I’ll admit again and again that post apocalypse movies are my sweet spot in regards to genre cinema. I eat movies about survival after the end of the world with a spoon and am hardly ever let down. “What Still Remains” as far as its concerned is fairly standard post apocalyptic fare. It by no means re-invents the wheel with its narrative and characters, but at times it doesn’t seem like director and writer Josh Mendoza is trying to. In the end I was more impressed by what Mendoza does with his lead heroine more than anything, and I’d love to see Ana return once again in another movie of this ilk.
The thing about RKSS’s latest eighties inspired genre offering is that it’ll poke all the right nostalgia cords with audiences. There’s so much eighties ephemera, that it’ll be difficult not to be charmed by it. But deep down beneath the “Cruel Summer” music cues, and giant camcorders beats the heart of a vicious, mean spirited and dark murder mystery that was often unpleasant and kind of dull. To admit that isn’t easy as I loved RKSS’s “Turbo Kid” and anxiously wanted to see what they would do with a murder mystery. But while you might get shades of “Stranger Things” here and there, the movie itself is pretty crappy.
I’ve pretty much gotten over my immense hatred for the watered down reboot of the “Teen Titans” animated series. It’s here to stay, and I’m over it. So I approached the new big screen adventure with an open mind and rock bottom expectations. All things considered “Teen Titans Go! To the Movies” is a mixed bag. Sometimes it hits with some sharp, slick superhero movie and Hollywood satire and truly engaging protagonists. Other times it feels like the writers are running out the clock with goofy filler and distracting musical numbers.
One of the most controversial and heavily disputed comic book events of all time is finally brought to the DC animation universe. It’ll probably also setting up potential movie go arounds for supporting characters within the “Superman: Doomsday” scope. I can imagine if the course is cleared, we could see some overdue attention paid to “Steel.” One can hope. In either case, “The Death of Superman” is pretty much a truncated version of the original mini-series, with a look at the massive event that brought DC to its knees and Superman to death.
I’ve seen the frame work for “Rear Window” tacked on to a lot of genres, from murder mysteries, vampire movies, werewolf movies, Bigfoot movies, and so much more. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen Hitchcock’s “Rear Window” turned in to a gangster thriller before. Director Nosipho Dumisa definitely has her eyes aimed at Alfred Hitchcock’s murder mystery masterpiece, but thankfully while the film is pretty much an homage (or remake, perhaps?), “Number 37” definitely manages to stand on its own as a stellar thriller in its own right.
Director Daniel Robbins’ survival college thriller is a pretty typical horror film that surprisingly takes a lot of its beats from “Hostel.” At times it almost felt like a cheap rip off. Despite some interesting ideas, “Pledge” is a pretty crummy horror offering with no real pay off to the climax and lacking any kind of protagonist during its entirety. In fact I was left with a lot of questions when the movie came to a sudden end rather than with a sense I’d been dropped in to a nightmare.
One thing you can say about “Memoirs of an Invisible Man,” is while it’s not one of John Carpenter’s best films, it certainly is inventive. Carpenter is no stranger to science fiction and whenever he hits the genre, he attacks it with a new angle and inventive gimmick that make it worth watching. “Memoirs of an Invisible Man” is about a man who begins to live life when he realizes he’s completely invisible to just about everyone, and must also deal with everything from a clandestine government organization to learning how to eat in spite of being incapable of seeing his fingers or mouth.
No matter what the tragic back story the writers feed us it’s impossible to root for characters when they make consistently stupid decisions. “Desolation” is heavy on clunky symbolism, and comprised of three characters that do nothing but make bad choices when they’re in the middle of a bad situation. Anyone with common sense probably could have made it out of the situation director Sam Patton presents, but there’s more concern with doling out goofy poetic irony than any kind of chills or suspense.