REVIEW: ‘French Exit’ is a dramedy failure

Academy Award nominees Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges are featured prominently in “French Exit,” yet their presence isn’t enough to rescue this misfire.

In “French Exit,” Pfeiffer plays Frances, a widow  and New York socialite who has spent most of the money left behind after the death of her husband. Hedges, meanwhile, plays Malcolm, Frances’ son who is intending to marry his girlfriend, Susan (Imogen Poots).

With her resources dwindling, Frances decides to move to an apartment in France with her son and navigate what she should do next with her life. While the plan throws a wrench in Malcolm’s wedding dreams, he decides to go along with his mother’s move. Upon reaching France, the duo begin meeting several new characters who become involved in their lives.

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REVIEW: ‘Coming 2 America’ offers an enjoyable reunion

Sequels always have a lot to live up to and usually don’t succeed in surpassing the original picture. However, sometimes it can just be a joy revisiting some old characters.

Both are true for “Coming 2 America.”

The film takes place 30 years after the events of the last movie. Following the death of his father, Akeem Joffer is crowned King of Zamunda and he has three daughters. The oldest, Meeka (KiKi Layne) is well trained in combat and diplomacy, yet she is ineligible for the throne, as only a male heir can inherit the role. This is soon pointed out in the first act by General Izzi, the leader of Zamunda’s neighboring nation of Nexdoria. In a meeting between the two nations, Izzi says Akeem’s lack of a male heir is a sign that the future of the throne is in trouble.

However, Akeem soon learns that he actually did have a son, Lavelle (Jermaine Fowler) with a woman in New York named Mary (Leslie Jones). Akeem, joined by his best friend and advisor Semmi (Arsenio Hall) travel to New York and bring Lavelle and his mother back to Zamunda. There, Akeem begins teaching how Lavelle should act, as he is now the crown prince and heir to the Zamundan throne.

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REVIEW: ‘Nobody’ is a total blast

Bob Odenkirk may not have the look of an action hero, especially at the start of this movie. But he sure does prove that he fits the role over this film.

Odenkirk plays Hutch in “Nobody,” a family man with a wife and two kids who works a typical 8-5 job. As the film opens, the audience finds Hutch in a dull routine of taking the bus to work, getting through a shift, coming home and having to deal with a marriage that’s faltering.

We find out early on, though, that before having a straightforward, middle class life, Hutch had ties to the government. It becomes apparent after a home invasion that Hutch didn’t just work for the government, he was actually an elite operative. Wanting to unleash some anger after the home break in, Hutch decides to go out one night and conduct some vigilante justice. However, in doing so, he just happens to piss off a Russian mob leader. Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Nobody’ is a total blast”

REVIEW: ‘Promising Young Woman’ is pinnacle revenge filmmaking

Some take vengeance in a swift manner, while others take the long approach with a more calculated plan.

“Promising Young Woman” is about the latter, and it makes for one of 2020’s best films.

Cassandra is the main character of the movie, and is portrayed by Carey Mulligan. A medical school dropout, Cassandra lives at home with her parents and works at a quaint coffee shop. By night, though, she plays a different role. Her evenings are spent in clubs, where she pretends to be drunk until a sleazy guy decides to take her to their home. Once there, she reveals that she’s actually sober and revels in their guilt.

By the start of the film, Cassandra seems to have been doing this for a while. Her drive is the memory of her friend, who was raped in college and also dropped out before passing away. As the first act gets underway, Cassandra discovers ways she can get back directly at those who wronged her friend, as well as those who didn’t listen to her story after. At the same time, she also reconnects with another old friend from med school.

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REVIEW: ‘Let Them All Talk’ has nothing much to say

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.

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REVIEW: ‘Happiest Season’ is satisfying holiday cinema

Take a break from Hallmark and go to Hulu because the streaming service has a romcom of much better quality.

“Happiest Season” stars Kristen Stewart as Abby and Mackenzie Davis as Harper. The two are a couple who’ve been together for about a year or so and are deeply in love. So much so that Abby is considering a proposal over Christmas.

As the holiday approaches, the two set off to visit Harper’s parents to enjoy a family Christmas. However, on the way, Harper informs Abby that she’s still in the closet and that her parents don’t know about their relationship. Planning to tell her parents at the right time, Harper convinces Abby to pretend that they’re just roommates instead of a couple. Keeping the secret proves difficult, though.

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REVIEW: ‘On the Rocks’ is a delightful dramedy

On the rocks is a good way to order a margarita, and it’s also a phrase for when a relationship has issues. This movie is about the latter, although there are plenty of drinks featured.

Writer and director Sofia Coppola has returned with her first film since 2017’s “The Beguiled.” Her latest picture focuses on Laura (Rashida Jones), a woman who’s trying to overcome writer’s block while also raising her daughters.

Additionally, Laura is having some trouble communicating with her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans), as he’s often out of town for  business  trips. Laura’s father Felix (Bill Murray) sees this as suspicious, though. As a result, the two begin discussing whether or not there’s an affair going on.

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REVIEW: ‘Then Came You’ is neither compelling nor comedic

This is one of those films with some good ideas at play, but in need of stronger execution.

Kathie Lee Gifford, who also wrote the script, stars as Annabelle. A recent widower, Annabelle has decided to travel the world with the ashes of her deceased spouse, and the first destination is in rural Scotland.

There, she stays at a historic building-turned inn, which is operated by a man named Howard (Craig Ferguson). The two come from different backgrounds and at first don’t get along. However, the two grow closer as time goes on.

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REVIEW: ‘Babysitter’ sequel is a disappointment

The first “Babysitter” certainly left things open for a sequel. Having watched part two, though, one wishes they left it at just one film.

“Killer Queen” starts two years after the first movie, and once again, Cole (Judah Lewis) is the main character. While he survived the deadly encounter from the first picture, though, and gained some confidence in the process, no one really believes him about what happened.

Now a high school student who doesn’t really fit in, Cole is having struggles, especially with no one trusting his word. He gets his chance to win over high school crowds, though, when he attends a lake party. Unfortunately, Cole soon finds out that some of his friends are in the same demonic cult that was featured in the first picture.

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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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