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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Film Reviews: New Releases for June 13-14

Inside Out 2, Tuesday, Treasure, Firebrand, I Used to Be Funny, Brats
Brats **1/2 In some ways, it’s more interesting to approach the phenomenon of the “Brat Pack”—the mid-1980s cohort of young actors who became stars through such ensemble vehicles as The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire—through the insider’s-eye-view perspective of actor Andrew McCarthy than a conventional documentary would be, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a better movie. McCarthy directs here in a documentary that’s really about the “Brat Pack” designation itself, as he reaches out to former co-stars—including Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Ally Sheedy and Demi Moore—in part to processes his own sense that being grouped under that designation hijacked the trajectory of his acting career.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

Film Reviews: New Releases for June 6-7

Bad Boys: Ride or Die, Hit Man, The Watchers, Songs of Earth, Kidnapped, Am I OK?
Am I OK? **1/2 “Nice” is such a wimpy descriptor, but I’m struggling to come up with something that feels more apt for this amiable comedy drama from co-directors Tig Notaro and Stephanie Allyne and writer Lauren Pomerantz. It’s the tale of two 30-something best friends in Los Angeles—Lucy (Dakota Johnson) and Jane (Sonoya Mizuno)—whose relationship faces the complication of Jane’s upcoming work transfer to London, just as Lucy is struggling with the realization that she might be gay.

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Film Reviews: New Releases for May 31

Young Woman and the Sea, Ezra, Summer Camp, In a Violent Nature and more
The Dead Don’t Hurt *** Viggo Mortensen seems fully aware of the dangers of “fridging”—that cinematic trope whereby violence befalling a woman becomes a man’s motivation to action—so he wisely subverts it in his sophomore feature as writer/director. Mortensen plays Olsen, a Danish immigrant in mid-19th-century America who meets Vivienne (Vicky Krieps) while traveling in San Francisco.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Film Reviews: New Releases for May 24

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, The Garfield Movie, Babes, The Beach Boys, Sight, Atlas
Atlas **1/2 Netflix has seemingly become the de facto home of sturdy, 1990s-style genre adventures, and director Brad Peyton (Rampage, San Andreas) is just the guy to keep that ball rolling. Jennifer Lopez stars as Atlas Shepherd, an intelligence analyst in a near-future where a rogue A.I. entity called Harlan (Simu Liu) once launched a war against humanity, then escaped to a distant planet to regroup after suffering losses.

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Film Reviews: New Releases for May 17

IF, Back to Black, I Saw the TV Glow, Evil Does Not Exist
Back to Black ** In this post-Walk Hard world, musical biopics need to at least put in some effort not to feel lazy and ridiculous—and this one doesn’t put in nearly enough. This profile of singer/songwriter Amy Winehouse (Marisa Abela) covers approximately the last decade of her life, opening with her as an 18-year-old Londoner with dreams of getting into the music biz, moving through her eventual record deal, and into stardom with its accompanying fame-and-fortune pitfalls, particularly the substance abuse that would ultimately take her life in 2011 at the age of 27.

Friday, May 10, 2024

Music Plus: May 10

Kilby Block Party, Ogden's Own Distillery concert series, CW concert tickets
Kilby Block Party starts today Kilby Block Party kicks off today at noon and goes until 10 p.m., with the same timeframe on Saturday and Sunday.

Thursday, May 9, 2024

Film Reviews: New Releases for May 10

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, We Grown Now, Force of Nature: The Dry 2, Nowhere Special and more
Force of Nature: The Dry 2 **1/2 As was true in 2020’s The Dry—writer/director Robert Connolly’s previous adaptation of a Jane Harper novel about Australian federal agent Aaron Falk (Eric Bana)—the structure of this follow-up assumes we’re far more invested in the backstory of our protagonist than in everything going on around him. It deals with the aftermath of a corporate wilderness retreat gone wrong, as a woman named Alice (Anna Torv) goes missing—just as she was about to turn over evidence as an informant for Falk against her shady financial-services employer (Richard Roxburgh).

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Film Reviews: New Releases for May 2-3

The Fall Guy, The Idea of You, Turtles All the Way Down, The People's Joker and more
The Fall Guy *** It seems only fitting that the summer movie season should kick off with a feature that’s consistently effervescent and entertaining, and rarely pushes at being anything more. This loose adaptation of the 1980s Lee Majors-starring TV series casts Ryan Gosling as Colt Seavers, a veteran stuntman who experiences an on-set accident that breaks his back and ends his relationship with aspiring director Jody (Emily Blunt); 18 months later, attempts a comeback on a sci-fi epic that marks Jody’s feature directing debut, and requires Colt to hunt down the movie’s missing star (Aaron Taylor-Johnson).

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Film Reviews: New Releases for April 26

Challengers, Boy Kills World, Humane, Alien 45th anniversary
Alien 45th Anniversary **** Nearly a half-century into its existence—with detours into all manner of genres, meditations on humanity and battles with Predators—the franchise centered around the “xenomorph” with acid blood and that telltale double-jaw never improved on the story that started it all.

Friday, April 19, 2024

Film Reviews: New Releases for April 19

The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, Abigail, The Beast, Hard Miles, Sasquatch Sunset and more
Abigail ** You can’t entirely blame filmmakers for the choices made by a studio marketing department, but at a certain point you have to ask, “Well, how else would they market it?” The Radio Silence team of Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett (the recent Scream reboots) bring us the story of a group of kidnappers—including medic Joey (Melissa Barrera) and leader Frank (Dan Stevens)—whose target is 12-year-old Abigail (Alisha Weir). But the team soon realizes that Alisha’s father is a dangerous crime boss, and that they might be in far greater danger than Abigail.

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