Category Archives: MOVIES

‘Eighth Grade’ About as Bad as You Remember

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Comedian, and now writer/director Bo Burnham has released his first feature Eighth Grade, starring Elsie Fisher as awkward, in-between Kayla Day.

Kayla is trying like almost anyone her age to be cool and fit in in the fast paced, technology-laden world of teens today. We watch, many times, as Kayla creates videos for her YouTube channel: advice on things like being yourself and fitting in. These videos highlight the ways in which Kayla makes an effort to find these things in life and within herself.

Throughout, we are privy to awkward conversations with Dad (Josh Hamilton), the muted sharp glares to and from ‘popular’ girl Kennedy and a handful of awesomely socially tragic clashes with equally awkward and removed teen boys. Everyone in their own world amid a sea of extremely thick atmosphere that feels all too familiar, compressed and leaves you gasping.

A note here on the score: It comes far too often, too loud. The chosen songs sound hastily made and are in such jarring contrast with the film itself, it further warps whatever is left to be gleaned from on screen. There is no matching of emotion or intention, merely blaring beats better used elsewhere.

The direction style doesn’t favor glamour shots, opting instead for a well lived-in feel. The costumes and scenery are muted, everyday colorful: very grounded in reality, glittered with iPhones and punctuated by so many uhms and ahs.

Burnham clearly has an adept feel for the material, but this is also his downfall. The strangest bit comes during an active shooter drill (yes, of course) followed almost immediately by an earthquake preparedness drill. This evasion tactic practice leads to some reaching attempts at innocent flirting tinged with a hint of the salacious, terrifying trouble it could bring. On many occasions we are set up with something that pushes beyond the grainy film of the movie into interesting and gripping territory, only for it to be deflated moments after; this uneven rise and fall gives the movie a meandering feel that never quite reaches the apex of understanding it needs to drive home just what is important here.

To say this movie has merit is to say a lot, outside of style and deadly accurate tone, the structure crumbles in on itself and the message, if there is one, is lost. Moments of reflection and success are muddled through and perhaps that is the point, however, this makes for a trying and very painful watch that doesn’t seem to know which audience it wants to pull in.

Is this meant to be a burdened nostalgia cringefest for those that have grown through the struggles of young adulthood? Or is there a message amid the noise for the ones coming up in the now? This film is rated ‘R’, so the latter seems a stretch at best. Presenting the dredge of middle school without resolve is certainly bold, but this film stumbles more than it strides.

If the idea of a mostly accurate depiction of the slow ache of growing pains sounds intriguing, give this one a watch when it comes to DVD or the streaming service of your choice.

A24, highly regarded production company, and noted comedian Bo Burnham have taken us to school, and it isn’t pretty.

 

Check out Zachary Levi as Shazam

This week marks the beginning of San Diego comic-con. the one time every year where nerds gather in droves to celebrate their favorite pieces of pop culture. This year is expected to be one filled with a lot of things DC. We have an Aquaman trailer or teaser potentially dropping. There are rumblings of a new, crazy story comic to DC Comics, and now we have Shazam.

Shazam is looking to be one of the more lighthearted films in the DCEU. It’s hard to see Zachary Levi as a down and dark superhero. Shazam has always been the noble, cheery type, and hopefully this translates well into a live action film.

This shot right here might give us a glimpse into what the Shazam film might turn out to be. A fun-filled romp to bring the DCEU back on track. It’s too soon to say of course. Keep your eyes and ears open when it comes to news out of SDCC. We might be getting a sneak peek at what can be a real refreshing move in the DC cinematic universe.

House of Leaves Pilot Script Teases New Ways to Warp Storytelling

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Having as high a regard and reverence as the novel, House of Leaves has, it would seem eminent that television would try and swallow it whole, regurgitating some vague semblance of the experience so many of us have, and still are going on.

Mark Z. Danielewski is having none of that.

A short month ago, first in a Facebook discussion group, then to the wider world, Danielewski revealed a pilot script for a recently defunct attempt at bringing House of Leaves to the small streaming screen. Disagreement abound, the project (for now?) has come to a halt, but the germ of the idea has been planted.

Fans and critics alike have been swept up in the unsurprisingly ambitious turn that the pilot script has taken. Much like current “peak” television, Danielewski has crafted a pilot that is beyond description. Distilling the tones contained in which is sure to go down as his Magnum Opus, MZD shows a deft hand at mediums beyond literature ad photography.

For those familiar, MZD has been hard and fast on “if you want to see the movie, read the book.”

Continue reading House of Leaves Pilot Script Teases New Ways to Warp Storytelling

New Poster For Upcoming Aquaman Movie Revealed

On July 16 we were treated to a brand new Aquaman poster in anticipation for the trailer unveiling at San Diego comic con this Saturday.

The poster depicts Aquaman swimming through Atlantis with loads of underwater creatures gathering behind.

The film is set to be released December 21, 2018

Cloverfield 4 Already Done?

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It’s being reported that Overlord, the WWII film being produced by Bad Robot and Paramount is not only done filming, but is actually the next installment in the Cloverfield anthology. It seems like the Cloverfield rumor mill has gone from zero to a hundred in the matter of only a couple days. With the announcement of Cloverfield 3 aka God Particle hopefully keeping the new release day of April 20, 2018, it seems like fans are in for a Clover-filled year. Not only is the news of two new releases in the series enough to stir up some excitement, but it’s also being reported that Netflix is looking to pick up the kaiju/sci-fi anthology franchise.

There is also some ARG buzz beginning to pick up as well. This is the Reddit thread I solely rely on, and it’s updated very frequently.

Here’s my video discussing the updates: