Many moviegoers, not everyone, bemoan the onslaught of franchise films, universe entries, remakes and sequels that are announced every week (day?). It’s true, the idea of an original movie in Hollywood is a rarity. Even when something original does hit, it’s not likely to create the quasi-original imitators that were once the staple of formula film success. It’s the era of the Hollywood franchise and we’re just watching it.
I’ve never hated a movie as quickly as I hated Disney’s Tomorrowland. Maybe five minutes into the film, after a clumsy but otherwise benign opening, we’re thrust into the future past of star George Clooney’s younger self. Besides the fact that the child actor in question is immediately grating, the boy’s introduction to the world of dreamers known as Tomorrowland is filled with enough saccharine 60s nostalgia to make old Walt himself roll his eyes. From this whitewashed Space Age, we jump ahead to modern times where only The Secret can save our world. And that’s not as bad as it gets.
It Follows is heralded as a film that can move horror forward, something incredible in an increasingly un-incredible genre. For certain, gone are the days of Castles, Carpenters, Cravens and Cronenbergs. Instead of Romero, today we have Roth. And instead of Powell, we have Peli. Visionaries like Herschell Gordon Lewis, Dario Argento, Alfred Hitchcock and Lucio Fulci seem so far in the past. At the same time, modern standouts, like James Wan, Neil Marshall and Adam Wingard, are drowned out by countless high-end horror remakes, which simply make glossy the last great moment in the genre, and low-end VOD movies, which can’t muster the courage to do anything as interesting as VHS-era titles.
I come from a gun family. There were more guns in my house than there were pieces of furniture. It wasn’t due to paranoia or even the idea of safety. No, my father simply like to hunt. And my first gun was a .30-06, which I used to shoot my first—and last—deer. I didn’t have the stomach for it. Still, guns have never put me off.
I get frustrated when I read about Cleveland. It was my home for six years, three of which I spent living inside the city. It’s not just the jokes about a city that really is on the rise that bug me, though. It’s the way the Clevelanders defend it.