Longtime actress Maggie Gyllenhaal has made her feature directorial debut with this new Netflix film, and it’s a solid starting point.
Leda, portrayed by Olivia Colman, is the star of the “The Lost Daughter.” A writer and a professor, Leda is on a vacation in Greece during the film for some time to herself.
As she’s settling in, she meets another family who’s on vacation. As Leda begins to interact with the family more, mostly with the matriarch who has a young daughter, it causes her to look back on her own past, and the decisions she made as a parent.
Continue reading “REVIEW: The past looms large in quality Netflix entry ‘Lost Daughter’”
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.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Don’t look at the screen when ‘Don’t Look Up’ is on”
This movie and the new “Matrix” in a few weeks is only reinforcing my concern about a robot uprising.
As the title implies, this movie is about a family, named the Mitchells, taking on evil bots. While the whole family is included, though, the main focus is on Katie (Abbi Jacobson), a teen who’s preparing to go to college in California to study film. Her academic path has put her at odds with her dad Rick (Danny McBride), though, who’s never been interested in technology and enjoys the outdoors much more.
Knowing that he has one last chance to connect with his daughter before she leaves for school, Rick decides to take Katie, as well as his son Aaron (Michael Rianda) and wife Linda (Maya Rudolph) on a college move-in road trip. Unfortunately, their journey is interrupted by the robots who’re in the midst of a global takeover because of an A.I. gone bad.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Mitchells Vs The Machines’ never rises above mediocre”
Film is an interesting medium. Movies can be both an amazing piece of art and a product to make profit.
Sometimes, though, a movie feels too much like it’s just a product, and that’s how “Red Notice” comes across.
In this new Netflix movie, Dwayne Johnson stars as John Hartley, an FBI agent who’s working with Interpol to arrest one of the best art thieves in the world, Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds). Nolan’s latest target to steal is a rare Egyptian artifact, as only three of its kind exist in the world.
After a chase, both Nolan and John get set up by another art thief, who goes by The Bishop (Gal Gadot). Both are sent to prison, as John has been framed as an accomplice, and now must work together to take down Bishop and, potentially, get the Egyptian artifact in the process.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Despite star power, Netflix’s ‘Red Notice’ is a dud”
The concept of masculinity is explored and deconstructed in this new Netflix feature, set where the prairies meet the Rocky Mountains.
“Power of the Dog,” directed by Jane Campion, takes place during the 1920s in Montana. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Phil Burbank in the film, a tough cattle rancher with a rough personality.
While Phil seems mystified by the life of a rancher in the western side of the nation, his brother George (Jesse Plemons) is less fascinated by the cowboy career and has ambitions of settling down. He does just that when he meets and later marries a restaurant owner named Rose (Kirsten Dunst). The film then follows how Phil often finds himself at odds with the rest of his family.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Power of the Dog’ is a well crafted character study that digs deep”
The legacy of late composer Jonathan Larson is honored in this new Netflix feature, based on his own autobiographical musical, “Tick, Tick… Boom.”
Andrew Garfield stars as Larson in the movie, directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film has a framing device of Larson of performing “Tick, Tick… Boom” as a one man show, where he tells the story of himself in 1990, struggling to get a new production off the ground.
That production is “Superbia,” and the story Larson tells includes details about how he worked at a small diner, his strained relationships because of his focus on his work and how he grieved for friends he lost to the AIDS epidemic.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Tick, Tick… Boom’ is an enjoyable, touching tribute”
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”
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”
The title “Gunpowder Milkshake” makes sense, because like the cold drink, it’s an enjoyable summer treat.
Karen Gillan stars as Sam in “Milkshake,” a young woman who works as an assassin for a mysterious agency known only as The Firm. The agency is helmed by a man named Nathan (Paul Giamatti), who sends Sam out on her assignments.
While her latest mission seems straightforward, though, it turns out to be anything but. Caught in a conflict between two violent faction related to Sam’s assignment is a young girl named Emily (Chloe Coleman). Sam decides to get involved and protect Emily, but it only complicates things as hitmen are sent after her. In response, she looks to get help from her past.
Continue reading “REVIEW: While flawed, ‘Gunpowder Milkshake’ gives audiences a fun experience”
Zack Snyder’s “Dawn of the Dead” from 2004 is one of the finest horror remakes.
His latest zombie genre attempt doesn’t reach that quality, unfortunately.
In “Army of the Dead,” an accident involving military vehicles driving away from Area 51 ends up unleashing a zombie plague on the city of Las Vegas. After an extensive effort to fight the threat, the city is eventually walled off and the zombies are contained.
A plan is ordered to hit the city with a nuclear strike and eliminate the threat. However, before that happens, a soldier named Scott (Dave Bautista) is tasked with entering the city and retrieving money from a safe by a rich businessman. Scott puts together a team of mercenaries to do so, with the promise of getting millions of dollars. However, he also agrees to take his daughter Kate (Ella Purnell) into the city as she’s looking for her lost friend.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Army of the Dead’ is an exhausting zombie flick”