Monday, December 26, 2022

Triangle of Sadness: Movie Review

Brilliant and entertaining social deconstruction.
If you want to summarize Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness as succinctly as possible, it’s what happens when the rich get bored – disaster. But of course the film is too perfect of a societal skewering to just make fun of rich people. There are three distinct parts. The first focuses on models Carl (Harris Dickinson) and Yaya (Charlbi Dean), two people who didn’t necessarily grow up with wealth but their physical beauty has placed them in a bubble where they have to try to reflect and capture the average person.   2022

Directed by: Ruben Östlund

Screenplay by: Ruben Östlund

Starring: Harris Dickinson, Charlbi Dean, Vicki Berlin, Woody Harrelson

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Argentina, 1985: Movie Review

Argentina, 1985 starts with a lawyer Julio Strassera (Ricardo Darín) and his family. It’s a modest house, filled with a son who adores his father, a father who hates his daughter’s new boyfriend, and a wife who thinks he needs to go easier on his daughter. But there’s a lot more going on, primarily because Julio is about to become the central figure in the most important court case in Argentina’s history.   2022

Directed by: Santiago Mitre

Screenplay by: Mariano Llinas, Santiago Mitre

Starring: Ricardo Darin, Peter Lanzani

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Fabelmans: Movie Review

Profoundly moving, self-reflective, intricate work of art.
This is a filmmaker’s movie, and a cinephile’s movie and an everybody’s movie. The Fabelmans is not just Steven Spielberg’s most personal movie, but also his best movie. Arguably one of the world’s greatest filmmakers has just delivered his greatest work of art. It’s the level of self-reflection and detail in each moment of his 1950s-1960s adolescence that leads to a tale about the power of art in the face of hatred reflecting our modern world.   2022

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Screenplay by: Steven Spielberg, Tony Kushner

Starring: Gabriel LaBelle, Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The Disappearance of Toby Blackwood

A pandemic comedy about conspiracy theories.
Toby Blackwood (Doug Mellard) is an extreme right-wing, conspiracy theorist, survivalist hick, and of course has a popular YouTube channel. Instead of following a more typical thriller route with the audience caring for the whereabouts of the title character, it’s actually a comedy about conspiracy theories making fun of guys like Toby. The main characters are Wes (Joe Ahern) a sad, recently divorced guy whose friends are worried about him as he mopes about his house during the pandemic, and Luke (Grant Harvey) his friend who can easily fall down conspiracy rabbit holes.   2022

Directed by: Joe Ahern

Screenplay by: Joe Ahern, Doug Mellard

Starring: Joe Ahern, Grant Harvey,
and Doug Mellard

Friday, December 16, 2022

Mindcage: Movie Review

Grungy, stupid, unoriginal crime thriller.
Mindcage is a movie about a new-ish, young-ish police detective Mary (Melissa Roxburgh), the imprisoned serial killer known as The Artist (John Malkovich) and Mary’s seasoned detective partner Jake (Martin Lawrence) as they try to track down a new copycat killer who knows all The Artist’s secrets. And it’s just a really stupid movie. Police detectives in a cat-and-mouse chase of a serial killer that is devoid of anything original or intelligent.   2022

Directed by: Mauro Borrelli

Screenplay by: Reggie Keyohara III

Starring: Melissa Roxburgh, John Malkovich, and Martin Lawrence

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

I Believe in Santa: Movie Review

A confused movie with no audience.
I Believe in Santa does not know its audience. First it has a really silly premise – a grown adult who actually believes in Santa. And second, it’s a kid’s movie but not for kids. The rom-com element is too mature to be interesting or funny to kids. So it’s for adults who believe in Santa? Those don’t exist. If we can overlook that existential problem, it is a mostly cute and sweet Christmas movie.   2022

Directed by: Alex Ranarivelo

Screenplay by: John Ducey

Starring: Christina Moore, John Ducey

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Looking for Her: Movie Review

Slow-moving but cute and sweet with a good lead couple.
Looking for Her opens with two common character types: Taylor (Olivia Buckle) an uptight, hard-working writer who bottles up her feelings and usually ignores her family for Christmas; Olive (Alexandra Swarens) is a perpetually late, behind on rent, struggling actress who has a sweet nature but doesn’t have two dollars to rub together to be able to make good decisions with. Olive is a really easy character to like and the film desperately needs her presence.   2022

Directed by: Alexandra Swarens

Screenplay by: Alexandra Swarens

Starring: Olivia Buckle, Alexandra Swarens

Friday, December 9, 2022

Accidental Family: Movie Review

Bad premise, awful comedy and misguided romance.

Accidental Family starts with a bad premise and somehow gets worse. Its morale of uplifting family values doesn’t add any genuine sweetness that it’s supposed to. It’s an over-wrought romantic dramedy that has poorly formed messages on top of bad acting, awful comedy and misguided romance. One shouldn’t be surprised when a story that starts with the idea “I’ll fake being somebody’s family member in order to get them to fall in love with me” isn’t good.   2021

Directed by: Jason Hudson

Screenplay by: Jason Hudson

Starring: Kinsey Leigh Redmond, Justen Jones

Friday, December 2, 2022

A Hollywood Christmas: Movie Review

A Hollywood Christmas is another self-aware Christmas rom-com, gently poking fun at itself while paying homage to the tried-and-true formula. It opens with the movie-within-the-movie: a big city lawyer walks into a small-town girl’s struggling cupcake shop, he threatens to shut it down because he hates Christmas, and the girl teaches him the magic of Christmas and together they save her store and fall in love.   2022

Directed by: Alex Ranarivelo

Screenplay by: John Ducey

Starring: Jessika Van, Josh Swickard

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Your Christmas or Mine?: Movie Review

Too many rom-com tropes with unenjoyable characters.
A young couple Hayley and James are saying goodbye at the train station to go spend Christmas with their own families. Only they both make the same impulsive decision to get off their train, get on the other person’s train to spend Christmas together, but are now heading to each other’s families, apart. Your Christmas or Mine? is a holiday rom-com in a comedy-of-errors format.   2022

Directed by: Jim O'Hanlon

Screenplay by: Tom Parry

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Cora Kirk