The Latest Movie Reviews
'Kingsman: The Golden Circle' Is Another Slick Spy Flick With Great Action
Production: Action Sequences: 
The first Kingsman: The Secret Service was a surprise hit, a comedic riff on the James Bond formula with over-the-top violence, characters, and a sharp wit. Its follow-up, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, picks up where the first film left off and never misses a beat, delivering everything fans expect from a sequel....

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Don't See 'Friend Request' Alone, But Not Because It's Too Scary
Production: Scary Factor: 
With technology advancing at the speed of light and social media becoming many people's main source of communication, it's no wonder that horror movies have embraced and explored the darker side of the phenomenon in movies like Unfriended, The Den, Open Windows, and Ratter. Well, you can add another technophobic...

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'The Houses October Built 2' Continues A Story That Should Have Ended
Production: Scary Factor: 
A few years ago, The Houses October Built put a fun twist on the found footage trend by portraying a YouTube video-making, Halloween haunt-loving group of folks who happen upon the wrong haunt. Now, the gang is back for more in, yep, you guessed it, The Houses October Built 2. The Houses October Built 2...

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Confusing And Surreal, 'mother!' Is A Beautiful Mess Of A Movie
Production: Cinematography: 
Sound: 
The promotional campaign for mother!, the newest film from Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan, Requiem for a Dream), has been genius. It shows just enough to pique interest without giving audiences any idea of what the movie is about. And after seeing it, many viewers still won't have any idea what the...

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'American Assassin' Is A Passable B-Level Action Drama
Production: Action Sequences: 
American Assassin is the type of disposable action/drama that can be found historically throughout the month of September. The plot is fairly predictable, the characters and their motivations are very thin, and the action is serviceable if a bit generic. Though it may be based on a novel by Vince Flynn, what was...

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After 27 Years, 'IT' Is Back To Terrorize The Kids Of Derry Once More
Production: Chemistry: 
Scary Factor: 
In 1990, prolific horror novelist Stephen King's most ambitious book, the simply titled It, was made into a two-part television miniseries. The book, and miniseries, was about a clown who terrorized a New England town and kidnapped its children every twenty-seven years. Now, just like in the book, IT is back,...

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'England Is Mine' Is Not The Smiths Movie Everyone Wants It To Be
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Pretty much any child of the eighties is familiar with The Smiths, the seminal alternative rock band from before alternative was a thing. And those same children of the eighties pretty much know that Morrissey was their singer. Well, England is Mine, the first feature film from director Mark Gill and his writing...

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'Dave Made A Maze' Is The Most Endearingly Crazy Movie You're Bound To See This Year
Production: Production Design: 
Scary Factor: Uniqueness: 
Every once in a while, a movie comes along that is so quirky, so wacky, so bat-shit insane, that its entire existence is brought into question. Dave Made a Maze is one of those movies. Dave Made a Maze is about a downtrodden guy, Dave (Nick Thune), who builds a cardboard fort in the living room of his apartment....

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'Annabelle: Creation' Is More Of The Same From The Creepy James Wan-Iverse - And That's A Good Thing
Production: Scary Factor: 
The biggest hurdle facing Annabelle: Creation is the fact that, at first glance, it seems to be an unnecessary movie; the first act of Annabelle already covered the origin of the demonic doll. Or so we thought. As it turns out, that was only half of the story. Annabelle: Creation goes back a little further...

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Not Even Matthew McConaughey And Idris Elba Can Save 'The Dark Tower' From Itself
Production: Writing: 
Stephen King fans have been waiting a while for a movie adaptation of The Dark Tower. The first book in the series was written in 1982, but rumors of the film started up about ten years ago. Now that the movie is finally here, the question that begs to be answered is "is it worth the wait?" No. No, it's not. The...

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'Lost In Paris' Turns A Rough Vacation Into A Comedic Showcase
Production: Comedy Factor: 
For the past ten years or so, filmmakers Fiona Gordon and Dominique Abel have been making quirky little comedies like The Fairy, Rumba, and L'iceberg. The third member of their writing/directing trio, Bruno Romy, has left the fold, so now they are officially a duo. But that duo has not missed a beat with its...

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'Atomic Blonde' Is More Than Just The Female Version Of 'John Wick'
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Action Sequences: 
Set in 1989, right before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Atomic Blonde stars budding action star Charlize Theron (Mad Max: Fury Road) as Lorraine Broughton, a British MI6 agent who is sent to Berlin to retrieve a list of double agents that was stolen when a fellow MI6 was murdered by a KGB thug. Once in Berlin,...

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'A Ghost Story' Executes Its Simple Concept Brilliantly
Production: Cinematography: 
Score & Soundtrack: Scary Factor: 
A few years back, director David Lowery hooked up with actors Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara for the critically acclaimed-yet-criminally underseen Ain't Them Bodies Saints. Since then, Lowery has made the reboot of Disney's Pete's Dragon, Affleck has won an Academy Award for Manchester by the Sea, and Mara has...

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For Better And For Worse, 'Dunkirk' Immerses Its Audience In The Horrors Of War
Production: Sound: 
In his career, director Christopher Nolan has dealt with superheroes (The Dark Knight trilogy), outer space (Interstellar), dreams (Inception), and even the selective human memory (Memento). Now, for something completely different, he takes on the historical war re-enactment subgenre with his new movie Dunkirk. Just...

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'Spider-Man: Homecoming' Is The Best Spidey Story Yet
Production: Action Sequences: 
No one would fault any moviegoer for saying that they have Spider-Man movie fatigue, with five films having been released in such a short span of time. And with Spider-Man: Homecoming hitting theaters this weekend, there's no doubt some will dismiss the latest comic book release simply because it features a familiar...

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Edgar Wright's 'Baby Driver' Combines A Hot Soundtrack With Cool Car Chases In The Best Movie Of The Summer (So Far)
Production: Score & Soundtrack: 
Action Sequences: 
As a writer and a director, Edgar Wright has done a little of everything in his career. He took on horror with Shaun of the Dead, the buddy cop picture with Hot Fuzz, the slick graphic novel/video game adaptation with Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and the apocalyptic adventure with The World's End, all the while...

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Sofia Coppola's 'The Beguiled' Plays With Loyalty, Emotion...And Genre
Production: Cinematography: 
One of the big buzzes coming out of the 2017 Cannes International Film Festival was the fact that Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) won the Best Director award for The Beguiled, an award that had only once before been given to a woman (and that was way back in 1961 when Russian filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva took...

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'Moka' Takes The Revenge Film In A Different Direction
Production: Acting: 
Moka is about a woman named Diane Kramer (Emmanuelle Devos from Coco Before Chanel) whose son has been killed by a hit-and-run driver. Using witness accounts of the crash, she determines that the driver was a blonde woman in a mocha colored luxury sedan. With the help of a detective friend, she gets a list of...

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'The Exception' Is The Exception, Not The Rule
Production: Chemistry: 
Set during World War II, The Exception is about a German Captain with a checkered past named Stefan Brandt (Jai Courtney from the Divergent movies) who is sent to protect exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II (screen legend Christopher Plummer from Beginners and Danny Collins) in the Netherlands from British spies that are...

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Frame Of Mind

Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night IIGenerally speaking, sequels pick up somewhere after the events of their predecessor, whether a few minutes, weeks, or years, and continue to tell the story.  Some take place within the same cinematic universe, but with different sets of characters and circumstances (Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2/Blair Witch, 10 Cloverfield Lane).  Others are prequels, telling the story that leads up to the events of the first film (Ouija: Origin of Evil, Annabelle: Creation).  Still others, however, are sequels in name only.  Such is the case with Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II.

Apt PupilLast week, in honor of the recent spike in Stephen King movies, Cinema Fearité took a look at King’s one and only directorial effort Maximum Overdrive.  Well, after the record setting weekend that IT just had, we’re doubling down on King.  This week, we’re going to dive into one of his most disturbing adaptations: 1998’s Apt Pupil.

Maximum OverdriveStephen King has always been a prolific writer, and filmmakers have always loved making movies out of his works, but Hollywood seems to be in the midst of a “Kingaissance” as of late, with the disappointing The Dark Tower releasing this past summer, the terrifying IT opening this weekend, and the “how are they gonna film THAT?” Gerald’s Game making its premiere on Netflix at the end of the month.  For all of his novels and short stories that have been adapted into movies, King has surprisingly only stepped behind the camera to direct one of them himself – the 1986 technology-run-amok thriller Maximum Overdrive.

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the WorldAmerican rock and roll music is seen as a smorgasbord of musical influences, borrowing liberally from both European and African sources.  But the influence of the Native American culture on rock music has rarely been acknowledged.  Documentarian Catherine Bainbridge (who also explored Native Americans in Hollywood movies with Reel Injun) and cinematographer Alfonso Maiorana (who worked with Bainbridge on the TV series “Mohawk Girls”) explore the Indians that have had an impact on rock and roll in their fascinating new movie Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World.

The Texas Chain Saw MassacreIt’s been less than two months since the passing of the legendary George Romero, and the horror world has been struck by another huge loss; celebrated director Tobe Hooper died last weekend at the age of 74.  Although Hooper’s biggest box office success was the Steven Spielberg-produced (and some say directed) Poltergeist, his claim to fame is much more influential.  In 1974, he made the most infamous of all American horror movies: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

California TypewriterRevisiting old technologies can be fun.  The analog warmth of vinyl records sounds better than the harsh digital compression of CDs.  The feeling of flipping the pages of a good book in your hands beats the hell out of scrolling through that same book on a tablet.  And, as any avid movie collector will tell you, VHS tapes often have way cooler artwork than their DVD/Blu-ray counterparts.  But no one ever thinks about that other lost form of communication – the typewriter.  No one, that is, until music video director-turned-documentarian Doug Nichol made California Typewriter.

CrashHere at FilmFracture, David Cronenberg’s movies have been so well-covered that his last name has actually found its way into our Microsoft Word dictionary.  From his first feature film Stereo to his experimental Cosmopolis, you could say that we are fans, at least of writing about his work if not of the work itself.  And this edition of Cinema Fearité adds one more title to the list; this week, we’re taking a look at Cronenberg’s most controversial film, his 1996 fetish thriller Crash.

EscapesHampton Lansdon Fancher.  You may not recognize the name, but you are no doubt familiar with his work.  His biggest claim to fame is that he wrote the first drafts of the script for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, but he also had an extremely prolific career as a b-level character actor.  But even behind the scenes, Fancher has led a fascinating life.  So fascinating, in fact, that his filmmaker pal Michael Almereyda (Experimenter) made a movie about him.  That movie is called Escapes.

PulseFor the most part, horror movie antagonists are somewhat tangible, whether they’re human killers, monstrous creatures, or demonic spirits.  Sometimes, however, the villain isn’t so clear cut.  Movies like It Follows, Sole Survivor, and the Final Destination movies have more abstract villains, and therefore, they are a different kind of frightening.  The 1988 movie Pulse also falls into the unconventional antagonist category.

Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane DocumentaryAfter getting his start in nonfiction television, documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld has carved out a nice little niche for himself in the music film world with his The U.S. vs. John Lennon and Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?).  Keeping up the momentum, he now explores the life of jazz saxophonist John Coltrane in his newest film, Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary.

King Kong vs. GodzillaAnother death rocked the pop culture world earlier this week.  The name Haruo Nakajima is not instantly recognizable by most, but he was a key figure in many people’s youths - he was the first man to don the Godzilla suit way back in 1954.  He played the King of the Monsters twelve times over the course of 18 years (not including stock footage appearances), beginning with the original 1954 Gojira (and its 1956 American re-edit Godzilla, King of the Monsters!) all the way up to Godzilla vs. Gigan in 1972.  Right in the middle, in 1962, Nakajima got to portray the big guy as he did battle with the other King of the Monsters, King Kong, in the aptly titled King Kong vs. Godzilla.

ObitIn the rapidly declining world of print journalism, newspapers are known for their different sections.  There’s the news and politics section, the funny papers, the sports page…and the obituary column.  Obit takes a good look at the surprisingly lively writers who are responsible for producing the content for that last section.

Disturbing BehaviorMost horror fans will agree that the genre experienced a bit of a lull in the nineties.  Sure, there were some bright spots, like Event Horizon, Nightbreed, and Candyman, but much of the decade’s horror output was dedicated to high-gloss, hip-cast clones of Scream.  Some of these too-cool, slick-and-glossy productions weren’t all that bad, though.  Case in point – the 1998 sci-fi horror flick Disturbing Behavior.

Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter TribeDocumentaries about subcultures are usually fun because they give the viewer a glimpse into a world that they might otherwise have never even known existed.  The new film from Jon Manning, Burlesque: Heart of the Glitter Tribe does just that, and does it in a way that is both informative and entertaining.

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