Saturday, October 16, 2021

Screening: See Antlers Early And Free!

We have partnered with Searchlight Pictures for an early screening of the tense horror film Antlers!  The film is coming to theaters on October 29, 2021, but you can get into the spooky spirit and see it early and free!!  Details and entry form are below!

Antlers

Starring: 

Keri Russell
Jesse Plemons
Jeremy T. Thomas

Directed by Scott Cooper

Produced by Guilermo del Toro, David S. Goyer, and J. Miles Dale

Synopsis: 

From the visionary world of acclaimed director Scott Cooper and horror maestro Guillermo del Toro comes ANTLERS.  In an isolated Oregon town, a middle-school teacher and her sheriff brother become embroiled with her enigmatic student whose dark secrets lead to terrifying encounters with a legendary ancestral creature who came before them.  Based on the short story The Quiet Boy by Nick Antosca.

 Screening Info:

ANTLERS

Monday, October 25th

Landmark E Street

7:00pm

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 15, 2021

What to Watch This Weekend: The Last Duel, Halloween Kills, Pig, Escape Room

For An Exciting Period Action Drama: The Last Duel (Theaters)
Ridley Scott shows the power of storytelling and action in this period drama based on real events that has an intriguing look at memories and a visceral final act.

For The Horror Fans: Halloween Kills (Theaters and Peacock)
Overall, Halloween Kills does not slay it, but the brutal violence and classic characters should appease fans of the originals.  For more information, check out the review!

For A Seriously Good Nic Cage Film: Pig (Redbox)
Pig takes flavors from several different genres and prepares them with some delicious acting from Cage and Wolff, and a stellar soundtrack to create a layered, unique stew.  For more information, check out the review

For A Tense Escape Room Sequel: Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (Redbox)
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions has some complex, varied, and deadly challenges that are complemented by a great cast and some over the top special effects!  However, I did hear that they changed the ending for the at home release, so I have no idea how this one finishes.  For more information, check out the review!

For A Dramatic Look At Discussions And Relationships: Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Virtual Cinema)
This will be a slow burn for most, but for those who stick with it, Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy has some genuinely beautiful and deep observations about connection and relationships.

For A Documentary Style Horror Treat: The Medium (Shudder)
What starts off as a realistic horror documentary turns into something far more sinister in this clever and scary horror docu-drama.

For the Rock Stars: The Velvet Underground (Apple TV+)
A documentary that covers the iconic band but also the era in which they were rocking out. 

Shining Sequel: Doctor Sleep (HBO)
Doctor Sleep pairs a stellar cast, with a big score, and enough nostalgia from the original movie to keep you entertained.  Whether you are a fan of the novel or have seen Kubrick's original masterpiece, you will thoroughly enjoy Doctor Sleep.  For more information, check out our review!

News: Nightstream 2021 Audience Awards Announced - THIS IS GWAR Takes Top Honors

 

Following the last night of NIGHTSTREAM 2021, which ran from October 7-13th virtually all across the U.S., the festival is proud to announce the Audience Award winners for the second edition, topped by Scott Barber’s THIS IS GWAR doc taking top honours for features.

“This film was an absolute honor to be a part of,” says Barber on the Audience Award, “now, on top of that, to win this award at a festival like NIGHTSTREAM is just amazing. I got to work with an incredibly talented team on this film, and we are all so very grateful to everyone who watched it at the festival! Thank you so much! Hail GWAR!"

GWAR lead vocalist Berserker Blóthar also shared his thanks for the win, adding “I’ve got a night stream for ya. I’m working with a prostate the size of a Hyundai Elantra. But seriously, we are honored to have the audience award. Screw the critics. It’s the people that matter. That’s why we do what we do. After all, they’re the ones with the money and the drugs.”

Runner-up features for the Audience Award are Kier-La Janisse’s doc, WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED: A HISTORY OF FOLK HORROR and Junta Yamaguchi’s BEYOND THE INFINITE TWO MINUTES.

The short film Audience Award was a tie between Joe Cappa’s GHOST DOGS and Chris McInroy’s GUTS.

The runner-up Audience Award in the shorts category goes to Sonny Calvento’s EXCUSE ME, MISS, MISS, MISS.

NIGHTSTREAM 2021, which presented 31 feature films, 4 short blocks, and 14 events, was accessed by audiences across 48 U.S. states and territories. Proceeds from the event will once again go to filmmakers and artists involved, and further allocated toward important charity causes, the National Alliance To End Homelessness and climate change advocacy group the Sunrise Movement.

Highlights from the festival’s slate of events include a duo of panels presented by Shudder featuring Creepshow director Greg Nicotero and HORROR NOIRE writers Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes, a new The Future of Film Is Female panel, presented by Daily Dead, with guests A.K. Espada (THE IS OUR HOME), Samantha Aldana (SHAPELESS), Kate Robertson (Liverpool University Press’ Devil’s Advocates: Trouble Every Day), Ashlee Blackwell (Graveyard Shift Sisters), Lisa Dreyer (Fantastic Fest), and a very special Anniversary Party Presented By FANGORIA featuring special guests Karyn Kusama, Bryan Fuller, David Dastmalchian, Ernest Dickerson, Paul Scheer, Natalie Erika James, Sean Baker, Joe R. Lansdale, and Stephen Graham Jones, among others, discussing some of their favorite horror films celebrating monumental anniversaries this year.  

Further highlights of the festival include our duo of celebrated World Premieres, Jefferson Moneo’s COSMIC DAWN and Scott Friend’s feature debut TO THE MOON, artists talks with David Lowery, Akela Cooper, and Don Mancini, and a deep-dive panel on the industry of indie filmmaking from Divide/Conquer co-founders and producers Adam Hendricks and Greg Gilreath.  

AUDIENCE AWARDS

AUDIENCE AWARD - FEATURE: This is GWAR, dir. Scott Barber

AUDIENCE AWARD RUNNER-UP - FEATURE: Woodlands Darks and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror, dir. Kier-La Janisse

AUDIENCE AWARD RUNNER-UP - FEATURE: Beyond The Infinite Two Minutes, dir. Junta Yamaguchi

AUDIENCE AWARD - SHORT: Ghost Dogs, dir. Joe Cappa

AUDIENCE AWARD - SHORT: Guts, dir. Chris McInroy

AUDIENCE AWARD RUNNER-UP - SHORT: Excuse Me, Miss, Miss, Miss, dir. Sonny Calvento

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Halloween Kills Review: Leans Into Slasher Aspects, Loses The Heart

Release date: October 15, 2021
Running time: 100 minutes
Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton, Thomas Mann, and Anthony Michael Hall 
Directed by: David Gordon Green 
Written By: Scott Teems & Danny McBride & David Gordon Green

Minutes after Laurie Strode (Curtis), her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak) left masked monster Michael Myers caged and burning in Laurie’s basement, Laurie is rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, believing she finally killed her lifelong tormentor. But when Michael manages to free himself from Laurie’s trap, his ritual bloodbath resumes. As Laurie fights her pain and prepares to defend herself against him, she inspires all of Haddonfield to rise up against their unstoppable monster. 

Halloween Kills is a follow up to the smash 2018 hit, Halloween, which rebooted the franchise in a clever way.  It put the victims as the aggressor, as Laurie Strode (Curtis) took to preparing for and then executing the masked killer of her nightmares.  Halloween Kills continues this story with Michael escaping and going on a rampage through the town of Haddenfield.  And the film brings back some interesting characters and storylines from the first reboot and even from the original 1978 film.  I really liked seeing the main cast back, as well as seeing characters from the classic Halloween movies. 

But whereas the first movie had an interesting role reversal, this film just can't decide what it wants to be.  It is equal parts camp and serious film, and unfortunately those do not meld very well.  I really liked the call backs to the original films and the use of characters from that those classics.  And the movie cements this in with a 1980s style opening with some nice film grain on the older scenes and a classic horror introduction that really lets you know where this is going to go.  And the camp is in full force here with characters making all the horror tropes you know and love, from going alone into areas, to splitting up, to not locking doors.  The film feels like a callback at times.  But then the film also tries to impart some more modern ideas, such as mob violence and the idea that monsters can be of our own creation. These conflicting views just don't meld well in this film, and it really should have tried to stick to one or the other.  It is tough to ask "are we the actual monsters" when Michael has already racked up a baker's dozen of kills. 

And additionally, despite the film also leaning into the slasher aspects with some brutal and bloody kills, the movie itself is very slow.  It starts with a flurry, then slows down to a crawl as the town hunts Michael.  And there is very little tension in this film because Michael is not very creative; he is usually hiding exactly where you expect him to be and kills with a brutal efficiency that would make Jason Bourne smile.  The tense scenes--with a few exceptions--are generally over within a matter of minutes, leading the film to rely a lot on exposition and the aforementioned cultural themes.  Overall, I think Halloween Kills had a really solid idea that was bogged down in execution.  

Overall, Halloween Kills does not slay it, but the brutal violence and classic characters should appease fans of the originals.

Watch it.

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
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Halloween Kills is in theaters and on Peacock on October 15, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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Dune Review: A Brooding Dramatic Start For This Series

Release date: October 22, 2021
Running time: 155 minutes
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Chang Chen, David Dastmalchian, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem
Director: Denis Villeneuve 

Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) directs Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Dune,” the big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller of the same name. A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides (Chalamet), a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive. 

So I will preface this by saying that I never read the books, but what I loved most about this movie is just how unique it felt.  The film is a scifi film with interstellar travel and large space ships, yet it feels low tech at times.  The warriors fight with swords (a consequence of the shield system) and much of the training feels medieval at times.  Additionally, the technology feels well realized here, but with an otherworldly feel at times.  For example, the main fighter planes used to transport around are dragonfly like with high speed vibrating wings that give it a very visceral sense.  And the film has elements of mysticism as well, with visions and other magics at play that give this both a science fiction and high fantasy feel.  It is like some of the darker areas of the Star Wars lore, if those were actually well done in films.

And this technology is well realized with some stellar special effects.  Everything in Dune feels legitimate for the big screen.  There is not obvious CG moments, the effects are so well done that you can just suspend your disbelief and enjoy.  And some of this might also be because of the mix of high and low tech, so you don't have effects all the time.  The fights can be more low tech, and the scenes with the Fremen also have a more low tech style that can help to hide some of the computer generated aspects.  Additionally, the film has some great epic music to set up the story and the gravity of the situation.  It has both an epic and an otherworldly feel that feels right at home in this world. 

The story of Dune is slowly paced, but that gives you a good chance to spend time in this world.  The world building is phenomenal, and the slow pace lets you really get to know these characters.  However, Dune is very much a part one.  Despite it not having that in the name on any advertisements, Dune's splash screen calls it "Dune Part One."  The film spends most of its time building up the world and previewing what is to come, only to then end right when a big revelation happens.  It very much builds up for a second film, and possibly more, and I honestly can't wait to see where it goes. 

Dune is a stunning visualization of Frank Herbert's world, with a great cast, fantastic special effects, and an epic and otherworldly soundtrack that will suck you in quicker than a great sand worm. 

Watch it.

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Dune is in theaters and on HBO Max on October 22, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Screening: See The French Dispatch Early and Free

We have partnered with Searchlight Pictures for an early screening of the the next Wes Anderson film, The French Dispatch!  The film is coming to theaters on October 22, 2021, but you can see it early and free!!  Details and entry form are below!

The French Dispatch

Starring: 

Benicio Del Toro
Adrien Brody
Tilda Swinton
Léa Seydoux
Frances McDormand
Timothée Chalamet
Lyna Khoudri
Jeffrey Wright
Mathieu Amalric
Stephen Park
Bill Murray
Owen Wilson
Christoph Waltz
Edward Norton
Jason Schwartzman
Anjelica Huston

Directed by Wes Anderson

Written by Wes Anderson

Produced by Wes Anderson, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson

Synopsis: 

From the visionary mind of Academy Award® nominee Wes Anderson, THE FRENCH DISPATCH brings to life a collection of stories from the final issue of an American magazine published in a fictional 20th-century French city.

 Screening Info:

THE FRENCH DISPATCH

Monday, October 18th

Landmark E Street

7:00pm

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Screening: See Dune in IMAX Early and Free

We have partnered with Warner Bros. for an early screening of the the scifi epic Dune!  The film is coming to theaters and HBO Max on October 22, 2021, but you can see it early and free!!  Details and entry form are below!

Dune

Release date: October 22, 2021
Running time: 155 minutes
Cast: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Chang Chen, David Dastmalchian, Sharon Duncan-Brewster, Charlotte Rampling, Jason Momoa, Javier Bardem
Director: Denis Villeneuve

Synopsis: 

Oscar nominee Denis Villeneuve (“Arrival,” “Blade Runner 2049”) directs Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures’ “Dune,” the big-screen adaptation of Frank Herbert’s seminal bestseller of the same name. A mythic and emotionally charged hero’s journey, “Dune” tells the story of Paul Atreides (Chalamet), a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, who must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence—a commodity capable of unlocking humanity’s greatest potential—only those who can conquer their fear will survive. 

 Screening Info:

DUNE
Tuesday, October 19
7:00 pm

Regal Majestic

900 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring, MD

Screening Link!

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