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Paramount

#KickingtheCanon by Daniel Gorman Film

Mission: Impossible | Brian De Palma

April 1, 2020

In their 2015 documentary, De Palma, Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow let iconoclastic writer/director Brian De Palma speak about each of his films, chronologically, from early student films to 2013’s Passion. A fascinating (if minor) document, De Palma serves one important function: it locates a linear narrative within De Palma’s wildly varied career. Here’s a man who has directed at least one bona fide horror classic (Carrie); a rock n’ roll, musical-horror hybrid (Phantom of the Paradise); a couple of…

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#BlockbusterBeat by Steven Warner Film

Sonic the Hedgehog | Jeff Fowler

“I’m not in the mood to get probed today.” “You think you’re worried? I’m not even wearing pants!” And so goes the humor of Sonic the Hedgehog, 2020’s adaptation of the classic ‘90’s SEGA video game. That conversation takes place between our furry hero…

February 17, 2020
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Shaft | Tim Story

Gordon Parks’s 1971 Shaft is now almost 50 years old. The film didn’t begin the blaxploitation subgenre, but it was certainly its most popular example up until that time — and both the title character and the actor who played him, Richard Roundtree, quickly…

June 13, 2019
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Bumblebee | Travis Knight

It’s kind of hard to imagine that the multi-billion-dollar Transformers franchise has never previously leaned hard on nostalgia for the beloved ’80s toys and cartoon series that inspired it. Michael Bay’s films — all five of them — are anxious corporate cacophony; expensive commercials for…

December 20, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

A Quiet Place | John Krasinski

The opening of of A Quiet Place leaves you primed for an arthouse-inflected genre film, like something A24 would release, or that Alex Garland might direct. Shot with moody lighting and Malick-y closeups, a family silently raid an abandoned pharmacy, on what we’re informed is “Day 82” of something. All the…

April 6, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Annihilation | Alex Garland

Annihilation practically sits up and begs to be regarded as high-minded genre cinema. But really, it’s a thuddingly literal handful of barely engaged ideas and dangling plot threads standing in for conceptual and narrative ambiguity. Extremely loosely based on a novel by Jeff VanderMeer, writer/director Alex…

February 22, 2018
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

mother! | Darren Aronofsky

It’s difficult to argue that Darren Aronofsky’s films are poorly executed, at least on a formal level; his largely allegorical works are often manic, intense, portentous, and meticulously designed, it’s just that they’re also so sophomorically pleased with themselves, rarely approaching their allegories from a perspective…

September 15, 2017
#BlockbusterBeat by Matt Lynch Film

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back | Edward Zwick

2012’s Jack Reacher was, at its best, an amusingly bare-bones action movie with a level of simplicity that may have felt a bit like a gritty ’70s throwback to some, but that more realistically resembled a made-for-cable movie circa the early ’90s. Never Go Back doubles…

October 21, 2016
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