Steve Stebbing

Breaking down all things pop culture

Hereditary – It’s kind of a bit of a genre week so let’s kick it off with this hotly anticipated horror film that is shaking everyone to their core. The reviews are hugely favorable for writer and director Ari Aster’s debut in a film that he says isn’t a horror movie. If the trailer’s slight ambiguity doesn’t rope you in, the Academy Award-worthy performance from the long-loved Toni Collette should or the terrifying performance from young star Milly Shapiro really should do the trick. As far as original and ground-breaking chillers go, Hereditary is one of those rare films you do not want to sleep on.

Hotel Artemis – Were you like me when you were watching John Wick and thought “Man, I’d love to see a film dedicated to that assassin’s hotel”? Well, it seems that Iron Man 3 and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation writer Drew Pearce was listening because, in a way, this is exactly what we got with this stylish, multi-character action-thriller. The cast is big, featuring Jodie Foster, Dave Bautista, Jeff Goldblum and the red-hot This Is Us star Sterling K. Brown, in a story set in the near future about a criminal safe house and hospital run by Foster’s character, The Nurse. Expect great action and deep character nuances. Yes, this movie will have any action fan’s money.

Love, Simon – We are over the halfway mark in 2018 and there have been only a couple movies that have outright surprised me and this was one of them. Nick Robinson shows his star power in the titular role as a popular teen with the deep seated secret that he is gay. Directed by CW head honcho Greg Berlanti, this film plays with the warmth of a John Hughes classic infused with today’s sensibilities and whatever faults the story has, maybe with a bit of pacing issues and predictability, it is still able to overcome and totally nail a satisfying ending. This is a definite must see and hopefully the step to even bigger things for Robinson as well as his co-star, 13 Reasons Why’s Katherine Langford.

The Strangers: Prey At Night – When Bryan Bertino’s first film came out ten years ago, I was a massive fan of its minimalist style so I was definitely on board with this follow up. Instead of just focusing on a single house, this film has our trio of masked killers who murder for convenience stalking an entire remote trailer park. The film is a bigger scale than the previous installment, not by a lot, but the shift of filmmaking style is where is gains most of its appeal. 47 Meters Down filmmaker Johannes Roberts takes over the director’s chair and delivers a film that has the feel of an 80s slasher, complete with a full scene within the glow of a neon sign. The use of music also plays a great atmospheric role and you may never hear “Total Eclipse of the Heart” the same way again.

South Park: Season 21 and Jericho: The Complete Series – I don’t usually talk about television in these pieces but the good people at Paramount hooked me up with these great box sets and I feel pretty lucky. South Park’s home video packaging is still top notch and the best part is that Trey Parker and Matt Stone still do mini-commentaries on each episode. Hearing the motivations behind their biting satire is always interesting. On the topic of the post nuclear series Jericho, this Skeet Ulrich show was the first network property to be revived after cancelation due to fan support. Why did this happen?

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