“Hunt for the Wilderpeople” on IMDB
Comedy/Adventure/Drama, 101 Minutes, 2016
One of the greatest, simplest joys in life is to be pleasantly surprised by something unexpected. A favorite meal on an ordinary day or an unexpected visit from an old friend. Or, in this case, an amazing movie that popped up from nowhere.
“Spiderman: Homecoming” on IMDB
Comedy/Adventure/Drama, 133 Minutes, 2017
This is an incredibly fun movie. Tom Holland [IMDB] is perfectly cast and Michael Keaton [IMDB] is always on his game. There’s thrills, chills and spills. The character’s integration into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe is clean and elegant. It’s absolutely worth your time and money.
Phantasm is both one of the most enduring and one of the oddest horror franchises. Or is it sci-fi? Fantasy, maybe? The first film was released 38 years ago and the fifth – and reportedly last in the sporadically produced series- released late in 2016. Last month, the entire saga was released as a deluxe Blu-Ray Box Set [Amazon] making it a great time to revisit this often overlooked gem.
The films are the passion project of writer/director Don Coscarelli [IMDB], who also gave us the cult classic “The Beastmaster” [IMDB] and the wonderfully mind-bending “John Dies at the End” [My Review]. He once described Phantasm as “barely linear”, a characterization that some might call generous. The films are a loose mixture of original ideas, interesting imagery and budget-induced compromise.
See the review of “April Apocalypse” on our sister site, MoreBrains.com dedicated to all things zombie!
“Logan” on IMDB
Drama/Action/Sci-fi, 137 Minutes, 2017
Before we begin, we must recognize the true hero of this story: Chatty-guy-behind-us. When the movie was sneakily attempting to foreshadow something or self-indulgently tried to build a moment, Chatty-guy was there for us! He heroically defused the tension from key scenes and selflessly, loudly kept us informed of events happening directly in front of us on a giant screen.
That boy deserves a medal. A god-damned medal.
See the review of “Wyrmwood: Road of the Dead” on our sister site, MoreBrains.com dedicated to all things zombie!
“After the Dark” on IMDB
Drama, 104 Minutes, 2013
The purpose of some films is to make the audience think; to provide discussion topics. They lay out rules, set up pressures and obstacles then examine the reactions of their ridiculously verbose characters. Success might be measured by the time the audience spends discussing the problems posed. It might also result in a violent argument with dear friends!
“The Autopsy of Jane Doe” on IMDB
Horror, 86 Minutes, 2016
Tommy Tilden (Brian Cox [IMDB]) is thrilled that his son, Austin (Emile Hirsch [IMDB]) is following in his footsteps. He’s been the county coroner for many years and has earned his reputation as a perfectionist. When the local sheriff finds a perfectly preserved corpse with no outward signs of trauma lying serenely among the tattered victims of a multiple… homocide? Suicide? Accident? – he goes to Tommy for answers.
“Kubo and the Two Strings” on IMDB
Fantasy/Adventure/Family, 91 Minutes, 2016
This is the fourth feature from the stop-motion geniuses at LAIKA. Following “Coraline” [IMDB] in 2009, the small studio has fallen into a comfortable two-year release schedule with “ParaNorman” [My Review at MoreBrains.com] in 2012 and “The Boxtrolls” [My Review] in 2014 and now this in 2016. Each and every film is a modern classic and “Kubo” is no different.
“Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children” on IMDB
Fantasy/Adventure/Family, 127 Minutes, 2016
Ransom Riggs’ best-selling debut novel seems tailor made for Tim Burton’s [IMDB] off-kilter sensibilities. Most children are normal, some are odd, some are gifted and some very few are peculiar. Peculiar children might be as strong as a dozen men, be lighter than air or able to start fires with their hands. Such children are cared for by the Ymbrynes, magical women who create isolated loops in time to protect their wards.