Spring

2014 | Dir: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead | 1h 49m

I had recently watched - and enjoyed - The Endless, so I was intrigued to take in more films from the creative team of its directors: Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson. An american tourist visits a small town in Italy on vacation, and falls in love with a woman who only appears at night. You can see where this is going, and you would be mistaken: the film veers more heavily into a romance than I had hoped, and wastes time with scenes that ultimately feel unnecessary. While I wasn't disappointed per se, the bad CGI and ambiguous ending left a sour note in my mind.

Score: 2 / 5 IMDB Letterboxd

The Toybox

2018 | Dir: Tom Nagel | 1h 35m

Denise Richards and Mischa Barton star in this atrocious D-movie about a sentient RV with a penchant for killing people. I wasn't expecting the film to go in that direction explicitly, but it really does lean into it and provides an ultimately unsatisfying - although somewhat comedic - film that just made me more sad than anything else. The acting is bad, the lines are bad and the deaths are merely okay. This is a hard pass, sorry. 

Score: 1 / 5 | IMDB Letterboxd

Dark Age

1987 | Dir: Arch Nicholson | 1h 31m

Although it falls pretty short of being Australia's equivalent to Jaws, Dark Age does not disappoint. Tagged in the horror and adventure genre, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect, but the film ended up being quite fun. There are some shocking moments, fun characters and no shortage of villains as our heroes race to take care of the killer crocodile before the entire croc population is savagely eradicated.

Score: 3.5 / 5 | IMDB Letterboxd

Dark Phoenix

Sometimes a film is nearing release amid a turmoil of negative hype, and as it crests to a swelling of negative criticism in the final days the movie releases to a thud at the box office - exactly as expected. And sometimes, your curiosity still gets the best of you, and you have to watch the train wreck for yourself. As an avid enthusiast for so-called "bad" films, I couldn't pass up an opportunity to watch the (presumably) last entry in Fox's rocky X-Men franchise that began so innocently, and triumphantly nearly twenty years ago. The series was a owed a small debt as well; I've seen every entry in the theatre and I wouldn't allow some nasty reviews to deter me from completing the saga: it was the least I could do for the franchise that ultimately opened the door for our modern superhero blockbuster films.

It nearly bears repeating, that expectations into a film hold a lot of sway over opinions of the film (least for me). So in this case, my expectations are pretty low. Like, VERY low. With that, I may just enjoy the film for what it is.

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Horrors of Malformed Men

My fascination with Japanese culture has its roots firmly planted in my passion for video games and Godzilla; from the first moments in the mid-eighties when I saw the Nintendo system in action, and then held the rectangular controller in my hand, a curiosity and admiration planted itself within my mind. It wasn't just the games themselves, but the origin of these works and how they came to be. My parents would spoil me on a monthly basis with a plethora of video game related magazines, and within those tomes, I would read about the latest title causing an uproar in Japan, while we had to wait for our North American release of said game later on. 

We had a hand-me-down black and white television with a Betamax player connected in the basement's rec room while the colour set and VHS player were relegated to my parents living room domain. Maybe it was just availability, or an interest my father had, but we had amassed a collection of Betamax movies, both purchased and recorded off televisions, with a strong focus on Godzilla films. The syncronization in English dialogue with Japanese actors was incredibly fascinating; even being so young with no concept of a foreign film, I knew these movies came from parts of the world that I did not know about or understand, but I loved this place nonetheless. 

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Ghostbusters (2016) Review

For whatever reasons, call it fate, call it karma, call it creative bankruptcy, I believe everything happens for a reason. I believe that we were destined to get a Ghostbusters remake. It's a real shame that the dialogue around the Ghostbusters remake released in 2016 was tainted by misogyny and general vitriol from armchair critics and trogloditic neckbeards that dwell in the deepest, dankest corners of the interwebs, because it was a genuinely mediocre summer blockbuster that in most other universes probably would have have been the start of a movie franchise. Or at least, some more marketable merchandise that would have helped grease the wheels for all those involved for a little longer.

I remember being pretty sour on the general concept of a remake of the 1984 cult classic Ghostbusters. Admittedly, it has to do at least in part with the fact that this was a beloved film from my childhood. I grew up watching Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters II as well as the animated The Real Ghostbusters. To this day, I will still sometimes find myself randomly singing quietly to myself or in my head the Ghostbusters theme song, or the rap song from the end of Ghostbusters II, a movie from a more civilized time when every film got the pop-rap song it deserved to play during its end credits. (Too hot to handle, too cold to hold...)

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Hellboy (2019)

 

The hype is deflated. It's anti-hype. This movie is going to be awful. Rotten Tomatoes decrees it so.

Well, that's not going to stop me from checking this film out, and that's just what I did on opening night (well, technically Thursday previews, but still). I apologise if some of this is ambiguous, I am trying to avoid spoilers here.

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Fantastic Beasts, Where to Find them and the (Unrelated) Crimes of Grindelwald

It’s entirely possible that I don’t really understand Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Upon seeing the movie in theatres a few short years ago, I felt indifference. Sure, there were beasts. Yes, they appeared fantastic. But I didn’t really understand why we were focusing on them so much, in a film where the plot didn’t seem to necessarily revolve around them. Knowing that this was the first in an ambitious series of movies set in the Harry Potter Wizarding World, I could chalk up my confusion to a few things: 

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Thoroughbreds

“Heathers meets American Psycho” so, I guess it’s a good thing I’ve seen Psycho quite a few times over the years, and watched Heathers late last year during my project to consume the most popular films of the eighties. Honestly though, the tagline didn’t need to be said to push me there, as just a quick glimpse of the trailer, combined with the talent involved had me sold from the get go. 

But when did I watch that initial trailer? Yeah, it’s practically an afterthought: apparently the film had been sitting in post-production and doing the festival circuit for a while before receiving a wide release in March of 2018. Here we are, practically a year later and I have an opportunity to watch this film. 

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