Admin

Now Playing

  • The hunter becomes the hunted – ‘Prey’
    The hunter becomes the hunted – ‘Prey’

    As someone who cut my teeth on the action movies of the 1980s, I have a fondness in my heart for certain highlights of the genre. However, that fondness doesn’t always extend to the increasingly tenuous and threadbare cavalcade of churned-out sequels that often followed them well into the 21st century.

    “Predator” was one of those movies, an oiled-up and explosive gun show of a film that helped catapult Arnold Schwarzenegger to the top of the action heap. Of course, it was not immune to the industry’s obsession with recycling IP, leading to a handful of middling-to-bad extensions of the franchise.

    So I wasn’t necessarily expecting much from “Prey,” the new film streaming on Hulu. Sure, the conceit – a prequel of sorts, set in the Great Plains of the early 1700s – was intriguing, but there’s a lot of room for this kind of revisitation to go terribly awry.

    I needn’t have worried.

    Director Dan Trachtenberg, working from a screenplay by Patrick Aison (the two share story credit), has created a fantastic addition to the franchise’s canon. It is a vivid and compelling story of survival against seeming insurmountable odds, one rendered all the more engaging by an absolutely outstanding lead performance from Amber Midthunder. It is smart and sharp, packed with action while also approaching this familiar story from an unfamiliar – and extremely effective – angle.

  • ‘Bullet Train’ is off the rails … in a (mostly) good way
    ‘Bullet Train’ is off the rails … in a (mostly) good way

    There’s a surprising amount of malleability when it comes to action movies. There’s lots of room within the genre to tell different types of stories. Some are self-serious while others are winking. Some are subtle while others are over the top. What they all share, however, is a sense of excitement, that feeling of pumping adrenaline. They are propulsive in whatever manner best suits them.

    Sometimes, that propulsive vibe is more literal. Say, if the action takes place on a (very) fast train?

    “Bullet Train,” directed by David Leitch from a Zak Olkewicz screenplay adapted from Kotaro Isaka’s 2010 novel “Maria Beetle,” brings that sense of relentless motion to candy-colored life on the big screen. It’s the story of a former assassin tasked with a simple job – procure a briefcase – on a high-speed train from Tokyo to Kyoto. However, it turns out that he’s far from the only one on this train with a vested interest in said briefcase, with scattered connections red-threading their way outward and inward.

    Equal parts action movie and screwball comedy, it’s a movie that weds elaborate fight choreography with slapstick elements to create moments that are both bloody and hilarious. The dialogue is packed with snappy patter and the characters are the best sorts of caricatures. It is unhinged and garish and a hell of a lot of fun, even if the narrative doesn’t quite hold together.

  • ‘DC League of Super-Pets’ to the rescue
    ‘DC League of Super-Pets’ to the rescue

    Comic book fare continues to rule at the cineplex. We’ve seen extensive announcements illustrating the ongoing future of various superheroic cinematic universes, with films announced for literal years down the road. While I myself ride hard for this stuff, I also understand that for those less inclined, much of it is beginning to blur together.

    That’s why it’s interesting to see a film like “DC League of Super-Pets,” a more kid-oriented animated offering separate from the canon writ large. Now, if you’re like me, your initial thought was that this would be a middling kiddie flick intended primarily as a way to keep cashing those sweet comic book IP checks. Slap a cape on it and people will go, you know?

    Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered that this movie is actually … pretty good? Very much a movie for children, of course, but engaging and entertaining for the adults in the audience. It’s animals with superpowers – who doesn’t love that? Plus, the action is decent, the voice cast is stacked and the jokes largely work.

    Basically, this movie is significantly better than it needed to be (a welcome departure from some of the “good enough” offerings we’ve seen from this sphere in recent years).

  • ‘Honor Society’ gets an A
    ‘Honor Society’ gets an A

    As a person of a certain age, my memories of my high school days have grown a bit blurry. One thing I do remember, however, is that while I and my peers faced our share of pressures, growing up today is an altogether different experience. The competitive nature of high school achievement is more intense now than ever, with kids motivated to increase their odds of admission to elite colleges in any way they can.

    But just how far might they be willing to go?

    That’s the central premise of “Honor Society,” a new film currently streaming on Paramount+. Directed by Oran Zegman from a script by David Goodman, it’s the story of a young woman on the cusp of graduation who wants nothing more than to go to Harvard. All she needs is one recommendation … but she’s got classmates who are angling for that same rec. To ensure her own success, she’s going to have to find ways to sabotage some of her peers.

    But as her plans start to play out, she discovers that there is far more to these people than she ever might have guessed and that her scheming might well have some unintended effects.

  • Deep in the heart of Texas – ‘Vengeance’
    Deep in the heart of Texas – ‘Vengeance’

    Triple-slash projects have long been a subject of fascination for me. The amount of confidence, bravado and sheer will necessary to write, direct AND star in a film is considerable; add to that the fact that these sorts of movies tend to be passion projects and you’re almost guaranteed something that will be, if not necessarily good then at least interesting.

    “Vengeance,” the new film from writer/director/star B.J. Novak, is both.

    It’s a compelling tale of a writer and aspiring podcaster making his way to Texas to try and use tragedy as fodder for his own creative endeavors, marked by smartly executed mystery and plenty of dark comedy. It’s also a thoughtful exploration of the exploitative nature of a certain kind of storytelling and the impact that those stories can have not just on the audience, but the subjects.

The Maine Edge. All rights reserved. Privacy policy. Terms & Conditions.

Website CMS and Development by Links Online Marketing, LLC, Bangor Maine