|I Used to Go Here is a funny and clever addition to the not-quite-a-mid-life-crisis, not-quite-a-quarter-life crisis genre. Kate (Gillian Jacobs) is in her mid-30s and the film quickly establishes that things are not going as well for her as she would like. She just got her first novel published – yay! But sales are poor, her book tour is cancelled, and there’s a man she once lived with who is not returning her calls.||2020 |
Directed by: Kris Rey
Screenplay by: Kris Rey
Starring: Gillian Jacobs, Josh Wiggins,
Jermaine Clement and Hannah Marks
Friday, August 7, 2020
Saturday, August 1, 2020
|Eight features in and Kelly Reichardt remains a minimalist filmmaker. This time returning to the scene of Meek’s Cutoff and the Oregon territory in the mid-1800s. First Cow is as subtle a film as one could get with still a coherent narrative, and fortunes at stake for the protagonists. While it is a slow burn, eventually the story that forms is very engaging with legitimate suspense and hope for a better future.||2019 |
Directed by: Kelly Reichardt
Screenplay by: Kelly Reichardt and Jon Raymond
Starring: John Magaro and Orion Lee
Friday, July 31, 2020
A legitimate crazy ex-fling.
|The South African (English language) rom-com Seriously Single is basically 4 movies in one. If it was four different short films, a couple of them would be entertaining and really good. As one movie, it’s better than it had any right to be, but there are still pacing issues and character issues as Dineo (Fulu Mogovhani) goes through many highs and lows in her love life.||2020 |
Directed by: Katleho and Rethabile Ramaphakela
Screenplay by: Lwazi Mvusi
Starring: Fulu Mogovhani and Tumi Morake
Thursday, July 30, 2020
|Not quite a directorial debut, aTypical Wednesday is, however, the first feature-length fictional film written and directed by J. Lee. It’s a funny and clever comedy that both subverts expectations and gives audiences what they want. The themes are common comedy-drama fodder, namely: relationship issues, bullying and race relations. All three play into one another really well with a lot of laughs along the way.||2020 |
Directed by: J. Lee
Screenplay by: J. Lee
Starring: J. Lee, Cooper J. Friedman
Friday, July 24, 2020
More kissing booth: more of everything.
|I was all prepared to hate this. A two-and-a-quarter hour sequel to a mediocre teen rom com don’t exist for good reasons. But it wasn’t all bad. The Kissing Booth 2 took a number of the same qualities to the first, added a few new characters (kept all the same important ones), and then attempted to improve on the common criticisms. Too much was squeezed into this one and the result is a slightly over-done teen flick.||2020 |
Directed by: Vince Marcello
Screenplay by: Vince Marcello, Jay S. Arnold
Based on the book written by Beth Reekles
Starring: Joey King, Jacob Elordi
Sunday, July 19, 2020
A mixed bag of sullenness.
|On the surface, The Sunlit Night offers comedian Jenny Slate the chance to stretch her dramatic chops, but in reality it’s a mashup of three different film ideas with no clear theme or substance. In the first 10 minutes we’re treated to a quirky comedy. Frances (Slate) is a struggling New York artist living in a tiny apartment with her deranged parents and sister. The sister might be normal, but she gets left behind.||2019 |
Directed by: David Wnendt
Screenplay by: Rebecca Knight Dinerstein
Starring: Jenny Slate
Friday, July 17, 2020
Fresh, joyful romantic comedy, consistently funny and heartwarming.
|Movies that start with a break-up that look (at least to the audience if not some of the characters) like their relationship is turning a corner and moving onwards and upwards, always hook me in, especially if the humour catches you off-guard. It’s a good sign when romantic comedies are this funny from the opening scene. That’s how A Simple Wedding won me over, and it never lets up. I was laughing, laughing, crying, crying-laughing through the entire film. Let me back up and hopefully you’ll appreciate this film as much I do.||2018 |
Directed by: Sara Zandieh
Screenplay by: Sara Zandieh
Starring: Tara Grammy, Christopher O'Shea
Sunday, July 12, 2020
Thriller of crime and family - funny, captivating, beguiling.
|From the opening scene and deep-voiced men singing melancholic sea shanties, Blow the Man Down summons you into their grit-filled world -- familiar to some, fictional to others – and takes you on a journey of crime and family. The two are intricately connected, of course, especially when directors Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy present us with such an atmospheric, tightly-woven thriller where every beat matters. The backdrop is Easter Cove, Maine, a small fishing village where nothing is as it seems.||2019 |
Directed by: Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy
Screenplay by: Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy
Starring: Sophie Lowe, Morgan Saylor
Friday, July 10, 2020
A poetic and supremely told story in the pursuit of truth.
|London, 1933: Mr. Jones, a young accomplished Welsh journalist has the attention of some of the most powerful men in British politics. He just had the opportunity to interview Hitler and Goebbels and believes an intention to invade Poland. The old, white men laughed. One of them said, “Hitler will soon realize the difference between holding a rally and running a country.” They’re not taking this seriously. It’s even more chilling watching this in 2020, in the middle of a pandemic and an American president who would rather hold rallies than run a country.||2019 |
Directed by: Agnieszka Holland
Screenplay by: Andrea Chalupa
Starring: James Norton, Peter Sarsgaard
Saturday, July 4, 2020
I'm angry, and you should be too.
Friday, July 3, 2020
|Hamilton is finally available for the masses. And even though it is just a taping of a stage musical, it doesn’t feel like an event that I missed out on (but of course it was; the last four or so years of pop culture discussion made sure of that, but not any more). This is a cinematic wonder where we have the best seats in the house for, especially since the multi-camera taping allowed for multiple angles which we wouldn’t get otherwise.||2020 |
Directed by: Thomas Kail
Screenplay by: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Starring: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr.
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Thoughtful, tender, and absolutely hilarious examination of love and sexuality.
|Straight Up is the romantic comedy that every gay, bi, pan, straight or questioning person has been waiting for. It has a very minimalistic atmosphere that can make it hard to get into, but the dialogue very quickly makes up for that. This is such a brilliantly funny and brilliantly creative take on the typical romantic comedy, that I’m certain I can’t write a review worthy of its screenplay, but I’m going to try anyways.||2019 |
Directed by: James Sweeney
Screenplay by: James Sweeney
Starring: James Sweeney, Katie Findlay