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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Final 90th Academy Awards Predictions: Winners – Special Features #17

This is it. Here we are. This Sunday, the 90th Academy Awards will be held. They’ll laugh about the La La LandMoonlight mess, maybe they’ll even invite the presenters and the producers of both films onto the stage for some kind of joke. Streaks will be broken, there will be bad decisions, good decisions, and decisions that will look idiotic years from now. That’s the Oscars. That’s all a part of the game. Being that it is this close, it is finally time for me to reveal my final Oscar predictions for this awards season. Who will win? Who will lose? What would I have voted for? Let’s dive right in with the first categories. Continue reading “Final 90th Academy Awards Predictions: Winners – Special Features #17”

Reaction to the Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards – Special Features #15

I made my predictions, I was ready to watch the nomination announcement, and I gave my live-reactions on Twitter. But I’ve got more to say, and I’ll do that here in this week’s Special Features. Let’s talk about the nominations for the 90th Academy Awards! Continue reading “Reaction to the Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards – Special Features #15”