Category Archives: Films

The Second Guardians of the Galaxy Is A Muddled Sequel

Hello, everyone! I’ve written before in my posts about how I think Marvel movies have all become formulaic, heartless, soul-sucking cash grabs, so I guess it’s no surprise that the Guardians franchise has succumbed to that paint-by-numbers scheme too. The first film was surprisingly witty and heartfelt, and managed to make the origin story of a group of unfamiliar, oddball assholes endearing. Not to mention, the soundtrack was fantastic. Vol.2 also has a killer soundtrack, but the wit and heart are harder to find. There’s a great movie in here somewhere, but it’s lost amidst $200 million worth of special effects and a plot so familiar that even the journey isn’t very fun.

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Colossal Is Weird, But Worth The Watch

Hello, everyone! Sorry for the extra long gap between posts. I hate to leave you hanging with a strange ode/critique to Taylor Swift. After writing that article I listened to Swift’s entire discography. Whether you find that to be sweet or alarming is really up to your opinion on the singer, but I gotta say, she  makes sad bus rides go a lot faster.  On a completely unrelated topic, tonight I watched Colossal for the last screening of my film analysis class. It’s such a bizarre, unique film that I’m not sure whether it deserves praise or ridicule. Perhaps that’s why it succeeds. It doesn’t play it safe or even try to be normal. Colossal wears its heart on its sleeve, with endearing and annoying results. In a marketplace filled with lukewarm comedies and robotic  blockbusters, Colossal is more than sincere enough to make up for its flaws.

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Rings Is A Movie Without An Identity

Hello, everyone! Sorry for the month long delay between posts. If you couldn’t guess, it’s because my spring semester has been as chaotic as Donald Trump’s presidency and I’ve only just found my footing. Last Friday I saw Rings, the third installment in the American adaptation of the Japanese Ringu. A completely mediocre movie through and through, Rings adds nothing to the franchise but derivative storytelling, lousy acting, and a serving of warmed-over creepiness. By updating the premise for the digital age, the film draws attention to its own fading relevance.

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Screw the Critics #3: Passengers

A continuing segment in which Lily, intrepid blogger, goes head to head with the most dastardly of foes: Rotten Tomatoes. Group-think be damned! In this segment, we look at the panned Morten Tyldum movie Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.  Who will win? Hint: it’s Lily. 

Rotten Tomatoes Consensus: Passengers proves Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence work well together — and that even their chemistry isn’t enough to overcome a fatally flawed story.

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The Dressmaker Is Haute, But Messy

Hello, everyone! A few days ago I watched The Dressmaker, which is a perfect example of a movie ruined by a single scene. Apart from that single scene, the movie is eccentric and unwieldy, but still a jaunty story to follow. A story of fashion and fiery revenge, Jocelyn Moorhouse’s film is beautiful, but marred by mistakes.

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La La Land Brings The Music, But No Musical

Hello, everyone! Today the somber task falls upon me to write a review about a movie that I wanted to love, but couldn’t. That movie is La La Land, a musical drama that is neither wholly musical nor wholly drama. Damien Chazelle’s sophomore feature is not a bad movie in any way, but it doesn’t have the passion or originality of its predecessor Whiplash. Its homages to iconic musicals like Singin’ in the Rain and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg show the film’s adoration for the magic of Old Hollywood, but they also prove that loving references can show how a movie like La La Land pales in comparison to the fantastic originals. The film is beautiful, fun, and witty, with powerful performances from both leads, but unlike other musical classics, it doesn’t transcend.

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Don’t Breathe Is Blind To Its Faults

Hello, everyone! Let me start this post by saying I have a bone to pick with critics. Why can’t everyone like what I like? But seriously, sometimes I watch a movie, mostly in the horror genre, and I’m bewildered by the critical reviews. They watch It Follows and say it’s one of the best horror movies of the decade, I say it’s a pretty yawnfest. They watch The Visit and praise the film for its “satisfying blend of thrills and laughs” (Rotten Tomatoes) and I collapse to the ground, decrying a world that deems a lukewarm found footage movie with a stupid twist to be acceptable, or even worse, scary. What confuses me the most, however, is the reaction from critics to a movie like Don’t BreatheHow can a group who can find the sudden appearance of a tall man terrifying somehow stomach a movie as disturbing and morally ambiguous as this one? Spoilers Ahead (you’ve been warned!)

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I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House Has A Title Longer Than Its Plot

Hello, everyone! Today I finally get around to writing a review about I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, a movie that is more or less a painting stretched out into 87 tedious minutes. With a title that unique and descriptive, I was expecting something a bit more interesting than the minimalist set of tableaux that director Oz Perkins believes makes a movie. Yes, Oz Perkins, as in the son of Anthony Perkins, the iconic actor who played Norman Bates in Psycho. The only thing that IATPTTLITH (even the acronym is too long!) has in common with the genius of Psycho  is that they are both technically horror movies. I guess in this day and age with an orange buffoon as president-elect, anything can be anything.

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We Are What We Are Is A Lesson In Visual Horror

Hello, everyone! It’s been almost a month since I’ve posted on this blog, but do not despair, for I’ve returned. Today I watched a uniquely chilly film called We Are What We Are, directed by Jim Mickle, who also directed Cold in July and StakelandWe Are What We Are is a family psychological drama with horror elements that has the aesthetics of a refined backwoods western and the suspense of a thrilling mystery. A movie influenced by too many genres can turn out muddled, but Mickle’s clear, cold direction keeps the film focused and compelling from start to finish.

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Last Shift Is a Budget Movie With No Cheap Scares

Hello, everyone! My last review of Creep was fairly negative, so I promised to write a positive review to balance that out. The first horror movie I watched last week was a chilly little horror called Last Shift, directed by Anthony DiBlasi, who has directed a bunch of other horror movies and was the executive producer for Midnight Meat Train, which I haven’t seen but heard was a great film. The film is small and contained in atmosphere, but nonetheless quite ambitious. It’s the type of movie that scared me in such a way that I would track my cursor across the progression bar at the bottom of the screen to see the next image before it played, just so I could prepare myself.

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