Movie Review: THE NEON DEMON – Nicolas Winding’s Refn’s pretentious horror piece reflects the vacuousness of its modeling world setting

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The Neon Demon is one of those self-aggrandizing pieces of cinema fluff that seems designed purely to win  (or at least compete) during awards season.  It’s relatively easy to spot them: they trade in style over substance in both plot and character, and they are darlings of the art-cinema set.  Since moving from Europe to the US, Nicolas Winding Refn has become largely a purveyor of the kind of ponderous languid drama that’s generally hailed by film-school analysts as works of brilliance, and derided by critics as bland, featureless pap.  No secrets here: I’m in the latter camp.  In The Neon Demon, he invites derision from the get go, intentionally or otherwise: not only does the movie throw his name ahead of the credits, when the actual title card appears onscreen it’s also accompanied by his initials in a small vertical strip.  I hate using the word pretentious to describe movies, but I’ll certainly use it here.

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Movie Review: THE BROOD (1979) – Cronenberg’s seminal horror movie goes a lot deeper than just “evil children”. Modern filmmakers could learn a lot.

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I get that it seems redundant to review old movies, but then again, “movie reviews” is a catch all term, right?  I probably won’t make a habit of this, but who knows!  Right now, it’s more of a thought exercise for me, having not seen this particular movie in about 20 years.  I felt that had put enough distance between myself and it so that even if it wasn’t exactly “new to me”, watching David Cronenberg’s 1979 move The Brood in 2016 might allow me to see it with a different set of sensibilities.  I know back then I didn’t so much absorb movies as I try to these days, I was more of a casual watcher.

Continue reading “Movie Review: THE BROOD (1979) – Cronenberg’s seminal horror movie goes a lot deeper than just “evil children”. Modern filmmakers could learn a lot.”

Movie Review: STAR TREK BEYOND – Chris Pine still unable to bring it as Kirk, in the blandest Trek movie since Insurrection

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To qualify everything that comes next: while I’m a Star Trek fan, there’s a lot about Trek I cannot stand.  I’m talking about the various TV incarnations and the current reboot, just to be clear.  It’s the earliest memory of TV I can recall, and according to the dedicated Star Trek wiki, Memory Alpha, I likely caught it in the final season of its first run on the BBC (September – December 1971).  I loved this show, and a big part of me still does.

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