'Offseason' Review: Heavy Is the Island That Wears the Curse

A well-known horror trope no-no is not to accept a sudden invitation to go somewhere remote. In immediate family affairs, this may be hard to resist. Offseason begins with Marie (Jocelin Donahue) receiving news via a letter that her deceased mother’s grave site has been vandalized. With her boyfriend, George (Joe Swanberg), they drive to an eerie and abundantly foggy Florida island. Of course, things aren’t what they seem. At first, a lone bridge man (Richard Brake) won’t let them on the island,

Sorry! We Missed It:' Morbius' Impedes Sony's Spider Momentum

Sorry! We Missed It is a new Substream column where we’ll be looking at some movies and television shows from the beginning of the year. Life happens, you know? So, sit back and play some catch-up with us. Making a shared universe between two movie studios is extremely hard. All the story pieces have to be in the right place, and creatives must be on the same page. Disney and Sony’s joint agreement to include Spider-Man in the MCU has proven to be a fruitful and profitable union. But that doesn

'Hustle' Review: Sandler and Hernangómez Pair Up For An Familiar and Entertaining Sports Drama

Sports fans love a good underdog story, especially with the medium of film — from the misfit teams of The Big Green and Little Giants to rugged club-fighter turned champion in the Rocky series. Hustle has similar Philadelphia DNA as it’s based around long-time NBA scout Stanley Sugerman (Adam Sandler) as he works for the Sixers traveling to every part of the globe looking for the next star. But Stanley is working to the bone to find the next potential NBA star; he dreams of becoming an assistant

'Men' Review: Alex Garland's New Feature Shows the Everyday Monsters of Misogyny Are the Ones To Fear the Most

Harper (Jessie Buckley) takes a road trip up the English countryside to a beautiful 500-year-old estate for some much-needed relaxation and solitude. The landscape is lush, full of beautiful foliage, where one can disappear from their problems entirely. From the glimpse of the first frames of Alex Garland’s Men, you see a tragedy has happened and find out that Harper is a widow. The circumstances of this get elaborated on more as the film goes on, but while Garland plays with the abstract, Men h

'Pleasure' Review: Bright Lights, Big Ambitions, and Heavy Costs

When we first meet Linnéa (Sofia Kappel), a 20-year-old Swedish girl with dreams of stardom, she’s at an airport in Los Angeles coming into the United States for the first time. Linnéa describes her native Sweden as “boring” later in the film. When the TSA agent questions her, he asks, “are you here for business or pleasure?” Linnéa’s choice of ‘pleasure’ sets up the crux of director/writer Ninja Thyberg’s film. On the surface level, people may view the porn industry as just a structure where pe

'The Innocents' Review: Growing Up Is Hard Enough, But Powers Can Make Things More Complicated

At a point and time during our childhoods, we wondered how it would be to have a superpower. We played with our friends, specifying which we had and the parameters everyone could operate within. Man, it was fun to pretend to fly or move things with your mind — it was all so innocent. But superpowers are subject to being molded by various aspects of human emotion. In cinema, we’ve been provided many instances of how this can manifest in films like Chronicle or the MCU/DCEU. Director Eskil Vogt pl

'Firestarter Review': The Remake's Flame Doesn't Get Enough Time To Grow Into the Entertaining Fire It Could Be

It’s no secret that Stephen King’s novels and horror on the big and small screens have had varying degrees of success — even with various adaptations of the same stories. Look at Carrie, It, The Shining, and The Stand — sometimes, the visual example builds upon the lore of the tales, and others, don’t get quite get things right. King’s 1980 novel, Firestarter, a story about a little girl discovering her power of pyrokinesis while her family is on the run from a shady government entity, received

'Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness' Review: Raimi's Style Pulls the MCU Out of It's Sandbox Just Enough

A post-Endgame MCU has left many heroes broken, beaten, and scared. While most Phase Four stories have zeroed in on the ramifications of anguish, Loki, What If?, and Spider-Man: No Way Home have opened our eyes to multiverses, variants, and alternate timelines. Boasting a name like ‘Doctor Strange In the Multiverse of Madness,’ it sets up an expectation to be an exploratory measure that would overload our senses. Who is itching to play in the MCU’s curated sandbox with all these worlds and prope

'Hatching' Review: Perfectionism, Image, and Perils of Adolescence Combine To Make A Hellish Mix

Social media places excessive pressure on us to give off an essence of perfection to the world. No bad days, slip-ups, or follies allowed! For a Finnish family of four, that’s precisely what they are going for with their blog, ‘Lovely Everyday Life.’ From a distance, their house is spotless and vibrant, the marriage looks like a textbook union, and the two children look as happy as possible. However, behind the neat outfits and camera filters, the family struggles to hold up the facade — an alle

'All My Friends Hate Me' Review: A Darkly Funny and Anxiety Inducing Catch Up Session Amongst Old Friends

When old friends get together after a long-standing break, there’s the saying of “picking up where you left off.” In reality, is that even possible? Sure, you’ll always have the memories, but is it really fair to say everything will be the same? One of the few constants in life is change—especially when talking about people. We all get new jobs, significant others, and fall into living situations that mold us into something different. Pete (Tom Stourton) is excited to spend some time with old c

'Texas Chainsaw Massacre' Review': A Slasher Icon Buckles Under the Weight of Modern Issues It Tries To Tackle

The late Tobe Hooper’s 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre had the strength to create the air of imagination around the brutality. You didn’t see limbs chopped off or excess amounts of blood, but the hint of it was happening was enough to create tension. The setup was also simplistic. You have five teens who go to a place where they had no business being. They run into a range of antagonists—Leatherface being the brutish hand of a sadistic family buried inside a decaying house in the country. It’

'When You're Finished Saving The World' Review: A Mother and Son Find That Growing Up Means Growing Apart | Sundance 2022

Ziggy Katz (Finn Wolfhard) has built up a following on a fictional TikTok equivalent, HiHat, where he crafts lovey-dovey indie rock songs for an audience as they tip him. He has 20,000 followers, and he’s not afraid to tell you about it—it’s his icebreaker. His mother, Evelyn (Julianne Moore), is a social worker that works at a domestic violence shelter. She is very focused on doing the greater good, even as it comes at the expense of her son. Their first interaction in first-time director Jesse

'Sub Eleven Seconds' Review: Sha’Carri Richardson Is Focused, Unfiltered, and Undefined In Short Documentary | Sundance 2022

“Time is my blessing and my curse. I love when the time is short, but I only love it on the track.” A juxtaposition with time lies inside a sprinting event in track. You spend months training to run the fastest amount of time in one race—a single chance where the slightest miscue can cost precious seconds. Inside that space of time, nothing else matters but the race itself. All your problems, anger, blood, sweat, and tears, get compounded in a test of speed. Her coach, Dennis Mitchell, says that

'Emergency' Review: Turns the Buddy Comedy Genre On It's Head With A Poignant Social Message | Sundance 2022

Coming-of-age teen buddy comedies mostly follow the same tempo, adding little things to differentiate themselves. 2007’s Superbad and 2019’s Booksmart are examples of a collection of “uncool” characters picking one particular night to make their party dreams come true. Some things don’t work out, and there’s usually a fight between long-time best friends, but mostly, everybody lives happily ever after. One person gains the affection of a guy/girl they’ve been fawning over for years, and there’s

'Resurrection' Review: A Claustrophobic Thriller Elevates Off the Performances From Rebecca Hall and Tim Roth | Sundance 2022

At first look, it appears Margaret (Rebecca Hall) has it all. She works as a biologist in an upscale, cozy office and lives in a roomy, modern home. She’s entangled in an affair with a married man named Peter (Michael Esper), to which Margaret has clearly defined the sexual boundaries to follow. Abby (Grace Kaufman), her teenage daughter, is getting ready to go away to college. Naturally, there’s some trepidation a single mother’s only child is about to leave the nest — but overall, life is good

'The Princess' Review: The Use of Only Archival Footage Gives A Story We Know A Platform Which Resonates Today | Sundance 2022

There has been a Princess Diana renaissance in the entertainment world, with movies like Spencer, the fourth season of The Crown, and even a musical depiction on Netflix. These platforms are defined by different tones, periods, and accounts—portraying a tragic story that the world finds familiar. With The Princess, director Ed Perkins is aware the audience knows the beginning and end of this tragedy. (The Princess begins from a second-hand perspective of paparazzi about to chase Diana in Paris).

‘Mother/Android’ Review: What To Do When You're Expecting During An Android Uprising

A common Sci-Fi trope is the premise of humans thinking they can use artificial intelligence for some servitude purpose. Despite all warnings, we love us some convenience. The Terminator franchise and 2004’s I, Robot are examples of this principle going wrong and essentially doom humanity if programs or machines grow aware of their intelligence. Mother/Android fits in the same clothing, where androids are relegated to assistants and home helpers. But before the world bursts into a never-ending c

'Spider-Man: No Way Home' Review: Thwips, Callbacks. and Winks At the Past Converge At Grown Up Lessons For Peter

To Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) horror, the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming left him with two bad scenarios. One, he’s being framed for the death of Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), and the other, well, the entire world, knows who Parker and Spider-Man are the same. Just when he gets some reprieve by giving his whole heart to MJ (Zendaya) and her accepting who he is, there’s another mess to clean up. In essence, that’s the life of a superhero—there’s no punch out on a time card. Somebody somewhere wi

'Encounter' Review: Wades Between A Possible Alien Invasion and the Unquenchable Need For Family

2005 film adaptation of War of the Worlds is an example of combining complicated family dynamics with an extraterrestrial, end of the world threat. What better time to sort out strained parent-child conflict than under the stress of planet earth being invaded? Sci-fi and drama themes can work off each other because they invoke the same feelings of urgency. Not only do we have to find ways to survive for a possible future, but there’s also a ticking clock to sort out any grievances. Encounter pre

'Agnes' Review: One Part Posession Satire, Another Part Soul-Searching Study

At first look, director-writer Mickey Reece’s Agnes can be seen as a satire take on the possession sub-genre of horror. All the fixings are there; the sudden movement of objects, changing the inflection of voices, and violent attacks from a devious spirit. It certainly sets the table as if it’s going that route. The film opens as a nun named Agnes (Hayley McFarland) suddenly barrages her fellow sisters with expletives, insults, and rocking the dinner table. Thus, we have a quintessential case of
Load More Articles