“Gate 2” has been a rarity for years and finally gets a very good re-release by Scream who treats us to a sequel that’s nothing like the original. That’s both a good and bad aspect for the film as Tibor Takacs returns to direct, and complete his story arc, while also advancing the mythology. With Stephen Dorff on to better pastures, we follow his more reluctant friend Terry, who is now all alone after his friend moved away with his big sister. With no one around to corroborate their adventures in a hell dimension, Terry is now a pariah. Anxious to re-open the gate properly this time, Terry is egged on by two local bullies to let them take part in the summoning, promising them wish fulfillment. Much to their surprise, they manage to trap one of the minions of the gate, and Terry keeps it, hoping to find out its secrets.
The “Cloverfield” universe is the next step in cinematic universes where it exists not just on cinema, but on the world wide web, as well. Sprung from the spontaneity that fans adore, “The Cloverfield Paradox” is the next wave in the story of “Cloverfield” and tackles another corner of the mythos that fans just might appreciate. In 2008 when fans spotted something falling in to the Atlantic ocean which spawns the emergence of the giant beast Clovie, many assumed it was from an experiment that went awry from the evil organization Tagruato, the enigmatic company that’s been running the viral sites. With “The Cloverfield Paradox” we finally get an explanation as to what occurred, and so much more.
It’s David Ayer with another cop drama except rather than a socially relevant tale about mismatched officers of a different race or gender or religion—it’s got Orcs! “Bright” is by no means as clever as it thinks it is, as it uses fantasy tropes not to move the story forward or to lend a new twist to the cop drama, but to hammer us over the head with clumsy allegories and symbolism. Max Landis’ script is painfully stale and lacks any kind of idea as to what it’s trying to get across. It’s much too serious to take as a fantasy film, and not silly enough to take it as a meta-cop movie. Even the opening scene of Will Smith’s character beating a fairy to death on his front lawn with a broom is flat and never quite played up as a meta joke, so much as a poorly delivered device to alert us that we’re watching a “different” kind of cop movie.
If you loved the out there nature of “WolfCop,” you’ll be happy to know that director Dean Lowell rewards fans for their long wait for a sequel with “Another WolfCop,” a sequel that is so far out there, it’s surreal at times. Director and writer Lowell channels a lot of classic films once again, centering on our vigilante WolfCop as he protects his small town in the most violent methods, all the while concocting a premise involving the furry vigilante that feels like an amalgam of “Halloween III,” “V,” and “Howling II,” if you can believe it. That’s not where the wheel stops spinning though, as director Lowell deals his furry crime fighter a new villain that is beyond anything he’s ever experienced.
At only twenty four minutes I wouldn’t have minded more of Fred Flintstone adjusting to his new neighbors, but we get much more of the Frankenstone family down the road. One of the later additions to the Flintstones lore, the Frankenstones are an odd new family, but they’re at least funnier than The Great Gazoo. Surprised to learn that a new family is moving in to the neighborhood, Fred is horrified when the family is non-traditional monsters that are menacing, but very sweet, and neighborly. An obvious ode to “The Addams Family,” The Frankenstones seek to make friends with Fred and Wilma and Fred is flabbergasted at the way they live.
Even in 1981, “The Munsters” are still so damn funny. “The Munsters’ Revenge” is the monster family once again getting in to a misadventure and learning how to beat the bad guy with the help of their twisted magic and family unity. I laughed a lot during this TV movie featuring most of the brood from the original sitcom. Sure, the original three monsters are showing a bit of their age here, but the movie feels like an extended episode with sharp comic timing, some hilarious gags, and a great supporting cast. Best of all there’s Sid Caesar and Bob Hastings who derived the most laughs out of me. In fact, the latter had me bursting in to hysterics as uncle Phantom of the Opera.
Director and writer Jeremiah Kipp creates a very stark and somewhat creepy tale of loss, grief, and child abuse with “Slapface,” a short that is destined to grab a lot of people’s attention. At only eight minutes, “Slapface” tells the story of a young boy still coming to terms with the loss of his mother. One day he ventures out deep in to the woods and calls to something in the shadows, goading it to come out of hiding and before long is greeted by a vicious, ugly ogre in tattered clothing and long hair that zealously grasps him to the point of making him lose consciousness.
Dean Israelite’s reboot of “Power Rangers” is meant to be a reboot for a new generation. It has diversity, and vision, and works well in making sense of a lot of the concepts presented in the original series. Fans didn’t need all of the ideas to make sense, hence the rabid popularity in the nineties, but “Power Rangers” offers a sincerity that undercuts the obvious need for the studio to refurbish the Power Rangers for a new generation of fans and potential toy customers. I, for one, really enjoy what Israelite does with his vision of the “Power Rangers” providing minute cosmetic alterations and some big changes in mythos that are hit or miss most times.