Prince of Darkness, Review by Case Wright

Speilberg had 1941, Lucas had Howard the Duck, and John Carpenter had Prince of Darkness. I’m not going to spend a whole review impugning the Master of Horror, BUT….this was really really really bad. When I was young, several months ago Pre-COVID (more on my COVID experience tomorrow- you’ll love it: there’s sweat, fever, explosive things, and I couldn’t smell any of it!) , I reviewed the Dracula mini-series and now Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter). You’re going to start thinking that I have a vampire fetish, but don’t worry Prince of Darkness not only does not have a Dracula figure; it’s unclear if it has much of anything going on at all. Imagine watching a movie called A Man Named John and John appeared briefly at the very end of the movie with no lines. You’d think that was really weird because you are a smart and discerning film consumer.

It starts out in Los Angeles in the 1980s, which looks like the LA of today, but it had MUCH less poop everywhere than today. Ahhh, progress. After the first 10 minutes of the film, I can tell you that: the Prince of Darkness is infact and evil alien who lives inside of a swirling Vitamix that looks alot the green juice they try sell me at the gym

– This is what the POD looked like for most of the film :

I always knew that the green juice smoothie was pure evil!!!

Jesus was also an alien and trapped the POD in the Vitamix above; furthermore, the Church was aware of it and kept it quiet in LA because they were Angels fans, a professor of physics at the local community college forced his physicist students to become Ghost Facers in exchange for a higher grade, and homeless people are murderers now.  I know these things because I got an expositioning that I shall never ever forget.  The students go to see the Eeeeeeevil Vitamix and get sprayed with evil juice and become really lazy zombies. This goes on for a LONG LONG time.  You’d think they’d just use tomato juice to get out the evil or some Shout, but maybe Shout wasn’t invented yet?

One of the physicists becomes possessed with POD and tries to reach into a mirror to release her more evil dad. Ok, why not? It’s a family affair, it’s a family affaaaaiiiirr.  Just as the evil is about to enter our world one of the physicists pushes the POD into the other dimension through the mirror taking her along with it. This was really dumb. Why not just shove the POD? She didn’t look very big. You’re also physicist; you could’ve made a lever or something. LAZY PHYSICIST!!! You never really got to know the POD or the physicists for that matter. It was like John Carpenter was willed an abandoned building and just wrote a script around that location because why waste a perfectly good abandoned building?! 

The biggest puzzle of all was why the main physicist quasi-hero couldn’t get his mustache to line up properly?  It’s like the left side of his mustache was trying to escape his face and was willing to leave the right side of the mustache behind- such a cowardly left-side mustache! 


Hmmm, I wonder if anyone will notice that I trim my mustache while tilting my head?

Thank you all! You get to learn about COVID tomorrow; it’s pretty pretty…. pretty… gross.

The Seattle Film Critics Society Honors Nomadland

The Seattle Film Critics Society announced their picks for the best of 2020 on the 15th.  Due to the inclement weather, I’m about two days late in sharing this.  All apologies!

Best Picture of the Year
First Cow (A24)
Hamilton (Walt Disney Pictures)
The Invisible Man (Universal)
Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)
Minari (A24)
Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features)
Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)
Palm Springs (NEON/Hulu)
Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)
Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)

Best Director
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Steve McQueen – Small Axe: Lovers Rock
Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
Steven Yeun – Minari

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Elisabeth Moss – The Invisible Man
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah
Bill Murray – On the Rocks
Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami…
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Olivia Colman – The Father
Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Yuh-jung Youn – Minari

Best Ensemble Cast
Da 5 Bloods – Kim Coleman, casting director
Judas and the Black Messiah – Alexa L. Fogel, casting director
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Avy Kaufman, casting director
Minari – Julia Kim, casting director
One Night in Miami… – Kimberly Hardin, casting director

Best Action Choreography
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
The Invisible Man
Monster Hunter

Best Screenplay
First Cow – Jon Raymond & Kelly Reichardt
I’m Thinking of Ending Things – Charlie Kaufman
Nomadland – Chloé Zhao
Palm Springs – Andy Siara
Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell

Best Animated Feature
Onward – Dan Scanlon, director
Over the Moon – Glen Keane, John Kahrs, director
Ride Your Wave – Masaaki Yuasa, director
Soul – Pete Docter, director; Kemp Powers, co-director
Wolfwalkers – Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, director

Best Documentary Feature
Boys State – Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss, directors
Collective – Alexander Nanau, director
Dick Johnson is Dead – Kirsten Johnson, director
The History of the Seattle Mariners: Supercut Edition – Jon Bois, director
Time – Garrett Bradley, director

Best Film Not in the English Language
Another Round – Thomas Vinterberg, director
Bacurau – Juliano Dornelles, Kleber Mendonça Filho, directors
La Llorona – Jayro Bustamante, director
Minari – Lee Isaac Chung, director
To the Ends of the Earth – Kiyoshi Kurosawa, director

Best Cinematography
First Cow – Christopher Blauvert
Mank – Erik Messerschmidt
News of the World – Dariusz Wolski
Nomadland – Joshua James Richards
Small Axe: Lovers Rock – Shabier Kirchner

Best Costume Design
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn – Erin Benach
Emma. – Alexandra Byrne
First Cow – April Napier
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Ann Roth
Mank – Trish Summerville

Best Film Editing
Da 5 Bloods – Adam Gough
Nomadland – Chloé Zhao
Tenet – Jennifer Lame
Time – Gabriel Rhodes
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Alan Baumgarten

Best Original Score
Da 5 Bloods – Terence Blanchard
Mank – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Minari – Emile Mosseri
Soul – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste
Tenet – Ludwig Göransson

Best Production Design
First Cow – Anthony Gasparro (Production Design); Vanessa Knoll (Set Decorator)
Judas and the Black Messiah – Sam Lisenco (Production Design); Rebecca Brown (Set Decorator)
Mank – Donald Graham Burt (Production Design); Jan Pascale (Set Decorator)
News of the World – David Crank (Production Design); Elizabeth Keenan (Set Decorator)
Tenet – Nathan Crowley (Production Design); Kathy Lucas (Set Decorator)

Best Visual Effects
Greyhound – Pete Bebb, Nathan McGuinness, Whitney Richman, Sebastian Theo von Overheidt
The Invisible Man – Jonathan Dearing, Marcus Bolton, Matt Ebb, Aevar Bjarnason
The Midnight Sky – Matt Kasmir, Chris Lawrence, Dave Watkins, Max Soloman
Possessor – Derek Liscoumb, Murray Barber, Bryan Jones
Tenet – Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley, Scott Fisher, Mike Chambers

Best Youth Performance (18 years of age or younger upon start of filming)
Millie Bobby Brown – Enola Holmes
Alan Kim – Minari
Ji-hu Park – House of Hummingbird
Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Helena Zengel – News of the World

Villain of the Year
Diane Sherman – Run – portrayed by Sarah Paulson
The Invisible Man/Adrian Griffin – The Invisible Man – portrayed by Oliver Jackson-Cohen
Judge Julius Hoffman – The Trial of the Chicago 7 – portrayed by Frank Langella
Michael – Bacurau – portrayed by Udo Kier
Roman Sionis – Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn – portrayed by Ewan McGregor

Here Are The 2021 WGA Nominations!

Yesterday, while the those of us down in Texas were dealing with the invasion of the Night King, the Writer’s Guild of America announced their nominees for the best of 2020!  When you look at the nominations below, it’s important to remember that there were several Oscar contenders that were ruled ineligible for WGA recognition.  “Ammonite,” “The Father,” “Mank,” “Minari,” “Nomadland,” “Pieces Of A Woman,” “Soul,” “Supernova” and “The Personal History Of David Copperfield” were all not eligible.

So, in other words, when you’re making out your Oscar predictions, perhaps take these nominations with a grain of salt, eh?

Myself, I’m just happy to see the wonderful Palm Springs nominated for Original Screenplay.

Here are the nominees!  Winners will be announced on March 21st!

Judas and the Black Messiah – Screenplay by Will Berson & Shaka King, Story by Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas (Warner Bros.)
Palm Springs – Screenplay by Andy Siara, Story by Andy Siara & Max Barbakow (Hulu)
Promising Young Woman – Written by Emerald Fennell (Focus Features)
Sound of Metal – Screenplay by Darius Marder & Abraham Marder, Story by Darius Marder & Derek Cianfrance (Amazon Studios)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Written by Aaron Sorkin (Netflix)

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Peter Baynham & Erica Rivinoja & Dan Mazer & Jena Friedman & Lee Kern, Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Nina Pedrad, Based on Characters Created by Sacha Baron Cohen (Amazon Studios)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Screenplay by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Based on the Play Written by August Wilson; (Netflix)
News of the World – Screenplay by Paul Greengrass and Luke Davies, Based upon the Novel by Paulette Jiles (Universal Pictures)
One Night in Miami – Screenplay by Kemp Powers, Based on the Stage Play “One Night in Miami” by Kemp Powers (Amazon Studios)
The White Tiger – Screenplay by Ramin Bahrani, Based on the Book “The White Tiger” by Aravind Adiga (Netflix)

All In: The Fight for Democracy – Written by Jack Youngelson (Amazon Studios)
The Dissident – Written by Mark Monroe and Bryan Fogel (Briarcliff Entertainment)
Herb Alpert Is… – Written by John Scheinfeld (Abramorama)
Red Penguins – Written by Gabe Polsky (Universal Pictures)
Totally Under Control – Written by Alex Gibney (Neon)

Cruella steps into the spotlight with a new Trailer

Disney’s had some success with focusing on their villains lately. With Angelina Jolie’s turn as Maleficent having done well, it’s time for another classic enemy to take the stage. Academy Award Winner Emma Stone (La La Land) is Disney’s newest Cruella DeVille, the nemesis to all 101 Dalmatians. This film looks like it’s a prequel, focusing on how Cruella came into power and possibly why she despises spotted dogs so. The cast includes Mark Strong (1917), Emma Thompson (Late Night), Paul Walter Houser (Richard Jewell) and Dev Patel (Lion)

Cruella is directed by Craig Gillespie, who is known for I, Tonya, The Finest Hours and Fright Night.

The release date is set for May 28, 2021, though no statement on how this will play on Disney+ at this time.

Music Video of the Day: Beautiful Girl by INXS (1992, directed by Mark Pellington)

Supposedly, this song was written about a runaway that Michael Hutchence had befriended and who he wanted to protect in a platonic way.  However, when the song was released in the United States, it was selected to be the theme song of an eating disorder awareness campaign and the music video, directed by Mark Pellington, reflects that.

Mark Pellington, of course, should be a familiar name.  He directed music videos for just about everyone was relevant in the 90s.  He also directed the film Arlington Road, which feels more prescient every day.