6 items from 2016
This is a spoiler-free review of “The Walking Dead’s” Feb. 14 return.
“The Walking Dead” doesn’t need to redeem itself, exactly, but after its way-too-cute handling of the “Is Glenn dead?” situation, it really should do some penance. Fortunately, the show comes roaring back (on Valentine’s Day, no less) out of its midseason break — operating on multiple fronts with various characters, and a sustained level of tension that has become its hallmark. Throw in a couple of particularly jarring moments, and even for those of us who engaged in a fair amount of grumbling about the sixth season’s opening salvo, that’s a good, adrenaline-filled way to kick off its bifurcated run’s second half.
Those eagerly anticipating Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s arrival during Season 6B as the villain Negan will have to wait a bit longer (reportedly until the finale), though they can always take solace »
- Brian Lowry
From where we’re sitting, 2016 looks very much like it is going to be an embarrassment of riches in terms of cinema. Filmmakers are set to gift us with superhero smacksdowns, animated tales, video game adaptations, original comedies, comedy sequels, reboots, debuts and a giant galactic heist movie. There truly is something for everybody.
As we plant our feet squarely on the leading edge of what we expect to be a great year in film, our writers have set to work – waxing lyrical about the films they’re anxiously awaiting in the coming months. Of course, there are countless upcoming scheduled releases that have caught our eye – Race (February 19th), 10 Cloverfield Lane (March 11th), Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (April 22nd), Elvis And Nixon (April 29th), The Boss (June 10th), The Magnificent Seven (September 23rd), and Passengers (December 23rd), to give honourable mention to just a few – but a list such as this requires ruthless focus. »
- Sarah Myles
To say the least, 2016 is a far more exciting year than 2015 turned out to be. Yes, there were some stunning high points and a healthy raft of films for the Academy to ignore in favour of much safer options, but there weren’t many weeks where top shelf movies competed toe to toe for box office dollars. It’s not like The Chipmunks: The Road Chip was ever going to take any attention any from The Force Awakens, is it?
But in 2016 heavyweights clashing and insane ensembles is one of the biggest stories, what with Civil War, Batman V Superman, Suicide Squad, Spectral, The Magnificent Seven and Dad’s Army. The other is the rebirth of the rebirth: there’ll be a new Jumanji, a new Jungle Book, a new Bfg and long-awaited sequels for Bridget Jones, Zoolander, Independence Day, The Ring and Bourne.
And a lot of them »
- Simon Gallagher
By the early ‘80s, Roger Corman was firmly entrenched in the public’s eye as The low budget wizard, always cranking out movies like a reliable sausagemeister. However, to the more discerning trash hound, his films were fertile ground for up and coming filmmakers, a place to learn the craft and hopefully develop one’s own style. And while Galaxy of Terror (1981), a crossbreed of Alien with a strand of Forbidden Planet DNA, does boast one James Cameron among the crew, its most notable feat is being highly entertaining regardless of a decimated budget and convoluted plot.
Released in October of ’81 Stateside by New World Pictures/United Artists, and alternately known as Mindwarp: An Infinity of Terror And Planet of Horrors (Hey Rog – pick one!), GoT cost $700,000 Us, and of course made its money back (Corman almost always saw a return). This was right in the middle of Corman’s space mining – before this, »
- Scott Drebit
A Band Apart
You can expect a lot of things from Quentin Tarantino films: violence, swearing, liberal usage of confrontational racial language and a slightly creepy obsession with feet. He’s a dependable film-maker after all – an auteur, in other terms – whose commitment to his own topes is only as strong as the director’s mainline into the beating pulse of film history.
Because Tarantino is an obsessive film collector, his films are inevitably stocked full of references, parallels and straight up redone beats from films he loves and those that have in some way shaped his knowledge and style. Given that he is a massive Western fan, it’s no surprise, then, that The Hateful Eight is positively drenched in Easter Eggs, references and homages to the genre.
And the references go beyond that, dipping into Tarantino’s own canonical mythology and borrowing liberally from other genres easily, to »
- Simon Gallagher
Since premiering last month on Netflix, “The Ridiculous Six” hasn’t exactly been riding stellar buzz. In his review, Variety‘s Justin Chang wrote the Adam Sandler comedy was “so lazy and aimless, it barely qualifies as parody.”
But according to Netflix, the slapstick Western is hardly a joke.
During their CES keynote on Wednesday, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and chief content officer Ted Sarandos offered some insight into the company’s movie business as well as the eye-popping performance of Sandler’s new film.
“It’s also enjoyed a spot at #1 in every territory we operate in, and in many of them it’s still #1,” Sarandos added.
Some outlets erroneously reported on Wednesday that “Ridiculous Six” was the most-watched Netflix title in history. A source later clarified: »
- Margaret Lenker
6 items from 2016
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