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George Romero photo
George Romero

RIP George Romero (1940-2017)


The master of Horror has passed
Jul 17
// Nick Valdez
George Romero passed away yesterday after a brief, but harsh battle with lung cancer. He was 77 years old.  Some deaths really do a number on you, as names like George Romero have become such a cemented name in cinema it...
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Game of Thrones season 7 recap: "Dragonstone"


I like my winter with mittens and betray
Jul 16
// Rick Lash
If you’ve avoided your Facebook feed for fear of spoilers, this article is probably not for you. After an incredibly lengthy recap reminding you of just how many threads are at work in the Game of Thrones HBO story, we ...

Jodie Whittaker will play Doctor Who's Thirteenth Doctor

Jul 16 // Drew Stuart
[embed]221714:43664:0[/embed] This news has me optimistic about the future of Doctor Who. Not only will we get a talented new Doctor, but Chris Chibnall, the creator of the excellent crime series Broadchurch (which Whittaker had a prominent role in) will be usurping Steven Moffat as showrunner. Hopefully, the influx of new talent and a shake up in direction will keep the show fresh for years to come. And Whittaker will lead the way.  [via Twitter]
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Doctor Doctor, give me the news
If you're a 'hip' kid like me, then you may have heard that the BBC announced a new Doctor was on the way for their long-running show Doctor Who. And on Sunday, they revealed on their Twitter that the new Doctor wou...

NYAFF Capsule Review: Mrs. K

Jul 16 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
[embed]221713:43663:0[/embed] Mrs. KDirector: Yuhang HoCountry: Malaysia/Hong Kong
Mrs. K Capsule Review photo
Who, What, When, Where, and Mostly Why?
The problems with Mrs. K can, I think, be summed up by the bizarreness of its soundtrack, an eclectic mix that had me thinking in equal measure about the scores of The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, Blade Runner, and ...

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There's a Bumblebee Transformers spinoff ... and 13 more spinoffs


Oh what the $%&^
Jul 15
// Rick Lash
It's no secret that the ancient order of Stone Masons [Flixist editors] are not what some would call loyal apostolates [and some would call fans] of the Holy Father Michael Bay--may he live forever [please no]--and his sacram...
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'The Incredibles 2' picks up where the first left off


I have no strong opinion either way
Jul 14
// Drew Stuart
The Incredibles ended on a high note, with the Parr family jumping into action to defeat The Underminer, and then a cut to black implying that their adventures would continue one day. Today we know that there is indeed a seco...
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Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One has first look image


Wade Watts is supposed to be fat
Jul 14
// Rick Lash
Now, in our continued round-the-clock coverage of the forthcoming Steven Spielberg adaption of novel Ready Player One, by Ernst Cline, we have breaking news! EW revealed an exclusive first look image from the highly anticipat...
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The next Doctor will be announced on Sunday


Please be a woman
Jul 14
// Matthew Razak
This coming Christmas Peter Capaldi will be leaving the role of the Doctor in Doctor Who and someone new will be taking over. Rumors have been flying left and right over who will be the next Doctor with rumors swirling a...
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Your Bad Movie Night Guide, Vol. 1: Shark Attack 3: Megalodon


Megalawho?
Jul 14
// Rick Lash
Friday night. Finally. The weekend is here and it’s time to party. Only, you don’t have any plans. Or maybe you’ve got a headache. Or your friends have a headache and have bailed on you. Or must just feel li...
Baby Driver car chase photo
Baby Driver car chase

Watch the opening car chase from Edgar Wright's Baby Driver


And also check out this 2003 music video
Jul 14
// Hubert Vigilla
Baby Driver was pretty good. Our own Matthew Razak liked Edgar Wright's latest film, though acknowledged in his review that the film's technical wizardry doesn't quite overcome the flawed story and sometimes inconsistent char...
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Star Trek: Discovery hired fans and canon experts to stay accurate


Guess they heard people yelling
Jul 14
// Matthew Razak
In a story that kind of reeks of covering their asses after many on the web raised valid concerns about the show looking like it wouldn't fit into the established canon, Alex Kurtzman (the shows producer) "revealed" that the ...

Review: Endless Poetry

Jul 14 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]221699:43659:0[/embed] Endless Poetry (Poesia Sin Fin)Director: Alejandro JodorowskyRating: NRRelease Date: July 14, 2017 (limited)Country: Chile/France While Herskovitz plays Jodorowsky at the start of the film, he's soon replaced by Adan Jodorowsky. It marks a jump in time in from Alejandro's early adolescence into his adulthood, and a move toward adult concerns. It was fascinating to see Herskovitz again, however, who's seemed to age so fast in just a few years. Adan, who was a child in Santa Sangre, looks so much like his father; Brontis, who was just a child in El Topo, looks like he could be Adan's father. Throughout the movie, Alejandro Jodorowsky himself appears on screen, offering a kind of wizened and reflective narration for these moments in his past. If The Dance of Reality was essentially a bildungsroman (a coming-of-age story), Endless Poetry functions more like a künstlerroman (a story about an artist's development and maturation). Alejandro becomes a poet, though it happens too easily, which is where Jodorowsky's flair for surreal and alchemical indulgence butts up against the mundane realities of the writing process, especially for people just starting out. Alejandro is fully formed as a poet the moment he reads Lorca for the first time, like a single book unlocks a preternatural facility with language. There is no struggle with bad poetry, there is almost no self-doubt, and no need to find his footing as a writer. The closest the film alludes to these conflicts is in one early scene at a typewriter. Alejandro pecks out a minor triumph as the giant spectral face of his father dominates the other half of the screen, calling his son a maricón over and over again, deriding the masculinity/sexuality of being an artist. But the film isn't much concerned about that. Alejandro is already great without the essential work to achieve greatness, and always certain about his greatness without a more troubled relationship with language. He's even gifted his own bohemian pad to have parties with all the rakes, wits, and creatives of Santiago. Art has no limitations, but it's part of the artist's journey to discover that on their own, and that journey isn't embarked upon here. We've already arrived at the outset. It undercuts one of the more powerful moments toward the end of Endless Poetry. On a circus stage, Alejandro transforms from a simple clown into a poet and then into a melancholic mime right out of Children of Paradise. This ought to feel like some transcendent apotheosis, a transformation from a fool into a different figure (at least a much wiser fool), like progressing through the major arcana in a tarot deck. Instead, it feels like a tautology. It's not built into the grand arc of Endless Poetry, but a smaller arc of some adjacent scenes in the movie. This sense of being fully formed as an artist extends into Young Adult Alejandro as a sage. He rarely does wrong around his friends, and if he does there's at least some justification for it. In a moment that nods to El Topo, Alejandro happens by the apartment where a dwarf friend is attempting suicide. He saves her life, teaches her a spiritual lesson about the value of living, and sleeps with her even though she's on her period. It's a little too saintly, and maybe even self-congratulatory, which undercuts the deeper sadness of the scene and what it means. This woman is the girlfriend of his best friend, Enrique Lihn (Leandro Taub), who is drunk and violent and asleep on the front porch the morning after the assignation. Alejandro's damaged their relationship, which has been built on their mutual anarchic virtuosity as poets, but Enrique was a jerk and the reason his girlfriend tried to take her own life. This is an autobiographical work, so of course Alejandro's the center of our attention and of this story, yet there's something that feels off to me about making yourself the Mary Sue/Gary Stu of your own life. In a lot of ways, Enrique seems like the classic and perhaps more compelling künstlerroman hero because of how flawed and embarrassing and raw he is as a person. The same guy who clowns with his best friend walking down the street as an aesthetic lark is the same raging drunk who can neglect those he loves. Maybe Alejandro and Enrique could be viewed in tandem as a composite of Alejandro's early life, where the desire to be wise was complicated by an uncontrolled appetite, and where a mastery of language was essential since other aspects of life couldn't be so controlled. But maybe that's my attempt to make this less compelling aspect of Endless Poetry work in context with the multi-film, autobiographical capstone to a career that has changed my life as a lover of film. Like I mentioned in a Cult Club piece on Santa Sangre, I keep finding Jodorowsky's fingerprints on my imagination. There's so much I love about Endless Poetry despite the middling moments and a lot of visual blandness that plagues much of the film. (Like The Dance of Reality, too much of the cinematography seems too flat, too plain, and uncinematic.) There's a strange 80s-deco art-bar like something out of Brazil where Alejandro is drawn to technicolor poet Stella Díaz Varín. She's played by the same actress who plays Alejandro's mother for maximum Freudian impact. There are a few scenes where art seems like the only refuge from the rising Ibáñez dictatorship; I'm missing that cultural and historical context that would enliven the film. There's a moment when Young Adult Alejandro and Old Alejandro must make peace with Alejandro's father. A complicated love emerges when one views a pivotal moment in the past knowing what the future holds. I might have liked more of Old Jodorowsky hopping into the film and commenting about the people and places of his life. He's the center of it all, so why stay outside when there's so much I'd like to know. What did he love about this woman? What did Lorca's poetry say to him as a young man, and what other poets spoke to him? What is machismo in the face of art? What does it mean to him to be a man? What regrets are there and what would he have liked to do differently? I wonder if the next film will be the last one, and what this all might feel like viewed as a single work rather than loose chapters with a looser shape. If this marks the end of Jodorowsky, it's fitting that it also feels like the beginning.
Review: Endless Poetry photo
A portrait of Jodorowsky as a young poet
In what may be the final years of Alejandro Jodorowsky's life, his work has turned inward and become sentimentally personal. He's exploring his own autobiography, but retelling it in his own odd way. Jodorowsky's previous fil...

Review: War for the Planet of the Apes

Jul 14 // Nick Valdez
[embed]221622:43616:0[/embed] War for the Planet of the ApesDirector: Matt ReevesRelease Date: July 14th, 2017Rated: PG-13 Years after the events of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Caesar (Andy Serkis) is still struggling with his role in the death of his former friend and rival Koba. With the apes retreating to the forest, the last remnants of humanity have taken a more aggressive approach (sparked by Koba's attack on them years prior) led by the militant extremist, Colonel (Woody Harrelson). When Colonel crosses the line and threatens his family, Caesar decides to travel across the states to hunt down the Colonel and get his revenge.  First things first, War is absolutely gorgeous. Somehow improving on the visuals found in the second film, War gives us flair like snowy fur, wet fur, and several visually distinct settings. This film can often be dark (both figuratively and literally), yet the lighting is kept at such a balance each motion captured ape is still distinct when sitting in caves or walking around during night scenes. And although we've seen it in action two films prior, the motion capture animation is still sublime. Serkis' Caesar is, with just cause, a standout above the rest as Caesar now more closely resembles the intelligent apes found in the 70s films. I personally miss the broken English he spoke in the previous film, but a Caesar without stilted dialogue allows Serkis to evolve the character with a more nuanced performance outside of physical acting.  Each film in this modern Apes trilogy has had its own distinct flavor. Rise has an undercurrent of dread, constantly inching its way toward the expected uprising, Dawn is a clash of violence and ideologies as the new status quo is established, and War is the methodical denouement in which the stage is set for the Planet of the Apes story everyone is familiar with. Because of this, unfortunately, this film has more of a pacing issue than the others. Essentially becoming a revenge thriller as Caesar morphs into an one-ape army, War sort of meanders through the second act until the thread for the final act reveals itself. This slower pace seems entirely intentional as Caesar's revenge arc lacks any satisfactory developments. But regardless of how this deliberately slower act reflects Caesar's core growth toward the end of the trilogy, and conveying Caesar's loss of hope and direction, I can't help but think a brisker pace would make the tone of the eventual ape escape less jarring. If all this talk of a slower, character intensive piece scares you away, no need to worry. I'm not going to go into depth about it here, but there's a extended prison break scene and it's probably the best thing in this entire trilogy. While War loses the grey morality of the previous two films as one side is a clear cut villain -- thus losing a bit of the nuance of the rest of the trilogy -- having a side to truly root for improves the trilogy overall. It's sort of freeing, actually. The tone of the film gets a more lighthearted spin once Bad Ape (Steve Zahn, pictured below) is introduced and the pacing problems of the second act melt away completely. The final third of the film is fun, has quite a bit of metaphorically intriguing imagery, and brings the trilogy to a close in a splendid way.  When all was said and done, I couldn't believe how this trilogy pulled it off. It's rare you'll get one well made reboot film, let alone an entire trilogy. The Apes trilogy has always been a sleeper hit these past few Summers, and because of the smaller attention, Matt Reeves was able to keep a steady vision for the final two films without much interference. War for the Planet of the Apes is a "blockbuster" in name only, and because of this was able to make the many brave choices it does. I mean, it's a film trilogy about monkey business which also includes death, hardship, disease, mediation between warring states, post-traumatic stress disorder, class struggles, and even some poop flinging for good measure.  I'm hard pressed to think of a better modern trilogy, or one that isn't one of the big five (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Godfather, The Lord of the Rings, and Back to the Future), that could measure up to this. War of the Planet of the Apes is the finest end to a trilogy I've seen in a long time. 
Apes Review photo
Ape Escape
Combing through nostalgic culture has become the norm, and unfortunately, so have the middling resulting projects. Audiences have, sadly, come to expect reboots to suffer as studios struggle to re-capture what made something ...

Japan Cuts 2017 photo
Japan Cuts 2017

NYC: Japan Cuts 2017 starts tonight


It runs from July 13th to 23rd
Jul 13
// Hubert Vigilla
The 11th annual Japan Cuts film festival kicks off tonight in New York City. Running from July 13th through July 23rd, Japan Cuts is one of New York City's finest film festivals, showcasing the best in Japanese cinema. I stil...
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The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature has a trailer


No: it's not Mel Gibson biopic
Jul 13
// Rick Lash
With a title like The Nut Job 2 being tossed about, my expectations were unusually high. So, it's not a Mel Gibson biopic. Big deal. And no, it's not a cleverly veiled marketing ploy for Charlie Sheen's 9/11 movie--whate...
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Our first look at Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time


Not that great a look
Jul 12
// Matthew Razak
A Wrinkle in Time is an awesome book... I think. I know I read it twice when I was younger, and I know I loved it, but if you asked me about it all I could tell you is that there's a scene where the three "three chimeric...
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Charlie Sheen's 9/11 movie will actually be released


Other people agreed to be in this
Jul 12
// Matthew Razak
I'm not sure if this is hilarious or offensive or something else entirely, but a Charlie Sheen led film about 9/11 is coming out. The sheer idea of Sheen in any movie that isn't a satirical commentary on the man's own existen...
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Netflix teases Stranger Things 2 with poster & release date


Strangerer Things?
Jul 11
// Rick Lash
Netflix's Twitter account teased the return of the smash hit Stranger Things with a vintage-y one sheet. Posters, like all things Stranger Things, are retro AF. Do kids even tack these things to walls these days, or do they j...
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Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 9 comes October 1


No good?
Jul 11
// Rick Lash
In snark-free news, HBO announced Curb Your Enthusiasm's oft-desired, long overdue, long-rumored return. There's a trailer of sorts, though it's more of just an announcement proving this is actually happening: it has been six years, after all. Are you excited for the return of the original George Constanza? Let us know in the comments.     [via Variety]
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The New Warriors announces its main cast


No word on who will play Tippy Toe
Jul 11
// Anthony Marzano
A few months ago Freeform formerly known as ABC Family announced that they had ordered a 10 episode season of Marvel's New Warriors sight unseen. At first it was exciting to me as I've heard nothing but great things about the...
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Christopher Nolan is remastering his past films in 4K


4K people! 4K!
Jul 10
// Drew Stuart
4K videos, televisions and games are all the rage nowadays, and for good reason. It's this decades improvement of SD to HD, and the jump in picture quality from HD to 4K is noticeable, giving pictures a realistic quality that...
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The Dark Tower receives another trailer, still has a tower


Andy Serkis rumored to play the tower
Jul 10
// Drew Stuart
Okay, no, Andy Serkis is not actually playing the tower, much to my own disappointment. Though, I'm sure if he did, there'd be some article praising how he gave the tower some much-deserved characterization, and truly brought...
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BoJack Horseman returns September 8th


What are you doing here?
Jul 10
// Drew Stuart
The last season of BoJack Horseman was by far the best yet. Each season has been good, but BoJack is the kind of show that only gets better as its concepts are explored further, and Season 3 was quite an achievement for this ...
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What it will take to get Christopher Nolan to direct Bond?


Evidently not the 500 letters I've sent
Jul 10
// Matthew Razak
Rumors and rumblings of Christopher Nolan directing a Bond film have been flying around forever. The director has openly spoken about his love for the character and the producers have openly said he'd be a great fit. If Sam M...
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I got your OATS Shorts right here


Get 'em while they're still weird
Jul 09
// Anthony Marzano
I have to admit when Neill Blomkamp said he was going to be releasing a bunch of new short films for free through both Steam and YouTube I was skeptical about the quality of them or how much I would enjoy them. This is not to...
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How big is the dump truck full of money?
After Spectre came out Daniel Craig was not too kind to the chances of him ever playing Bond again. The role is an incredible amount of pressure and the shooting is often stressful so he had some choice words about retur...

Review: Castlevania (Season1)

Jul 08 // Nick Valdez
[embed]221685:43647:0[/embed] Castlevania (Season 1)Director: Sam DeatsRating: NRRelease Date: July 7th, 2017 (Netflix) When the religious town of Wallachia burns Dracula's (Graham McTavish) wife at the stake, he promises to return after a year with an army from hell and smite all of them. Jumping a year ahead we meet Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage), the last remnant of a monster hunting family. Trevor's pretty much sick of the entire thing. He's lost faith in people after his family was betrayed, and couldn't care less about the monster attacks. But when he's inadvertently thrown into the action by a secret society of magicians, Trevor finds himself in a bigger battle than he ever could've imagined.  Castlevania's first season is less a television show and more like one of those direct to home video animated films you'd expect to see from the likes of DC Comics or Marvel Studios. Usually I'm not one to complain about the length of a series in reviews, but the four twenty-something minute episodes (nice) essentially act as a lengthy pilot for the actual series. This is fine in concept, but it also cripples these first episodes. It makes sense for Netflix's distribution style, which argues that each show should be binged, but it's not like each episode stands on its own. Rather than episodes having a clear cut beginning, middle, and end, there's only enough time for the general arc of the "season" to carry any weight. It's no help to the series either that the entire plot is predictable (even complete with a big boss fight at the end). There's definitely a feeling here that this season would've been better served without being chopped up into parts.  But even without much to invest in from episode to episode, the other benefit of being a two hour pilot means it's brisk and light. This lightness allows the characters to bask in Castlevania's pulpy vibe, but it's definitely hard to take anything seriously yet. For example, Trevor is a fine main character. He's the standard too cool for school protagonist, and Ellis clearly had a fun time writing for him, but the most intriguing stuff is still a ways away. I'm more interested in what eventually brought Trevor to his low point at the start of the series, and that drama won't be evolved further until the next season, if at all. As a result, he feels thin. There's just simply not enough time to take him further than grizzled warrior archetypes. While he's definitely fun to watch now, it's completely forgettable without anything really juicy to latch onto.  Castlevania's animation isn't great, and is particularly janky when characters are talking to one another, but is ultimately serviceable. There's a nice flow to the action scenes even as the backgrounds tend to fade into oblivion during them. The fights themselves seem particularly anime influenced as one fight toward the end of the season is accompanied by too familiar sword swooshes (the technical term, yes) and angles reminiscent of other shows. Trevor's character design is unfortunately the only one with any kind of personality, but it's not saved by the overall flatness of the art as a whole. But, once again, since this is only a pilot, I'm sure there's room for betterment in the future.  Given how short of a season Netflix's Castlevania is, chances are you've seen it by the time you read this review. If you haven't, however, it's a very easy show to recommend...for now. I wouldn't exactly say it's for everyone since those who don't like the Castlevania games won't get anything of note out of this, but like Shankar's bootleg productions, it's a series made by a fan for other fans.  With that in mind, I do worry this series cannot hold up with a longer structure. This first season is a good watch mainly because it's over before any of its faults truly make a dent. Just as how Shankar's Bootleg Universe shorts seem great as five minute pieces, the minute you really stop to think about the ideas therein ruins the experience. 
Castlevania Review photo
That's four! Four episodes! Ha-ha-ha!
Adi Shankar is quite a cult hit in film circles. He's made a name for himself by fully investing into properties he loves. It's a nerdy demeanor that's absolutely infectious as its led to his famous "Bootleg Universe," in whi...

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Netflix's Castlevania series renewed for season 2


A lot of viewers this morning, I guess
Jul 07
// Matthew Razak
We're pretty used to movies getting sequels before they're even released (hell, some get them before they even begin shooting), but television has been slower to pick up on the trend. Probably because they want to avoid awkwa...
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First trailer for Kidnap has Halle Berry yelling a lot


Like Taken with a mini-van
Jul 07
// Matthew Razak
I'm not quite sure what Kidnap is going for here. I mean, I guess I know what they're going for. They want to make a revenge thriller for a low-budget that catches on like Taken did, but I'm not really sure they kno...
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Blade Runner experience will transform San Diego into 2049 Los Angeles


Beware the Voight-Kampff VR
Jul 07
// Anthony Marzano
First Los Angeles takes the Chargers from San Diego, now through the help of the new movie Blade Runner 2049, Los Angeles will actually annex a portion of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter and transport it into the future. Alright so it won't actually but through the magic of VR and free swag it will certainly feel that way.

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