Reviews

Movie Review: MARY

MARY movie poster | ©2019 RLJE Films

Rating: R Stars: Gary Oldman, Emily Mortimer, Jennifer Esposito, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Owen Teague, Stefanie Scott, Chloe Perrin Writer: Anthony Jaswinski Director: Michael Goi Distributor: RLJE Films Release Date (theatrical and On Demand): October 11, 2019 MARY in many respects resembles a lot of other modest horror films, with two big differences. One, it’s shot on actual film, which gives it a much crisper, richer look than many of its peers. This makes sense, as its director, Michael Goi, is an award-winning cinematographer, who also serves in that capacity here. Two, MARY stars Gary Oldman and Emily Mortimer, actors whose big-name […]Read On »

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SUPERNATURAL: Alexander Calvert chats about playing Lucifer’s son on Season 15 – Exclusive Interview

Alexander Calvert as Jack in SUPERNATURAL - Season 14 - "Moriah" | © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved/Bettina Strauss

SUPERNATURAL embarks on its fifteenth and final season on The CW on Thursday, October 10. The series, created by Eric Kripke, started with the relatively modest premise of the Winchester brothers, Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles), fighting monsters and ghosts throughout the U.S. (even though the show is actually shot in Vancouver). As the seasons unspooled, though, the mythology got progressively more dense, until the Winchesters were actually tangling with Lucifer (mostly Mark Pellegrino, though other actors have embodied the fallen angel as well) and even God (Rob Benedict). At the end of Season 12, in May 2017, […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: THE HILLS HAVE EYES PART 2

THE HILLS HAVE EYES PART 2 Blu-ray| ©2019 Arrow Video

Stars: Michael Berryman, Tamara Stafford, John Bloom, John Laughlin, Janus Blythe Writer: Wes Craven Director: Wes Craven Distributor: Arrow Video Suggested Retail Price: $34.99 Filmed before Wes Craven’s seminal 1984 classic A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET and released in the U.S. a year later, THE HILLS HAVE EYES PART 2 is an obvious cash grab by all involved serving as a follow-up to Craven’s own 1977 cult hit. While some of the inventiveness Craven displayed in ELM STREET is missing here, there is some considerable charm to THE HILLS HAVE EYES PART 2 in both its coherent and incoherent attempts […]Read On »

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Movie Review: GEMINI MAN

GEMINI MAN movie poster | ©2019 Paramount Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Will Smith, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clive Owen, Benedict Wong, Linda Emond Writers: David Benioff and Billy Ray and Darren Lemke, story by Darren Lemke and David Benioff Director: Ang Lee Distributor: Paramount Release Date: October 11, 2019 GEMINI MAN is shot at 120 frames per second, rather than the conventional 24 frames per second. When Peter Jackson tried something like this, at 48 frames a second for 2012’s THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, it gave the movie an unfortunate videotape look. However, the technology has clearly improved hugely since then. The combination of the 120 frames per second […]Read On »

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Movie Review: JOKER

JOKER movie poster | ©2019 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Frances Conroy, Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Brett Cullen, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, Glenn Fleshler, Leigh Gill, Sharon Washington Writers: Todd Phillips & Scott Silver, based on characters from DC Comics Director: Todd Phillips Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: October 4, 2019 Seldom has it been so hard to figure out a letter grade for a movie review. JOKER doesn’t precisely defy normal measures of quality, but its ambiguities are simultaneously intriguing and frustrating. Despite rumors to the contrary, JOKER is set squarely within the Batman universe, even if this is a Gotham City grimier […]Read On »

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Movie Review: AD ASTRA

AD ASTRA movie poster | ©2019 20th Century Fox

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Brad Pitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Ruth Negga, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland Writers: James Gray and Ethan Gross Director: James Gray Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Release Date: September 19, 2019 AD ASTRA is nominally a science fiction film. Its title translates as “to the stars,” and most of it takes place off-world, on a variety of spacecraft and space stations. The plot revolves around trying to prevent a solar system-wide power outage. However, AD ASTRA is actually a family drama. More specifically, it is about an astronaut, Roy McBride (Brad Pitt), contemplating his relationship with his father, H. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE GOLDFINCH

THE GOLDFINCH movie poster | ©2019 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Ansel Elgort, Oakes Fegley, Jeffrey Wright, Nicole Kidman, Luke Wilson, Sarah Paulson, Ashleigh Cummings, Finn Wolfhard, Aneurin Barnard, Willa Fitzgerald, Denis O’Hare, Aimee Laurence, Ryan Foust Writer: Peter Straughan, based on the novel by Donna Tartt Director: John Crowley Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: September 13, 2019 THE GOLDFINCH movie shares its title not only on the Pulitzer Prize-winning Donna Tartt novel on which it is based, but also with a real-world 1654 painting by Dutch artist Carel Fabritius. The “Goldfinch” painting is famous for having survived an explosion that killed Fabritius and destroyed most of his […]Read On »

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Movie Review: EMPATHY INC.

EMPATHY INC. movie poster | ©2019 Dark Sky Pictures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Zack Robidas, Kathy Searle, Jay Klaitz, Eric Berryman, AJ Cedeno, Charmaine Reedy, Fenton Lawless, Karen Lynn Gorney Writer: Mark Leidner Director: Yedidya Gorsetman Distributor: Dark Star Pictures Release Date: September 13, 2019 EMPATHY INC. is a fairly smart, twisty techno fable. Although the movie has the feel of a classic TWILIGHT ZONE episode, including its beautifully crisp black-and-white cinematography (courtesy of Darin Quan’s cinematography), it has enough story to justify its feature length. What it doesn’t have, exactly, is the social resonance to fully justify its title, even ironically. Joel (Zack Robidas) is finance guy who […]Read On »

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Movie Review: HAUNT

HAUNT movie poster | ©2019 Momentum Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Katie Stevens, Will Brittain, Lauryn Alisa McClain, Andrew Caldwell, Shazi Raja, Schuyler Helford, Chaney Morrow, Justin Marxen, Samuel Hunt Writers: Scott Beck & Bryan Woods Directors: Scott Beck & Bryan Woods Distributor: Momentum Pictures Release Date: September 13, 2019 HAUNT arrives a little early for Halloween, but has an appropriate Friday the 13th opening. The title does not refer to an actual haunted house, but rather to those independent Halloween mazes called “haunts.” Set in the real college town of Carbondale, Illinois and shot in Kentucky, HAUNT introduces us to student Harper (Katie Stevens), who as we […]Read On »

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THIS CLOSE: Creators-stars Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman on Season 2 – Exclusive Interview

THIS CLOSE - Season 2 Key Art | ©2019 SundanceTV

In THIS CLOSE, which premieres its second season on Sundance TV Thursday, September 12 (its first season streamed online, as did its precursor FRIDAYS), series creators Shoshannah Stern and Josh Feldman star as, respectively, Kate and Michael. Kate and Michael are the kind of thirtysomething best friends in Los Angeles who know each other so well that they’re capable of driving one another crazy. They are also dealing with significant others who are jealous of their bond, work issues and Josh’s drinking. One other element of the dramedy: both the creators and their characters are deaf. Stern, a native Californian, […]Read On »

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