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Showing posts from 2024

Review: MaXXXine

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Official synopsis:  In 1980s Hollywood, adult film star and aspiring actress Maxine Minx (Mia Goth) finally gets her big break. But as a mysterious killer stalks the starlets of Hollywood, a trail of blood threatens to reveal her sinister past. Who knew Ti West's little horror film X would turn into one of the best horror trilogies in modern day? Powered by a show stopping performance by Mia Goth, we come to the conclusion of Maxine Minx's story. This film takes placed in 1985, a few years removed from the events of X. The scope is bigger and the stakes are higher. Unlike the second installment Pearl , Mia Goth wasn't involved in the writing of this one. West ties in Maxine's story with the very real Night Stalker murders, and it works quite well. Maxine is haunted by her past, but she's still as confident as ever and that makes her into a great final girl. One thing MaXXXine didn't inherit from its predecessors was its pacing. I think Ti West was kind of caugh

Review: Kinds of Kindness

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Official synopsis:  A man seeks to break free from his predetermined path, a cop questions his wife's demeanor after her return from a supposed drowning, and a woman searches for an extraordinary individual prophesied to become a renowned spiritual guide. Yorgos Lanthimos is fresh off his Oscar darling Poor Things with another Emma Stone-led film. This time, it's three short stories strung together, with actors including Jesse Plemmons, Margaret Qualley, Hong Chau, Mamoudou Athie, and Willem DaFoe playing multiple roles.  The stories don't exactly have much to do with each other. I suppose they *could* be about "kinds of kindness" but it's really just a look into the oddities Lanthimos is so drawn two. Of the 3 shorts, I found the first and last ones to be the strongest. I think the last could've been made into a feature. The second one left me scratching my head, and after I post this review, I'm going to have to do a bit of reading online because I

Review: A Family Affair

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Official synopsis:  An unexpected romance triggers comic consequences for a young woman (Joey King), her mother, (Nicole Kidman) and her boss, (Zac Efron) grappling with the complications of love, sex, and identity. Earlier this year Amazon Prime gave us another age gap rom com with The Idea of You . Now, Netflix is doing the same with A Family Affair.  Only this time instead of a famous singer, Efron is a famously out of touch actor, with King as his assistant and Kidman as her writer mother. I have to say based on some reviews I read on letterboxd I was expecting this to be awful, but it was just fine. It's a typical rom com. Not something you spend theater money on, but a perfectly watchable film at home. I was somewhat compelled by the love affair between Brooke and Chris. Mostly because we're given enough backstory on both to make you wonder if it could truly work. The biggest downfall of the film is King's Zara. She's an incredibly selfish character who throws tan

Review: The Bikeriders

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Official synopsis:  After a chance encounter, headstrong Kathy (Jodie Comer) is drawn to Benny (Austin Butler), member of Midwestern motorcycle club the Vandals. As the club transforms into a dangerous underworld of violence, Benny must choose between Kathy and his loyalty to the club. I don't think the IMDb synopsis above really does this film justice. It implies that we're seeing things from Benny's point of view, and we're thankfully not. This is the Kathy show. She's our main protagonist, she tells the majority of the story. And while yes, there's plenty of scenes of Benny and Tom Hardy's Johnny without her. We still always find our way back to Kathy. That's the best way director Jeff Nichols could've handled this story. He's been wanting to make a film about a motorcycle club for quite some time, and by having Kathy, a woman stuck in a sea of shitty men as the main voice, the film is far better for it. Even though I just wish Kathy would mak

Review: Birth/Rebirth

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Official Synopsis:   A pathologist (Marin Ireland) successfully reanimates the body of a little girl, but to keep her breathing, she will need to harvest biological materials from pregnant women. When the girl's mother (Judy Reyes), a nurse, discovers her baby alive, they enter into a deal that forces them both down a dark path of no return. Yes, this movie is exactly as messed up as the synopsis suggests, and I had been wanting to see it ever since lucky festival goers reviews came across my letterboxd feed. Pathology itself is an interesting field and and having one as a co-lead just made this all the most interesting. It raises a lot of questions about mortality and whether or not you would do something like this if you could. Like, as a parent, can you blame Celie for wanting to do all she can to have her 6 year old daughter alive again? Can you blame Rose for her discovery, even if the means are questionable?  I was very into this, but I don't think this film is a horror m

Review: The First Omen

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Official synopsis:  A young American, Margaret (Nell Tiger Free) woman is sent to Rome to begin a life of service to the church, but encounters a darkness that causes her to question her faith and uncovers a terrifying conspiracy that hopes to bring about the birth of evil incarnate I'll admit, when I first saw a trailer for this film, I rolled my eyes. WHY do we need a prequel to The Omen? Is there not something else we could write about? Well, here I am now, eating crow, because this film was a lot better than it had any right being. Even though we know Damien is eventually going to be born, the film does very well with making the "how" of it a mystery. There's so much for Margaret to uncover. There were parts I found predictable, but even though I knew where it was going, I was still interested in seeing how the characters get themselves there. Tiger Free is great in this role. It's very reminiscent of what she did in The Servant , but I liked that about this f

Review: Eileen

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Official synopsis : A woman's friendship with a new co-worker at the prison facility where she works takes a sinister turn. I think all of us movie lovers that actively read reviews can admit that sometimes we're reading and watching so many, that it's easy to forget what a film is about if you don't see it right when everyone else does. Take Eileen for example. I love both Anne Hathaway and Thomasin Mackenzie, and I know I read other blogger's reviews of this film. I remember it being mixed. So I went into this expecting a forbidden lesbian romance story, and boy when I say I was the literal embodiment of this meme.. I almost had to laugh. I probably would have if this film had not gotten SO dark. I was really impressed with this overall. It's a very quite film, but it has quite the crescendo. It's easy to see why Eileen finds herself obsessed with Rebecca considering the people she has to surround herself with each day. I thought the production design wa

Review: Cold Copy

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Official Synopsis:  An ambitious journalism student, Mia (Bel Powley) falls under the thrall of an esteemed yet cutthroat news reporter, Diane(Tracee Ellis Ross) whom she's desperate to impress, even if it means manipulating her latest story - and the very idea of truth itself. I've always loved journalism movies, so when I saw this film finally hit Netflix, I immediately downloaded it for my long flight. If you're going into this looking for someone to like, you will be disappointed. Both Mia and Diane suck. Especially Mia, who we spend all of our time with. Diane is an asshole, but Mia screws over so many people in this film that when karma finally catches up with her, I couldn't give her even an ounce of pity. It's a stark contrast to the last thing I saw Powley in, which was A Small Light , where she played the hero Miep Geis, who I would do anything for.  Powley plays the part well. Mia knows she has to step on people to get to the top, and that she does. When

Review: Fallen Leaves

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Official synopsis : In modern-day Helsinki, two lonely souls in search of love meet by chance in a karaoke bar. However, their path to happiness is beset by obstacles - from lost phone numbers to mistaken addresses, alcoholism, and a charming stray dog. I'm sure there's a name for films like Napoleon Dynamite , Eagle vs Shark , and now Fallen Leaves but I struggle to define them. "Deadpan comedy," "irreverent," "awkward." These three films have that in common.  I wasn't expecting to dislike Fallen Leaves as much as I did. These type of movies that I previously mentioned just don't work for me. They come off as unfunny and low effort, and I know that is a minority opinion because those films both have a lot of fans. This film was even a Mubi exclusive, so clearly there is an audience for them, it's just not me.  This film felt like a series of good ideas, but they couldn't settle on which one they wanted to bring to the forefront. I

Review: The Teachers' Lounge

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Official synopsis:  When one of her students is suspected of theft, teacher Carla Nowak (Leonie Benesch) decides to get to the bottom of the matter. Caught between her ideals and the school system, the consequences of her actions threaten to break her. I'm back! I was on a week long trip to visit family in Germany, so I watched quite a few movies to occupy me on my long flights. The first up is Germany's submission to this year's Oscars. One I had hoped to catch before the ceremony. One film I did not expect to compare this to was 2012's Compliance . I feel like I've been thinking of that film a lot lately, but I will never re-watch it because if you know, you know. I feel similarly about this film. Carla makes so many stupid decisions, and yes I know *why* she's doing it, but it was so frustrating to watch. Nearly every problem in this film could've been solved with a simple conversation. And the film keeps building and building the tension, then ends in th

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: Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

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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,

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

Review: Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

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Official synopsis:  Many years after the reign of Caesar, a young ape, Noa (Owen Teague) goes on a journey that will lead him to question everything he's been taught about the past and make choices that will define a future for apes and humans alike. If you've been reading here for a while, you probably know what a huge fan I am of the most recent POTA trilogy. While I never felt strongly about the original movies, something about Caesar's journey really connected with me. So I was slightly apprehensive of this film when I found out it was going to be set several hundred years after the fact. But, the trailers looked interesting, and it became one of my most anticipated of the year. So how did it fare? Pretty good! Though I have some notes. What this film does very well is world building. It takes its time getting to know Noa and his Eagle clan. I expected it to move as a much faster pace than it did. Proximas Caesar (Kevin Durand) the main villain doesn't even show up

Review: Punishment (2024)

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Official synopsis: A soul-searching portrait of four inmates in a Norwegian prison. Director Øystein Mamen wants us to consider what prison is supposed to accomplish. Be a punishment? Yes, but what about rehabilitation? Can you truly come back from something horrible you've done? Can you repent? Could you ever forgive? By following four prisoners who are given the opportunity to take part in a silent spiritual retreat, that's what he sets out to explore. "Retreat" makes this ordeal sound more lavish than it is. These inmates aren't on vacation, and they talk in detail about how they've grown to like the "lock down" part of their day. It's quiet, they're alone, and they can control what's in their cell. The real world is like sensory overload. Here, there's not much speaking. While the exercise is religious, it was open to all faiths, not just Christians. By the end of it, you can make the judgement on how well this exercise worked for

Review: Nina is an Athlete

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Official synopsis:   Israeli badminton champion Nina Gorodetsky has her first and maybe last chance to compete in the Paralympics. On the cusp of turning 40, this documentary is an intimate look into her life.  Nina Gorodetsky was born in Georgia, immigrated to Israel when she was 11. Bullied and called a "Russian whore" by other kids, she fought them off and kept going. At the age of 17, she was paralyzed in a car accident. We start following Nina, now almost 40 in 2019 right before the pandemic cancelled the Paralympics and put everyone's lives on hold. Nina in particular struggles with her athletic pursuits and motherhood. She has a son, Naveh, but wants another. But her dream is also being an Olympic champion. When the pandemic comes, she has that second child she desired, and continues to work hard to qualify for the Paralympics.  This is a very intimate look at Nina's life. We see her at her most vulnerable, her most fired up after a match, lovely moments with h

Series Review: Baby Reindeer

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Official synopsis:  The story follows writer and performer Richard Gadd's warped relationship with a female stalker and the impact it has on him as he is ultimately forced to face a deep, dark buried trauma. I'll admit to not knowing a ton about Baby Reindeer before I hit play on Netflix. I knew it was about a man and his stalker, but I didn't realize just how much trauma we'd eventually get into. Because of my ignorance, episode 4, the one dedicated to solely to a very traumatic series of events that happened to Donny Dunn (Gadd's name in the series) felt very jarring. I think Gadd is brave for sharing his story, but I probably should've done more research because I do not like to be caught off guard when it comes to sexual  assault in media.  It felt jarring because up until you get into Donny's past trauma, you're essentially watching "cringe cinema." Donny's stand up sucks, he doesn't set proper boundaries with Martha (Jessica Gunni

Review: The Idea Of You

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Official Synopsis : Solène, (Anne Hathaway) a 40-year-old single mom, begins an unexpected romance with 24-year-old Hayes Campbell(Nicholas Galitzine), the lead singer of August Moon, the hottest boy band on the planet. I can't say romance stories that are not so subtle Harry Styles fanfiction are my thing, but considering this is the 4th or 5th film made from one, there's clearly a demo for this, and that's great. Let the 1D fan fic girlies feast. I didn't have time to get to the theater this weekend, but I did have time to turn on Amazon Prime and watch two actors, one I've enjoyed for years in Hathaway, and one who I've only recently been exposed to - but has been killing it - in Galitzine. It played out about exactly as I thought it would. Lots of "we can...no we can't" so on, and so forth, but I did appreciate how sincere the relationship was from Hayes point of view. I liked Solène and found it easy to relate to her. Hathaway is great in this

Review: Challengers

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this threesome never happens Official Synopsis:   Tashi, (Zendaya) a former tennis prodigy turned coach, turned her husband Art (Mike Faist) into a champion. But to overcome a losing streak, he needs to face his ex-best friend and Tashi's ex-boyfriend, Patrick. (Josh O'Connor) I've never been into tennis. Aside from the Williams sisters, I could not name a single professional tennis player. But what I am into is this cast and director Luca Guadagnino. And this film makes tennis thrilling. The way the tennis games are shot and edited is just spectacular to watch. I didn't think going in that this would be "must see" on the big screen, but to really get the scope of those scenes in particular, you should. That said, while I enjoyed this movie overall and I do recommend seeing it, I'm left with some mixed feelings about the story. This film is heavily marked around Tashi. It's her game, her rules after all. Only Tashi ends up being the thinnest character

2024 Blind Spot Series: Eve's Bayou

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Official synopsis:  Summer heats up in rural Louisiana beside Eve’s Bayou, 1962, as the Batiste family tries to survive the secrets they’ve kept and the betrayals they’ve endured. For some reason, I grew up thinking Eve's Bayou was a horror movie. Probably because they chose a very menacing photo of Samuel L. Jackson for the poster and I vaguely knew they talked about voodoo. When I went to log this film on letterboxd, I was comforted in knowing I wasn't the only one that had that very far off assumption. Eve's Bayou is not in fact a horror film, though a horrible thing does happen in it. It is instead a story of coming of age and loss of innocence. All told through the eyes of young Eve (Jurnee Smollett) It's s visually striking piece. The lighting is perfect, the costumes beautiful, and you can feel the atmosphere. I never would've guessed that this is director Kasi Lemmon's first film. This might be the best first feature I've ever seen. It's made wi

Series Review: Shōgun

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Official Synopsis:  When a mysterious European ship is found marooned in a nearby fishing village, Lord Yoshii Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada)  discovers secrets that could tip the scales of power and devastate his enemies. Some series don't fit the binging model and are best enjoyed week by week. This series is one of those. Each episode ended with just enough intrigue for the next, but not enough to make me lose my mind that I would have to wait.  Lord Toranaga looms large over the series, but it's really his English captive John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis) and his translator Mariko (Anna Sawai) who are our main characters. They form a strong bond together, even though they are at times at odds. I really hope we see Anna Sawai's name as an Emmy nominee this year because she's tremendous in this. Mariko is easily the most interesting character and when she's not on screen, the show is just a little less good.  There's some pretty intense death scenes here, I don'

Series Review: Fallout

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Back in the mid aughts, every gamer I knew played Fallout. It had a cool story and an amazing soundtrack. I didn't mind watching people play it. Now, Amazon Prime has made a series based on that game. Already renewed for a second season, the first 8 episodes are now available to stream. The series takes place in a post-nuclear war U.S and we follow 3 different leads. There's Lucy (Ella Purnell) who has lived her life underground in a bunker. Maximus (Aaron Moten) part of "The Brotherhood" who lives on the surface. And The Ghoul (Walton Goggins) Also on the surface, whose story is best seen to understand. Even if you didn't play the game, the plot is easy to follow and everything is explained very well. There's also plenty of Easter Eggs for those that did play. Goggins obviously is a veteran actor who is great at playing bad. Purnell I was only familiar with from another great series - Yellowjackets, and she makes for a great lead. Lucy is so naive and sweet.

Review: Civil War

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Official synopsis:  A journey across a dystopian future America, following a team of military-embedded journalists, Lee (Kirsten Dunst) Joel, (Wagner Moura) Sammy, (Stephen McKinley Henderson) and tag along Jessie (Cailee Spaeny) as they race against time to reach DC before rebel factions descend upon the White House .  As soon as I heard "Western forces of Texas and California" in the trailer, I knew this movie was going to be apolitical. The "why" of this war isn't even vaguely addressed. You can read between the lines a bit here and there, but really this is a film about war photographers, not the civil war named in the title. When you go into it with that in mind, it will make for a much better watch.  Lee is tired. She's seen too much, she's practically on auto pilot throughout this entire film and she's trying to provide just enough advice to young Jessie while also keeping her at arms length. It's their relationship that's the crux of

Review: Wicked Little Letters

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Official Synopsis:  When people in Littlehampton, including conservative local Edith (Olivia Colman) begin to receive letters full of hilarious profanities, rowdy Irish migrant Rose (Jessie Buckley) is charged with the crime. Suspecting that something is amiss, the town's women investigate. I open this review with a question. Have you seen ANY marketing for this film? Any ads at all? Because I have not. When I saw my local indie theater was getting it, I of course hit "play" on the trailer based on Colman and Buckley's names alone. This was my first time seeing anything about this film. Which is a shame, because it should be advertised everywhere. What a delightful little comedy this was. Full of amazing performances from the largely female cast, and brilliantly directed by Thea Sharrock. Yes, there's bursts of creative profanity, but it's well placed for maximum laughs. Comedies in my opinion are always best enjoyed in groups so the laughter can be contagious

Series Review: American Nightmare

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No, this is not a documentary on the wrestler Cody Rhodes. Just a poorly named 3-part series about a truly harrowing crime. In 2015 Denise Huskins and Aaron Quinn were fast asleep when men broke into their home, drugged them and took Denise. Aaron of course went to the police, and found himself the prime suspect after what he described seemed stranger than fiction. Denise re-appears in 2 days, completely traumatized and the police now accuse them of doing this all for attention. It shouldn't take you long to guess who's in the wrong here. At least once a year I watch a true crime documentary that is so insane, I can't believe I didn't know about it before hitting play. American Nightmare is that for me. Was this all over the news? Maybe just locally, because I have no memory of it. What Denise and Aaron went through is awful, and the fact that they are able to calmly talk about it now is a miracle itself.  At a brisk three 45 minute episodes, this makes for an easy sho

Review: Monkey Man

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Official synopsis:  An anonymous young man (Dev Patel) unleashes a campaign of vengeance against the corrupt leaders who murdered his mother and continue to systemically victimize the poor and powerless. Dev Patel said it's not enough to grace us with his presence in front of the camera, he wants to give it a shot behind the camera too. And so we get his Jordan Peele produced first time feature, Monkey Man . A film that's bound to bring comparisons to the John Wick series. This film has a lot to say about the rich and the powerful, especially the ones who use religion to push their agenda and harm those they deem beneath them. That's what makes Monkey Man stand out from your every day "Dude goes on a killing rampage" film. Patel's not reinventing the wheel here, but by giving us this story with an Indian man front and center, the Western world is at least getting something new.  And he's good as a director! Definitely a bit green. There's far too muc

Series Review: Tokyo Vice

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Back in 2022, I kept getting Youtube ads for a TV show on HBO called Tokyo Vice. It was the only place I saw ads for this show, and I didn't see anyone talking about it on my Twitter timeline. Normally, a show with Ansel Elgort, card carrying member of the Very Punchable Face Club ™ wouldn't sway me, but something about it did.  Now here we are in 2024, and the finale of season 2 just aired last night. It's safe to say that Tokyo Vice has become one of my favorite new shows of recent memory. If you love journalism stories, this might be for you too. A quick run down of who's who and what actors are involved.- Jake (Elgort) is an American journalist living in Tokyo. He becomes the first foreign reporter at The Meicho. He's our lead. Then there's Detective Katagiri (Ken Wantanabe) who Jake begins to work with on a story. Other main players include Samantha (Rachel Keller) another American living in Tokyo working at a club. Her Yakuza love interest Sato, ( Shô Kasa

Review: Road House

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Official synopsis: Ex-UFC fighter Dalton (Jake Gyllenhaal) takes a job as a bouncer at a Florida Keys roadhouse, only to discover that this paradise is not all it seems. I never saw the original Road House so I can't compare it to that, but I can say that Godzilla x Kong didn't even last a full weekend as the dumbest movie I've seen in a while. I will give credit where credits due, the fight scenes in this are pretty cool and Gyllenhaal got incredibly jacked for this role, contributing to plenty of thirst traps that I will not complain about. The script is pretty basic, but that's not the part that suffers the most. It's the uneven acting. Gyllenhaal is good for what this is. He has nice comedic timing, only he doesn't get to use much of it against the actors that could properly match it, like Jessica Williams (who should be in this movie way more than she is) and Lukas Gage. Arturo Castro gives him something at least, but it's not enough.  Conor McGregor

Review: Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire

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Official synopsis:  Two ancient titans, Godzilla and Kong, clash in an epic battle as humans unravel their intertwined origins and connection to Skull Island's mysteries. I'm still waiting for Godzilla Minus One to be available to watch, so I decided to tide myself over with this. I've liked most of the new Godzilla movies. They're entertaining enough and this one is no different. Which is great because this might be one of the dumbest films I've seen in a long time. Everything that happens in this script is so convenient. Ancient indigenous language? Don't worry. We got a translator for that. Telepathy? Don't worry, we got someone for that too! Huge robot arm fit perfectly for Kong? Hey, it just happens to be right where we are and we have a vet that can also fly an extremely advanced piece of air craft! But all of those things just add to the chuckles I was already getting from this. Godzilla essentially throws a tantrum and takes a nap in the Colosseum. K

Series Review: 3 Body Problem

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Official synopsis:  A fateful decision made in 1960s China reverberates in the present, where a group of scientists partner with a detective to confront an existential planetary threat. I've been cautiously excited for this series since its announcement. On one side, the series creators let me down massively by rushing the ending of my beloved Game of Thrones, but here they have a completed 3 book series to work with. One that I've also read. So how did they do? I really enjoyed the first season, which is available to stream now on Netflix. I think the changes they made work overall. Instead of following one person with a ton of internal dialogue, he's essentially split into several different people. We get Saul, (Jovan Adepo) Jin, (Jess Hong) Auggie (Eiza Gonzalez), Will (Alex Sharp), and Jack. (John Bradley) Benedict Wong plays fan favorite Da Shi (though they never call him "Da." He's "Clarence" here, despite being credited otherwise. Ye Wenjie is

2024 Blind Spot Series: Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

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Official synopsis:  A recently widowed woman (Ellen Burstyn) is on the road with her precocious young son (Alfred Lutter III), determined to make a new life for herself as a singer. In my quest to watch Scorsese's older works, I've finally landed on this film, and honestly I should've started with it because I've enjoyed it far more than I did  Raging Bull or Mean Streets . Ellen Burstyn is a gem, and Alice is going through it as a character. One minute she's happy and hopefully, then reality comes crashing down on her. Not to mention she has terrible taste in men and a son who definitely talks too much. She's dealing with a lot, and I'm not surprised at all that Burstyn took home an Oscar for this. I liked the little things it said about female friendships. Alice's goodbye scene with her friend Bea at the beginning is the film's most emotional moment. Alice eventually becoming friends with her fellow waitresses is another highlight. Even the scene

Series Review: Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV

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Official synopsis:  A docu-series that uncovers the toxic culture behind some of the most iconic children's shows of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Like many, I grew up watching Nickelodeon in the 90's. One of the shows heavily featured on this docu-series is All That, which I counted as one of my favorites. But the rumblings of showrunner Dan Schneider's abusive behavior can only be compared Weinstein's; an open secret on the internet. It's something I've followed for quite some time. There are numerous videos, Twitter-threads, reddit posts, and even a bizarre CDAN comment on how shitty Schneider is that people swear is from Robert Downey Jr of all people. Needless to say, when I heard this was coming out, I knew I'd be watching. The series consists of four one-hour episodes, starting with All That's various seasons, before covering The Amanda Show, Drake and Josh, iCarly, Zoey 101, Victorious and Sam & Cat. Actors from All That and The Amanda Show

Review: Late Night With The Devil

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Official synopsis:  A live television broadcast in 1977 goes horribly wrong, unleashing evil into the nation's living rooms Let's get the elephant out of the room right away. There is a lot of chatter online regarding the use of AI in this film. Per the filmmakers, the graphic design team experimented with AI to create three title card sequences. Though other comments online say there's more than that, but I haven't been able to find proof of it. Personally, I think we can all agree AI art sucks, but I don't think it's worth seeing an indie film bomb at the box office over it. Especially when the use of it is so small. I'm glad people speak against it, but let's not tank a film that already has tough competition at the box office. Not to mention, the film is pretty great. David Dastmalchian is an actor I'm so familiar with in creepier or comedic supporting roles, so seeing him shine as a 70's TV talk show host was a welcomed change. He leads this