Here Are The Independent Spirt Nominations!


The nomination for the Independent Spirit Awards were announced earlier today.

Making a very good showing were Tar, Women Talking, and Everything Everywhere All At Once.  Not showing up at all was Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, which failed to even pick up a lead performance nomination for Brendan Fraser.  Seeing as how Fraser has been viewed as being the Oscar front runner for a few months now, his lack of a nomination definitely took observers by surprise.

Anyway, here are all the nominees!

FILM CATEGORIES

Best Feature
“Bones and All” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
“Our Father, the Devil” (Resolve Media)
“Tár” (Focus Features)
“Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)

Best Director
Todd Field – “Tár” (Focus Features)
Kogonada – “After Yang” (A24)
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Sarah Polley – “Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
Halina Reijn – “Bodies Bodies Bodies” (A24)

Best Lead Performance

Cate Blanchett – “Tár” (Focus Features)
Dale Dickey – “A Love Song” (Bleecker Street)
Mia Goth – “Pearl” (A24)
Regina Hall – “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.” (Focus Features)
Paul Mescal – “Aftersun” (A24)
Aubrey Plaza – “Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeremy Pope – “The Inspection” (A24)
Taylor Russell – “Bones and All” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
Andrea Riseborough – “To Leslie” (Momentum Pictures)
Michelle Yeoh – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)

Best Supporting Performance

Jamie Lee Curtis – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Brian Tyree Henry – “Causeway” (A24/Apple Original Films)
Nina Hoss – “Tár” (Focus Features)
Brian D’Arcy James – “The Cathedral” (Mubi)
Ke Huy Quan – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Trevante Rhodes – “Bruiser” (Onyx Collective)
Theo Rossi – “Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions)
Mark Rylance – “Bones and All” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
Jonathan Tucker – “Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Momentum Pictures)
Gabrielle Union – “The Inspection” (A24)

Best Breakthrough Performance
Frankie Corio – “Aftersun” (A24)
Garcija Filipovic – “Murina” (Kino Lorber)
Stephanie Hsu – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Lily McInerny – “Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Momentum Pictures)
Daniel Zolghardi – “Funny Pages” (A24)

Best Screenplay
“After Yang” (A24) – Kogonada
“Catherine Called Birdy” (Amazon Studios) – Lena Dunham
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) – Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
“Tár” (Focus Features) – Todd Field
“Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – Sarah Polley

Best First Screenplay
“Bodies Bodies Bodies” (A24) – Sarah DeLappe, Kristen Roupenian
“Emergency” (Amazon Studios) – K.D. Dávila
“Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions) – John Patton Ford
“Fire Island” (Searchlight Pictures) – Joel Kim Booster
“Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Momentum Pictures) – Jamie Dack, Audrey Findlay

Best First Feature
“Aftersun” (A24) – Charlotte Wells (director), Mark Ceryak, Amy Jackson, Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski (producers)
“Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions) – John Patton Ford (director), Tyler Davidson, Aubrey Plaza, Drew Sykes (producers)
“The Inspection” (A24) – Elegance Bratton (director), Effie T. Brown, Chester Algernal Gordon (producers)
“Murina” (Kino Lorber) – Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović (director), Danijel Pek, Rodrigo Teixeira (producers)
“Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Momentum Pictures) – Jamie Dack (director), Leah Chen Baker (producer)

John Cassavetes Award (Given to the best feature made for under $1,000,000)
“The African Desperate” (Mubi) – Martine Syms (writer, director, producer), Rocket Caleshu (writer, producer), Vic Brooks (producer)
“A Love Song” (Bleecker Street) – Max Walker-Silverman (writer, director, producer), Jesse Hope, Dan Janvey (producers)
“The Cathedral” (Mubi) – Ricky D’Ambrose (writer, director), Graham Swon (producer)
“Holy Emy” (Utopie Films) – Araceli Lemos (writer, director), Giulia Caruso (writer, producer), Mathieu Bompoint, Ki Jin Kim, Konstantinos Vassilaros (producers)
“Something in the Dirt” (XYZ Films) – Justin Benson (writer, director, producer), Aaron Moorhead (director, producer), David Lawson Jr. (producer)

Best Cinematography
“Aftersun” (A24) – Gregory Oke
“Murina” (Kino Lorber) – Hélène Louvart
“Neptune Frost” (Kino Lorber) – Anisia Uzeyman
“Pearl” (A24) – Eliot Rockett
“Tár” (Focus Features) – Florian Hoffmeister

Best Documentary
“A House Made of Splinters” (Madman Entertainment) – Simon Lereng Wilmont (director), Monica Hellström (producer)
“All that Breathes” (HBO) – Shaunak Sen (director, producer), Teddy Leifer, Aman Mann (producers)
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” (Neon) – Laura Poitras (director, producer), Howard Gertler, Nan Goldin, Yoni Golijov, John Lyons (producers)
“Midwives” (POV) – Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing (director, producer), Mila Aung-Thwin, Ulla Lehmann, Bob Moore (producers)
“Riotsville, U.S.A.” (IFC Films) – Sierra Pettengill (director), Sara Archambault, Jamila Wignot (producer)

Best Editing
“Aftersun” (A24) – Blair McClendon
“The Cathedral” (Mubi) – Ricky D’Ambrose
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) – Paul Rogers
“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” (A24) – Dean Fleischer Camp, Nick Paley
“Tár” (Focus Features) – Monika Willi

Robert Altman Award (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

“Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – Sarah Polley (director), John Buchan, Jason Knight (casting directors), Shayla Brown, Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Kira Guloien, Kate Hallett, Judith Ivey, Rooney Mara, Sheila McCarthy, Frances McDormand, Michelle McLeod, Liv McNeil, Ben Whishaw, August Winter (ensemble cast)

Best International Film
“Corsage” (Austria/Luxembourg/France/Belgium/Italy/England) – dir. Marie Kreutzer
“Joyland” (Pakistan/USA) – dir. Saim Sadiq
“Leonor Will Never Die” (Philippines) – dir. Martika Ramirez Escobar
“Return to Seoul” (South Korea/France/Belgium/Romania) – dir. Davy Chou
“Saint Omer” (France) – dir. Alice Diop

Producers Award (presented by Bulleit Frontier Whiskey  – The Producers Award, now in its 26th year, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films.)
Liz Cardenas
Tory Lenosky
David Grove Churchill Viste

Someone to Watch Award (The Someone to Watch Award, now in its 29th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition)
Adamma Ebo – “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul”
Nikyatu Jusu – “Nanny”
Araceli Lemos – “Holy Emy”

“The Truer Than Fiction Award” (The Truer Than Fiction Award, now in its 28th year, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition)
Isabel Castro – “Mija”
Reid Davenport – “I Didn’t See You There”
Rebeca Huntt – “Beba”

Horror Film Review: Halloween Ends (dir by David Gordon Green)


Halloween Ends?  Not likely.

It is true that, with this movie, David Gordon Green does close out his version of the Halloween trilogy and, for that, we should all be thankful.  For all the critical acclaim that the film received, none of Green’s Halloween films seem destined to stand the test of time.  I like almost all of David Gordon Green’s work except for his Halloween films and, unfortunately, I find his version of Halloween to be so self-important and annoying that it overshadows what I previously liked about his other movies.  (Don’t even get me started on the news that he will next be rebooting The Exorcist.)  Watching the Green Halloween trilogy, you find yourself wondering why Green made the films at all since he seems to consider the whole slasher genre to be beneath him.  Say what you will about Rob Zombie’s Halloween films, Zombie at least loves the horror genre.  Green, like so many Blumhouse filmmakers, only seems to make horror films so that he can remind us that he’s better than them.

But I doubt that this will be the final Halloween film.  It will be the last Halloween film produced under Blumhouse, as the rights to the story and the characters now revert back to Malek Akkad.  And, as long as there is money to be made off of the franchise, there will be new Halloween films.  Someone else will come along and reboot the franchise and hopefully wipe out the Green continuity just as ruthlessly as Green wiped out the previous franchise’s continuity.  In an age of franchises and prequels and cinematic universes, the Halloween franchise is proud to say, “Ha!  You mean you actually kept track of what happened in all the other movies!?  Sucks to be you, dumbass.”

But let’s talk about Halloween Ends.

As you may remember, Halloween Kills ended with Michael killing Laurie Strode’s daughter and Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) grabbing a shotgun and heading out to get  revenge.  Well …. ha ha, joke’s on you.  Laurie never got her revenge.  Michael vanished.  Four years later, Laurie has gone from being a badass survivalist to being a cheerful, cookie-baking grandma because she had to let go of the anger.  Laurie spent forty years preparing for Michael to return and then, when Michael does return and brutally murders her daughter, Laurie decides that she has to let go of her anger.  Laurie’s main concern is that the town of Haddonfield is now a traumatized and angry place.  Maybe she can spread positivity by writing a memoir about her life.  Sadly, this means that we also have to listen to passages from Laurie’s memoirs.  Laurie Strode is good at fighting psychotic killers but she sucks as a writer.

Unfortunately, whenever Laurie leaves the house that she shares with her granddaughter, Allyson (Andi Matichak), she runs the risk of being accosted by all of the angry people who all lost a relative or a friend to Michael Myers.  All of them view Laurie as being a reminder of the pain caused by Michael.  They actually do have a point and you have to wonder about Laurie’s claim that she’s staying in Haddonfield to help the town heal.  First off, I don’t know why Laurie would have so much loyalty to what appears to be a fairly generic suburb.  Secondly, the townspeople are so traumatized that is actually seems a bit a selfish for Laurie to remain in Haddonfield and to continually remind everyone of the worst night of their lives.  I mean, Laurie could move.  You know who can’t leave?  The wheelchair-bound woman who was paralyzed while Michael was killing everyone in town because he wanted to find Laurie.

Michael disappeared after killing Laurie’s daughter.  No one knows where Michael is.  Michael is a big and fearsome serial killer who nearly wiped out an entire town and he’s out there somewhere and apparently, no one is looking for him.  That’s what one has to assume because, according to the film, he’s spent the last four years living underneath a bridge.  He’s still wearing his mask.  He looks and acts exactly the same way as he did previously.  He’s still killing people.  He’s just doing it under a bridge.  How, in four yeas time, has it not occurred to anyone in law enforcement to not check under the bridge?  It’s the most obvious hiding spot in town but no one looked under the bridge.  And why, if Michael is obsessed with killing Laurie, has he spent four years under a bridge as opposed to going to Laurie’s house?

Michael is pretty much treated as a supporting character in Halloween Ends.  For that matter, so is Laurie.  The majority of the film centers around a new character named Corey (Rohan Campbell).  Corey was a college student with a bright future until a terrible babysitting accident led to the death of a boy named Jeremy.  Corey was blamed for the death, even though it really wasn’t his fault.  (The scenes with Corey and Jeremy open the film and are so well-handled that it leaves little doubt that Green was far more emotionally invested in Corey’s storyline than he was in any of the Michael/Laurie nonsense.)  Even though Corey was acquitted of manslaughter, he is now the town pariah.  Corey meets and falls in love with Allyson but, unfortunately, the town’s constant taunting and suspicion causes him to snap.  He becomes a disciple and then a rival of Michael’s.

Corey is the type of damaged character who has been at the center of many of David Gordon Green’s non-Halloween films.  One gets the feeling that Green wanted to make a movie about Corey but, since he’s abandoned indie films in order to spend his time screwing up venerable horror franchises, Green and co-writer Danny McBride instead jammed Corey’s story into a Halloween film.  While Corey has the potential to be an interesting character, he doesn’t belong here.  Making Corey into a killer means reducing Michael’s powers.  Michael goes from being a fearsome symbol of pure evil to being some guy in the sewers who gets beaten up and mugged by a nerdy guy who previously couldn’t even stand up to the members of the school band.  It not only goes against the spirit of the original Halloween films but also against everything that was previously established in the Green Halloween films.  I mean, Corey beats up Michael after Corey gets beaten up by a bunch of band kids.  Maybe if the posse in Halloween Kills had been made up of the high school marching band, Laurie’s daughter would still be alive.

It all gets to be a bit annoying.  There are so many little things that don’t make any sense.  My favorite is that the family of that hired Corey to babysit moves out of their house after the death of their son.  Corey continues to break into the now abandoned house, which has sat empty for four years.  And yet, the abandoned house is remarkably well taken care of.  For some reason, the family took all of their furniture but left behind a grand piano.  Why wouldn’t they take the piano with them?  In the drawing room, there’s a book shelf that is empty except for three books.  Why would the family leave those three books behind?  When Green rebooted the Halloween franchise, he ignored all of the sequels because, according to him, the sequels weren’t any good and didn’t make sense.  But Halloween Ends feels as rushed and nonsensical as any of the films that featured Danielle Harris as Laurie’s daughter.

The film ends with the community of Haddonfield coming together once again.  It’s a scene that I wish I could describe but to do so would mean spoiling the end of the movie.  Let’s just say that it’s incredibly dumb and it almost feels like a parody of the previous Green films.  One of the worst thing about the Green films is the insistence of presenting Haddonfield as being some sort of iconic location as opposed to just being a generic anytown USA.  The whole reason why the original Halloween films were so effective was because Haddonfield could have been anywhere.  Green tries to turn Haddonfield into another Twin Peaks and it’s another sign that he never really understood what made John Carpenter’s original film work in the first place.  Ironically, a lot of what happens during the final moments of Halloween Ends would make more sense if Michael was Laurie’s brother but, again, the Green films did away with all that.

Halloween Ends is not necessarily the worst film of 2022.  As a director, Green is still capable of coming up with an effective shot or two.  But, considering the hype that accompanied it, it is one of the most disappointing.  And it also has the most unintentionally funny ending of any film you’re likely to see in 2022.  Whenever I feel down, I just think about that solemn procession to the auto yard and it cheers me right up.

As I said at the start of this review, Halloween will never end as long as there is money to be made.  So, in another few years, we’ll get another reboot and, once again, we’ll discover with Laurie, Tommy Doyle, Linsdey, and Sheriff Brackett have been doing since the night Michael came home.  My idea for a reboot is that they should make Michael and Laurie into siblings.  That would be interesting.

Horror Film Review: The Fog (dir by John Carpenter)


“Time for one more story,” Mr. Machen (John Houseman) declares the beginning of John Carpenter’s 1980 horror film, The Fog.

Mr. Machen is a resident of Antonio Bay, California, a coastal town that was founded with the help of gold stolen from a ship that was owned by a wealthy man named Blake (Rob Bottin). Blake wanted to start a leper colony. Instead, he was betrayed by six sailors who sank Blake’s ship, stole the gold, and used it to start the town of Antonio Bay.

At 12 midnight, on the day that the town is to celebrate its 100 anniversary, strange things start to happen. Windows shatter. Masonry falls from walls. A thick fog rolls across the ocean and seems to move from house to house. Inside the fog are several angry spirits, led by Blake. They not only want their gold back but they also want to take six lives as a way of getting revenge on the six conspirators who stole their gold and sank their ship.

It all starts with knock at the door and, if you look out a window, maybe you’ll see a dark shadow standing in an all-enveloping fog. Answering the door is a mistake. At the same time, so is not answering the door. It’s not easy to escape the vengeful spirits in the fog.

The Fog (1980, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Dean Cudney)

The Fog plays out like a disaster film, albeit one with a supernatural twist. The film follows several characters who are trying to survive the night and the majority of them don’t even meet until the final half of the film. There’s a truck driver (Tom Atkins) and a hitchhiker (Jamie Lee Curtis). There’s the alcoholic priest (Hal Halbrook) and the chairwoman (Janet Leigh) of the anniversary committee. Nancy Loomis, who co-starred with Curtis in Carpenter’s Halloween, plays an administrative assistant while Carpenter’s wife, Adrienne Barbeau, plays the local radio DJ whose son is briefly targeted by the fog. There’s even a coroner named Dr. Phibes!

In fact, the whole film is full of references to other films. The Fog finds John Carpenter in a rather playful mood, with characters named after Carpenter associates like Dan O’Bannon, Tommy Wallace, and Nick Castle. There’s even a mention of Arkham, the fictional New England town that served as the setting for many of H.P. Lovecraft’s stories.

42 years after it was made, The Fog holds up as a very well-told ghost story. I mean, fog is just creepy in itself. Then you add in a bunch of silent shadows standing in the fog and it gets even scarier! For the most part, the actors all do a good job playing rather thinly-drawn characters. Tom Atkins is always fun to watch! The true stars of the film, of course, are the ghosts and they will definitely give you nightmares.

The Fog is a good film for Halloween viewing so watch it and don’t answer the door!

The Fog (1980, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Dean Cundey)

(Don’t just take my word for it!  Be sure to read Leonard’s review of The Fog!)

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions For September


Horrorthon, my favorite time of year, starts tomorrow!  However, before we get lost in the scary season, I want to take one last look at awards season!  It’s time for me to update my Oscar nominations.  Fortunately, thanks to all of the recent festival premieres, the Oscar picture is finally starting to look a little bit clearer.  There’s still a lot of question marks out there and, as always, anything can happen.  But, finally, I can say that there’s more to my predictions that just lucky guesses and wishful thinking.

Below, you’ll find my predictions for September!  In order to see how my thinking has evolved over the course of the year, be sure to check out my predictions for February, March, April, May, June, July, and August.

Best Picture

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

The Menu

TAR

Till

Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking

A few thoughts on the (potential) nominees:

Babylon, I will admit, I’m including because of the trailer and the fact that it’s a Damien Chazelle film about Hollywood.  The Academy likes films about itself and one can argue that after what happened when La La Land was nominated, Chazelle is owed at least a little bit of recognition.  Then again, that same argument could have been made for First Man and we know how that turned out.

As for The Menu, I’ve got that in my surprise nominee slot.  There’s almost always at least one potential nominee that’s considered to be a long shot until the nominations are announced.  Now that we have a set number of ten nominees, the chances that one nominee will be a surprise seems even more certain than before.

Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis, and Everything Everywhere All At Once all came out early in the year but they’ve all achieved the box office success necessary to be remembered.

Till seems like the type of film that the Academy will want to acknowledge, especially with the presidential election right around the corner.

The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, TAR, and Women Talking were all acclaimed when they made their festival debuts.  Banshees, in particular, went from being a probable also-ran to a surefire contender based on the length of the standing ovation that it received.

Best Director

Chinonye Chukwu for Till

Todd Field for TAR

Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Insherin

Sarah Polley for Women Talking

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Austin Butler in Elvis

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Insherin

Ralph Fiennes in The Menu

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie in I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Olivia Colman in Empire of Light

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Insherin

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Woody Harrelson in Triangle of Sadness

Judd Hirsch in The Fabelmans

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Sally Field in Spoiler Alert

Frances McDormand in Women Talking

Janelle Monae in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Lisa Marie’s Early Oscar Predictions For August


It’s that time of the month again!

Here are my Oscar predictions for August.  By the end of September, the picture should be a bit clearer.  Until then, most of the predictions listed below continue to be guesses.

Be sure to check out my predictions for February, March, April, May, June, and July!

Best Picture

Babylon

Elvis

Empire of Light

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

The Inspection

The Son

TAR

Till

Top Gun: Maverick

Best Director

The Daniels for Everything Everywhere All At Once

Todd Field for TAR

Baz Luhrmann for Elvis

Steven Speilberg for The Fabelmans

Florian Zeller for The Son

Best Actor

Austin Butler in Elvis

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Hugh Jackman in The Son

Harry Styles in My Policeman

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Olivia Colman in Empire of Light

Viola Davis in The Woman King

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Anthony Hopkins in The Son

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Tobey Maguire in Babylon

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actress

Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Laura Dern in The Son

Sally Field in Spoiler Alert

Stephanie Hsu in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Halloween Kills (dir. by David Gordon Green)


You have to appreciate a movie that does what it’s poster claims.

Halloween Kills might not be the best film in a 40 year old franchise that branched off into 3 separate storylines, a remake (with a sequel) and an Anthology entry in the middle. Still, it’s so much better than 1995’s Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers and Halloween: Resurrection. It brings the carnage in quick, and despite some missteps, it tries to do some good. However, there’s only so much you can bring to the table with a story that’s gone on for this long. I didn’t outright hate it, but I didn’t see myself returning to it in the way I did with Malignant or Dune, even though it’s available to watch on NBC/Universal’s Peacock streaming service.

Much like 1981’s Halloween II, Halloween Kills takes place just a few minutes right after 2018’s Halloween, with the Strode house burning and Michael believed to be stuck in the basement. Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) is injured and on her way to the hospital with her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter (Andi Matichak). The town of Haddonfield is attempting to recover from yet another Myers incident. You’d think that after 40 years of all this, they’d have an entire Myers Assault Force or something, but we’re not quite there yet. After all, in this continuity change, Haddonfield only has Michael’s childhood incident and the 1978 one. Despite this, the town has finally had enough of Michael’s antics and band together (with Tommy in the lead) to finish him. To quote Laurie, “Evil Dies Tonight!”

They’re so doomed.

Mind you, this isn’t the first time that Haddonfield’s tried to turn the tables on Myers, though it is a first for this particular universe. They tried back in Halloween 4, but it didn’t quite work out. Halloween Kills poses a quiet question of who is worse: The single killer on the loose, or the angry mob that’s after him?

I’ll admit that I enjoyed the return of some familiar faces in Pamela Susan Shoop (the nurse who was with Loomis when Michael stole their station wagon) and Kyle Richards (Lindsay, the little girl who Laurie was babysitting). Tommy Doyle is there as well, but the adult version of him is played by Anthony Michael Hall (The Dark Knight). They even managed to bring back Charles Cyphers as the former Haddonfield Sheriff. I’ll give this version kudos for delivering some fan service with those cameos. By far, the best addition to the cast was a cameo by The Wolf of Snow Hollow‘s Jim Cummings as one of the Haddonfield Police. Having played a cop in both of his previous films, it was a perfect fit here.The film also weaves a bit of Saw-like magic by expanding on the 1978 Halloween Night. While it’s not a perfect fit to the original events, it adds a somewhat fresh coat of paint to the new storyline that’s in effect here. It’s one of the places where the movie actually shines. They can weave a whole new backstory for Michael, and I’m here for it.

The gore levels in Halloween are your typical fare, as this version of Michael is much more vicious than his earlier counterparts. We can chalk that up to the changing times, I imagine. Like every Halloween, there are a few unnecessary kills – random families that are taken out just to up the body count while you may wonder what these individuals have to do with anything. If you don’t have any problems with that, then the film’s definitely worth a watch. At least in Halloween & Halloween II, the murders were connections to Laurie (her friends) or obstacles in Michael’s way (the Hospital Staff). With Halloween Kills, Michael just executes anyone who’s in his vicinity, which was the same problem I had with the film before it.

The other issue is that Laurie sits this fight out for most the film. With her injuries being pretty extensive, she instead takes on the role of harbinger, reminding her children and her Sheriff friend (played by Will Patton) that Michael is coming and has to be stopped. She’s the new Loomis, for the most part. Anyone walking into this film expecting a face off between Laurie and Michael will probably want to hold out for the next installment.

The Carpenters (Cody and his dad, John) do a good job, musically. There’s no complaints there. I also have to admit that the sound quality is also pretty good in this film. Overall, Halloween Kills is a fun film if you’re not expecting too much and you need something to close your night with. With a runtime of about an hour and 50 minutes, it doesn’t lag too much, though it stumbles a little through the town revenge plot. It’s definitely worth it to get to the last 15 minutes or so.

Future Winners: 6 Actresses Who I Hope Will Have Won An Oscar By 2030


Continuing the theme from my previous post, here are 6 actresses who I sincerely hope will have won their first competitive Oscar by the time that the 2030 ceremony rolls around.

(By the way, there’s a chance that Scarlett Johansson, Saorise Ronan and Florence Pugh could finally win Oscars tonight.  That’s the only reason why they’re not on the list below.)

  1. Amy Adams

Much like Bradley Cooper on my previous list, Amy Adams is probably the most obvious pick here.  I’m actually amazed that, after been nominated a total of 6 times, the terrifically talented Amy Adams has yet to win her first Oscar.  The fact that she could even receive a nomination for a film like Vice reveals that she’s got fans in the Academy and she’s definitely reached the point where she can say that she’s overdue for the award.  The Woman In The Window was originally promoted as being an Oscar contender but, considering all the trouble that film’s gone through to just get a release date, Adams may have to wait another year or two.  Still, she seems destined to win eventually and it’ll be a great day for all the members of the 2% of us who have naturally red hair.

2. Emily Blunt

How has Emily Blunt never received a single Oscar nomination? I mean, Amy Adams should be angry that she doesn’t have an Oscar yet but at least she has six nominations.  Emily Blunt doesn’t even have one yet, despite being one of the best actresses working today.  Again, Blunt seems destined to win.  It’s just a question of when.

 

3. Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan should have won for her performance in An Education.  She also deserved to be nominated for Shame.  She doesn’t have an Oscar but she certainly has the talent to win one.  She’s one of the best actresses around, though she often seems to appear in the type of good but challenging films that fall off of the Academy’s radar.  Promising Young Woman was a hit at Sundance so we’ll see if that leads to another nomination.

4. Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis has been giving good performances since before I was born but since so many of them were in horror films, the Academy failed to notice.  She’s now one of those actresses who people seem to take for granted.  Hopefully, someone writes a great role for her in the future as Curtis is overdue for not just a nomination but for an award as well.

5. Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain is one of those actresses who I think everyone assumes has won an Oscar but actually, she hasn’t.  She’s been twice nominated and even that seems like it has to be a mistake.  I mean, really?  Only two nominations for Jessica Chastain?  (Personally, I chalk it up to the Academy having an issue with those of us who have naturally red hair.)  Much like Amy Adams, Chastain is another actress who seems destined to win over the next decade.

6. Jennifer Jason Leigh

Seriously, how does Jennifer Jason Leigh — one of the greatest actress of all freaking time — only have one nomination?  Not only is she overdue for the award but, based on Marriage Story, she deserves one just for putting up with Noah Baumbach for eight years.

Agree?  Disagree?  Have another name to offer up?  Let us know in the comments below!

 

Jamie Lee Curtis Tweets A First Look At Halloween Kills!


Well, everyone, Halloween will soon be over for this year but we’ve got 2020 to look forward to!  That’s one good thing about Halloween.  It may have to end but it always returns, resurrected like an angry ghost or vampire.

Or like Michael Myers!

Yes, that’s right.  Michael is returning next year, in a sequel to David Gordon Green’s Halloween.  David Gordon Green’s Halloween, of course, should not be mistaken for Rob Zombie’s Halloween or any other Halloween that came out after the original.  I swear to God, it’s so hard to keep all of these continuities straight.

Anyway, Halloween Kills is coming out next year and everyone’s really excited, even though Halloween Kills is a TERRIBLE title.  Today, in honor of the holiday, Jamie Lee Curtis tweeted out some first-look footage of the film.  And, because we love all of you and like to share, here it is!

To be honest, there’s not much there so it’s hard to say for sure what to make of this footage.  I will say that this is still far superior to the teaser they released for the next Bond film.