Mike Flanagan’s Disciplined Style Makes the Seemingly Simple “Hush” an Outstanding Slasher

Slasher flicks structured around a home invasion are nothing new, but in Hush, Mike Flanagan has managed to craft something quite original through a collection of limitations on the characters and story.  By maneuvering around these limitations and using them to his advantage, Flanagan imbues novelty into this oft-tired subgenre and keeps our attention frozen on the screen as a horrible scenario unfolds:  a psychopathic killer with no need for ulterior motivations discovers that his next quarry is deaf.

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The Monstrous Savage of “Bone Tomahawk” Feels Icky, but is the Resulting Western/Horror/Comedy Worth It?

Craig Zahler’s Bone Tomahawk was a surprising hidden gem from 2015. Starring Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Richard Jenkins, and Matthew Fox, this Western horror film takes its time to get rolling. In the interim, the film establishes an almost survivalist tone, but is still comfortable with its own brand of humor. With a title derived from the preferred weapon of the insane savage antagonists, Bone Tomahawk offers much more attention to detail than your standard slasher flick, and by placing the action in the Old West, we also get to see Kurt Russell’s mustache in its full glory.

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State of the Blog – February 2016

Maybe I should rename these State of the Blog posts, “Broken Promises – [Month] Edition”. It feels like every time I say I am going to publish certain posts, and then invariably I can’t get to everything I say I am going to do. While January did see me post a few of the things I said that I would, I failed to re-boot the Classic Reviews Friday and also didn’t finish up the larger essays that I wanted to. The last couple of weeks were a little more busy in the lab, but my morale has not evaporated completely. So, once again, I am going to touch base with you fine folk who actually read this blog and tell you what I have in store for February.

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The Animation of Don Bluth, Part IV: A Last Hurrah and a Look Forward (1997-Present)

Previous Parts

Part I

Part II

Part III

The Seven Ages of Disney Animation

After an abysmal series of failures in the early 1990s, Bluth and Goldman were able to rebound from the terrible offerings and produce Anastasia (1997) and Titan A.E (2000) with Fox Animation Studios. These would be the last feature films to be produced by Bluth, as much of the time since then has been spent providing the animation for various videogames. However, there are plans from the team to continue producing animated features, but funding remains an issue to this day. Regardless, this period should be viewed not as a petered-out ending, but as a brief return-to-form for Bluth’s particular style of animation.

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Barry Crimmins’ Courageous Testimony: “Call Me Lucky”

In the basement that has haunted Barry Crimmins since he can remember, the acerbic comedian’s tongue falters for a moment as he hums and haws in the darkness. Eventually, unrehearsed words pour out and assemble themselves into a poignant justification for Bobcat Goldthwait’s documentary Call Me Lucky. Though the film ends up in this strange place, it begins as a seemingly garden-variety portrait of the political satirist and comedy club patron told mostly through interviews with his friends and family. But Goldthwait’s keen directorial eye and editing choices reveal the film’s sinister kernel – one that we won’t fully understand until much later (if ever).

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