Movies

Movie Review: FOLLOWED

FOLLOWED movie poster | ©2020 Global View Entertainment

Rating: R Stars: Matthew Solomon, Sam Valentine, Tim Drier, Caitlin Grace, Kelsey Griswold, John Savage Writer: Todd Klick Director: Antoine Le Distributor: Global View Entertainment Release Date: June 19, 2020 (release expands June 26, 2020) FOLLOWED is a better-than-average found-footage horror movie. What elevates FOLLOWED among its fellows? For one thing, it’s got a plot, which immediately helps. For another, it’s got characters who have understandable motivations. For a third, it’s got good, creepy mythology to go with its suitably ominous setting. However, those who cannot abide the found-footage subgenre should take heed at the outset. Michael (Matthew Solomon), who […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MISS JUNETEENTH

MISS JUNETEENTH movie poster | ©2020 Vertical Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, Alexis Chikaeze, Lori Hayes, Akron Watson Writer: Channing Godfrey Peoples Director: Channing Godfrey Peoples Distributor: Vertical Entertainment Release Date: June 19, 2020  MISS JUNETEENTH is a slow-building but consistently engaging character study of a mother and daughter. Nicole Beharie carries the film with her expressive performance as one-time pageant winner Turquoise Jones, and gets a strong assist from Alexis Chiaeze as Turquoise’s teen daughter Kai. Juneteenth is a holiday in black American culture that commemorates June 19, 1865, when it was announced in Texas – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation – […]Read On »

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Movie Review: YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT

YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT movie poster | ©2020 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Kevin Bacon, Amanda Seyfried, Avery Essex, Colin Bluemenau Writer: David Koepp, based on the novella by Daniel Kehlmann Director: David Koepp Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: June 19, 2020 YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT borrows from several other iconic horror books-into-film adaptations. They won’t be named here, as that would give the game away, and most viewers will make those associations for themselves. Still, it’s a nicely creepy haunted-house story that mostly strikes a balance between serving its premise and not belaboring it, though the climax leaves something to be desired. Theo Conroy (Kevin Bacon) would seem to […]Read On »

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Movie Review: DRIVEN (2020)

DRIVEN Movie poster | ©2020 Uncork’d Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Richard Speight Jr., Casey Dillard Writer: Casey Dillard Director: Glenn Payne Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment Release Date: June 16, 2020  The new movie DRIVEN, being released on June 16, 2020, should not be confused with the 2018 Jason Sudeikis/Lee Pace starrer of the same name about John DeLorean, or the other 2018 DRIVEN, about an out-of-control race car driver who falls in love, or the other race car driver movie, also called DRIVEN, that starred Sylvester Stallone and was released in 2001, or the DRIVEN TV series from 2018, or … In other words, somebody should probably […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND

THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND movie poster | ©2020 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bel Powley, Bill Burr, Maude Apatow Writers: Judd Apatow & Pete Davidson & Dave Sirus Director: Judd Apatow Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: June 12, 2020 THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND is so targeted at a specific audience that it may be unfair for anybody who’s not in that demographic to review it. The movie is dedicated to star/co-writer’s Pete Davidson’s father, the late firefighter Scott Davidson, and it’s impossible not to respect the sincerity of the tribute. THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND has Davidson playing Scott Carlin, who at age twenty-four, is […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE SURROGATE

THE SURROGATE movie poster | ©2020 Monument Releasing

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Jasmine Batchelor, Chris Perfetti, Sullivan Jones, Brooke Bloom, Eboni Booth, William DeMerritt, Tonya Pinkins, Brandon Micheal Hall, Meg Gibson Writer: Jeremy Hersh Director: Jeremy Hersh Distributor: Monument Releasing Release Date: June 12, 2020 THE SURROGATE starts out seeming like it’s going to be a bubbly dramedy, only to take an abrupt turn. Director/writer Jeremy Hersh takes time to examine and dramatize almost every conceivable point of view in ways that keep us riveted. Brooklyn web designer Jess (Jasmine Batchelor) doesn’t want to be tied down. Though sometime-boyfriend Nate (Brandon Micheal Hall) is eager for something more, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE CANDY WITCH

THE CANDY WITCH movie poster | ©2020 Uncork’d Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Jon Calloway, Abi Casson Thompson, Kate Lush, Heather Jackson, Richard D. Myers, Will Stanton, Hannah Ponting Writer: Scott Jeffrey Director: Rebecca J. Matthews Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment Release Date: June 9, 2020 THE CANDY WITCH has a title that suggests a tongue-in-cheek riff on Hansel and Gretel. Instead, it’s a fairly straight-faced English ghost story, with good jump scares and a pleasingly dark atmosphere. The film starts in Surrey, England, where we get a jolt and a preview of the haunting that will dominate the plot. Then the action moves to London, where we meet paranormal investigators […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE COLLINI CASE (DER FALL COLLINI)

THE COLLINI CASE movie poster | ©2020 MPI Media Group

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Elyas M’Barek, Alexandra Maria Lara, Heiner Lauterbach, Manfred Zapatka, Franco Nero Writers: Christian Zubert & Robert Gold & Jens-Frederick Otto, based on the novel by Ferdinand von Schirach Director: Marco Kreuzpaintner Distributor: MPI Media Group Release Date: June 5, 2020 THE COLLINI CASE (DER FALL COLLINI) is set in Germany in 2001, with a few trips to Italy. In contemporary films, bringing together Germany and the year 2001 now seems to be code for a certain type of subject matter. With THE COLLINI CASE in particular, it might have been a good idea to acknowledge this […]Read On »

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Movie Review: DREAMLAND

DREAMLAND movie poster | ©2020 Uncork’d Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Stephen McHattie, Henry Rollins, Juliette Lewis, Tomas Lemarquis, Guillaume Kerbusch, Lisa Houle, Themis Pauwels, Morgan Csarno-Peklar Writers: Tony Burgess and Patrick Whistler Director: Bruce McDonald Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment Release Date (theatrical, digital, VOD): June 5, 2020 DREAMLAND has on its side an impressive dual performance by Stephen McHattie, gorgeous production design by Eugenie Collet, superior style, and the pedigree of director Bruce McDonald, who made the excellent PONTYPOOL (also starring McHattie). However, if a movie is going to venture into the deep darkness of child sex trafficking, it better have a damn good reason for doing […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SHIRLEY

SHIRLEY movie poster | ©2020 Neon

Rating: R Stars: Elisabeth Moss, Michael Stuhlbarg, Odessa Young, Logan Lerman Writer: Sarah Gubbins, based on the novel by Susan Scarf Merrell Director: Josephine Decker Distributor: Neon Release Date: June 5, 2020 SHIRLEY is one of those movies where the title character turns out to be a supporting player, albeit in this case quite a forceful one. Based on Susan Scarf Merrell’s 2015 novel, SHIRLEY deals with real-life writer Shirley Jackson, who authored THE LOTTERY and THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, to name two of her more influential works. Director Josephine Decker and screenwriter Sarah Gubbins introduce us to Shirley […]Read On »

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