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Paramount

by Daniel Gorman Film Kicking the Canon

Mission: Impossible | Brian De Palma

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…

April 1, 2020
Blockbuster Beat 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
Blockbuster Beat 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
Blockbuster Beat 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
Blockbuster Beat 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
Blockbuster Beat 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
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