Michelle Iannantuono is a writer, director, producer, editor, cinematographer, actress, visual artist who loves horror and video games.
It’s kind of ironic that the villain of the sequel to 1996’s “Space Jam” is named Al G. Rhythm, the physical manifestation of an algorithm who decides the fate of not just star Lebron James but of the Looney Tunes. “A New Legacy” (Or “Space Jam 2”) feels like it was directed not by a person, but a committee of people that followed algorithms about what was appealing to modern audiences, and what was “hip.” The film doubles as a two hour EPK for the HBO Max Streaming Service. “A New Legacy” premieres on the aforementioned streaming service (and theaters), so Warner takes full advantage of exploiting every single (repeat: every single) IP that they have at their disposal.
Movies that are based on or around youtube personalities usually, for lack of a better word: suck. They’re awful, they’re terrible, and only mostly just vanity projects for the creators. So imagine what a shock it was to see “Ashens and the Polybius Heist” and find out that it’s actually quite good. I genuinely giggled during most of the film and loved how it all felt like a hilarious mutant amalgam of “Spaced,” “Ocean’s Eleven,” and “The Hot Rock,” in the end.
In 2010, “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” shocked me. Not because of Edgar Wright. If there’s any director out there that knows pop culture, it’s Edgar Wright. It’s more so how much Edgar Wright understood the idea of pop culture and how absolutely annoying the idea of nostalgia had become. It’d somewhat become a monstrosity of awareness, sarcastic catch phrases, and smug gate keeping. While “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” is a wonderful film filled with laughs, and some excellent performances, it’s also a polemic about how much pop culture has replaced actual culture. While a lot of others saw it as a great action celebration, I saw it as immensely cynical. It’s also why I love it so much.
When she finds an Easter Egg in her favorite video game, a girl is sucked into the game and gets to have an adventure in the skin of one of her favorite characters along with the adventurous Max Cloud.
Nick Castle’s science fiction adventure film is one of my all time favorite “Star Wars” rip offs. It’s a film that fully embraces the hero’s journey trope and has a damn good time with it, bringing in robot clones, big headed aliens, and a pretty great mythology begging for a franchise. “The Last Starfighter” thankfully hasn’t lost any of its luster even in the midst of the glut of “Star Wars” wannabes, and it’s still a big personal favorite of mine.
Max, a teen with dreams of becoming a video game creator, unleashes a world of evil upon his small town after getting a box of games out of the blue. This thrusts him into the hero role that he is not quite ready to play, but desperately needs to learn from.
After spending many years on sub-par DVD releases and in basic limbo for a new release, “The Wizard” is given a much overdue Collector’s Edition that treats the cult classic the way it deserves. Is it a glorified Nintendo commercial? Sure! Is it a glorified ad for Universal Studios? Definitely! Is it fun? Oh god yes. “The Wizard” is a movie that might appeal to you more if you have nostalgia attached, granted, but on its own it’s a solid kids adventure film that’s also ahead of its time in the way it digs in to the video game tournaments and how much mental and physical prowess they demand.