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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7th I’m Jeffrey Rex Awards, Part Two – 2019

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”

REVIEW: Toy Story 4 (2019)

UK Theatrical Release Poster – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

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)”

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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Crazy Early 92nd Academy Awards Predictions – Special Features #46

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”

2019 Film Preview, Pt. 2: Original and Awards Films – Special Features #39

In this, the second and final part of my 2019 film preview, I will discuss and present you with the most interesting 2019 non-tentpole films, as well as the films that may be talked about during awards season 2019. Now, just to get this out of the way, I will only mention adaptations if, and only if, I think they have Oscar potential, as the wise men and women call it.  Continue reading “2019 Film Preview, Pt. 2: Original and Awards Films – Special Features #39”

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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