Directed by: Anthony J. Rickert-Epstein
Written by: Renae Geerlings, Tyler Mane
Featuring: Tyler Mane, Muse Watson, Derek Mears, Leslie Easterbrook, Renae Geerlings, Susan Angelo, Alex Saxon
In early May, Dallas hosts a huge horror convention called Texas Frightmare Weekend. TFW always features some of the most prominent and exciting guests in the horror genre as well as some terrific screenings, and this year was no exception.
Directed by: J. J. Abrams
Written by: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Damon Lindelof
Featuring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Alice Eve, Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Weller
Star Trek: Into Darkness might just be the perfect summer blockbuster. (Yes, I know it's still spring, but my thesis stands.) It's big, it's loud, it's well crafted, it's immensely entertaining and quite clever (or, more important, feels clever in the moment). What else could you want from a major Hollywood popcorn flick?
Directed by: Ivan Zuccon
Written by: Gerardo Di Filippo
Featuring: Debbie Rochon, Tiffany Shepis, Tara Cardinal, Domiziano Arcangeli, Suzi Lorraine
From the trailers, I expected Wrath of the Crows to be in the vein of the classic Italian exploitation films, and in a way it is, with a generous amount of extreme gore and a scream queen in fetish gear throughout the film. But what I wasn't expecting to see was a very personal, metaphysical exploration of life after death told through heavy symbolism.
Directed by: Shane Black
Written by: Drew Pearce, Shane Black
Featuring: Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Ben Kingsley, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau
On the sliding scale of big Hollywood blockbusters, you could put the Transformers films at one end of the spectrum and the Dark Knight films on the opposite end. One franchise is big, dumb plastic eye candy, where the plot is nothing more than a way to trigger the FX setpieces. The other is a thought-provoking, highly artistic set of films disguised as popcorn movies. The Iron Man movies fall somewhere between those extremes and tend to slide up and down the scale depending on which film in the series you are talking about. Sadly, the latest entry, Iron Man 3, slides a little down the wrong side of the scale.
Directed by: Joseph Kosinski
Written by: Joseph Kosinski, William Monahan, Karl Gajdusek, Michael Arndt
Featuring: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Melissa Leo
Containing manic energy is a skill. Suppressing it is hazardous. When Tom Cruise was bouncing off walls and generally making himself into a punch line cliché, you could still sense the charisma that made him a star. In Joseph Kosinski's sci-fi epic Oblivion, Cruise smirks and struts his way through a post-apocalyptic earth like he's on downers and barely registers a heartbeat.
Directed by: Justin Benson and Aaron Scott Moorhead
Written by: Justin Benson
Featuring: Peter Cilella, Vinny Curran, Emily Montague, Zahn McClarnon
I have read a lot of online reviews lately bashing indie horror as a whole for being derivative, unimaginative and amateurish. I have been reviewing indie horror films for years, and I have watched my share of knockoffs made by people with no knowledge of the genre and "homages" made by filmmakers who follow the rules of the genre so slavishly that their films end up adding nothing new. Like these other critics, I get sick of it too. But every once in awhile, I come across a great indie horror movie like Resolution, a clever, innovative, unique little film that slowly gets under your skin. Films like Resolution are the reason indie filmmaking exists.