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Friday, October 11, 2019

Movie Reviews: Gemini Man, The Addams Family, Jexi, Lucy in the Sky, El Camino

The Addams Family **1/2 This animated reboot, set in the present day, has everyone's favorite spooky Goth family (or second-favorite, if you were more of a Munsters person) in conflict with a new neighborhood that has popped up nearby called Assimilation, in which sameness is celebrated over individuality. The subdivision is owned (?)

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Movie Review: JOKER

The flop-sweat of trying to make a super-villain origin story into serious drama.
It’s neither as lunkheadedly reactionary as early reports seemed to suggest, nor as richly layered as the image it’s trying to project.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Movie Reviews: Abominable, Judy, The Sound of Silence

Aquarela, The Day Shall Come, Jay Myself
Abominable **1/2 It’s a story about a young person heartbroken by a father’s absence, who finds companionship in the form of a mysterious creature with the magical ability to rejuvenate dying plants, and which is hiding out from research scientists; the young person then undertakes a risky journey to get the creature back home. If that sounds familiar, it’s because you can’t spell “yeti” without “E.T.” Writer/director Jill Culton (Open Season) sets her animated variation in China, where teenager Yi (Chole Bennet) is the young person, and a young yeti she calls Everest is the creature she wants to get back to his Himalayan habitat, even as she grieves for her dad.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Movie Reviews: Downton Abbey, Ad Astra, Rambo: Last Blood

Before You Know It, Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins, Sundance Shorts
Ad Astra *** See feature review.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Movie Reviews: The Goldfinch, Hustlers, Brittany Runs a Marathon, Official Secrets

Out of Liberty, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice
Adam **1/2 Gender farce boasts a rich comedic legacy running from Shakespeare to Some Like It Hot to Tootsie; it’s hard to know what to do with a take on that genre that isn’t particularly interested in the comedy. Director Rhys Ernst and screenwriter Ariel Schrag adapt Schrag's novel set in pre-marriage-equality 2006, when baby-faced, sexually-frustrated high-schooler Adam (Nicholas Alexander) heads to New York to spend the summer with his gay older sister, Casey (Margaret Qualley), among her LGBTQ cohorts.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Movie Reviews: It Chapter 2, Vita & Virginia, The Cat Rescuers, Fiddler: Miracle of Miracles

The Cat Rescuers *** There are half a million abandoned and feral cats in New York City; this charming documentary introduces us to four volunteers who spend their own time and money trying to fix this inhumane situation in their own little corners of Brooklyn. Kickstarter-backed, this movie is, in many ways, the very epitome of the notion that we have to be the change we want to see in the world, in its depiction of a small-scale example of how the human relationship with nature damaged it, and the little things that can be done to make it all right again.

Friday, August 30, 2019

Movie Reviews: Don't Let Go, After The Wedding, The Nightingale

Cold Case Hammarskjöld, Killerman
After the Wedding **1/2 Every Michelle Williams lead role inspires the thought “Michelle Williams should get more lead roles.” She makes for a pretty solid distaff Mads Mikkelsen in Bart Freundlich’s gender-swapped English-language remake of Susanne Bier’s 2006 drama, starring as Isabelle, manager of an orphanage in India who is summoned to New York by millionaire media tycoon Theresa (Julianne Moore) to be considered for a sizable donation. There are secrets to be uncovered—involving Theresa’s husband, Oscar (Billy Crudup) and their newlywed daughter Grace (Abby Quinn)—but a lot of the angst behind those secrets is more distracting than enriching, and it’s disappointing to see a reference to a character’s mental-health issues brought up only to be immediately discarded.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Movie Reviews: Ready or Not, Angel Has Fallen, Luce

One Child Nation, David Crosby: Remember My Name
Angel Has Fallen **1/2 See feature review.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Movie Reviews: Angry Birds Movie 2, Blinded By the Light, Good Boys

Ode to Joy, Honeyland, Mike Wallace is Here, Where'd You Go Bernadette
47 Meters Down: Uncaged [not yet reviewed] Young divers face a man-eating threat in an underwater cave system.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Movie Reviews: The Kitchen, Brian Banks, The Art of Racing in the Rain

Dora and the Lost City of Gold, The Peanut Butter Falcon, ECCO, Them That Follow
The Art of Racing in the Rain **1/2 Life is a lot like racing cars, as you know if you read Garth Stein’s dependably sappy novel on which this movie is based. The adaptation, directed by Simon Curtis (Goodbye Christopher Robin) from Mark Bomback’s faithfully-translated screenplay, shares all the same folksy, New Age-y life lessons (which range from profound to silly) while relating the story of a Seattle race car driver (Milo Ventimiglia), his wife (Amanda Seyfried), their little girl (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) and the melodramatic ups and downs of their lives—all told from the perspective of their golden retriever, Enzo, who’s voiced by Kevin Costner.

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