‘Black Panther’ Is A Mix of Great Storytelling, Poignant Lessons, and Grandiose Visuals

Heavy is the head that wears the crown. Since 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, fans have been waiting to dive into the diverse and intricate world of Wakanda. From that movie, a leader was born, unfortunately out of tragic circumstances. T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) became the new leader of Wakanda and thus, the Black Panther due to the assassination of his father, T’Chaka (John Kani). Black Panther picks up right where Civil War leaves off within a myriad of lessons, authentic imagery, and blu

‘The Last Jedi’ Chooses New Possibilities and Asks New Questions of A Tale We Know and Love

2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens and 2016’s Rogue One brought the Star Wars lore back into the forefront for a newer generation. Both movies were able to push story lines forward both from the past and present. One of the criticisms of The Force Awakens is that in some aspects, it played too close to the heartbeat of 1977’s A New Hope. Within Lucasfilm, there has been a well chronicled aesthetic that they are looking for when it comes to Star Wars movies. Rogue One, where Gareth Edwards may h

Halloween Selects: “The Void”

Ah, the 80s. Horror movies like Re-Animator and The Fly relied upon more conventional means to scare you. Some modern horror movies rely on the inclusion of computer special effects and following a popular genre such as resting on laurels along the explosion of “found footage” movies. Recently, horror movies have stepped outside themselves, while many independent creatives strive to push their boundaries. 2016’s The Void, which is directed by Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie found it’s ori

AYFOTD Retro Review: “The Tale of the Captured Souls”

On August 15th, 1992, Nickelodeon debuted Are You Afraid of The Dark on their Saturday night lineup, SNICK. It’s been more than 20 years, but you can still remember the eerie opening crawl and kids wanting to start their own Midnight Society. Throughout October, Deadscreen will be looking at episodes from the first three seasons. A lot of this is looking back in retrospect, but some of these stories were actually scary as a kid. To set things up on “The Tale of the Captured Souls,” Danny and he

Halloween Selects: “Misery”

Before Eminem rapped about a fan obsession gone too far with 2000’s “Stan,” there was 1990’s Misery. Adapted from the 1987 Stephen King novel, it was a story that had every author second guessing meet and greets for a while. Director Rob Reiner was able to use the mostly isolated setting of a bedroom to his advantage. The characters of Paul Sheldon (James Caan) and Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) came to life because the acting was so believable. There were no ghosts, no ghouls, no exorcisms. The “ho

Halloween Selects: “Saw”

Who would thought that a story that began with two men handcuffed in the basement of a warehouse would grow to be so big? The opening of Charlie Clouser‘s “Hello Zepp” theme and the grainy voice on a mini cassette tape became a horror genre staple. Still creeped out by the doll on a mini bicycle? 2004’s Saw was the birth of an explosion of “torture horror” films (Eli Roth‘s 2005 opus, Hostel comes to mind). The movie also showed Hollywood that you can get more with less. Saw grossed over $100 mi

Halloween Selects: “Wish Upon”

It feels like W. W. Jacobs‘s 1902 tale, The Monkey’s Paw has been adapted in every which way. Remember the “Treehouse of Horror II” from The Simpsons? Wishes granted with unattended consequences. What would you do if you had such power? We have all pondered that scenario at least once or twice. Wish Upon is a combination of “The Monkey’s Paw”, inspiration from the elaborate deaths of The Final Destination series, and teen drama. The movie itself gets caught in the confines of doing everything w

Halloween Selects: “Friday the 13th”

The tragedy of the summer of 1958 at Camp Crystal Lake would be the birth of an enduring horror franchise. 12 movies (and a reboot) to be exact. You just can’t keep an angry spirit down. The original Friday the 13th movie released on May 8th, 1980 was inspired by John Carpenter’s 1978 film, Halloween. At the time of release, it was already facing tough competition from would-be horror classics like The Shining and The Fog. Little did we know, the movie that had a $500,000 budget would go on to b

The Gifted: S1E2: “rX”

Within the world of The Gifted, it’s a very tough paradox for humans. One of the things that draws you into to the show is the timeliness of the overall story line. Almost ripped from the current headlines, the “X-Men” conundrum is an ultimate quest for civil rights. Again, the “incident” was eluded to that made mutants public enemies. “rX” mostly dealt with Clarice’s injuries and her inability to control her powers at that time, but there are deeper issues that come into play. The episode show

Halloween Selects: “A Nightmare On Elm Street”

For most of us, sleep is where we find peace. It’s solace after a long day of challenges and plans. That’s until the imagination of the late Wes Craven and the emergence of a horribly, scarred man with a blade glove. Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). The iconic red and black sweater, brown hat, and a horror twist of the nursery rhyme, “One, Two, Buckle My Shoe” kept audiences up for decades. 1984’s A Nightmare On Elm Street is not so much of a “slasher” film in the way you think. Just with sleep

“Thor: Ragnarok” Sees A Hero Gain His Defining Movie In The MCU

Robert Downey Jr‘s Iron Man has it’s defining movie. The 2008 movie brought Tony Stark to the big screen and set a new course for comic book movies for years to come. Arguably, Chris Evans‘ Captain America has two of them (2014’s The Winter Soldier and 2016’s Civil War). You can even consider them to be the best of the MCU. Within that, there’s Thor (Chris Hemsworth), an integral part of the “big three” when it comes to characters that kick started what would be ten years of stories. It’s not th

Annabelle: Creation Revitalizes A Familiar Character With Build and Technique

For many years now, we have seen the makings of grandiose movie universes dealing with super heroes. How about something for the horror fans? Could it work to have different tent-poles born within a successful horror franchise? In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, director James Wan expressed his excitement for what will be considered The Conjuring universe. Both Conjuring movies, released in 2013 and 2016 paid homage to the 80’s style of horror films with reliance on practical effects whi

‘Wonder Woman’ Shines Both As A Beacon of Strength For Women and Human Empathy

The 1970’s Wonder Woman tv series starring Lynda Carter served as an inspiration at the time for women in a male-dominated super hero climate. In fact, the last female fronted superhero movie was Fox’s 2005, Elektra. Although Jennifer Garner may have been right for the role, the story did not do Marvel’s anti-heroine justice. From there, we’ve had portrayals of strong female characters, both on the big and small screen. Marvel’s Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) of the DCEU

‘Logan’ Is A Beautifully, Tragic Sendoff To the X-Men Universe As We Know It

When we tend to think of movie universes about comic books, your mind might immediately go to the Marvel Extended Universe. In fact, the first X-Men movie was released way back in 2000 and kicked off a resurgence in interest in superhero movies. That’s 17 years that we have grown with the franchise that has taken us back and forward through time. There are few casting choices that make it hard to see anybody else play that character other than the original actor. Hugh Jackman is the embodiment

‘Get Out’ Is An Intelligent Narrative Within A Body of the Horror Genre

The opening moments of Get Out begin with Andre “Logan” Hayworth (LaKeith Stanfield) walking through a suburban town speaking to his friend on the phone about how uneasy he felt. From there, a white car pulls alongside him and follows him where he immediately tries to change his route. Within the time frame of the release of the movie, it was the 5th anniversary of the death of Trayvon Martin, and in this particular scene, it is a live dramatization of how black males feel in neighborhoods that

Legion: S1E2: “Chapter 2”

Are you still trying to untie your mind from the knots of Legion’s first episode? Well, good, because the second episode slows down the tempo and does it focus on David Haller’s backstory. I was with the “Chapter 1” not going too in depth with it because as we forge into David’s psyche, you had to figure that more of the mystery was going to be investigated. The opening takes us to Summerland, that is a place where mutants have gathered that is a parallel to the X-Mansion in the overall X-Men s

Legion: S1E1: “Chapter 1”

The first episode of Legion starts with a montage of David Charles Haller’s (Dan Stevens) childhood while The Who‘s “Happy Jack” plays in the background. We see a tranquil, civil childhood of Haller that devolves into chaos and a suicide attempt. Everything is about perspective – the one way that you see the world could be completely different from someone else. Legion challenges the notion of perception not only within the X-Men universe, but in general. The starting narrative of the show does

Santa Clarita Diet: S1E1: “So Then a Bat or a Monkey”

When you think of zombies in a traditional sense, you think of the decaying skin or in some recent cases, a baseball bat wrapped with barbed wire named Lucille. Instead of the Resident Evil, Dead Rising-esque way we usually picture the undead – what if a zombie was the typical neighbor next door? For that, Santa Clarita Diet gives you a look on how a family would handle such affliction. A little less Walking Dead, but a little more dark humor like Zombieland. The Hammonds consist of Sheila (Dre

Hey Warner Brothers, Let’s Talk About Your DC Extended Universe

Warner Brothers, we need to have a talk. This is one of those talks that you have with a friend before their lives careen off a cliff. Trust me, I care. The end may be near and I have to intervene. This DC Extended Universe, yea, it’s bad and the sad thing is, it doesn’t have to be. I see you have two big movies on the horizon for 2017 and they have to be home runs to keep you in the game. Right now, Marvel is about to put on the full court press and I want to keep you from passing the controlle

‘Hidden Figures’

There are some period pieces that both captures a perfect snap shot of the time period and that it speaks to modern times with inspiration. There are also stories in modern history that do not receive as much attention or credence as they should – thankfully, we have cinema to provide their time in the sun. Hidden Figures is set within a time period where there were many moving parts – the space race between the U.S.A. and Russia, the ongoing civil rights movement, and women finding a level play
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