REVIEW: Paul Thomas Anderson serves up one of year’s best with ‘Licorice Pizza’

Sometimes a good movie will introduce a new talent on screen.

It’s an even bigger treat when two new performers are introduced and give stellar performances.

That’s the case with “Licorice Pizza,” where first time performers Cooper Hoffman and Alana Haim star. Hoffman plays Gary, a teen actor with a ton of ambition. Despite being 15, Gary has a knack for hustling with small business schemes.

The film picks up in 1973, with Gary meeting Haim’s character Alana, a 25-year-old photography assistant. The two form an initial bond and from there, start working together on Gary’s business ideas. The film follows their relationship through the ups and downs of their lives during the summer months.

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REVIEW: Don’t look at the screen when ‘Don’t Look Up’ is on

So, this movie sure got people talking.

“Don’t Look Up” is the latest feature from director/writer Adam McKay, and centers on a scenario where there’s a comet headed toward Earth. The scientists who discover the comet, Randall (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Kate (Jennifer Lawrence) immediately inform the federal government after their discovery, with the hope that action is taken.

Unfortunately, they’re not exactly met with a warm welcome at the White House. The president, played by Meryl Streep, is much more concerned with optics and doesn’t particularly trust scientific evidence. As a result, Randall and Kate have to try to work with an ineffective head of state, while also trying to get air-time in a world where’s there’s apparently just one television show.

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REVIEW: ‘The French Dispatch’ is a delightful dramedy

Rock Chalk meets French culture in this new film from Wes Anderson.

“The French Dispatch” refers to an insert section for the Evening Sun newspaper in Liberty, Kansas. In the movie, a situation happens where the French dispatch will have to suspend production.

For the last publication, the paper republishes three important articles written by a trio of reporters. The film from there with an anthology approach, following how each reporter researched and interviewed for the stories.

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REVIEW: ‘CODA’ delivers with humor and plenty of heart

Sometimes a movie comes along and reinvigerates a person’s appreciation for a genre.

That’s what “CODA” has done for coming of age/teen drama films.

The title of the movie is an acryonym, meaning Child of Deaf Adults. The main character is Ruby (Emilia Jones), a teenager whose parents Frank (Troy Kotsur) Jackie (Marlee Matlin), as well as her brother Leo (Daniel Durant) are all deaf. On top of attending school, Ruby helps in the family fishing business, working on the boat and acting as a sign language interpretor for sales.

During her time at home, Ruby is a music lover and she expresses this on the boat with her singing. This inspires her to take up choir in her senior year of high school, where the film picks up. The movie then follows how she has to balance her job and her singing lessons, as well as her family’s reaction to her doing something they can’t enjoy or enage with.

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REVIEW: ‘Dream Horse’ won’t be in award races, but it can still please viewers

The races featured in “Dream Horse” aren’t related to the American Triple Crown competitions, but it still feels like the right time to watch this flick.

“Dream Horse” takes place in a small town in Wales and revolves around a group of residents who decide to invest in a racing thoroughbred. Mainly, the movie follows Jan (Toni Collette), the woman who comes up with the idea and convinces other community members to pitch in.

Together, they breed a horse and because it was a group of residents coming aligning for a cause, they name it Dream Alliance. The proposal initially seems like a risky gamble until Dream Alliance becomes a success on the track.

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REVIEW: ‘Together Together’ triumphs with sweet, funny relationship

An odd couple is usually reliable to make a comedy movie work, and that’s certainly the case with “Together Together.”

The two main characters, Anna (Patti Harrison) and Matt (Ed Helms) aren’t a romantic couple, but instead have another element bringing them together. Matt, who’s in his 40s, is looking to become a father and Anna, in her late 20s, was selected as the surrogate mother.

The movie takes place over the course of the pregnancy, following how Anna wants to keep more of a distance, while Matt is dedicated to helping her with the pregnancy for the betterment of his child and Anna herself.

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REVIEW: ‘Another Round’ finely captures society’s link with alcohol

The social enjoyment of having drinks among friends along with the negative impacts of alcohol are both explored nicely in this 2020 foreign film.

A movie from Denmark, “Another Round” follows four friends: Martin (Mads Mikkelsen), Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen), Nikolaj (Magnus Millang) and Peter (Lars Ranthe). All of them are middle-aged high school teachers who have settled down.

However, for their own reasons, they all appear to be stuck in a bit of a rut in their lives. Soon after celebrating Martin’s birthday, the four come across a university study that states humans have a blood alcohol level that is actually too low. With that in mind, they decide to put the study to the test and start having a few drinks during the day to see if they’ll function better.

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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: ‘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: ‘On the Rocks’ is a great comeback for Coppola

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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