Full disclosure: I’m afraid of the dark. As soon as I walk into a darkened room I rush to the nearest light switch. I’ll use my phone’s flashlight to guide the way if the switch is far, and sometimes I’ll leave all the lights if I’m home alone. Your eyes play tricks on you in the dark – What was that? Oh, just the cat. Wait, I don’t have a cat! There’s security and comfort in being able to see your surroundings, which makes the premise of David Sandberg‘s ‘Lights Out’ even more terrifying.
It’s been a while since the crew of the Starship Enterprise visited a strange new world in search of new life and civilizations. The Star Trek of television was full of strange new worlds; the Enterprise seemed to discover one every single week. The Trek movies, so focused on special effects, violence, and intricate revenge plots, have frequently strayed from Trek’s original mission. And while there’s plenty of action and excitement in Star Trek Beyond, there’s also a clear attempt to return this series to its core principles: Exploration, diplomacy, teamwork, and the hope for a better tomorrow. After the missteps of the punishingly bleak and the unfortunately rehashy Star Trek Into Darkness, it’s a necessary and welcome course correction; a Star Trek back into the light.
We published our spoiler-free review of Ghostbusters earlier this week, but there’s only so much you can discuss without touching on the fine points. Now that Ghostbusters is out in theaters everywhere, it’s time to go deeper, with ScreenCrush’s SPOILER-filled discussion of Paul Feig’s new reboot.
Bryan Cranston is back at it with the drug business in ‘The Infiltrator,’ but this time he’s breaking good.
The very last line of Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters is “That isn’t terrible at all,” dialogue that can only be interpreted as a final nod to a fanbase that has worked itself into a lather fretting about this reboot’s tone, special effects, and particularly its female-centric cast. It feels sort of like when the doctor gives you a pep talk after a shot you’ve been dreading: That wasn’t so bad now, was it?
“In a democracy,” says Holly Hunter’s Senator Finch in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, “good is a conversation, not a unilateral decision.” The 32 minutes added to the movie’s “Ultimate Edition,” now available digitally and released on Blu-ray and DVD July 19, include a lot of unnecessary shoe leather, and fills in gaps that don’t need the extra gob of narrative spackle.
There’s nothing new or marvel about cute cuddly talking animals; they’ve been the center of animated feature films since the earliest days of animation. But in ‘The Secret Life of Pets,’ the age old shtick still works.
In 2013, The Purge introduced an interesting horror concept: In the not-too-distant future, the government allows citizens to commit violent crimes for one night each year. That first film featured a nice white suburban family besieged by yuppie college kids, only fleetingly paying any mind to more fascinating ideas about class warfare. The Purge: Anarchy further established the mythology of the franchise by weaving a “one percent vs. the 99 percent” element into a tale of revenge. In 2016, we have The Purge: Election Year, which turns the sociopolitical commentary up to 11 in the most ridiculous, relevant installment of the series yet. Far from nuanced allegory, the sequel splits the difference between satire and low-brow camp in a film that could just as easily be The Idiot’s Guide to Being Woke in 2016.
The Legend of Tarzan, based on the pulp hero by Edgar Rice Burroughs, focuses on a version of the jungle hero who’s long since given up swinging on vines and yelling at the top of his lungs. He doesn’t even answer to the name Tarzan anymore; he’s John Clayton, Lord of Greystroke and a famous celebrity in England, where he lives with Jane, who’s now his wife. He’s sort of like the version of Hercules from the underrated Dwayne Johnson movie from 2014, the “real” man behind a puffed-up myth. He’s also sort of like Gene Wilder’s character from Young Frankenstein without the sense of humor; denying his history and lying to himself about his true identity until the day his past comes back to haunt him. If “Young Frankenstein, but not funny” sounds like a troubling description for a movie, it should.
The BFG — or “Big Friendly Giant” — spends his days in Giant Country, collecting dreams from a magical tree and distributing them to the people of the world. He seems like just the sort of character who would appeal to Steven Spielberg, a big friendly giant of the film world whose work has stimulated the imaginations of millions of moviegoers. But Spielberg doesn’t fully communicate that appeal with his film version of The BFG, which contains a fair amount of lovely images but may be the director’s most listless and dramatically inert movie in decades.