Aquaman (2018)

James Wan directed “Aquaman” with a lot of confidence. There is very little in the way of indecision in the film; it knows exactly what it is and everything plays into the oddball sort of tone Wan evidently gunned for. It employs the same sort of kinetic slow-motion and commitment to its worldbuilding and central…

Icarus (2017)

If the title didn’t immediately flag it, “Icarus” is high off its own sense of profundity, something punctuated by how the documentary frequently features actual read excerpts from Orwell’s 1984, eventually flat-out structuring itself around quotes from the book. But with its bizarre and compelling pivot from a Super Size Me-esque attempt on the filmmaker’s…

Overlord (2018)

A supernatural, body horror take on an American D-Day mission to disable a Nazi comms tower, “Overlord” opens with a thrilling faux-one take drop from an airplane into the frenzy of war. From there it shrinks into setting up requisite war movie archetypes for its quickly-dropping cast of characters. It perks up when the supernatural…

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

With the absolute glut of superhero films that make it to the screen in any given year now, it’s difficult for any to really stand out. If they’re not repeating a statement, story, or aesthetic from a film in the genre that did so already, they’re conforming to a house style strict enough to make…

Prince of Darkness (1987)

Carpenter smashes together a lot of interests and aesthetics here – time-travelling tachyon transmissions, Catholic conspiracies, body horror, a bevy of science-fiction concepts and gestures at religious iconographies. The result is very 80s and a lot of fun in that self-awarely shlocky horror way. It’s charming. A lot is undercooked, especially the college romance underpinning…

First Man (2018)

A 2018 biopic titled “First Man” invites expectations of, if not a chest-thumping celebration of NASA and its success in landing men on the Moon, then at least a celebration of the life of Neil Armstrong, the titular man itself. The film is neither. It’s not a celebration at all. It’s an relentlessly interior dive…

I Saw the Devil (2010)

“I Saw the Devil” starts out as a well-executed, particularly gruesome revenge horror/thriller movie, with the sort of tropes and violence that come with that. When it turns to the “by the protagonist pursuing revenge, they are in fact becoming like the monster they are pursuing!” morality play in the second act, it feels a…