Monday Movie Report: Gotham Award results

The early strides of award season were taken Monday night at the annual Gotham Awards which honors and recognizes independent pictures.

Finishing the night with the most wins was, “Marriage Story,” including victories in Best Feature and Screenplay. “The Farewell,” also had a good showing, taking home Best Actress.

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REVIEW: ’21 Bridges’ isn’t sensational, but it is streamable

The characters didn’t go to all 21 bridges. 1 out of 5.

Just kidding, kind of.

This film is a sophomore feature effort by director Brian Kirk, who in the past helmed 2006’s “Middletown.” His latest film stars Chadwick Boseman as Andre Davis, a detective with roughly a decade of experience with the New York City Police Department. While he’s a good detective, though, he’s also gained a negative reputation of being too quick on the trigger.

His expertise is called upon, though, when a drug incident turns into a blood bath, with several police officers dead and the two responsible going on the run. To capture the two and bring them to justice, Andre and another investigator, Frankie Burns (Sienna Miller) launch a city-wide manhunt and shut down all 21 bridges out of New York.

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Monday Movie Report: Affleck to direct historical drama

Ben Affleck is returning to the director’s chair for a new drama based on real events.

According to Deadline Hollywood, Affleck will helm “King Leopold’s Ghost,” a movie about King Leopold II of Belgium who plundered the Congo in the late 1800s. Along with Affleck, the creative team includes Farhad Safinia, who previously wrote “Apocalypto.”

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REVIEW: This ‘Day in the Neighborhood’ is just OK

In back-to-back years, audiences have been treated to two films about the well known children’s television icon Fred Rogers. After watching both, “Won’t You Be my Neighbor” from 2018 is the clear winner.

In the other film of the two, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” Matthew Rhys stars as Lloyd Vogel. An Esquire magazine reporter, Vogel carries a reputation as a very thorough journalist, often upsetting sources for his commitment to telling the truth and holding people accountable. The movie picks up with him being assigned a lighter piece, though, as he’s told to write a story about Mr. Rogers (Tom Hanks), and explore why he’s a hero to people.

Considering it’s more of a fluff profile than a hard hitting piece, Vogel isn’t too thrilled with the assignment. Plus his personal life has hit a rough patch as he’s a new parent who still has some anxieties about being a dad, and his relationship with his own father is poor. Meeting Mr. Rogers, though, begins to change him.

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REVIEW: ‘Frozen’ sequel doesn’t burn as bright, but is still mostly magical

“Frozen II” may not have surpassed the first film, but it managed to get another song stuck in my head. So, mission accomplished?

The history and lore of the Arendelle Kingdom, details about the world’s magic, along with the relationship between royal sisters is all explored in this sequel to Disney’s smash hit from 2013. The movie is set about three years after Elsa (Idina Menzel) became queen, learned how to harness her powers and with the help of her sister Anna (Kristen Bell), managed the Southern Isles crisis.

At the movie’s beginning, the kingdom appears safe and the returning protagonists seem happy. However, Elsa begins hearing a voice in the distance and the power of nature stars wreaking havoc on Arendelle. Determining the voice she hears and the kingdom’s history are connected to what’s happening, Elsa sets off on a journey to an enchanted forest with Anna, Olaf (Josh Gad) and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) to set things right.

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REVIEW: ‘Last Christmas’ lags far behind better flicks in the genre

If I wanted to watch a Hallmark holiday movie, I’d just turn on the channel rather than go to the theater. But that’s what “Last Christmas” asks audiences to do.

This latest holiday romance flick, featuring a big helping of George Michael music, stars Emilia Clarke as the protagonist Kate. At the movie’s beginning, Kate isn’t in a very good place, her career as a singer isn’t going anywhere, she’s stuck as a cashier at a job she’s not very fond of, she parties too much and doesn’t have her own place, meaning she’s either staying with her parents or couch-surfing.

This whole situation comes several months after a severe illness and as a result, Kate has become rough around the edges and overall very cynical. Her sour look at the world begins to soften, though, when she meets and gets to know Tom (Henry Golding). Eventually, Tom’s positiveness begins to push Kate in a better direction as their relationship grows.

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REVIEW: New ‘Charlie’s Angels’ is well below average

After more than a decade away from the big screen, the Angels have returned. Sadly, their latest adventure isn’t too memorable.

“Charlie’s Angels” introduces audiences to new spies, including Sabina (Kristen Stewart) and Jane (Ella Balinska). The duo are given a mission regarding a new energy generating device that can also be used for nefarious purposes.

To help secure the device and keep it off the black market, Sabina and Jane are tasked with guarding and eventually working with Elena, a woman who discovered the device’s dangerous abilities and was turned away when she tried to warn superiors. Along the way, the trio are also helped by their Bosley superior, portrayed by Elizabeth Banks.

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REVIEW: ‘Good Liar,’ not so good movie

The most glaring thing about “The Good Liar” is that it’s not nearly as clever as it thinks it is.

“The Good Liar” stars Ian McKellen as Roy Courtnay, an elderly longtime con artist who happens to meet a wealthy widow named Betty (Helen Mirren). Seeing an opportunity to make cash on another job, Roy initiates a new operation to start a relationship with Betty and be with her until he can get her to share her bank accounts and he can make the robbery happen.

Roy has to really commit to the role, though, as the job in convincing Betty isn’t entirely easy. Plus, Betty’s grandson, Stephen (Russell Tovey), doesn’t trust Roy from the very start. The result is a con job that’s more difficult than initially expected.

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REVIEW: ‘Ford v Ferrari’ has fine tuned performances, but is also formulaic

Ingenuity can be daring sometimes and often requires pushing boundaries. That’s what the main characters in “Ford v Ferrari” must do in this movie, and fortunately the film documenting their work is above average.

Matt Damon stars as Carrol Shelby here, a former race car driver who puts his expertise into designing cars. In an effort to boost sales and to prove Ford can compete with international vehicles, the company drafts him to create a car faster than a Ferrari.

In order to test the car and help point out the flaws, Shelby enlists the help of Ken Miles (Christian Bale), an elite driver who can race with the best of them. The process is made difficult, though, because of corporate interference.

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Monday Movie Report: Disney/Marvel schedule release dates

While details and titles for several upcoming Marvel movies remain undisclosed, the studio and parent company Disney have scheduled many of them for release.

According to The Wrap, Marvel Studios and Disney set release dates for five untitled films on Oct. 2, 2022, Feb. 17, 2023, May 5, 2023, July 28, 2023 and Nov. 3, 2023.

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