King of New York – This was a movie recommended by Quentin Tarantino on The Rewatchables podcast. Quentin Tarantino is someone I will generally take recommendations from. King of New York was a very influential movie for him, as it was revolutionary for its time in terms of how much sex, violence, and profanities it displayed. Frank White is a very good character and the movie is fun and explosive. It just fell flat for me at certain points. I really enjoyed parts of it, so that pushes it into the B-range. However, this is a film that was largely forgettable. B-
The Standoff at Sparrow Creek (Available on Hulu) – This debut from studio Cinestate and Henry Dunham is electric. When an incident of open fire occurs at a police funeral, members of a militia go into hiding. When they discover one of their guns is missing, they suspect each other. Chaos ensues. My biggest complaint about this film is that it is a bit too tight. It is incredibly economical with its dialogue and run-time. The movie is less than an hour and a half long, a miracle in today’s ecosystem of longer and longer films. It is so tight and compact, it can be hard to follow what is happening. However, the more time I have spent on the film, the more I realize how much I like it. Sparrow Creek does so many things right and is pulsating right until the very end. It is a film I admire almost as much as I like, and I am very happy Cinestate took this risk. The product is a thrilling result. A-
When I first heard about HBO’s The Outsider I figured it was something I would avoid. I am generally fairly squeamish, and a show about a shapeshifting killer seemed like a bad idea for my sensibilities. I am now four episodes in and I enjoy it. It is not my favorite thing ever, but its ability to capture Stephen King’s tone of dread and horror works really well. I enjoy how they have turned a traditional true crime genre and given it a horror aspect. Much of the drama rests in the characters coming to terms with a potential supernatural being in their midst. It is quite enjoyable and while it is hard to recommend, if you enjoy horror it is worth a watch.