CS Recommends: Darkman 30th Birthday, Plus Video Games & More!
Stuck inside? Don’t know what to watch/read/play/listen to? ComingSoon.net has got you covered. In this week’s CS Recommends our staff gives you solid tips on the best media to consume during your downtime, including Darkman and more! Check out our picks below!
MAX EVRY’S RECOMMEND: Darkman
This week saw celebrations of the 30th Anniversary of director Sam Raimi’s Darkman, which Universal Pictures opened on August 24, 1990. They hyper-violent and hyper-stylized original superhero horror movie is a genre-bender of the highest order. It follows Dr. Peyton Westlake (Liam Neeson), a doctor obsessed with generating artificial skin, who a gang of criminals horribly mutilate and leave for dead. Fresh from the operating table and now unable to feel pain, Westlake sets out to get revenge on all the gang members by, you guess it, wearing their faces. Watching it now you can see this as a bit of a transition film for Raimi, still tapped into the guerilla filmmaking craziness of the Evil Dead films while for the first time really getting comfortable with actors and working on a studio scale picture. Larry Drake is a standout, playing arch villain Durant very subtly as a gay man (which later becomes a plot point!). It’s very easy to argue that it’s some of Raimi’s best work, especially the insanely ambitious helicopter sequence towards the climax.
KYLIE HEMMERT’S RECOMMEND: Resident Evil 4
Besides being one of my favorite video games of all-time, Resident Evil 4 is, in my opinion, the best of the series, acting as the sixth major installment in the franchise. In the survival horror and third-person shooter, you play as special agent Leon S. Kennedy, who is sent on a mission to rescue the president’s daughter Ashley Graham, who has been kidnapped by a cult. The game is genuinely scary at times, features plenty of memorable characters, and hits high on the replayability scale.
GRANT HERMANNS’ RECOMMEND: The Conjuring
A recent study from the Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture found that horror movie fans are far better at coping with the current state of the country than others, so what better way for those to try and become fans of the genre than James Wan’s masterpiece The Conjuring. Based on a reportedly real-life case of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, the story centers on the Perron family moving into a new Rhode Island home only to suffer from increasingly disturbing hauntings and events. The haunted house story is a well-worn formula in the horror genre and with this film Wan finds a way to effectively use the formula to deliver constant terror from start to finish and keep things feeling both old-fashioned and unique and create the most terrifying films I’ve ever seen and still chills me to my core upon revisit.
MAGGIE DELA PAZ’S RECOMMEND: House Arrest (1996)
Written and directed by Harry Winer, House Arrest begins when Ned and Janet Beindorf tell their children Grover and Stacy that they’ve decided to separate. Because of this, Grover and Stacy try to devise a plan that would reunite their parents again. When their first plan of recreating their parents’ honeymoon had failed, the kids were left with no choice but to take it to the next level by locking their parents up in the basement until they’ve finally worked out their marriage problems. From then on, things escalated quickly when other kids from their school found out about their situation, putting Grover and Stacy into a more difficult spot. In order to secure their secret, they’ve agreed to let the other kids join in their plan by also helping them lock their parents in the basement along with Ned and Janet in an attempt to host an intervention that could save all of their parents’ marriages.
Despite having a poor box office and critical performance, this 1996 comedy film has still made it into my list of most favorite feel-good movies ever. Due to my unending love for coming-of-age stories, I’ve instantly gravitated towards its charming and entertaining storyline. Sure, it does have some plot holes concerning the feasibility of the characters’ plan. But like other kid comedy films in the 90s, this movie wasn’t intended to be taken seriously. In addition to its amusing story, it also featured a talented cast led by Kyle Howard, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Pollak, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Jennifer Tilly and Wallace Shawn.
Even though it didn’t leave an impact during its theatrical release, I’m sure that this underrated film will still appeal to teenage viewers or even older audiences who may be able relate to the characters’ family issues. So, if you’re looking for something fun and easy to watch for a family movie night, I highly-recommend you to check out or revisit House Arrest!
JEFF AMES’ RECOMMEND: Man of Steel
Considering all the big reveals revolving around Zack Snyder’s Justice League during DC FanDome this weekend, I thought it best to recommend Man of Steel — the one that started it all! Or, ended it all, depending on your point of view. Me, personally? I love Man of Steel. Even as someone who grew up savoring all things Superman, including Richard Donner’s Superman: The Movie, which was my favorite film as a kid, I look at MOS as the definitive Superman film I always wanted. Is it dark? Yup. Is it a tad over-the-top in its depiction of superhero carnage? Absolutely. But this is still the one comic book film that actually feels like something ripped from the pages of a comic book right down to the destruction of Metropolis and that still incredible Smallville battle. It’s pure comic book insanity and a ferocious bit of pop culture entertainment.
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