Some movies have so much packed in that they may have worked better as a mini-series. Others have a concept that’s stretched too far, and would be better served as a short film.
“The Menu” is an example of the latter.
The movie centers on a couple going to an island that’s home to an exclusive restaurant. The establishment is run by the laser-focused Chef Slowik (Ralph Fiennes), a man who demands perfection in his kitchen.
The couple is Tyler (Nicholas Hoult) and Margot (Anya Taylor-Joy), and they are just a few of the wealthy guests who go to the island expecting the fanciest of fancy meals. However, Slowik has much more intense things on the menu for his affluent customers than just food.
Continue reading “REVIEW: A rather limited ‘Menu’”
I’m not going to lie. When this film reached the halfway point and a character said he saw something cute that could be a merchandising opportunity, I considered walking out.
“Strange World” centers on a community surrounded by seemingly impassable mountains. That doesn’t deter fearless explorer Jaeger Clade (Dennis Quaid), though, who gets lost in the mountains trying to find a way out. His son Searcher (Jake Gyllenhaal) never shared his father’s quest for exploration, and instead became a farmer of a valuable natural resource.
However, when that resource becomes threatened, he joins an expedition underneath the mountains to a strange subterranean area with his own son Ethan (Jaboukie Young-White). As it turns out, it’s where Jaeger has been the whole time.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Strange World’ is Disney’s weakest effort in recent memory”
After his tragic passing at 43, Chadwick Boseman’s absence looms large, both in the world of film and specifically in this sequel to “Black Panther.”
“Wakanda Forever” picks up after King T’Challa dies from an unknown illness, leaving the nation without its leader and main protector. With T’Challa now gone, his mother Ramonda (Angela Bassett), assumes the throne while his sister Shuri (Letitia Wright) feels tremendous guilt that she wasn’t able to find a way to cure him in time.
Both women have to continue serving their nation as new threats arise, though, as other countries are now looking for Wakanda’s precious resource, vibranium. Because of this happening, a new, powerful threat emerges from the sea. To protect their home, Ramonda and Shuri have to work with existing and new allies.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Wakanda Forever’ mostly flops as a follow-up”
This is one feckin’ good movie.
During the Irish Civil War in the early 1920s, another conflict was taking place on a small island between two former friends. Local farmer Pádraic (Colin Farrell) and folk musician Colm (Brendan Gleeson) had been longtime drinking buddies, but one day, abruptly, Colm says no more.
Seeing his friendship with Pádraic leading to nothing but dull conversation and wanting to commit more to his music, Colm wants to end the relationship completely. However, not wanting to let go, Pádraic continues trying to rekindle things by talking to Colm, much to the latter’s annoyance. Eventually, their conflict starts negatively affecting each other and those around them.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ intrigues while producing laughs”
The early life of renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg comes to life in this semi auto-biographical coming of age picture.
The film tells the story of a Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle), a teen who has been fascinated by the magic of movies since his first childhood theater experience. As he gets older, that fascination becomes a passion, and he begins making his own movies.
Sammy’s filmmaking is encouraged by his mother Mitzi (Michelle Williams), but his dad Burt (Paul Dano) sees it as more of a hobby. The relationships he has with his parents continue to be a focal point throughout the picture, and things get even more complicated for Sammy as he learns about something going on behind the scenes.
Continue reading “REVIEW: Magic of movies in ‘Fabelmans’ overshadowed by melodrama”
A horrific moment in America’s history followed by awful injustice is featured in the emotionally charged “Till.”
Danielle Deadwyler portrays Mamie Till-Mobley, whose son Emmett (Jalyn Hall) was killed during a visit to Mississippi in 1955. The movie dramatizes the events that took place in Mississippi where, in a racism-fueled action, Emmett was abducted and murdered in the middle of the night.
It then documents how Mamie showed Emmett’s body to the press, revealing the brutality of the attack and the subsequent trial against the individuals responsible. It also details the overall impact the moment had on the Civil Rights Movement.
Continue reading “REVIEW: While flawed, ‘Till’ is a creditable effort”
The Newspaper of Record is a publication not without its faults, but the rigorous work at the New York Times that launched the Me Too Movement was absolutely commendable.
That effort is dramatized in “She Said,” which follows Times journalists Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan), as well as other staff members digging into sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Their work followed the inauguration of President Donald Trump, with the Times planning to investigate more assault allegations beyond the world of politics.
After getting a lead about allegations in Hollywood, Kantor and Twohey begin working the story and soon find out there’s much more abuse than what was first expected. The movie then follows their efforts to gather legal documents and talk to the many victims.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘She Said’ tells an important story in good fashion”
Despite what the title implies, this is not a Roland Emmerich disaster movie.
Instead, it’s a coming of age drama focused on the life and times of middle schooler Paul Graff (Banks Repeta) over the course of the 1980 Presidential Election. Paul, whose story was inspired by director James Gray’s own childhood, attends public school in New York City, which his parents aren’t entirely sold on.
His brother already attends a private school and, with financial support from his grandparents, Paul’s mom (Anne Hathaway) and dad (Jeremy Strong) think he should do the same. This is eventually set in motion when Paul and his black friend Johnny (Jaylin Webb) get in trouble at school.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Armageddon Time’ is moving, but storytelling has troubles”
Just like the music featured in the film, “Tár” is beautiful, gripping and epic.
The film is about Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett), a superstar composer and conductor who accomplished an EGOT and now leads the distinguished Berlin Philharmonic orchestra. The film opens with her on a tight schedule, conducting an interview in New York City, teaching a class at Juilliard School and then flying back to Berlin to prepare for a new concert.
Despite her busy lifestyle, Tár’s career seems well on track for continued success and she also appears to be in a loving relationship with her wife, Sharon (Nina Hoss). However, actions in her past and present begin to damage her life and legacy.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘TÁR’ is a terrific portrayal of a downfall”
‘This isn’t a traditional superhero!’ The movie shouts at us as it takes the route of a generic superhero movie.
Dwayne Johnson stars as the titular character in this film taking place in DC’s cinematic universe. A being with tremendous power, Adam was sealed by magic within a tomb 5,000 years ago after defeating an evil tyrant in the kingdom of Kahndaq.
The film picks up in the present day with Adam being being summoned back in the midst of Kahndaq once again being in turmoil, with outside forces subjugating its people and exploiting the natural resources. Many in Kahndaq see Adam’s return as a good thing, as he has the power to liberate them, but others on Earth see him as a threat, and a special unit of super powered beings are sent to reign him in.
Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Black Adam’ is a botched attempt at an anti-hero”