[Review] Justice League (2017): Charismatic Leads Defeat Another Dull Villain – by Doc Rotten

Vanessa invites Doc Rotten to reveal his thoughts on the latest film in the DC cinematic universe, Justice League (2017). The film is directed by Zack Snyder (with some reshoot help from Joss Whedon) with a script by Chris Terrio and Whedon. The story has Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) forming a team to defeat Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds, voice), providing Jack Kirby a “New Gods” credit. Sadly, the world is in a […]

[Review] Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – by Doc Rotten

Marvel returns to Asgard with Thor: Ragnarok (2017), the third in the Thor series of films. However, this addition to the franchise brings far more spirit, color, life, and humor to the sometimes stiff characters. Director Taika Waititi along with writers Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost may have created the most accessible and hilarious Marvel Cinematic Universe movie thus far. While the plot is a bit thin and may waste its opportunity to […]

[Review] Jigsaw (2017) – by Rafe Telsch

John Kramer returns – as does the Saw series – with Jigsaw (2017) from the Spierig Brothers (Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig), the directors behind Undead, Daybreakers, Predestination, and the upcoming Winchester: The House That Ghosts Builts. Tobin Bell returns in the title role while his costars Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson, Cle Bennet, Laura Vandervoort, and Paul Braunstein attempt to survive the night. Rafe Telsch steps up to tackle the latest […]

[Review] The Snowman (2017) – by Doc Rotten

The Snowman (2017) has all the right ingredients to make a riveting, mind-blowing thriller. It has a solid director with Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) and a popular source material from author Jo Nesbo. The film, produced by none other than Martin Scorsese, features a stellar cast including Michael Fassbender, Rebeccas Furguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, J.K. Simmons, Toby Jones, James D’Arcy, and Val Kilmer. Yet, somehow, The Snowman manages to spiral out of control becoming […]

[Review] Leatherface (2017) – by Doc Rotten

The directors of Inside, Alexandra Bustillo and Julien Maury, take a stab at putting their footprints on the history of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the prequel, Leatherface (2017). The film follows a group of young patients escaping from a mental hospital and on the run. One of the madmen is a young Leatherface – ah, but which one. Lilly Taylor is the matriarch of the family while Stephen Dorff is out to destroy them. […]

[Review] Happy Death Day (2017) – by Doc Rotten

Blumhouse returns with another horror film for the 2017 haunt season with Happy Death Day (2017). As the trailers promise, the film from director Christopher (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse) Landon channels a strong Groundhog Day vibe with a comedic horror spin to the rinse-and-repeat reliving of this horrific day. Doc Rotten steps in – as the resident Blumhouse fan – to review the film which is written by […]

[Review] Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – by Thomas Mariani

Thanks to the aggressive marketing from Warner Brothers, it is no secret that Harrison Ford returns as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner 2049 (2017) from director Denis Velleneuve (Arrival). In the sequel three decades in the making, Ryan Gosling stars as K, the next generation of Blade Runner. Thomas Mariani steps in to review the latest theatrical sci-fi epic with an enthusiastic and insightful extra-length look at the film, the cinematography, the story, and the best […]

[Review] Mother! (2017) – by Rafe Telsch

The Grue-Crew welcomes Rafe Telsch to the fold to review Darren Aronofsky’s latest cinematic wonder Mother! (2017). The film stars Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfieffer. Rafe confirms that if you are an Aronofsky fan, you will want to see Mother!; however, he warns the film goes a bit insane for its third act. Having just seen it prior to recording his review, Rafe suggests that his rating of the film could […]

[Review] Annabelle: Creation (2017) – by Doc Rotten

Doc Rotten joins Dave Dreher to review Annabelle: Creation (2017) the fourth in a series of films establishing The Conjuring Universe. The film is directed by David F. Sandberg and features Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, Anthony LaPaglia, Lulu Wilson, Talitha Bateman, Kerry O’Malley, Philippa Coulthard, Grace Fulton, and Samara Lee. Much like Ouija: Origin of Evil, Annabelle: Creation is a prequel to a far lesser film, escalating the horror, screams, and fun. These two films […]

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” (2017): Too Much Style Over Too Little Substance

Without a doubt, Luc Besson knows how to make a lavish, astonishing, cinematic big screen event films but continues to struggle to connect with the characters and hitting key emotional beats within the story being told. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets excels at being visually striking and exciting, rousing eye candy full of imagination, color, and spectacle; but, it too is weakened by failing to connect its lead characters, Valerian and Laureline, […]

“War For the Planet of the Apes” (2017): Damn Dirty Great From Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Z

Apes. Continue. Strong. Nearly 50 years after Charlton Heston cursed humanity on a beach, the Planet of the Apes franchise is still going strong. Those original five films managed to combine a maddening sci-fi twist with biting social commentary. They covered everything from race to religious idolatry to celebrity culture. Then after that Tim Burton trainwreck, Rise of the Planet of the Apes managed to surprise the hell out of everyone by giving us a sleek modern sheen and respect […]

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017): Spectacular, Succeeds Where Recent Efforts Have Stumbled

Success! This is it, the film Spider-Man has always needed. Spider-Man: Homecoming fully realizes the full potential of the character steeped in Marvel mythology, quirky, and innocent. Marvel and Sony have joined forces to firmly establish Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is the Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man of the Spider-Man movies where Peter is as much the story as he is Spider-Man. This is Spider-Man in a world where he has his […]

“Alien Covenant” (2017): Closer Yet No Cigar

After returning to the Alien franchise with 2012’s Prometheus, director Ridley Scott has even more baggage. Not only the weight of his successful start & James Cameron’s initial sequel, but the massive disappointment of the entries that followed and divisive reception of his own return. With Alien Covenant, the question on everyone’s mind is would he progress the larger thematics of religion and man’s hubris he established in 2012 or would he cave to pressure of fans and make a Xenomorph ladened […]

“Colossal” (2017): Monster Manipulation Mastery

Colossal really isn’t a film for mainstream audiences. Despite a cast that includes pretty big stars and giant monsters, the premise is rather strange and the tone is far darker than advertising would let on. Director Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes, Open Windows) takes the concepts of a massive kaiju and applies it to these more human characters. Basically, it feels like a complete subversion of the issues with both Godzilla (2014) and Kong: Skull Island in terms of actually focusing […]

“Personal Shopper” (2017): Haunting Ethereal Thriller For the Modern Age

Personal Shopper is many things. An arthouse film. A showcase for our lead actress. It’s even more than a bit spooky in places. Yet, there’s little to show where exactly it fits in terms of genre. The best context for horror fans would probably be more of a gothic thriller. One where there is most definitely a supernatural presence, but not quite horrific in the more traditional sense. The spectre that haunts our main character even […]