Thursday, October 18, 2018

Witney Seibold Reviews 'Can You Ever Forgive Me?'

Melissa McCarthy stars as Lee Israel in "Can You Ever Forgive Me?", a new biopic from director Marielle Heller ("The Diary of a Teenage Girl"). Israel is a real-life celebrity biographer who resorts to forging letters and eventually teams up with an ex-con played by Richard E. Grant ("Logan") to engage in physical acts of theft.

In his review of "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" at IGN, Witney Seibold says Melissa McCarthy "gives one of her best performances," and admires the film's "deep abiding love for poetry and wit," but adds that audiences who are unfamiliar with the subjects of Israel's literary forgeries may find the film "frustratingly opaque."

Read: Witney Seibold Reviews "Can You Ever Forgive Me?" at IGN

Top Photo: Fox Searchlight

William Bibbiani Reviews 'Halloween' (2018)

The long-awaited revival of the iconic "Halloween" slasher series is here! The new film stars Jamie Lee Curtis ("Halloween") as Laurie Strode, who has spent the last 40 years preparing herself for the return of the silent serial killer Michael Myers, and trying to protect her daughter Karen (Judy Greer) and her granddaughter Allysion (Andi Matichak). When Myers finally escapes, nobody is prepared for the onslaught of terror... except, of course, for Laurie.

In his review at The Wrap, William Bibbiani says the new "Halloween" features "glorious style" and "disturbing kills," but suffers from a "hopelessly contrived" storyline and "a forgettable supporting cast."

Read: William Bibbiani Reviews "Halloween" at The Wrap

Top Photo: Universal Pictures

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

William Bibbiani Ranks All The 'Halloween' Movies

The "Halloween" series has been going strong for decades now, despite odd missteps, bizarre plot twists, total retcons and even a completely unrelated installment involving haunted masks. 

In his latest article at The Wrap, William Bibbiani walks you through all twelve of these "Halloween" movies, including the reboots, the weird spin-off and the massively different Producer's Cut of "Halloween 6." 

How does the new "Halloween" retcon stack up against the originals, and those bizarre other entries? Let's find out!

Read: William Bibbiani Ranks All the "Halloween" Movies at The Wrap

Top Photo: Universal Pictures

William Bibbiani Presents The Most Consistent Horror Movie Franchises Ever

It's hard to make one great horror movie, but it's extremely hard to make a whole bunch of relatively decent ones in a row. Some of the best horror movies ever made were followed up by some truly terrible sequels, after all. If you love a franchise you want it to stay good, at least relatively, for as long as possible. And the list of horror movie franchises that pulled off that feat is pretty danged short.

So here that list is!

In his latest article for IGN, William Bibbiani presents his picks for film franchises that never took a major dip in quality, including "Final Destination," "Tremors" and only one of the long-lasting slasher series. Some of these sequels or prequels may be better than others, but they're all pretty darned entertaining, so you don't have to be ashamed of liking the whole series!

Read: William Bibbiani Presents "Horror Movie Franchises That Never Stopped Being Entertaining"

Top Photo: New Line Cinema

Monday, October 15, 2018

Critically Acclaimed #49: The 'Blade' Movies

In 1998, the Marvel superhero movie "Blade" unexpectedly changed the world. A modest action/thriller, combining comic book tropes and horrifying monsters, proved that even the smallest superhero characters had blockbuster potential, kicking off a wave of Marvel comics adaptations which eventually gave birth to the megablockbuster MCU. 

But how well does "Blade" hold up today? And what about its bizarre sequels, "Blade II" (directed by future Oscar winner Guillermo Del Toro) and "Blade Trinity" (co-starring Ryan Reynolds, years before "Green Lantern" or "Deadpool")?

We look back at the whole "Blade" movie franchise in the latest episode of our SCARYTOBER series! We also review the new releases "Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween," "Bad Times at the El Royale," "Beautiful Boy," "The Oath," "Apostle" and "22 July!"

Give it a listen at Podcast One!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Where Witney Loses You: Five Films I Like Far Less Than Most Critics

[The following article was sponsored and assigned by our Patreon subscriber Richard Franzwa. To learn how to sponsor and assign articles to William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold for publication at Critically Acclaimed, visit our Patreon page.]

And it is here that I lose you.

No critic agrees with popular opinion 100% of the time. Even with universally beloved films, there are always at least a small handful of dissenters who are earnestly unmoved. When in conversation with their professional peers, some critics will even tactfully obfuscate their dislike of an adored classic in the fear of staring an argument they don't wish to have at that moment. Although if the subject comes up, it will be the critic's duty to explain why they fall on “the wrong side,” as it were, and they will be in the position of getting to talk out why, say, “The Shawshank Redemption” is overrated, or why “The Godfather” might have a fundamental flaw that few recognize (these are mere examples; I personally like the former and love the latter of those films). 

This is the curse of the critic: They must always be honest, even if – especially if – their opinion us unpopular.

Canceled Too Soon #118: 'Dark Shadows' (1991)

"Dark Shadows" is one of the most beloved cult television shows of all time, but if it was a huge success, it wouldn't have needed cult! The supernatural daytime soap opera, about vampires and ghosts and witches and time travel, got a primetime reboot in 1991, featuring such great actors as Ben Cross ("Star Trek"), Joanna Going ("Kingdom"), Joseph Gordon-Levitt ("Inception"), Barbara Steele ("Black Sunday") and Jean Simmons ("Guys and Dolls").

The big budget version of "Dark Shadows" only lasted one season, which begs the question... was it Canceled Too Soon? William Bibbiani and Witney Seibold dip into the shadows and see what jumps out in the latest episode of the show, as our month-long SCARYTOBER event continues!

Give it a listen!