Keeping Up with the Joneses starts with an idiom and doesn’t really evolve a whole lot from there, but in this case the simple premise that’s kept simple works, allowing a likeable cast to shine. Director Greg Mottola, whose Superbad tweaked the teen sex comedy formula with great effect, manages to spin the secret-agent-meets-mundanity yarn into something at least a little unique.
Full review at Film Racket: filmracket.com/keeping-up-with-the-joneses/movie-review
Hamstrung only by a somewhat confused final act that’s beholden to the mythology established in 2014’s dreadful Ouija, this prequel stands out thanks to the assured direction of Mike Flanagan and performances that sell the drama along with the dread. Though there’s not a whole lot that’s wildly original here, the craft makes the tropes work, getting us invested and effectively creeping us out.
Full review at Film Racket: filmracket.com/ouija-origin-of-evil/movie-review
Part of Criterionucopia 2012
At one point in David Cronenberg’s “Videodrome” low rent cable TV producer Max Renn asks what Freud would say about a woman in a red dress…
I wonder what Freud would say about a vaginal cavity in Max’s chest that has videotapes inserted into it for the purpose of mind control; oh, and also can melt people’s arms and makes for handy gun storage. If presented with this, I think maybe Freud’s head would explode like…
"Session 9" had been in my queue for quite some time and I'm glad I finally caught up with it. Was inspired after being pleasantly surprised by Brad Anderson's "The Call" and was even more impressed with this film.
It sets up the situation beautifully and the location is perfect. It is ominous and rundown, because it's ominous and rundown - it's not an obvious set creation. Tension builds throughout and we aren't insulted with flash cuts or cheap jump…