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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.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

"The Peanut Butter Falcon" co-directors Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz

The unique challenges of building a feel-good film around a lead actor with a disability
The Peanut Butter Falcon tells the story of a 20-year-old man with Down syndrome named Zak (Zack Gottsagen) who winds up on the road through North Carolina's Outer Banks with troubled ex-fisherman Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) to pursue Zak's dream of becoming a professional wrestler. The co-writing/directing team of Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz visited Salt Lake City to promote the film (opening Aug. 9) and talked about the struggles and payoffs of making a film with a lead actor with a disability.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Movie Reviews: Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood, The Farewell, Sword of Trust

Shadow, The Fighting Preacher
The Farewell *** Writer/director Lulu Wang’s semi-autobiographical story may ultimately be more emotionally satisfying than it is insightful, but she certainly pours freely from the fountain of emotional satisfaction.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Movie Reviews: Crawl, Stuber, Wild Rose, Stockholm

The Fall of the American Empire, Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable **1/2 More movies about sporty thrill-seeking girls and women, please: This new documentary about professional surfer Bethany Hamilton is very welcome. Aggressive, competitive and driven, Hamilton has been a powerful role model since bouncing back from the horrific injury she suffered as a serious-amateur teen, when, at 13, she lost her left arm to a tiger shark.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Movie Reviews: Yesterday, Annabelle Comes Home, Ophelia

The Other Side of Heaven 2, Echo in the Canyon
Annabelle Comes Home **1/2 Annabelle Comes Home is a sequel to Annabelle (a bad movie), which spawned prequel Annabelle: Creation (a good movie); all the Annabelles spin off from James Wan’s The Conjuring series.

Monday, June 17, 2019

Chucky 101

Watching all the killer doll movies for the first time wasn't exactly Child's Play.
I'd never seen a single one of them—until this month, leading up to the release of a remake of the original film.

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