David Cronenberg’s Scanners is one of his straightest pictures in that it’s relatively a straightforward science fiction thriller. It features car chases and an exploding head and a climactic showdown. The 1981 movie is wired as a mainstream hit, lacking the confrontational grotesqueries of other Cronenberg outings.Read more "Scanners (1981)"
David Cronenberg’s The Brood is complex and grotesque. It is not a stretch to see it as a twisted companion piece to Kramer vs. Kramer, another 1979 film about divorce. Both outings feature a family turned asunder. Both feature bloody custody battles. But one, depending on perspective, is more realistic.Read more "The Brood (1979)"
After crafting two horror outings obsessed with parasites and diseases and orifices, David Cronenberg’s Fast Company veers in a whole different direction – kind of. This 1979 picture is a quirk in the system in a lot of ways, but in a lot of other ways it makes a certain kind of sense.Read more "Fast Company (1979)"
Director Edgar G. Ulmer can do a lot with a little, as films like Detour and Black Cat reveal. Every so often, though, even the most inventive of auteurs can run into trouble. Such is the case with Strange Illusion, a 1945 film noir that struggles under the weight of lukewarm performances, a clumsy script […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: Strange Illusion (1945)"
If David Cronenberg’s Shivers infected an apartment complex full of rich yuppies who probably deserved it, Rabid goes a step further and passes the disease to larger Montreal. This 1977 picture contends with many of the same concerns found in Shivers, with science, sex and slaughter at the core. And it is still deeply satirical, […]Read more "Rabid (1977)"
David Cronenberg’s Shivers is a gloriously bizarre and haunting horror picture, one that really gets under the skin. Part fever dream and part snarky satire, this 1975 Canadian movie earned the attention of the government because of its federal arts funding. The hubbub over the subject matter blew over quickly, but there were some ripples […]Read more "Shivers (1975)"
A cliché sandwich served with extra clichés and a dish of cliché on the side for dipping, Steven C. Miller’s Marauders actually has the makeup of a good thriller. This 2016 motion picture isn’t that bad given the territory and the screenplay by Michael Cody and Chris Sivertson doesn’t try to do too much. At […]Read more "Marauders (2016)"
Jean-François Richet directs the terse Mel Gibson vehicle Blood Father with eyes on reclamation and violence as cleansing force. The 2016 movie features a screenplay by Peter Craig and Andrea Berloff and is based on Craig’s novel of the same name. It casts a dry swath through America, painting a picture of contrast and hostility […]Read more "Blood Father (2016)"
When it comes to bleak and beautiful noir, it’s hard to top Fritz Lang’s Scarlet Street. This 1945 motion picture is based on Georges de La Fouchardière’s novel La Chienne and features a screenplay by Dudley Nichols. The material is dark and cynical and glorious, with characters traipsing through life in various stages of desperation.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Scarlet Street (1945)"
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter purports to be the sixth and final entry in the Resident Evil film series, which is based on the video game series of the same name. This 2016 picture is written and directed Paul W. S. Anderson, with cinematography by Glen MacPherson.Read more "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)"
If Simon West’s The Mechanic was well-organized, its 2016 sequel is ridiculous. Directed by Dennis Gansel from a screenplay by Philip Shelby and Tony Mosher, Mechanic: Resurrection is an outlandish Jason Statham vehicle that stacks the deck with wild and weird action pieces. It’s somewhat fascinating, yet hardly good.Read more "Mechanic: Resurrection (2016)"
Ron Clements and John Musker helm Moana, the 56th entry in the Disney animated feature pantheon (probably) and a vibrant showcase of what the House of Mouse does well. The story is one of those by-committee jobs, but there’s a beating heart within that takes popular filmmaking and classic folklore into account.Read more "Moana (2016)"
There’s nothing new about Simon West’s The Mechanic. The 2011 picture is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name, which starred Charles Bronson and was directed by Michael Winner. This one puts Jason Statham in the Bronson role and features a screenplay by Lewis John Carlino and Richard Wenk.Read more "The Mechanic (2011)"
There is a point in the awful London Has Fallen when the boiling protagonist (Gerard Butler) is beating the hell out of a bad guy while embarking on a profanity-laced diatribe about the staying power of America. “A thousand years from now,” he snarls, “we’ll still fucking be here.”Read more "London Has Fallen (2016)"
Henry Hathaway’s The House on 92nd Street is an exercise in what’s widely called the semi-documentary style, which has earned in comparisons to Jules Dassin’s 1948 noir The Naked City. As such an exercise, this 1945 movie builds substantial interest. As a film noir, it’s a tougher sell.Read more "Film Noir Friday: The House on 92nd Street (1945)"
Paul W. S. Anderson directs Resident Evil: Retribution, the fifth entry in the Resident Evil series and the follow-up to 2010’s Resident Evil: Afterlife. Anderson also wrote the screenplay, which is based on the video game series of the same name.Read more "Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)"
Paul W. S. Anderson returns to the director’s chair for the second time in the series to helm Resident Evil: Afterlife, the sequel to Russell Mulcahy’s lean and sandy Resident Evil: Extinction. The 2010 entry features a screenplay by the director and was filmed in 3D with cinematography by Glen MacPherson.Read more "Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)"
Theoretically, Jon Cassar’s When the Bough Breaks should work as a sleazy thriller. The 2016 picture features a screenplay by Jack Olsen and stars a pile of gorgeous people like Morris Chestnut, Regina Hall and Jaz Sinclair. And there’s sex. In a way.Read more "When the Bough Breaks (2016)"
Russell Mulcahy wheels Resident Evil: Extinction, the third entry in the Resident Evil film series that began in 2002. The movies are based on the video game series of the same name, which concerns a future of bioengineering and a zombie apocalypse. The 2007 installment has a screenplay by Paul W. S. Anderson, who directed […]Read more "Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)"
Josef von Sternberg’s 1927 silent crime movie Underworld isn’t considered a film noir in any traditional sense, but it certainly speaks the language of the genre and serves as an instructive if influential piece of prescient cinema.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Underworld (1927)"