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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Film Reviews: New Releases for June 9

Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, Flamin' Hot, Mending the Line
Flamin’ Hot **1/2 Evidence seems to suggest that this “inspiring true story” might not actually be true, but creatively, the bigger problem is how little it does with the “inspiring true story” narrative template. It’s based on the life of Richard Montañez (Jesse Garcia), a Mexican-American high-school dropout who tries to turn his life around, first by getting a janitorial job at the local Southern California Frito-Lay plant in the mid-1980s, then by (according to him) coming up with the concept for spicy snack foods that became a marketing sensation.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Film Reviews: New Releases for June 2

Spider-man: Across the Spider-Verse, Sanctuary, The Boogeyman, Shooting Stars
The Boogeyman *** From the Department of Two Things Can Both Be True: 1) A movie might be kind of tedious and predictable from a narrative standpoint, and 2) that same movie might show enough style and precision in its directing that it keeps you perked up in your chair. This extremely loose adaptation of a 50-year-old Stephen King short story deals with a family—therapist Will Harper (Chris Messina) and his daughters Sadie (Sophie Thatcher) and Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair)—who are still reeling from the recent death of Will’s wife when they come under attack from a mysterious supernatural force.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Film Reviews: New Releases for May 26

The Little Mermaid, You Hurt My Feelings, About My Father, The Starling Girl and more
About My Father **1/2 Comedian Sebastian Maniscalco may not be literally playing himself—his character, though also named “Sebastian Maniscalco,” is a hotel manager rather than an entertainer—but it’s clear enough that he means this as a love letter to his actual father. That’s a sweet, earnest notion, so it’s a shame the movie itself isn’t funnier.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Film Reviews: New Releases for May 19

Fast X, Master Gardener, Carmen, White Men Can't Jump
Carmen *** I won’t sit here and pretend that I know Bizet’s Carmen—or its Prosper Mérimée source material—well enough to evaluate whether even the “inspired by” credit in director Benjamin Millepied’s movie is a stretch. I just know that it was generally unique and interesting enough to keep me watching.

Friday, May 12, 2023

Film Reviews: New Releases for May 12

Book Club: The Next Chapter, BlackBerry, The Mother, Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie and more
BlackBerry ***1/2 See feature review. Available May 12 in theaters.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

Film Reviews: New Releases for May 5

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, What's Love Got to Do With It?, Wild Life, Joyland
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ***1/2 See feature review.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Film Reviews: New Releases for April 28

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret., Polite Society, Showing Up, Peter Pan & Wendy and more
Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Film Reviews: New Releases for April 14

Mafia Mamma, Suzume, How to Blow Up a Pipeline, Sweetwater and more
How to Blow Up a Pipeline ***1/2 The title of this movie inspired by Andreas Malm’s nonfiction book certainly isn’t false advertising; director Daniel Goldhaber spends plenty of time on the logistics and mechanics of an act of radical sabotage. But there’s also more depth to this study of eight people—including Native American bomb expert Michael (Forrest Goodluck), best friends Xochitl (Ariela Barer) and Theo (Sasha Lane), and conservative father and husband Dwayne (Jake Weary)—who come together for an operation to blow up a West Texas oil pipeline in desperation over the climate crisis.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Film Reviews: New Releases for April 5 - 7

The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Air, Paint, Praise This
Air **1/2 See feature review. Available April 5 in theaters.

Friday, March 31, 2023

Film Reviews: New Releases for March 31

Murder Mystery 2, Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Rye Lane, Tetris and more
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves *** See feature review. Available March 31 in theaters.

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