REVIEW: The Northman (2022)

Alexander Skarsgård has transformed himself to play the role that I think he was born to play in THE NORTHMAN – Photo: Universal Pictures.

Directed by Robert Eggers (The Witch) – Screenplay by Robert Eggers & Sjón.

Inspired by Icelandic sagas and Saxo Grammaticus’ Gesta Danorum legend of Prince Amleth of Jutland (the latter of which was supposedly the inspiration for William Shakespeare’s Hamlet), The Northman is a $90 million budgeted epic viking revenge film from Robert Eggers, the director of the relatively low-budgeted indie ‘art house-esque’ horror films The Witch and The Lighthouse. It is a dirty, violent, blood-soaked, and brilliantly-made film, and it is easily Robert Eggers’ most accessible film, even though it definitely isn’t your average big-budgeted action film.

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REVIEW: Succession – Season Three (2021)

Matthew Macfadyen as Tom Wambsgans in Succession: Season Three, Episode Nine, “All The Bells Say,” — Photo: Graeme Hunter / HBO.

This is a full season review of Succession: Season Three — All episodes are available now on HBO Max.

Some of the best television show writers, directors, and creators know how to seemingly blow up their shows in exciting season finales all the while still making these unforeseen events feel true to the show, and then they pick-up where the last season left off with equally good and layered writing, and with convincing twists and turns. While that description may sound more like Breaking Bad than a show about the line of succession in a right-wing media company, it is also true for Succession (and their writers), which, again and again, takes its characters in enthralling new directions. The second season of Succession was right up there with The Leftovers, as some of the most gripping and well-written television on HBO ever, and I’m happy to say that the third season, which went in directions that I hadn’t anticipated at the end of the second season, is equally good. Jesse Armstrong and the Succession writers’ room have done it again.

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REVIEW: Godzilla vs. Kong (2021)

The enormous ape ‘Kong’ (right) journeys to the center of the Earth and goes head to head with the giant radioactive lizard ‘Godzilla’ (left) in Adam Wingard’s GODZILLA vs. KONG — Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures / Legendary Pictures.

Directed by Adam Wingard (‘The Guest’; ‘Blair Witch‘; and ‘Death Note‘) — Screenplay by Eric Pearson & Max Borenstein.

Versus-films are certainly nothing new. Films with titles such as Godzilla vs. Kong will probably always make me think of Paul W.S. Anderson’s Alien vs. Predator and its tagline: “Whoever wins, we lose,” which, in turn, makes me think of both Ronny Yu’s Freddy vs. Jason and Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. None of those films are necessarily highly regarded by the vast majority of film critics, though I enjoy a couple of them, but there is of course one versus-film that trumps them all, Robert Benton’s legal drama Kramer vs. Kramer. That Oscar-winning masterpiece, which is nothing like the aforementioned films, is however, to put it mildly, an exception to the general rule, which is that versus-films are — at least now — mostly known as these show-stopping mash-up popcorn films. That is certainly the case with Adam Wingard’s latest film. It is, as one expected, nowhere near as good as Benton’s film, but it is, however, better than most of the other films that I’ve mentioned in this paragraph. Because Godzilla vs. Kong is a fun popcorn movie, which, with these kinds of blockbusters, is all you can ask for.

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REVIEW: Long Shot (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Lionsgate

The following is a review of Long Shot — Directed by Jonathan Levine.

It would appear that I have a soft spot for Jonathan Levine films. His is a name that immediately gets me excited to watch a film if his name is attached to it. I am one of the few who thinks Levine’s 50/50 is a genuine masterpiece of the genre within which it belongs. Furthermore, I think his 2015 holiday film The Night Before has the makings of a modern Christmas classic — in fact, it has already become a tradition for me to watch that film every Christmas. Likewise, I really enjoyed my time with Long Shot, which is Levine’s attempt at Rogenesque romantic comedy with a political twist. While I doubt that Long Shot will become as memorable to me as the aforementioned efforts, I think it is another example of a hip Levine film that goes down well. Continue reading “REVIEW: Long Shot (2019)”

REVIEW: Hold the Dark (2018)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a short review of Hold the Dark — Directed by Jeremy Saulnier.

In the last few years, director Jeremy Saulnier has started to become a household name with cinephiles. His last two films Blue Ruin and, especially, Green Room were both met with critical acclaim and a lot of support from the film community. So when it was announced that his next film — Netflix’s Hold the Dark — would be his most ambitious and most expensive project yet, I and many other cinephiles were, naturally, excited. Continue reading “REVIEW: Hold the Dark (2018)”

REVIEW: MUTE (2018)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of the Netflix Original Film MUTE — Directed by Duncan Jones.

Duncan Jones’ fourth feature film MUTE, which is dedicated to his late father David Bowie and his late nanny Marion Skene, is a science-fiction film in the vein of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. It tells the story of a search for a missing person in the melting pot of a futuristic and dirty Berlin, which, in true Blade Runner fashion, is bathed in neon lights and bluish colors. The film’s protagonist is an unlikely outsider — a tall and mute bartender named Leo (played by Alexander Skarsgård) who lost the ability to speak as a child in a violent motorboat propellor accident.  Continue reading “REVIEW: MUTE (2018)”

Marvelous Monday #25 – Recast The Avengers

I'm Jeffrey Rex' Marvelous Monday - Recast The Avengers

In May 2012 Marvel Studios released Marvel’s The Avengers in theaters. It would go on to become one of the best ever comic book movies. Along the way it made $1.5 billion worldwide at the box office, and would spawn numerous other cinematic universes for other comic book characters at other studios.

You could argue, however, that a comic book movie is only as good as its leading men and women. But what if Marvel Studios never cast Downey Jr., Hemsworth, Ruffalo, Johansson, Evans, and Renner? Today, on Marvelous Monday, I try to recast the heroes in The Avengers from a pre-Marvel Cinematic Universe perspective. Continue reading “Marvelous Monday #25 – Recast The Avengers”