REVIEW: Scream VI (2023)

Sam Carpenter (right, played by Melissa Barrera) surrounded by Ghostface killer costumes in SCREAM VI — PHOTO: Paramount Pictures.

Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett — Screenplay by James Vanderbilt and Guy Busick.

The latest film in my favorite horror film franchise, Scream VI, was released late in my region, so even before I sat down to watch it, it was already a massive success at the box office. It is the sixth film in the series, which also includes a television series, and it is thus the kind of continuation that may make cynics compare it to the horror franchise trend that Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson (the original creators of Scream) lampooned in the opening of Scream 4. In that film, characters discuss how, by films 6 and 7, the Stab film series (the in-universe film series based on the events of Scream) has run out of steam. That is a real possibility for any franchise, whether horror or not, once it gets big enough. It can become the same movie over and over again, and it may end up in the difficult cycle of having to top itself again and again. In the hands of Radio Silence (the directing duo of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett), the franchise was rebooted in a clever way that honored the legacy of the franchise with 2022’s Scream. Only a single year after that film was released, Radio Silence has already put out a sequel. In spite of an inventive new location, Scream VI doesn’t ever feel as clever or fresh as the best films in the series, but it is still a solid slasher sequel that should satisfy long-time fans. Thankfully, the franchise doesn’t feel as stale as one might’ve feared at this point. The old tricks still work, even if they aren’t as fresh or sharply defined as they once were. 

Continue reading “REVIEW: Scream VI (2023)”

REVIEW: Soul (2020)

Soul Still Image
‘Soul,’ Still Image — Photo: Disney / Pixar.

Directed by Pete Docter — Screenplay by Pete Docter, Mike Jones, and Kemp Powers.

For years, critics all over the world have praised Pixar for their storytellers’ ability to make animated films that appeal to people of all ages. Often animated films will only reserve a couple of jokes to please parents and other adults, but Pixar tends to go the extra mile and provide us with films that enthrall both children and adults such as Coco, Up, and the Toy Story-films. However, with their latest film, Pete Doctor’s Soul, I think that Pixar has made an animated film that actually appeals more to adults than children. I have even had conversations with friends, who agree that Pixar’s latest great animated film actually feels like a film designed primarily for a grown-up audience. However, even though that could be true, Pete Docter’s Soul is yet another home run from an exceptional animation studio that is as good as it has ever been. Continue reading “REVIEW: Soul (2020)”

REVIEW: After Hours (1985)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros. Pictures

The following is a review of Martin Scorsese’s 1985 classic After Hours — Written by Joseph Minion.

Although his 1980 feature film Raging Bull earned Martin Scorsese rave reviews and industry awards recognition, its success did not ensure that Martin Scorsese’s 1980s would be a nice and smooth ride with nothing but successes. Even though he had already made films that we still talk about today, Scorsese was not the box office draw that modern cineastes might have imagined. His follow-up to Raging Bull, his 1982 near-masterpiece The King of Comedy struggled at the box office. Then Paramount Pictures got cold feet due to a sizable budget as well as religious protests, and, as a result, they, eventually, canceled the production of Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ, which was finally made and released with the help of Universal Studios in 1988. So one might understand if, in the mid-to-early 1980s, Martin Scorsese needed to make something wildly different. It was at this point when, before he finally got to make his aforementioned controversial religious passion project, Martin Scorsese made his frantic black comedy After Hours. Continue reading “REVIEW: After Hours (1985)”