Longtime actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has made her feature directorial debut with this new Netflix film, and it’s a solid starting point.
Leda, portrayed by Olivia Colman, is the star of the “The Lost Daughter.” A writer and a professor, Leda is on a vacation in Greece during the film for some time to herself.
As she’s settling in, she meets another family who’s on vacation. As Leda begins to interact with the family more, mostly with the matriarch who has a young daughter, it causes her to look back on her own past, and the decisions she made as a parent.
Continue reading “REVIEW: The past looms large in quality Netflix entry ‘Lost Daughter’”
Sometimes a good movie will introduce a new talent on screen.
It’s an even bigger treat when two new performers are introduced and give stellar performances.
That’s the case with “Licorice Pizza,” where first time performers Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim star. Hoffman plays Gary, a teen actor with a ton of ambition. Despite being 15, Gary has a knack for hustling with small business schemes.
The film picks up in 1973, with Gary meeting Haim’s character Alana, a 25-year-old photography assistant. The two form an initial bond and from there, start working together on Gary’s business ideas. The film follows their relationship through the ups and downs of their lives during the summer months.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Paul Thomas Anderson serves up one of year’s best with ‘Licorice Pizza’”
It’s easy to love “I Love Lucy.” But that’s not the case with “Being the Ricardos.”
The film stars Nicole Kidman, who portrays Lucille Ball, the actress well known for the series “I Love Lucy.” The movie picks up during a week of filming the “I Love Lucy” show, where the production has been impacted by some recent news.
Rumors are swirling around Hollywood about Ball possibly being associated with communism during the height of the Red Scare. The film follows how this affects production, and Ball’s marriage to her husband, Desi Arnaz (Javier Bardem).
Continue reading “REVIEW: Biopic ‘Being the Ricardos’ drops the Ball”
It felt really great to get back to the movie theaters in 2021, after having been away for most of 2020 because of the pandemic.
Like always, though, there were a good deal of bad movies in 2021, too. They weren’t confined to the theaters, either.
Here were my lowest rated movies from the last year.
Continue reading “Ten Worst Movies of 2021”
So, this movie sure got people talking.
“Don’t Look Up” is the latest feature from director/writer Adam McKay, and centers on a scenario where there’s a comet headed toward Earth. The scientists who discover the comet, Randall (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Kate (Jennifer Lawrence) immediately inform the federal government after their discovery, with the hope that action is taken.
Unfortunately, they’re not exactly met with a warm welcome at the White House. The president, played by Meryl Streep, is much more concerned with optics and doesn’t particularly trust scientific evidence. As a result, Randall and Kate have to try to work with an ineffective head of state, while also trying to get air-time in a world where’s there’s apparently just one television show.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Don’t look at the screen when ‘Don’t Look Up’ is on”
Greatest Show this is not.
“American Underdog” tells the story of Kurt Warner. A man who, despite many setbacks, managed to earn a roster spot on a National Football League team, the St. Louis (now Los Angeles) Rams, and lead them to a Super Bowl championship.
Warner is portrayed by Zachary Levi, and the film follows how he played at the University of Northern Iowa, met his wife Brenda (Anna Paquin) and worked to make an NFL roster, mainly by building highlights in the Arena Football League.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘American Underdog’ let down by overstuffed story, weak script”
A title like “Nightmare Alley” may inspire thoughts that this film is about fantastical monsters.
But director Guillermo del Toro’s latest film is about how ordinary men can be just as monstrous as fabled beasts.
Bradley Cooper stars as Stanton in the film, a man who’s clearly on the run from his past at the start of the movie. As the film takes place during the later years of the depression and Stanton needing work, he ends up taking an offer to work at a carnival.
There, he meets a husband and wife duo who have an act where they perform as a pair of psychics, although, their mind games are actually just coded words to make it appear that they have powers. Still, Stanton sees an opportunity for himself and decides he would like to do such an act, but his efforts to do so leads to dangers and conundrums.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Take a stroll in ‘Nightmare Alley’ for quality noir”
The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s incarnation of Spider-Man fought in the Avengers’ Civil War and the Infinity War, but those end up paling in comparison to his multi-layered challenge in “No Way Home.”
The hero’s alter ego is Peter Parker, once again portrayed by Tom Holland. The movie begins with a news program revealing the webslinger’s identity via a hoax video produced by the villain Mysterio.
In the video, Mysterio not only revealed that Spider-Man is Peter Parker, he also claimed the hero used drone technology to wreak havoc on London. Parker soon has supporters and haters surrounding him 24/7, which pushes him to find a solution. That solution is visiting Mystic Arts Master Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and asking if there’s a spell to make people forget Spider-Man’s identity.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ spins a satisfying web”
Tonight… Tonight… I’m rather disappointed tonight.
Because I didn’t enjoy this “West Side Story” adaptation as much as I hoped I would.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this marks the second time the 1957 musical was adapted for the screen, the first released in 1961. In the film, there are two gangs in New York City the film revolves around, the Jets and the Sharks, the latter made up of Puerto Rican immigrants. Tensions have already been high between the two, but their battles appear ready to reach an even higher level of violence.
Before that takes place, though, both gangs end up at a dance. There, a former member of the Jets, Tony (Ansel Elgort), meets Maria (Rachel Zegler), the younger sister of the Sharks leader. While the two fall in love, their relationship only complicates the situation between the two groups.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Spielberg’s ‘West Side Story’ doesn’t sizzle like its 60s counterpart”
This movie and the new “Matrix” in a few weeks is only reinforcing my concern about a robot uprising.
As the title implies, this movie is about a family, named the Mitchells, taking on evil bots. While the whole family is included, though, the main focus is on Katie (Abbi Jacobson), a teen who’s preparing to go to college in California to study film. Her academic path has put her at odds with her dad Rick (Danny McBride), though, who’s never been interested in technology and enjoys the outdoors much more.
Knowing that he has one last chance to connect with his daughter before she leaves for school, Rick decides to take Katie, as well as his son Aaron (Michael Rianda) and wife Linda (Maya Rudolph) on a college move-in road trip. Unfortunately, their journey is interrupted by the robots who’re in the midst of a global takeover because of an A.I. gone bad.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Mitchells Vs The Machines’ never rises above mediocre”