Sunday, December 19, 2021

The Power of the Dog: Movie Review





The shifting of power and evil.
A 1920s Montana-set western, The Power of the Dog starts with the focus on two rancher brothers, George (Jesse Plemons) and Phil (Benedict Cumberbatch), who couldn't be more different. George is the quiet soft-spoken one and Phil is the mean one calling George fat and stupid and insults everyone in his path. The next people in his path are mother and son, Rose (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Kodi Smit-McPhee).   2021

Directed by: Jane Campion

Screenplay by: Jane Campion
Based on the novel by Thomas Savage

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Together Together: Movie Review





A simple but hilarious examination of a relationship.
Stripped of all extraneous immateriality, Together Together gets down to the bare necessities ripe for humour. Matt (Ed Helms) is a man in his 40s and has decided he wants a baby and is interviewing surrogates. He has his questions organized and is surprised when Anna (Patti Harrison) responds with bluntness and her own questions. She's just doing it for the money but it's the honesty that brings them together.   2021

Directed by: Nikole Beckwith

Screenplay by: Nikole Beckwith

Starring: Ed Helms, Patti Harrison

Friday, December 10, 2021

Pig: Movie Review





An unrelenting and compelling tale of a missing pig and decades-old depression.
You would be forgiven if you weren’t expecting a movie about Nicolas Cage looking for his lost pig to be one of the best movies of the year. The sheer power of this movie sneaks up on you and leaves an indelible mark. So slowly and subtly it transforms a story of a gruff man and his truffle-hunting pig into a compelling story of grief, acceptance of loss and the ugly underbelly of the Portland restaurant scene.   2021

Directed by: Michael Sarnoski

Screenplay by: Vanessa Block, Michael Sarnoski

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff

Friday, December 3, 2021

Tick, Tick... Boom! : Movie Review





Not your typical biography-musical.
Thanks to the pandemic pushing back In the Heights, we get two Lin-Manuel Miranda musicals in one year. Miranda’s over-prevalence has dropped his popularity and musicals are barely popular in the first place. Tick, tick… Boom! is going to be a tough sell on so many levels. Not the least of which is the fact that this is a low-key musical with no spectacular productions like In the Heights or Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story.   2021

Directed by: Lin-Manuel Miranda

Screenplay by: Steven Levenson
Based on the musical by Jonathan Larson

Starring: Andrew Garfield

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Single All the Way: Movie Review





Funny and sweet.
Michael Urie (from Ugly Betty and Younger) has finally landed himself a lead role, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Netflix has just started to realize it needs to step up its game with gay rom-coms while its most recent heterosexual offering A Castle for Christmas is hitting rock bottom. Single All the Way is a really silly title, but the comedy is well-earned especially with Urie shining throughout all the well-meaning hijinks.   2021

Directed by: Michael Mayer

Screenplay by: Chad Hodge

Starring: Michael Urie, Philemon Chambers

Friday, November 26, 2021

A Castle for Christmas: Movie Review




Stripped of all humour, charm and common-sense.
Netflix original romances and Christmas movies don't have a good rap in the first place, but A Castle for Christmas is quite possibly the worst one yet. It's illogical, unromantic, not funny and boring. Famous author Sophie Brown (Brooke Shields) travels to Scotland on a whim, buys a castle on a whim, and falls in love, also on a whim since there's really no logic employed here.   2021

Directed by: Mary Lambert

Screenplay by: Kim Breyer-Johnson, Ally Carter, and Neal H. Dobrofsky

Starring: Brooke Shields, Cary Elwes

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Black Friday: Movie Review





Funny, disgusting and entertaining.
How has there not been a Black Friday set horror movie until now? After Halloween, it is the ideal holiday tailor-made for the genre, and yet nobody has pulled it off. Luckily our first foray into the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas shopping day is a bloody entertaining horror-comedy romp. It’s Thanksgiving night at a Toys R Us type store with a dozen employees on the inside and a couple hundred shoppers on the outside.   2021

Directed by: Casey Tebo

Screenplay by: Andy Greskoviak

Starring: Bruce Campbell, Devon Sawa,
Ivana Baquero and Ryan Lee

Saturday, November 20, 2021

See You Next Christmas: Movie Review





Premise that eventually really works.
See You Next Christmas is an indie romantic comedy. Set in Annie and Tom’s apartment, you can feel the low budget. The dialogue has some awkward delivery which limits the comedy, and it takes awhile to be interested in the characters. The romance is a very slow burn. However, the concept of seeing the same people one day each year really works. A snapshot of your life each Christmas as you grow into adulthood.   2021

Directed by: Christine Weatherup

Screenplay by: Christine Weatherup

Starring: Elizabeth Guest, AJ Meijer,
Christine Weatherup and Vin Vescio

Friday, November 19, 2021

Heart of Champions: Movie Review





Overly dramatic but it has bite (and Michael Shannon).
Heart of Champions (also known as Swing which is perhaps a better name given that it’s less cloying and has relevance to the movie) opens with a men’s eight rowing team at a fictional ivy league university losing to Harvard. These over-privileged, rich, white college boys proceed to throw a hissy fit and point fingers at their teammates. Not an inspiring way to start an underdog sports story, but then in walks Michael Shannon.   2021

Directed by: Michael Mailer

Screenplay by: Vojin Gjaja

Starring: Michael Shannon, Alexander Ludwig

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Soulmates: Movie Review





Sweet romance with a lot of immaturity.
Soulmates is comedy first, which is a necessity given the storyline is from a Hallmark made-for-TV movie. Two rural Vermonters Jess (Stephanie Lynn) and Sam (Alexandra Case) have been best friends since childhood and have stayed in the small town with Jess taking care of her father’s farm, but then an evil corporation threatens to buy-up family farms and destroy Vermont, but Jess falls for the handsome evil-doer and Sam has to save their friendship.   2021

Directed by: Timothy Armstrong

Screenplay by: Alexandra Case, Stephanie Lynn

Starring: Alexandra Case and Stepahnie Lynn

Friday, November 12, 2021

Spencer: Movie Review





A captivating dark fantasy with some incongruent moments of positivity.
Pablo Larrain opens Spencer with the title card “a fable from a true tragedy”; inviting the audience to forget their biographical notions and watch a very dark fantasy about the legend that Diana became, as opposed to the real person Diana was. It’s a royal family Christmas where no one is happy, especially Diana, and they are going to torture her until she breaks.   2021

Directed by: Pablo Larrain

Screenplay by: Steven Knight

Starring: Kristen Stewart

Friday, November 5, 2021

Love Hard: Movie Review





Some bad writing, but funny characters deliver a mostly entertaining rom-com.
There’s a lot of bad writing at the beginning to get past, but eventually Love Hard delivers a reasonably funny and entertaining rom-com. It starts with our lead character, Natalie (Nina Dobrev), narrating her life. She’s a successful writer of a ‘bad at love’ blog (which gives some scary Sex and the City flashbacks) and she then turns to online dating because there are just no good men in Los Angeles.   2021

Directed by: Hernan Jimenez

Screenplay by: Daniel Mackey, Rebecca Ewing

Starring: Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Christmas on the Carousel: Movie Review





An indie romance with well written characters.
Writer and director Erik Bloomquist has been busy with Christmas at the Carousel his third movie released this year after Weekenders and Night at the Eagle Inn. He also stars as Greyson, one of four friends who have made the trip back home for the Christmas holidays during their final year at college. It’s time to grapple with their relationships, their future, their past and what home ultimately means.   2021

Directed by: Erik Bloomquist

Screenplay by: Erik Bloomquist, Taylor Turner

Starring: Erik Bloomquist, Madeleine Dauer, Taylor Turner and Rachel Oremland

Monday, November 1, 2021

Later Days: Movie Review



An 80s throwback minus the comedy and music.

A throwback 80s party held by characters who graduated from high school in the mid-to-late 90s. Later Days filmmakers seem to have gotten their decades confused, and the film doesn’t have much else going for it. David Walton has probably gotten used to be the best of the cast with a career of short-lived sitcoms and a handful of Hollywood comedies, and occasionally getting guest-actor credits for better TV comedies.   2021

Directed by: Brad Riddell, Sanford Sternshein

Screenplay by: Brad Riddell, Sanford Sternshein

Starring: David Walton, Majandra Delfino

Friday, October 29, 2021

Honey Girls: Movie Review



Cute and likable with no drama or comedy.

Honey Girls has an odd dichotomy – a huge popstar hosting a reality competition with a larger-than-life opportunity, but with no real stakes or obstacles. The drama is minimal, the comedy is minimal, it’s just a nice story about three girls becoming friends with good singing. The music is the main star, and you can definitely see the movie’s appeal to young teen girls.   2021

Directed by: Trey Fanjoy

Screenplay by: Sharon Price John, Mike Mariano and Cindy McCreery

Starring: Ashanti, Ava Grace, Aliyah Mastin and Frankie McNellis

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

The Wedding Trip: Movie Review





Romantic indie that eventually finds its footing.
Lisa and Murray are getting married, but The Wedding Trip isn’t about them. Making a road trip to the wedding, groomsman Jack (Bart Blachnio) has been told to give a ride to bridesmaid Samantha (Sydney Bakich). Jack arrives, meets Samantha and realizes she was the other half of a really bad date he went on years ago, so he leaves her alone in her driveway, except you really can’t say no to Lisa and Murray.   2021

Directed by: Sean King

Screenplay by: Sean King

Starring: Bart Blachnio, Sydney Bakich

Monday, October 25, 2021

Zola: Movie Review





Unique, compelling and entertaining.
Settle in and let Zola tell you a story, but don’t get comfortable. It’s a story about why she and “this bitch here fell out.” It’s a mostly true story (more on that later) based on the tweets by A’Ziah King, and we’re just going to go ahead and assume this is the first movie to be based on a viral tweet thread, but an epic tweet thread in which Zola tells her side of a story which really should be going in court documents.   2021

Directed by: Janicza Bravo

Screenplay by: Janicza Bravo and Jeremy O. Harris

Starring: Taylour Paige, Riley Keough

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Boyfriends of Christmas Past: Movie Review





Enjoyable lead couple, frustrating drama.
Two years ago, the Hallmark Channel aired and then promptly pulled a commercial which included a lesbian wedding. They knew their White brand and it did not include homosexuality. Boyfriends of Christmas Past is a surprising and refreshing change for the company with gay couples, interracial couples, and featuring two Asian-American leads.   2021

Directed by: Don McBearty

Screenplay by: Lisa Parsons, Edie Grace

Starring: Catherine Haena Kim, Raymond Ablack

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Clairevoyant: Movie Review





A painfully accurate mockumentary.
Clairevoyant is poised to become the next little indie that could by how accurately it satirizes the social media “influencers” teaching the world about spirituality and enlightenment. In this Christopher Guest style mockumentary, Micaela Wittman is Claire, a girl who is so convinced she’s on the ultimate spiritual path to enlightenment (“a super-human” in her words) that she has to make a documentary about her journey.   2021

Directed by: Arthur De Larroche, Micaela Wittman

Screenplay by: Arthur De Larroche, Micaela Wittman

Starring: Micaela Wittman

Friday, October 8, 2021

The Guilty: Movie Review





A tense tale of past crimes, current crimes and atonement.
It’s just Jake Gyllenhaal and a few hours in a 911 operating center. A large budget movie with a very simple set-up. It’s Joe vs the world. Joe (Gyllenhaal) is an LA cop, who has been jettisoned to answering 911 calls. He hates it there, his colleagues aren’t super thrilled that he’s there, and he has an ex-wife trying to keep him away from their daughter.   2021

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

Screenplay by: Nic Pizzolatto
Based on the film Den Skyldige

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The Alpines: Movie Review





A little convoluted and slow, but an ending which really fits the characters.
Seven friends have gathered in a remote log cabin. They’re going to drink, flirt, and rehash their good old college days. But before you get too comfortable, The Alpines is most definitely not a simple dramedy or rom-com. Something sinister has brought them together – a demon, a ghost, or psychopath stalker from college? The friends identify early on that none of them are nice enough, cool enough or interesting enough to inspire outside hostility.   2021

Directed by: Dante Aubain

Screenplay by: Mally Corrigan

Starring: Aaron Latta-Morissette, Mally Corrigan, Daniel Victor, Jesse Mac, Michael Taveira, Katrina Diehm and Nigel Quinn

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Wildhood: Movie Review



Lovely and sweet but meanders a lot through how much life sucks.

This is a dead horse movie. Not literally – allow me to explain. As a Canadian schoolgirl, we always had to read Canadian novels which invariably centered around poor families whose lives got worse because of nature, the economy, or nature some more. I called these “dead horse books” because the family’s horse frequently died, or sometimes the grandfather, or sometimes both. There’s some uplifting moment at the end, but they’re always about how much life sucks.   2021

Directed by: Bretten Hannam

Screenplay by: Bretten Hannam

Starring: Phillip Lewitsky, Joshua Odjick

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Jockey: Movie Review




One man fighting for his future and reflecting on his past.
I’m not into horse racing and I’ve never really watched horse racing movies, but Jockey is not that. Jockey is a character study about a man at the end of his career not ready to accept that he is not infallible. Jackson (Clifton Collins Jr.) is a champion at his sport, but his body is starting to fail him, and he's realizing that doesn’t have anything else to hold on to.   2021

Directed by: Clint Bentley

Screenplay by: Clint Bentley

Starring: Clifton Collins Jr., Moises Arias

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Lakewood (AKA: The Desperate Hour): Movie Review



Frenetic and occasionally frustrating, but solidly entertaining.

Lakewood will have a lot of negative things written about it: gimmicky, frenetic, misguided, capitalistic, but I will also add: entertaining. It is a fast-moving movie – literally as Amy (Naomi Watts) runs the entire time, but also for the audience who will quickly feel caught up in the adrenaline rush of Amy’s drama.   2021

Directed by: Phillip Noyce

Screenplay by: Chris Sparling

Starring: Naomi Watts

Run Woman Run: Movie Review



An enjoyable journey of love, family and language.

In Run Woman Run, Beck (Dakota Ray Hebert) is a 30-something single mother who shares a room with her 10-year-old son and shares a house with her sister, her father and his girlfriend. Beck spends her days in her housecoat, smoking in bed, insulting her family members and driving her car to the mailbox and back as her form of exercise.   2021

Directed by: Zoe Leigh Hopkins

Screenplay by: Zoe Leigh Hopkins

Starring: Dakota Ray Hebert

The Middle Man: Movie Review



Bizarre premise, set in the perfect town, let down by a stale story.

Frank (Pal Sverre Hagen) is the middle man, a newly created position in the fictional town of Karmack. The job requires somebody who has experience delivering bad news and can do it without crying. There’s been so much bad news lately that the Sheriff can’t do it all himself. And thus begins The Middle Man, a film with a bizarre premise and a story that can’t quite live up to it.   2021

Directed by: Brent Hamer

Screenplay by: Brent Hamer
Based on the novel by Lars Saabye Christensen

Starring: Pal Sverre Hagen

Friday, September 24, 2021

Mass: Movie Review





Carefully and cathartically balancing anger, grief, and regret.
Mass opens in a church. I know what you’re thinking, isn’t this about a mass shooting? It is. The six years later aftermath of a school shooting, and now we’re in an Episcopal Church, a neutral location with a room available for two sets of parents to meet. One location, seven characters in total, and one incident that nobody wants to talk about.   2021

Directed by: Fran Kranz

Screenplay by: Fran Kranz

Starring: Ann Dowd, Reed Birney,
Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton

Monday, September 20, 2021

See for Me: Movie Review





Engaging and suspenseful, an indie thriller with excellent characters.
See For Me is an indie thriller that absolutely delivers on story, setting and characterization. We have one main character – Sophie (Skyler Davenport). She is a former champion skier with trophies in her room. She’s currently packing with little aids like safety pins on her clothes to help guide her. Sophie is blind, and she is sick and tired of being a victim. So she tries to sneak out of her house, but her mother (also watching skiing on the TV) catches her, she’s worried about her.   2021

Directed by: Randall Okita

Screenplay by: Adam Yorke, Tommy Gushue

Starring: Skyler Davenport, Jessica Parker Kennedy

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Shadowtown: Movie Review





Over-done on style, under-delivered on premise.
Shadowtown opens with a good premise and a strong sense of style. Very indie in its presentation, Maya (Brittany Bristow) is a Canadian med student preparing for her residency interview. Then her mother calls her; her grandmother’s dead and she has inherited a house in Iceland which she has to travel to, clean out the house and sell it. Only problem, Maya didn’t know she had a grandmother, her mother had previously told her she had died decades ago.   2020

Directed by: Jon Einarsson Gustafsson,
and Karolina Lewicka

Screenplay by: Jon Einarsson Gustafsson,
and Karolina Lewicka

Starring: Brittany Bristow

Best Sellers: Movie Review





Funny, charming and predictable.
Best Sellers is a comedy-drama set in the modern-day publishing world. To get started, it emphasizes the comedy. Harris Shaw (Michael Caine) is a curmudgeonly old writer who answers the phone with “He’s dead.” and then throws it out the window. The only thing he likes is his cat, an absolute sweetheart of a cat, and hates all people. Lucy (Aubrey Plaza) is a 30-something head of a struggling publishing company left to her by her father and being circled by potential buyers.   2021

Directed by: Lina Roessler

Screenplay by: Anthony Grieco

Starring: Michael Caine, Aubrey Plaza

Friday, September 17, 2021

Silent Night: Movie Review



Dark, bleak, funny and interesting.

Silent Night is a smart, unsettling combination of a family holiday comedy, a relationship drama and an end of the world, apocalyptic horror. Perhaps The Family Stone meets 28 Days Later…, a bleak dark comedy about inevitable death but held when everybody gets together for Christmas dinner. It’s a story of privileged people accepting death but not accepting that others might not share their world view.   2021

Directed by: Camille Griffin

Screenplay by: Camille Griffin

Starring: Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode

Thursday, September 16, 2021

The Good House: Movie Review



A meandering tale of a life in crisis.

The Good House has a curious relationship with genre. Directors Maya Forbes and Wallace Wolodarsky introduced the movie as a comedy saying the highlight of Ann Leary’s novel is how funny it is and the caustic wit of the lead character. Hildy is caustic alright, but Sigourney Weaver’s take on her is a tragic character. An alcoholic who lies to everyone close to her and alienates everyone else. Very few laughs to be found.   2021

Directed by: Maya Forbes, Wallace Wolodarsky

Screenplay by: Thomas Bezuchas, Maya Forbes, and Wallace Wolodarsky
Based on the novel by Ann Leary

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline

Monday, September 13, 2021

You Are Not My Mother: Movie Review



A slow-burn horror with strong atmosphere and direction.

You Are Not My Mother is a slow-burn horror-drama based on an Irish folklore. I’m not familiar with this Irish folklore but it doesn’t seem to be a hindrance. The direction the story takes is clear, how the ending plays out is creepy without any unexpected twists – in other words, it fits the genre without shocking twists. This should be a homerun for fans of slow-burn horror movies.   2021

Directed by: Kate Dolan

Screenplay by: Kate Dolan

Starring: Hazel Doupe, Jade Jordan

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Montana Story: Movie Review



A quiet, thoughtful tale of past trauma.

Montana Story blends the tranquility of a ranch on the Rocky Mountain Front with the stress of death. Cal (Owen Teague) has returned home for his father’s final days. There’s a local family who has worked on the ranch for years and cleans and takes care of the house, and now there’s a hospice worker to help the dad pass peacefully. But it’s up to Cal to find money to cover all the medical bills, figure out what to do with the last remaining animal and then sell the ranch. Until sister Erin (Haley Lu Richardson) arrives.   2021

Directed by: Scott McGehee, David Siegel

Screenplay by: Scott McGehee, David Siegel, Mike Spreter

Starring: Owen Teague, Haley Lu Richardson

Sunday, August 22, 2021

How It Ends: Movie Review



Random funniness, very superficial.

How It Ends opens with Liza (Zoe Lister-Jones) woken up by the metaphysical presence of her younger self (Cailee Spaeny). Young Liza is demanding answers, "Aren’t we going to do something? How did our life get to this, dying alone?" It’s the end of the world as an asteroid is going to hit at 2 am. Liza just wants to lay in bed, eat her pancakes and do nothing. Young Liza thinks it’s time for a soul-searching reckoning.   2021

Directed by: Zoe Lister-Jones, Daryl Wein

Screenplay by: Daryl Wein, Zoe Lister-Jones

Starring: Zoe Lister-Jones, Cailee Spaeny

Friday, August 13, 2021

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions: Movie Review



Some insane action, but interesting rooms and compelling characters.

The premise of Escape Room works really well for a unique, original film. The first one pitted six strangers with one common link against one another in an unknowing game of life or death. That premise was really elevated by the focus on the psychology of the characters and their interactions. This sequel has forced six winners of past escape rooms together, including our two main heroes from the original.   2021

Directed by: Adam Robitel

Screenplay by: Will Honley, Maria Melnik
Daniel Tuch, and Oren Uziel

Starring: Taylor Russell, and Logan Miller

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The Kissing Booth 3: Movie Review





Unpleasant, unromantic and not fun.
The Kissing Booth 3 is the stupidest instalment of the Kissing Booth trilogy, and this is coming from someone who kind of enjoyed the first two, but whatever charm there used to be is long gone. I hope the filmmakers and actors enjoy their Netflix money, because the audience isn’t going to. In other words, if you haven’t started the series yet, you don’t have to worry about finishing it.   2021

Directed by: Vnce Marcello

Screenplay by: Vince Marcello and Jay S. Arnold

Starring: Joey King, Jacob Elordi

Friday, July 16, 2021

Fear Street Part Three: 1666: Movie Review





Satisfying conclusion to the Fear Street trilogy.
Fear Street Part Three: 1666 opens right at the beginning of the curse of Sarah Fier and the evil that has infested Shadyside. All of the important characters from Fear Street 1994 and 1978 have been repurposed into their former 1666 selves, including the Deena and Sam/Sarah and Hannah romance that started all the trouble. This final instalment of Netflix’s Fear Street trilogy delivers exactly what the audience wants.   2021

Directed by: Leigh Janiak

Screenplay by: Phil Graziadei, Leigh Janiak,
and Kate Trefry
Based on the books by R.L. Stine

Starring: Kiana Madeira, Ashley Zukerman

Thursday, July 15, 2021

A Perfect Fit: Movie Review



An Indonesian copy of mediocre American rom-coms.

Far from a perfect fit, A Perfect Fit threw in random elements of a typical romantic comedy whether or not they belonged in this story, and failed to elevate it beyond a mediocre rom-com. I was hoping an Indonesian-produced and shot film wouldn’t look so Americanized. The cultural aspects were minimized, broadening the appeal but lessening the uniqueness.   2021

Directed by: Hadrah Daeng Ratu

Screenplay by: Garin Nugroho

Starring: Nadya Arina, Refal Hady

Saturday, July 10, 2021

The Green Sea: Movie Review



A compelling lead character with a weird, slow-moving story.

The Green Sea has created a unique world. The setting is the Irish countryside, away from a small town, Simone lives independently and solemnly. Simone is the central character but the tone and direction of the film is very hard to pin down. Traces of a psychological drama or thriller are most prominent, but then comes a science fiction emphasis, and interest in the story starts to fade when things start making less sense.   2021

Directed by: Randal Plunkett

Screenplay by: Randal Plunkett

Starring: Katharine Isabelle, Hazel Doupe

Friday, July 9, 2021

Fear Street Part Two: 1978: Movie Review





More atmosphere, less mystery.
Have you seen Fear Street Part One: 1994 yet? That’s your first stop. Part Two opens shortly after we left Deena, Sam and Josh. Possessed Sam is locked up in the trunk of Deena’s car as Deena and Josh go to meet Christine Berman (Gillian Jacobs) and get the story of how she survived the Shadyside massacre of 1978. It’s summer camp at Nightwing and teenagers are up to teenage stuff.   2021

Directed by: Leigh Janiak

Screenplay by: Zak Olkewicz, Leigh Janiak

Starring: Sadie Sink, Emily Rudd,
Ted Sutherland and Gillian Jacobs

Thursday, July 8, 2021

This Little Love of Mine: Movie Review





Meaningless, generic, but oh so beautiful.
I really hate it when romantic comedies can’t do any better than a meaningless generic title. Like what significance does This Little Love of Mine have? None. It is as meaningless and generic as you can possibly get, and they didn’t try that much harder for the actual movie itself. It is literally ‘big city lawyer goes back to hometown and falls for childhood friend’.   2021

Directed by: Christine Luby

Screenplay by: George Harrison

Starring: Saskia Hampele, Liam McIntyre

Friday, July 2, 2021

Fear Street Part One: 1994: Movie Review





Selling nostalgia and slasher gore in an R.L. Stine mystery.
Based on the Fear Street novels by R.L. Stine, Netflix’s release of Fear Street Part One: 1994 knows its target audience. We’re Gen X, 90s teens who grew up with R.L. Stine, came of age with Scream and slasher horror, and now we’re 38-45. And Netflix is selling us nostalgia with a three-week movie event. This is nostalgia – opens in 1994 at a bookstore in the Shadyside mall, follows that up with killer set-ups straight out of the Scream series, and sprinkled with the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Garbage, Sophie Hawkins, Radiohead and Soundgarden.   2021

Directed by: Leigh Janiak

Screenplay by: Kyle Killen, Phil Graziadei
Based on the books by R.L. Stine

Starring: Kiana Madeira, Fred Hechinger, and Olivia Scott Welch

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Good on Paper: Movie Review





A romantic comedy that smartly drops the romance.
Good on Paper is very much an Iliza Shlesinger movie. It features her playing a version of herself, some of her stand-up material, and a lot of the themes from her stand-up. Something else to note up front is that this is not a romantic comedy. Comedy yes, but then it spins the romance into something with a bit more bite.   2021

Directed by: Kimmy Gatewood

Screenplay by: Iliza Shlesinger

Starring: Iliza Shlesinger, Ryan Hansen

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Back for Good: Movie Review





Solid addition to the quarter-life crisis genre.
In Back for Good, Max (Molly Donovan) is a 20-something struggling actress in New York City. Her agent committed suicide, she works as a waitress serving assholes, and her roommate just kicked her out. One phone call from an ex-boyfriend and Max decides on the spot to move back home to Pittsburgh. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but it is a solid addition to the quarter-life crisis genre.   2017 (2021 release)

Directed by: Bailey Donovan, Molly Donovan

Screenplay by: Bailey Donovan, Molly Donovan

Starring: Molly Donovan, Ian Cramer