Posted in: Review

The Broken Hearts Gallery

The current resurgence in romantic comedies has come mainly via streaming services, especially Netflix, which has developed a familiar house style with pleasant, engaging movies like Set It Up and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. So it’s a little odd to see small-scale romantic comedy The Broken Hearts Gallery get a full theatrical […]

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Bill & Ted Face the Music

It’s been nearly 30 years since we saw heavy metal doofuses Bill and Ted onscreen, and while 1989’s Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure has grown into a genuine classic (and 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey has a substantial following, too), that’s no guarantee that a return for these characters in middle age would make […]

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The Personal History of David Copperfield

It’s unlikely that anyone would ever characterize a Charles Dickens novel as breezy, but that’s exactly the impression that comes from Armando Iannucci’s Dickens adaptation The Personal History of David Copperfield. Iannucci and co-writer Simon Blackwell attempt to include as much of Dickens’ 800-plus-page novel as possible into a two-hour film, turning the sprawling epic […]

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Toss It

The romantic comedy Toss It starts with someone flipping a coin – but ultimately it’s the audience that’s the loser. The lead actress is unappealingly cold. The script is overly talky. And the director seems unsure of how to help the star, or the screenwriter, solve their problems. Of course, the fact that the director […]

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Burning Dog

Video games are not movies, but a lot of movie makers haven’t gotten the message. Every so often, directors still try to turn at-home entertainment into an in-theater event. Problem is, they’re different things meant for different audiences. Film fans love movies that tell them a story. Gamers like to tell the story themselves. Burning […]

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Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

The Eurovision Song Contest is inherently goofy, which proves to be a problem for the attempt to parody it in Netflix original movie Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga. The annual event features countries across Europe (and beyond) competing with original songs performed in over-the-top production numbers, and it’s a celebration of unabashedly […]

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In Bright Axiom

It’s entirely possible (and even likely) that quite a lot of the material in Spencer McCall’s documentary In Bright Axiom is complete hokum. The movie itself is a chronicle of hokum, documenting the performance art project and alternate reality game known as Latitude, created by Bay Area artist and entrepreneur Jeff Hull. Hull’s work was […]

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Chameleon

Almost anyone is capable of anything, and in noir, they’re always capable of much worse. More of a mood than a genre, film noir is filled with sadistic husbands, femme fatales and poor jerks who always get left holding the bag. There are no happy endings. Sometimes there’s barely an ending at all. The tight, […]

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Soundwave

Movie characters should know by now not to invent world-changing devices in their home workshops, because it’s only going to lead to them being chased by nefarious government or corporate agents. That’s exactly what happens to Ben Boyles (Hunter Doohan) in the scrappy low-budget sci-fi movie Soundwave, which makes the most of its simple premise […]

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Bad Education

Cory Finley’s 2017 debut feature Thoroughbreds was a strikingly original vision from the playwright-turned-filmmaker, but for his follow-up, Finley steps back a bit, working from someone else’s screenplay adapting a magazine article about real-life events. Bad Education is clever and funny and very well-acted, but it’s not the kind of bold artistic statement that puts […]

Posted in: Review

Trolls World Tour

Although 2016’s DreamWorks animated hit Trolls was based on the perennial line of long-haired troll dolls, its main appeal to audiences was its hyperactive pop-music soundtrack, led by the Justin Timberlake hit “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” So the new sequel Trolls World Tour overloads on the slickly produced music, to go along with its more-is-more […]