An incredible cast, dialogue lifted from a Tarantino film, and the ambiance of a certain 2003 psychological thriller directed by James Mangold. Bad Times at the El Royale has too many influences and not enough unique traits to establish its own identity. Chris Hemsworth's hips don't lie, tho.
Venom is a film that has been in the works for over two decades. With that kind of history and four people writing the screenplay, you'd think it would be better than it is. It's a complete mess that is mesmerizing and humorous at times, but is mostly boring and unfulfilling.
Between Worlds is the first film from Fantastic Fest 2018 that I watched and is one of the worst. Nic Cage sleazes up every frame of this thing while Franka Potente and Penelope Mitchell look on in dumbfounded disbelief.
As far as animated films go, Laika looked so strange that it caught my attention right away. Based on Russia launching a dog into space in 1957, Laika takes a creative turn and has the dog crash land on an alien planet ready to begin a new life with new animal and alien friends.
A Chilean stop-motion animated film that isn't the most pleasant of experiences, The Wolf House is uniquely animated with imagery plucked straight from the darkest depths of nightmare fuel, but its aimlessness keeps its enjoyment to a minimum.
2011's The FP is so absurd that it's great. Now writer and director Jason Trost is back with a crowdfunded sequel that is twice as ridiculous and double the awesome even if the ducks aren't what they used to be.
Loaded with chainsaws, psychedelic drugs, decapitations, angry masturbation, tripped out conversations, and Nic Cage at his most insane, the Panos Cosmatos written and directed action horror film Mandy is blood-drenched lunacy that is absolutely a must-see.
The Fantastic Fest 2017 film is screening in Houston for one-night only at 7:30pm at Alamo Drafthouse - LaCenterra. The South African western features a masterful pace with beautiful cinematography and a plethora of intriguing characters. Five Fingers for Marseilles is well-worth seeking out.
Masaaki Yuasa's latest film is fluid, bizarre, and enjoyable. The Night is Short, Walk on Girl is about making the most of one night, being honest with your feelings, and drinking without thinking about the repercussions.
Searching utilizes a peculiar format that may seem odd at first, but it actually enhances its storytelling. Combined with an impeccable performance from John Cho, Searching is a theatrical experience that should not be missed.
Lighthearted and inspiring, Donnie Yen's turn as a first time teacher with a troubled past is a positive and different turn for the Chinese superstar. The action is great and the drama masterfully plucks your heartstrings. Big Brother is mostly a grand slam that is well worth seeing.
The abrupt departure of James Gunn as director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 has left one of the most enjoyable teams of the MCU with unknown fates. This is a not-so-serious list of directors who could (but probably won't) fill Gunn's empty director chair.
Huang Bo's comedy-drama is probably about 60% of what you're expecting and 40% unique. Humanity is capable of sinister things when faced with desperation. Survival instincts kick in as morality is replaced with sheer desire and greed.
Summer of 84 is a horror film that doesn't know how to provide the horror. There's an insane amount of character development and teenage hijinks, but a conclusion with a knife, a few slices, and a pep talk don't make up for 90-minutes of buildup and no scares.
Spike Lee's retelling of Ron Stallworth's 1979 infiltration into the KKK is intriguing from start to finish and leaves plenty to contemplate in how it relates to the events of today.
The sequel to Kim Yong-hwa's South Korean action fantasy drama lacks the emotional wallop of the original film, but still provides a fascinating look at what awaits us after we die.
With its home release on July 17, 2018, Isle of Dogs is so good as an animated film. It's just a shame the bonus features are so brief. At least the film looks great in high-definition.
Elijah Bynum's writing and directorial debut is part Scarface, part Saved by the Bell, and part The Social Network but it does little to establish any sort of identity of its own. At least Timothée Chalamet got to raid Steve from Blue's Clues closet before filming began.
Director Gus Van Sant's first film in three years is based on the life and tribulations of a quadriplegic alcoholic and cartoonist named John Callahan. Joaquin Phoenix, Jonah Hill, Jack Black, and Rooney Mara help make this one of the most powerful and moving films of the year.
Four years after the first film, Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington are back featuring a Robert McCall that gives back to the community, spends a significant amount of time encouraging a drug dealer to paint over his problems, and is in desperate need of a five star rating on Lyft.
Boots Riley has delivered one of the most original comedies of the year. Starring Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, and Jermaine Fowler, Sorry to Bother You is an unusually brilliant comedy that is unlike anything you've ever seen.
A Clive Barker adaptation by Versus director Ryuhei Kitamura starring Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, and Vinnie Jones. The horror film is incredibly faithful to Barker's short story of the same name and it has some fantastic kills.
They should have Bring Your Dog Screenings of this like they did with Isle of Dogs. Grab yourself a helping of candy corn casserole and a huge glimpse of Christopher Lloyd's butt double, Boundaries tries to be meaningful but is mostly candy coated desperation.
The fourth entry in The Purge franchise is a prequel that makes you care even less about a franchise that probably should have ended two years ago. Starring a bunch of nobodies other than a stale Marisa Tomei, The First Purge is an annoying way to celebrate our independence.
Noboru Iguchi makes some outrageously violent yet absurd films. The craziness in The Machine Girl is so ridiculous that it reaches its own unique levels of entertainment. Like ninjas and blood geysers? Decapitations and chainsaws? The Machine Girl has got you covered.
Back in 2007, Ryan Gosling made weird and unusual captivating and delightful in one of Craig Gillespie's first films as a director. Sometimes all you need to overcome your introverted personality is a sex doll with a heart of gold.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang has Shane Black in the director's chair for the first time combining noir and comedy like no one else can. With memorable and hysterical performances from both Robert Downey Jr and Val Kilmer, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang has not only aged well but is still one of Black's best films.
The first film David Ayer ever wrote, directed, and produced is a crime film starring Christian Bale and Freddy Rodriguez. It's not Ayer's best and Bale's performance is the best part, but it's a decent watch that deserves to have a better reputation.
One of the weirdest, loudest, craziest, and most amazing 55-minute Japanese films to ever be released. Tadanobu Asano is pretty great in general, but give him an electric guitar and a lizard infatuation and he's even more awesome.
Neil Marshall's sci-fi extravaganza clutters itself by feeling like three different films in one. Maybe it's because it basically rips off Mad Max or that Marshall brings the horror vibe from his previous films directly into this misshapen world, but Doomsday is silly and amusing for what it is.
If you've ever wondered how painfully bad the zombie genre could get, look no further than Dance of the Dead. The absolute best thing about this film is Lucas Till's brief cameo as one of the rockers.
Before Batman Ninja, Batman: Gotham Knight was the only Batman anime out there. Six stories mostly unrelated to each other awesomely animated by four different production studios. At 76-minutes, Gotham Knight is smooth and creamy animation that's easy to digest.
The first film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy and Christian Bale's debut as The Dark Knight. Long before the Martha thing was relevant, Batman received the reboot he deserved.
Michael Feifer's underwhelming representation of the B.T.K. murders is made watchable due to Kane Hodder's strong screen presence. The intense kills are surprisingly creative in their execution, as well.
Ever wanted a German ripoff of The Silence of the Lambs? Christian Alvart has you covered. Norman Reedus has been taking some German lessons and wants to show the handful of phrases he's mastered for a pro bono role.
Adam McKay's idiotic comedy starring Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Karell, David Koechner is just as dumb as it was when it hit theaters 14 years ago, but its one-liners are also just as epic. It's like Dumb and Dumber, but with more Sex Panther.
From the director of 50/50 and the actress from John Carpenter's last directed film that everyone hated comes the slasher film that sat on the shelf for seven freakin' years.
Stanley Kubrick's ultraviolent classic holds up insanely well for its age and Malcolm McDowell is extraordinary in his first big on-screen role.
A Thai horror comedy that redefines the desperation an average man faces when faced with the opportunity of becoming wealthy in an instant. Can one be pushed too far? Is any one task too revolting and too gruesome to complete?
A recap of the first two days of Comicpalooza X, which took place during Memorial Day weekend in Houston, TX.
Anime director and master of warping animation Masaaki Yuasa returns with the Adobe Flash animated film, "Lu Over the Wall." Mermaids dance, sharks give advice on fish, and dogs take to the sea. The film is total bizarre bliss.
Director Jason Reitman, writer Diablo Cody, and actress Charlize Theron reunite for a comedy-drama about motherhood that is scary, real, and hilarious.
After ten years and nearly 20 films, the entire MCU culminates in the brilliant and devastating "Avengers: Infinity War." Directed by the Russo brothers and starring nearly everyone from every Marvel Studios film.
Hearts Beat Loud had its premiere at Sundance back in January of 2018 and played again at SXSW in March. It is currently set for a limited June 8, 2018 release in New York and Los Angeles. It played in Houston as part of Movie Hullabaloo at Alamo Drafthouse Mason Park on Saturday, April 14.
I traveled to Whistler, British Columbia, Canada in April of 2018. Here's a detailed rundown of the things I saw, the people I encountered, and the activities I partook in over the course of three days filled with outrageous beauty and disturbingly mesmerizing wilderness.
Now playing in 3D, RealD, IMAX 3D, and conventional movie theaters across the country. Steven Spielberg introduces the world to a future overflowing with a gut punch directly to everything you loved as a child.
The Max Winkler directed R-rated comedic drama stars Zoey Deutch and is now playing in theaters. The film also stars Dylan Gelula, Maya Eshet, Joey Morgan, Kathryn Hahn, Tim Heidecker, Adam Scott, and Eric Edelstein.
Now playing in Houston. Wes Anderson's latest venture into stop-motion animation is a fantastically detailed visual wonderland with a whimsical score. Don't miss this wonderfully imaginative film.
Dropping on DVD and Blu-ray April 24, 2018, 7 Guardians of the Tomb is a bad movie that knows it's bad and it feels like it's kind of ashamed of it.
The sort-of, not-really sequel to Operation Mekong has Dante Lam returning to write and direct and Zhang Hanyu comes back to not do much of anything.
Michael Haneke's Austrian drama starring Isabelle Huppert and Jean Louis-Trintignant finally gets its theatrical release in Houston two months after the fact.
Don't hate the panther. Hate the (ancestral) plane. Ryan Coogler's "Black Panther" starring Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong'o, and Michael B. Jordan is now playing in theaters everywhere.
It's a sad day when a film that is stop-motion animated feels like just another cookie cutter piece of animated fluff, but that's exactly what you get with Early Man.
Currently available on Steam for $14.99 or you could bundle the game with the soundtrack and/or artbook for a few extra bucks.
Bound, gagged, and thank the almighty French tickler in the sky this franchise is finally over. Fifty Shades Freed ruins your romantic escapades this Valentine's Day.
If you go out of your way to watch predictable patriotic puke, then this war drama is now playing in theaters for you to throw your hard earned American currency at.
If we've learned anything from this film, it's never to have kids, keep the power tools away from your parents, and always have a box of Froot Loops on standby in case Nicolas Cage drops in.
If you insist on willingly throwing yourself in front of this wobbly train, the Liam Neeson/Jaume Collet-Serra clackety fourquel is now playing in theaters.
Writer and director Kim Yong-hwa's fantasy drama is a sentimental expedition stuffed with impeccable acting, creative cinematography, and gorgeous special effects.
The second half of my favorite films of 2017. Films shown at Fantastic Fest are included. Enjoy.
Out of the many films seen over the course of the year, here are my personal favorite from 2017. This is the first half; 25-16. Includes films from Fantastic Fest. Enjoy.
Did you ever think you'd be laughing out loud and feeling sympathetic towards Tonya Harding 23 years later? I, Tonya does just that and it should be playing in most theaters now.
Available on Netflix now. David Ayer, Max Landis, and Will Smith spend $90 million to a somewhat satisfying extent.
Rian Johnson arrives with what is the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back and what is quite possibly the best Star Wars film to date.
If you start a revolution, be sure to bring enough pamphlets. Taika Waititi's superhero sequel starring Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, and Cate Blanchett hits theaters November 3.
A car crash made me blind and all I learned was how to be a sleazy scumbug in four different countries. Starring Ryan Reynolds' wife and the guy that was John Connor in the worst Terminator ever.
The horror sequel is now available on digital and video on demand services. Stars Mark Duplass, Desiree Akhavan, and Karan Soni. Directed by Patrick Brice.
Jackie Chan combines Breaking Bad and Taken for an unforgettable performance in Martin Campbell's "The Foreigner."
Josh Boone's film adaptation of Marvel's "The New Mutants" comes to theaters April 13, 2018. There's nothing to fear, but a demonic bear that mauls your face in your sleep.
Alexander Payne's comedic drama starring Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Udo Kier, and Kristen Wiig will be released December 22, 2017.
The Denis Villeneuve directed sequel hits theaters October 6 with special screenings held the night before in some areas. Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford star.
Fantastic Fest 2017 was officially the first time I'd attended any film festival and it is something I will cherish and remember forever.
The latest film from "Spring" directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead has been acquired by Well Go USA, but currently doesn't have a release date.
S. Craig Zahler's action thriller starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Carpenter has a theatrical release of October 6 and will be on digital HD and video on demand October 13.
Hiromasa Yonebayashi and Studio Ponoc's first full-length animated feature will have a North American release sometime in Winter 2017.
Yorgos Lanthimos' psychological horror thriller starring Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, and Barry Keoghan hits US theaters October 27th.
Deadpool and Nick Fury team up to yell at explosions, whine at gunfire, and scoff at lengthy car chases all while their hateful forced chemistry boils over into your eyeballs.
Bill Watterson's quirky, fantastic, and incredible adventure comedy is now available on VOD. If you feel like cinema has been lacking in creativity as of late, this is the type of film to turn to.
Justin McConnell's latest film comes to DVD and Blu-ray on August 15. It's loaded with special features.
Steven Soderbergh's triumphant return to feature film directing is set in the country and throws a group of hillbillies into a bank vault heist during a Nascar race. That's right, America!
A South Korean drama centered around the Gwangju Democratization Movement of 1980. Song Kang-ho stars.
Load up on your painkillers and your sugar. The Dark Tower is sloppy sci-fi action mixed with disjointed storytelling, but is somehow accidentally entertaining.
Detroit is an excruciating two and a half hours, but John Boyega, Will Poulter, and Algee Smith make the experience worthwhile.
A battered and bloodied Charlize Theron bashes in countless faces in Atomic Blonde and has one of the most memorable action sequences of 2017 submerged in a vodka soaked ice bath.
Hayden Christensen and Bruce Willis duke it out to find out whose worrisome forehead wrinkles are more profound in an "action thriller" that has no idea what those two words mean.
Edgar Wright's British-American action crime comedy starring Ansel Elgort, Kevin Spacey, Lily James, Eiza Gonzalez, Jon Hamm, and Jamie Fox races into theaters June 28.
With a limited one-day theatrical release and a Netflix release Wednesday, June 28th, Bong Joon-ho's latest is a heartfelt masterpiece that shouldn't be missed.
The third entry in the Planet of the Apes reboot trilogy (and possibly beyond) directed by Matt Reeves starring Andy Serkis and Woody Harrleson barrels into theaters July 14.
If you like CGI diarrhea along with terrible dialogue, atrocious acting, and explosion fetishes, then The Last Knight will surely make you want to punch yourself in the face while Michael Bay laughs.
Trey Edward Shults is back with a meaningful film that leaves one hell of an impact, but whether or not it's filled with terror is completely up to the viewer. Joel Edgerton stars.
If you've seen Colin Trevorrow's previous films and you've thought that you desired more of a giant sweaty bowl of dog turds, then look no further than The Book of Henry.
Baywatch returns after a nearly three decade absence. Not even Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron trying to out-beefcake one another can save this decomposing beached whale of a film.
The Patty Jenkins directed superhero film starring Gal Gadot overflowing with Zack Snyder-isms including the overuse of slow-mo, poorly developed characters, and weak story elements.
The sequel to 2014's most popular superhero film involving the biggest a-holes in the galaxy is finally upon us. Prepare to praise the hell out of Michael Rooker in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
Japan's #1 film of 2016 has finally hit theaters. Your Name is currently playing at five theaters in Houston including Alamo Drafthouse and AMC Gulf Pointe 30.
Kim Rae-won and Han Seok-kyu star in Na Hyun's crime drama now playing in select cities.
Rupert Sanders reimagines Masamune Shirow's "Ghost in the Show" as a live action film starring a very American yet somehow still Japanese Scarlett Johansson.
Director James Mangold's first Wolverine film and Hugh Jackman's sixth time portraying Wolverine. With Mangold and Jackman reuniting for Logan, The Wolverine is their first time working together.
Keanu Reeves returns with more headshots, more action, and more grunting than the original 2014 film.
The third collaboration between Ding Sheng and Jackie Chan had a limited theatrical run in the United States starting on January 6th. It's currently still playing in some areas.
Ever wanted Se7en, 12 Monkeys, The X-Files, and Frailty slapped together into one film? Solace has you covered.
Gareth Edwards has delivered the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back. This is everything The Force Awakens should have been.
Poorly written and weakly developed, the best part about this Derek Yee/Tsui Hark collaboration is the production stills.
La La Land has this passion for music that bleeds from every frame. It has this classic feel in a modern world that allows the film to introduce something considered vintage to the people of today.
Inadequate acting. A storyline that doesn't go anywhere. Low quality special effects. Cancer's only hope is a notebook, some stem cells, and intensely pointing your index finger at everyone you meet.
Operation Punchy Punch is a go! Drink tea and fire your tank cannons on the count of 3! 1...2...and...nevermind. Whining, crying, and being unbelievably irritating instead will totally suffice.
What could have been a very basic film about love and fortitude is an unusually timid story that embraces subtlety and makes louder statements with what’s not being said rather than what actually is.
The Harry Potter franchise takes a silly and unnecessary turn that is sure to be exploited for as many friggin' sequels as possible.
While Nadine is attempting to find her place in life as the film unfolds, the character becomes more and more hypocritical and obnoxious.
Even with Martin Sheen’s impressive Chris Cringle facial hair, The Vessel annoys and irritates more than anything else.
For the imaginative and the admirers of the fantastical, Miss Hokusai is purely and spectacularly a work of art.
Keeping Up with the Joneses is like a mentally challenged man who manages to stumble into the broom closet and miraculously emerges on a unicycle while juggling chainsaws.
The one downside is that Godzilla somehow got stuck with googly eyes, which is a humorous choice but entertaining nevertheless.
Apparitions in film have never been so boring, but Phantom of the Theatre does leave you with the question of, “Do ghost farts smell like garlic?”
Nat Turner was a slave, preacher, and leader of a bloody uprising in 1831. The Birth of a Nation is based on Turner's tale and directed and starring Nate Parker in the title role.
Based on the oil rig explosion in 2010 that is considered to be the largest oil spill in history. The second collaboration between director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg.
Director Dante Lam's Chinese action film based on the Mekong River massacre. Theatrical showtimes can be found here: http://www.wellgousa.com/theatrical/operation-mekong
Antoine Fuqua's remake of a remake starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Lee Byung-hun, Vincent D'Onofrio, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier is now playing in theaters.
Baa weep grahna weep ninny bong! The 30th Anniversary Edition of The Transformers: The Movie is available on Blu-ray now!
A direct sequel to the original film from 1999. Director Adam Wingard and writor Simon Barrett offer a fresh spin on a familiar tale of terror.
Sammo Hung is back in his first directorial gig in almost two decades!
The horror film Morgan, which is the directorial debut of Ridley Scott's son Luke Scott, starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Kate Mara is now playing in theaters.
The Fede Alvarez directed horror film "Don't Breathe" starring Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto, and Stephen Lang is now playing in theaters.
The sequel to the 2011 remake of "The Mechanic" entitled "Mechanic: Resurrection" starring Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Michelle Yeoh, and Tommy Lee Jones is now playing in theaters.
The South Korean action thriller "Tunnel" starring Ha Jung-woo, Doona Bae, and Oh Dal-su is currently playing in a limited theatrical run across the country. http://www.wellgousa.com/theatrical/tunnel
A South Korean period drama taking place in 1925. Directed by Park Hoon-jung (New World) and starring Choi Min-sik (Oldboy, Lucy). Distributed by Well Go USA.