Author: Mark Salcido

Senior Editor, Writer   Lifelong film fanatic, Mark Salcido was discovered frozen in carbonite by C.H.U.Ds. He was released to the surface level to spread his rants and opinions on anything of film and digital. Batman calls him for advice.

Ari Aster is one of those directors who come to mind when mentioning “elevated horror.” Truthfully, the idea of horror being used as art and making a thought-provoking statement is nothing new – look at George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. However, Aster’s previous topics in films, like family, grief, and surviving trauma, are used as a backdrop in his visually stunning horror movies. Beau Is Afraid is a comedic spin where the director hits the gas on insanity and only presses harder. Beau Is Afraid, directed by Aster, features Joaquin Phoenix (Beau Wassermann) as a paranoid and anxiety-ridden…

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There are two types of Nicolas Cage movies. They’re bad with Cage doing a decent to good performance, or they’re a good where the performance is either great or phenomenal. Universal Pictures’ Renfield fits the latter, with the legendary actor chewing up every scene. I’m a sucker for a good Nicolas Cage movie, and Renfield is an excellent reminder of why the actor continues to be a notable presence in Hollywood and on the big screen. Renfield is directed by Chris McKay, and stars Nicolas Cage (Dracula), Nicolas Hoult (Renfield), and Awkwafina (Rebecca). The script, written by Ryan Ridley, follows…

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1989’s Quantum Leap had a somewhat complex concept that was easy to digest for television audiences. The show is about a scientist named Dr. Sam Beckett, played by Scott Bakula, who steps into an experimental time machine and vanishes. Sam finds himself in the past, “leaping” into a body, and discovers his mission with his friend’s help, Rear Admiral Albert ‘Al’ Calavicci, played by Dean Stockwell. The plot circled Sam changing the lives of the people inhabited and leaping onto the next person ran for five seasons and garnered a devoted fanbase. The series finale in 1993 hit hard for…

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1993 was the last time anyone saw the Mario Bros. – or any other Nintendo property – on the big screen. Super Mario Bros., directed by husband-and-wife Rocky Morton and Annabel Jankel, was a feature-length live-action film based on the video game. Unfortunately (not really), the movie bombed hard at the box office, and critics pummeled it so severely that it scared the prominent gaming company from trying again. Yet, here we are in 2023, and Nintendo has put their faith in the hands of Illumination and The Super Mario Bros. Movie, and the movie is passable or just “OK”…

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Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have repeatedly shown they’re serious players in Hollywood since their award-winning script Good Will Hunting. Subsequently, the two have worked separately on several projects and returned to their collaboration routes with 2021’s The Last Duel. Now with the two teaming up again with the biopic Air, Affleck and Damon are back on track to being a successful duo in the film industry. Air is a biographical sports drama directed by Affleck and written by Alex Convery. It stars Damon (Sonny Vaccaro), Jason Bateman (Rob Strasser), Affleck (Phil Knight), Viola Davis (Deloris Jordan), and the triumphant…

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AI tech has been making the rounds in the news recently. Of course, artificial intelligence affecting certain art forms is nothing new, but the WGA potentially allowing technological advancement has been kicking up a stir. Many news sites have reported that the scriptwriting organization has proposed allowing AI-written scripts as long as it does not affect writers’ credits or residuals. However, it seems like several studios are not waiting for the WGA to catch up with technology and have begun commissioning the advanced tech to create a slew of classic remakes. We’re getting reports from many insiders in some of…

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The Dungeons and Dragons franchise has had ups and downs since its creation. First, the role-playing game established a devoted fanbase, was used as a source of fear-mongering, and has been on the big and little screen. Then, 2000 gave fans a live adaptation of the well-known RPG with a trilogy that didn’t fit the caliber it deserved. Basically, the movies were beaten to a pulp by fans of D&D, regular moviegoers, and most critics. Finally, somebody at Paramount Pictures decided to give this IP another try with Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves and might have finally struck gold.…

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Anthony DiBlasi directed and wrote – with the aid of writer Scott Poiley – a little horror film in 2014 called Last Shift. The film is for those who are into the horror genre but go past the surface level in search of something more indie and less known. That’s not to say that DiBlasi is not recognized for trying something different to this highly-loved genre. Consequently, the director applied everything from Last Shift to the remake, Malum. Malum beckoned DiBlasi and Poiley to take another crack at the story, but despite a larger budget and new cast, the movie…

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The first Shazam! movie released in 2019 caught this reviewer off guard. Director David F. Sandberg took one of the oldest superheroes in comic book history and brought it to the big screen in a fun and entertaining way. It was one of the DCEU movies that didn’t face a lot of criticism, and the approval from the general audience warranted a follow-up sequel. Shazam! Fury of the Gods has Sandberg returning behind the lens in hopes that lightning will strike twice – pun intended. However, what ended up on the big screen was a reminder that the DCEU needs to…

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Death, taxes, and awards seasons are the three things that are guaranteed in life. Whichever you look forward to indicates what kind of person you are. Death? You might need to seek help. Taxes? You might need someone who knows the ins and outs of taxes. Awards? Well, you might be someone who at least enjoys your favorite film for being recognized and rewarded. That’s where the Oscars come in. The Academy Awards ceremony has its usual moments of shocking wins, snubs, and predictability. However, there has been a case or two when something happens so momentously at the Oscars…

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