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Thor: Ragnarok San Diego Comic-Con trailer is *$#%@!^ awesome


Loki and Thor ... and machineguns!
Jul 22
// Rick Lash
Thor: Ranarok had a tough encore. It's first trailer was the stuff of movie nerd wet dreams and it bowed during the Super Bowl. It's hard to make a better entrance than that. Now disregard everything I just said, as its secon...
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Stranger Things season 2 trailer makes me more excited for Ghostbusters than new Ghostbusters


Cue the male-nerd-nostalgia-rage haters.
Jul 22
// Rick Lash
Now that half the internet is riled up [again], let's take a look at the awesome new Netflix original Stranger Things season 2 trailer, hot off the presses from the San Diego Comic-Con. Holy crap did they kill it with the us...
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The Walking Dead season 8 and Fear the Walking Dead season 3 San Diego Comic Con trailers


8 minutes of Walking Dead trailers!
Jul 22
// Rick Lash
It's been a good day for fans of AMC's The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. Both series had trailers debut at the San Diego Comic-Con. To s and why, belowe than two standard trailers bundled into one, and it promises a...
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Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One trailer drops at San Diego Comic Con


Gunters got game.
Jul 22
// Rick Lash
Ready Player One should be taught in schools across America because it's about video games, virtual reality, pop culture, and Americans getting fat asses. You know, reality. But until national and state by state curriculums g...

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Your Bad Movie Night Guide, Vol. 2: Zombeavers


Can we please stop with the beaver jokes
Jul 22
// Rick Lash
Some movies are so bad they're good. Like last week's entry, Shark Attack 3: Megalodon; while it appears that it must have been somewhat selfaware (one would hope), at other times, it clearly took itself plenty seri...
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Inhumans

Marvel's Inhumans San Diego Comic-Con trailer is less than impressive


Almost inhumane
Jul 22
// Nick Valdez
There's a weird air around Marvel's The Inhumans. Maybe it's because it's a formerly scheduled film project that got bumped to TV, the fact that some of it being shot on IMAX cameras makes it seem bigger than it actually is, ...
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Hey Arnold!

Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie could finally give me the closure I've always wanted


The Pigeon Man lives!
Jul 22
// Nick Valdez
Our current 90s nostalgia boom has resulted in some good things, and lots of bad things. But I am thankful that it's allowed some stories to finally get a real ending. Hey Arnold! was one of the many Nickelodeon shows cut dow...
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The Defenders

Marvel's The Defenders comes together a little more with its San Diego Comic-Con trailer


Sigourney Weaver, the GOAT
Jul 22
// Nick Valdez
I still haven't seen Marvel's Iron Fist, especially after Editor at Large Hubert Vigilla tore it apart in his review, but I guess I'm going to have to read some cliff notes or something if I want the full Defenders experience...

NYAFF Capsule Review: Mon Mon Mon Monsters

Jul 22 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
[embed]221676:43676:0[/embed] Mon Mon Mon MonstersDirector: Giddens KoRelease Date: TBDCountry: Taiwan
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Something different
Giddens Ko’s You Are the Apple of My Eye remains one of the best films I’ve seen at the New York Asian Film Festival. Café. Waiting. Love, which he wrote but did not direct, is another film I enjoyed immens...

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Spawny Boy

Todd McFarlane to direct new R-rated, lower budget Spawn movie


S to the p to the a to the awn
Jul 22
// Nick Valdez
20 years ago Michael Jai White and John Leguizamo put on some crazy outfits and delivered an even crazier film with Spawn. While Todd MacFarlane's Spawn will never be as popular as it was in 1997, a film version now makes sen...
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WB may be looking to ditch Ben Affleck as Batman... but gracefully


Michael Keaton comeback!
Jul 21
// Matthew Razak
Ben Affleck's Batman has been on a rocky road of life, but after being the only saving grace of Dawn of Justice I thought we'd at least get another four or so movies out of him. However, from the moment Sad Affleck came ...
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Rocko's Modern Life returning for one hour even more modern special


I'd wear Rocko's shirt in a heartbeat
Jul 21
// Matthew Razak
Rocko's Modern Life wasn't my favorite Nicktoon. It came out in the second (or third?) wave of Nicktoons where I was just getting a bit too old and "cool" to watch (until I got older and "cooler" and started watching aga...
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One Piece

One Piece is getting a live-action TV series for some reason


Yo ho ho he took a bite of gum gum
Jul 21
// Nick Valdez
Eiichiro Oda's One Piece is arguably the most popular anime series in Japan, so with how much anime has garnered interest in the West it was only a matter of time before some Western company wanted to try their hands at ...

Review: Dunkirk

Jul 21 // Rick Lash
[embed]221733:43672:0[/embed] DunkirkDirector: Christopher NolanRelease Date: July 21st, 2017Rated: PG-13Format: IMAX 70mm Dunkirk tells an early,  yet historic story from World War II when Allied (then only British and French) forces are being pushed back to the sea centering around the town of Dunkirk. The film opens, effectively, on a group of soldiers walking through abandoned French streets when fliers begin to rain down from above. One of the soldiers grabs one and we're treated to a glance of what they see; that is, a German advertisement encouraging the Allies to surrender with a graphic map detailing how bleak their situation is. It's a somber tone-setter which is quickly augmented by the realities of war as a soldier grabs several out of the air in an attempt to collect it for toilet paper. And then, things get chaotic, and never really slow down. Despite several attempts to void his bowels, this solider, our soldier, Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) never clearly gets to. The act of surviving becomes so all-encompassing that it's to the point where his body forgets it needs relief. And that's the point: an experience so immersive that nature's calls go unheeded: literally everything but survival is forgotten. It's no accident that immersion is at the forefront of the piece. The action is tightly wrought, like floss wrapped round your fingers too many times: the blood continues to pump, but has no where to go; the flesh turns white; and sensation builds as numbness should set in. Nolan designed the film, from his insistence in shooting film rather than digital, to the carefully orchestrated score by Hans Zimmer (simply amazing), to the avoidance of digital effects and the minimal quantities of dialogue to be immersive. If you were to pass Christopher Nolan on the street today and shout out at him, "Hey Chris! Where should I go see your dope new movie Dunkirk! Dark Knight rules!" He'd probably yell back, "Hey asshole, you don't know me!" Or just pepper-spray you to the face. But if he deemed you with a response, he'd be sure to recommend you take the time to find an IMAX theater showing Dunkirk with a film projector. It's how he intended audiences to see the film. Film is known for feeling more real and alive. And IMAX film formats not only capture more information, but the screen size allows more to be displayed, and using film projectors does this best for the format. Couple this with the use of real, true to life and 'historically accurate' warships, fighter planes, and props (like scale models and stand-ins for large group shots) and you have a movie that pops off the screen like few others. There's a shot from above of three British Royal Airforce fighters flying in wing to wing formation that was one of the crispest, most real feeling moments I've ever seen that I wanted to screen grab live because I knew nothing I could share in a review would do it justice. This is a reference shot, but it's a poor imitation of a cheap knockoff. It's true, not everyone's going to see it in this format--which is unfortunate, but if you're wondering if you can, it turns out Dunkirk's website will help you figure that out. Search here to see if any 70mm showings are near you. If they're within driving distance, I'd consider making the trip: it's that worthwhile. The experience was so immersive that I failed to recognize both Kenneth Branagh and Tom Hardy (in fairness, his face is obscured for most of his screen time). I was actually lauding Nolan for going with relative unknowns entirely. Cillian Murphy does make a cameo (an early Nolan collaborator from Batman Begins), but it felt well-incorporated and didn't jar. The lack of dialog didn't jar either; it served the purpose of letting the action and tension dictate emotional response and immersion. The film's a triptych, with three non-linear sequences taking place on land, air, and water. Yet, despite this, our lead, if you can pick one out, Tommy, doesn't open his mouth to speak until something like 30-40 minutes into the movie, outside of a single word. The dialog is noticeably reduced and it worked so well. There are no grandiose speeches, no overblown discussions on politics or course of action that can bog movie paces down. It's frenetic. From the first time shots are fired, the pace of the movie builds and carries until the finale. This is all done without enemy soldiers ever really appearing on screen, and with the violence and horror of war (which are quite viscerally present) not being exploited for gore or shock value. The reality is one in which every person present accepts that they may very well be killed at any given moment, but they still operate within the rules of their world while best trying to survive. With the pace not waning, these rules are eventually put to the test and war stretches conventions to the point that they break when individuals survive. Yet in spite of that grittiness, the film focuses on sacrifice and the willingness to put oneself at risk for others. These moments pile up throughout the film so that bleakness is balanced with inspiration and grief with triumph. It's a movie about a retreating army, a defeated group (at least for the moment) that achieves victory through survival, with the one most-noted casualty coming from the unlikeliest of sources. War turns conventions, much as Nolan's committed filmmaking does, and in one microcosm within a this microcosm, we're reminded that heroic deaths need not be grandiose, they only need conviction behind them. It's incredibly resonant. In reviewing this film, I find myself hard pressed to compare it to others. It's a standalone. I say this, knowing that Nolan took inspiration from a variety of sources (for inspiration on total settings in war movies to inspiration for pacing and tonal setting in movies in general). And in trying to score it for two separate websites, I only know that it has no real failures: it is a great film, one that just far outstripped it's summer competitors.
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Take a bow, Mr. Nolan, and cue the appla
Christopher Nolan is a well-known name. As modern-day filmmakers go, his name is near the top of the list of directors that studios will trust with boatloads (literally in this case) of money to bring projects to life. Strang...

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Rise up with the new Pacific Rim Uprising teaser


May Cherno Alpha bless Ellen McLain
Jul 21
// Anthony Marzano
San Diego Comic Con is heating up in the lead up to the big weekend with some trailer tapas to hold us over until the main course that is the big panels. Yesterday saw the release of a new teaser trailer for Pacific Rim Upris...
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Netflix's Bright trailer has will Smith taking on orc criminals


You know... as you do
Jul 21
// Matthew Razak
Despite the giant pile of crap that was Suicide Squad, David Ayers is still a director I get excited for. And despite his recent spate of lackluster films, Will Smith is still an actor I think can deliver some great performan...
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Mads Mikkelsen in talks to star in dystopian sci-fi Chaos Walking


Can you hear my internal cries of want?
Jul 21
// Anthony Marzano
Ordinarily when a movie is almost 2 years away I try to not give it too much thought but when Charlie Kaufman is involved I tend to keep it on my radar a bit. Now if you throw Mads Mikkelsen into the mix and shake it up with a little dystopian science fiction then you have my eyes, ears, and mouth to do with what you please.
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Kingsman: The Golden Circle has new trailer and Channing Tatum dropping f-bombs


You had me at Channing Tatum
Jul 20
// Rick Lash
So imagine Agent Cody Banks. Now imagine the same movie, only you want to watch it instead of curse the day Frankie Muniz's mother got drunk, took some jockey home from the race track, and got knocked up with the future ...
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Jigsaw, aka Saw 8, aka Not The Final Chapter has new trailer & poster


Jul 20
// Rick Lash
In movie sequel news [aka nearly all movie news], the eighth and probably not final Saw film, Jigsaw#mce_temp_url#, has a new trailer and a new teaser poster to accompany it. If you're unaware of the timel...
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There's a trailer for Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water, has a weird merman thingy


Is that the fish guy from Hellboy?
Jul 20
// Drew Stuart
'Tis the season of San Diego Comic Con, and as such, we're getting loads of trailers to sort through here at Flixist. And one of the best trailers we've seen so far comes to us from none other than the visionary director Guil...
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The Walking Dead Season 8 gets a release date


The show keeps staggering forward
Jul 19
// Drew Stuart
Ah, San Diego Comic Con. It is a time of celebration, of renewal, of congregating with your fellow nerds and geeks, to peer inside the entertainment industry and see what lays for thou over the horizon. Truly, it is a time un...
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Mega Man

There's a Mega Man movie on the way from the 'Catfish' directors for some reason


'You got me there.'
Jul 19
// Nick Valdez
With the kinds of properties getting film adaptations lately, like Sonic the Hedgehog, Gears of War, Detective Pikachu, Streets of Rage, and even friggin' Tetris, some properties slip through the cracks. First annou...
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First trailer for The Snowman cuts off some heads


The Swedes are messed up
Jul 19
// Matthew Razak
First, I have to apologize. With an October 20 release date, and the title The Snowman you may have thought that this was a remake of the classic horror film Jack Frost. It both happily and sadly is not. It is a thriller...
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James Franco's The Room true story film The Disaster Artist has trailer


Lisa, you're tearing me apart!
Jul 18
// Rick Lash
In bad movie news, Tommy Wiseau's cult classic, and honorific title holder for world's worst movie ever, The Room is getting the Hollywood treatment with a movie about the movie and its odd writer-director-star. And...
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First A Wrinkle in Time trailer brings style to a classic


It's OK to get excited now
Jul 17
// Matthew Razak
Our first look at Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time left me a little underwhelmed. I just wasn't seeing the sort of magic that the book captured. The first trailer, however, is bringing back my excitement. This looks pret...
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We just got a press release from the Emoji Movie celebrating World Emoji Day


I hate everything
Jul 17
// Matthew Razak
This is it. This is how the world ends. Not with a bang, but with a poop emoji and a low quality image flung together in a desperate attempt to be relevant to "the kids." Fuck you, Sony.
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Is Planet of the Apes the best modern trilogy?


Box office recap
Jul 17
// Matthew Razak
With War for the Planet of the Apes opening at number one this weekend, toppling a insanely strong second showing from Spider-Man: Homecoming, we've been asking ourselves whether or not there's a better modern film trilo...
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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 ...


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