REVIEW: ‘Irresistible’ is irritating

I have a lot of respect for Jon Stewart. He made me laugh on a nightly basis with his show. But wow does he get local politics wrong.

Stewart writes and directs this feature starring Steve Carell as a political strategist for the Democratic Party named Gary Zimmer. Gary works out of Washington D.C. and mainly focuses on national races. After having a successful career, though, Gary is left rather down following the election of 2016 which was disastrous for Democrats.

He gets a spark of hope, though, when he sees a viral video of a man in rural Wisconsin making an impassioned speech about protecting benefits, such as SNAP. The man, who’s also a veteran, is viewed as the perfect Democrat to win in a more rural area of the country, and Gary decides to help him win a race for the small Wisconsin town’s mayoral seat. However, this also draws the attention of the national Republican party, and it sets up a big time political match in a small town not used to the Washington tactics.

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REVIEW: ‘You Should Have Left’ squanders potential

There are interesting concepts at play in “You Should Have Left,” but sadly, it doesn’t result in a great film.

Directed and written by David Koepp, “You Should Have Left” stars Kevin Bacon as Theo, a man who is planning to go on vacation with his wife Susanna (Amanda Seyfried) and her daughter Ella (Avery Essex). The vacation home they choose is a rather modern looking one in a rural area of Wales.

At first, it seems like the perfect spot to get away, with the house being spacious and the beautiful countryside out the window. However, as time goes on, details about Theo’s past and current relationship issues cause strain. On top of that, strange things start occurring in the seemingly perfect house.

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REVIEW: ‘7500’ offers thrills in close quarters

All of “7500” takes place within the small confines of a cockpit. Considering this film was made for just $5 million, doing so probably kept costs down. It also brought the tension up.

The film stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tobias, a co-pilot for a German airliner just leaving the airport. Joining Tobias in the cockpit is the Captain Michael (Carlo Kitzlinger), who’s the older, more experienced of the two. Meanwhile, working as a flight attendant is Tobias’ girlfriend Gökce (Aylin Tezel).

Tobias is a little stressed, as he and Gökce are house-hunting, but otherwise it seems like a routine flight. That is until the airplane is subject to a hijacking attempt. Tobias manages to keep the hijackers out of the cockpit and announce Code 7500 to air traffic controllers to let them know of the situation, but the terrorists begin taking hostages, making the situation tense.

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REVIEW: ‘Da 5 Bloods’ falters due to storytelling

Maybe Spike Lee should have used a five-part mini-series to tell the story of “Da 5 Bloods.”

This film, released recently on Netflix, is about four veterans who return to Vietnam decades after they fought in the war. The men who go to the country include Paul (Delroy Lindo), Otis (Clarke Peters), Eddie (Norm Lewis) and Melvin (Isiah Whitlock Jr.).

They journeyed to the country for two primary reasons. One is to return to the place where their friend and fellow soldier Norman (Chadwick Boseman) died to collect his remains and bring them back to the States. The other reason is to collect gold they found and buried there when they were soldiers. Joining them on this journey is Paul’s estranged son David (Jonathan Majors).

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REVIEW: ‘The Assistant’ is a superb film

This is a movie with fewer words than others, but it has a lot to say.

The movie follows the main character Jane (Julia Garner) as she goes about her day at work in a New York City film production company. Jane is one of three assistants working for the company’s boss, and she’s clearly at the bottom of the totem pole.

Along with working in a rather thankless job, Jane also begins to notice signs of sexual abuse taking place in the office. What’s worse is that many of her coworkers seem to have a level of awareness, but are largely staying quiet about the whole thing.

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Great movies about drama in the home

In day-to-day life, one’s home is a place to hang their hat and relax, or invite friends and family for an event.

In movies, though, a house can become a rather chaotic place, especially when it’s filled with different, and at times, conflicting personalities bouncing off each other. In certain flicks, it can even be a trap that one can’t escape from.

Considering most of us have been and will likely continue spending a lot of time at home because of the corornavirus pandemic situation, I decided to make a list all about films largely taking place at one house.

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REVIEW: Despite some good moments, ‘King of Staten Island’ can test patience

The King of Staten Island isn’t as cool of a title as The King of New York, but few people can be as cool as Christopher Walken.

While this 2020 movie has that title, main character Scott Carlin (Pete Davidson) is certainly no king. In this Judd Apatow-directed feature, Scott is a 24-year-old who lives with his mother Margie (Marisa Tomei) and isn’t a student attending college or working any job.

What Scott does instead is either get high with his friends, or work as an amateur tattoo artist. Much of this behavior is pinned to the death of Scott’s father, who was a firefighter who died in the line of duty. His way of life is challenged, though, when his sister Claire (Maude Apatow) moves to college and his mother begins a relationship with another person working in New York City’s Fire Department, Ray (Bill Burr).

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REVIEW: ‘The High Note’ doesn’t earn a high score

This movie may be called “The High Note,” but it never does anything to elevate itself above other flicks in the genre.

The movie stars Dakota Johnson as Maggie, a young woman who works as an assistant to Grace (Tracee Ellis Ross). Grace is a music legend who’s had plenty of hits over her great career. However, lately, her manager Jack (O’Shea “Ice Cube” Jackson) and others want her to start scaling back, doing just best hits albums and singing at events in Las Vegas. Grace believes she can still make new, great songs, though, and since she produces music at an amateur level as a hobby, Maggie wants to help.

Meanwhile, Maggie also meets David (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) in the first act. David is a guy who seems to have a ton of musical potential, but appears completely content with doing small shows and simple gigs. Because of his potential, though, Maggie decides to try and help David create an album, too.

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REVIEW: Poor execution short-circuits ‘The Current War’

The intense competition between innovators and businessmen to expand the energy industry across the United States is an interesting subject, but unfortunately, isn’t well displayed in this feature.

“The Current War” mainly focuses on a time period where George Westinghouse’s (Michael Shannon) company went head-to-head with the business owned by Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch). The movie explores how both men approached the subject, with Edison seeking a legacy of discovery while Westinghouse was trying to build an empire.

As the situation between the two escalates, more players come into the game, such as futurist Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) and Edison’s assistant Samuel Insull (Tom Holland). Their influence in the business race is also displayed here.

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REVIEW: Banderas is consistently marvelous in ‘Pain and Glory’

Director and writer Pedro Almodovar took inspiration from his own life to craft this impassioned piece of cinema.

Antonio Banderas plays the main character, Salvador Mallo, in “Pain and Glory.” Mallo is an aging filmmaker who’s well known for his talents, but hasn’t made a hit in some time. As he’s become older, both his career and body have slowed down, with the latter causing him back pains.

Additionally, Mallo has become addicted to drugs. His most recent troubles coincides with his meeting again with past colleagues and reflecting deeply on his own past.

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