REVIEW: The Devil All The Time (2020)

Film Poster
Release Poster — Netflix

Directed by Antonio Campos (Christine) — Screenplay by Antonio & Paul Campos.

In a year such as 2020, where a global pandemic has changed our lifestyle drastically and paralyzed the entertainment industry, major new releases from streaming services such as Netflix end up meaning quite a lot. The release of The Devil All the Time is one that I have been looking forward to for quite some time, as it is an adaptation of a popular novel by a relatively seasoned filmmaker and since it features an absolutely incredible and star-studded ensemble cast. It is a dark, bleak, and depressing film that will likely divide audiences, but I have to say that it had my complete interest for the entire run-time. It isn’t necessarily a film that will be remembered years from now, but it is a dark and gripping slow-paced drama about violence, religion, and America. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Devil All The Time (2020)”

RETRO REVIEW: The Ninth Gate (1999)

Theatrical Release Poster – Artisan Entertainment

The following is a retro review of The Ninth Gate (the review includes some story spoilers) — Directed by Roman Polanski.

Based on Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s novel The Club Dumas, Roman Polanski’s The Ninth Gate tells the story of an unscrupulous book dealer, Dean Corso (played by Johnny Depp), and his attempt to authenticate a mysterious book for a wealthy collector, Boris Balkan (played by Frank Langella). To properly authenticate the book, Corso has to bring it with him to Europe to compare it with the other two known editions of the book, but this isn’t just any book. Balkan’s book can supposedly summon the Devil, and, as Dean Corso soon finds out, crazed individuals are willing to go to great lengths to acquire it. Continue reading “RETRO REVIEW: The Ninth Gate (1999)”

REVIEW: Domino (2019)

Release Poster – Saban Films etc.

The following is a review of Domino — Directed by Brian De Palma.

Brian De Palma’s Domino is a crime-thriller that takes place all over Europe. The film follows Christian Toft (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, “Game of Thrones”), a Danish police officer, as he tries to bring a criminal to justice. After forgetting his gun at home, Christian inadvertently puts his colleague and father-figure, Lars Hansen (played by Søren Malling, “Borgen”), in harm’s way. When, due to the fact that he has misplaced his own firearm, Christian borrows Lars’ gun to investigate a domestic disturbance, Lars is killed by a handcuffed assailant (played by Eriq Ebouaney, “Femme Fatale”). When the, as of yet unidentified, assailant appears to have escaped, Christian and Alex Boe (played by Carice Van Houten, “Game of Thrones”), Lars’ heartbroken and vengeful mistress, leave Denmark to find and apprehend the man responsible for Lars’ death. Continue reading “REVIEW: Domino (2019)”

REVIEW: Extraction (2020)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Extraction — Directed by Sam Hargrave.

The straight-to-Netflix action thriller Extraction is based on the comic book Ciudad, which was written by Ande Parks (comic book writer), and the Russo brothers (the directors of Avengers: Endgame, one of whom also wrote Extraction). Extraction was even directed by a Marvel movie veteran. This is the directorial debut of Sam Hargrave, who has experience as a stunt double and stunt coordinator on multiple Marvel movies. Unlike Disney-Marvel movies, however, Extraction is filled to the brim with excessive violence. Hargrave’s debut, though not narratively challenging, is a thrilling exercise in hectic action set pieces. It’s not exactly John Wick-quality, but it is one of the best Netflix original action films to have been released thus far. Continue reading “REVIEW: Extraction (2020)”

REVIEW: A Fall From Grace (2020)

Release Poster

The following is a review of A Fall From Grace — Directed by Tyler Perry.

Tyler Perry is a prolific cinematic triple-threat. Perry often both writes, directs, and stars in his own films, which, at least in the US, are well-known. His claim to fame is a series of films that, for the uninitiated, look like nothing more than a rip-off of Big Momma’s House. I think it’s safe to say that while Perry may be well-known in America, Perry and his Madea-character have not made it big outside of North America. I have never seen any of those films, which Spike Lee has previously criticized profusely, and I don’t think anyone I know in Denmark has either. But, for cineastes, his reputation precedes him nonetheless. However, I think it is fair to say that Tyler Perry’s A Fall From Grace is one of the worst and most absurd original films that Netflix has released. Continue reading “REVIEW: A Fall From Grace (2020)”

REVIEW: Parasite (2019)

Korean Theatrical Release Poster – CJ Entertainment

The following is a review of Parasite (‘기생충‘) — Directed by Bong Joon-ho.

Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is a South Korean drama about the class system. The film follows a very poor South Korean family who lives in an abandoned basement. The Kim-family spend their days searching for free WiFi, and they make a living folding pizza boxes. The parents — Ki-Taek (played by Song Kang-ho) and Chung-sook (played by Chang Hyae-jin) — hope that their children — Ki-woo (played by Choi Woo-shik) and Ki-jeong (played by Park So-dam) — can climb the social ladder and make a life for themselves that is prosperous. Ki-woo plans to go to college and make something of himself. However, as their father, Ki-Taek, later warns, plans are unreliable. Continue reading “REVIEW: Parasite (2019)”

REVIEW: Dragged Across Concrete (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Summit Entertainment

The following is a review of Dragged Across Concrete — Directed by S. Craig Zahler.

S. Craig Zahler’s Dragged Across Concrete is a crime thriller that follows two suspended police detectives — Brett Ridgeman (played by Mel Gibson) and Anthony Lurasetti (played by Vince Vaughn) — who are both desperate for money. Ridgeman wants to relocate his family away from a neighborhood that is unsafe for his daughter, whereas Lurasetti wants to make sure he can give his girlfriend the life she deserves. When they decide to rob criminals, they eventually run into dangerous criminals, as well as Henry Johns (played by Tory Kittles) who is equally desperate for money. They may have bitten off more than they can chew. Continue reading “REVIEW: Dragged Across Concrete (2019)”

REVIEW: In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

Release Poster — Netflix

The following is a review of In the Shadow of the Moon — Directed by Jim Mickle.

Not to be confused with the David Sington documentary of the same name, Jim Mickle’s In the Shadow of the Moon is a science-fiction crime film that follows police officer Thomas Lockhart (played by Boyd Holbrook), a father in waiting, as he tries to catch a criminal whose actions have caused several civilians to display suspicious wounds and then violently die as they bleed from their heads’ orifices. The suspected murderer is a young African-American woman (played by Cleopatra Coleman), and Lockhart eventually catches up to her on the night of the murderers.

His night ends violently as he makes her fall onto subway train tracks where she is swiftly run over by an oncoming train. When the suspected murderer returns back to life nine years after she died, Lockhart starts to entertain the thought that she was literally carried away by a moonlight shadow, to quote a 1980s hit song, to a different place, or time, entirely, which was suggested to him by an elusive scientist on the night of her first appearance. Continue reading “REVIEW: In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)”

REVIEWS: Feature Films Directed by Quentin Tarantino (1992-2015)

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood opened in North American theaters a couple of weeks ago, but it was just released in my corner of the world yesterday. To commemorate the release of what Tarantino claims is his penultimate feature film as a director, I decided to rewatch and review every full feature film directed by Quentin Tarantino thus far (not including his partially lost amateur film). Below you’ll find reviews of all of the films listed in the image above. So, without further ado, let’s get to it. Continue reading “REVIEWS: Feature Films Directed by Quentin Tarantino (1992-2015)”

REVIEW: Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019 – Documentary)

Theatrical Release Poster – Magnolia Pictures / Camera Film

The following is a review of Cold Case Hammarskjöld — Directed by Mads Brügger.

In Mads Brügger’s Cold Case Hammarskjöld, a Danish filmmaker and journalist teams up with Göran Björkdahl from Sweden who has inherited a particular obsession from his father. Björkdahl is obsessed with the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld, the UN General Secretary who died in a plane crash in Northern Rhodesia in 1961. Together, Brügger and Björkdahl hope to uncover what exactly happened to Hammarskjöld by investigating the theory that he was murdered. But, in doing so, Brügger and Björkdahl come upon a complex conspiracy theory about a mysterious paramilitary organization, the so-called South African Institute for Maritime Research (SAIMR), with sinister plans for the continent. Continue reading “REVIEW: Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019 – Documentary)”