Friday, July 19, 2024

Spread: Movie Review

Ruby (Elizabeth Gillies) is smart and works hard, kind of. More accurately, she works at lots of jobs because she keeps getting fired because she can’t keep her mouth shut. Her current job is a paid internship at a high-brow magazine where she goes on a rant about journalism integrity and who the company should and should not partner with. She told herself to not say anything, but she couldn’t help herself, and now she’s out of a job.   2024

Directed by: Ellie Kanner

Screenplay by: Buffy Charlet

Starring: Elizabeth Gillies

Find Me Falling: Movie Review

Romantic drama that's a little unexpected.
You know what is a good underrated romantic drama? Hope Floats. This isn’t Hope Floats, but there is a comfort level whenever Harry Connick Jr appears on screen in a romance. Here he’s an aging former rock star who has just moved to Cyprus, where he wants to be alone, unknown and retire in peace. Or so he says. And then he finds out that the house he just bought is a suicide hotspot.   2024

Directed by: Stelana Kliris

Screenplay by: Stelana Kliris

Starring: Harry Connick Jr

Saturday, July 6, 2024

Goyo: Movie Review

A dark and difficult watch about love on the autism spectrum.
Love on the Spectrum is a TV show that I have not seen, but would be a fitting alternate title for Goyo. Goyo is about a young man nicknamed Goyo (from Gregorius) with Autism. Goyo spends his days learning to swim with a group of mentally and physically handicapped adults but he actually just likes holding his breath and hiding from the world underwater and then yelling at his classmates.   2024

Directed by: Marcos Carnevale

Screenplay by: Marcos Carnevale

Starring: Nicolás Furtado, Nancy Dupláa

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

Space Cadet: Movie Review

Light on laughs and reality, but it is fun and sweet.
The key to Space Cadet is patience. A movie with a cheesy premise – a Florida party girl joins the NASA astronaut training program after her friend lies on her application – indeed begins with a very immature first half, but eventually moves towards something sweet and funny. Emma Roberts stars as Rex Simpson, a once-promising high school student (with accolades and scholarships to prove it) who put her life on hold to take care of her dying mother.   2024

Directed by: Liz W. Garcia

Screenplay by: Liz W. Garcia

Starring: Emma Roberts, Tom Hopper

Friday, June 28, 2024

Reunion: Movie Review

A nice, easy watch but minimal comedy and intrigue.
Most recently popularized by the AppleTV+ series, The Afterparty, a high school reunion is an intriguing setting for a murder mystery. Reunion is a quick little splash in that genre; some fun characters but too slight of a movie to make a lasting impression. We start with a cop, Evan (Billy Magnussen), and Ray (Lil Rel Howery) dancing around in his underwear and getting dressed in his old high school clothes.   2024

Directed by: Chris Nelson

Screenplay by: Willie Block, Jake Emanuel

Starring: Lil Rel Howery, Billy Magnussen

Thursday, June 27, 2024

A Family Affair: Movie Review

High on the comedic energy, very low on the romance.
We’re in the era of competing movies on the streamers. Two months ago, Amazon released The Idea of You, a single mother dates a famous pop star, and now Netflix has released A Family Affair, a single mother dates a famous actor. However the few deviations provide big differences in the tone and theme of the two movies. A Family Affair is strictly a romantic comedy, emphasis on the comedy, where the 20-something daughter takes great umbrage with her mother’s new romantic interest.   2024

Directed by: Richard LaGravenese

Screenplay by: Carrie Solomon

Starring: Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, Joey King and Kathy Bates

Friday, May 24, 2024

Hit Man: Movie Review

A devilishly smart crowd-pleaser.
An interesting distinction needs to be made with Hit Man: It’s based on a real person, but it’s not based on a true story. Meaning, the main character and all his various personas and jobs and identities – all true, but the main plot and most of the action of the second half, all fabricated. Writer and director Richard Linklater has spent his career throwing in a few ‘based on a true story’ movies among his humorous and touching movies about the human existence. It's only fitting that Hit Man deftly combines the two.   2024

Directed by: Richard Linklater

Screenplay by: Richard Linklater, Glen Powell, Skip Hollandsworth

Starring: Glen Powell, Adria Arjona

Sunday, May 19, 2024

End of the Rope: Movie Review

A western crime drama with a different historical flavour.
End of the Rope is a story about social justice, an historical crime thriller set during the early 1930s where the self-evident truth starts being at odds with the uncovered evidence and a community of desperate people starting to turn against their local law enforcement. It’s a low-budget independent feature telling a story arguably bigger than a film like this can handle.   2023

Directed by: Charlie Griak

Screenplay by: Daniel Bielinski, Charlie Griak
Based on the story by Dennis Johnson

Starring: Joseph Gray, Chris Bylsma

Friday, May 10, 2024

The Image of You: Movie Review

The Image of You is a campy, pulpy, sultry, trashy thriller complete with identical twins, affairs, a dying mother, schizophrenia and murder, oh my! There is of course one big twist, but dilutes the movie into an unsatisfying mess. Sasha Pieterse stars as identical twins Anna and Zoe. Anna is the put-together, risk-averse twin; Zoe is the daring out-spoken twin seeking alcohol, drugs and other such pleasures.   2024

Directed by: Jeff Fisher

Screenplay by: Adele Parks, Chris Sivertson

Starring: Sasha Pieterse, Parker Young

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Mother of the Bride: Movie Review

Mother of the Bride is a Netflix romantic comedy which has minimal romance, a few awful attempts at comedy, and has no clue who its target audience is. The center of the romance is Lana (Brooke Shields) a widowed single mother of Emma (Miranda Cosgrove) who is about to get married in Thailand. Lana is then thrown for a loop when she finds out the father of the groom is her old college flame Will (Benjamin Bratt).   2024

Directed by: Mark Waters

Screenplay by: Robin Bernheim

Starring: Brooke Shields, Benjamin Bratt

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Unfrosted: Movie Review

A movie spoofing better movies to show how stupid it is.
Jerry Seinfeld, fresh off his “they don’t let us make comedy anymore” social media whining tour, has made a new comedy, Unfrosted, making fun of a whole bunch of better movies that came before it. Seinfeld who acts as producer, director, writer and star of the movie, belongs to a small set of people who likely never saw Air, or Blackberry or Tetris but complained about the idea of those movies being stupid. So he decided to make a stupider movie because he couldn’t see the humanity that was behind those movies.   2024

Directed by: Jerry Seinfeld

Screenplay by: Jerry Seinfeld, Spike Feresten, Andy Robin

Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Gaffigan, Melissa McCarthy

Friday, January 26, 2024

Junction: Movie Review

There have been so many opioid epidemic movies and shows over the past year or two, so it kind of seems like an odd choice for actor Bryan Greenberg to make his screenwriting and directorial debut with. It’s impossible for Junction to stand-out against the bigger-budget productions, the grittier productions, the documentary productions, so it just tucks itself into the middle with a nicely polished, lower budget, fictionalized story that could be (mostly) true.   2024

Directed by: Bryan Greenberg

Screenplay by: Bryan Greenberg

Starring: Griffin Dunne, Ashley Madikwe, Bryan Greenberg and Sophia Bush

Friday, January 12, 2024

Weak Layers: Movie Review

A very enjoyable movie about skiing, friends, lovers, and life in a ski town.
Weak Layers might seem like a simple movie on the surface – a skiing comedy where three female friends try to win a competition – but it successfully incorporates around 4 different simple ideas to tell a movie slightly different than expected to allow the audience to just be entertained by the skiing, the comedy, the romance. It’s got it all and remains a very simple, easy to like, fun to watch little movie.   2023

Directed by: Katie Burrell

Screenplay by: Katie Burrell, Andrew Ladd

Starring: Katie Burrell, Jadyn Wong, Chelsea Conwright, Evan Jonigkeit

American Fiction: Movie Review

American Fiction asks the question “What is Black art?” Is it a novel or a film made by a Black person or does it have to be about an experience unique to their culture in such a way that White people can praise it to absolve their guilt? It asks this question by telling a tale that is both truthful in an everyday every American kind of way and a part that is pure fiction that offers entertaining reflection.   2023

Directed by: Cord Jefferson

Screenplay by: Cord Jefferson

Starring: Jeffrey Wright, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, and Sterling K. Brown

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Mean Girls: Movie Review

The same Mean Girls, now with songs.
The trailer says, “This is not your mother’s Mean Girls.” Except that it is. They added songs and changed a few lines, but otherwise it’s pretty much exactly the same Mean Girls. The updating for today’s audience is limited to wardrobe changes and new makeup styles, and the gossip around school is now done via tik tok videos and group texts.   2024

Directed by: Samantha Jayne, Arturo Perez Jr.

Screenplay by: Tina Fey

Starring: Angourie Rice, Reneé Rapp, Christopher Briney and Bebe Wood

Friday, January 5, 2024

Anyone But You: Movie Review

It’s a beautiful movie to look at, but has lots of nagging distractions.
Anyone But You feels like it’s recreating the sensual romantic comedies that were once popular but for modern audiences. The film focuses on the gorgeous stars, the beautiful setting, the attractive stars, the delightful ensemble and did I mention how hot the leads are? This is very much a look at the very beautiful, very rich people on vacation type of movie.   2023

Directed by: Will Gluck

Screenplay by: Ilana Wolpert, Will Gluck

Starring: Sydney Sweeney, Glen Powell

The Iron Claw: Movie Review

A surprisingly compelling story about tragedy.
I will never understand wrestling. Like any good university student in the 2000s, I had a group of friends into WWE Raw and I tried to like it but just couldn’t. I do, however, like biopics and “based on a true story.” The Iron Claw is a dramatic look at an American tragedy way more than it even resembles a wrestling movie. I had never heard of the Von Erichs before watching this movie and I’m sure my viewing experience was completely different than someone who grew up idolizing them.   2023

Directed by: Sean Durkin

Screenplay by: Sean Durkin

Starring: Zac Efron, Harris Dickinson, Stanley Simons and Jeremy Allen White