Wednesday, September 10, 2014

31 DAYS OF DREW - DAY 26: THE RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD

Every horrorhound's favorite month is upon us, and to celebrate, I'll be dishing out a personal pick from the genre for every day in October. Some will be obvious and rather unoriginal (sorry that I like movies other people like), while some will be a little more oddball and off-the-wall. Some may even challenge your idea of what constitutes a "horror" movie. Regardless, I hope you enjoy the month with some good movies, even if they aren't ones I recommend!

Today's Pick: The Return of the Living Dead (1985)


As I've mentioned quite a few times during the 31 Days of Drew, the 1980's were a golden era of splatstick horror gems. But, if there was one horror movie that captured that aesthetic, tone and energy perfectly, there's no question it would be The Return of the Living Dead. Filled with great effects, a new take on zombies and one of the bleakest but funniest endings ever, this could very well be the high watermark of the entire decade.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: BOYHOOD Is the Definitive Coming-of-Age Film


By now, everyone is pretty aware of the radical experiment writer/director Richard Linklater has undergone with his new film, Boyhood. It's been a centerpiece of the film's marketing, and the audience I saw it with were murmuring about it before the lights went down. While I was certainly intrigued by such a risky choice, it was how Linklater would use the real-life aging of his actors in service to the story and themes that brought me to the theater, and I was not only impressed, I was in emotional awe. Boyhood is the true definition of a magnum opus. It is such an achievement that I find it challenging to try and encapsulate everything that makes it so special, but I will try.

Monday, August 25, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: SIN CITY: A DAME TO KILL FOR Is... Yeesh


I loved Sin City when it came out in 2005. It was serendipitous that, at the same time, I was beginning to delve into the world of graphic novels, discovering the works of essential artists like Alan Moore and Frank Miller. When Sin City came out, it hit my sweet spots all across the board. It was violent, seductive, visually fresh and passionate to the point of zealotry when it came to being faithful to the source material. I rewatched Sin City recently in anticipation for the sequel, and found that, while I wasn't as enamored as I once was, I still enjoyed it. I walked into Sin City: A Dame to Kill For with measured expectations, but I guess I should have lowered them a whole lot more.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Makes A Han Solo Spin-Off Film Gloriously Unnecessary


While most people now associate Star Wars with a deeply mythological reverence, the original 1977 film isn't really focused on cultivating that kind of aura. Instead, it's a hodgepodge of Buck Rogers, samurai stories and pulp adventure. That spirit is mostly channeled through Han Solo, a rogue who isn't necessarily a hero, but has enough charm and good in him to become one by the film's end. That same charm and adventure has been resurrected in Guardians of the Galaxy, the first sci-fi adventure film to really capture the flavor of the original Star Wars film, while still carving out a new corner in a completely original and curiosity-empowering universe.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Sets the Standard for What the Summer Blockbuster Should Aspire To


People often forget that the whole idea of the summer blockbuster started with Jaws, which is a film that is far more interested in character than it is with spectacular set-pieces and action. However, Jaws does have those things, and as time has worn on the spectacle of summer films have often been at the cost of character. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a rallying cry to the importance of focusing on creating great characters and letting that drive the plot rather than the other way around. In an age of soulless action fare like the Transformers series, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes feels like one of the most intelligent and adult pieces of genre entertainment available.

Friday, July 11, 2014

MOVIE REVIEW: SNOWPIERCER Is the Kind of Sci-Fi Film We Need: Entertaining While Also Being Important


Science fiction films these days that concentrate on their ideas more than their spectacle have mostly been lower budget productions. The days of seeing heady sci-fi at the multiplex seem long gone, replaced with flashy and bombastic spectacle that does nothing for the parts of your brain that utilize critical thinking. That's why a film like Snowpiercer needs to be seen. It proves that you can still make a great sci-fi film full of style, but without having to sacrifice any substance. In fact, Snowpiercer makes it clear that the substance is what informs the style, and not the other way around.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

DREW'S VIEWS: The Horror Genre Needs A-List Pictures Again

I have opinions, predictions, rants, raves and other assorted ramblings about things other than movie reviews (but sometimes also about movies). This is my soapbox for them.



The subreddit r/horror is one of my favorite communities on the Internet. They often remind me of Devin Faraci's article over at CHUD.com: Why Horror Fans Make the Best Film Fans. I have had a number of fun and thoughtful conversations with the people at Dreadit (how can you not love that name?), but one post this past week put me into thinking overdrive. The question was, "Once the found footage wave dies down, what trend would you like to see next?" While most of the answers focused on seeing a specific genre return to prominence (ghost stories, werewolves, creature features etc.), it made me realize that something the horror genre (in America, at least. My knowledge of foreign horror trends isn't quite as strong) has been missing for a while is an A-list production.