Author: David Hart

Yes, The Book of Henry is That Bad

Overview: A precocious boy hatches a plot to rescue his neighbor from her abusive stepfather. Focus Features; 2017; Rated PG-13; 105 minutes. A Parade of Mistakes: A lot of things have to go wrong in order for a movie like The Book of Henry to exist. This is a film that deals with loss, childhood sexual abuse, illness, single parenthood, and gifted children. Take a deep breath, that’s a lot. When you look at that list of heavy subjects, you might think that the movie would match that serious tone. Well, you could not be any more wrong. This...

Read More

Berlin Syndrome Zooms in On Star Making Performance

Overview: A passionate infatuation between an Australian tourist and a Berlin native takes an obsessive turn. 2017; Aquarius Films; Rated R; 116 minutes A Return to Form: One of the most underappreciated styles of cinema is a good old, slow-burn thriller. These have existed throughout film’s history, and the style can be seen in classics like The Conversation and more modern films, like The Machinist. However, it seems to be a lost art form that has been replaced by films that take their cues from the horror genre. These films tend to employ a scare (even seemingly unrelated to the plot)...

Read More

The Mummy (1932) Still Looms Over the Landscape of Monster Movies

The Mummy has always been there. Like the best monsters, this creature is omnipresent and unsettling. This is how I felt when finally sitting down to watch the original 1932 version of this Universal creature. The Mummy, along with other seminal creatures, like Dracula and Frankenstein, is something you know even before you have seen it. Whether it was from Saturday Morning Cartoons like Scooby-Doo or dime store Halloween costumes, the Mummy is an absolute fixture. My own personal introduction, strangely, was in a comedy I watched with my father, Abbott & Costello Meet The Mummy. Of course, there...

Read More

Is There Room for Big Ideas in a Big Budget World?

Science fiction is a tricky genre to pin down, and defining it tends to change depending on your audience. Even experts cannot agree on when it started or a true definition. A quick Google search offers up several different viewpoints. They range from the purposefully obtuse: “Science fiction is anything published as science fiction” – Norman Spinrad To the amorphous: “a selective tradition, continuously reinvented in the present, through which the boundaries of the genre are continuously policed, challenged, and disrupted, and the cultural identity of the Science Fiction community continuously established, preserved, and transformed. It is thus essentially...

Read More

War Machine’s Satire Is Off Target

Overview: War Machine examines the rise and fall of military commander General Glen McMahon and his struggles in Afghanistan. Netflix; 2017; Rated R; 121 minutes. War Stories: It seems that we will never have a dearth of war stories on film, and our times are no different. Just this year, Netflix has released two such movies, both set in Afghanistan. War Machine certainly has the star power of a major release, featuring names like Brad Pitt and Ben Kingsley. Also buoying expectations is the previous work of director David Michod, namely The Rover and Animal Kingdom. Taking on a dark...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2