REVIEW: The Guilty (2021)

Jake Gyllenhaal as Joe Baylor in Antoine Fuqua’s American version of THE GUILTY — Photo: Netflix.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua — Screenplay by Nic Pizzolatto.

Antoine Fuqua’s The Guilty, written by True Detective-creator Nic Pizzolatto, is an American remake of the 2018 Danish single-location thriller Den Skyldige, which was then directed by Gustav Möller. The film follows Joe Baylor (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), who is an agitated LAPD officer with a troubled past, while he is at a 911 call center. Though he is initially largely uninterested at the call center, he suddenly ‘wakes up’ when a distressed woman calls him and says she is being abducted by her ex-husband. From his computer and telephone, Joe must now try to figure out what is happening and try to get law enforcement to her position before it is too late.

Continue reading “REVIEW: The Guilty (2021)”

Another Round is Being Remade with Leonardo DiCaprio. How Should We Feel About That?

On Monday April 26th, 2021, the day after Thomas Vinterberg’s Another Round (Danish Title: Druk) had won the Best International Feature Film Oscar, DEADLINE Hollywood reported that, to the surprise of no one, Hollywood wanted to make another English-language remake of a popular non-American hit. What was surprising, however, was that the English-language remake rights had been acquired by Appian Way, Endeavor Content, and Makeready for the purpose of developing a remake as a star vehicle for Leonardo DiCaprio, arguably the biggest movie star on the planet. So, how should we feel about that? Is it an exciting pat on the back, or should we be upset?

Continue reading “Another Round is Being Remade with Leonardo DiCaprio. How Should We Feel About That?”

REVIEW: Mulan (2020)

Liu Yifei as the title character in ‘Mulan (2020),’ available on Disney+. — Photo: Disney / Disney+.

Directed by Niki Caro — Screenplay by Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Lauren Hynek, and Elizabeth Martin.

Niki Caro’s Mulan is an adaptation of the late 1990s Disney animated film of the same name, which itself was based on the story of the folk heroine Hua Mulan. Caro’s film tells the story of a Chinese woman, Mulan (played by Liu Yifei), who disguised herself as a man and enlisted herself in the Imperial Army to protect her frail and injured father, Zhou (played by Tzi Ma), even though she knew it would bring dishonor to her family. In the film, while fighting alongside other brave soldiers, she must do all that she can to save China from an invading army that is fighting alongside a witch (played by Gong Li). Continue reading “REVIEW: Mulan (2020)”

REVIEW: The Grudge (2020)

Theatrical Release Poster – Columbia Pictures

The following is a review of The Grudge — Directed by Nicolas Pesce.

Though I haven’t rewatched it in years (for reasons that will become apparent in a moment), I think that Takashi Shimizu’s Sarah Michelle Gellar-led 2004 American remake of Ju-On: The Grudge is really effective. To be perfectly honest with you, it frightened me so much when I saw it at age eleven that it gave me nightmares. I thought about it for weeks. The creepy imagery still freaks me out. So, when I heard that up-and-coming filmmaker Nicolas Pesce was making a new film in the series, I was both nervous, scared, and intrigued. Unfortunately, I don’t think Pesce was able to breathe new life into the horror subgenre once ruled by Ju-On and Ringu. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Grudge (2020)”

REVIEW: The Upside (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – STX Films / Lantern Entertainment

The following is a short review of The Upside — Directed by Neil Burger.

A remake of Olivier Nakache & Éric Toledano’s French film, Intouchables, from 2011, Neil Burger’s The Upside follows Dell Scott (played by Kevin Hart), an African-American father on parole, who is hired to be the caregiver of the quadriplegic millionaire Phillip Lacasse (played by Bryan Cranston), who, after having lost his wife, has lost his will to live. Together, they form an — according to this film’s cliched formula — unlikely friendship from which they both learn a lot about life and culture. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Upside (2019)”

REVIEW: Hellboy (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Lionsgate

The following is a review of Hellboy (2019) — Directed by Neil Marshall.

In 2004 and 2008, Oscar-winning auteur Guillermo del Toro brought us two critically well-received comic book monster movies about Mike Mignola’s Dark Horse Comics creation ‘Hellboy,’ a red Nazi-summoned half-demon that fights for the human race against monsters and other dark forces. Even though del Toro is a beloved figure and his films are still held in high regard, del Toro’s request for a third film was denied. Instead, producers decided that it was time to replace the first two films’ auteur — del Toro, who had a real, recognizable love for his creatures — and its indispensable leading man, Ron Perlman — who was absolutely perfect in the role — in a new reboot of the franchise. Continue reading “REVIEW: Hellboy (2019)”

REVIEW: Pet Sematary (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Paramount Pictures

The following is a review of Pet Sematary — Directed by Kevin Kölsch & Dennis Widmeyer.

A couple of months ago, I decided to rewatch Mary Lambert’s 1989 adaptation of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary. My father is a big fan of that film, but, I hadn’t seen it in years, and I barely remembered if I even liked it. Much to my father’s disappointment, I really didn’t enjoy rewatching Lambert’s film. This experience, I’ll be honest, actually made me more excited for this year’s remake. Perhaps I would now get the Pet Sematary film to ‘call my own.’ While I ultimately do, based on my first viewing, believe Kölsch and Widmeyer’s 2019-version is better and more effective than Lambert’s film, I was still very disappointed by what they gave us here. Continue reading “REVIEW: Pet Sematary (2019)”

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”

REVIEW: A Star is Born (2018)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros. Pictures

The following is a review of A Star is Born — Directed by Bradley Cooper.

There is a scene towards the end of the film, where Sam Elliott’s character gives a speech about twelve notes, an octave, and the same story being told over and over again. This feels like first-time director Bradley Cooper’s attempt to justify remaking the A Star is Born story for the third time — the industry is cyclical and only the artists can make new attempts unique.
Continue reading “REVIEW: A Star is Born (2018)”

REVIEW: Suspiria (2018)

Theatrical Release Poster – Amazon Studios

The following is a review of Suspiria — Directed by Luca Guadagnino.

The original Dario Argento Italian horror classic Suspiria is one of those films horror fanatics scream from the rooftops for you to watch. For the longest time, I was one of those who ignored that call. To prepare for Luca Guadagnino’s 2018 reimagining of the same name, I finally decided to sit down and watch Argento’s film, and while I didn’t love it as much as its disciples do, I recognized it as a stunning stylish classic with a frightening musical theme, but the dialogue and the acting left something to be desired. Continue reading “REVIEW: Suspiria (2018)”