9/6/18 – 9/12/18
Here’s a quick rundown of the movies we’re most excited about that are screening in New Orleans this week, including a few new horror releases to help set the mood for Halloween (yes, that’s already on my mind).
New Releases We Haven’t (Yet)
1. Perfect Blue (1997) – A psychological horror anime about a Japanese pop star who loses her grip on reality at the hands of her stalker. Director Satoshi Kon (Paprika, Tokyo Godfathers) is always good for a visual feast, so seeing this on the big screen is likely to be a treat. Screening in a brand-new digital transfer only September 6 & September 10, via Fathom Events.
2. The Miseducation of Cameron Post – In most scenarios this indie drama mutation of But, I’m a Cheerleader! might not have been a must-see priority for me, as a miserable story about teens imprisoned in gay conversion camps seems like A Lot To Handle. However, director Desiree Akhavan’s debut film, Appropriate Behavior, was one of my favorite films of 2015, so I’m very much excited to see this follow-up. Only playing at The Broad Theater.
3. BlacKkKlansman – Spike Lee hasn’t exactly disappeared, but it feels like he’s been hiding in plain sight for the last decade or so by dedicating his efforts to small-scale, limited appeal experiments (like, for instance, a Kickstarter-funded remake of the esoteric cult classic Ganja & Hess). BlacKkKlansman appears to be a much better-funded, commercially minded picture than we’ve seen from the infamous indie auteur in a long while, one that filters satirical jabs at Trumpian racial politics through a classic buddy cop genre structure & a historical look back at the not-so-distant past of the Ku Klux Klan. It’s incredibly exciting.
4. The Little Stranger – Domhnall Gleeson stars in a Gothic horror throwback that looks to deliver all the goods you’d expect from that costumed, ghostly genre. Given how weirdly muted the response has been to 2018’s other Gothic horrors (in order of excellence: Beast, Marrowbone, Winchester), I doubt it’ll make much of a splash, but I’m totally on the hook for what’s promised in the trailer.
5. The Nun – The Annabelle films have been a mixed bag at best, but there’s still a lot of promise in their fellow post-Conjuring spinoff, an R-rated big budget nunsploitation horror that has the single best jump scare of any trailer I’ve ever seen. It’s also playing on IMAX & other large-format screens for some Godforsaken reason, which is too good of a novelty to pass up.
Movies We Already Enjoyed
1. Sorry to Bother You – Every week for the past month I’ve been amazed that this weird, divisive film is still holding on in its local theatrical run, but there are still a few stray daily screenings listed across the city. From Boomer’s review: “These continue to be dark days, and though we may not know how to fix them, we must not get used to them. And if you like your social commentary candy-colored but lacking in neat, pat answers, go see Sorry to Bother You. Hell, go see it even if that’s not your bag; your comfort zone could become your noose if you don’t push your boundaries.”
2. Crazy Rich Asians – Part wish-fulfillment rom-com & part extravagant wealth porn, this comedic romance fantasy is a crucial slice of escapist fun. It’s also a much-needed corrective for Hollywood’s dismally deficient Asian American representation on the big screen, so it’s a worthy film to support while it’s playing in theaters.
3. Mission: Impossible – Fallout – Tom Cruise risks his life staging a series of increasingly dangerous stunts in hopes that it’ll make us forget that he’s effectively the figurehead of a global cult. It’s mostly working! The consensus seems to be that this is the best action film since Mad Max: Fury Road and I’m struggling to come up with a reason why that’s not true.
4. The Happytime Murders – Melissa McCarthy stars in a crime thriller parody alongside dozens of foul-mouthed puppets, directed by Brian Henson (son of Jim). Look, I know the reviews are horrendous and this Puppets Gone Wild comedy gimmick has been done plenty times before (Let My Puppets Come, Meet The Feebles, Greg the Bunny, Wonder Showzen, Crank Yankers, Avenue Q, Brian Henson’s own No, You Shut Up! to name a few), but the joke is still funny to me, because I’m an immature dweeb.
5. Searching – Full disclosure: this one is a controversial pick among the Swampflix crew. It’s basically the Lifetime Movie version of Unfriended, where a trashy genre we love for its cruelty & absurdity is softened by safer, less goofy sentimentality so that it can appeal to the cheesiest of suburban parents. James & I complained about it at length on the most recent episode of the podcast, but Britnee was a big fan, as she’s all-in on the Lifetime aesthetic. Either way you fall, it’s worthy of discussion and its success can only mean good things for a gimmicky, technophobic genre we all love.