The Prince of Bel-Air has ascended to a higher monarch level, now having the title of king.
Will Smith is Richard Williams in this new sports drama, the father of tennis greats Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena Williams (Demi Singleton) who had the nickname of King Richard in Compton, Calif. The film begins with Richard helping his daughters with tennis practices, and making an effort to find them a professional coach, as he knows their potential.
From there, the movie follows how Richard worked to advance his daughters’ talents, while also halting their careers from advancing too fast. The movie also explores how Richard got along with Venus’ coaches and his marriage with Oracene Williams (Aunjanue Ellis).
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘King Richard’ can please crowds but could have been more”
Unlike the 2016 “Ghostbusters,” which was a reboot, this latest film serves as a direct sequel, set decades after the events of the 1989 picture.
The movie introduces viewers to Callie (Carrie Coon), the daughter of Dr. Egon Spengler, and her two children, Phoebe (Mckenna Grace) and Trevor (Finn Wolfhard). At the movie’s outset, Dr. Spengler passes away and the death notice is sent to Callie. After the update, Callie and her kids travel to rural Oklahoma, where Spengler left a farmstead to his family.
Upon arrival, Callie and Trevor are mostly unimpressed by the small town and rundown house. However, Phoebe, who’s interested in science, begins finding Ghostbuster equipment and her interest is piqued even more as there are several abnormal earthquakes in the area. To investigate what’s going on, Phoebe teams up with one of her classmates, who simply goes by “Podcast” because he produces one (Logan Kim).
Continue reading “REVIEW: Lead performance and fun adventure push ‘Afterlife’ above average”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The French Dispatch’ is a delightful dramedy”
The 1920s are brought to life in this new Netflix feature, with a black and white look reminiscent of movies from the era.
“Passing” stars Tessa Thompson as Irene, a light-skinned black woman who lives in Harlem with with her husband, an African American doctor (Andre Holland), and two sons. The movie picks up with Irene out and about one day where she runs into a friend from high school.
That friend is Clare (Ruth Negga), who is African American, but because of her light skin and blonde hair, “passes” as white. The film explores the friendship between Clare and Irene, and how it relates to race and class.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Passing’ swings for the fences, but it’s a miss for Netflix”
Diana, Princess of Wales, has been portrayed on screen for decades, in everything from TV movies to the critically acclaimed series “The Crown.”
Perhaps no film has featured a portrayal as intimate and powerful as the one in “Spencer,” though.
Kristen Stewart stars as Princess Diana, who’s joining the rest of the British Royal Family in Norfolk at the Sandringham Estate for the holidays in 1991. The film follows Diana closely, from Christmas Eve through Boxing Day, showcasing her strained relationship with the rest of her family, her struggles with mental health and commitment to be a strong parent for her sons.
Where “Spencer” differs from other biopics about Princess Diana and other films about the royals is the hyper-focus. The movie centers nearly exclusively on Diana, and what she has to go through.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Spencer’ is a master class character study”
The beginnings of the Northern Ireland Conflict are shown at a humble, micro-level, through the eyes of a young boy in this new film from Kenneth Brannagh.
The film is somewhat autobiographical, as Brannagh, who wrote and directed, grew up in Belfast, before his family relocated as the situation was heating up. The movie is told from the perspective of Buddy (Jude Hill), who lives with his family, which includes brother Will (Lewis McAskie), mother (Caitriona Balfe) and father (Jamie Dornan).
While his mother is always present, his father is mostly home just on the weekends, as he works as a contractor in England. The work situation comes into play heavily during the movie, as Buddy’s father sees moving the whole family to England as a good option with tensions heating in Northern Ireland.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Belfast’ is a relatable, enjoyable black and white feature”
Those who loved the scene in Django Unchained where a shootout had a 2Pac song playing over it should find a lot of enjoyment in this Netflix feature.
The protagonist of “They Fall” is Nat Love (Jonathan Majors), an outlaw who saw his parents killed in front of him as a young boy. Since then, he’s made it a priority to take out the people responsible, and by the time the movie gets underway, there’s just one left.
That individual is the dangerous criminal Rufus Buck (Idris Elba), who at the beginning of the film is imprisoned. However, during a train stick-up, Rufus is released. With news of Buck’s release spreading, Nat decides to go after the criminal and his gang with a group of outlaws he’s friends with.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Harder they Fall’ is full of western fun”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘CODA’ delivers with humor and plenty of heart”
Director Chloé Zhao had had a great track record with 2017’s “The Rider” and last year’s “Nomadland,” the latter winning Academy Awards.
Unfortunately, her venture into the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t as good.
This MCU entry features characters older than all of the heroes audiences have been introduced to since 2008. Those characters are the Eternals, a race of warriors with special powers created by a being known as Arishem. Their purpose is to protect life across the cosmos from dark creatures known as Deviants.
Their latest mission brought them to Earth at the dawn of humanity, where they defended mankind for centuries from Deviants across the planet. The movie picks up with the Eternals in the present day, living among humanity and waiting for future orders from Arishem. However, their now normal lives are upended when the Deviants, long thought defeated, come back.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Eternals’ is a low grade MCU entry”
“Titane” is the French term for “titanium,” one of the strongest metals on Earth.
With that in consideration, the title “Titane” makes sense, as metal and strength are often tied to masculinity, which plays a major role in this feature.
The main character of the movie is Alexia (Agathe Rousselle), a young woman who works as an exotic dancer at a car show. Alexia seems mostly closed off, and has been so since she was a young girl, when a serious car accident resulted in her needing metal plates inserted.
As the first act reveals, though, Alexia has a dark hobby outside of her main dancing, job. This aspect of her life, as well as a sexual encounter she has one night after work, forces her to make a major change in her life, to the point where she has to assume a different identity. However, this action only leads to more complications.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Quality is clear in ‘Titane’ but enjoyment can be modest”