Comme si, Comme Saw: Spiral

By Elias Savada. Strings a handful of grisly murder traps together in its fairly mundane whodunit frame.” As the Saw horror series goes, its new spinoff, being fully titled Spiral: From the Book of Saw, isn’t much to write home about. Despite the presence of comedian Chris Rock, in a […]

Movie without a Mission: Ryan Kruger’s Fried Barry

By Elias Savada. This is one of the most unusual alien visitation films you’ll ever watch. Especially if you don’t give any thought to why the other-worldly presence was careless enough to pick Barry for its stopover on Earth.” The 3:44-minute South African short Fried Barry is an acid trip […]

Fans Only: The Super-Human Muddle of Mortal Kombat

By Elias Savada. It’s part origin story and part training film, where some of the warriors have to awaken his or her arcana, the energy within their soul that imbues them with special powers. Players know the term. I didn’t.” I am not the target audience for this film. Pac-Man, […]

Bummer: Craig Pryce’s The Marijuana Conspiracy

By Elias Savada. As The Marijuana Conspiracy pushes toward its hazy end, the drugged-out zombies don’t seem to be as energetic or fun-loving as at the beginning.” I suspect the last thing you want to do in a light cannabis dramedy about the “weed with roots in hell” — a […]

Beer Lovers Rejoice! Even the Rest of You Can Enjoy Brewmance

By Elias Savada. The film is a light approach to what goes into the process of building a vision: a brewery, a name, a way of life.” In the world of beer-centric documentaries, Brewmance is the latest and one of the most effervescent salutes to fine craft libations, yet also […]

Let’s Get Ready to Rubble: Godzilla vs. Kong

By Elias Savada. Over-the-top action (and) ludicrous to the max, yet if you expel all your notions of common sense, there’s a chance you might enjoy it.” A couple of senior citizens – longtime movie icons, too – walk into a big city bar and start a fight. One is […]

From Milquetoast to Mayhem: Ilya Naishuller’s Nobody

By Elias Savada. Suburban, hum-drum life turns into a darkly orchestrated example of a revenge….” As Ilya Naishuller’s Nobody takes its first steps, Hutch Mansell is one glum family man, stuck in a middle-age existence as an alternate-universe Walter Mitty, one with a dormant and well-hidden, action-powered past. But a […]

The World is Their Puppet: The Taub Brothers’ Externo

By Elias Savada. No, this isn’t The Big Short, and Margot Robbie is nowhere in sight, but I wonder what the financial world might think of this film.” Is it possible for someone with just $2,000 to ultimately own the world? That’s the most unusual hypothesis behind Leandro and Jonathan […]

Dinner Served Darkly: Michael Mayer’s Happy Times

By Elias Savada. There is plenty of dark humor to be found in this Israeli-American hybrid from Haifa-born and Los Angeles-based director Michael Mayer…[a] horror excursion into impolite Los Angeles manners….” Don’t let the title fool you. What looks like happiness on the surface ain’t what’s underneath. Nowhere. No how. […]

Welcome to Full MAGA Cardiac Arrest: Cactus Jack

By Elias Savada. The combination of hallucinogenic talk radio sketches and Taxi Driver‘s Travis Bickle on steroids affords actor R. Michael Gull to follow the filmmakers’ urgings: ‘Let’s just make some shit in our basement … and show hate like it really is.’” I’m still trying to wrap my head […]