REVIEW: ‘Thinking of Ending Things’ is solid thought-provoking cinema

I’m thinking this is a pretty damn good movie, but understand not everyone will feel that way.

“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” largely focuses on two characters, Jake (Jesse Plemons) and his girlfriend, played by Jessie Buckley. The couple are on their way to meet Jake’s parents for the first time time, but are unfortunately having to drive through a snowstorm to get there.

As they make their way over the snowy highway, the audience gets to learn more about how Jake’s girlfriend is considering the future of their relationship. Meanwhile, the audience is also introduced concurrently with a janitor character, who has a relation to the main characters that’s slowly revealed over the course of the film.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Thinking of Ending Things’ is solid thought-provoking cinema”

REVIEW: ‘Babysitter’ sequel is a disappointment

The first “Babysitter” certainly left things open for a sequel. Having watched part two, though, one wishes they left it at just one film.

“Killer Queen” starts two years after the first movie, and once again, Cole (Judah Lewis) is the main character. While he survived the deadly encounter from the first picture, though, and gained some confidence in the process, no one really believes him about what happened.

Now a high school student who doesn’t really fit in, Cole is having struggles, especially with no one trusting his word. He gets his chance to win over high school crowds, though, when he attends a lake party. Unfortunately, Cole soon finds out that some of his friends are in the same demonic cult that was featured in the first picture.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Babysitter’ sequel is a disappointment”

REVIEW: Despite spectacle, ‘Mulan’ mostly stumbles

Trying to do two things at once can sometimes be pulled off, but it can also lead to a mess. This “Mulan” film is definitely a situation of the latter.

The film stars Yifei Liu as Mulan, a young woman who doesn’t exactly fit in at her community in rural China. Around the time that she’s getting forced to meet with a matchmaker, another area of China is being invaded by Rouran warriors, led by their commander Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee) and magical witch, Xianniang (Li Gong).

In response, the Emperor (Jet Li) orders one man from each Chinese family to join the army to defend the nation. Mulan’s father is enlisted, but he has a permanent leg injury and already fought in a previous war. Knowing he would be in danger, Mulan decides to join the war in his place, disguising herself as a man in the process.

Continue reading “REVIEW: Despite spectacle, ‘Mulan’ mostly stumbles”

REVIEW: Excessive techno-babble makes ‘Tenet’ tiresome

Having nearly three fourths of the dialogue in your movie be scientific terms and concepts doesn’t make your movie smart.

“Tenet” follows a character simply known as The Protagonist (John David Washington). A spy who appears to work for the American intelligence apparatus, Washington’s character is assigned a mission where he has to investigate weapons that defy time.

For example, the spy is shown bullets that are inverted, which means they move backwards in time. On his mission, the Protagonist is assisted by a helpful contact named Neil (Robert Pattinson). As the mission continues, the Protagonist discovers the main person associated with the weapons is Andrei Sator (Kenneth Branagh). To get close to the arms dealer, the agent begins speaking with Sator’s wife Kat (Elizabeth Debicki).

Continue reading “REVIEW: Excessive techno-babble makes ‘Tenet’ tiresome”

2020 Summer Movie Awards

The summer of 2020 sure was different for us movie fans. Fortunately, though, with digital media being so prominent, we weren’t completely deprived of film.

While there wasn’t the quantity of movies to choose from for this type of post as there’s been in past years, there were still some quality films put out.

Here are my awards for what this summer had to offer.

Continue reading “2020 Summer Movie Awards”

REVIEW: ‘Unhinged’ is never unentertaining

I don’t think Russell Crowe hasn’t taken out everything in his path like this since “Gladiator.”

Crowe, whose character is just known as The Man, is introduced as violent right from the start, as the opening scene shows him committing a double murder and then arson. We then switch to the main character, Rachel (Caren Pistorius), who’s having a rough morning.

She’s late for work, her divorce is taking the difficult route through the legal system and she has to make sure her son Kyle (Gabriel Bateman) gets to school on time. Along the way, she lays on the horn pretty hard at a truck, driven by Crowe’s character. He doesn’t take kindly to it, and decides to go on a murderous, destructive rampage with Rachel as his target.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Unhinged’ is never unentertaining”

REVIEW: ‘New Mutants’ misses the mark

After nearly two years of delays “The New Mutants” has finally arrived. Unfortunately, it’s hard to say that it’s worth the wait.

The movie begins with a teenager, Danielle (Blu Hunt),  waking up in a hospital-like facility after what seemed to be a monstrous tornado destroyed her town. Danielle soon learns from the single physician at the facility, Dr. Reyes (Alice Braga), that she is a mutant and she’s at an establishment meant to keep other young mutants from the general public and teach them to control their power.

The other mutants include Rahne (Maisie Williams), Illyana (Anya Taylor-Joy), Sam (Charlie Heaton) and Roberto (Henry Zaga). As Danielle starts to settle in, the other mutants began having hallucinations while also getting closer to the truth of what the facility actually is.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘New Mutants’ misses the mark”

A Minnesota-made movie: ‘Hearts Want’ review

In July I founded the Minnesota Film Critics Alliance and one of the best parts of doing so has been connecting with really talented people.

One of them is Ruth Maramis, who reviews films at FlixChatter. Her movie-related work doesn’t end there, though.

Maramis was also an executive producer and the writer for the short film “Hearts Want.” Since its release, the picture has picked up recognition from several film festivals.

Continue reading “A Minnesota-made movie: ‘Hearts Want’ review”

DC FanDome: Breaking down hype and hesitation

There was a ton of movie news over the weekend and a lot of it came from DC’s virtual convention titled FanDome. The event had trailers and details released on several upcoming superhero movies.

From Batman to Flash, there’s a whole lot to breakdown from FanDome. So, here’s my recap on the whole thing.

Continue reading “DC FanDome: Breaking down hype and hesitation”

REVIEW: ‘Chemical Hearts’ hindered by screenplay

OK, I can handle the teenage angst, but when pseudo-intellectual babble is poured on top, it becomes too much.

“Chemical Hearts” centers on the character Henry (Austin Abrams), a senior who becomes the editor of the school newspaper in his final year. As the fall semester gets started, he meets a new student, Grace (Lili Reinhart), who joins the newspaper team.

Grace walks with a cane, as she has an apparent leg injury and keeps to herself for the most part. Henry, though, wants to get to know her and as time goes on, begins to form a relationship with Grace. However, she’s still dealing with trauma from an event in her past.

Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Chemical Hearts’ hindered by screenplay”