I feel every generation should have a movie or two that defines them and how hard it is to grow up during that period. We’ve had movies like “Dazed and Confused,” “Mean Girls,” and “Breakfast Club,” and we’re very fortunate to have had two very good movies (“Eighth Grade”) about the modern youth culture in the last five years. Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut is one of the finest drama comedies of the year. It’s an honest and entertaining look at two girls trying to find out who they are before they graduate high school and enter in to college–possibly without one another.
After FOX Studios revived comic book property the X-Men and paved the comic book movie as bonafide moneymaker, the canvas of pop culture was carved from the gateway “Blade” forged. After the 2000 cinematic adaptation “X-Men” and its sequel “X2,” both films and the franchised built shocking influence, not just on other genre properties, but comics in general. With X-Men once again being celebrated, the iconic series and comic book team was primed for an animated reboot, after the end of “X-Men: The Animated Series.” Marvel and Film Roman approached the series from a different angle by establishing a new continuity of the “merry mutants” in contemporary times. They changed the focus of the series, as well as the ages of the entire group to appeal to a wider young audience.
And it worked.
I’ve managed to become a huge fan of the “Marvel Rising” TV specials as they’ve given a big spotlight to superheroes that don’t get their proper due or are overdue for their own spotlight very soon. Among them, there’s Squirrel Girl, Miss Marvel, Spider-Gwen, and Inferno. Disney has taken advantage of these specials to give some side adventures to some unique superheroes and heroines and I have enjoyed what has unfolded for this new team, as well as the diverse team of voice actors.
This week we have a trio of shorts premiering at film festivals, one of which stars Brianna Hildebrand, while another explores a common turning point in a woman’s life. There’s also a review for a nail biting horror film, and I re-visit one of my favorite short films of all time starring Eric Bogosian.
If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.
With the end of Batman: the Animated Series, the DC Comics/Warner Bros. animation golden boy of the 90s, Bruce Timm, was called upon once again to create another hit Saturday morning series. This time it would a series geared to a much younger audience, full of futuristic technology and action packed, and it would be called Batman Beyond. The show wasn’t a pandering, youth-oriented take with no substance (I’m looking at you Spider-Man Unlimited) either; it was a dark, complex, and very unique spin on the Batman lore.
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.
“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.
Robert Zemeckis’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” is a charming, if flawed tribute to the Beatles and the rampant Beatles Mania that ran throughout much of the late sixties. I’m sure Zemeckis bear witness to a lot of the “Beatlemania,” and his film seems to come from a place of experience. For folks that loved movies like “American Graffiti” or “Dazed and Confused,” Zemeckis’ 1978 comedy is one of those movie set over the course of a night that centers on a group of teenagers that are so devoted to the Beatles, they risk just about everything to see them on the Ed Sullivan Show.