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[Movie Review] mother! Puts the Exclamation Point in WTF!

Movie nerds bristle with excitement at the idea of a new year and a new movie from visionary director, Darren Aronofsky. Blake Swan made so many swoon at the filmmaker’s artistic prowess and delivered a gold statue at the feet of Natalie Portman. Oh, what marvelous treasures must be waiting for us with the allignment of such a bold innovative voice and stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem. The film opens and like a George R.R. Martin like twist the fans and critics alike are lining up to take turns diving a dagger into Aronofsky’s divisive vision.

I never do this, but to truly dig below the surface of mother! I feel it’s important to delve into some context of why people are so split–why some might worship Aronofsky’s artistic expression while others might take their ticket stub and use it as some part of a voodoo ritual that culminates in the director’s untimely demise. Before we venture into those treacherous waters let me say this–mother! is a work of art. An interpretive painting that disgusts you, but strangely you feel compelled to keep starring and marvel at its audacity. Pretentious as that sounds, it’s a cinematic voice that should be encouraged even if it’s not something mainstream audiences have the stomach for. I encourage moviegoers to take the plunge into Aronofsky’s troubling psyche, but be forewarned that when you come out on the other side, remember…it was your choice to actually do so.  (more…)

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[Movie Review] IT Redefines the Hollywood Horror Formula

Don’t get swept up in thinking nostalgia is what lends to your percepted fond memories of the original 90’s IT mini-series. It’s pretty bad. Apart from Tim Curry’s always steady and reliable acting chops the mini-series is borderline unwatchable. Luckily, a fondness for the original is not a prerequisite for digging deep into MAMA director, Andy Muschietti’s delightful adaptation.

Not without its own issues (but we’ll get to that) the latest IT pulls from the classic Stephen King novel of the same name in which a handful of bullied youths that make up The Losers Club must band together to fight an ancient evil residing in their quaint town of Derry. Iconically, the evil takes the form of many of the character’s deepest fears, but it’s hands down favorite apprearance is a f***** up clown by the name of Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård). This adaptation finds Pennywise’s design that if a Victorian era clown with fiendishly evil facial expressions, but played interestingly enough by Skarsgård–alternating from over-the-top giggles to a guttural sinister tone that’s as inconsistent as it is unsettling at times.  (more…)

[Movie Review] ‘Logan’ Infuses Heart and Violence into a Potent Cocktail

logan_poster-tgofWhile superhero fatigue still has me in its icy grip, along comes Logan to warm that chill–at least temporarily. Perhaps it’s the, at times, overwhelming violence or the emotional vulnerability of being a new dad that makes the arc Wolverine’s final chapter that much more effective. Whatever way you look at it, Hugh Jackman’s curtain call as the claw wielding potty-mouth is a fitting and emotional bow that might rely a little too much on its R rating and hero cliches.

Picking up in 2029 where mutant residency has since passed, Logan spends his days driving a limo for drunk brides and frat boys chanting ‘Merica near the US/Mexico border. South of the border Logan lives with Caliban (Stephen Merchant) and an aged Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart with his most powerful portrayal as Professor X to date) suffering dementia and the occasional population crippling seizure. With his health steadily declining and his body unwilling to heal like it used to Logan begrudgingly accepts to transport a young mutant, Laura (Dafne Keen), with powers strikingly similar to his own, North across the Canadian border and hopefully to safety away from the research facility tracking her down. (more…)

[Best of 2016] TGoF’s Picks for the Best Movies of 2016

It was a fairly quiet year of moviegoing here at TGoF. Lots of adjusting to life with a baby along with other typical life happenings that eat into one’s time and energy. The result made it difficult to fit in some of what many would consider the best movies of the year and being a genre lover I always make time for those pesky horror movies–which is why my lists tend to befuddle the more refined movie snobs. However, in review of the movies I saw this year and not being satisfied with the options for a top ten the executive decision was made to this year do a top five instead. Condensing down hopefully just accentuates how great I felt the top choices were as opposed to how weak (yet still highly rated) my overall top ten would have been.

Over the course of the next few weeks it’s possible I’ll make it out to cinema darlings like La La Land and and Moonlight, but for now hopefully you’re eyes will find my choices for what I did see in 2016 acceptable enough. As always thanks for checking out my ramblings and I look forward to getting back in the saddle more and more on 2017! (more…)

TGoF Hangover: Suicide Squad & Bad Moms

On this edition of TGoF Hangover we examine two movies. One I was super pumped for and refused to believe it was anything less than amazing and the other a flick I couldn’t have cared less about before being dragged to it. The result is a dramatic switcharoo that I could never have predicted.

Suicide Squad

Well, here we are. The dust has somewhat settled and comic book nerds and movie critica are poised across from each other ready to have at it in an epic battle. Rotten Tomatoes continues to be an increasingly misunderstood tool in today’s society while the general public refuses to accept not everyone agrees on every movie. So much so that they become so angry and contradict themselves by saying everyone else is wrong and only positive stances are right. Batman Vs. Superman Dawn of Justice lit that fire earlier this year and Suicide Squad doused that dwindling flame in gasoline.

As someone who understands there are two sides to cinematic enjoyment and is not a die hard comic nerd I’m here to say that I can see where people will like Suicide Squad, but for my money it is not a good movie. David Ayer had all the right pieces to make the movie that everyone was hyped for in the trailers, but there seems to be a disconnect as to what the finished puzzle was supposed to be. The result is a jumbled mess with bits and pieces right where they are supposed to be.  (more…)

TGoF Hangover: Fantasia Film Festival (Round 2)

thealchemistcookbook_posterA young man attempting to conjure demons in the forest, a love addicted witch and an abandoned tank of mercenaries waiting to be slaughtered by an unknown enemy. Round 2 of my 2016 Fantasia Film Fest coverage touches some well stomped horror ground, but some in some pretty unexpected and interesting ways. Without further ado here are three hot off the press reviews fresh out of the 20th anniversary of the Fantasia Film Festival!

The Alchemist Cookbook

Perhaps its a sign of the times, or maybe it’s just insanity, but the youth of today–oh hell, let’s face it…we are all slowly losing out minds. So much so that everyone is trying whatever they can for their 15 minutes of fame and fortune. So it’s not surprising to see a film, The Alchemist Cookbook, that finds a young man, Sean (Ty Hickson), running out into the woods hoping to summon a demon to solve his problems.

Sean is seemingly done with civilized society, presumably on hard times so he’s absconded to a trailer in the middle of the woods to mess around with DIY experiments and occult literature. With only Kaspar, his cat, keeping Sean company the young man slowly starts losing his grip on reality as he flirts more and more with the summoning of evil forces.  (more…)

Movie Review: Green Room

greenroom_tgofRoad weary punk rockers run afoul with backwoods Oregan skinheads in Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room– the director’s follow up to his surprise indie hit, Blue Ruin. Maybe it’s jumping the gun a bit and at the risk of sounding hyperbolic, but this could end up being the best movie I see throughout 2016.

Now, how can someone make such a bold statement just five months into the year? It’s actually pretty simple: I can’t find one thing that I do not like about this film. You read the bare bones premise in the opening of the review, and quite frankly, that’s all you need to know. That’s not to say that knowing the how the punk rockers run afoul with the skinheads will ruin the movie, it’s just that sometimes a one sentence slug is sufficient enough to sell a movie. Especially one with as simple a set up as Green Room. Saulnier isn’t out here trying to weave a complicated mystery that is trying to be one step ahead of the audience with twists and turns. The filmmaker simply slams a scenario down on the table and says, “What would you do?”  (more…)

TGoF Public Service Announcement

Hello readers. It is with a heart full of joy that I am writing this. I have recently added a baby girl to the household and as a result I am staying vigilant in informing anyone who stumbles upon the page that posts may or may not hit a lull. Over the last 9 months posts have been sporadic at best as is with work, baby preparations, and other commitments chipping away at my free time. Tall Glass of Film will continue on though, but as I adjust to my new role as a dad there’s no way to make promises that content will pick up over the next few months. There’s every chance in the world that I will have a renewed energy once things settle down, but as current parents can probably vouch for, the late nights and early mornings don’t bode well for one’s energy levels.

Still, I’d like to thank anyone who keeps checking back regularly and please keep doing so as I have every intention of sharing movie and beer reviews whenever possible!

Cheers!

—Luke—

Movie Review: Afflicted

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I hate it when a movie comes along that I can’t decide if explaining the main plot is a spoiler or not. There’s the bare minimum info dump I could throw out, but would that really sell anyone one way or the other? Either way, AFFLICTED as a title should be enough to tell you that whatever is going on here isn’t quite a fairy tale with a happy ending. What it is though is a nifty little shot in the arm for found footage movies that lasts a little longer than I think it should.

So here we go with the premise. A pair of buddies Clif and Derek are getting ready to head out in a year long trip around the world- all the while filming their adventures for their own personal travel video blog. Derek reveals that the purpose of the trip is to not put off his life as he’s been diagnosed with AVM which could cause him to drop dead at any time. It’s not long into their adventure when a potential one night stand leaves Derek with a mysterious illness with alarming symptoms. (more…)

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tgof_tshirtDo you love my blog? Hell, do you even mildly like my blog? If so, show some support by heading over to Teespring, checking out the new tagline t-shirt. If you like what you see buy one of those bad boys! This is just a small test to see what kind of interest there is for some TGoF swag. If this is a successful campaign I will be working on some more in the future. I thank everyone in advance for the support and look forward to seeing folks walking around with one of these beauties on their back!

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