“Knock at the Cabin” – M. Night gets back to the good stuff

“You’re my friend, Wen. No matter what happens, I want you to remember that.”

Story: Eric and Andrew take their young daughter Wen to a vacation getaway in the woods. Cute cabin, gorgeous views, and lots of grasshoppers for Wen to catch and record (STEAM girl alert!) But when a stranger approaches Wen with a request, things soon become less than relaxing. In fact, when Leonard’s “co-workers” show up, things get downright creepy.

Genre I’d put it in: Tweaked Adaptations That Work
Release Date: 2023
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Based on the award winning book “The Cabin at the End of the World”, by Paul G. Tremblay

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“Rye Lane” – part romcom, part travelogue, all delightful

“So apparently there are two types of people in this world. The ones who wave at boats, and the ones who hate joy.”

Story: South London recently re-singled twenty-somethings Yas and Dom meet in a unisex bathroom, as you do. Over the course of a few days, they Do Adventures, Make Connections, and try to figure out where to go from here. (Hint: karaoke makes everything better y’all.)

Genre I’d put it in: Romcoms For Everyone – YES EVERYONE
Release Date: 2023 (March 2023 to be specific, on Star & Hulu)
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Original!

Gotta say: Lane is perfectly messy, hilarious film that feels like Before Sunset through the lens of Wes Anderson on a bender. It’s a great lazy day, “dunno what genre I want” kinda film. Or just one that you can gather a bunch of friends together to check out, so you can all shout about who’s what character on screen. (Me? I’m definitely a Yas. What up, boats?)

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza – “80 for Brady!

Okay y’all, it’s time to get into the Superb Owl funtimes! Synopsis!

80 FOR BRADY is inspired by the true story of four best friends living life to the fullest when they take a wild trip to the 2017 Super Bowl LI to see their hero Tom Brady play. Starring Academy Award® nominee Lily Tomlin, Academy Award® winner Jane Fonda, Academy Award® winner Rita Moreno and Academy Award® winner Sally Field, with 7-time Super Bowl Champion and producer Tom Brady, 80 FOR BRADY is in-theatres February 3, 2023.

Ready? Let’s go!

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza – “Knock at the Cabin”!

Fantastic book – will the film be as good? Only one way to find out; let’s check it out! Synopsis!

While vacationing at a remote cabin, a young girl and her parents are taken hostage by four armed strangers who demand that the family make an unthinkable choice to avert the apocalypse. With limited access to the outside world, the family must decide what they believe before all is lost.

Ready? Let’s go!

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“Living” – Kurosawa Made YT Is Good, Actually

“…if only to be alive like that for one day.”

Story: London, 1953. Mr. Williams is the head of the Public Works Department in London. He’s spent his entire life plodding along, raising his son alone, going from day to day with little to no joie de vivre. But when he’s diagnosed with a cancer that threatens to end his life in less than six months, he tries to figure out how to make the best of what little life, and living, he has left.

Genre I’d put it in: Remakes Worth Watching
Release Date: 2022 (limited) – wide release 2023
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Based on the classic film Ikiru (“To Live”) by the one and only Akira Kurusowa, which itself is based on the classic story “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” by Leo Tolstoy.

Gotta say: Yeah, this is another one of those “we rEleAseD it last year (in like seven theaters) for 2022 award traction but you couldn’t really see it ’til now” kinda joints. But I’m counting it as a 2023 movie, because I didn’t get to Sundance last year – or this year ONE DAY Y’ALL – and as far as I’m concerned? Wide release = year of release. That’s my hill that I’m dying on. Anyway, I didn’t even know this film existed ’til this month (January, 2023 for anyone reading this in the futurefuturefuture) and my first thought was not a positive one. Okay, kind of positive, because Bill Nighy OWNS. But after I realized that this is a remake/adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru? I got that feeling in the pit of my stomach. Y’know, the feeling you get when a TV show decides to add a quirky toddler to the cast to “freshen things up”. Yeah, I wasn’t hopeful. But after watching Living? I’m all in.

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TrailerWatch – Watch “Scream VI”, Ghostface takes Manhattan?

So, as Jason fortold, yea so the horror movie franchises will hark to NYC after the killer has exhausted their hometown. And lo, it has begun. Synopsis!

Following the latest Ghostface killings, the four survivors leave Woodsboro behind and start a fresh chapter. In Scream VI, Melissa Barrera (“Sam Carpenter”), Jasmin Savoy Brown (“Mindy Meeks-Martin”), Mason Gooding (“Chad Meeks-Martin”), Jenna Ortega (“Tara Carpenter”), Hayden Panettiere (“Kirby Reed”), and Courtney Cox (“Gale Weathers”) return to their roles in the franchise alongside Jack Champion, Henry Czerny, Liana Liberato, Dermot Mulroney, Devyn Nekoda, Tony Revolori, Josh Segarra and Samara Weaving.

Looks pretty good though – and it seems that this Ghostface want to stand above the crowd. Or rather, kill people in the middle of one.

Scream VI hits theaters March 10th, 2023.

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TrailerWatch – “Renfield” kicks ass. Literally.

“Did I watch you cut a guy with a decorative serving platter?”

There are movie trailers that get me hyped. There are movie trailers that make me think “nah, pass.” But Renfield makes me genuinely angry that I can’t watch the full movie immediately. Synopsis!

In this modern monster tale of Dracula’s loyal servant, Nicholas Hoult (Mad Max: Fury Road, X-Men franchise) stars as Renfield, the tortured aide to history’s most narcissistic boss, Dracula (Oscar® winner Nicolas Cage). Renfield is forced to procure his master’s prey and do his every bidding, no matter how debased. But now, after centuries of servitude, Renfield is ready to see if there’s a life outside the shadow of The Prince of Darkness. If only he can figure out how to end his codependency.

Holt plays up a hilarious Everyman-meets-superhero persona, and Cage is absolutely unhinged. Throw in Awkwafina as a deadpan audience proxy, and what must be the most cathartic group therapy meeting ever? Now this is how you re-introduce your monsters, Universal. I WANT MORE. Right now.

Renfield hits theaters April 14th, 2023.

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“Why are we doing this?”

Story: Poor little Cady. She just lost her parents in a horrible car crash, and now she’s got to live with her self-absorbed aunt Gemma. Meanwhile, Gemma, who is Much Too Busy to deal with her new charge – “She’s not my daughter!” – decides to re-commission the android/robot doll she’d been working on at the toy company she works for. The latest in tech…with absolutely zero stopgaps or emergency protocols. Because who’s got time for that? Just throw that electronic babysitter at Cady and get back to real life, right? What’s the worst that can happen? cues up creepy music

Genre I’d put it in: Probaby Intentionally Hilarious Horrors
Release Date: 2023 (limited 2022)
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Lots of vibes from earlier films, but original nonetheless

Gotta say: Okay y’all. We’ve all seen that clip. Director Gerard Johnstone knew what he was doing when M3GAN‘s teaser trailer included it. He was setting the scene, letting everyone know that this was gonna be silly fun, rather than balls-out horror. And while I laughed my way through a good deal of this film – enjoying every one of those moments – this film should have really gone for peak hilarity, rather than trying to bob and weave between serious and comedic. A for effort, I guess?

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In Queue Review – “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”

“I’ve learned through bitter experience that an anonymous invitation is not to be trifled with.”
“Now, I can handle a Matisse in the bathroom, but is that a fax machine?”
“It’s a dangerous thing, to mistake speaking without thought as speaking the truth. Don’t you think?” [yes, this movie’s dialog is so fun, I couldn’t choose a single quote. So, my top 3.]

Genre I’d put it in: Fun Mystery Sequels
Release Date: 2022
Remake, Sequel, Based-On, or Original: Part of the Knives Out movie universe/series/whatever

Gist: Hey, it’s 2022! Life is great, if you’re into lockdown. But 1%’er Miles Bron decides to host a little party on his private island in Greece, inviting his small “pod” of friends he’s known before any of them made it big. Meanwhile, detective extraordinaire Benoit Blanc is bored out of his gourd, and is hoping for some fun, when a mysterious invitation arrives on his doorstep. Fun, excess, and tons of secrets await… And oh wait, is someone actually dead? Uh oh.

Gotta say: As with most sequels, there’s the inevitable comparison between the two. So lemme make it clear; Onion is much more compelling, and downright fun, than the original. This new cast is just as talented as the first cast, but there’s a subtlety to Onion that wasn’t there in Out, which tried too hard to be…mysterious and twisty. Plus, the usual twists and turns of this genre has a lighter, more interesting, vibe. The motives feel more intrinsic to the lives and world the characters live in, than the “we all hate each other but love money” simplistic motives of Out. It’s a much better, more entertaining, story that Out, and I enjoyed the hell outta that.

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Baltimore Screening Pass-palooza – “M3gan”!

You know you’ve seen THAT CLIP. And if you’re like me, you cannot wait for this one. So let’s do this! Synopsis!

M3GAN is a marvel of artificial intelligence, a life-like doll programmed to be a child’s greatest companion and a parent’s greatest ally. Designed by brilliant toy-company roboticist Gemma (Get Out’s Allison Williams), M3GAN can listen and watch and learn as she becomes friend and teacher, playmate and protector, for the child she is bonded to.

When Gemma suddenly becomes the caretaker of her orphaned 8-year-old niece, Cady (Violet McGraw, The Haunting of Hill House), Gemma’s unsure and unprepared to be a parent. Under intense pressure at work, Gemma decides to pair her M3GAN prototype with Cady in an attempt to resolve both problems—a decision that will have unimaginable consequences.

Ready? Let’s go!

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