‘Knives Out’ – A Satisfying Whodunnit, A Better Social Satire

To be frank, Rian Johnson feels overqualified for the whodunnit. Known for his subversive-style storytelling, Johnson has a knack for one-upping the genres he’s operating in: Brick, a high school thriller wearing a hardboiled fedora & trench coat; Looper, a time-travel movie more invested in drama than sci-fi; and The Last Jedi, an age-old good vs. evil blockbuster that transcends Chosen One tropes. With Knives Out, Johnson is back in detective mode, but the genre can’t contain his ideas or idiosyncrasies. Knives Out is flesh and blood a murder mystery, but the real hat-trick is that it’s simultaneously a satire that slyly carves its way into the beating political heart of America. Continue reading

Looking Back on Marvel’s Phase One

Marvel Studios has come a long way since 2008 and they are showing no signs of slowing down. In their plan to ensure world dominance, Marvel has chosen to not only introduce their expansive library of characters, but to also combine them into a larger narrative. Iron Man would be the first, ushering in a new era of comic book movies that culminated in the holy grail of superhero mash-ups, The Avengers. Now, with Age of Ultron hitting theaters this week, I’m taking a look back on how far we’ve come in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting, of course, with Phase One. Continue reading