Stephen King is an iconic writer but the adaptations of his work have a tendency to be hit or miss. This new “Firestarter” movie is definitely one of the latter.
Zac Efron and Sydney Lemmon play parents of a daughter with a unique ability in the film. Their child, Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong), has the ability to spontaneously create fire with her mind, although she can’t manage to fully control the power.
While her power is unique, though, her having an ability isn’t, as both her parents are also able to control things with their mind. This has put a target on the family by an organization set on controlling people with special powers. With Charlie’s powers more based on high emotions, it puts her family in a dangerous position, as their cover of being normal residents may be blown.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Firestarter’ is a faulty King adaptation”
The Chicago crime scene of years gone by is brought to life on a small scale in this bottle film.
Graham Moore makes his feature directorial debut with “The Outfit,” which centers on Leonard (Mark Rylance), an Englishman who owns a tailor shop in Chicago. The film’s protagonist runs an honest business, with the help of his secretary Mable (Zoey Deutch).
However, he has also set up a post box at his establishment used by crime organizations to communication. One night, this decision becomes a problem, as mafia members who’re customers of Leonard’s store begin using the shop as a place to go during a gang war. Leonard is then placed in a tense situation with dangerous men.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Visually appealing ‘Outfit’ bogged down by plotting issues”
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.
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“The Worst Person in the World” is far from the worst movie in the world.
This film, from Norway, stars Renate Reinsve as Julie, a young woman who’s having trouble deciding what to do in life. The movie starts with Julie studying to become a doctor, before switching majors to psychology. Early on in the movie, she does this again, deciding to pursue a career in photography.
Her romantic life is fairly similar. Early in the picture, she meets and begins a relationship with Aksel, a successful comic artist. As their relationship is humming along, though, she meets another man, Eivind (Herbert Nordrum). Like her academic career, Julie feels herself being pulled in more than one direction romantically.
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Peter Dinklage should’ve been an Oscar contender.
Based on a 2018 stage musical, which itself was based on the 1897 play “Cyrano de Bergerac,” the film “Cyrano” tells the story of the titular character portrayed by Dinklage. Cyrano is a writer, poet, performer and even a cunning swordsman. Despite his talents, though, he can’t bring himself to confess his love for his friend from childhood, Roxanne (Haley Bennett). This is because of his own self doubt related to his appearance.
His complicated romantic situation is only compounded when Roxanne, who’s expected to marry the duke De Guiche (Ben Mendelsohn), announces her love for a soldier named Christian (Kelvin Harrison Jr.). Wanting to make his love happy, Cyrano decides to help Christian write letters to Roxanne, as the solider is also in love with her.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Cyrano’ is a sensational musical”
A new generation is welcomed to the world as a previous one is remembered in “Parallel Mothers,” a 2021 drama from Spain.
Directed and written by Pedro Almodovar, “Parallel Mothers” centers on Janis (Penelope Cruz), a photographer who also holds an interest in her family’s history. Specifically, she wants to excavate a mass grave in her home village in rural Spain, where her great-grandfather was killed during the Spanish Civil War.
She eventually meets Arturo (Israel Elejalde), an archaeologist who agrees to help with the project. The two also begin a relationship and Janis soon becomes pregnant. During her time in the hospital, Janis meets a young woman, Ana (Milena Smit), who’s also set to be a new mother. In the time after they give birth, something happens that continues to link the two women going forward.
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One of 2021’s longest films is also one of the year’s best.
“Drive My Car,” a Japanese film, centers on Yusuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima), a former TV actor who now works in stage productions. In the film, Yusuke has been hired as the stage director for a show in another city.
There, the company he works for has arranged for a driver, Misaki (Toko Mirua), to shuttle him across town. Over the course of the film, Yusuke and Misaki begin to form a friendship and discuss their pasts that still weigh on them.
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I felt like I was drinking a 40 oz in the auditorium, because this film has a whole lot of Olde English.
Based on William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth,” “Tragedy” was written and directed by Joel Coen, with Denzel Washington playing the titular character. The film is a fairly straightforward retelling of the story, with Washington’s Lord Macbeth having a vision of ascending to the throne of Scotland.
That prophecy becomes fulfilled, and as the story goes, Macbeth’s reign turns out to be a difficult one. Soon after he takes the crown, he becomes paranoid and begins taking actions that only lead to more trouble.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Technically sound ‘Tragedy of Macbeth’ too inaccessible at times”
While “Mass” is simply a film with four people in a room having a conversation, it has more tension than most of the other movies released in 2021.
“Mass” is about a meeting between two sets of parents whose children were involved in a school shooting. Jay (Jason Isaacs) and Gail (Martha Plimpton) are parents who lost their son in the incident.
Linda (Ann Dowd) and Richard (Reed Birney), meanwhile, are the parents of the shooter, who also died during the event. Over the course of the film, the two discuss what led to the school shooting and how it has impacted them.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Mass’ is an emotionally charged film with a great ensemble”
Nicholas Cage has had ups and downs in his career over the last decade, with some real lows in there (“Season of the Witch”), but he shows in this movie that he still has the acting prowess that won him an Oscar in the 90s.
Cage stars as Rob in “Pig,” a man who lives a secluded life in the Pacific northwest. He spends his days hunting for truffles with his foraging pig, and sells his finds to a single buyer, Amir (Alex Wolff), for simple supplies.
His day-to-day routine is shattered, though, when his pig is stolen in the middle of the night. With a reluctant Amir providing assistance, Rob sets out to get his pig back by any means necessary. However, his journey takes him back to a world he left behind, digging up his past in the process.
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