A superheros origin tale gets a gory upgrade in this snappy, and mostly entertaining, antidote to superhero fatigue
Long before he became the alt-superhero auteur of choice, for both Marvel and DC, James Gunn was a proud peddler of niftily produced schlock. He started out at Troma writing their deranged midnight movie take on Shakespeares most tragic romance, before working with Zack Snyder on his ferociously satisfying remake of Dawn of the Dead. For his directorial debut, Slither, Gunn paid tribute to 50s B-movies with a gloopy small-town horror about evil alien worms and while he has risen the ranks since, smoothing out his edges to take charge of the Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad franchises, he remains an unabashed genre fan at heart. He recently wrote 2017s The Belko Experiment, a brutal workplace horror, and now he has produced Brightburn, an effectively nasty shocker that also acts as an antidote to the deluge of superhero films hes partly responsible for.
Written by his brother, Brian Gunn, and cousin Mark Gunn, the film flips the Superman narrative on its head, setting us up with an almost identical scenario before taking us in a far darker direction. In the small town of Brightburn, Tori (Elizabeth Banks) and Kyle (David Denman) are struggling to conceive, and after a meteor falls from the sky with a baby inside, they think their luck has changed. But as their adopted child Brandon (Jackson A Dunn) grows up, they realise that something is horribly wrong………………………………………….”
Stranger Things Season 3 receives Rave Reviews from Critics
Midsommar Review – 5 Stars!
Florence Pugh is plunged into a terrifying pagan bacchanal in a magnificent folk-horror tale from Hereditary director Ari Aster
“There’s nothing cosy about these midsummer murders, and Midsommar could turn out to be folk-horror for the Fyre festival age. Ari Aster is the film-maker who made his feature debut just last year with the chiller Hereditary, and now presents us with this fantastically sinister and self-aware Euro-bacchanal, clearly inspired by the 1973 classic The Wicker Man. And that is not the only riff. When Hereditary came out, I guessed (correctly, as it turned out) that the director was thinking about Bergman’s Cries and Whispers. I’m now going to bet 20p that before shooting Midsommar, Aster took another look at Tarkovsky’s The Sacrifice.
Midsommar is an outrageous black-comic carnival of agony, starring charismatic Florence Pugh in a comely robe and floral headdress. It features funny-tasting pies and chorally assisted ritual sex, with pagan celebrants gazing into the middle distance and warbling as solemnly as the young dudes in the Coca-Cola TV ad about teaching the world to sing. It’s all set in an eerily beautiful sunlit plain, bounded by forests and lakes. This is supposed to be somewhere in northern Sweden, but was filmed in Hungary, and Aster, cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski and production designer Henrik Svensson have collaborated on what are surely digitally assisted images: the sky and fields becoming a bouquet of vivid and beautiful blues and greens. The music from British composer Bobby Krlic (AKA the Haxan Cloak) is sensually creepy………………………”
What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali review – from prodigy to legend
Part one of Antoine Fuqua’s film shows the transformation within a decade from 12-year-old boxing novice Cassius Clay into the heavyweight champion of the world
“I asked my mother when I went to church on Sunday: ‘Why is everything white? What happened to all the black angels?’”
So Muhammad Ali told an interviewer, before giving a knowing look and – boom! – the punchline. “Black angels are in the kitchen preparing milk and honey.”