Directors Danny and Michael Philippou on ‘Talk To Me’ and creating the cure for the common possession film

This interview was conducted before the SAG-AFRA strike.

If there was a game that allowed the dead to enter your body for thirty seconds, would you do it? If you said no, I wouldn’t blame you. Now, add the layer of losing somebody close to you. If you lost a family member or best friend and that game gave you a glimmer of hope to speak to them again, would you reconsider? That scenario will make you think a bit.

Twin brother filmmakers Danny & Michael Philippou know their ways around social me

‘Johnny Football’ shows the dizzying highs and abrupt end to Manziel’s NFL ascent

In 2012, then-redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel took the college football world by storm, turning in dynamic after dynamic performance as the starting quarterback of the Texas A&M Aggies. Although ex-Aggies coach Kevin Sunlim’s had a policy for freshman players not to speak to the media, Manziel’s play trusted him into the national spotlight. It began with a 557-yard performance against Arkansas that broke Archie Manning’s 43-year-old record. Then the bright lights got hotter, and Manziel lived u

The dying art of movie theater etiquette

A couple of weeks ago, I went to see Insidious: The Red Door at a local AMC theater like I’ve seen many horror films. There’s something about seeing a scary film in a theatrical setting with a bunch of people that has a certain synergy to it. Though the pandemic has done a lot to change our viewing habits concerning media, the recent successes of Oppenheimer and Barbie are examples that people will show up when you give them something of quality to show up for.

So, I sit in my seat and see burs

‘They Cloned Tyrone’s stylish sci-fi canvas holds a deeper meaning concerning the infiltration of Black spaces

The brilliance of They Cloned Tyrone is within the details surrounding the plot as they come together to make a timely whole. At some points during the film, there are random ads for fried chicken hair and care products. They play as overt stereotypes played to a Black neighborhood, and with good reason. Many of the things Black people have come to love have also been used against them and even held up as a tool to demean them as people. With situations throughout history like Tuskegee and pheno

‘Secret Invasion’s’ finale highlights the need for Disney to retool and revamp Marvel’s limited series presentation

One question popped up in my head after watching the finale of Secret Invasion. Would this show have played better if released right after Captain Marvel? The next MCU project was 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, and Disney+ shows weren’t a thing yet. So, that’s implausible from a planning standpoint. However, it still racks my brain that a show like this which has a fantastic ensemble of talent, excellent delivery, and some good concepts, can feel so... flat. A spy-level Allen invasion on paper concer

Boxing has its new draw and anti-hero in ‘Jake Paul’s ‘The Problem Child’ documentary

Jake Paul’s Netflix documentary, The Problem Child, will most not likely change your mind either way. If you think he’s a braggadocious, annoying Youtuber desecrating the sport of boxing – you’ll probably feel the same way. On the flip side, if you see a person who was able to parlay his knowledge of promotion into a lucrative second career that has finally woken people up to meager fighter pay and that boxing has been lax in giving fans something to be eager for (except this weekend), you’ll ha

One of the biggest lessons inside ‘Barbie’ originates within Ken’s flawed thinking and lack of self-reflection

In 1961, two years after the extremely famous Barbie doll was made, Mattel gave the world Ken, named after founder Ruth Handler’s son, Kenneth. By the supposed natural order of things, Barbie and Ken were paired together (until their break up in 2004 and eventual reunion in 2011. Yes, I know this is weird talking about dolls). What if it wasn’t Barbie and Ken, but perhaps just platonic people/characters who weren’t forced together because “that’s how things have to be?”

Co-writer/director Greta

‘The League’ serves as a long overdue thank you to the Negro Leagues impact on baseball

Perseverance – it’s the one word I felt upon viewing director Sam Pollard's documentary, The League. No matter how many obstacles were in the way – whether it be the racism of the Jim Crow laws of the South, economic factors due to the Great Depression of the 1920s, or Major League Baseball’s long reluctance to reintroduce Black athletes into its ecosystem. The Negro Leagues shaped the way baseball was played back then and today. From the uptempo style of bunt-and-runs, double steals, and flashy

So long Daniel Snyder, and thanks for all the fish

In full transparency, I’ve had this draft ready since April. That was when I first heard that Daniel Snyder was looking into selling the Washington Commanders. The title derived from Douglas Adams’s book of the same name was also in my brain. Instead of dolphins leaving me a note after they left planet Earth, the Daniel Snyder era has left me nothing but great contempt and exhaustion.

As I’m sure many long-time Commanders faithful fans like me who have watched this team continually underachieve

‘The Golden Boy’ is where Oscar De La Hoya lays his many burdens and self-inflicted wounds bare

Sports are full of stories where athletes overcome personal tragedies and use that to propel them to the top of their respective crafts. When Oscar De La Hoya won the gold medal for boxing in the lightweight division during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, he dedicated it to his late mother, Cecilla (unfortunately, she passed away from cancer in 1990). When De La Hoya returned to the United States, he was the pride of East LA with a heartwarming story to boast. As we find out in his own words dur

‘Secret Invasion’s penultimate episode gears up for the final showdown, but the runtime leaves good things unsettled

Towards the end of Secret Invasion’s fifth episode, “Harvest,” Nick Fury and the sadly underutilized Sonya Falsworth have a conversation where she asks him why he hasn’t called The Avengers to help out in this Skrull invasion. In his answer, where the audience learns the apparent answer, this limited series has been telling us thematically to begin with. Fury wants to save the world on his own to fly in the face of everybody telling him that he’s lost a step – the old hero trying to prove to him

‘Oppenheimer’ is an exquisitely punchy, intriguing look at the "modern Prometheus" and his nuclear monster

Science has brought us some of the most significant advancements in our history – from discovering the structure of DNA, electricity, vaccines, to exploring space and the surface of planets. There is not an ounce of our daily lives that the process of science hasn’t touched in some way. While we tend to think of all the positive things it has brought us, we must also consider the negative. Some of these experiments and theories have resulted in the biggest atrocities known to humankind – like we

‘Cobweb’ is a trope-filled maze of bad dreams and puzzling story choices

You would think that eight-year-olds would have things relatively easy, but not when it comes to Peter (Woody Norman). Cobweb depicts him as a loner at school, making him the target of some jerk bullies. To make matters worse, the kid is terrified to go out during recess, and his home life is creepy. At first glance, Peter’s parents Carol and Mark (played by Lizzy Caplan and Antony Starr), seem to care for their son, but an uneasy attachment radiates off them. Their body language feels like some

‘Barbie’ is the right example of using IP beyond your standard nostalgic mentions

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, Barbie being covered here wouldn’t exist.

If you’re going into Barbie feeling that there will be a goofiness element of a fictional character going into the real world, you would be right. Director Greta Gerwig embraces the self-referential, over-the-top silliness of the history of Mattel’s most profitable toy. It’s part of the beauty of this film, in addition to ad

Christian Petzold‘s ‘Afire’ burns to the core of love and artist fragility

This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, Afire being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Being a writer can be a humbling piece of business. Every creative has a different temperature, ritual, style of paper and pen, or time of day conducive to starting – but even beginning could turn into an existential crisis. Let’s not get into all the external factors that keep writers up at night. At least for Leon (Thomas S

The troubling devaluation of the NFL running back position has been going on for a while

When former running back Demarco Murray had his 2014 breakout season, where he led the league in rushing with 1,845 yards, notched his second straight Pro Bowl selection, and won AP Offensive Player of the Year, there were questions around the number of carries he was getting. The Dallas Cowboys rode his 449 total touches to a 12-4 record and a playoff berth but didn’t reward him with a long-term deal. Quite the contrary, Murray left to play for the division-rival Philadelphia Eagles in 2015.


If you feel as angry about your industry after the SAG-AFTRA press conference, you’re not alone

Just two days ago, a studio executive spoke to Deadline about the WGA strike and said, “The endgame is to allow things to drag on until union members start losing their apartments and losing their houses.” Disney CEO Bob Iger, when speaking to CNBC today, spoke of the writer and actors' strikes as “adding to the set of the challenges that this business is already facing that is, quite frankly, very disruptive.” This is the same man who just yesterday extended his deal for two years and made almo

Netflix’s ‘Quarterback’ acts more as an essential watch for the NFL fan faithful

At the start of Netflix’s eight-part documentary, Quarterback executive producer Peyton Manning says that he feels there is no harder position in sports than being a point man running an NFL offense. Manning had a storied 18-year career, including winning two Super Bowls with the Denver Broncos, five NFL MVPs, and being known as one of the greatest tacticians the game has ever seen. It’s a lot of weight to carry on your shoulders to know that eleven other men look to you for guidance – knowing t

Secret Invasion’s ‘Beloved’ pushes dueling ideologies of assimilation to the middle of a big fire fight

If there’s one thing that Secret Invasion loves, it’s the possible tragic cliffhanger death note. With “Resurrection,” it was the death of Maria Hill at the hands of Gravik on the battlefield. “Betrayed” does something similar as Gravik finds out Gi’ah is the mole – but you didn’t think they would write off Emila Clarke that soon, did you? Of course not. In the first moments of “Beloved,” Gi’ah used the machine to infuse herself with Extremis DNA and heal from the gun wound. Given the last part

‘Bird Box Barcelona’ gives new context to the calamities, but skimps on definitions beyond sequel bait

Like many sci-fi disaster stories, 2018’s Bird Box has a simple list of dos and don'ts. Do keep your eyes covered at all times. Never go outside without eye protection, or otherworldly beings will take over your mind. If so, you will meet a rather gruesome end by your hand. This much is spelled out to the audience at the beginning of director Susanne Bier’s adaptation of Josh Malerman’s book when a mother bluntly tells her children, “Do not take your blindfolds off, or you’ll die.”

A zombie out
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