Movies

Movie Review: THE OLD WAYS

THE OLD WAYS movie poster | ©2021 Netflix

Rating: R Stars: Brigitte Kali Canales, Andrea Cortės, Julia Vera, Sal Lopez, AJ Bowen Writer: Marcos Gabriel Director: Christopher Alender Distributor: Netflix Release Date: August 5, 2021 (theatrical/Netflix); October 12 (DVD/Blu-ray/Digital) THE OLD WAYS is in one sense, as its title suggests, folk horror. However, it also brings a fresh take to exorcism, and not just because it is set primarily in Veracruz, Mexico (THE OLD WAYS was actually shot in Puerto Rico and Los Angeles). In a prologue, we see several villagers trying to exorcise a woman whose young daughter watches the rite, uncomprehending. A few decades later, Cristina […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MASS

MASS movie poster | ©2021 Bleecker Street

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Reed Birney, Ann Dowd, Jason Isaacs, Martha Plimpton, Breeda Wool, Kagen Albright, Michelle N. Carter Writer: Fran Kranz Director: Fran Kranz Distributor: Bleecker Street Release Date: October 8, 2021 MASS takes place in and around an Episcopal church, but the drama is not in the least concerned with church business, nor is there any discussion of formal religion. (It is not to be confused with Netflix’s MIDNIGHT MASS.) At the outset, we see a pair of church employees, Judy (Breeda Wool) and Anthony (Kagen Albright), preparing a meeting room under the supervision of Kendra (Michelle N. Carter). […]Read On »

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Movie Review: NO TIME TO DIE

NO TIME TO DIE movie poster | ©2021 Sony

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Daniel Craig, Rami Malek, Lea Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Ralph Fiennes, Christoph Waltz, Ana de Armas, Ben Whishaw, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Rory Kinnear, Billy Magnussen, David Dencik Writers: Neal Purvis & Robert Wade and Cary Joji Fukunaga and Phoebe Waller-Bridge Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga Distributor: Sony Release Date: October 8, 2021 NO TIME TO DIE feels familiar, in a very welcome way. It has the spectacle and film craft we associate with the James Bond franchise, as well as a top cast who hit all the right notes. There’s a kind of timelessness about the way it’s […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE FOREVER PURGE

THE FOREVER PURGE Blu-ray | ©2021 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Herta, Josh Lucas, Cassidy Freeman, Leven Rambin, Will Patton, Zahn McClarnon Writer: James DeMonaco, based on his characters Director: Everardo Valerio Gout Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: July 2, 2021 (theatrical); September 14, 2021 (Digital); September 28, 2021 (Blu-ray/DVD/4K) THE FOREVER PURGE is the fifth film in the PURGE franchise, which launched in 2013 (there has also been a two-season cable TV series). The movies are unapologetically political (on the progressive side) and ultra-violent, set in a dystopian alternate reality. According to the original PURGE, the national holiday was instituted in the […]Read On »

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Movie Review: DEAR EVAN HANSEN

DEAR EVAN HANSEN movie poster | ©2021 Universal Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Ben Platt, Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever, Amy Adams, Danny Pino, Amandla Stenberg, Colton Ryan, Nik Dodani Writer: Steven Levenson, music and lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul Director: Stephen Chbosky Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: September 24, 2021 DEAR EVAN HANSEN is a new musical film, based on the stage production, which won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score Written for the Theatre, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. Not having seen the live version, this reviewer cannot make any comparisons, only […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SHELTER IN PLACE

SHELTER IN PLACE movie poster | ©2021 1091 Pictures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Brendan Hines, Tatjana Marjanovic, Ola Kaminska, Kevin Daniels, Jey Reynolds Writers: Christopher Beyrooty & Connor Martin Directors: Christopher Beyrooty & Connor Martin Distributor: 1091 Pictures Release Date: September 14, 2021 SHELTER IN PLACE is set at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (for Los Angeles non-locals, this is a real-life historic high-end establishment on Hollywood Boulevard). Fair warning: it takes place during a pandemic, when everything is on lockdown. If you feel that you’ve had enough of feeling isolated and trapped in your own recent experience and don’t want any more in your entertainment, this may not be […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BAD CANDY

BAD CANDY movie poster | ©2021 Dread

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Zach Galligan, Corey Taylor, Riley Sutton Writers: Scott B. Hansen & Desiree Connell Directors: Scott B. Hansen & Desiree Connell Distributor: Dread Release Date: September 10, 2021 BAD CANDY is a very mixed bag. There’s no question that the movie provides more stories than we might expect for a modestly-budgeted horror anthology. It also has good creature and gore effects. There’s a CREEPSHOW-comic book vibe here that is often fun, but sometimes unfortunately extends to the CGI, which doesn’t always match the stronger practical aspects. The framing device for BAD CANDY is the Chilly Billy show […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MALIGNANT

MALIGNANT movie poster | ©2021 Warner Bros./New Line Cinema

Rating: R Stars: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson, George Young, Jacqueline McKenzie, Michole Briana White, Jake Abel, Ingrid Bisu, Mckenna Grace Writer: Akela Cooper, story by James Wan & Ingrid Bisu and Akela Cooper Director: James Wan Distributor: Warner Bros./New Line Cinema Release Date: September 10, 2021 MALIGNANT is a word that can mean malevolent or, in medical terms, virulent/highly infectious. While MALIGNANT won’t be anybody’s idea of a medical drama, the title is apt. In a prologue, we’re at the Simion Research Hospital in 1993. Gabriel has just escaped from his holding cell. He is malicious, violent, and so able […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE LAST MATINEE (AL MORIR LA MATINEE)

THE LAST MATINEE movie poster | ©2021 Dark Star Pictures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Luciana Grasso, Ricardo Islas, Emanuel Sobrė, Patricia Porzio, Bruno Salvati, Julieta Spinelli, Vladimir Knazevs, Franco Duran, Pedro Duarte Writer: Manuel Facal, story by Maximiliano Contenti Director: Maximiliano Contenti Distributor: Dark Star Pictures Release Date: August 24, 2021 THE LAST MATINEE is a Uruguayan/Argentinian has art and horror. The combination is not what it should be, though, due to extremely slow pacing. A subtitle informs us that we’re in the Uruguayan capital city Montevideo in 1993. Someone more familiar with Montevideo than this reviewer will need to weigh in on what’s changed there to require THE LAST […]Read On »

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Movie Review: CANDYMAN

CANDYMAN movie poster | ©2021 Universal Pictures/MGM

Rating: R Stars: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Kyle Kaminsky, Coleman Domingo, Michael Hargrove, Brian King, Rebecca Spence Writers: Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld and Nia DaCosta, based on the 1992 CANDYMAN screenplay by Bernard Rose and the short story THE FORBIDDEN by Clive Barker Director: Nia DaCosta Distributor: Universal/MGM Release Date: August 27, 2021 CANDYMAN is being billed as “a spiritual sequel” to the 1992 feature film of the same name. Since that was set in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing projects, and the new movie is set in the upscale apartment complexes occupying the same area, and since […]Read On »

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