Directed by Jordan Peele — Screenplay by Jordan Peele.
With Get Out andUs, 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.
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.
This is it. We are finally here where it all matters. This is where I highlight the best technical achievements and performances of the year. This is where I get a chance to recognize all of my favorite films that I saw this past year. As always, I also have a lifetime achievement film award at the end of the post, so don’t forget about that one. For the full list of nominees, go here. Continue reading “7th I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, Part Two – 2019”→
Today, in honor of Friday the 13th, I want to showcase my ten favorite horror films of the 2010s. I’ll also preface this list by saying that I reserve the right to change this list for the remainder of 2019 in case something new is good enough to make it onto this list. Continue reading “Best of the 2010s: Top Ten Horror Films”→
The following is a review of Toy Story 4 — Directed by Josh Cooley.
I once wrote that I am ‘a part of the Pixar-generation,’ i.e. I’ve grown up with their films and Toy Story was one of the first films I saw. I’ve loved almost all of the Pixar-films, and I love the Toy Story-films most of them all. The first film was a childhood favorite of mine. The second film was almost equally brilliant and becomes better the more I watch it. And, especially for my generation, the third film was a cathartic and nostalgic heartbreaker that had adults bawling their eyes out in crowded theaters or airplanes.
Toy Story is a special film series. The first three films are all some of the greatest animated films ever made and arguably include a couple of masterpieces among them. But it is also a film series that ended on the perfect note with Toy Story 3. So, I cannot say that I ever really wanted a fourth film. However, Toy Story 4 from feature film debut director Josh Cooley is another heartwarming and heartbreaking coming-of-age tale featuring childhood playthings. Though we didn’t need it, Pixar has, thankfully, brought us yet another great installment in this beloved film series, even though the fourth film isn’t as much of an instant classic as the first three films were. Continue reading “REVIEW: Toy Story 4 (2019)”→
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”→
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. Continue reading “REVIEW: Us (2019)”→
Okay, I know. This is insane. But I enjoyed doing it last year, so it’s happening again! The 91st Academy Awards haven’t even been held, and I’ve only seen, like, twelve films from 2019 at this point. I love writing about the awards season, but, to be honest with you, I find the annual best picture frontrunner backlash to be draining. So, therefore, I think it’s much easier for me to write about next year’s awards season. And don’t you worry, I have a pretty good idea of what is coming out this year. So, without further ado, let’s get to it. Continue reading “Crazy Early 92nd Academy Awards Predictions – Special Features #46”→