The difficulties and hardships of poverty have no doubt been explored in some great movies.
Unfortunately, “Hillbilly Elegy” doesn’t join that club.
The movie is based on a memoir by J.D. Vance, an American businessman who grew up in Ohio. In the film, Vance (Gabriel Basso) is a student at Yale University who’s looking to get hired by a law firm.
However, during the night of a big social dinner, Vance gets a call that his mother, Bev (Amy Adams) has overdosed on heroin. As a result, Vance drives back to the town he grew up in and in doing so, thinks back to his youth where he lived with both his mother and his grandmother, affectionately known as Mamaw (Glenn Close).
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Hillbilly Elegy’ is a mess of misery and melodrama”
Don’t get on Sarah Paulson’s bad side. That’s one lesson to take away from this movie.
In this film, Paulson plays Diane Sherman, a single mother who’s been raising her daughter Chloe on her own. Chloe (Kiera Allen) is wheelchair bound and has several diseases, requiring a lot of medication.
Chloe is a teen anticipating college, and she’s really excited to get accepted to a university. However, as the film gets underway, Chloe begins to notice her mother is hiding things.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Run’ is a fantastic rush of suspense”
Nikola Tesla is a man whose legacy has nearly made him into a sort of mythical figure. This film, directed by Michael Almereyda, attempts to capture Tesla’s career with an artistic flair.
“Tesla” follows the titular character, played by Ethan Hawke, in the middle of a corporate competition between Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) and George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan). The two are trying to take hold of the electric industry and Tesla’s ideas are coming into play.
However, unlike those two, Tesla was thinking ahead of just the competition of electricity. As the film shows, he has a lot of ideas that go beyond just lighting a bulb.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Tesla’ is far from terrific”
It’s Halloween and my horror review series for this year is ending in a bloody mess.
I’ve continued my journey through low budget B-Movies and, keeping with the rest of the 2020 series, stayed in the 1980s. For this post, I’ve reviewed two slashers and a paranormal horror comedy.
Continue reading “Adventures in B-Movie Horror 3”
On the rocks is a good way to order a margarita, and it’s also a phrase for when a relationship has issues. This movie is about the latter, although there are plenty of drinks featured.
Writer and director Sofia Coppola has returned with her first film since 2017’s “The Beguiled.” Her latest picture focuses on Laura (Rashida Jones), a woman who’s trying to overcome writer’s block while also raising her daughters.
Additionally, Laura is having some trouble communicating with her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans), as he’s often out of town for business trips. Laura’s father Felix (Bill Murray) sees this as suspicious, though. As a result, the two begin discussing whether or not there’s an affair going on.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘On the Rocks’ is a delightful dramedy”
I don’t know if there’s a better decade for pure schlock in film than the good ole 80s. Not only was it a good time for entertaining horror, it was also an era for people to produce lower budget flicks full of over the top moments.
These next three films fit that criteria.
Continue reading “Adventures in B-Movie Horror 2”
In most court movies, there’s just one defendant on trial. This Netflix release gives seven for the price of one.
Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, “Trial of the Chicago 7” takes place in the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. On the outside of the convention were large protests, and following the political event, eight were charged by the government for inciting riots.
The defendants included Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), Alex Sharp (Rennie Davis), Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen), Jeremy Strong (Jerry Rubin), John Lynch (David Dellinger), Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins), John Froines (Daniel Flaherty) and Bob Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). During the trial, though, Seale’s case was severed and the defendant list went to seven. The federal prosecutor in the case is Tom Foran (J.C. MacKenzie) while the main lawyer for the defense is William Kunstler (Mark Rylance).
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Chicago 7’ is a compelling look at justice and politics, despite flaws”
This film features an amazing true story about brave individuals who volunteered to do daring work to hold back the German war machine in some of the darkest days for Europe in World War II.
One just wishes the movie was less dull.
The picture introduces British intelligence officer Vera Atkins (Stana Katic), who recruits candidates to help the French resistance communicate with each other and plan sabotage efforts. To do so, Atkins recruits Virginia Hall (Sarah Megan Thomas) and Noor Inayat Khan (Radhika Apte).
Atkins has the two young women go to two sections of France, with Khan focusing on radio communications and Hall planning sabotage efforts. Doing so isn’t easy, though, with Germany’s occupation forces everywhere.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘A Call to Spy’ is sadly underwhelming”
This is one of those films with some good ideas at play, but in need of stronger execution.
Kathie Lee Gifford, who also wrote the script, stars as Annabelle. A recent widower, Annabelle has decided to travel the world with the ashes of her deceased spouse, and the first destination is in rural Scotland.
There, she stays at a historic building-turned inn, which is operated by a man named Howard (Craig Ferguson). The two come from different backgrounds and at first don’t get along. However, the two grow closer as time goes on.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Then Came You’ is neither compelling nor comedic”
Julianne Moore was already partly ready for this role, as just a couple years earlier she played another character named Gloria in “Gloria Bell.”
The Gloria in this movie, though, is the real life Gloria Steinem. In this biopic, written and directed by Julie Taymor, the influential women’s rights advocate is played by several actresses, as the film explores multiple periods of Steinem’s life.
The audience gets to see Steinem’s experiences in childhood, her early jobs as a journalist, and later her involvement with ERA passage efforts. Along with insight into her career works, the film dives into many of the relationships Steinem had, from family to friends.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Glorias’ is scattered but insightful”