The loneliness and isolation that comes with living in the country is certainly well represented in this picture.
Thandiwe Newton stars as Sandra in the feature directed and written by Julian Higgins. A college professor, Sandra is a woman who has just lost her mother and now lives alone in rural Montana.
The movie picks up with her one day noticing a red truck on her property, owned by two hunters. She asks them to stop coming onto her property, but they refuse. Their willingness to continue begins an escalation between the characters that pushes Sandra to her limits.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Quiet thriller ‘God’s Country’ features a captivating character journey”
Some of Idris Elba’s characters in his career would probably stand a good chance beating a lion, such as the sword-wielder Heimdall from the “Thor” series or the sharpshooter Bloodsport from “Suicide Squad.”
Unfortunately for his character in “Beast,” Elba plays just a regular guy who has to protect his family from a big cat in Africa. He portrays Dr. Nate Samuels in the film, father of Norah (Leah Jeffries) and Meredith (Iyana Halley).
Nate is trying to rebuild his relationship with his daughters in “Beast,” after the two girls lost their mother and felt their dad wasn’t around enough. Nate’s plan is to bring the family on a tour of a wildlife reserve where his friend Martin (Sharlto Copley) works. Things are going well enough until they are attacked by a vicious lion and are placed in a battle for survival.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Elba and B-movie excitement salvage ‘Beast’”
Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been pretty poor so far.
Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) starts off this latest Marvel adventure on a down note, having to attend a wedding where the woman he loved is getting married to someone else. Any negative feelings about that have to wait, though, when a giant monster attacks a young woman nearby.
The woman is America Chavez (Xochitl Gomez), who has the power to travel to different universes, but can’t quite control it yet. After rescuing her, Strange seeks counsel from Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), as she might be able to help with her knowledge of magic. However, Wanda sees an opportunity to use America’s powers for herself so that she can find a different universe where she can be happier.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Studio-driven ‘Doctor Strange 2’ short on substance”
Some of the best elements of the “Batman” interpretations by directors Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan are melded into the new crime epic featuring the Dark Knight.
In director Matt Reeves’ “The Batman,” Robert Pattinson stars as Bruce Wayne, who spends his nights out in Gotham City as the caped crusader. The film picks up with him meeting with Lt. James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) after a night of fighting criminals to consult on a murder case.
The victim is the city’s mayor, and the suspect is the Riddler (Paul Dano), who leaves behind haunting clues. The killing sets Batman on an investigation, where he partners with Gordon and a cat burglar, Selina (Zoe Kravitz). The investigation brings him in conflict with the city’s underbelly, with the likes of the Penguin (Colin Farrell) in his way.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Batman’ is a brilliant caped crusader story”
If you like McGuffin hunts, then “The 355” might be the perfect movie for you.
Jessica Chastain stars as Mace in “The 355,” a CIA agent tracking the location of a device that can practically hack any computer system in the world, from transportation programs to weapon launches. After the death of her field partner, Mace doubles down on her efforts to recover the device.
Those efforts bring her in contact with other agents from several intelligence organizations. The agents include Graciela (Penelope Cruz) from Columbia, Lin (Fan Bingbing) from China, Marie (Diane Kruger) from Germany and Khadijah from England (Lupita Nyong’o). While they are at odds to begin, the agents eventually decide to work together.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Star cast unable to salvage below average ‘355’”
A bottle film with plenty of bullets is usually good for entertaining audiences, but the quality can really vary.
“Copshop” is a situation where the film does entertain, but the quality is a bit on the lower end.
Alexis Louder stars as Valerie Young in “Copshop,” a rookie officer who works at a rural police station. One night on patrol, Young arrests a man named Teddy Murretto (Frank Grillo), who is placed in a holding cell. Not long after, other officers from the station arrest a drunk driver known as Bob Viddick (Gerard Butler).
It turns out, Teddy and Bob know each other. After working for the mob, Teddy was looking for a way out and went to the authorities. Bob, meanwhile, is a hitman. Now, the two are both at the same station and Young is forced to do some quick thinking as another gunman comes to the station, also looking for the hit on Teddy.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Movie about cons has plenty of cons, but still entertains”
More action movies with Maggie Q please.
Anna (Q) is the protagonist in “The Protégé,” an elite assassin who works alongside her friend and mentor Moody (Samuel L. Jackson). The two are exceptionally efficient in their work and the film picks up with them successfully completing another mission.
As the film gets underway, Anna begins researching a new job, but soon after finds Moody murdered. With revenge in mind, Anna travels back to her homeland of Vietnam, where there may be some clues as to who killed her mentor. During her journey, she comes across Rembrandt (Michael Keaton), an assassin who works for another involved party.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Protégé’ provides thrills despite plot issues”
The title “Gunpowder Milkshake” makes sense, because like the cold drink, it’s an enjoyable summer treat.
Karen Gillan stars as Sam in “Milkshake,” a young woman who works as an assassin for a mysterious agency known only as The Firm. The agency is helmed by a man named Nathan (Paul Giamatti), who sends Sam out on her assignments.
While her latest mission seems straightforward, though, it turns out to be anything but. Caught in a conflict between two violent faction related to Sam’s assignment is a young girl named Emily (Chloe Coleman). Sam decides to get involved and protect Emily, but it only complicates things as hitmen are sent after her. In response, she looks to get help from her past.
Continue reading “REVIEW: While flawed, ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ gives audiences a fun experience”
“The Purge” is a great example of kids screwing things up in the middle of a tense situation. Another example is “28 Weeks Later.” The latest example is “A Quiet Place II.”
After a brief opening scene showing the first day of the alien attack, this sequel picks up immediately after the events of the original 2018 film. With their home in tatters, Evelyn (Emily Blunt) and her newborn baby, as well as her school-age children Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe), are forced to venture out for a new shelter.
Along the way they meet an old friend from their destroyed town, Emmett (Cillian Murphy), though he’s reluctant to help. With the knowledge that her hearing aid is useful against the aliens, though, Regan has a drive in her to find a way to spread the word.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Quiet Place’ sequel suffers from poor character decisions”
Angelina Jolie has taken a break from playing Maleficent to return to the action genre.
This time, though, she plays a character with survival skills, rather than being a master martial artist or super spy.
In “Those Who Wish Me Dead,” Jolie portrays Hannah, an elite firefighter in Montana who’s trying to get over a traumatic event that took place about a year ago. Because of the experience, Hannah is taken off the frontlines and instead is stationed at a fire lookout tower.
Meanwhile, a father and his son Connor (Finn Little) go on the run. The father, Owen (Jake Weber), is an accountant mixed in a situation where he could potentially expose several financial scandals and therefore has a hit on him. Those looking to take Owen out do succeed, but Connor escapes. After doing so, he runs into Hannah, who takes on the task of protecting him.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’ brings big sky thrills”