Pete Docter is no stranger to emotional animated features, having directed “Up” and “Inside Out.” He makes another attempt at one in his latest picture, “Soul.”
Jamie Foxx voices Joe in “Soul,” a middle-aged jazz artist and part-time music teacher. One day as he’s about to get a gig he’s been waiting for, he accidentally falls down a manhole. As a result, Joe has an out-of-body experience where his soul travels to a gateway to what’s called the Great Beyond.
Opting not to go, he instead takes another path. There he ends up in the Great Before, where souls form before going to Earth. Not long after his arrival, he meets a stubborn soul named 22 (Tina Fey), who doesn’t find Earth too appealing. The two end up having to work together as the plot develops, though.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Soul’ is mostly a sour experience”
Before fighting Doomsday and Steppenwolf, Wonder Woman emerged in the 80s to battle corporate greed.
“Wonder Woman 1984” opens with the Amazon warrior now fighting crime while also working at the Smithsonian. At her job, where she goes by Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), she meets a researcher named Barbara (Kristen Wiig). Early in the movie, Barbara comes across a stone that supposedly grants wishes.
Barbara, who’s rather insecure, wishes to be just like Diana. Diana, meanwhile, wishes for her lost love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) to be resurrected. Despite thinking it’s just a legend, it turns out the stone actually works for the two. It also works for a desperate businessman named Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) who has aspirations of more power. These three wishes end up bringing the characters into conflict.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel mostly falls flat”
“I’m Your Woman” is a fairly entertaining crime drama, but the story does get clunky at times.
Rachel Brosnahan plays the lead character Jean in the film. She is married to Eddie (Bill Heck) a man who by all appearances is associated with organized crime. At the movie’s onset, Eddie comes home with a baby, stating that it’s his and Jean’s son.
Jean begins caring for the baby, but her typical days of motherhood are shattered when she is told that Eddie has gone missing by one of his friends, Cal (Arinze Kene). Now she must survive with her child as the criminal underground applies pressure on her.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘I’m Your Woman’ is watchable, but weakened by story issues”
“Greenland” is a movie that would probably be more enjoyable on the big screen. But audiences can still enjoy this flick at home with some (microwaved) popcorn.
The wheel of disasters was spun and it landed on asteroid/comet for this picture. Gerard Butler plays John in “Greenland,” a construction engineer whose marriage has been facing some troubles.
However, he and his wife Allison (Morena Baccarin) are suddenly forced to set aside their issues and stick together to protect their son Nathan (Roger Floyd). This effort, which mainly involves finding a shelter, comes as a comet breaks up over Earth with large pieces expected to wipe out billions.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Greenland’ gets the disaster genre right”
That’s two strikes now, Soderbergh. After a disappointing feature with “The Laundromat,” director Steven Soderbergh has returned with another lackluster flick.
“Let Them All Talk” stars Meryl Streep as a famous author named Alice. At the film’s outset, Alice is being asked by an agent from her publishing office, Karen (Gemma Chan), to write another book to in the immediate future.
Along with this situation taking place, Alice is also expected to receive a literary award in London. As she has a fear of flying, Alice opts to take the Queen Mary 2 across the ocean and invites her two friends Susan (Dianne Wiest) and Roberta (Candice Bergen), as well as her grandson Tyler (Lucas Hedges). Along the way, the many characters are able to connect and/or reconnect with each other.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Let Them All Talk’ has nothing much to say”
For the second year in a row James Corden is starring in a musical during the holiday season. This time, though, he has less fur.
Corden is one of four actors portraying Broadway performers in “The Prom.” Corden plays Barry, who is joined by other theater performers Dee Dee (Meryl Streep), Angie (Nicole Kidman) and Trent (Andrew Rannells). At the movie’s outset, the four are somewhat down on their luck after receiving negative reviews for their latest show.
However, they soon find a way to get good press again by supporting a teenager in Indiana named Emma (Jo Ellen Pellman) who’s come out as a lesbian and has been met with resistance to attending her prom as a result. During their time there, though, the four become supportive of Emma more than just for their own needs.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Star power and songs carry ‘The Prom’”
Two Oscar caliber actresses lend their talents to the screen in “Ammonite,” but what they have to work with doesn’t live up to their abilities.
“Ammonite” is the sophomore feature directing effort by Francis Lee. Taking place in the 1840s, the film follows the fossil researcher Mary Anning, who works along the shores to find preserved animals, like Ammonites. It’s quickly shown that Anning mostly keeps to herself, as the only company she has is her mother played by Gemma Jones.
However, one day a man fascinated by Mary’s work visits her office. After the’re introduced, he suggests his wife Charlotte (Saoirse Ronan) observe Mary’s work and research as a way to alleviate the young woman’s depression. As the two spend more time together, Mary and Charlotte begin to form a relationship.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Romance in ‘Ammonite’ has a spark, but never ignites”
The tragedies of losing what you love and giving up what you love are tied together in this film, and it makes for a fairly strong drama.
Riz Ahmed stars as Ruben in the film, a drummer in a heavy-metal duo, with the other member being his girlfriend Lou (Olivia Cooke). The two have had troubled pasts, including issues with substance abuse, but at the outset of the movie, the two are clean, working gigs and are comfortable with how things are going.
Trouble hits Ruben’s life, though, as he begins noticing issues with his hearing. During a trip to a medical center, Ruben learns his hearing is dropping rapidly, and will likely be lost quickly. To deal with his plight, Ruben is sent an organization for recovering, deaf drug addicts and begins adjusting. At the same time, he is considering a surgery that could restore his hearing.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Sound of Metal’ is a success thanks to lead performance”
To be honest, Aubrey Plaza really upstaged the bear in this movie.
In all seriousness, Plaza is the star of “Black Bear,” a film directed by Lawrence Michael Levine. Plaza portrays Allison, an actress-turned-director who’s staying at a lake house to escape the world and get some work done on a new project.
While she’s there, she meets the owners of the home, Blair (Sarah Gadon) and Gabe (Christopher Abbott). Her stay over the course of the picture goes through dramatic twists and turns that explore elements of a creative mind.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Black Bear’ is a fascinating breach into the creative mind”
The foundation for what many consider to be one of the greatest films ever made is showcased in David Fincher’s latest project.
The Netflix film, titled “Mank,” tells the story of screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman). The movie picks up with Mankiewicz, who’s recovering from a leg injury suffered during a car accident, being hired to help write the movie “Citizen Kane” by Orson Welles (Tom Burke).
Mankiewicz, with the help of his secretary Rita (Lily Collins), manages to pen the script, despite a few hiccups along the way. As the movie shows him doing so, several flashbacks to Mankiewicz in the 30s are shown, displaying where the writer picked up his inspiration. Namely, the movie features several sequences where Mankiewicz interacted with William Randolph Hearst.
Continue reading “REVIEW: The movie magic in ‘Mank’ is good, not great”