Frank Borzage’s hybrid of genres has apparently been a film that has been neglected for a long time and not given a proper restoration. With Criterion they ensure a long lasting release of what is a pretty engaging mix of drama, comedy, romance, and yes, a disaster film. I’m not sure if I was as wild about “History is Made at Night” as most movie buffs seem to be, but Frank Borzage’s film is a success at being entertaining and engaging. Borzage is able to bounce between themes rather well, balancing out dread and whimsical romance well.
With the new direction the DCAU is taking, it only makes sense for them to finally veer in to the world of the Super Sons. For a few years now, Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne’s sons have been the most unlikely popular duo. Warner and DC even welcome them in to the fold of the DC Animated library with a full CG animated movie rather than hand drawn. I much prefer hand drawn, but the CG animation works wonders for the high energy first adventures of Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne. In either case, “Battle of the Super Sons” is a great buddy action movie, and it’s a coming of age action film featuring two legacy heroes that have a big task on their hands.
Director Seth Landau’s “Bryan Loves You” is the prime example of a movie that has a great idea but never quite sticks the execution. With the film’s trademark mask and set up, “Bryan Loves You” has every single chance to be a terrifying tale about cults, hive minds and indoctrination. Instead, a lot of what unfolds is rambling filler that never quite amounts to much of a movie.
Known as “Hooker’s Revenge,” and as “They Call Her One Eye,” Bo Arne Vibernius’s “Thriller” is the quintessential grindhouse revenge pic that begat so many after it. When you want to visit what helped influence Tarantino, “Thriller” (Vinegar Syndrome will debuting their own release of the film on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with a different transfer and extras this summer) is where the template was established. While it suffers from narrative flaws here and there, “Thriller” is pure visceral exploitation revenge cinema that still feels about as grimy and gritty as “I Spit On Your Grave” in spite of its restoration.
After Spielberg’s “Jaws” took the world by storm, every studio took it upon themselves to create their own facsimile of the killer shark film. They hoped to cash in on the film’s momentum, and from that a whole sub-genre was created. And from “Alligator” there was the sub-sub-genre of Killer Croc and Alligator movies. For that you can attribute to the classic urban legend of sewers being a virtual haven for massive killer crocodiles, thanks to hapless tourists bringing home gators for pets. Writer John Sayles has no shortage of scenes involving the alligator lurking in the sewers and waiting for victims to enter its domain.
It’s surprising that in a film climate where extended universes fail from the starting gate, that the Kong/Godzilla modern film universe has been a quiet success. The crown jewel so far is “Godzilla vs. Kong,” a pretty great monster clash that pits monkey against lizard, and delivers some great rumbles between the pair. Director Adam Wingard is more than up to the challenge of giving fans the long awaited movie clash, and as expected, “Godzilla vs. Kong” met every expectation that I had.
I saw Osamu Tezuka’s “Metropolis” back in 2002, and I vividly remember not being a fan at all. Maybe it was because I was more ignorant toward anime, then, but either way disliked it and openly avoided it for years. It was until recently I had to sit down to re-watch it. I don’t know what I was expecting then, but today I can safely describe it as merely an okay anime film.
It’s disappointing that this is where we’ve arrived with the DC Warner animated movies. We went from stellar to “Its fine, I guess.” That’s exactly what “Apokolips War,” the sequel (?) to “Justice League Dark” is. It’s fine. It’s okay. It has all the ingredients to be a damn good epic, but instead chooses gruesome pointless violence, over heart and substance. I’m not one to complain about violence in more mature aimed films, but “Apokolips War” often watches like it’s compensating for the lack of any real substance or entertainment value by splashing the screen with ridiculous violence and gore.