REVIEW: ‘Promising Young Woman’ is pinnacle revenge filmmaking

Some take vengeance in a swift manner, while others take the long approach with a more calculated plan.

“Promising Young Woman” is about the latter, and it makes for one of 2020’s best films.

Cassandra is the main character of the movie, and is portrayed by Carey Mulligan. A medical school dropout, Cassandra lives at home with her parents and works at a quaint coffee shop. By night, though, she plays a different role. Her evenings are spent in clubs, where she pretends to be drunk until a sleazy guy decides to take her to their home. Once there, she reveals that she’s actually sober and revels in their guilt.

By the start of the film, Cassandra seems to have been doing this for a while. Her drive is the memory of her friend, who was raped in college and also dropped out before passing away. As the first act gets underway, Cassandra discovers ways she can get back directly at those who wronged her friend, as well as those who didn’t listen to her story after. At the same time, she also reconnects with another old friend from med school.

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REVIEW: ‘One Night in Miami’ is a magnificent movie

A night where Ali was fighting was probably already exciting. But what takes place in this movie between the legendary boxer and three others was extraordinary.

“One Night in Miami” is set in 1964 and mostly takes place after Muhammad Ali, then Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) wins the heavyweight title. Following the fight, Clay meets up with activist Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), singer Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and NFL running back Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge). On top of celebrating Clay’s win, the night also marks a turning point, where the champ is going to announce that he’s joining the Nation of Islam.

Clay’s decision then sparks debate and conversations between the four men about politics, the Civil Rights Movement and the extent to which artists and athletes should get involved. The movie features the four both finding common ground and having complete disagreements.

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REVIEW: ‘Pieces of a Woman’ is a profound portrayal of grief

Sometimes, a person’s life can fall to pieces. That’s certainly the case here, so the title is appropriate.

Vanessa Kirby plays Martha in “Pieces of a Woman,” a new movie now streaming on Netflix. The movie opens with Martha going into labor, with her partner Sean (Shia LaBeouf) at her side. Instead of going to a hospital, the two have opted to hire a midwife and deliver the baby at home.

Sadly, shortly after the birth, there are complications and their baby dies. The film then explores how the two, especially Martha, go through the grieving process and deal with the aftermath, which ranges from legal action against the midwife to uncomfortable conversations with family members about the situation.

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REVIEW: ‘Shadow in the Cloud’ soars with fun action

Chloe Grace Moretz’s characters always seem to find themselves in dangerous situations. There’s no exception in “Shadow in the Cloud.”

Moretz plays Maude in “Shadow,” an air officer who boards a bomber in the Pacific Theater of World War II under orders to deliver a package. As soon as she gets on the plane, she’s met with resistance from the bombing crew, but they allow her to fly with them because of her commanding officer’s orders.

Because they didn’t really want her to come on the trip, though, they have her sit in the lower ball turret compartment for the flight. Maude accepts where she’s at and just tries to go along with the ride for a time. However, dangers begin appearing in the skies. Not only are there Japanese fighters in the midst, Maude also soon comes face-to-face with a gremlin creature working to dismantle pieces of the plane.

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REVIEW: ‘Sylvie’s Love’ lacks romantic spark

Tessa Thompson trades the superhero genre for a romantic drama in this new Amazon film.

Thompson stars as the titular main character in “Sylvie’s Love.” At the start of the movie, Sylvie is working at her father’s record store where she meets Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha), a member of a jazz band in which he plays the saxophone.

The group is still looking for their big break so Robert decides to work at the record store to make extra money. After a short while,  Robert and Sylvie grow closer and a romance develops. However, their career ambitions and other personal commitments keep them from fully coming together for several years.

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REVIEW: ‘Ma Rainey’s story doesn’t translate well to Netflix

Netflix’s latest picture takes audiences back to the Roaring 20s with a Blues tale based on a play.

Viola Davis plays the titular character here, who was a real life singer. Gertrude “Ma” Rainey was a woman with several hits during the 1920s, including “Black Bottom.”

This movie picks up with her and her band visiting a Chicago office to record that song and others for an album. The movie follows Ma’s experiences, and her band members’, such as Levee (Chadwick Boseman) as the recording session goes on.

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REVIEW: ‘Wolfwalkers’ is a wonderful film with a sweet story

This movie is about the legendary Wolfwalkers, not to be confused with the Timberwolf Walkers, who mainly gather at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

This animated feature takes place in an Irish city during the 1600s and follows a young girl named Robyn (Honor Kneafsey). Robyn’s father Bill (Sean Bean), has been tasked by the city’s ruler (Simon McBurney), to eliminate the area’s wolves, which have threatened livestock and people alike.

Wanting to follow in her father’s footsteps, Robyn also wants to go out and hunt. When she attempts this, though, she comes face to face with the dangerous wolves. However, she is protected by a young girl, Mebh (Eva Whittaker), who has a connection to the wolves. It turns out that Mebh is a wolfwalker who can take the form of the wolf at night. After meeting the two become friends.

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Top 10 Worst Movies of 2020

We’re finally at the end of 2020. Hallelujah.

This year put us through a lot of changes, including how we watch movies. However, despite much more film viewing happening at home, one thing stayed consistent.

Like others years, 2020 offered some bad movies, some of which made it to the big screen and others only available in the living room. Here are my picks for the worst the year had to offer.

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REVIEW: ‘Soul’ is mostly a sour experience

Pete Docter is no stranger to emotional animated features, having directed “Up” and “Inside Out.” He makes another attempt at one in his latest picture, “Soul.”

Jamie Foxx voices Joe in “Soul,” a middle-aged jazz artist and part-time music teacher. One day as he’s about to get a gig he’s been waiting for, he accidentally falls down a manhole. As a result, Joe has an out-of-body experience where his soul travels to a gateway to what’s called the Great Beyond.

Opting not to go, he instead takes another path. There he ends up in the Great Before, where souls form before going to Earth. Not long after his arrival, he meets a stubborn soul named 22 (Tina Fey), who doesn’t find Earth too appealing. The two end up having to work together as the plot develops, though.

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REVIEW: ‘Wonder Woman’ sequel mostly falls flat

Before fighting Doomsday and Steppenwolf, Wonder Woman emerged in the 80s to battle corporate greed.

“Wonder Woman 1984” opens with the Amazon warrior now fighting crime while also working at the Smithsonian. At her job, where she goes by Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), she meets a researcher named Barbara (Kristen Wiig). Early in the movie, Barbara comes across a stone that supposedly grants wishes.

Barbara, who’s rather insecure, wishes to be just like Diana. Diana, meanwhile, wishes for her lost love Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) to be resurrected. Despite thinking it’s just a legend, it turns out the stone actually works for the two. It also works for a desperate businessman named Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) who has aspirations of more power. These three wishes end up bringing the characters into conflict.

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