Category Archives: Reviews
As a fun mash-up
of “Scream” and “Groundhog Day,” writer/director Christopher Landon found
success with 2017’s “Happy Death Day” by having a cynical character reliving
her creatively-crafted murders until she identified her killer. With “Freaky,”
Landon’s “Freaky Friday the 13th”mash-up, he doesn’t do as well: bland
characters swap bodies and their race to reverse the curse is as familiar and
uninspired as they are.
Go” is a character-driven drama that caters to a very specific niche market. If
you have a fondness for melodramas that carry a sense of dread until it
explodes in surprising and unexpected ways, then “Let Him Go” won’t disappoint.
Well-crafted yet clichéd, “Come Play” is a horror movie that begs you to play a scene-by-scene game: can you name each film it’s copying? While it’s a credit to director Jacob Chase that he doesn’t bore you employing inherent haunts, “Come Play” still comes across as a monster movie Mad Libs.
doesn’t work without timing, and Sacha Baron Cohen picked the perfect time to
reprise his role as fictional Kazakh TV journalist Borat. “Borat Subsequent
Moviefilm” (i.e. “Borat 2”) has Borat return for bigger laughs instigating
unsuspecting Americans thanks to an equally adept comedic co-star in Maria
Bakalova and a better foil for his folly- the Trump Presidency.
Blu-Ray and DVD this month is “First Cow,” an offbeat look at a friendship
forged in the Oregon territory of the 1800’s. It’s a frontier fable as
unpredictable as its wilderness environment and told with an entertainingly
Ah, psycho killers. What actor doesn’t want to play one?
Russell Crowe gets his chance in “Unhinged,” an unthrilling thriller as routine
and implausibly imagined as an unwanted pregnancy.
Available on Apple TV+ is “Greyhound,” the new WWII actioner
written, produced and starring Tom Hanks. At 91 minutes, the movie lives up to
its titled namesake- it’s a fast, sleek snapshot of a heroic two-day mission.
When I was growing up, my father rarely took us to the
movies. If he went, it was at my mother’s insistence and, once inside the
theater, he would fall asleep. And snore. Loudly.
Just as the Greeks and Shakespeare knew, comedy stems from
tragedy. Judd Apatow (“Knocked Up,” “The 40 Year-Old Virgin”) knows it too.
After fashioning a real-life based romantic comedy and starring vehicle for
comic Amy Schumer in “Trainwreck,” he does the same for SNL’s Pete Davidson. Giving
Davidson the lead role in his new film “The King of Staten Island” and using the
real-life tragedy of Davidson’s firefighter father’s death as a springboard, Apatow
imperceptibly creates comedic gold. With all of Apatow’s (and Staten Island’s)
trademark sarcasm and cynicism, it’s one of the best films you’ll see this year
and it’s available on demand.
My favorite movie of 2019 is now on Netflix: “Uncut Gems” is
a gritty character drama that sucks you into its world of addiction and
desperate hustle for one big score.