Posts by Phil Brown

Home Entertainment Review: Gone Girl

Gone Girl (David Fincher, 2014) – Based on Gillian Flynn’s best selling novel and directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl has all the hallmarks of an awards courting prestige movie on paper. Thankfully, their movie was nothing of the sort. It’s a gleefully trashy, twisty, nasty, lurid little thriller filtered through Fincher’s meticulous visual style […]

The 50 Year Argument Review

Co-directed by Martin Scorsese, the documentary The 50 Year Argument delivers the rich history behind the fabled New York Times Review of Books.

The Humbling Review

Boasting a script from Buck Henry and the best work Barry Levinson and Al Pacino have done in years, The Humbling might be the more rewarding (and somewhat more difficult) version of Birdman.

Home Entertainment Review: Sword of Doom

Sword of Doom (Kihachi Okamoto, 1966) – It says a great deal about the stark brutality of director Kihachi Okamoto’s Sword of Doom that even all these years and so many vicious samurai epics later, the film retains its ability to shock, disturb, and enthrall. Made during 60s heyday of samurai flicks launched into new […]

Home Entertainment Review: Lucy

Lucy (Luc Besson, 2014) – Luc Besson’s Lucy is an absolutely insane attempt to fuse comic book action storytelling with grandiose philosophical pretentions. The writer/director has failed in his ambitions to be profound, but failed in such lovably ludicrous ways that his movie is almost more entertaining than it would have been if he had […]

Home Entertainment Review: The Guest

The Guest (Adam Winguard, 2014) – The genre-loving writer/director team of Simon Barrett and Adam Wingard have gradually been easing themselves into the status of the best horror filmmakers of their generation. The Guest only confirms that title, while also pushing their style into other genres. Their partnership started with the brutal serial killer move […]

Home Entertainment Review: Men, Women, and Children

Men, Women, and Children (Jason Reitman, 2014) – Jason Reitman is a tough director to pin down. He clearly wants to be taken seriously and often attempts to dive into dark subject matter. Yet, he’s also a crowd-pleaser who tugs on emotions manipulatively and craves populist response/box office. So that leads to muddled movies from […]

Home Entertainment Review: Boyhood

Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014) – Boyhood has received a lot of free marketing and curiosity from its central stunt of filming a single actor over the course of 12 years to capture an entire childhood in a single feature. However, Richard Linklater’s latest is far from a parlor trick. It feels like a culminating, career-capping […]

Home Entertainment Review: Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh

Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (Bill Condon, 1995) – After the explosion of rubbery VHS horror in the 1980s, the 90s was a rough decade for the genre. The slasher icons were worn out, the biggest horror trend was adding a sense of irony that diluted genuine scares, and the direct-to-video market crossed the line […]

Home Entertainment Review: Supernova

Supernova (“Thomas Lee”, 2000) – Shout Factory have taken it upon themselves to become the new leaders in Blu-Ray genre film releases. Since launching the Scream Factory label, they’ve dug up cult classics and overlooked oddities from the genre movie vaults that are stacked with special features and fueled by fan service. Yet, in Supernova […]

Home Entertainment Review: Fitzcarraldo

Fitzcarraldo (Werner Herzog, 1982) – Werner Herzog isn’t just a filmmaker; he’s a living legend. He’s a man for whom making movies isn’t merely about creating a remarkable end product; it’s about creating an adventure for himself and his crew. The man is possibly psychotic in his desire to push his productions to the limits […]

Home Entertainment Review: Time Bandits

Time Bandits (Terry Gilliam, 1981) – Possible genius and confirmed madman Terry Gilliam is one of the most fascinating directors of his generation. Yet, he’s also a guy far too silly to be taken particularly seriously and way too twisted to be commercial. He’s a perennial cult filmmaker, which is probably appropriate given his time […]

Top Five Review

Top Five is the best use of writer, director, and leading man Chris Rock's talents on the big screen to date.

Home Entertainment Review: Nightbreed and Lord of Illusions

Nightbreed & Lord Of Illusion (Clive Barker, 1990 and 1995, respectively) Shout Factory’s offshoot Scream Factory got into the horror movie business in a big bad way, not just hoping to become a new player in genre movie home entertainment, but intending to become the biggest game in town. Thus far, there’s no denying that […]

Home Entertainment Review: Dolls

Dolls (Stuart Gordon, 1987) – There’s a case to be made that Stuart Gordon is the most underrated horror movie director. He permanently carved his name into horror history with his debut Re-Animator, which transformed an old H.P. Lovecraft tale into a deadpan camp comedy drenched in buckets of blood. Yet, that sadly remains his […]

Home Entertainment Review: It Happened One Night

It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 1934) – As anyone who knows the ropes of a movie trivia pub night can tell you, there are only three movies that won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Actress at the Oscars. Of those three movies, the least substantial by far is It Happened One […]