After a decade of mostly appearing in action blockbusters and major releases, Jennifer Lawrence returns to the smaller film space with the intimate drama “Causeway.”
The film, directed by Lila Neugebauer, who’s making her feature film debut, follows Lynsey (Jennifer Lawrence), a member of the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers. The film picks up with Lynsey recovering after suffering a head injury caused by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
Needing time to recover, she returns to her hometown, New Orleans, and stays with her mother Gloria (Linda Emond), even though the two have a strained relationship. While she’s there, she meets an auto-mechanic, James (Brian Tyree Henry), who is dealing with trauma of their own. Both individuals, who are a bit lost in life, are able to form a friendship from there.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Melancholy drama ‘Causeway’ features strong leads”
Florian Zeller’s 2020 film “The Father” was a stellar exploration of a person going through a difficult health crisis and the impact it has on their family.
His follow-up, “The Son,” has a similar premise, but it’s not nearly as good.
Hugh Jackman stars as Peter in the film, a businessman who’s considering entering the world of politics as a consultant. Around the same time, his wife Beth (Vanessa Kirby) has given birth to their new son.
The movie picks up with Peter getting contacted by his ex-wife Kate (Laura Dern), who explains that their teenage son Nicholas (Zen McGrath) has been skipping school and seems troubled lately. Hoping to give Nick a better environment and a new school to try, Peter takes his son in, but even then, the teen has struggles.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Poorly portrayed mental illness sinks ‘The Son’”
Since 2017’s bomb “Geostorm,” Gerard Butler has rebounded with solid action pictures such as “Angel Has Fallen” in 2019 and “Greenland” in 2020. He’s added another enjoyable one to the list with “Plane.”
Butler plays Brodie Torrance, the pilot of the titular plane, who’s tasked with flying over the Pacific Ocean on New Year’s Eve. Two factors make it more than just a routine flight, though. One is some nasty weather and the other is a convicted criminal (Mike Colter) who’s on board to be extradited.
As the plane goes through bad weather, a lightning bolt hits the aircraft, knocking out its electronics and forcing Brodie to make a rough landing on a remote island. It turns out the island is controlled by a militant group and they take many people from the plane hostage. The only two left to rescue them are Brodie and the criminal, Louis, both of whom have military training.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Plane’ has plenty of suspense and action on board”
One would have always guessed a movie set on a ship with “triangle” in the title would take place in the Bermuda Triangle, but here we are.
“Triangle of Sadness” instead takes place in less paranormal, but still dangerous waters. The film centers on a successful couple, the model Carl (Harris Dickinson) and influencer Yaya (Charibi Dean) who are invited aboard a luxurious superyacht.
They’re joined by many other wealthy individuals who are there to enjoy all of the fancy amenities, as well as the ship’s many staff members. Most of the staff seems fairly dedicated to their job, except the heavy-drinking captain (Woody Harrelson). This ends up becoming a bit of an issue when the yacht runs into heavy seas with big waves.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Triangle of Sadness’ succeeds on strong satire, despite plot issues”
Another addition to my never ending list of reasons why I fear a robot uprising.
The titular doll in “M3gan” is basically an android built by Gemma (Allison Williams), a robotics engineer working at a toy company that releases advanced products. While she’s at work on her latest project, her sister and brother-in-law are killed in a car accident.
Gemma’s niece, Cady (Violet McGraw), survived the crash and is now living with Gemma, but the girl has become depressed and reclusive. In trying to help Cady, Gemma activates M3gan to be a doll and friend to the girl. However, M3gan was still in the testing phase, and the artificial intelligence in the doll has the potential to be dangerous.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Manic energy in ‘M3gan’ makes it a fun watch”
This film is an adaptation of a book written by a Swedish author in 2012. I have to imagine he watched 2008’s “Gran Torino” and 2009’s “Up” before putting pen to paper.
Tom Hanks stars as Otto, a man who recently became a widower and lives day-to-day thinking there’s not much left for him in the world. Otto is rather grouchy and quite particular in his old age. For example, he doesn’t want anyone driving on the private road in front of his home.
He begins to loosen up, though, when he’s approached by a young, friendly couple and their two daughters. The matriarch of the family, Marisol (Mariana Treviño), especially forms a bond with Otto, helping him to find more in life again, which leads him to start helping others around the neighborhood.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘A Man Called Otto’ is moving, but clichéd”
So, we’ve wrapped up the year 2022, but not all of 2022 business.
As part of the process to say goodbye to 2022, I’m sharing the films that received the lowest ratings in the past 12 months. As usual, while most years have plenty of good movies, there are those that go in the opposite direction.
Here’s the ranking for 2022.
Continue reading “Ten Worst Movies of 2022”
Director Damien Chazelle’s last three movies have either ended up on my top 10 of the year lists, or an honorable mention.
His latest film, though, will likely end on 2022’s worst of the year list.
“Babylon” tracks the careers of three characters in Hollywood during the late 1920s and early 30s. Jack (Brad Pitt) is an experienced performer, Nellie (Margot Robbie) is a new actress on the scene and Manny (Diego Calva) is a person doing odd jobs as he works his way up the studio ladder.
The movie shows how their careers are impacted by drugs, the extravagance of the roaring 20s and the shift in Hollywood from silent films to talkies.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Ambitious ‘Babylon’ ends up being an obnoxious dud”
With help from talented director Darren Aronofsky, Brendan Fraser makes a hell of a comeback with a new, major starring role.
Based on a stage play with the same name, “The Whale” tells the story of Charlie (Fraser), an obese, reclusive, disabled man residing in Idaho. He lives in a depressed state, having gained weight after the death of his partner, and has an estranged relationship with his daughter, Ellie (Sadie Sink).
He gets an opportunity to reconnect with Ellie, though, when she visits Charlie, wanting assistance with her homework. A college English instructor, Charlie decides to help her with essays with the hope that he can reconnect with his daughter, especially with his declining health.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Whale’ is 2022’s hardest hitting drama”
I’m starting to think the “Pinocchio” story just isn’t for me.
In director Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of the tale, we’re introduced to Geppetto (David Bradley), a toymaker who lost his son during World War I and became depressed. One night, in his grief, he gathers some timber and builds a puppet meant to be a replacement for his late son.
While the puppet started as just something Geppetto made during a drunken night, though, the doll ends up coming to life thanks to a mystical spirit. While Gepetto initially views Pinocchio with disdain, he eventually warms up to the wooden boy. However, antagonistic forces look to take Pinocchio for their own nefarious purposes.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Aside from visuals, pristine looking ‘Pinocchio’ disappoints”