The Next Doctor Should Be A Woman

2017 will see the tenth season of the rebooted Doctor Who (the 39th season overall), and also the final season for showrunner Steven Moffatt, who took the reins in 2010 with the introduction of Matt Smith as The Doctor. Moffatt, much like his predecessor Russell T. Davies, was at the helm for two Doctors: Smith and the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi. It is assumed that when Chris Chibnall takes over the show in 2018 he will want to do so with his own Doctor much like the two previous show runners did. The BBC have yet to make the announcement but all the rumblings point to this happening and, logically, it makes sense. Doctor Who is in that...

The Near-Brilliant Anti-Art Depravity of We Are the Flesh Jan11

The Near-Brilliant Anti-Art Depravity of We Are th...

“There is no such thing as love,” the sister (María Evioli) explains to her brother (Diego Gamalie) as she stands over his face, dripping menstrual blood onto his lips, “Only demonstrations of love.” This disturbing sequence is one of a handful in Emiliano Rocha Minter’s shocking new film in which a depraved conceit is paired with dialogue that admits the conceit’s thematic purpose. There is no sly and layered symbolism or disorienting obfuscation here. In this sense, Rocha Minter’s film is less like those of Pier Paolo Passolini, Lars von Trier, or Gaspar Noé (shock cinema royalty against whose...

A Monster Calls Succeeds by Failing as a Fairy Tale Jan10

A Monster Calls Succeeds by Failing as a Fairy Tal...

Overview: A monster helps a young boy come to terms with losing his terminally ill mother. Focus Features; 2016; Rated PG-13; 108 minutes. Messily Ever After: A Monster Calls is a garbage fairy tale. The wicked grandmother is far from wicked. The handsome young prince is sort of petulant and makes every effort to not be a hero. The midnight-visiting monster is better at telling confusing stories than doing any of the standard things that a monster would do. And the ancient magic tree does not cure a damn thing. But J.A. Bayona-directed adaptation of the fantasy novel from Patrick Ness concedes its intention to fail at being a fairy tale...

AE Monthly Book Club: January 2017

Happy New Year’s, everyone! The beginning of a year means a fresh round of book selections for us to enjoy with one another. In order to break in 2017, we’ve selected a novel that’s both challenging and rewarding. The Handmaid’s Tale is sure to get your juices flowing after the holidays. For January we will be reading Margaret Atwood’s classic work of speculative fiction, The Handmaid’s Tale. Released in 1985, the novel is set in a dystopia made from what once was the United States sometime after the government was overthrown by a totalitarian theocracy. It’s not only a book that’s been feeling kind of prescient...

Netflix Hidden Gem # 89: Always

Always (1989) Director: Steven Spielberg Genre: Fantasy Universal Pictures Synopsis: After dying in an accident, aerial firefighter Pete Sandich is enlisted to become the guardian angel of his replacement pilot, Ted Baker, a man who happens to also be in love with his old girlfriend Dorinda Durston. Overview: Perhaps because he tends to wear his influences on his sleeve, it’s always tempting to read Steven Spielberg’s films as his attempts to homage or re-interpret the filmmakers and movies of his youth. Jaws (1975) was his version of a 50s low-budget creature feature; Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) his 30s film serial; Empire of the Sun...

Bangarang! Hook Turns 25

Originally published December 12, 2016.  Hook was the first movie I ever saw in a theater. I was just three years old when the magic of the experience was made known to me. I was enamoured with those thick plush seats, the enormous screen, and the smorgasbord of treats available. More importantly, it was Steven Spielberg who introduced me through Hook to the joy and awe of being transported somewhere unbelievable when its magical scenes were first burned into my tiny toddler mind. It’s because of memories like these that this film holds a special place in the hearts of so many people who saw it as youngsters. Watching it as an adult 25...

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Revisits the Wizarding World Nov21

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Revisits t...

Overview: Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), acclaimed British Magizoologist, finds himself at the center of a civil war between magical and non-magical born Americans in 1920s New York. Warner Bros. Pictures; 2016; Rated PG-13; 133 minutes. Revisiting the Wizarding World: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is among the more effortlessly joyful blockbuster events of the 2016 holiday season. Serving as a prequel to the wildly popular Harry Potter franchise, first-time screenwriter and series author J.K. Rowling has delivered a novel avenue for longtime fans to return to her immediately familiar Wizarding World. Despite the fact that the...

Kong: Skull Island Trailer Released – It’s Good to Be King! Nov17

Kong: Skull Island Trailer Released – ItR...

Unlike Peter Jackson’s divisive King Kong, Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ take on the story seems to promise more action and more of a 70s, Aliens vibe. Gone are the film crews and screeching starlets, replaced by a scientific team going a geographical survey alongside a military escort. The new trailer for Kong: Skull Island shows that a big part of this survey is dropping bombs on the island and it would seem that at least one inhabitant of the place isn’t super keen on that. Kong: Skull Island looks like a whole heap of fun with crazy monsters, gorgeous effects, and a killer cast. Vogt-Roberts seems to be taking the...

AE’s Goblet of Fire: Ranking the Harry Potter Films Nov16

AE’s Goblet of Fire: Ranking the Harry Potte...

“I love magic,” Harry Potter says as he stares in amazement at how the power of magic can turn this little tent into this accommodating big top. Truly, the cinematic depiction of J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World is something to behold, not solely for its epic adventures and enthralling world-building but also for what lies within – the emotional sincerity in character introspection. The Harry Potter film series is definitely a unique series in that it introduces our main characters as they’re in their prepubescent childhood stage and ends their stories as they reach adulthood. This makes the film series stand out; as each film has a greater...

Beauty and the Beast Trailer is Enchanting Nov14

Beauty and the Beast...

Disney continues their successful run of live-action remakes of their classic animated films with Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast tells a tale as old as time and it’s rather obvious from the trailer that this film will be sticking extremely close to the...

Time Freezes for the Wrinkle in Time Mannequin Challenge Nov14

Time Freezes for the...

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle is a beloved kid’s classic that has been adapted as a play, a television movie, and a fantastic graphic novel by Hope Larson. When news broke that a movie adaptation was coming everyone got hyped. Then it was announced that Ava DuVernay was...

Netflix Hidden Gem #81: Jonathan Strange & Mr...

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell Director: Toby Haynes Genre: Fantasy BBC One Synopsis: Three hundred years after magic has left England, two magicians appear. At first they are friends, later they are sworn enemies. Overview: Adapting a novel is a tightrope. What do you keep? What do you discard? Do you consult fans or do you listen to instinct? Do you worry about offending the author? Or do you try to create something uniquely (sort of) your own?An emerging trend has been to take longer source materials and adapt them for TV rather than trying to take an 800 page book or a 60 issue comic books series and cram it into a two hour movie....

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is Delightful Burton Oct07

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children ...

Overview: A young boy journeys to a children’s home to come to terms with the unusual death of his grandfather only to discover that the bedtime stories he was told as a boy we were fictional. Based on the 2011 novel by Ransom Riggs. 2016; 20th Century Fox; Rated PG-13; 127 minutes. Bizarre: Over the years, Tim Burton’s films have often found themselves under fire for lacking in depth and overflowing with outlandish visuals, often bordering on the bizarre. Burton’s signature, quirky style sometimes sacrifices the content for the cover. Sometimes subtlety works with his films, such is the case with 2014’s Big Eyes, but about half the time...

Blue Velvet 30th Anniversary Retrospective

Blue Velvet is the type of film that lingers in your mind long after your first viewing. One that inspires focused and passionate discussion amongst friends. Love it or hate it, it still has people talking to this day, 30 years after its initial controversial release. My friend Eddie says it best: “I don’t like how this movie makes me feel.” Neither did Roger Ebert, by the looks of his infamous scathing review in which he referred to Blue Velvet as “…a story that’s marred by sophomoric satire and cheap shots” but many viewers today find his opinion somewhat misinformed. To this day it is considered one of the best films of the...

Is It Still Scary: Return to Oz

From 1995 to 1996, my sister subjected my family to a daily viewing of The Wizard of Oz. Daily. As in she convinced each of my recently divorced parents that she’d be less traumatized by our broken family if she got to eat Ramen Noodles for dinner every night, sitting in front of the TV, watching her rapidly deteriorating VHS copy of the beloved 1939 classic. Maybe in hopes of expanding our movie collection or perhaps in a desperate fit of, “I can’t fucking watch The Wizard of Oz one more time,” my dad introduced us to Return to Oz, the 1985 sequel-ish to the (set on permanent repeat in the Maxwell household) classic musical. He had a...

Pete’s Dragon Is the Rare Remake Success Story Aug16

Pete’s Dragon Is the Rare Remake Success Sto...

 Overview: A modern day revisionist retelling of the classic Disney film of 1977 that manages to deliver a wondrous reboot that miraculously supersedes the original. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; 2016; Rated PG; 103 minutes. Folklore: Starting with the opening sequence of David Lowery’s remarkable Pete’s Dragon remake, independent film actor and folk singer iconoclast Bonnie “Prince” Billy provides an original musical composition that serves to set the tone for the entire production. The strains and lyrics to “The Dragon Song” serve as an immediate frame of reference throughout Lowery’s on screen direction, imbuing certain folklore...

AE Monthly Book Club: August 2016

Welcome back to the AE Monthly Book Club. Join us as we enter into our seventh month of the club as we head towards the end of the summer season. Just as a refresher for the veterans, and a quick introduction for the newbies, each month we are choosing a book we’d love for everyone to read along with us. Weekly chapter goals will be set out below, and all month you can join the online discussion using the hashtag #AEBookClub as we hop on our high horses and provide our opinions on each book’s movie potential. For the month of August, we have decided that rather than cover a book that has been out for a while, we are going to read through a...

Book to Box Office: The Dark Tower

Book to Box Office: The Dark Tower Based On: The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Expected Release Date: February 17, 2017 Directed By: Nikolaj Arcel Summary: The Dark Tower series follows Roland Deschain of Gilead, the eponymous Gunslinger, on an at first solitary quest through a desolate world of desert in endless pursuit of an evil being known as the “Man in Black,” an evil being in possession of supernatural abilities. Working For It: We still have a ways to go before the movie’s release next year, and since we have not seen any footage, let us focus on the concrete details that we know will work out. At this stage the big selling point is...

The Saving Power of Nostalgia, Nerdism, and Stranger Things Jul20

The Saving Power of Nostalgia, Nerdism, and Strang...

We first meet the boys playing Dungeons & Dragons in a basement. Later, we see a poster for John Carpenter’s The Thing tacked to a wall in a bedroom upstairs in the same house. A flashback sequence shows Will (Noah Schnapp) bonding with his older brother Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) over the music of The Clash, and we catch a poster for Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead hanging on Jonathan’s bedroom wall. When their circumstances are imposed upon with undeniable supernatural influence, the group of social outcasts return to their D&D texts for guidance and understanding. Typically, it’s considered something of an authorial faux pas to directly...

Game of Thrones Season 6 In Review Jul06

Game of Thrones Season 6 In Review

Overview: Season 6 of HBO’s Game of Thrones is over, and all we have left is to watch it all again or read all the books or delve in Audiences Everywhere’s wonderful coverage. This season showed us that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss know when to listen to their fans; last year’s grim misogynist wheel-spinning was replaced with smiles, climaxes and an overflow of powerful women in every corner of Westeros and beyond. The pointless female nudity was scrapped in favour of pointed nudity and dicks for days. With the season over, we’ve put together a little post-season scorecard to relieve some of the best bits of a fantastic...

The BFG Shows a Big Fun Movie and Some Big Quiet Moments Jul05

The BFG Shows a Big ...

Overview: A girl and a giant go on an adventure in Giant Country. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; 2016; Rated PG; 117 minutes. The Big Wonderful Movie: By now, Stephen Spielberg’s name has become synonymous with cinematic wonder and scope. Even the worst of his films – and I use...

AE Monthly Book Club: July 2016

Once again we welcome you back to the AE Monthly Book Club. Join us as we enter into our sixth month of the club in the middle of the summer season. Just as a refresher for the veterans, and a quick introduction for the newbies, each month we are choosing a book we’d love for everyone to read along with us. Weekly chapter goals will be set out below, and all month you can join the online discussion using the hashtag #AEBookClub as we hop on our high horses and provide our opinions on each book’s movie potential. For the month of July, Ryan MacLean has selected The Gunslinger, the first entry in the Dark Tower series, written by Stephen...

American Gods 15 Years Later: The Art of the Con

American Gods posits an incredibly simple and incredibly complex idea: what if all of the settlers who ever arrived in America brought their gods along with them, and when they left, converted, died, or were killed, the gods were left behind? What is a god without worshippers? What is a god without sacrifices, temples, believers, and priests? And if human beings created the gods would our worship of TV, the internet, cars, sports, and credit cards create more gods? And how do these two kinds of gods, the old and the new, co-exist in one country and one time? American Gods was published in 2001.  It is a fantasy novel and a road novel. There...

Game of Thrones: No One Recap

Tonight I want movement, I want violence, and I want Waif to meet her maker at the hands of the Arya Stark via the sharp end of Needle. Season 6, Episode 8: No One Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss Directed by Mark Mylod Recap: We open in Braavos with the mummers and Lady Crane’s revised speech over Joffrey’s corpse. Gone are the tears, replaced with Arya inspired rage. Crane goes backstage and finds Arya, bloodied and hiding and, hopefully not, dying. Crane patches her up, feeds her, and talks about a very stabby past. Crane invites Arya to join the troupe but Arya refuses as the Waif chasing her puts everyone at risk. She tells...

Warcraft is Messy, Ambitious Fan Service That Shouldn’t Be Missed Jun10

Warcraft is Messy, Ambitious Fan Service That Shou...

Overview: Orcs and humans come to blows over a land both wish to call home. Universal Pictures; 2016; PG-13; 123 Minutes. The World of Warcraft: The source material in Warcraft makes The Silmarillion look like How to Mythology for Dummies. It covers thousands of generations, races, and fabric-reality-tearing magical logistics with an empathetic approach to fantasy only rivaled by A Song of Ice and Fire and Lord of the Rings. We had to quietly know the movie adaptation wasn’t going to perfectly ease general audiences toward the lore, but boy, does it get close.  It takes a specific type of devotion to fully submerge oneself into a fantasy...