Posted in: Review

Four Good Days

Four Good Days strains itself to convey a hardened tale of mother-daughter turmoil through the lens of a bleak addiction drama to the point that it eventually feels like a dirge deliberately inflicted upon the audience. There’s incredible value in an unflinching cinematic portrayal of difficult material, but Rodrigo Garcia’s film seems hellbent on wallowing […]

Posted in: Review

The Virtuoso

The Virtuoso is one of those movies so mind-bogglingly misguided that it’s difficult to discern whether the talented actors involved willingly grabbed a quick paycheck or if they mistook the material for something worthwhile. Caught somewhere between isolated character study and brooding shoot-‘em-up thriller but without a single clue how to actualize either perspective, the […]

Posted in: Review

P.E.N.S. – Poetic Energy Needed in Society

Academia is not the street. Forget whatever you learned in college about Tennyson or Longfellow. Modern urban poetry is fast, unfussy, forceful. You don’t give readings, you compete in “slams.” You don’t recite your verses, you “spit” them. And if the audience sits there silently – then you know you’ve lost. If you’re really connecting, […]

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Touch

She is a woman without a country, married to a man with a past. And their troubled marriage – and her desperate, dangerous search for something more – will lead her down a risky path and into a deadly affair in Touch. Stripped to its essentials –erotic-thriller style and neo-noir fatalism — the movie sounds […]

Posted in: Review

Monday

Monday takes place during the so-called honeymoon phase of a romance between two Americans living in Greece. Mickey, a DJ, and Chloe, an immigration lawyer, meet at a party and sleep together on a nearby beach before learning each other’s names. After realizing she left her purse with her money, keys and other essentials at […]

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French Exit

In this ridiculously long – some might say “endless” – Oscar season, French Exit was originally positioned as a sure-fire Best Actress vehicle for Michelle Pfeiffer, a standout role that could potentially deliver an Oscar win to the three-time past nominee. As the COVID-impacted release calendar started to fill, however, the film – and thus, […]

Posted in: Review

Tina (2021)

You may think you know Tina Turner’s story. It’s been the source of a best-selling autobiography, an Oscar-winning movie, and two stage musicals. As she made plans to retire from the public eye, she sat down with filmmakers Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin — who directed the acclaimed 2011 documentary Undefeated — to tell her […]

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Shiva Baby

Being spoiled can be stifling, as Danielle (Rachel Sennott) demonstrates in writer-director Emma Seligman’s assured debut feature Shiva Baby. College senior Danielle is spoiled by her sugar daddy Max (Danny Deferrari), who bestows her with cash and jewelry after their morning bedroom romp. He thinks he’s helping her pay for law school, but she’s really […]

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Dolphin Island

Dolphin Island is the kind of movie I would have adored as a marine mammal-loving tween. The story centers on 14-year-old Annabel (Tyler Jade Nixon), who lives in the Bahamas on a fishing boat with her paternal grandfather, Jonah Coleridge (Peter Woodward), surrounded by a close-knit group of friends who care deeply for her. Anna’s […]

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Nobody

The ongoing John Wick-ification of cinema continues with Nobody, which extrapolates the base premise of the Wick franchise to its truest realization: a really, really normal guy who kicks the ass of everyone in his path. 2014’s original John Wick was about a seemingly regular guy being forcefully pulled back down into a seedy underworld […]

Posted in: Review

The Yellow Wallpaper

Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper is a seminal text in feminist literature. Published in 1892, it has been a hallmark of feminist literary theory and discourse in the century-plus since its creation. The first-person account of a woman going mad as a result of the confinement of patriarchal oppression remains one the most profound […]

Posted in: Review

Happily

Happily takes for its subject adult relationships in all their forms, yet much like many an adult relationship, the movie abruptly shifts from comedy to drama, and from fantasy to whodunit to horror, to often destabilizing, sometimes engrossing, but always interesting effect. The film centers on Tom (Joel McHale) and Janet (Kerry Bishé), a couple […]