THE NEW MUTANTS (2020)

Directed By: Josh Boone
Written By: Josh Boone & Knate Lee
Cinematography: Peter Deming 
Editor: Andrew Buckland, Robb Sullivan & Matthew Rundell 

Cast: Blu Hunt, Alice Braga, Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Henry Zaga, Adam Beach 

Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.


Had high hopes for this film when it was originally supposed to be released. As in the advertisements, it seemed to offer something different when it came to a superhero film. One that was more of a horror film.

While the film resembles one. It doesn’t scare or fascinate. In fact, it feels more like a video game for the number of CGI effects used and more aimed at teenagers for how clean it comes off being.

Especially as it plays more like a haunted house film That just happens to involve a laboratory.

One can understand with all the supposed reshooting and re-edits that delayed the film. Which is supposed to sharpen the movie or at least make it better, but it seems to have sucked all the originality out of it.

The actors also use a variety of f accents that don’t seem to always stick. There is one. Performance that is so bad it’s never believable and amazed it stayed in and in so many scenes. As it comes off more cartoonish than probably intended.

The movie also comes off a lot simpler than it should.

The film had certain darkness that hangs over it that would work in a horror film or if it truly meant something but as the film plays like a dramatic thriller. It feels more artificial. So that the angst that the film tries to display feels more scripted than natural.

All of this is a shame as this was also one of my favored comic book series when I used to collect comic books as a teen. This movie doesn’t come close to it in any way, shape, or form. In fact, it feels more random than anything else 

Some of the disappointment might be that the film feels a bit unfinished; it offers a nice short story, but holds the ideas for something bigger and more. That could have been a different kind of superhero movie. Though it feels like any development for something original was stopped in its tracks or just cut out. As it feels constantly on the edge of something then stops way short. Which just leaves a major disappointment. 

Grade: C-

CAPONE (2020)

Written, Edited & Directed By: Josh Trank
Cinematography: Peter Deming

Cast: Tom Hardy, Linda Cardellini, Matt Dillon, Kyle Maclachlan, Al Sapienza, Katherine Narducci, Noel Fisher, Jack London, Neal Brennan, Tilda Del Toro

The 47-year old Al Capone, after 10 years in prison, starts suffering from dementia and comes to be haunted by his violent past.


There is a lot here to deal with. Most of the film and material comes off as a fever dream that hints at or points out places of interest. Though pretty soon the films succumb to the madness of the protagonist and soon becomes where you can’t tell memory from a flashback of reality or madness.  

Tom hardy is clearly enjoying himself going fully overboard in a lived-in performance under tons of make-up and using active tics constantly. He sounds like a human cobra commander and the makeup seems realistic in that it is overdone think Johnny Depp in BLACK MASS where neither of them looks natural or all that human necessarily. Where he mostly makes noises and his character continuously poops on himself. To show degradation and how sick he is and the mighty have fallen but it happens so often. After a while, you feel like you could program a drinking game to it.  

The film swings and attempts a kind of David Lynch vibe of the film where the strangeness and non-linear storytelling will be fascinating in Itself and it’s own art that the audience will find the beauty in all of this. Which works with a director who is used to or knows for telling stories in that way. Unfortunately, this one isn’t. Casting Kyle Maclachlan in the film only helps strengthen this theory.  

As this is supposed to be writer/director Josh Trank’s comeback after the FANTASTIC FOUR movie bombing. One can understand why he went this route. As most of the films he made before were special effects spectacles and science fiction. Here he gets his hand to try drama and thriller of sorts. As well as a crime story based on real people.  

This film just seems all over the place and might have been more interesting with some cohesiveness and an understanding as half the people in his house we are left wondering their relationships. A lot of stuff isn’t explained And it comes off as more random And not fun random. 

As the audience might not know that much about al Capone and his past. So when bringing in various information, characters and showing them to have significance later in the film is purposeful but when we are introduced we don’t know of their importance and seem more random or built up to not mean as much when their character is more revealed. 

This is a film that has a lot of symbolism but nothing really behind it as it offers no hints or notes. So it keeps building to ultimately nothing. It could have been tightened by the missing buried money plot, a treasure hunt if you will, making it stronger. 

Even if it feels like a point of interest for the other strands of stories and characters to revolve around, it would also help as half the time making us wonder if this is all an act and he actually is mad or at first he is faking and then slowly he and we realize he is actually going crazy. As watching it now we know he is crazy but never knows what is real, fantasy, flashback. 

Which doesn’t help when we see scenes of characters that have nothing to do with him mixed in. So we take those as real and then later male reveals where maybe they weren’t. The randomness includes Matt Dillon being introduced during a sex scene why? So the film will have some Sex In it? Then being called into Florida with his amour. We never see her again and as it is separate why are we seeing it when we eventually learn of his character and his eventual fate. 

In the end, you can see what attracted the cast and why the director made the film Or at least his intentions, but it seems to have had the equivalent of shooting himself in the foot.

While also having the last hurrah on a sinking ship that only he thought might survive and prosper.  

Grade: D

SON IN LAW (1993)

soninlaw

Directed By: Steve Rash
Written By: Fax Bahr, Adam Small & Shawn Schepps
Story By: Patrick Clifton, Susan McMartin & Peter Lenkov
Cinematography By: Peter Deming
Editor: Dennis M. Hill 


Cast: Pauly Shore, Carla Gugino, Lane Smith, Mason Adams, Tiffani Amber-Theissen, Patrick Renna, Cindy Pickett, Dennis Burkley

Country girl Rebecca begins college in Los Angeles. There she meets Crawl, a student who is crazy, unpredictable and wild. During the holidays she brings him with her home. Her parents have never seen anything like him and are shocked when Rebecca tells them that they are engaged to be married. Two different worlds collide…

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SCREAM 2 (1997)

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Directed By: Wes Craven
Written By: Kevin Williamson
Cinematography: Peter Deming
Editor: Patrick Lussier 

Cast: Neve Campbell, Jerry O’Connell, Elise Neal, Timothy Olyphant, Jamie Kennedy, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Rebecca Gayheart, Portia DeRossi, Liev Schrieber, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jada Pinkett, Omar Epps, Duane Martin, David Warner, Luke Wilson, Heather Graham, Tori Spelling, Lewis Arquette, Joshua Jackson, Marisol Nichols 

Two years after the events of Scream, Sidney Prescott and Randy are attending Windsor college. They are trying to get on with their lives…Until a new Ghostface killing spree begins. With the help of Dewey and Gale, Sidney must find out who’s behind the murders. As the body count goes up, the list of suspects goes down.

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SCREAM 3 (2000)

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Directed By: Wes Craven
Written By: Ehren Kruger
Based On Character Created By: Kevin Williamson
Cinematography: Peter Deming
Editor: Patrick Lussier 

Cast: Neve Campbell, Patrick Dempsey, David Arquette, Courtney Cox, Parker Posey, Josh Pais, Scott Foley, Emily Mortimer, Patrick Warburton, Deon Richmond, Jenny McCarthy, Carrie Fisher, Lance Henriksen, Liev Schrieber, Kelly Rutherford, Matt Kesslar, Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Heather Matarazzo, Jamie Kennedy 

A new film is currently in production, and a killer is on the loose. The murders draw a reporter, ex-cop, and young woman to the set of the movie inspired by their life. They soon find out that they are dealing with a trilogy, and in a trilogy…anything can happen.

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