Anime and manga adaptations have been a tricky subject for Hollywood, and when I say "tricky" I mean "they manage to make it so horrendously awful." However, after 2017s Ghost in the Shell, there are hints that they're learning and getting better at bringing the source material to the screen. With Alita: Battle Angel, it's safe to say that the age of good live-action anime movies may finally be upon us. Sure there's some melodramatic acting and villains that never become three-dimensional characters, but the action is packed with excitement and Rodriguez's style is found all over the place.
Slasher flicks seem to have died off in recent years. Sure, Scream may have found a home as TV series but it's been a while since we've gotten a Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or A Nightmare on Elm Street. Yesteryear, the amount of movies in the genre that were coming out made it seem that they were going out of fashion, and well, they sorta did. They're still with us and continue to be a popular topic, but there's something uniquely different about them. Characters are no longer cutouts for a cast of stereotypes; they're now deeply complex people with goals and ambitions. Gone are the cheesy plot lines and exaggerated kills. Now, the focus is to provide a captivating plot with realistic deaths. In a sense, the killers have now become characters on their own, and the genre is no more than whodunit flicks with blood. Each entry now feels like its own ambitious vision, and Happy Death Day 2U is no exception, even if it gets too sidetracked for its own good.
Adam McKay has quite the career for himself, serving as writer and producer for various comedies over the years. However, he surprised everyone in 2015 with The Big Short, a serious drama that delved into the 2008 housing crises and the men who bet against the banks and profited off of it. Now he's back with another topical, based-on-a-true-story, biopic about George W. Bush's Vice President Dick Cheney. All around, it's an interesting look into the infamous politician's life and rise to power, but fails to maintain a consistent tone.
Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have spent the 2010s become a powerhouse duo in Hollywood. From remaking Jump Street, to adapting Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and winning Oscars for their work on Into the Spider-Verse, everything they touch is certified gold. If the folks at Disney/Lucasfilm understood that, Solo might have just made its budget back. Now they return to the Lego Movie franchise to deliver a proper sequel after the disappointing Ninjago film. It's nice of them to return to scripting after serving as producers for the spinoffs, and the spike in quality is evident as The Second Part is a fun meta sequel that faithfully continues on the original story.
If Clint Eastwood has one universally respectable trait, it's knowing what type of movie he can or can't make. After being in the business since the 1970s, he has quite the body of work, playing iconic characters such as Dirty Harry and the Man With No Name, he's garnered fans from multiple generations. Unfortunately no longer able to take on physical heavy roles, he's managed to create films behind and in front of the camera despite his age. This time around, he reteams with Gran Torino writer Nick Schenk for another Eastwood featured vehicle. Given how much driving is featured in this movie, that pun was entirely intentional.
A lot can be said for Shyamalan's career, having been once hailed as the next Steven Spielberg, only to fall from grace and spend the late 2000s and early 2010s turning out bad film after bad film. However, after 2015s The Visit, something strange started to happen, we started assuming that he was on the path to reclaiming his former glory. Then, two years later, a little movie came along called Split, a January release that garnered very positive reviews and smashed the box office. The icing on the cake was learning that it was a spin-off of Unbreakable, and that the inevitable crossover was coming soon. Fast forward to now, and there's a more mixed response in the air. While it is an inferior entry in the now named Eastraill 177 trilogy, it manages to subvert expectations without coming across as pompous or overreaching.