Nikola Tesla is a man whose legacy has nearly made him into a sort of mythical figure. This film, directed by Michael Almereyda, attempts to capture Tesla’s career with an artistic flair.
“Tesla” follows the titular character, played by Ethan Hawke, in the middle of a corporate competition between Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) and George Westinghouse (Jim Gaffigan). The two are trying to take hold of the electric industry and Tesla’s ideas are coming into play.
However, unlike those two, Tesla was thinking ahead of just the competition of electricity. As the film shows, he has a lot of ideas that go beyond just lighting a bulb.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Tesla’ is far from terrific”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘On the Rocks’ is a delightful dramedy”
In most court movies, there’s just one defendant on trial. This Netflix release gives seven for the price of one.
Written and directed by Aaron Sorkin, “Trial of the Chicago 7” takes place in the aftermath of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. On the outside of the convention were large protests, and following the political event, eight were charged by the government for inciting riots.
The defendants included Tom Hayden (Eddie Redmayne), Alex Sharp (Rennie Davis), Abbie Hoffman (Sacha Baron Cohen), Jeremy Strong (Jerry Rubin), John Lynch (David Dellinger), Lee Weiner (Noah Robbins), John Froines (Daniel Flaherty) and Bob Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II). During the trial, though, Seale’s case was severed and the defendant list went to seven. The federal prosecutor in the case is Tom Foran (J.C. MacKenzie) while the main lawyer for the defense is William Kunstler (Mark Rylance).
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Chicago 7’ is a compelling look at justice and politics, despite flaws”
This film features an amazing true story about brave individuals who volunteered to do daring work to hold back the German war machine in some of the darkest days for Europe in World War II.
One just wishes the movie was less dull.
The picture introduces British intelligence officer Vera Atkins (Stana Katic), who recruits candidates to help the French resistance communicate with each other and plan sabotage efforts. To do so, Atkins recruits Virginia Hall (Sarah Megan Thomas) and Noor Inayat Khan (Radhika Apte).
Atkins has the two young women go to two sections of France, with Khan focusing on radio communications and Hall planning sabotage efforts. Doing so isn’t easy, though, with Germany’s occupation forces everywhere.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘A Call to Spy’ is sadly underwhelming”
Julianne Moore was already partly ready for this role, as just a couple years earlier she played another character named Gloria in “Gloria Bell.”
The Gloria in this movie, though, is the real life Gloria Steinem. In this biopic, written and directed by Julie Taymor, the influential women’s rights advocate is played by several actresses, as the film explores multiple periods of Steinem’s life.
The audience gets to see Steinem’s experiences in childhood, her early jobs as a journalist, and later her involvement with ERA passage efforts. Along with insight into her career works, the film dives into many of the relationships Steinem had, from family to friends.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Glorias’ is scattered but insightful”
This movie isn’t for the faint of heart. However, even those who can handle more intense films can probably avoid “The Devil All the Time.”
The picture takes place in rural America, with settings in both Ohio and West Virginia. The movie centers mainly on Arvin (Tom Holland), a young man who grew up in a difficult environment and often has to look out for his surrogate family.
Along with Arvin, the film gives attention to several other characters, with many of them doing a plethora of awful acts. As the film progresses, these characters begin to cross paths.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Devil All the Time’ offers little more than gratuitous brutality”
In July I founded the Minnesota Film Critics Alliance and one of the best parts of doing so has been connecting with really talented people.
One of them is Ruth Maramis, who reviews films at FlixChatter. Her movie-related work doesn’t end there, though.
Maramis was also an executive producer and the writer for the short film “Hearts Want.” Since its release, the picture has picked up recognition from several film festivals.
Continue reading “A Minnesota-made movie: ‘Hearts Want’ review”
OK, I can handle the teenage angst, but when pseudo-intellectual babble is poured on top, it becomes too much.
“Chemical Hearts” centers on the character Henry (Austin Abrams), a senior who becomes the editor of the school newspaper in his final year. As the fall semester gets started, he meets a new student, Grace (Lili Reinhart), who joins the newspaper team.
Grace walks with a cane, as she has an apparent leg injury and keeps to herself for the most part. Henry, though, wants to get to know her and as time goes on, begins to form a relationship with Grace. However, she’s still dealing with trauma from an event in her past.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Chemical Hearts’ hindered by screenplay”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘I Used to Go Here’ is a charming indie dramedy”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Summerland’ slumps after strong start, but still good overall”