Apollo 18 •• [two out of five]

Despite the bad press, “Apollo 18” deserves notice for trying to bring something new to the found-footage genre, breaking some pacing trends to deliver an almost real sense of fear.  Notice given?  Okay.  It’s still not a very good film, however, mistaking pacing accuracy for interest, and when it ends up giving into the demands of it’s genre anyway… well.


The Chaser •••• [four out of five]

Tragedy is what seeps through even in the moments of levity.  On the trail of the killer, we continue watching the film because of how well woven the story is, how gracefully and directly Hong-jin Na captures everything, from interrogations to torture to chase scenes, and because maybe we’re supposed to seek out films that don’t just tell easy tales.

My moments of levity are tragic

Two For the Money – Max Allan Collins ♦♦♦♦ [four out of five]

I could’ve sworn this was a modern book, and yet “Two For the Money” combines two Max Allan Collins books published in the 80s – Bait Money and Blood Money – his first two with character Nolan.  This speaks of the timelessness of certain concepts that are popular in crime/noir books, but moreso of the strength of Collins writing, imbuing his stories with very distinct characters and dialogue that you can feel existing in the real world…

Would you believe I wrote all these reviews in the 80s?  …R… Really?

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon •• [two out of five]

The film just rubbed me the wrong way.  Perhaps I was expecting horror with comedy and instead got comedy with horror.  While I understand Nathan Baesal’s high-energy, generally positive portrayal of Leslie as a purposeful juxtaposition with his slasher personae, there’s not enough focus on the difference to make it work.

Juxtapositions always make things work, though

Tiny Furniture ••• [three out of five]

There are people who will “feel” Lena Dunham’s story, which is a privileged kid’s Dazed & Confused moved to post-College.  Certainly the general emotion of wandering without purpose is one we’ve all mostly felt.  There will be just as many who will raise their nose to this, though.  Thankfully, Dunham’s story and presentation of it are without a tone of ‘woe is me,’ and so despite her you-could-call-it-easy life, there’s a plain honesty here that makes it approachable.

find the monster