I love “Critters,” I should say that first and foremost. I love the movie series, the first two are childhood favorites, and when it comes down to it, I prefer the Crites over the Gremlins. Come at me I don’t care. So when news came that we were getting a limited series based on the eighties movie series, I was excited to say the least. The trailer looked amazing and I was so ready for it. I’m not one to adhere to conspiracy theories, but the only reason I can rationalize the utterly terrible “Critters: A New Binge” is that it was once a movie that was split up in to a “series” for the sake of views.
Jordan Peele has managed to become a strong voice of horror for a new generation, not only delivering chills and thrills for fans alike, but he’s also come to offer us cinema that sets itself apart from typical genre fare. After his brilliant debut “Get Out,” Peele proves he’s here to stay with “Us,” a horror film that can be described as a masterpiece. It’s a movie that’ll be discussed for decades and promises to be one of the most widely debated horror movies of the modern era. “Us” is a scathing indictment on modern society, the idea of how trauma can affect us, and how ghosts of the past can rise to the surface, no matter how hard we try to brush them under the rug.
“Cruel Intentions” is what many would describe as camp, but also high camp–which is probably why I love it so much. For a time where just about everything in the nineties was derived from classic literature only re-worked for teens (“Pygmalion,” “Emma,” “Romeo & Juliet” to name a few), I’m surprised anyone thought it would be a great idea to take “Dangerous Liasons” and turn it in to an erotic thriller marketed for younger audiences. While the movie doesn’t feature teenagers, it’s heavily dominated by a cast of young actors entering their early twenties, along with a lot of intimations toward prepubescent sex.
There’s so much about Chang-dong Lee’s dramatic mystery that I had a good time picking apart. It’s a long and occasionally trying film, I’ll admit, but director Chang-dong Lee slowly but surely takes every single element of his narrative and places them in their proper order, allowing for a character study about class warfare and paranoia that is quite satisfying. I wasn’t really privy to what “Burning” was about when I first stepped in to it, but I had a difficult time looking away from it as it unfolded, as Chang-dong Lee dissects a lot about the haves and the have nots, the idea of love, and obsession.
With America’s opioid crisis, much of the most acclaimed dramas involved stories about family, and two of the most interesting involved drug addiction. While “Ben is Back” completely drifted under the radar, it’s an interesting and often compelling drama about drug abuse, and how often times drug abusers can drag much of their personal demons and past in to the lives of those that they love. I won’t say that I completely loved “Ben is Back,” but I appreciated its inherent tale of a mother racing to help her son, in spite of the odds being stacked against her over and over.
While comic book movies are almost always a guaranteed money maker, it’s quite a shock to many that one of the highest grossing comic book movies of all time is a movie about Aquaman. After spending decades being a basic punch line for all of pop culture, Aquaman swoops in and basically has changed the course of how we think of the character and DC’s Comic book movies. All it took was a skilled director like James Wan, and the undeniable charisma of Jason Momoa.
It’s a wonderful time for fans of grindhouse cinema and collectors of physical media. Great studios are all rushing out to offer collectors some of the rarest and under seen movie titles of all time, including some of the best martial arts films ever made. With Arrow Video releasing the pristine Sister Street Fighter Collection on Blu-ray recently, Shout! Factory follows up from the rear unleashing the Street Fighter Collection. If you loved both series, now is the time to grab them, as they’re finally on Blu-Ray, with the original article starring Sonny Chiba in a great box set with a ton of extras and restorations.
I didn’t discover “The Last Starfighter” until I was thirteen years old. It was 1996, and I was looking for any and all movies that peaked my interest, and “The Last Starfighter” seemed like a good time to me. For some reason “The Last Starfighter” managed to skate right by me when I was a kid, and I watched every movie. I watched everything from “Willow” and “Legend” right down to “Warriors of Virtue,” but I never actually knew there was such a thing as “The Last Starfighter.”