MaXXXine (2024)

Now Exclusively in Theaters.

Director Ti West subverts so much of what his audience was waiting for with “MaXXXine” that he almost completely alienates the very people that were raring to go for the third installment in his “X” movie series. When we finally did get it, “MaXXXine” ends up being exactly what it wants to be. It’s not some gory horror movie like “Maniac” but a consciously dark and often over the top look at the terrifying battle that is fame. When we first saw Maxine Minx (the brilliant Mia Goth returns), she was a low budget porn star convinced she was going to be a star.

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Jaws (1975)

I can’t imagine saying anything about “Jaws” that hasn’t already been said by hundreds of movie buffs all around the world. It’s all at once a movie about fear of the unknown, the trauma of being controlled by our fear, and man vs nature. “Jaws” is absolutely flawless gem that worked on little resources and so many accidents that director Steven Spielberg had to literally take bruised, busted, lemons to make lemonade. “Jaws” had every potential to fail and be an infamous box office flop, but its measured tension, deliberate pacing, and ability to establish our heroes before their fateful battle on the ocean with the shark.

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Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

Now Available to Stream and on Physical Home Media.

Director Martin Brest’s film came at just the right time at just the right period of the 1980’s. This was a time where Eddie Murphy was writing his own ticket in Hollywood and could do whatever he wanted, and with “Beverly Hills Cop,” he managed to carve out a pretty underrated action hero. In spite of the film’s massive success and cultural influence Axel Foley is often ignored in the annals of movie heroes alongside John McLane or Dutch. It’s probably because Eddie Murphy plays Axel more in the arena of comedy than he does as a straight forward police officer.

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Robbie Ain’t Right No More (2023) [Chattanooga Film Festival 2024]

Funsize Epics Vol. 2 Shorts Block

What is essentially another proof of concept short film, Kyle Perritt’s “Robbie Ain’t Right No More” is a mix of “Death Dream” and “Astronaut’s Wife.” It’s basically a horror movie but deep down it’s ripe with potential to deliver on themes about PTSD, the effects of serving in the military, and the way coming home from the war can change people. It can make them almost unrecognizable in many ways, allowing for an unusual situation.

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Consumer (2023) [Chattanooga Film Festival 2024]

So Long and Thanks for All the Dangerous Visions Shorts Block

I wish we could have gotten a longer format version of “Consumer,” as Matthew Fisher’s horror tale is ripe for feature film potential. “Consumer” watches like a segment from “Creepshow” even packing in a wonderful synthesized score by Bethany Farnsworth, respectively. I loved the low tech, mid-eighties revenge tale that director Fisher creates, as it’s old fashioned enough, but never feels dated, or dull.

It works well within its short run time and offers some scary ambiguity in the end.

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Blue Velvet (1986): The Criterion Collection [4K UHD/Blu-Ray]

Now Available from Criterion Collection.

My first experience with David Lynch was with “Mulholland Dr.,” a film that is far and away breath taking but also difficult to decode. After trying to find an explanation for it someone told me that it was only one of his easiest to access. But I like to think that it’s “Blue Velvet.” Lynch’s 1986 Neo Noir is a nightmarish fever dream in to the American dream. Lynch paints a portrait of two mirror worlds, one with the perfect Norman Rockwellian picket fences and women with babies on their shoulders. The other America is a bleak and violent Wonderland where deviants and criminals lurk in every corner waiting to prey on the weak.

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