Climax – Dancing and Descending Into Madness

I have never seen anything quite like Climax, the hallucinatory, drug-and-sex-fueled hour and a half of chaos helmed by Argentine-French writer and director Gaspar Noé. At moments it is beautiful, at others it’s manic and depraved, and at others it’s transcendent of its own art form. It’s horrifying, hypnotic, seductive, and impossible to look away…

Swiss Army Man – The Weird, Artsy Farting Corpse Movie

I don’t really know what to make of Swiss Army Man. It’s impossible to pin down exactly what it is – it’s doesn’t fit into the confines of any one genre (I guess comedy / adventure would be the closest),  it’s incredibly strange and is proud to be so, its humor goes back and forth…

Mary Poppins Returns – A Delightful Return to Cherry Tree Lane

This holiday season, Disney is continuing their rampage of exploiting audiences’ nostalgia by cranking out sequels and remakes of their beloved classics, and it’s 1964’s timeless Mary Poppins that’s currently up to bat. I’m a harsh judge of Disney’s current film slate, but for all its manipulative wickedness, they’ve somehow managed to release a genuinely…

Roma – The Power of Memory

Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón is one of the greatest visionaries of our time. That’s not opinion at this point, it’s simply a fact. So when he comes out with his first film since 2013’s awards-sweeping Gravity, which was his first film since 2006’s awards-sweeping Children of Men, and he calls it “the most essential movie”…

Mowgli – A Dark Imagining of the Classic Tale

Years ago, motion-capture performance legend Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings, Planet of the Apes) had the idea to create a live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. With his expertise in mo-cap, Serkis gathered an all-star cast to play the animals in the story, and the stage was set for a groundbreaking technical…

The Grinch – “Max! Fetch Me My Sedative!”

Illumination’s The Grinch feels like a movie we’ve seen before. Not in the kind of movie it is or how it goes about its business, it just feels like we got this movie years ago already. How has it not happened until now? Maybe the feeling comes from the whole thing being instantly forgettable. The Grinch isn’t…

“The Predator” – A Wild, Flawed, Problematic Ride

The very first film in the Predator franchise, 1987’s Predator was more of a thriller than a full on action flick. A team of commandos stuck in the jungle are hunted by an alien warrior that kills for sport, and that alien stays out of sight for the majority of the film, building up suspense…

“Alpha” – The Simple But Wholesome Origin Story of Man’s Best Friend

They don’t really make movies like Alpha anymore. It’s a film that has a very straightforward, predictable plot, features about three characters in total, and trusts the audience to watch a movie entirely with subtitles, when there is dialogue at all. Alpha looks like something you’d watch on an IMAX screen (you probably should go…