It’s been a dry month for movies this October, with no really great additions coming into the horror catalogue. So, what will you watch as the spookiest month of the year wraps up? Personally, I’m a bit tired of cycling through the horror classics, so here's a few unique suggestions to keep the Halloween spirit fresh: “Fright Night” (2011, on Amazon Prime) When a shady new neighbor, moves next door to him, Charlie Brewster suspects him of being a vampire. The 2011 remake of “Fright Night” is one of my favorite underrated horror films.
Starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes” is based on the real-life tennis rivalry between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Shot on 35mm film, the movie perfectly captures the 1970s vibe. More than that, it aptly captures King’s struggle against the misogyny of the early 1970s and her fight for workplace equality between the sexes, on the court and elsewhere. The film’s plot rests firmly on its characters’ shoulders. Carell’s performance as Riggs is as entertaining as “The Office’s” Michael Scott, yet as psychologically complex as “Foxcatcher’s” John du Pont. I was fascinated by the strange balance between Riggs’ gambling addiction, chauvinistic showmanship and genuine love for the sport. The added factor of a deteriorating home life had me fully invested in the character, and I wish Carell had gotten a bit more screen time to explore such a complicated man’s life.
I wasn’t expecting much from the “Planet of the Apes” reboot back in 2011, but I vividly remember walking out of the theater thoroughly impressed. The tragic origin of the first super-intelligent ape, Caesar, left me entertained, excited, but most of all, totally emotionally wrecked. “Rise’s” sequel, “Dawn,” only increased the stakes as humanity struggled to survive alongside a growing ape population. As such, my expectations for “War” were high. “War for the Planet of the Apes” picks up two years after the fallout of “Dawn.” Following the ape attack on San Francisco led by the rogue ape, Koba, the remaining humans on the West Coast have banded together with the remnants of Koba’s ape faction for a last stand against Caesar’s tribe. A surprise attack and capture of the clan leads Caesar on a path to liberate his people while internally struggling with a thirst for revenge.
Once in awhile there comes a film that is remembered for generations and looked upon as a masterpiece that captures what life was like at that point in history. There are films like “Dazed and Confused” and “Boyhood” that capture life in the narrative style of a coming-of-age story in iconic ways, and the ASUNM Southwest Film Center will be showing the granddaddy of these films this weekend: “Rebel Without a Cause.”
The critically acclaimed animated feature “Kubo and the Two Strings,” is coming to the SUB’s Southwest Film Center for a limited time from Feb 3-5. The screening is part of a biannual series by the SWFC that screens indie films, one per week, each semester. “Kubo and the Two Strings” is the story of Kubo, a young boy living in a seaside village until his world is turned upside down by spirits from the past that begin to pursue him. In order to survive, Kubo must find armor that belonged to his father with the help of his companions Monkey and Beetle. Originally released in 2016, “Kubo and the Two Strings” received rave reviews despite not being a blockbuster hit. The film was made by Oregon-based stop-motion animation studio Laika, who has produced films such as “Coraline,” the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel of the same name, and Tim Burton’s “Corpse Bride,” both critically acclaimed films.
“Viva” is a hurricane. Amid fast-paced dialogue, explicit scenes of LGBTQ struggle and an overall passionate delivery, this movie keeps your attention and plays with various social issues while it has it. It’s an ardent film, sometimes too passionate, with blatant symbolism and a cliché plot. But “Viva” follows through for a fleshed-out and powerful 90-minute narrative. Hector Medina stars as Jesus, a young hairdresser that yearns to be a drag performer in the Cuban cabaret club he works at. His passion damages his relationship with his father, Angel, played by Jorge Perugorria, and propels a turbulent story that takes twists and turns all along this certain social taboo.
At first watch, there isn’t much meat on the bones of Robert Eggers’ “The Witch.” On a superficial level – thanks to its incredibly simple premise, small production scale and what could be interpreted as an ambiguous ending – one could think it’s a skeleton of a movie, with small bits of flesh clinging to its ribs in the form of the occasional jump scare. Don’t fall into that trap. It’s easy to think that the final product far outweighs the expectations that a horror lover may have for “The Witch,” but you’d be doing yourself a disservice in the process. So how do you get the most out of the the film, and experience it the way Eggers intended the audience to?
It's almost a farce in itself, getting settled in to watch "Deadpool" as trailers for upcoming superhero flicks like "Batman v Superman" and "Captain America: Civil War" play, when we feel like we've seen those particular movies a dozen times already. Rest assured, Deadpool is the freshest Marvel entry since "Guardians of the Galaxy," combining the best elements of successful superhero films, with the creative freedom of an R rating and a passion to bring the spirit of Deadpool to the screen. The result is a thoroughly entertaining film that, while it grasps its title character’s unique nature by the horns, doesn’t go overboard with it.
Long after Quentin Tarantino’s career is said and done – no matter how polarized the debate over his impact on cinema – film nerds and students alike might very well turn to his latest picture, The Hateful Eight, as the one that is the most Tarantino-esque in his catalog. That is to say, a gritty, consistently suspenseful, dialogue-drowned opus that blends multiple genres together in ways no one else can, and in a manner that is immensely satisfying, whether that satisfaction comes from bullets or from sheer filmmaking brawn. Tarantino’s eighth feature begins with bounty hunter John Ruth, otherwise known as “The Hangman”, transporting the captured Daisy Domergue to Red Rock to collect his reward, but not before running into old acquaintances and being forced to stop for shelter along the way at Minnie’s Haberdashery due to a storm.