After a long, strange year and a mostly-virtual award season, 2020 in film is about to officially come to a close.
While 2020 obviously wasn’t a great year, there were still some great films made by several talented artists.
In the end, I got 17 right and six wrong in my predictions.
Continue reading “93rd Academy Award Predictions Vs Winners”
If there’s one thing this movie has in common with other “Mortal Kombat” films, it’s Raiden basically not fighting at all despite being a playable character in the games.
So this is another Hollywood shot at adapting the “Mortal Kombat” game franchise after an alright attempt in the 90s, which was followed by an abysmal sequel. In this latest attempt, the main character is Cole Young (Lewis Tan). Not actually featured in the game, Cole is an original character who gets by as a fighter who’s all about offense with very little defense.
One night after taking another loss, he’s attacked by a warrior well known as Sub Zero (Joe Taslim), who’s hunting him and other great fighters from Earth. Sub Zero is doing this under the orders of the evil Shang Tsung (Chin Han), who wants to eliminate Earth’s best warriors to carve an easy path to a 10th Mortal Kombat Tournament victory, which would allow his realm to conquer the world.
To fight back, Cole is brought into a group with other Earth fighters who are determined to stop Tsung.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Outside of the action, ‘Mortal Kombat’ falls flat”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Another Round’ finely captures society’s link with alcohol”
The Academy Awards sometimes gets a bad rap for being a night where Hollywood “pats itself on the back.”
While that does happen, though, the Oscars do play another important role. It shines a spotlight on films that can sometimes go under the radar. This is especially true for documentaries, which are often not found at major movie theaters that people go to on a Friday night.
Continue reading “Oscar Docs: A Look at the nominees”
Here’s a horror movie that actually would have been better off had it not been a horror. At least not such a straightforward one.
“The Unholy” stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Gerry. A disgraced journalist with a history of fabricating stories, Gerry now works as a of paranormal reporter. He travels around to write about UFO sightings and haunting to make some cash. His latest story brings him to a small Massachusetts town, but unfortunately, the supposed subject ends up being dud.
However, as luck would have it, Gerry discovers an interesting artifact near a rural church. Following his discovery, a young girl named Alice (Cricket Brown), who’s been deaf all her life, can suddenly hear and talk perfectly. According to her, she can communicate with the Virgin Mary and begins performing miracle healings. Her miracles begin drawing a lot of positive attention, but while this is happening, Gerry starts to notice sinister signs.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Unholy’ squanders potential with horror cliches”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘French Exit’ is a dramedy failure”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Coming 2 America’ offers an enjoyable reunion”
More than a decade has passed since “Cloverfield” was released in 2008. Since then we’ve had another new monster tale in “Pacific Rim” and some returning stars such as when Godzilla returned in 2014.
Finally, this year, two of the most famous movie monsters went toe-to-toe. It’s a shame that all these years later, this film featuring the fight is on the lower end of recent movies in the genre.
As the title of this film clearly implies, the giant lizard with atomic breath Godzilla takes on the mega ape Kong. The movie takes place in the Monsterverse, where Kong has lived secluded on Skull Island, while Godzilla has become more well known, having defeated Ghidorah in 2019’s “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.”
In this film, Nathan Lind (Alexander Skarsgard) is recruited by a company to bring Kong to the Hollow Earth, which exists beneath the Earth’s surface. Nathan is informed that doing so could lead titans such as Kong and Godzilla to live in the Hollow Earth area and prevent more destruction on the surface.
To pull off the mission, Dr. Ilene Andrews (Rebecca Hall), who studies Kong, is brought in to help. They begin moving Kong toward the entrance to the Hollow Earth in Antarctica. However, Kong’s presence outside of Skull Island draws Godzilla’s attention and the two end up meeting with a desire to determine which titan is king.
Continue reading “REVIEW: There’s not much for the audience to win in ‘Godzilla vs Kong’”
The spy game is always a dangerous one to to play. It’s Benedict Cumberbatch’s turn to learn that lesson in this new historical drama.
Cumberbatch plays Greville Wynne in “The Courier,” a film that takes place during one of the most tense periods of the Cold War. Wynne is British salesman who often travels for work. Along with visiting neighboring countries, Wynne also travels to some Eastern Bloc nations.
Because of his ability to do business in the Soviet area, Wynne is recruited by the CIA and MI6 to go to Russia and meet with an informant. He’s told by the agencies that he is only to visit the informant, Oleg Penkovsky (Merab Ninidze), and return documents to MI6, appearing as just a regular salesman conducting business However, with the Cuban Missile situation nearing, surveillance of what Wynne is doing begins to increase.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Courier’ is an interesting, but not game changing spy thriller”
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”