheimer’s

Director

Renny Harlin

Cast

Thomas Jane
Saffron Burrows
Samuel L. Jackson
Aida Turturro
Jacqueline McKenzie
Michael Rappaport

Deep Blue Sea, like the slasher movies it emulates by way of movies like Alien and Predator, is less a compelling narrative than it is a sort of delivery system for gruesome death scenes. And that’s fine. When a movie realizes its ambition, however high or low that ambition may be, it succeeds. It is […]

Cuties (Mignonnes)

Film Title

Cuties

Synopsis

Eleven year-olds, Dude

Director

Maimouna Doucoure

Cast

Fathia Youssouf
Medina El Aidi-Azouni
Esther Gohourou
Ilanah Cami-Goursolas

Francois Truffaut famously stated: “There is no such thing as an anti-war film.”  In essence, what he was getting at is that any subject, when filmed and put on screen for viewers, inherently becomes glamorized and entertaining, and the filmmaker is therefore unavoidably subverted into creating entertainment out of the very thing which they set […]

Spoiler Alert! Some Thoughts on Twist Endings

Since M. Night Shyamalan’s much ballyhooed 1999 feature The Sixth Sense, twist endings have gotten something of a bad rap, and usually with good reason. After all, in many cases they are a cheap way to add excitement to the climax of an otherwise dull story. Sometimes they are a cop-out, negating all emotional involvement […]

The Art of Darkness: Apocalypse Now & Full Metal Jacket

“War is hell,” the cliche’ proclaims, but it seems to be entertaining hell. Along with other ghastly subjects such as murder and vampirism, war ranks among the most popular and commonly used subject matter of filmed entertainment, and no war has yielded more or better films than the one in Vietnam between 1955 and 1975. […]

The Help

Film Title

The Help

Synopsis

How to make pie for white supremacists

Director

Tate Taylor

Cast

Emma Stone
Viola Davis
Octavia Spencer
Bryce Dallas Howard
Cicely Tyson
Sissy Spacek
Allison Janney

The Help is a lot like Crash, The Blind Side, and other presumably well-meaning but largely tone-deaf movies about race that don’t happen to star Sandra Bullock (as a longtime devotee of both Demolition Man and The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down, I have to believe sweet Sandy’s heart is in the right place). However […]

The White Tiger

Film Title

The White Tiger

Synopsis

An Indian driver tries to use all his wits to escape poverty

Director

Ramin Bahrani

Cast

Adarsh Gourav
Rajkummer Rao
Priyanna Chopra
Vedant Sinha
Kamlesh Gill
Satish Kumar

“Do we loathe our masters behind a facade of loving, or do we love our masters behind a facade of loathing?”  Balram  It is fitting that the first words heard in The White Tiger are spoken by Jay-Z. On the soundtrack as the movie begins is “Beware of the Boys,” Jay’s collaboration with British Indian […]

I, Frankenstein (2014)

Film Title

I, Frankenstein

Synopsis

We are bored

 

Director

Stuart Beattie

Cast

Aaron Eckhart
Yvonne Strahovski
Miranda Otto
Bill NIghy
Aden Young
Kevin Grevioux

The longer you watch I, Frankenstein, the harder it is to believe that it is an actual theatrical feature and not just a bad TV movie made for the Syfy channel. Despite big-name, reliably good actors like Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, and Miranda Otto, and special effects that, at their best, at least look like […]

Uplift the Race: 3 Spike Lee Joints

For over 30 years now, ever since his debut feature She’s Gotta Have It in 1986, Spike Lee has been one of the most innovative and provocative filmmakers of our time. As expressed numerous times throughout his many films, Lee’s highest goal is to “wake up” and uplift all oppressed and deluded people, but he […]