#BlockbusterBeat

#BlockbusterBeat by Lawrence Garcia Film

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Tired of superhero origin stories? Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is here to fix that. The film’s nominal hero is Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), who’s bitten one day by a radioactive spider and, well, you know the rest. Or at least you think you do.…

December 20, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Creed II | Steven Caple Jr.

Whereas 2015’s Creed transcends its station as essentially the seventh Rocky due in large part to director Ryan Coogler’s reliance on his actors’ emotional intelligence, and his ability to balance character nuance and broad narrative strokes, Creed II resembles not much more than a generic Rocky sequel. Coogler’s out, and new director Steven Caple Jr. abandons the complex…

November 21, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Widows | Steve McQueen

After celebrated prestige pictures like Shame and 12 Years a Slave, you’d be forgiven for expecting something less disreputable from Steve McQueen than Widows. But McQueen’s normal tendencies toward making “important” work (not to mention his gorgeous, tactile images) add essential texture to what’s basically a rambunctious…

November 16, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Girl in the Spider’s Web | Fede Álvarez

David Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was less about the mystery of a serial killer picking off women, more about investigating its lead character, Lisbeth Salander. Nearly a complete enigma, Salander nevertheless served as a nodal point for Fincher’s obsession with digital/analog contrasts and his penchant for…

November 9, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Daniel Gorman Film

Halloween | David Gordon Green

Whatever its flaws (and they are myriad), director David Gordon Green’s Halloween is certainly a good looking film: Cinematographer Michael Simmonds mimics John Carpenter’s 1978 original through subtle use of an autumnal palette, and by allowing slightly overcast and gray skies to appear without excessive…

October 25, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

The Predator | Shane Black

The stripped-down premise and formal exactitude of John McTiernan’s 1987 Predator are precisely not present in Shane Black’s The Predator, the latest attempt to drag-out and elaborate on a franchise that shouldn’t be burdened by much more than ‘scary monster kills people.’ This new installment collapses under the weight…

September 14, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Daniel Gorman Film

Kin | Jonathan & Josh Baker

From a distance, Kin looked like a pretty promising mid-budget sci-fi. But if you can’t engage in Marvel-style big budget spectacle, you better have some ideas on deck to make up for it, and unfortunately, Kin doesn’t deliver on that front. The film starts off well…

September 7, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Peppermint | Pierre Morel

Riley North’s (Jennifer Garner) retribution in Peppermint doesn’t begin with her husband and daughter being murdered by drug dealers. It begins with some other, more wealthy mom lecturing her for selling girl scout cookies in the wrong parking lot. Then Riley has to skip her own kid’s…

September 7, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Daniel Gorman Film

BlacKkKlansman | Spike Lee

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman tells the story of a black police officer in 1970s Colorado who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan. But Lee is also telling the story of a current America that has not grown or progressed — not really — and forcing us to recognize that…

August 21, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Mile 22 | Peter Berg

Releasing a steady stream of vaguely jingoistic docudramas all starring Mark Wahlberg as a hero/patriot, Peter Berg has become a bit of a joke as a filmmaker over the last few years. So it’s easy to forget that, even given their fluctuating levels of overall…

August 16, 2018