No one loves Kevin Smith more than Kevin Smith. He’s a fan of not just building this façade of an extended universe with his films, but the smug idea that he ultimately rejected Hollywood when all is said and done. After endless efforts to hit the mainstream vein, and re-invent himself as a horror director, Smith has come back to doing what he does best: Repeating himself, repeating the same old jokes, and giving his hardcore fans a ton of weed jokes, and near endless pop culture references about “Star Wars” and “Batman.”
At this point I’m just glad that the new “It” adaptation didn’t get split in to a trilogy. “It Chapter One” was great just as it was, I thought “Chapter Two” needed to be the book end. Thankfully it truly is the finale I was hoping for as a poignant, complex, and heartbreaking film about the horrors of the past, and trying to prevent the nightmares of our childhood from deciding who we are and can become as adults. Once “The Losers Club” is forced back in to Derry Maine, they have no choice but to confront their own personal monsters before fighting the physical manifestation of their demons known as Pennywise.
John Frankenheimer’s survival horror film came in the midst of horror films that often preached something about conservation or the risks of pollution which would inevitably spawn some kind of monster in nature. Films like “Piranha” and “Orca” were all common place, and “Prophecy” is one of the many of its ilk. While it’s not exactly a great movie, “Prophecy” is a good enough man vs nature horror film about pollution and the fall out from corporate greed and irresponsibility.
Johannes Roberts’ “47 Meters Down: Uncaged” is a real testament to the concept of the score and how a great score can often help enhance a movie going experience. A lot of times the score can even become its own character. “Uncaged” has a score that genuinely stinks with a droning blaring bass that sounds more like library music than anything else. And that’s when there is a score since inexplicably, only about twenty percent of the movie’s run time has an actual score. The rest is complete silence that punctuates this absolutely awful sequel.
Ten movies later, and “A Cinderella Story” continues to push forward as a franchise that is mainly just a vehicle for young up and coming female Disney stars. After Hilary Duff came and went, portraying a contemporary take on the fairytale, the series stomped on and now introduces a Christmas themed romance. It’s tough to review “Christmas Wish” as it’s mainly aimed toward teens that love this kind of sickly sweet Christmas muck. It’s basically like a greeting card with a pre-written message on it. It’s predictable, formula, and kind of hard to criticize.
Director Flavio Alves’ art house drama is one of the most important indie films released in 2019. It’s a movie about the LGBTQ community and how much battles are left within the community. Especially in a world where it’s become even more dangerous than ever for the transgender community to simply function. Although imperfect, “The Garden Left Behind” is an award winning drama that is about as relevant and engaging a statement about the trans community as Sean Baker’s 2015 film “Tangerine.”
I’ve been one of the loudest and ardent defenders of “The Big Bang Theory” since it premiered and I’ve remained a fan for many years. I don’t own any of the merchandise, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the series, and have purchased a few of the seasons here and there. While it lost me after season ten, I still find “The Big Bang Theory” to be a fun, often funny, and engaging sitcom with that comfort food sensibility that’s helped make other sitcoms so celebrated. Judge me all you want, but I loved “The Big Bang Theory” well in to its run on CBS, and enjoy it every now and then on cable. After twelve seasons and a successful spin off, “The Big Bang Theory: The Complete Series” is now on DVD and Blu-Ray in a cozy boxed set, and a Limited Edition Flat Box set with assorted bells and whistles.
John Landis’ werewolf thriller is a hard film to pigeon hole. It’s not exactly a horror movie, not exactly a comedy, and not entirely a drama. It is in fact a unique beast and amalgam of various genres that’s managed to remain absolutely timeless since its initial release. The fact that Landis breaks so many of the tropes of the werewolf film while also embracing the classic mythos of the monster is what makes “An American Werewolf in London” such a masterpiece.