Reviews

Movie Review: tick, tick … BOOM!

TICK, TICK … BOOM! movie poster | ©2021 Netflix

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp, Robin de Jesus, Vanessa Hudgens, Joshua Henry, Jonathan Marc Sherman, MJ Rodriguez, Ben Ross, Judith Light, Bradley Whitford Writer: Steven Levenson, based on the stage musical by Jonathan Larson Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda Distributor: Netflix Release Date: November 19, 2021 TICK, TICK … BOOM! the movie is based on the late Jonathan Larson’s stage musical TICK, TICK … BOOM!, which was about Jonathan Larson writing a musical. The movie can’t help having automatic added pathos by the fact of Larson’s death at the age of thirty-five, the night before his second produced musical, RENT, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: AUTUMN ROAD

AUTUMN ROAD movie poster | ©2021 Gravitas Ventures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Lorelei Linklater, Riley Cusick, Justin Meeks, George Welder, Jordan Wright, Ranger Lerway, Maddie Lea, Jonas Lerway, Lar Park Lincoln Writer: Riley Cusick Director: Riley Cusick Distributor: Gravitas Ventures Release Date: November 23, 2021 AUTUMN ROAD represents a major challenge for filmmaker Riley Cusick. Not only does Cusick write and direct, but he also stars as twin brothers Charlie and Vincent. Given all he’s taking on, Cusick does an admirable job with all but one of these tasks. We first meet Charlie (played as a young teen by Ranger Lerway) and Vincent (played as a youth by […]Read On »

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Movie Review: GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE

GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE movie poster | ©2021 Sony/Columbia

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Mckenna Grace, Finn Wolfhard, Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Logan Kim, Celeste O’Connor Writers: Gil Kenan & Jason Reitman, based on characters created by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis Director: Jason Reitman Distributor: Sony/Columbia Release Date: November 19, 2021 GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE is directed and co-written (with Gil Kenan) by Jason Reitman. Reitman is the son of Ivan Reitman, who directed 1984’s GHOSTBUSTERS and 1989’s GHOSTBUSTERS II (he’s also one of the producers here). Oddly, though, GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE doesn’t feel like a film directed by either Reitman, based on their work (Jason Reitman’s previous credits include UP IN THE […]Read On »

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Movie Review: HIDE AND SEEK

HIDE AND SEEK movie poster | ©2021 Saban Films

Rating: R Stars: Jonathan Rhys Myers, Jacinda Barrett, Sue Jean Kim, Mustafa Shakir, Quinn McColgan, Eli Golden, Avril Wei, Joe Pantoliano, Alejandra Rivera Flaviá, Josh Alscher Writer: Joel David Moore, based on the film HIDE AND SEEK written by Huh Jung Director: Joel David Moore Distributor: Saban Films Release Date: November 19, 2021 HIDE AND SEEK, directed and written by Joel David Moore, is a remake of the 2013 South Korean thriller of the same title, directed and written by Huh Jung. Moore does a good job of creating tension and menacing atmosphere, even though the plot takes a couple […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE UNITED STATES OF INSANITY

THE UNITED STATES OF INSANITY movie poster | ©2021 Fathom Events

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Joseph Bruce, Joe Utsler, Michael Steinberg Directors: Tom Putnam & Brenna Sanchez Distributor: Fathom Events Release Date: November 12, 2021  THE UNITED STATES OF INSANITY is a documentary that’s partly about a weird clash between fandom and law enforcement. More precisely, it’s partly about what happened when the FBI investigated the band Insane Clown Posse’s ardent fans – known as Juggalos (the way Jimmy Buffett fans are known as Parrotheads) – as a gang and a possible terrorist organization. Once the case is introduced, THE UNITED STATES OF INSANITY also becomes a broader documentary about Insane […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BELFAST

BELFAST movie poster | ©2021 Focus Features

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Caitriona Balfe, Judi Dench, Jamie Dornan, Ciarán Hinds, Jude Hill, Lewis McAskie Writer: Kenneth Branagh Director: Kenneth Branagh Distributor: Focus Features Release Date: November 12, 2021 Belfast has, tragically, been synonymous with violence in Northern Ireland for much of the twentieth century. BELFAST the movie incorporates that, but it’s also the story of a boy, his family and their home. Director/writer Kenneth Branagh has based BELFAST on his own childhood. He achieves an appealing balance of nostalgia and verisimilitude in his depiction of a family, a neighborhood, and an era. BELFAST opens with a color panorama of […]Read On »

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HEAD OF THE CLASS: Actress Dior Goodjohn on new version of the classic sitcom – Exclusive Interview

Dior Goodjohn in HEAD OF THE CLASS - Season 1| ©2021 HBO Max/Nicole Wilder

HEAD OF THE CLASS was originally a half-hour comedy that ran for five seasons, 1986-1991, on ABC. The show concerned a group of exceptionally bright high-school-age students who were put together in the same class. Now HBO Max, which is also making the earlier series available, has brought forth a new HEAD OF THE CLASS, with a new group of students dealing with school and life in 2021. The entire ten-episode first season premiered on November 4. Dior Goodjohn plays Robyn Rook, who enjoys debate, games, and snark. Goodjohn, high school age herself, has previously had roles on GLEE, RAVEN’S […]Read On »

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Movie Review: LAIR

LAIR movie poster | ©2021 1091 Pictures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Corey Johnson, Anya Newall, Aislinn De’Ath, Alana Wallace, Kashif O’Connor, Sean Buchanan, Lara Mount, Alexandra Gilbreath, Oded Fehr Writer: Adam Ethan Crow, additional material by Stuart Wright Director: Adam Ethan Crow Distributor: 1091 Pictures Release Date: November 9, 2021 LAIR reverses the usual cursed-objects horror set-up. Instead of a team of people trying to retrieve the various things, a la FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE SERIES or WAREHOUSE 13, LAIR gives us someone who’s distributing these things. Steven Caramore (Corey Johnson) is, to put it kindly, a scumbag. Caramore has been in the business of staging fake […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SPENCER

SPENCER movie poster | ©2021 Neon

Rating: R Stars: Kristen Stewart, Timothy Spall, Sean Harris, Sally Hawkins, Jack Farthing, Jack Nielen, Freddie Spry, Elizabeth Berrington, Stella Gonet, Amy Manson, James Harkness Writer: Steven Knight Director: Pablo Larrain Distributor: Neon Release Date: November 5, 2021 SPENCER announces itself in an opening title card as “a fable from a true tragedy.” The movie feels like a kind of tone poem about Lady Diana Spencer, aka Diana, Princess of Wales, played here by Kristen Stewart. Given that writer Steven Knight and director Pablo Larrain start out by stating that SPENCER is not meant to be taken literally, we don’t […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MARIONETTE

MARIONETTE movie poster | ©2021 Scatena & Rosner Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Thekla Reuten, Emun Elliott, Sam Hazeldine, Bill Paterson, Rebecca Front, Elijah Wolf, Dawn Steele, Peter Mullan Writers: Elbert van Strien and Ben Hopkins, based on a short film by Elbert van Strien Director: Elbert van Strien Distributor: Scatena & Rosner Films Release Date: November 3, 2021 MARIONETTE succeeds in pulling the audience’s strings. After seeming to go in one direction for approximately its first half, the film swerves, then swerves again. Every time it seems to make a misstep, an explanation is sooner or later provided. Based on a short film by Elbert van Strien, who […]Read On »

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