Category: New Releases

Murder Mystery: An unnecessary whodunit?

Perhaps the biggest saving grace about “Murder Mystery,” the latest movie partnership between Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions and Netflix, is that no one will have to pay money to sit in a movie theater to endure 100-plus minutes of subpar cinema. It isn’t just that the production design is simplified to a level that almost none of the crime comedy’s supposedly luxurious foreign … Read More Murder Mystery: An unnecessary whodunit?

Late Night: The headline of my analysis is complacency

Most moviegoers will see acting legend on the big screen this weekend as the head of an organization protecting Earth from aliens in the blockbuster sequel offshoot “Men In Black: International.” Where they should be her, however, is the underappreciated gem “Late Night,” a dramedy that sees Thompson as a late-night talk show host about to get the boot from a new network CEO … Read More Late Night: The headline of my analysis is complacency

Booksmart: Fresh perspective

Once or twice a year, a comedy will come out that has something more on its mind beyond just a quest for cheap laughs. In 2019, that film is “Booksmart,” a nuanced and insightful feature that elevates high school movie tropes to new heights. Written by four women and helmed by veteran actress turned first time director Olivia Wilde, “Booksmart” doesn’t seek to revolutionize … Read More Booksmart: Fresh perspective

Rocketman: Fantastical voyage

Director Dexter Fletcher’s new film is not a biopic of iconic musical genius Sir Elton John. “Rocketman” captures all the fantasy and majesty of John’s enduring legacy in a unique and magical way, cranking up the tunes in a dream-hazed jukebox portrait that lives and breathes the man’s identity without worrying all too much about historical accuracy. Theatricality and performance reign supreme in a … Read More Rocketman: Fantastical voyage

Aladdin: Same old song and dance

Underwhelming. Uninspired. Unnecessary. Rather than develop new voices in fresh stories, Disney has dumped millions upon millions of dollars into reimagined live action versions of their animated classics. If it feels like a studio resting on their laurels because they have no competition, that’s probably because it’s true. Such is the case once again with “Aladdin,” an extended reboot that doesn’t bring enough to … Read More Aladdin: Same old song and dance

John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum: Emissary of death

Someone stole his car and killed his dog. Many characters in “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum” lament the inciting incident of the titular assassin’s revenge tour that racked up over 75 deaths in the first installment and more than 125 bodies piling up in the second. The calling card of these Keanu Reeves films is indiscriminate, callous violence and “Parabellum” maintains the course … Read More John Wick Chapter 3 – Parabellum: Emissary of death

The Hustle: Remake robs audience of classic comedy

Reboot: the act of taking an original property and reimagining it in a different context. Remake: taking an original property and making the same film over again with minor alterations. It’s important to clarify the difference between reboot and remake at the outset because these two words seem like synonyms, but the distance between them could not be vaster. Take for example movies like … Read More The Hustle: Remake robs audience of classic comedy

The River and The Wall: Politics in perspective

Why build a physical wall when nature provides a beautiful, scenic barrier already? It’s one of many questions raised by director Ben Masters’ new documentary, “The River and The Wall,” an up-close, intoxicating feature about border security along the Rio Grande river in south Texas. Winner of the Louis Black “Lone Star” Award at the 2019 South by Southwest Film Festival and Best Documentary … Read More The River and The Wall: Politics in perspective

Long Shot: A presidential balancing act

The new Seth Rogen comedy tries to be two things at once. There’s “Flarsky,” the film’s initial concept about yet another out of his depth stoner miscreant who shockingly lands a perfect 10 woman. This movie is filled with raunchy set pieces involving self-pleasure and gratuitous drug use, a typical Rogen premise. And then there’s “Long Shot,” a witty political comedy about a career-oriented … Read More Long Shot: A presidential balancing act

Knock Down The House: Celebrating the outsiders

Documentaries change in the minds of viewers when they know the outcome before it happens on screen. Usually it’s the ends justifying the means, the result giving audiences a reason to watch a journey. Director Rachel Lears didn’t know that the 18 months spent chronicling the lives of four women running as outsider candidates in Democratic primary elections would turn into a Sundance and … Read More Knock Down The House: Celebrating the outsiders

Avengers Endgame: A decade in the making

Finality. Whether it continues its stranglehold over the cinematic conversation for the next eight months or not, Marvel Studios’ latest feature has immediately become the film event of 2019. (Or at least until the next Star Wars chapter drops in December.) For many younger audiences, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has largely come to shape and define their movie going experience through 22 interconnected … Read More Avengers Endgame: A decade in the making

Breakthrough: Moved by faith

Every film has an audience. The good ones, the strange ones, the ones with big budgets, the ones shot on phones, even the downright unwatchable ones – to someone, those films matter. What film critics often don’t give credence to, however, are how movies make the audience feel. Technical merits can be thrown out the window if a film is entertaining enough. A heartwarming … Read More Breakthrough: Moved by faith