Monthly Archives

September 2015

#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Martian | Ridley Scott

September 30, 2015
the martian

In addition to the spectacle of characters struggling to outlast the elements, survival-specific adventure films typically involve some sort of additional antagonist. Some guy’s trapped in the woods? There’s probably a hungry bear around. Stranded on a desert island? Maybe cannibals, or some kind of prehistoric lizard. Even Interstellar, a film primarily concerned with the unforgiving vastness of time and space and inevitable loss, went ahead and dragged poor Matt Damon out as a bad guy astronaut…

Continue Reading

#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Sicario | Denis Villeneuve

September 22, 2015
Sicario

After a raid gone bad, FBI Agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt, on a hell of a winning streak) is detailed by a “consultant” (Josh Brolin), probably CIA, to ride shotgun on what’s supposed to be a trip to Phoenix but turns out to be over the border in Juarez. Also tagging along is the mysterious Alejandro (Benicio del Toro), who is so stoic and immediately, obviously hyper-competent that he’s instantly terrifying. Macer knows she’s in over her head, but her…

Continue Reading

#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Black Mass | Scott Cooper

September 17, 2015
Black Mass

Director Scott Cooper has a knack for casting up unremarkable films with great performers and turning them loose, depending on them to transcend otherwise unremarkable material. Crazy Heart had Jeff Bridges filling in for Robert Duvall in a Tender Mercies knockoff (Duvall was also in it anyway). Out of the Furnace had Christian Bale scowling through another blue-collar noir, a subgenre paying increasingly low dividends. In Black Mass he’s got Johnny Depp, in a typically physical, idiosyncratic…

Continue Reading

#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Visit | M. Night Shyamalan

September 10, 2015
The Visit (2015)

M. Night Shyamalan might be on the ropes both in terms of his critical perception and industry clout. His last four films were widely (it could be argued, unfairly) disliked by both critics and audiences, and his name was even conspicuously absent from promotional materials for his most recent movie, Will Smith star-vehicle After Earth. Perhaps the low budget of a cheap found footage movie offered him a measure of control the major studios no longer can, or perhaps it was the…

Continue Reading