Months from now, or maybe years, we’ll probably look at Zak Hilditch’s “1922” as the most essential Stephen King adaptation produced in 2017. Competition is stiff: Andy Muschietti’s “It” and Mike Flanagan’s “Gerald’s Game,” respectively released in the…
Vivian Qu’s new film, “Angels Wear White,” couldn’t come to us at a better or worse time, depending on your point of view. In last week and a half or so, torrents of reports about the deserved fall of movie mogul and sexual abuser Harvey Weinstein have…
According to the work of contemporary genius auteur Roland Emmerich, the person responsible for leading the 1969 Stonewall riots and founding the LGBTQ movement was a clean-cut white kid from middle America, who chucked bricks and led freedom chants that would change the course of the country’s relationship to gay rights forever. Also according to Emmerich per his execrable 2015 film “Stonewall,” transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson was a human being. Continue reading ‘The Death And Life Of Marsha P. Johnson’ Will Haunt You [Review] at The Playlist.
If you take the title of Jenna Bass’s new film, “High Fantasy,” at face value, you’ll probably picture a stoner comedy-cum-genre flick, a’la “Your Highness,” in which unlikely heroes are pitted against mythical dangers while stricken with a case of the stoned giggly-fits. To an extent, this characterization is fair: Bass does assemble of diverse troupe of characters, and she does set them on a quest of sorts, and she does incorporate a fantasy element in their travels after they all get roasted on weed, but the fundamental conflicts of “High Fantasy” are rooted in the real world, and those conflicts make the film feel all too familiar. Continue reading ‘High Fantasy’ Is An Artistic & Intimate Body Swap Drama [TIFF Review] at The Playlist.
Sometimes movies disappoint us by failing to live up to our expectations for them. Others, they disappoint us through sheer badness alone. Stephen McCallum’s “1%” disappoints us through wasted promise, threatening to take an interesting angle on biker gang film tropes before totally chickening out and playing the hits instead. If you’ve ever seen a season of “Sons of Anarchy,” you more or less know what you’re going to get out of “1%,” and if “Sons of Anarchy” is your cup of vodka and orange juice, then you’ll probably enjoy McCallum’s work on its own terms. Continue reading ‘1%’: Biker Gang Drama Tries To Breathe Life Into The Outlaw Genre [TIFF Review] at The Playlist.
Watching Jane Campion stumble through the second season of her SundanceTV series, “Top of the Lake: China Girl,” means watching an imminently talented and self-assured storyteller misplace her self-assurance. In keeping with its first season, “Top of the Lake’s” craftsmanship remains stellar in its second; Campion’s eye for impeccable visuals hasn’t faded. Also in keeping with the first season is her high standard for performance. No single actor in her ensemble cast slacks, or slouches, or otherwise impedes the production. Continue reading Jane Campion’s ‘Top of the Lake: China Girl’ Can’t Match The First Season [Review] at The Playlist.
Ever get the feeling that the movie you’re watching is sentient, ill-tempered, and perfectly happy to kick your legs out from underneath you at the worst possible moment for maximum cruelty? That’s “Bushwick,” a slick, swaggering gallimaufry of alt-history war-cum-propaganda movie a’la “Red Dawn,” oriented on a sudden and violent invasion of New York (yes, that Bushwick) by unknown, ad libbed, but altogether well-organized military force. Continue reading ‘Bushwick’ Is Pure, Overwhelmingly Grim Provocation [Review] at The Playlist.
“Beach Rats,” the second feature from director Eliza Hittman, is at once sexual and unsexy, a thoroughly eroticized movie meant to encourage dread. It’s a summer film set in New York City in July, focused on hormonal teenage boys as they engineer ways of killing time and entertaining themselves; they are, for the most part, douchebags out for their own gratification at the expense of decency and the contents of strangers’ wallets. Continue reading ‘Beach Rats’ Is Tender & Merciless [Review] at The Playlist.
The Bingeworthy Breakdown is an occasional look at new and returning TV shows. An estimated 500 seasons of scripted TV will air in 2017, and we’re here to help you sort the must-sees from the can-skips, because life is way too short, and Peak TV way too crowded, for investing in a show you’re not going to love. This week, we’re going to dive in to Season 1 of Amazon‘s “Comrade Detective,” created by Brian Gatewood and Alex Tanaka, with director Rhys Thomas, starring and executive produced by Channing Tatum, so you can decide if you’re going to give yourself over to as it’s available now on Amazon Prime. Continue reading ‘Comrade Detective’ Is An Odd Satirical Novelty About Communist Propaganda [Bingeworthy™ Breakdown] at The Playlist.
There’s nothing worse than watching people you admire show up in movies you immediately regret watching: Ben Kingsley in “The Love Guru,” Julianne Moore in “Seventh Son,” Viola Davis in “Suicide Squad.” Disasters like these make you wonder if their directors had something on their actors, a scandalous bargaining chip used to undeservingly leverage their skills for nefarious moviemaking ends. Continue reading ‘The Incredible Jessica James’ Doesn’t Give Jessica Williams The Showcase She Deserves [Review] at The Playlist.