Will Ferrell is back with another silly character and this time he’s joined by Rachel McAdams in the co-leading role.
Ferrell portrays Lars while McAdams stars as Sigrit, with the two forming the music duo Fire Saga in this feature from Netflix. The two aren’t exactly the best musicians, and their skills have only earned them local gigs in their small Icelandic fishing town. Despite a lack of superstar success, though, Lars still has a dream of competing, and ultimately winning, the Eurovision Song Contest.
In the movie, Fire Saga finally gets their chance, as they sort of stumble their way into the contest, representing Iceland in the process. Upon their arrival, Lars and Sigrit meet their competitors and learn about how much of a challenge it will be.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Eurovision’ doesn’t have enough laughs to carry it for two hours”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Irresistible’ is irritating”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘You Should Have Left’ squanders potential”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘7500’ offers thrills in close quarters”
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).
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Da 5 Bloods’ falters due to storytelling”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Assistant’ is a superb film”
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a Happy Madison production, since I haven’t really kept up with the studio’s move to Netflix. I have to say, the quality hasn’t really changed, and that’s not a good thing.
David Spade stars as Tim in “The Wrong Missy.” The film starts out with him going on a blind date that turns out to be a disaster. The person he goes on a date with is Missy (Lauren Lapkus), who is completely coco for Cocoa Puffs. The date is so bad it actually turns him off from dating for a while.
However, during a business trip, Tim meets another woman named Missy, which is short for Melissa, (Molly Sims) and the two immediately hit it off. They share interests and have an easy time chatting with each other. The two eventually exchange numbers and Tim likes her so much that he wants to invite her on a company retreat to a tropical island. The only problem is he mixes up the phone numbers and invites (gasp) the wrong Missy! Comedy is allegedly supposed to ensue.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Wrong Missy’ is a miserable comedy”
Late night talk radio about UFOs is always a good time, so much so that the late host Art Bell made a career out of it with his show “Coast to Coast AM.”
That concept can now be enjoyed in movie form, too, thanks to this enjoyable indie thriller.
“The Vast of Night” takes place in a small New Mexico town in the 1950s and centers on two characters. One is Fay (Sierra McCormick), a switchboard phone operator, and the other is Everett (Jake Horowitz), a radio station DJ. Both teens are working the night of a big basketball game, so the town is rather quiet. As she’s connecting phone lines, though, Fay hears a frantic caller, and later a strange sound coming through the system.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Vast of Night’ is a stirring film about radio worth tuning in for”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The High Note’ doesn’t earn a high score”
The latest big screen adaptation of “Scooby Doo” isn’t flawless, but it was a refreshing cinematic experience after those terrible live action pictures from the 2000s.
The first minutes of “Scoob” serve as an origin story, showing how Shaggy (Will Forte) met his dog and best friend Scooby Doo (Frank Welker). A short time later, they meet three other kids, Fred (Zac Efron), Daphne (Amanda Seyfried) and Velma (Gina Rodriguez). After the group uncovers a plot involving a fake haunted house, they continue hanging out and become Mystery Inc.
The movie then shifts to the present day where the crew is finding more success, but Shaggy and Scooby are feeling left out. When the two get separated from the other three, they get roped into a mission to save the world by the hero Blue Falcon (Mark Wahlberg) and his robot dog Dynomutt (Ken Jeong). Eventually, the combined Blue Falcon squad and Mystery crew have to team up to take down the villain Dick Dastardly.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Scoob’ doesn’t have full charm of classic series, but still satisfies”