REVIEW: NOPE (2022)

Steven Yeun’s character looks upward and tries to monetize what he sees in Jordan Peele’s NOPE — Photo: Universal Pictures.

Directed by Jordan Peele — Screenplay by Jordan Peele.

With Get Out and Us, Jordan Peele’s name became synonymous with the social-horror genre. A master of horror on the rise, who is still building his oeuvre, Peele’s films as a director thus far have felt like event films, to me. Get Out was a masterpiece and one of the best films of the 2010s, and Us was a fantastic horror film that I think is exceptionally rewatchable, rewarding, and thought-provoking. He didn’t land all of his big ideas with Us, but it was still one of my favorite films of 2019. I absolutely loved it. So, when his third outing as a director was announced and revealed to be a sci-fi horror flick starring two of my favorite actors of the 2010s in Daniel Kaluuya, re-teaming with Peele after Get Out, and Steven Yeun, who made his name known with The Walking Dead but whose best performance can be seen in Lee Chang-dong’s masterpiece Burning, my expectations reached a fever pitch. So, does NOPE work? In a word, yep.

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REVIEW: FRESH (2022)

Noa (right, played by Daisy Edgar-Jones) falls for ‘Steve’ (left, played by Sebastian Stan) in the comedy-thriller FRESH — Photo: Searchlight Pictures.

Directed by Mimi Cave – Screenplay by Lauryn Kahn.

Modern dating can be difficult. We all like to think that we can have a grand love story and just meet someone out of the blue, but, nowadays, many people find their eventual partners through online dating. In Mimi Cave’s FRESH — her feature debut as a director – Noa (played by Daisy Edgar-Jones) is tired of spending so much time finding potential suitors on the online ‘meat market.’ Her online dating usually ends with disappointing dates with rude men or with men sending inappropriate images that she never once asked for. So, it is understandable that she excitedly chases romance when she meets and flirts with the undeniable charming ‘Steve’ (played by Sebastian Stan) in a local supermarket. In spite of obvious red flags (he has no Instagram account!), she decides to go away with him on a weekend vacation, where she will soon find out that he has an uncommon ‘hobby’ — to say the least — and that his intentions aren’t good.

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REVIEW: Candyman (2021)

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Anthony McCoy in Nia DaCosta’s CANDYMAN (2021) — Photo: Universal Pictures.

Directed by Nia DaCosta — Screenplay by Nia DaCosta, Win Rosenfeld, & Jordan Peele (Get Out; Us).

Horror remakes, reimaginings, or sequels decades after a popular antagonist’s inception are inevitable. This movie studio trend was especially prevalent in the 2010s, when it was emphasized just how profitable decent-to-good horror films can be. One of the more stylized attempts was Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria remake, while one of the more disappointing attempts was Kölsch & Widmyer’s Pet Sematary remake. Horror remakes are a dime a dozen these days, but the current horror movie trend is the legacyquel — a portmanteau of legacy and sequel — which is a continuation of a previous film but one that takes place a long time after the events of the original film and often with entirely new characters. Another trend is that of ignoring some films in the franchise, for the purpose of taking the franchise in another direction. Such is the case with a legacyquel like David Gordon Green’s Halloween. Another legacyquel that ignores certain chapters in its own cinematic mythology, Nia DaCosta’s Candyman, which really ought to have a different title for simplicity’s sake, follows many horror movie trends, but perhaps most notably those kickstarted by her producer and co-writer Jordan Peele.

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Best of the 2010s: Directorial Debut Films

There is something very exciting about a directorial debut. Obviously, the filmmaker is excited about their first chance to step behind the camera on a feature film, but, as an audience member or film writer of any kind, it is so fascinating to see the choices being made. Sometimes some of the boldest and most imaginative filmmakers present us with instant classics, other times newcomers deliver a product that may not be extraordinary filmmaking but which may still be a moving or exciting motion picture. In this month’s best of the decade list, I’m honoring the very best directorial debuts. Some of them are first works for potential auteurs, while others are impressive blockbuster entertainment from untested new filmmakers just learning the ropes. Continue reading “Best of the 2010s: Directorial Debut Films”

REVIEW: Us (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Universal Pictures

The following is a review of Us — Directed by Jordan Peele.

No directorial debut this decade has made as much noise as Jordan Peele’s Get Out did. The social-horror film was made by a comedian from a popular two-man sketch comedy group who, as it turned out, had his finger on the pulse of America. Get Out is not just one of the most discussed films of the decade, it’s also one of the most interesting, one of the most rewatchable, and, arguably, one of the best. Though Us may not be as sharp, potent, or intelligent as Get Out, Peele here proves that he is no one-hit wonder. Get Out wasn’t a fluke, Jordan Peele knows exactly what he’s doing.
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Reaction to the 90th Academy Awards – Special Features #19

It has all been said and done. The winners have won, the songs have been sung, and the tweets have been tweeted. But let’s now go through the predictions, the winners, the losers, and the surprises (if there were any). We have to start with who won the coveted Jet Ski, though.
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Top Ten Films of 2017

It is almost time for the 90th Academy Awards, and that, of course, means that I have to show you what films I believe to be the very best of 2017. I’ve got my blog awards, the final half of which I released a few days ago, but the top ten list is probably my favorite annual year-in-review article that I publish. So, let us now have a look at the very best films of the great year for film that 2017 was.
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30 Things 2017 Taught Cinephiles, Critics, and the Industry – Special Features #18

In true Jedi Master-fashion, every year in film provides us with lessons and guides that form trends and a changing landscape in the filmmaking industry. 2017 was a great year for film, and today I want to talk about the lessons that I will remember 2017 for. Continue reading “30 Things 2017 Taught Cinephiles, Critics, and the Industry – Special Features #18”

5th I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, Part Two – 2017

This is it. The second half of the 5th annual I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards is ready, and this is the big half, to me. The awards that I’ll go through today are focused on film and documentaries, and I specifically wanted to get these out of the way before the Oscars were held. However, as I am a Dane, there are some films that have been deemed ineligible for these awards due to the fact that they (films like Lady Bird and The Post) will not be released in Denmark until April. Keep that in mind. Without further ado, let’s get to it.
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