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Fast and cheap Inhumans photo
Fast and cheap Inhumans

Interview with Inhumans director doesn't inspire confidence in fast, cheap IMAX TV series pilot

Scott Buck strikes again
Aug 17
// Hubert Vigilla
Judging from the first trailer and the San Diego Comic Con trailer, The Inhumans might be a bona fide disaster. Excuse me, a bona fide disaster shot in IMAX. A bigger screen won't fix bland, and this looks like the second Mar...

Wax nostalgic, Daniel-san: Karate Kid sequel series Cobra Kai headed to YouTube Red

Ralph Macchio and William Zabka to star
Aug 04
// Hubert Vigilla
Your nostalgia has just crane kicked you in the face. A 10-episode half-hour sequel series to The Karate Kid is coming to YouTube Red, starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka. There was reportedly a bidding war for the serie...
Carmen Sandiego Netflix photo
Carmen Sandiego Netflix

New Carmen Sandiego animated series coming to Netflix in 2019

Needs more Rockapella
Apr 18
// Hubert Vigilla
If you're a person of a certain age (i.e., you're old), you probably have some fond memories of Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? There were the computer games in the 80s and 90s, which spun off into a children's game sh...
The Mist trailer photo
The Mist trailer

Trailer for Spike TV's The Mist series takes the Stephen King story beyond the store

It's all foggy and misty
Apr 12
// Hubert Vigilla
Frank Darabont's 2007 adaptation of The Mist played out like a long, taut episode of The Twilight Zone. The movie offered one hell of a downbeat final scene--maybe mockingly downbeat--that differed drastically from the closin...

Review: Iron Fist (Season 1)

Mar 20 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]221385:43469:0[/embed] Iron Fist (Season 1)Director: VariousRating: TV-MARelease Date: March 17, 2017 (Netflix) Everyone thought Danny Rand died with his parents in a plane crash 15 years ago, but he really survived and learned martial arts in a magic Himalayan city called K'un-L'un. He shows up barefoot in New York at his family's building, spouting off fortune cookie mysticism like a low-rent Billy Jack. This kicks off a protracted battle for control of the company rooted in childhood bullying and soap opera-style family resentments, which is just what fans of the character wanted to see, obviously. The pilot episode is so dully inert. with Rand trying to assert his identity while former childhood friends Ward Meachum (Tom Pelphrey) and Joy Meachum (Jessica Stroup) find different ways of say, "Nuh-uh, no you're not." Riveting. There's one slow, klutzy, 30-second fight in the episode with security guards. There is also a wise, disposable homeless supporting character who dies of a heroin overdose, seeding another season-long plot point. Iron Fist is a character who got his superpowers by punching a dragon in the chest, yet the show is treated with the aggravating seriousness of a prestige cable drama. The only saving grace of the plodding business drama stuff is Harold Meachum (David Wenham), the father of Ward and Joy who lives in hiding after faking his own death. Wenham is so invested in his character's giddy evil, and he oozes the charisma that's lacking in Jones as a lead. I can't blame Jones entirely for being so unintersting. He's not a good actor, but the writers give him nothing to work with. The second episode of Iron First takes place in a mental hospital, with Danny strapped to a bed most of the time. Beds are what I think about when I think of martial arts. Even a pseudo-tournament episode directed by the RZA feels static: Iron Fist ascends each level of a building fighting characters who have more personality than him. A skirmish in a later episode with a drunken-style fighter made me realize yet again how awful Danny is on so many levels. Iron Fist has feet of clay and a brain of rock. When he's not making the dumbest or wrongest decision, he's pilloried with self-doubt. His scowling facial expressions hint at tears on the verge. He's often so flummoxed with anger that he can't use his magic fist to punch things really hard. Danny Rand is Anakin Skywalker with erectile dysfunction. But yes, the fights. Oh god, the fights. Good fights tell stories. A character's fighting style reveals something about who they are inside, like some external manifestation of the self. They may have a signature move (Ric Fair's figure four leglock) or a unique weapon (Captain America's shield) or a personal fighting style (Ip Man's wing chun) that differentiates them from others. The primary characters in Iron Fist fight the same way--slow, clumsily, like actors in a martial arts show rather than martial artists. Their movements vary only superficially, and there is nothing dynamic or unique about the fights that pepper the series. Danny essentially fights just like fellow martial artist Colleen Wing (Jessica Henwick) even though she uses a sword and they have entirely different martial arts backgrounds. The fights of Iron Fist all look like glacial, inartful brawls. Seasoned fighters are turned into mere goons. I expected more from a martial arts show, namely decent martial arts. The fights of Daredevil put this show to shame; ditto the action in Arrow and Into the Badlands and even every iteration of Power Rangers. The camera angles obscure movement in the frame, the shots are banal and shaky, and there are so many confusing cuts that interrupt the flow of the action to the point of incoherence. It's amateur hour in the dojo and the editing bay. What's more, the fights all feel so perfunctory, or even like a chore, as if the writers thought, "A fight scene? Aww, do we have to? I really wanted to get into that class action lawsuit subplot." We're told that the Danny Rand is the world's greatest martial artist, but he fights like a guy who took karate at the Y two summers ago. Why does a security guard with a knife give this guy so much trouble? The person Danny dispenses of the fastest in the entire show is a teenager he hits in the ankle with a shinai. He wasn't expecting it either (sucker shinai?) and Danny preceded his assault by verbally berating the dojo for not taking martial arts seriously. Some hero, right? Hell, Danny doesn't even take off his shoes when he's in the dojo. Didn't they teach you anything in K'un-L'un, buddy? I'm pretty sure they at least took off their shoes at the Cobra Kai dojo. A great martial artist and he has the emotional intelligence of a bratty 10 year old and the balance of a newborn fawn. Later episodes of the show seem to break the fourth wall and acknowledge that Danny is a really crummy character. While he's trying to rescue a person being held captive, Danny's scuffle with a goon leads to said captive getting stabbed in the chest. What a hero. After watching him fight, one character even says, "Wow, you really are the worst Iron Fist ever." The final scene of season one even has Danny tacitly acknowledge that yes, he really does suck at everything, doesn't he? Danny Rand's bumbling heroism makes Colleen Wing that much more compelling as the show's secret protagonist. She's a poor martial arts instructor who helps her students make smart, moral choices while she's struggling to make ends meet. She compromises principles, she shows generosity to others, she learns and grows from her mistakes. Henwick does what she can with the script, and she has enough presence to carry the scenes she's in amiably. I found myself grateful for every Colleen Wing scene--finally a character to care about (other than David Wenham's Evil Faramir). There's so much at stake for Colleen, and she has so much potential to carry a show on her own, but she's relegated to supporting status. Danny Rand is Jack Burton to Colleen Wing's Wang Chi, but in a boring version of Big Trouble in Little China that's mostly about the intricacies of the commercial trucking industry. "Have you paid your dues? Well, let me explain the importance of unionization in a field such as ours over a power lunch." By the way, we never see Iron Fist punch the dragon in the chest. We don't even see the dragon and we barely get a look at K'un-L'un. This was probably due to budgetary constraints. Everything about Iron Fist looks laughably cheap. I didn't touch on the issue of cultural appropriation or orientalism in this review, which is oddly the least of the show's problems. I'm actually okay in theory with Danny Rand being white so long as the show was interesting. The show is not interesting. You don't even need to watch it to understand what will happen in Netflix's The Defenders. That sort of completism is for rubes. Just read about the set up online. There'll be more illumination in three or four sentences than there is in 13 hours of dreck with a weaksauce ending. The story in your head will probably be better anyways. There's so much you can do in life with 13 precious, precious hours. Don't make the mistake of watching Iron Fist.
Iron Fist (Season 1) photo
Iron Fist is such a tremendous failure on so many levels that it's fascinating to dissect. It's not fascinating to watch, however. The latest Marvel series on Netflix is a 13-hour bore that's 15% martial arts show and 85% boa...

Netflixvania photo

Netflix Castlevania: Producer Adi Shankar says 2 seasons in works, both written by Warren Ellis

Feb 09
// Hubert Vigilla
The animated Netflix Castlevania series was announced yesterday, although it was buried in a press release. Producer Adi Shankar, who teased the series back in 2015 on Facebook, took to social media again to share some small,...
Netflix Castlevania photo
It's on like Donkey...vania
Netflix is making a series based on Castlevania, which will debut later this year. The first season of the series has been written by comics scribe Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Iron Man, Planetary). According to Poly...


First teaser for Netflix's Series of Unfortunate Events shows off NPH's Count Olaf

Sorry, Jim Carrey
Nov 04
// Matt Liparota
With its upcoming adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, Netflix hopes to wash the taste of that mediocre Jim Carrey movie out of the mouths of fans once and for all. Now, we've gotten our first offici...

What Is Your Pleasure? Vivisecting the Hellraiser series pt. 1

Dec 01 // Sean Walsh
[embed]218633:42013:0[/embed] Hellraiser Director: Clive Barker Release date: September 11. 1987 The Good I really enjoyed a good majority of this movie, to be honest. If I had to pick a favorite thing, I'd have to say Frank made for an excellent antagonist, and the skinless look was pretty freaking cool. Everybody expects Pinhead and company to be the primary antagonists, but they were relegated to last act additions for the most part, leaving Frank (and the far less charming Julia) to ooze their creepiness all over the place. Also, Kirsty is a total babe. - Sean The best part of this one is when Pinhead and his fellow Cenobites show up at the end to give Frank and Julia what they deserve. It's easy to spend the whole movie eagerly anticipating that. - Megan The Bad The other side of the Cenobites getting little screen is that I spent the whole movie waiting for Pinhead to show up. He did at the end, for a pretty great climax, but I was left playing the waiting game. - Sean I wouldn't judge the acting in this movie too harshly, but Kirsty's dad, Larry (Andrew Robinson) is pretty bland throughout. - Megan The WTF The first dude Julia takes out got his face rearranging with a hammer. It was a pretty jarring experience. Also, the monster that randomly showed up at the end ("the Engineer") was pretty random. - Sean The biggest WTF moment is when Frank is trying to get all sexy with Kirsty, his niece. The whole "Come to Daddy" thing was so gross. - Megan Favorite Part Pretty much every scene with Frank. He really killed it, as it were. If I had to pick one, I'd actually go with Megan's WTF choice. - Sean It's not necessarily a single scene in the movie. I'd never seen any of the Hellraiser series until watching them with Sean, and honestly I think my favorite part about them is the look of the Cenobites. They're pretty iconic at this point. - Megan Final Thoughts I remember bits and pieces of this film, but watching it in one go was a delight. A strong start to build a franchise on, for sure. - Sean I definitely enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I wouldn't call it horror, exactly, but there's something fun about all the gory insanity Kirsty gets involved in. - Megan [embed]218633:42014:0[/embed] Hellbound: Hellraiser II Director: Tony Randel Release date: December 23, 1988 The Good Lots more cenobite action, and a pretty cool representation of hell. Dr. Channard made an excellent villain, and Julia's turn as the skinless antagonist was pretty cool to see. Also, we get Pinhead's origin! - Sean In this installment we get to see way more of what Hell looks like, which was awesome. It totally reminded me of a more messed up version of Labyrinth, but instead of David Bowie at the end, there's Pinhead. - Megan The Bad Not enough Frank. Also, the cenobites are reduced to their human forms randomly, and their origins (aside from Pinhead's) are never, ever, ever elaborated on. Why is Chatterer a kid?? - Sean Kyle was the biggest, most useless wuss ever. Also, I second Sean. Needs more Frank! - Megan The WTF Kyle telling Kirsty he'll be right back, bopping out of the scene, and returning immediately. I'm still not entirely clear on what the hell that was. Also, all the patients in the mental hospital working on puzzle boxes. Pretty creepy! - Sean  The scene where the puzzle-obsessed girl is in Hell and comes across a random circus was super bizarre and totally didn't fit with the rest of the movie. Also, when the evil doctor guy revived Julia and wrapped her like a mummy before making out with her. Eeeeewwwww. - Megan Favorite Part The best part is absolutely when Julia gets pulled out of her skin and is no more. Later, loser! - Megan I'm with Megan. That was awesome. - Sean Final Thoughts I really enjoyed this film. It had more cenobites, expanded the non-cenobite cast, had a lot of creepy stuff going on, and featured series cutie Kirsty wearing another person's skin, which was pretty cool. I'm a softie for any representation of Hell, and Hellraiser II really managed to capture a cool vision if it, weird carnival or no weird carnival. - Sean Hellbound is my favorite of the series so far. It's the most creative, and it left me wondering about the Cenobites' histories and what this Leviathan thing is. - Megan [embed]218633:42015:0[/embed] Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth Director: Anthony Hickox Release date: September 11, 1992 The Good I really love the new cenobites, especially J.P. Monroe's cenobite form. He was no Frank, but certainly a contender. - Sean When Pinhead shows up at the club and totally murders everybody, I felt like I was being rewarded for watching two hours of garbage. - Megan The Bad Zero Frank. Video footage of Kirsty. The conclusion of the film was a lot short than I remember from my teens. - Sean Any scene with J.P. Monroe (Kevin Bernhardt) was just painful. I get that the character's supposed to be unlikable anyway, but uuuuuggggghhhh. Also, Terri (Paula Marshall), the goth girl, was incredibly annoying. - Megan The WTF When J.P. Monroe sacrifices the girl to the Pinhead statue and her skin is pretty much ripped off in one fell swoop. You don't really see that in movies. Also, the club massacre was like the climax of Carrie on crack. - Sean After Pinhead murders the crap out of everybody, a bunch of new Cenobites show up. One of them shoots CDs from his chest!!! WHAT EVEN IS GOING ON IN THIS MOVIE?? - Megan Favorite Part Definitely the end, where Joey drops the box into the foundation of a building under contruction and then we see that the building is basically a giant puzzle box. That is awesome. - Sean When Joey (Terry Ferrell) and Captain Spencer (Doug Bradley, who also plays Pinhead) are talking, Joey asks Spencer, "What the hell is going on?" And Spender's reply is... "Hell is exactly what's going on." That's seriously the silliest line ever. - Megan Final Thoughts This movie was not quite as awesome as I remember from my teens, but it was still pretty awesome. Having a vague idea of how crappy the franchise gets as it progresses, Hell on Earth looks pretty good all the same. - Sean I definitely didn't like this one as much as 1 or 2, but we've still got 6 films to go, so I won't say it's the worst. - Megan Part II coming soon!
Hellraiser pt. 1 photo
What happens when two Flixist writers who have seen only bits and pieces (or none at all) of a franchise have nothing better to do? Obviously, they team up to watch the entire franchise and write articles about it! And that's...

NYC: Pam Grier film retrospective runs March 15-17

Feb 13 // Hubert Vigilla
Foxy Brown (1974) [embed]214750:39644:0[/embed] Jackie Brown (1997) [embed]214750:39645:0[/embed]
Pam Grier herself will be in attendance at several screenings
The Film Society of Lincoln Center is doing a weekend-long retrospective of the films of Pam Grier from March 15th through March 17th. Grier is best known for her work in blaxploitation/exploitation classics like Foxy Brown, ...


From November 29th to December 5th, the Film Society of Lincoln Center will host Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema. This is a Romanina film festival that highlights some of the best films coming out of the country right now, ...


Trailer: Step Up Revolution

Mar 30
// Liz Rugg
Step Up Revolution is the fourth entry in the Step Up dance-movie series. In this one, Emily is a young girl who leaves her privileged life and moves to Miami to become a professional dancer. There she meets Sean, "a young m...

Mondo's new Planet of the Apes poster series

Jan 26
// Liz Rugg
Know any huge Planet of the Apes fans? Mondo posters has partnered with Sideshow Collectibles and a bunch of awesome poster artists to produce a set of posters for the Planet of the Apes films. There'll be one poster for each...

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