With Halloween under a week away, today marks my final horror recommendation of the season. Whether it’s been a while since your last viewing or you’ve missed it all together, this is the perfect (and perhaps only) time of year to check out writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace‘s Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Often regarded as the odd duck of the franchise due to its storyline departure and a severe lack of Michael Myers, Season of the Witch relies less on slasher tropes in favor of sci-fi tinged horror. The gist of the plot is that a popular Halloween mask company (Silver Shamrock Novelties) is planning to kill every kid that wears one of their masks on Halloween night. Not a great business plan, but a serviceable witchcraft/sacrifice plan I suppose. The result is a vintage 80’s horror pic complete with solid practical effects, surprisingly violent deaths, killer androids, an old guy who more or less warns you to get out of town before it’s too late, and Tom Atkins‘ stellar mustache. While I’m not sure Season will hold up well under critical review, if you sit back and embrace the silliness of it all I think you’ll have a new Halloween favorite on your hands.
Recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, interviews for and Matt’s review of John Wick, a trailer for Joshua Oppenheimer‘s The Act of Killing follow-up The Look of Silence, interviews for and Matt’s review of Birdman, and Brad Pitt essentially getting eviscerated by Zach Galifianakis on Between Two Ferns. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
1. First Trailer for AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON
The first trailer for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron premiered this week and it looks about as fantastic as I could’ve hoped. James Spader sounds great as the villainous Ultron, the Iron Man/Hulk showdown looks huge, and the shot of Cap’s shield ripped in half near the end reminds me that I actually give a damn about the characters amidst all of the explosions. For more on the film, check out the first teaser poster, 30 screengrabs from the trailer, and read James Spader talking about his take on Ultron.
2. JOHN WICK Interviews and Review
By now you’ve probably heard much raving about the Keanu Reeves actioner John Wick. Noted for its precise action, interesting world, and Reeves’ performance in the titular role, this is one that I can’t wait to check out for myself as soon as my schedule permits. In the meantime, I must rely on Matt’s review and Steve’s video interviews with Keanu Reeves, Alfie Allen, and directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch to hold me over.
3. Trailer for Joshua Oppenheimer’s THE LOOK OF SILENCE
Drafthouse Films released the trailer for director Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence this past week and it looks every bit a worthy companion to his jarring The Act of Killing. Whereas its predecessor was uniquely presented from the perspective of executioners in the Indonesian genocide of 1965-66, The Look of Silence follows the son of one of the victims as he confronts those responsible for his loss. The Act of Killing is one of the most impactful films I’ve ever seen and if this trailer and Matt’s TIFF review are any indication, The Look of Silence is cut from the same powerful mold.
4. BIRDMAN Interviews and Review
Although it looks utterly insane, director Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is one of my most anticipated films for the remainder of 2014. The fact that Steve loved it whereas Matt was less impressed makes me want to see it even more so that I can decide who I agree with and whose opinion is 100% wrong. Until that day comes, I direct both myself and you the reader to Matt’s review and Steve’s video interviews with Michael Keaton and Zach Galifianakis & Amy Ryan.
5. Brad Pitt Goes on BETWEEN TWO FERNS; Hilariousness Ensues
Speaking of Zach Galifianakis, rounding out this week’s group is Brad Pitt’s appearance on Between Two Ferns. I almost always enjoy the series, but few have had me rolling like this installment. From the only Hitler joke I’ve ever laughed at to a flat-out ridiculous special guest appearance, this is about as must-see as Two Ferns gets.