Matt Hurt's Columns 0

Movie Review: Dune (2021)

Frank Herbert’s Dune is a highly respected work of science fiction that’s influenced storytellers for decades. The novel tells the story of Paul Atreidis, a young man who has visions of his destiny while his present is rife with conflict and danger as his House arrives at the nearly inhospitable planet Arakkis so they can assume control over the planet’s Spice (a hallucinogenic substance needed for interstellar travel) production for the Empire.

Guest Episode 0

The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 352 – Malignant (2021) – 30th Heartland Film Festival Announcements and Heartland Horror – Guest: Sam Watermeier (Midwest Film Journal)

In this episode, I welcome my friend and colleague from the Indiana Film Journalists Association, Sam Watermeier to the show to discuss James Wan’s latest film, Malignant in all its crazy glory. We also discuss the upcoming Heartland Film Festival, Sam’s involvement with the Heartland Horror category, and some recent movies he’s seen.

Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films 0

Movie Review: Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964) – Godzilla: The Showa-Era Films 6

Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster sets an intriguing pace from the start and carries the human side of the plot through the majority of its runtime. Despite holding back on introducing the titular monster until nearly the end of the film, Ghidorah still manages to be engaging by focusing on the human story without devolving into melodrama like films before it.

Ben Sears 0

The Obsessive Viewer Podcast – Ep 351 – Ebert’s Great Movies Part 10 – 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Solaris (1972), and Dog Day Afternoon (1975) – The Matrix Resurrections Trailer, and RIP Michael K Williams

In this episode, Tiny, Ben, and I continue our journey through Roger Ebert’s Great Movies List. In this installment, we discuss Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, Tarkovsky’s Solaris, and Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon. We also pay tribute to Michael K Williams, discuss the trailer for The Matrix Resurrections, and share our thoughts on the latest Christopher Nolan news.

Matt Hurt's Columns 0

Movie Review: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings brings the MCU’s first Asian superhero to the screen in a film that dazzles with elaborate set pieces and an energetic buddy energy between leads Simu Liu and Awkwafina. With impressive visual effects in its third act, Shang-Chi is certainly one of the MCU’s best looking films to date (outside of the colorful and vibrate Guardians of the Galaxy films). But even with fantastic action and visual effects, the film suffers a bit from origin story issues and, specifically, its handling of important exposition through inconsistent and repetitive flashbacks.

Matt Hurt's Columns 0

Movie Review: The Night House (2021)

At times, The Night House feels like a paint by numbers psychological horror film with a surprising amount of visual flair. Other times, it’s a vehicle for a really fantastic and varied performance in lead actress Rebecca Hall. And yet, it is also guilty of being a convoluted mess housing bizarre occurrences in a maze of barely coherent plot threads. When it works, The Night House delivers effective jump scares and clever visual frights. Ultimately, however, the good parts of The Night House fight an uphill battle against a story that doesn’t quite know what it is until the last several minutes, when you’re likely to have stopped caring enough to piece it together.

Matt Hurt's Columns 0

Movie Review: John and the Hole (2021)

John and the Hole, the debut feature from Pascual Sisto, is a psychological thriller that’s filled with a disturbing coldness with a sliver of dark comedy undertones. For the most part, John and the Hole works as a mood piece, showcasing just how disassociated its central character is with his actions. It’s a film that sees a 13 year old boy drug his family, trap them in an open hole in the ground, and then go about his newly independent life without much thought given to his captors. Aside from a couple peculiar and out of place side tracks, John and the Hole manages to stay compelling and unsettling throughout.

Matt Hurt's Columns 0

Movie Review: Jungle Cruise (2021)

Jungle Cruise, Disney’s latest film based on one of its theme park rides desperately wants to be the mouse house’s next Pirates of the Caribbean style box office juggernaut. Unfortunately, the film fails on this endeavor almost every step of the way. Whether it’s jumping from contrived set piece to contrived set piece, or in the uninspired and incessant bickering among the film’s central triumvirate (not to mention the utter lack of romantic chemistry in its leads), Jungle Cruise just doesn’t work as a complete experience.

Matt Hurt's Columns 0

Movie Review: Freaky (2020)

Following his work delivering slasher hijinks to the time loop trope with Happy Death Day and Happy Death Day 2U, Christopher Landon affixed his horror-comedy eye on the body swap genre with 2020’s Freaky. The film stars Kathryn Newton as Millie, a teen whose family suffered the loss of her father a year ago. Vince Vaughn co-stars as the nameless Blissfield Butcher, a deranged killer whose urban legend has him operating for decades in the Everytown (well, in California, at least), USA hamlet of Blissfield. When an ancient Aztec artifact causes the two to switch bodies, gruesome killings and funny misunderstandings ensue.

Matt Hurt's Columns 0

Movie Review: Settlers (2021)

Settlers, the debut feature from writer/director Wyatt Rockefeller, is a sci-fi character study that never quite gets off the ground. Set on a lone Mars colony, it tells a tale of frontier desolation and isolation in a meandering and slightly unfocused way. A single family lives on the land and has to face the threat of people who appear to be marauders at first glance. As the film progresses, not much backstory (save for the bare essentials) is given as to who these people are or why they have staked their claim on the land. It becomes a moot point, however, as the film immediately becomes a 3-person character study with not much energy to the plot.

Matt Hurt's Columns 0

Movie Review: Old (2021)

Throughout his tumultuous career, M. Night Shyamalan has been singularly focused on trying to surprise audiences. What’s most surprising about his latest film however, is just how little has changed in his bag of tricks. Old has all the hallmarks of Shyamalan’s storytelling style. There’s a preponderance of silly, inauthentic dialogue, tons of on the nose exposition, awkward comic relief that rarely lands as intended, and what seems like an active hatred for ambiguity. Yet, for all of Old’s silliness and lack of depth, it does provide a decent amount of suspense and is home to one really interesting concept.