8/10 The Unholy is trash, but it lays its aesthetics on thick, the cast is game and the story is deceptively rich.
Banfield, Massachusetts, December- Corrupt, disgraced journalist Gerry Fenn (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) drives from Boston into the boonies for a story about cow tipping, or whatever. While he’s there, Alice (Cricket Brown), the priest’s niece who has been completely deaf from birth, has a vision of the Virgin Mary and is suddenly able to hear, speak and even sing in perfect English and can even heal the sick under her own power. Fenn develops a bond with the girl and revives his career telling her story, but he begins to realize that her ascension is not an “according to Hoyle” miracle and is instead the work of something unholy.
8/10 Godzilla vs. Kong ends with a 20-minute sequence of Godzilla and King Kong beating the absolute tar out of each other, and that’s awesome. I mean, that part absolutely rules. But that’s 20 minutes out of 113, and that’s the issue with this entire strain of Godzilla movies – the human plotlines are still a majority of the film, and they are still awkward problems.
Five years after Godzilla destroyed Boston in his battle with King Ghidorah, he suddenly and inexplicably assaults Apex Cybernetics’ facility in Pensacola, Florida. Fearing the leviathan will begin a reign of terror, cartographer Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgård), who believes that Godzilla and all the other titans come from a hollow in the center of the planet, leads a team to collect Kong and have him guide them into the hollow so they may harness Godzilla’s power source. Meanwhile, Madison Russell (Millie Bobby Brown), certain that Godzilla does not act randomly, hooks up with a whacko conspiracy podcaster to investigate Apex.
In a world that seemingly has no weekends, Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk, who also produces) grinds out a living in a cushy management position at his father-in-law’s manufacturing plant. When his family is robbed one night, Mansell, a former special forces operative codenamed “Nobody,” decides to not slaughter the robbers as he easily could, losing the respect of his family and in-laws. When he realizes they accidentally took his daughter’s kitty-cat bracelet instead of just cash, Mansell tracks the robbers down and still doesn’t really hurt them, but then on the bus home, he encounters a gaggle of Russians who tell everyone to clear out so they can gang rape another passenger, and then and only then does Mansell let loose.
Little does Mansell know that one of the would-be rapists is the younger brother of Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksei Serebryakov), an elite enforcer for the local bratva, who comes after Mansell and his family with everything he has.
0/10 Zack Snyder’s Justice League opens with a title card reading “This film is presented in a 4:3 format to preserve the integrity of Zack Snyder’s creative vision.” The words “Zack Snyder” literally come before the Warner Bros. logo.
In 2017, I called the theatrical cut of Justice Leagueone of the worst movies I’d ever seen, and it is, and I say to you unequivocally, the Snyder cut is worse in every imaginable way. If I were tasked with turning Zack Snyder’s Justice League into a passable movie, the first thing I would do is shave the hours and hours of fat until we were starting with something remarkably similar to the theatrical cut. Every addition is bad. Every single new thing in this cut makes the movie worse.
Several years ago now, I started systemically moving through the work of high-profile directors. This is part of the path from loud movie nerd to legitimate film scholar – film scholars actually study film, they don’t just write about it. The idea is to go over a director’s entire filmography in the span of about a month, completely immerse myself in the world as they see it and the techniques with which they use to convey it, in order to better understand them as individuals and more broadly how any individual would express themselves personally through this medium. Things were cruising along fine until I hit no. 5 on my list: Alfred Hitchcock.