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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Movie Reviews: New Releases for June 24

The Black Phone, Elvis, Beavis and Butt-head Do the Universe and more
Beavis and Butt-head Do the Universe *** It’s been 25 years since Mike Judge’s sniggering animated adolescents last graced a screen—and God bless ’em, they’re just as stupid, immature, horny and funny as they’ve ever been. Judge returns as co-writer and voice to both of our dimwitted anti-heroes, in a story that begins in 1998 with B & B sentenced to attend space camp after a destructive episode at their high-school science fair, continues with a trip on board the space shuttle, and turns into a time travel yarn as the lads wind up in 2022 and potentially responsible for the fate of the multiverse and the re-election hopes of the governor of Texas (Andrea Savage).

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Movie Reviews: New Releases for June 17

Lightyear, Cha Cha Real Smooth, Spiderhead, Brian and Charles, and more
Bitterbrush *** It’s certainly not necessary for a non-fiction film to have some sort of thesis statement to be successful; it does feel as though Emilie Mahdavian’s feature might have packed more of a punch if its observational strengths had built to something. Mahdavian spends a season with two itinerant cowhands—Hollyn Patterson and Colie Moline—as they bring in a cattle herd from the mountains of Idaho.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Movie Reviews: New Releases for June 10

Jurassic World Dominion, Hustle, Benediction, A Chiara
A Chiara *** Plenty of coming-of-age stories involve a first awareness of your parents’ flawed humanity; writer/director Jonas Carpignano cranks up the stakes on that notion without tumbling over into exploitation or melodrama. Chiara Guerrasio (Swamy Rotolo) is the 15-year-old middle sister in a family in Calabria, Italy, seemingly happy and “average.” Then on the night of her sister’s 18th birthday, the family car is bombed, and Chiara’s father, Claudio (Claudio Rotolo), disappears, leading Chiara on a search for answers.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Movie Reviews: New Releases for June 3

Crimes of the Future, Fire Island, Hit the Road, Hollywood Stargirl and more
Crimes of the Future **1/2 It’s been a good 20 years since David Cronenberg has directed anything this quintessentially old-school Cronenbergian, full of bizarre world-building and unsettling body horror. That’s bound to please his oldest fans, while reminding me that I like Cronenberg better when he adds a little more humanity to his outrageousness.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Movie Reviews: New Releases for May 27

The Bob's Burgers Movie, Top Gun: Maverick, Montana Story and more
The Bob’s Burgers Movie ***1/2 What has two thumbs and can provide a test case for whether this long-running Fox animated sitcom works as a feature for someone who’s never seen a single episode?

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Movie Reviews: New Releases for May 20

Men, Downton Abbey: A New Era, Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, Emergency and more
Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers *** Yes, it is basically a legacy-quel spin on the premise of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, complete with a villain threatening the unique properties of animated characters. It’s also funny, lively and generally entertaining, so sue me. In a world where humans interact with animated characters of all kinds, 30 years have passed since Chip (John Mulaney) and Dale (Andy Samberg) starred in their Rescue Rangers TV series, then had a professional and personal falling out.

Friday, May 13, 2022

Movie Reviews: New Releases for May 13

Firestarter, Happening, Memoria, Senior Year and more
Firestarter *1/2After nearly 30 years of writing about movies, I will still never understand why filmmakers would decide to take perfectly good source material and make deeply stupid choices about changing it structurally. This second screen version of Stephen King’s 1980 novel casts Ryan Kiera Armstrong as Charlie McGee, the 11-year-old pyrokinetic sought by a shadowy government agency, along with her telepathic father Alex (Zac Efron), to continue the research that gave Charlie’s parents unique powers during experimental testing.

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Movie Reviews: New Releases for May 6

Doctor Strange, The Duke, Along for the Ride, Petite Maman
Along for the Ride *** Formulaic fare feels a lot less formulaic when there’s a spark to the performances, and writer/director Sofia Alvarez packs a surprising punch in her adaptation of Sarah Dessen’s 2009 YA novel simply by putting together a terrific young cast. Emma Pasarow plays Auden West, a straight-arrow high achiever who decides to spend the summer between high-school graduation and college in the beachside community of Colby staying with her father (Dermot Mulroney) and working in the shop owned by her stepmother (Kate Bosworth).

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Movie Review: DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS

Sam Raimi returns to his horror roots to fight against MCU sameness
We know what a Sam Raimi superhero movie looks like.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Movie Reviews: New Releases for April 29

Memory, Hatching, Firebird and more
Firebird **1/2 It’s understandable given this story’s real-life provenance that it would focus on one side of its romantic triangle, but it feels like there’s something missing as the other two sides end up playing second fiddle. Based on the memoir by actor Sergey Fetisov, it casts Tom Prior (who co-wrote the script with director Peeter Rebane) as Sergey, who’s nearing the end of his required Soviet military service at an Estonian air force base in 1977.

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