REVIEW: Evil Dead Rise (2023)

Alyssa Sutherland’s Ellie in Deadite-form in EVIL DEAD RISE — PHOTO: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Directed by Lee Cronin — Screenplay by Lee Cronin.

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead is one of my favorite horror franchises out there. I grew up watching Army of Darkness over and over again. This is a storied franchise capable of going both extremely gory and very zany. Yet in spite of the film series having been rebooted in 2013 by Fede Alvarez, it took another ten years for another Evil Dead film to come out (the franchise did continue as a relatively short-lived television series, though). Now, 30 years after the theatrical release of Army of Darkness and 10 years after the theatrical release of Alvarez’s Evil Dead, Irish writer-director Lee Cronin has been chosen to bring the deadites and the Book of the Dead into this decade, and he has done a brilliant job. Evil Dead Rise is a terrific continuation of the cult favorite franchise. Yes, it is indeed groovy. 

Continue reading “REVIEW: Evil Dead Rise (2023)”

REVIEW: Barbarian (2022)

Bill Skarsgård as the mysterious ‘Keith’ in BARBARIAN — PHOTO: 20th Century Studios.

Direction and Screenplay by Zach Cregger.

Zach Cregger’s Barbarian, one of the most entertaining surprise hits of the year, follows Tess Marshall (played by Georgina Campbell), as she arrives at a remote house that she has booked, only to find out that someone else, Keith (played by Bill Skarsgård), is already staying there due to the house having been double-booked. When Tess finds out that there isn’t really an open motel close by, she has to decide if she feels comfortable staying at the house with this total stranger. What she doesn’t know is that the house isn’t exactly what it seems.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Barbarian (2022)”

REVIEW: Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Doctor Strange encounters dark magic and alternate universes in Sam Raimi’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness – Photo: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Directed by Sam Raimi – Screenplay by Michael Waldron.

Let’s be honest here. The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), arguably the most popular film series of our current time, is really more a series than a selection of films. Martin Scorsese has referred to superhero films like those as theme park rides (which I still contend isn’t as dismissive as it has been received by the internet), and, with its cliffhangers, easter eggs, references, and overarching character arcs, it is becoming increasingly difficult for these films to stand on their own. Some of these Marvel movies, for better or worse, don’t even try to stand on their own (like Avengers: Age of Ultron). Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness is one of those films.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness (2022)”

REVIEW: Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

MJ (played by Zendaya) and Peter Parker/Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland) trying to escape the public eye in Spider-Man: No Way Home — Photo: Matt Kennedy / Sony Pictures.

Directed by Jon Watts — Screenplay by Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers.

Next year is the 20th anniversary of the first-ever live-action Spider-Man film, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, which catapulted an already immensely popular comic book and animation character into big screen superstardom. A lot has happened since then. At this point, three different actors have played Marvel’s beloved wall-crawler on the big screen, and all of them have devoted fanbases. This, Spider-Man: No Way Home, is the third solo film in Tom Holland’s tenure as Peter Parker, but it is so much more than that as trailers have revealed. Rest assured, this is a spoiler-free review that will not reveal anything you wouldn’t already know from promotional material. Promotional material — trailers and posters — have revealed that No Way Home will feature villains (and the actors that originally played those villains) from the previous two Spider-Man sagas and thus connect the different cinematic universes. It is a massive crossover event for Spider-Man fans. My one worry going into the theater was that this movie might be too big to work, but, ultimately, I don’t think that is the case. Because at its heart, this is very much a Spider-Man movie, and I think they manage to balance the various elements of the film remarkably well.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)”

REVIEW: Army of the Dead (2021)

Dave Bautista in Zack Snyder’s ‘ARMY OF THE DEAD.’ — Photo: Clay Enos / Netflix.

Directed by Zack Snyder — Screenplay by Zack Snyder, Shay Hatten, and Joby Harold.

There is always something special about films that return a filmmaker to his beginnings in some way, shape, or form. Such a film may not always end up as a ‘return to form,’ but for a filmmaker to return to his roots is undeniably exciting. Before Zack Snyder became a fanboy favorite as the director of multiple different graphic novel adaptations such as Man of Steel or 300, his very first feature film was the 2004 remake of the 1970s horror classic Dawn of the Dead. The remake, which was written by James Gunn, is still my favorite film that Snyder has directed, so I was naturally very excited when it was announced that he was returning to the zombie horror sub-genre with Netflix’s Army of the Dead. Although it’s certainly not as good as his previous zombie flick, Snyder’s latest film is definitely worth checking out on Netflix.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Army of the Dead (2021)”

Great Responsibility: Tom Holland is Spider-Man – Special Features #22

The following article contains spoilers for previous Spider-Man films & Avengers: Infinity War.

I think Andrew Garfield is a very talented actor — I love many of his films — but when he played Peter Parker, he was never my Spider-Man. I grew up with Tobey Maguire’s performances as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and a part of me will always see him as ‘my Spider-Man’ — no matter what happens — but today I want to talk about why I think Tom Holland is already starting to take his place.
Continue reading “Great Responsibility: Tom Holland is Spider-Man – Special Features #22”

Halloween 2016: 5 Horror Films To Watch

halloween-2016

It’s the creepiest time of the year! Halloween is almost always an enjoyable thing to celebrate, and, at the very least, you have an excuse to dress up and watch horror films all day. Today, I wanted to list five films that I think you should watch this Halloween.

It’s way too easy to just name one of the Halloween films, so I’m not going to do that, but these are all films I really enjoy watching, even if horror isn’t my favorite genre at all. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.
Continue reading “Halloween 2016: 5 Horror Films To Watch”

RETRO REVIEW: Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Release Poster - Columbia Pictures
Release Poster – Columbia Pictures

The following is a spoiler-filled retro review of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. It was written in 2016.

I remember liking Spider-Man 3 just fine, when it was released. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, and it definitely wasn’t as good as the first two Raimi Spider-Man films. But it was fine, right? Then, when I rewatched it when it was released on home video, I realized that maybe I had been too easy on the film.

Today, after having rewatched it nine years after its theatrical release, I can safely say that Spider-Man 3 is as bad as people say. But I still like it more than both of Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man films. Let’s talk about the film that made Sony reboot their Spider-Man franchise. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: Spider-Man 3 (2007)”

RETRO REVIEW: Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Theatrical Release Poster - Columbia Pictures
Theatrical Release Poster – Columbia Pictures

The following is a spoiler-filled retro review of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. It was written in 2016.

I vividly remember watching this film with my mom when it was first released. We both loved the film, and I just remember talking about it for hours. Talking about it when we were walking to the car, talking about it inside the car on the way home, and talking about it when we got home.

It’s not that Spider-Man 2 blew my mind. It isn’t one of those films that changed everything, not like I think the first Raimi Spider-Man did, or like The Dark Knight or Iron Man did. But it was just so much fun. It was everything a Spider-Man movie could and should be. It did what you want a superhero movie to do. It entertained people of all ages, and, in my opinion, it has aged really well over the years. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: Spider-Man 2 (2004)”

RETRO REVIEW: Spider-Man (2002)

Release Poster - Columbia Pictures
Release Poster – Columbia Pictures

The following is a quick spoiler-filled retro review of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.

Great directors like James Cameron and David Fincher had been interested in making a film about Marvel’s famous wall-crawler, but it was up to the famous horror-director Sam Raimi to show the world just how special this character was, and he really did. Spider-Man is one of the most important superhero films ever made. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: Spider-Man (2002)”