REVIEW: ‘An American Pickle’ plagued with issues

A good idea can make a movie intriguing, but it can’t hold up a whole feature when executed poorly.

Unfortunately, that’s what we have with “An American Pickle.”

Brandon Trost makes his feature directorial debut here in this movie about an immigrant named Herschel (Seth Rogen) who moves to the United States with his wife to start a new life. Herschel gets a job to establish his family in America, but because of an accident, he falls into a pickle brine chamber where he’s preserved for 100 years.

After a century, Herschel is released from the brine storage and is examined by scientists. Soon after, he’s put in contact with his descendant, Ben (also Rogen). While the two are at first excited to learn about each other, the time difference and disagreements over family values causes a rift.

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REVIEW: ‘I Used to Go Here’ is a charming indie dramedy

It’s always fun going back to the old stomping grounds by visiting your college town, that is if you’re not going through some problems like the main character in this movie is.

Written and directed by Kris Rey, “I Used to Go Here” follows Kate (Gillian Jacobs), an author whose first book was recently published. However, the sales aren’t going all that well, and her relationship status is difficult.

Needing a change of scenery, Kate accepts an invitation to speak at her alma mater, which was sent by a professor, David (Jemaine Clement), who taught one of her classes. During her time there, she talks with David about her career and also goes to a party at a frat house, which used to be where her and her friends lived while she attended school.

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REVIEW: ‘Summerland’ slumps after strong start, but still good overall

Being the guardian of a child seems like enough work as it is. This movie throws a world war into the mix, too, so no wonder the main character is stressed.

“Summerland” takes place during World War II as the Battle of Britain is going on. Because London is being bombarded, children, including a young boy named Frank (Lucas Bond), are sent to live in the English countryside.

Upon arrival, the government places Frank with Alice (Gemma Arterton), a writer and researcher of mythical literature. Alice isn’t sociable and doesn’t like kids all that much. However, as time goes on Alice becomes more of a mentor and true guardian for Frank.

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REVIEW: ‘Babysplitters’ is mostly abysmal

Parenthood and the process of getting there has been the subject of comedies for quite some time and some, like “Knocked Up,” can be big hits.

However, these types of films usually require a balanced approach. Unfortunately, “Babysplitters” is too all over the place.

The movie focuses on the married couple Jeff (Danny Pudi) and Sarah (Emily Chang). The two have a good relationship, but they somewhat disagree on the prospect of having children.

Meanwhile, their friends Don (Eddie Alfano) and Taylor (Maiara Walsh) are having the same conversations. After having some discussions all together, they come up with a plan of sharing one baby, but their plan has complications.

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REVIEW: ‘Radioactive’ drags despite strong Pike performance

I’m not exactly a person who’s easily distracted. However, the song “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons kept making its way in my head during this movie.

Starring Rosamund Pike, “Radioactive” tell the story of Polish scientist Marie Curie, who accomplished her groundbreaking work in France. The movie depicts her relationship with her husband Pierre (Sam Riley), as well as their discoveries of the elements polonium and radium.

As the movie progresses, Curie’s life continues to be documented, and both the negative and positive impacts of radioactivity are shown. From this, the audience is able to learn how Curie’s life work went hand in hand with her relationships.

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REVIEW: While there’s room for improvement, ‘Relic’ stands as a solid thriller

In most cases it’s good to hold on to items important to one’s family… except when they happen to be haunted or produce evil.

Unfortunately, that’s basically what we have in this picture.

Set in rural Australia, “Relic” tells the story of three women, the eldest Edna (Robyn Nevin), her daughter Kay (Emily Mortimer) and her granddaughter Sam (Bella Heathcote). Edna, now a widow, lives alone in an old house and is getting to the age where it may be appropriate to have her stay at an assisted living facility. This is made apparent when she goes missing and comes back acting strangely.

At first, both Kay and Sam suspect the issue may be dementia, or general cognitive decline. However, as the movie goes on, Edna’s actions, and the house itself, become more sinister.

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REVIEW: ‘The Rental’ falters after promising start

This movie is a good example of why maybe you should just stay at a hotel.

“The Rental” follows two couples, the first being Charlie (Dan Stevens) and his girlfriend Michelle (Allison Brie). The other is Josh (Jeremy Allen White) and his girlfriend Mina. Josh is Charlie’s younger brother, and while the two don’t get along perfectly, they decide to go on a vacation together to a rental house.

Despite meeting a less than pleasant caretaker upon arrival, the four start off the weekend well enough. However, a situation arises that complicates the whole trip and it happens around the same time they notice something strange about the house.

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REVIEW: ‘Fatal Affair’ is a thriller everyone can skip

Netflix, how dare you steal this movie from the Lifetime Channel.

That joke isn’t just based on the genre this movie is in, it also fits because the director of this motion picture has a lot of experience in the realm of TV flicks. The film follows a married woman named Ellie (Nia Long) who’s just moved to a new home with her husband Marcus (Stephen Bishop).

The movie picks up with Ellie attending a rather routine meeting at her job, but that changes when she sees her firm has hired a tech expert named David (Omar Epps). David is Ellie’s old friend from college, and the two are happy to meet up again. However, Ellie soon finds David to have dangerous ideas and motives.

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REVIEW: After slow start, ‘The Outpost’ rallies for strong finish

A major battle during the War in Afghanistan where United States soldiers were completely out numbered is featured in this 2020 war movie.

The picture is set 11 years ago, in the fall of 2009, and follows United States soldiers who are stationed at Combat Outpost Keating. Life for the soldiers is never easy, as the outpost was labeled indefensible.

Centered in a valley and with an enemy threat constantly looming, it is difficult to keep the outpost safe and secure. This becomes most apparent in early October, when more than 300 Taliban insurgents attacked the location in what’s called the Battle of Kamdesh.

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REVIEW: ‘First Cow’ is a strong film about gentle people

How now, first cow?

This feature from the studio A24 does in fact feature a cow, but it also includes a whole lot more. The movie is set in the early 1820s, during the days where pioneers pushed west for trades such as gold and fur. We’re immediately introduced to Otis “Cookie” Figowitz (John Magaro), a cook who’s part of a fur trading group making their way to a fort.

Cookie isn’t exactly on friendly terms with the others in the team, though, as they claim he doesn’t provide enough food. Once he gets to the fort, though, he does manage to start a friendship with a Chinese immigrant named King-Lu (Orion Lee), who he met earlier during his travels. Not only do the two form a bond, they also begin a money-making scheme where they secretly milk the first cow brought to the area and use it to make high quality baked goods.

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