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'Deadpool' Ushers In A New Age Of R-Rated Superhero Movies
Production: Action Sequences: 
Comedy Factor: 
First introduced in the early '90s, Deadpool the comic book character is by no means a pioneer. His look bears a striking resemblance to Spider-Man, and his powers are essentially the same as the X-Men's Wolverine. But it's Deadpool's sense of humor and fourth wall-breaking that have helped make him standout....

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Despite A Clever Concept, 'Nina Forever' Lacks Bite
Production: Scary Factor: 
It's an age-old story; a young man can't get over the loss of his lover. Well, Nina Forever gives that tale-as-old-as-time a new twist. Nina Forever is about a young man named Rob (Cian Barry from "Doctor Foster") whose girlfriend, Nina (Fiona O'Shaughnessy from "Utopia"), is killed in a car accident. Distraught,...

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'Mojave' Is An Explosive Psychological Thriller With A Brutally Long Fuse
Production: Chemistry: 
Oscar Isaac is one of the hottest young stars in Hollywood right now. He's worked in huge blockbusters (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), critical darlings (Ex Machina), and hipster flicks (Inside Llewyn Davis). And even with all that going on, he still has time to make little independent movies like Mojave. Mojave...

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'Southbound' Is More Than Just A Solid Horror Anthology; It's A Solid Horror Movie
Production: Scary Factor: 
One of the most talked-about horror films of recent times has been the anthology collection V/H/S. It had its detractors, but also found enough fans to warrant not one, but two sequels (V/H/S/2 and V/H/S Viral). Well, instead of just popping out another V/H/S movie, a bunch of the producers and filmmakers from...

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'Hail, Caesar!' Is The Coen Bros. Supremely Sharp Send-Up Of Golden Age Hollywood
Production: Writing: 
Throughout their entire career, the Coen Bros. have vacillated between genres so effortlessly that it's hard to pin down a singular favorite. Some will say that their work on the likes of No Country For Old Men and Fargo has solidified them as dramatists of the highest order. While fans of Raising Arizona and...

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'Pride And Prejudice And Zombies' Needs Less Pride And Prejudice, And More Zombies
Production: Action Sequences: 
Scary Factor: 
Zombies have reached their saturation point in American society. They've not only jumped from the big screen to the small box with television shows like "The Walking Dead" and "iZombie," but they've invaded the sanctity of classic literature with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.Based on the parody mashup of Jane...

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'Monday At 11:01 A.M.' Is A Tame Mystery That Will Be Forgotten By Tuesday
Production: Scary Factor: 
Monday At 11:01 A.M. is about a rich doctor named Michael (Charles Agron from Dark House) who is taking a road trip with his girlfriend, Jenny (stuntwoman Lauren Shaw from Evil Dead and Zero Dark Thirty). The couple stumbles across an idyllic little town and decides to stop, Jenny checking out the quaint shops...

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'The Finest Hours' Is A By-The-Book Rescue Film With Little Dramatic Bite
Production: Acting: 
In the winter of 1952, the oil tanker SS Fort Mercer split in two off the coast of the Northern US, prompting a massive rescue effort that required almost all that the Coast Guard had to offer at the time. However, unbeknownst to most, a second oil tanker, the SS Pendleton, had also split in two, leaving 34 crewman...

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Charlotte Rampling And Tom Courtenay Light Up The Screen In '45 Years'
Production: Acting: 
Score & Soundtrack: 
When the Academy Awards nominations were released a couple of weeks ago, one of the pleasant surprises on the list was Charlotte Rampling's nom for her performance in 45 Years. Not because she's not deserving; far from it, as the actress who has appeared in everything from hokey horror movies like Orca to cable...

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'The Boy' Takes All The Standard Horror Tropes And Lovingly Runs With Them
Production: Scary Factor: 
Traditionally, January is a dumping ground for bad horror movies. Heck, we've already been subjected to The Forest this year, and that's a legitimate candidate for worst-of-the-year. But, we're creeping up on February, so it's got to start getting good sometime, right? Well, let's start off that warming trend...

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The Americanization Of 'Martyrs' Takes Away Most Of Its Bite
Production: Scary Factor: 
Remaking an iconic horror movie is always a risky proposition. Sometimes it works out, like with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Maniac. Other times, not so much, such as with Carrie or Poltergeist. Then, there are times when one wonders why it was even done in the first place. That's the case with Martyrs,...

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'The Lady in the Van' Strands A Good Cast In A Mediocre Movie
Production: Comedy Factor: 
As a title card at the beginning of the movie tells us, The Lady in the Van is "A Mostly True Story" about an elderly homeless lady named Miss Shepherd (Maggie Smith from "Downton Abbey") who lives in a van, moving it from spot to spot on the street to keep it from being ticketed or impounded. She becomes a fixture...

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'Anomalisa' Is As Raw, Honest, Genuine, And Emotional As Stop-Motion Puppets Are Bound To Get
Production: Animation: 
Uniqueness: 
With movies like Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on his resume, writer Charlie Kaufman is well-known for his quirky and strange hipster brand of storytelling. It would only figure that a collaboration between him and fellow director/"Adult Swim" animation specialist...

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Powerful And Disturbing, 'Son of Saul' Shows The Humanity - And The Inhumanity - Of The Holocaust
Production: Cinematography: 
Nothing brings a crowd of happy moviegoers down quite like a film about the Holocaust. One only needs to look so far as Schindler's List or Sophie's Choice to see that. And it's not just American movies that capture that weight; Hungary's Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language Film, Son of Saul, is...

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'The Forest' Takes A Horrifying Idea And Muddles It To Death
Production: Scary Factor: 
The director of The Forest is Jason Zada, the guy behind that creepy little Facebook app Take This Lollipop. For those who are unfamiliar with it, Take This Lollipop was an interactive plugin that accessed the user's Facebook profile, then placed the photos and information into a three minute short film that...

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Alejandro G. Iñárritu's Immersive 'The Revenant' Is The Perfect Combination Of Fact And Fiction
Production: Acting: 
Cinematography: 
The word "Revenant" is derived from the Latin word "reveniens," which means "returning." The term has come to represent a ghost or a person who has come back from the dead. It was also the nickname given to a nineteenth century American frontiersman named Hugh Glass who, of course, seemed to cheat death. It's...

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'Daddy's Home' Offers Few Laughs Despite A Decent Premise
Production: Comedy Factor: 
Will Farrell (Get Hard) and Mark Wahlberg (The Gambler) have paired up again following their successful comedy The Other Guys for Daddy's Home, a movie that doesn't quite know whom to appeal to. The concept, which pits Ferrell's stepfather Brad against biological father Dusty (Wahlberg) in a competition for their...

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Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight' Is Part Western, Part Mystery, And All Awesome
Production: Acting: 
Cinematography: Score & Soundtrack: 
Almost two years ago, the script for writer/director/cinematic wonder-boy Quentin's Tarantino's follow-up to Django Unchained was leaked to the always-thirsty internet, and Tarantino was so pissed off that he considered scrapping the whole thing. Luckily for viewers, he didn't, because The Hateful Eight is an...

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'Joy' Is A Swing-And-A-Miss For The Lawrence-Cooper-Russell Triumvirate
Production: Acting: 
After his last two movies (Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle), writer/director David O. Russell must feel like he's found the perfect formula to Hollywood success: casting Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in whatever he does. While there's no disputing the talent of either actor, there's obviously...

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Frame Of Mind

Hospital MassacreValentine’s Day is coming up, and love is in the air.  When most horror fans think of Valentine’s Day, the movies that come to mind are either My Bloody Valentine (if they’re over 40), Valentine (for the 31-39 crowd), or My Bloody Valentine again (for the reboot crowd who’s under 30).  But there are a few others.  For example, there’s the 1981 psycho-slasher Hospital Massacre.

Maniac (1980)In case you’ve missed it, Cinema Fearité has been on a “Maniac” binge for the past couple of weeks.  First, we examined Dwain Esper’s 1934 scaresploitation classic Maniac, then we explored the 1963 Hammer Pictures thriller Maniac.  This week, we conclude our trilogy with the movie that most horror fans think of instantly when they hear the word “maniac”; the 1980 psycho-slasher Maniac.

Maniac (1963)Last week, Cinema Fearité examined the Dwain Esper 1934 exploitation/educational film Maniac.  This week in our continuing Maniac series, we take a look at the 1963 Hammer Film Productions crime thriller called, of course, Maniac.

Maniac (1934)What’s in a name?  Well, when it comes to horror movies, quite a bit.  If you go too generic, you won’t pique peoples’ interest.  If you’re too specific, you risk giving away plot points or, worse, including inside jokes in your title.  But let’s face it; there are only so many good titles to go around, and some movies are going to end up with the same name, especially when that name is a very general term.  For instance, there have been at least three different movies called Maniac over the last eighty years or so, not counting short films and reboots.  Over the next few weeks, Cinema Fearité will take a look at the three most popular ones, starting with the earliest: a 1934 exploitation film called, of course, Maniac.

I was recently at dinner with a couple who had been told I write about movies. It came as no surprise when they asked me, "What were the best movies you saw this year?" I hate that question, just as much as I hate when someone asks what my favorite film is, or what movie is the greatest ever made. If you're thinking that's an easy question to answer, it's Citizen Kane, I hope we never meet. FilmFracture's James Jay Edwards did an excellent job at picking ten of the best films of 2015, and it got me thinking, "What could I contribute?" Well, I find myself unable to remember most of the films I watch, for various reasons. So what movies do I remember seeing in 2015, and why? I'm about to tell you.

2016 Oscar PreviewIt’s Oscar season again!  The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released the list of nominees for the 88th Academy Awards, with the ceremony scheduled to take place on February 28, 2016.  For the most part, this year’s nominees are disappointingly safe, but there are a few good dark horses here and there that may keep Oscar Night interesting.  Here’s a little look at the nominees, as well as some predictions for who might walk away with the statues.

PhantasmThe horror community suffered yet another crushing blow this past weekend.  As if it wasn’t enough that Wes Craven and Gunnar Hansen passed away this last year, another icon was lost when Angus Scrimm died on Saturday, January 9th.  Over the years, Scrimm became a fixture in horror movies and television shows, appearing in dozens of productions of all sizes and budgets, but fans know and remember him from one role – he was The Tall Man in Phantasm.

The SadistOn New Year’s Day, cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, the man who shot blockbusters like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Deliverance passed away at the age of 85.  During his long and prolific career, Zsigmond worked in just about every genre imaginable and photographed for everyone from Robert Altman to Brian De Palma, but he got his start in quickie westerns and low budget horror films.  His first feature-length movie was the 1963 exploitation flick The Sadist.

Scream for HelpThere’s little doubt that Tom Holland is one of the most prominent Masters of Horror working today.  He practically defined supernatural horror in the eighties as the director of movies like Fright Night and Child’s Play.  Before he sat in the director’s chair, however, he did his time at the typewriter, penning scripts for underground classics such as The Initiation of Sarah, The Beast Within, and Class of 1984.  With his impressive resume, there are bound to be some minor works of his that have flown under the radar.  Scream for Help is one of these underappreciated gems.

James Jay Edwards' Top Ten Movies of 2015Top ten time!  These are my, James Jay Edwards’, top ten favorite movies of the year.  I speak for no one else.

It FollowsIt’s been another wild and crazy year for horror.  As has been the trend lately, horror on the big screen has been pretty stale while VOD has shined, and even though the pickings have been fairly slim, there have still been some great movies.  Here are my top ten horror movies of 2015.

Point BreakSomewhere between timeless classics and forgettable throwaways, there exists a wide catalogue of movies that could benefit from a modern day reboot but would likely fall under the radar if not executed perfectly. Point Break is one such movie. While the original Point Break (1991) is by no means a masterpiece, it's still a decent action caper featuring some delightfully cheesy performances by Patrick Swayze (Roadhouse) and Keanu Reeves (John Wick). A reckless cop enlists with a group of surfers who turn out to be bank robbers, and his close connection with them clouds his judgment. It's pretty standard fare by now, informing future action movies such as Fast and the Furious. Point Break (2015) takes the loose threads of the original and repackages them in the world of extreme sports. Our hero is still a reckless novice named Johnny Utah (Luke Bracey) and opposite him is a fearsome, death-defying thrill chaser named Bodhi (Edgar Ramirez from Deliver Us From Evil). But somewhere in between conception and execution, Point Break either lost focus or started coming apart at the seams, and the end result feels like a movie cobbled together by one poorly conceived plot point after the next.

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'After over a decade of waiting, even longer if you’ve wiped the three prequel’s from your mind, Star Wars is back in a big way. Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Episode 7 in the franchise, has arrived, and brought with it a new direction. Like the original films, The Force Awakens is all about myth building and discovery, creating a mystique that slowly unravels as the 2-hour plus space tale unfolds. We see and hear the familiar sights and sounds of the galaxy far, far away, but it isn’t long before it becomes clear that this is Star Wars for the modern age, thanks in part to the gender and race blind casting.

Hitchcock/TruffautIn 1962, burgeoning young filmmaker François Truffaut approached his idol, the legendary director Alfred Hitchcock, about sitting down for an extended interview about his attitudes and methodologies towards cinema.  Truffaut, a critic as well as a filmmaker, asked all the right questions and Hitchcock affably gave all the right answers, and in 1966, the results were published in veritable bible of auteur film theory, a simply titled book called Hitchcock/Truffaut.  Now, “The Daily Show” writer Kent Jones has turned those conversations into a movie, the also simply titled Hitchcock/Truffaut.

**Read more from Frame Of Mind and the News Section**
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