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Reviews

Julia Review | Inspirational Legend

Julia Review | Inspirational Legend

Julia shines a lovely spotlight on the icon Julia Child. No surprise that I love food documentaries and this is no exception. A well directed, well paced doc with strong interviews and even stronger footage that give us a peek into the inspiring life of the mother of cooking shows. When Julia Child came on the scene she was unlike anyone people had seen on television. An unlikely star, if you will. She knew who she was and gave herself to the audience in a way that was undeniably genuine and warm. She was knowledgeable, funny, and business savvy. But,…
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Double Walker | Review

Double Walker | Review

Colin West’s Double Walker uses the concept of a ghost story in a captivating way by blending the themes of revenge, resolution, and existentialism. Not every decision West makes gels with one another, and the script needs some fine-tuning, but it is an interesting concept to see on-screen.  I like films that deal with the aspects of “ghosts” or “wraiths” because they can go in many different directions. For example, Amenábar’s way of treating spirits in The Others (2001) is far more divergent than how Bayona handled his chiller The Orphanage (2007). Nevertheless, more and more directors are approaching a…
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Ghostbusters: Afterlife Review | The Most Immersive Viewing Experience of the Year

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Review | The Most Immersive Viewing Experience of the Year

Ghostbusters: Afterlife ironically breathes new life into the beloved franchise. I say ironically as the many swings and misses attempting to revive Classics from yesteryear over the past decade or so are too heavily reliant on nostalgia and stunt the potential in forging a new narrative capable of standing on its own. Lucky (Celeste O'Connor), Trevor (Finn Wolfhard), Podcat (Logan Kim) and Phoebe (McKenna Grace) in Columbia Pictures' GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE. Afterlife finds a sweet spot that’s far from overbearing Easter eggs and Nostalgia porn and sets the stage for contemporary heroes just as cool as what we grew up on,…
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tick, tick…BOOM! Review | A Well-Crafted Musical Punch

tick, tick…BOOM! Review | A Well-Crafted Musical Punch

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s feature directorial debut, tick, tick… BOOM!, is quite an impressive hit. Although, filmmaking-wise, Miranda has a ways to grow when it comes to handling the film’s structure, the songs, and performances, specifically Andrew Garfield and Robin de Jesús, are snazzy and touching enough to deliver some well-crafted musical punch.  I am not the biggest fan of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning auteur Lin-Manuel Miranda. I didn’t like Hamilton, Vivo, and In the Heights at all, and the only works he’s involved in that I have enjoyed so far are Moana and Mary Poppins Returns, which I defend…
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Clifford The Big Red Dog Review | Charming, Pure and Fun

Clifford The Big Red Dog Review | Charming, Pure and Fun

Although it isn’t close to being perfect, the visual effects are fine, and some of the slapsticks run a bit dry by the end, Clifford The Big Red Dog does what it says on the poster: it’s a charming, pure, and fun film for kids to watch and it brings a nostalgic feeling for those who grew up with the cartoon pup, like me.  Darby Camp stars in CLIFFORD THE BIG RED DOG from Paramount Pictures. Photo Credit: Courtesy Paramount Pictures. Middle schooler Emily Elizabeth Howard (Darby Camp) meets animal rescuer Bridwell (John Cleese), who has a traveling tent of…
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C’mon C’mon | Review

C’mon C’mon | Review

Mike Mill’s latest feature, C’mon C’mon, is a beautiful piece about the human condition amidst a time of much-needed connection. It’s a film that delivers one emotional gut-punch after the other with a usual touching script by Mills and a dynamic trio of performances by Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann, and newcomer Woody Norman.  There are few writers like Mike Wills in this day and age. The way he captures lost or damaged humans and their need for empathy is impeccable. 20th Century Women (2016) is his most recognizable work, but what he did in Beginners (2010) was astonishing, as he…
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Red Notice Review | A Profitable Flop for Netflix

Red Notice Review | A Profitable Flop for Netflix

Rawson Marshall Thurber was chosen to helm “Netflix’s biggest film yet,” aka the big spectacle franchise starter, Red Notice, however, it has nothing to offer. It’s a lifeless hollow drag that suffers from every facet imaginable, including a trio of panache-less Hollywood stars, and a feeble narrative. Is this what blockbuster cinema has succumbed to? Red Notice. Cr. Netflix © 2021 What is a “red notice”? The highest-level warrant used to capture some of the world’s most wanted criminals, crooks, and assassins. Interpol sends out a red notice for two of the most notorious art thieves, Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds)…
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Antlers Review | Gruesome but Lackluster

Antlers Review | Gruesome but Lackluster

After multiple long delays, the much-anticipated Antlers finally arrives with some bloody and gruesome scenes, which are the film’s highlights. Still, it tries to tackle too many topics simultaneously, hurting its ending and structure in the process significantly. Jeremy T. Thomas and Keri Russell in the film ANTLERS. Photo by Kimberley French. © 2021 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved After the father and little brother of young Lucas Weaver (Jeremy T Thomas) go missing in a small-town in Oregon, Julia Meadows (Keri Russell) and her brother Paul (Jesse Plemons), the local sheriff, discover the young boy is holding onto…
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The Souvenir Pt. 2 | A Stellar Follow-up

The Souvenir Pt. 2 | A Stellar Follow-up

Joanna Hogg’s semi-autobiographical The Souvenir Part II is a stellar follow-up to its 2019 predecessor. An elegant and detailed exploration in growth after a vexatiously traumatic event with a first-class performance by Honor Swinton Byrne and a wittier, brighter heart, as vulnerable as the former.  There are few filmmakers in today’s age like Joanna Hogg. She makes her pictures tactile and graceful with such a distinctive and acute style that leaves several wistful markings on the viewer. They deal with the physical and psychological collisions of the upper/middle class with fragility, sterility, and some beautiful static wide shots. From Unrelated…
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Spencer | Review

Spencer | Review

Spencer is a sublime, lavish, and grand oeuvre from Pablo Larraín that can be treated as a ghost story like his previous venture of a lost soul, Jackie, as it switches from a dreamlike illusion to a complete nightmare for Diana Spencer, who Kristen Stewart beautifully embodies as she delivers her best performance to date.  After years of suffering, the time has finally come. The marriage of Princess Diana (Kristen Stewart) and Prince Charles (Jack Farthing) has been growing increasingly cold. There are rumors of affairs and divorce all around, yet peace is ordained for the Christmas festivities at the…
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