Author: Diego Crespo

The Foreigner Disappoints With Stone-Faced Dad-Core

Overview: Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan share the screen in a heavy dad-core action thriller. STXfilms; 2017; Rated R; 114 minutes. Dad-Core Strikes Back: Jackie Chan is one of the greatest discoveries in film history. An action superstar who transcended borders and is beloved worldwide. Pierce Brosnan is also an adored action star thanks to his part in the legacy of James Bond. They are practically global icons greatly respected in the industry for their craft and ability to bring a crowd-pleasing attitude to action films. But perhaps the most undervalued asset of both Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan...

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Blade Runners: More Human Than Human

*This article is filled with spoilers for Blade Runner 2049. Please proceed with caution.* Could Rick Deckard and Officer K be any more different? In characterization, the two represent wholly different approaches to characterization. Deckard is a fundamentally flawed being who has little interest in life. K is almost immediately revealed to be a replicant whose only job is to exterminate other replicant models. Deckard’s journey is one of revelation in his embracing of humanity, while K longs for a mere ounce of it. Even the respective films start with vastly different statements. Blade Runner opens with the industrialized...

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A Double-Billing of ’80s Pop Horror: Welcome to Fright Night

Is there a better title for a horror movie like this? Not outright terrifying, just an all around crowd pleaser that just leaps off the screen. Fright Night. It has that special zing when you say it. Though vampires are stewards of the night eternal, it’s a harder task to keep them fresh. Fresher than a clove of garlic, anyway. One of the first films to play with meta genre conventions on a large scale, Fright Night doesn’t attempt to redefine the vampire mythos like Near Dark or The Lost Boys. It merely implements them with a coming of...

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American Made Showcases One of the Last American Outlaws

Overview: Doug Liman and Tom Cruise re-team to give us the dark spiritual sequel to Top Gun we never had. Universal Pictures; 2017; Rated R; 115 minutes. The American Dream: American Made is the mostly true story of Barry Seal, an American pilot who became a smuggler for the CIA, DEA and Medellin Cartel. In the vein of films analyzing chaos through entertainment like Wolf of Wall Street and The Big Short, American Made looks back at a final frontier in American history. In interviews, Liman and Cruise refer to piloting in the 80s as the last bastion of...

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In Defense of Alien 3: Assembly Cut

Originally published on November 6, 2014. I’ve always enjoyed the Alien films. Yes, even Alien: Resurrection which is definitely not good, but I enjoy it nonetheless. Mostly as a guilty pleasure, I watched the theatrical release of Alien3 quite often as well because of the surprisingly high kill count (I loved slashers back then. Kill count/creativity was everything to me). The main characters from the previous film were all dead, minus Ripley, and characters set up to fall into traditional Alien franchise roles are almost instantly axed. That was something the film does well in both cuts. But I’ve...

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Still Believing with The Lost Boys 30 Years Later

It’s classic vampire storytelling for vampires to seduce their victims. Innocents are entranced by an inescapable aura, swept up in the vampire’s desire. There’s a formalist sense to vampire horror, that they’ll take the time to handle murders with class so as not to ruin their favorite suits. With Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys,  that formalist horror unfolds in an unbridled 1980s. Gritty punk aesthetics, rebellious teens and an inescapable sense of constant entertainment. Even during the day, there’s a feeling that the nightlife never truly stops in Santa Clara. Not while the underbelly of the beach-side town is...

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We Are Who We Choose To Be: Heroes and Villains in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy

“We are who we choose to be, Spider-Man. Now, choose!” Spider-Man as a character has always been about choice. Peter choosing to let the bank robber escape the wrestling match made him responsible for his Uncle’s death. After his high during the discovery of his new abilities, it’s beyond sobering to have a kid screw up so monumentally. It’s world-altering and will always drive the character. If he has the ability to help people, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t. Actions have consequences. With great power, comes great responsibility. The abilities imbue him with confidence but put everyone he...

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