Anthony Pantalone, Editor
In the month of October, a batch of new films hit theaters and streaming services worldwide. Some great, some alright, some weird. Also, with this month came the frights and ghouls of the Halloween season as moviegoers were treated to various new frights and thrills. Here are a couple of quick reviews of new films I had the treat of watching in the past few weeks. Spoilers ahead…
“Halloween Ends” is a weird movie. It’s advertised as the final film in the Halloween franchise, yet it barely features Michael Myers. Also, the people in this also barely act like human beings. I’m not sure if that is a purposeful creative choice or the script is just weird and bad. I was expecting this movie to be about Laurie Strode and Michael Myers facing off for the final time. I wasn’t entirely wrong about that, but the movie is mostly just about some random guy. I’m not even kidding. Like, just some guy that accidentally killed someone years ago and later turns into a serial killer. An hour and twenty minutes in, there had been little to no horror, and I was just incredibly confused. I can’t be too critical of this movie though and am actually biased to even like it. I saw it with my mom and her review of the film dictates that “it was good.” Therefore, I am also inclined to say “Halloween Ends” was good.
Black Adam is so cool. Look at him. He’s changing the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe. He’s so strong and powerful. This review is officially sponsored by “Black Adam” starring Dwayne Johnson only in theaters now. #ad
Just kidding. Here are some quick thoughts. This movie was okay. Pierce Brosnan was cool. You could cut at least 45 minutes from this two-hour movie by getting rid of the slow motion. I am confused by the politics of this film though. Is it anti-imperialist? Is The Rock taking a hard stance on the West using Middle Eastern strife for profit? The movie itself doesn’t even really understand what’s at hand politically. This is one of those movies I would love to ask Noam Chomsky or Slavoj Žižek about. Also, important to note, the last thing that the Paul Pelosi attacker wrote before the recent assassination attempt was a review of “Black Adam.” We’ve now found our generation’s Mark David Chapman and “Catcher in the Rye.”
I had fun watching “Bros” and genuinely do think that the box office numbers were unfair to this film. The first hour and a half are great, but I do think the film could have benefitted from editing the final half hour better. I do understand the criticisms about Billy Eichner as a lead. I think he is a funny person who did fit this role, yet it irks me that he definitely wrote himself into his own script as the lead. I don’t know. It feels like wish fulfillment to a certain degree. It’s so self-indulgent when a writer puts themselves in their own story and purposefully makes them come off as incredibly interesting, successful and always right. Woody Allen did this a lot, and it always was unbearable. Noah Baumbach would do the same yet at least always had Ben Stiller or Adam Driver play the self-insert character. If you’re going to write a character into your script, at least don’t play that character. I could see several other middle-aged gay actors who could play this role perfectly. Andrew Scott is right there. Same with Lee Pace.
Werewolf By Night
I loved this after going in with absolutely no expectations. Discourse about the Marvel Cinematic Universe to me usually is perennially exhausting and really has no point. Though after the past year or so, I had been growing somewhat weary of Marvel after just watching so much. “Werewolf by Night” felt like the sole breath of creative fresh air I’ve seen Kevin Feige and the folks at Marvel Studios give audiences in a while. This Halloween special clocks in at a little under an hour and is directed by famed composer Michael Giachinno. The special also differs from other Marvel projects as it focuses on simply telling an interesting story and leans in on the horror elements. Giachinno swaps out the heavy use of CGI in favor of mostly practical effects—a choice that profoundly benefits “Werewolf By Night.” It also wonderfully plays as a homage to classic horror B-movies in Old Hollywood. The black-and-white film looks grainy with splotches appearing every so often. Even at one point, the creative choice is made to have a shot repeat while the audio continues out of sync. After seeing so much creativity stifled in the massive media conglomerate that is Marvel, it is truly refreshing to see someone be allowed to compose a scene with aesthetically pleasing cinematography. While Marvel has lacked creativity in some recent projects, Giachinno ensures that “Werewolf By Night” lacks neither style nor substance.