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Review: Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Official synopsis: The origin story of renegade warrior Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy) before her encounter and team up with Mad Max. I never cared for the Mad Max films until 2015's Mad Max: Fury Road came bursting on the scene. That ended up being one of my favorite films of that year. When a prequel was announced with Anya Taylor-Joy taking over for Charlize Theron, I was immediately intrigued, but I kept my expectations low. How do you top a stunning film like Fury Road? Well, you don't. But Furiosa is still a fun time at the movies. The stunt and VFX teams are the standout here. All of the fight scenes on the rigs were very well done and exciting to watch. Anya Taylor Joy spends the majority of the film silent, her glare is doing most of the work here. And I have to shout out Alyla Browne who played the younger version of her. They looked so much alike. You'd think they were sisters. Chris Hemsworth is the standout as the villain Dementus. He's both corny and brutal,

Series Review: Under The Bridge

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Official synopsis:  Fourteen-year-old Reena Virk (Vritika Gupta) went to join friends at a party and never returned home. Seven teenage girls and a boy were accused of the savage murder. A true crime series starring Lily Gladstone and Riley Keough? Sign me up. This 8 episode drama streams on Hulu and follows the real case of Reena Virk, whose grisly murder inspired author Rebecca Godfrey's book of the same name. Godfrey unfortunately passed away from cancer before the mini series finished production, but she allegedly liked how the episodes were written and how she would eventually be portrayed by Riley Keough. This surprises me a bit, because there is one thing that really tanked the series for me, and it was how unbearable Rebecca became. I've read that she liked that she was portrayed as a bit of an "anti hero" in this, but I don't think that's true at all. I don't think there's anything heroic about show Rebecca and how she projected onto these tee

Review: Queen Tut

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Official synopsis:  Upon the loss of his mother, an Egyptian teenager Nabil (Ryan Ali) leaves his home of Cairo to live with his father in Toronto. Parachuted into the underground queer nightlife in Toronto, he confronts his mother’s death, much to his father’s disapproval, by taking up the ways of drag and becoming Queen Tut. There's so much to love about this film. Endearing performances, gorgeous costumes, found family. It feels very honest. It's wholesome to see Nabil feel connected to his mother by a sketch of a dress she planned to make, and for that dress to come to life as he does as Queen Tut. I liked the focus on preserving LGBTQIA+ history and not letting it fall to the wayside of gentrification. Even if this was a fictional landmark, you feel for it as if it's real.  Another part of Nabil's story outside of his relationship with his parents is how he grapples with religion. I liked that the film has space for both being critical of people using religion to d

Review: Godzilla Minus One

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Official Synopsis:  Post-war Japan is at its lowest point when a new crisis emerges in the form of a giant monster, baptized in the horrific power of the atomic bomb. I'm not sure I've ever kicked myself so hard for not seeing a film in theaters the way I did Godzilla Minus One. Life would just NOT work with me on that one, and I missed it. Now, after 84 years, the film is finally available to stream on Netflix. And I can see what all the fuss was about.  At this point in the pop culture zeitgeist, I'm used to Godzilla teaming up with Kong and taking a nap in the Colosseum. This film reminded me that he's meant to be legitimately terrifying. His entrance into this film is so abrupt and creepy. Then he leaves, and we focus on the human story. One of found family, surviving post-war when your war isn't necessarily over, and love. I found myself getting so into that, that I almost forgot I was watching a Godzilla movie until he returns with a vengeance.  The SFX team d

Review: The Mattachine Family

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Official Synopsis:  While Thomas (Nico Tortorella) and Oscar (Juan Pablo Di Pace) are very much in love, after their first foster child returns to his birth mother, they find that they have different ideas about what making a family actually means. This film gets its title from the Mattachine Society, and early US gay rights organization. The famed staircase dedicated to founder Harry Hay also makes an appearance. It's a fitting title for a film with plenty to say about the broad spectrum of gay relationships. Dealing with marriage, fertility, dating, adoption, and everything in betwenen. Thomas is a photographer, he narrates the film from time to time against a series of photos he's taken. I really liked this touch. Thomas is a character who starts off not thinking too much about becoming a parent, then when it happens he realizes just how much it means to him. My heart always swells when I think of my own child, so I loved seeing that play out.  This film just made me feel al

Review: Back to Black

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Official Synopsis:  The life and music of Amy Winehouse (Marisa Abela), through the journey of adolescence to adulthood and the creation of one of the best-selling albums of our time. Amy Winehouse was a one of a kind talent who was gone far too soon. It was inevitable that we'd get a biopic about her. It was never going to be an easy feat. Think about it. Amy was a huge tabloid fixture in the 2000's. I for one, consumed a lot of that media back in those days. I can picture Amy Winehouse perfectly in my head because I've seen so many photos of her thanks to paparazzi desperately trying to capture her "train wreck" era (which was really her suffering from addiction, but no one allowed that type of grace in the mid aughts) Because of that, I can't see anyone truly getting immersed in this film and "seeing" Amy. I saw an uncanny valley version of her instead and I think that's going to be a bit of a hurdle. That said, I didn't find this film nea

Review: The Coffee Table

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Official synopsis:  Jesus (David Pareja) and Maria (Estefanía de los Santos)  are a couple going through a difficult time in their relationship. Nevertheless, they have just become parents. To shape their new life, they decide to buy a new coffee table. A decision that will change their existence. Never have I been thrown off by a movie as much as I have been The Coffee Table.  I hadn't watched any trailers, nor read other reviews before hitting "play." I assumed I was in for a more Scenes from a Marriage type viewing type viewing experience where this couple will really have to access their commitment after a fight. Oh no. This film starts with the pettiest argument over a coffee table and ends with trauma that is probably going to last for generations for all involved. Watching this was like waiting to pull off a band aid. I wanted to just skip to the end and get it over with. To get to what I knew was coming, but who wants to miss an entire movie? As anxiety inducing