‘A Quiet Place’ Is Scary For Kids, But Terrifying For Adults

QUIET PLACE

I don’t have children, so I have to imagine the new film A Quiet Place is far more frightening for a parent than it could hope to be for someone like me. It’s probably more impactful, too.

In A Quiet Place, most of the world has been eradicated. A young family of survivors has to live as silently as possible to avoid the blind, super-hearing creatures who prey upon anything making a sound. Danger is everywhere. The family can’t escape these bulletproof nightmares.

So the family perseveres by creating strict, logical rules. They communicate with lights and sign language. They walk barefoot. They make soundproof trails and play board games with cloth materials. The message is quiet, but it’s clear. To parents in any context, the world is a scary place, and every family has a set of idiosyncratic methods for raising their children. In this case, it’s playing a high-stakes version of “the quiet game.”

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Jon in Theory: What Makes a Movie Character Likable?

Have you ever heard a film critic or general film-loving person tell you the characters in a movie were “likable?” I’ve done this too many times to count in reviews and podcasts, but what does it really mean? What do different people mean when they invoke “likable” characters?

I’m not sure if I thoroughly tackle the topic, but hopefully this quick recording lays out a guideline for how I think we should talk about movie characters in ways that are more useful for others. Whether you’re talking to a coworker about the latest Marvel movie or writing a think piece about Midnight Cowboy (which, admittedly, has some seriously unlikable characters).

My main point, which goes beyond general film discourse, is to stop assuming people understand what you mean when you say something that’s commonly said. This applies to basic communication on a whole range of topics, but when recommending a film or telling people what you dislike about a film, this can be especially useful to keep in mind. We all want to be likable ourselves, right?

Hope you enjoy the video, and you can find the Twitter thread I mentioned right here, as well as the video essay thread I brought up and the Marvel Symphonic Universe video.


 

Cinemaholics Review: Ready Player One

ready player

Ready Player One. It’s the movie people can’t stop talking about, one way or another. Half consider it an enjoyable romp worthy of Steven Spielberg, and the other half considers it a hellscape of boredom, maybe even bad intentions. Hyperbole aside, I sat with Will Ashton and Maveryke Hines to discuss the new film, highlighting its strengths, weaknesses, and comparisons to the source material.

But that’s not all. For Mini Reviews this week, Will and I finally chatted about Barry, the new show on HBO starring Bill Hader. This pivoted into a discussion about Alex Inc., a somewhat similar new show (circumstantially) starring Zach Braff. From there, we ended up talking about Scrubs for a solid 10 minutes, and you know what? I’m glad we did. The rest of the show contained a bizarre personal story about James Acaster and his new Netflix comedy special Repertoire, followed by a brief review of Best F(r)iends, a new movie starring Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau of The Room fame.

Question for you: Which Steven Spielberg movie sums up his talent as a filmmaker in your mind?

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Cinemaholics Review: Tomb Raider and Love, Simon

tomb raider

I’ve been as busy as ever this week, so it surprises even me that I managed to catch both Tomb Raider and Love, Simon in time for this episode of Cinemaholics. We even managed to catch The Death of StalinLove Season 3, and some others. Despite a packed episode, this discussion comes in at just under an hour for once.

The featured event is Tomb Raider, which is admittedly right up my wheelhouse for two reasons: my love of action adventure and most certainly the 2013 video game reboot this new film is based on. I’m also a fan of Alicia Vikander, so what could go wrong? Well, listen and find out. Our discussion certainly livened up a bit, though, over Love, Simon, which I can declaratively say is a new favorite of the year.

Question for you: What is your favorite video game adapted film?

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Cinemaholics Review: A Wrinkle in Time and Thoroughbreds

wrinkle

On the show this week, Will Ashton and I review A Wrinkle in Time, the new Disney family film based on the classic novel. The film opened at around Disney’s box office expectations, second only to Black Panther (which is still breaking records), but it’s become a divisive topic among critics and fans who found the adaptation disappointing while also championing the film’s representation.

For the most part, Will and I are on the same page with Wrinkle. It’s complicated. Later in the show, we take a look at Thoroughbreds, plus we opened this week’s episode with some discussion about the Oscars and ongoing coverage over at SXSW Film Festival. It’s a useful talk if you’re curious about some upcoming genre films set to release in 2018, just remember to take these early film reviews with a grain of salt. The rest of this week’s reviews include Atlanta Season 2, Jessica Jones Season 2, and Will Ashton’s reactions to Love, Simon (which guest Kimber Myers reviewed for us last week).

Question for you: Where do you stand on A Wrinkle in Time?

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‘Red Sparrow’ Is Yet Another Misfire For Jennifer Lawrence

It’s fair to say the target audience for Red Sparrow almost solely includes the latter half of Jennifer Lawrence fans undeterred by the grotesque odd-brain of mother! But at least mother! wasn’t this boring.

Cinemaholics Review: Annihilation and Game Night

annihilation

I’m still reeling from the experience of watching Annihilation in the theater, and I’m about equally pleased with the discussion that came out of this film with my cohosts Will Ashton and Maveryke Hines. In this episode, we spent a good amount of time unpacking the good, bad, and stellar Annihilation has to offer, and I suspect we’ll be revisiting this conversation throughout the rest of the year.

But that wasn’t the only movie we had some fun with this week. After a half-hearted review of the new Netflix movie, Mute, we got to an extended Mini Review of Game Night, a new studio comedy I find myself effortlessly recommending. And the box office agrees too, which put Game Night at #2 for the weekend behind Black Panther, which is continuing its gargantuan run across the world.

During Mini Reviews, we also had a brief discussion about Netflix original films. Between BrightCloverfield Paradox, and Mute, it seems Netflix is having a rough time pleasing critics despite their success with original shows. So that leads to our question for you all.

Which Netflix original film is your favorite? 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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