‘Come Away’ Shows Hollywood at Its Most Manipulative

Movie marketing can be a brutal task, made worse by the films themselves. “Come Away” offers a prime example. The film piggybacks on not one but two beloved children’s stories but feels as grim as the darkest Afterschool Special. Drinking Gambling Death Torture Are we having fun yet? More importantly, just who is “Come Away” …

Vince Vaughn Is So Money in Body Swap Shocker ‘Freaky’

The problem with too many remakes, reboots and re-imaginings is clear. They have little reason for existing beyond a quest for cash. “Freaky,” a spin on the classic body-swapping comedy “Freaky Friday,” doesn’t rest on its IP laurels. The film turns the wacky concept into a hard-R shocker with a bleak sense of humor. Just …

‘Fatman’ Is the Christmas Coal to Cap 2020

What do you get when you blend “Bad Santa,” “Elf,” “Reservoir Dogs” and your average Hallmark holiday film? “Fatman” is both sweet and sour, dark and uplifting, a movie with more personalities than ’90s era Madonna. None of them stick, and we’re left with a Christmas hodgepodge best left under the tree, unwrapped. Mel Gibson …

Brad Pitt’s Horror Movie ‘Cutting Class’ Is So Bad It’s Hysterical

Remember when Brad Pitt made an ’80s teen slasher movie? Despite the potential embarrassment a question like that brings, Pitt has nothing to be ashamed of. The film in question, “Cutting Class,” is indeed a hall of fame stinker and probably the worst thing he’s ever been in. On the other hand, Pitt is a …

We Owe Affleck’s ‘Daredevil’ an Apology

The 2003 pre-MCU “Daredevil” avoided the inglorious fate endured by “Catwoman,” “Green Lantern” and “Supergirl.” Just barely, though. Ben Affleck’s Marvel’s Man Without Fear gets little appreciation in modern geek circles. That’s a shame given how much it got right without the bells, whistles and cash of the modern MCU. A pre-Batfleck Ben plays Matt …

‘Let Him Go’ Uses, then Discards, Two Powerhouse Performances

The first two acts of “Let Him Go” should meet the final act sometime. Maybe go get a drink, get to know each other a bit. Anyone watching the Diane Lane/Kevin Costner film will eyeball how different the two parts are. No, it’s not a matter of action, drama or intensity. Many movies start quietly …

‘What Killed Michael Brown?’ Turns Tables on Media’s Race Narrative

The most effective way to examine the death of Michael Brown is to lower the heat. That hardly seems possible even six years after the Missouri man died following a police altercation. The emotions sparked by the tragedy never fully retreated. We saw that following George Floyd’s May 25 death at the hands of Minneapolis police. …

Tobe Hooper’s ‘Funhouse’ – A Trip You’ll Never Forget

This year should have been the 98th annual county fair that takes place in my state. While some have never taken an interest in a Hawaiian event that brings in massive crowds, the waft of a cotton candy, noisy rides and a glowing carousal, the fair is always something I eagerly await. Since the novel …

Landmark ‘Dead of Night’ Still Haunting 75 Years Later

You can tell if a movie is genuinely a classic by how many works were influenced by it. After all, does a film create a legacy by being the only one of its type or by creating countless offspring, aiming to duplicate what the “groundbreaker” accomplished? Of course, that also allows for lesser artists to …

‘Come Play’ Recycles Too Many Horror Tropes to Scary Us

There’s finally a new book to put on the cinematic shelf next to “The Babadook.” Naturally, it’s a cyber-edition, one found on tablets and smart phones but mimicking that movie’s literary frights. “Come Play” follows an Autistic lad who discovers a creepy children’s book lurking on his tablet. That uncorks a polished, if meandering shocker …