Reviews

Movie Review: THEY CRAWL BENEATH

THEY CRAWL BENEATH Movie Poster | ©2022 WellGoUSA

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Joseph Almani, Karlee Eldridge, Michael Paré, Elena Sahagun, Gar-Ye Lee, Christopher Dukes Writer: Tricia Aurand Director: Dale Fabrigar Distributor: Well Go USA Release Date: October 4, 2022 (digital and home video) Director Dale Fabrigar, writer Tricia Aurand, and actor Joseph Almani take a bold swing with THEY CRAWL BENEATH. Not too many horror movies can pull off what’s mostly a one-man, one-set show. While there are a few other locations and some supporting cast members, THEY CRAWL BENEATH takes place mostly in the garage of an isolated residence in Barstow, California. Almani’s character, police officer Danny […]Read On »


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Movie Review: DEADSTREAM

DEADSTREAM movie poster | ©2022 Shudder/Blue Finch Releasing

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Joseph Winter, Melanie Stone Writers: Joseph Winter & Vanessa Winter Directors: Joseph Winter & Vanessa Winter Distributor: Shudder/Blue Finch Releasing Release Date: October 6, 2022 Shawn Ruddy (Joseph Winter, who also wrote and directed DEADSTREAM with Vanessa Winter) has low self-esteem and is a self-professed wuss. He’s facing all of his biggest fears (being picked up by a garbage truck in a trash can, being chased by cops) and streaming the incidents online on his “Wrath of Shawn” show. When one stunt backfires, though, Shawn loses his sponsors and platforms. After a six-month digital exile, he […]Read On »


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Movie Review: SMILE

SMILE movie poster | ©2022 Paramount Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Sosie Bacon, Jessie T. Usher, Kyle Gallner, Caitlin Stasey, Robin Weigert, Kal Penn, Judy Reyes, Gillian Zinser, Dora Kiss Writer: Parker Finn Director: Parker Finn Distributor: Paramount Release Date: September 30, 2022 SMILE is a horror movie in a specific subgenre that has given rise to a variety of different individual films and film franchises, mainly in the U.S. and in Japan. There is nothing in the least wrong with this subgenre – done right, they work like gangbusters and frighten the living whatever out of people.But there are a few things that this, or any, horror […]Read On »


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Movie Review: THE GOOD HOUSE

THE GOOD HOUSE | ©2022 Lionsgate

Rating: R Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Kevin Kline, Morena Baccarin, Rob Delaney, David Rasche, Beverly D’Angelo, Paul Guilfoyle, Kathryn Erbe, Kelly AuCoin, Georgia Lyman, Rebecca Henderson, Molly Brown Writers: Thomas Bezucha and Maya Forbes & Wally Wolodarsky, based on the novel by Ann Leary Directors: Maya Forbes & Wally Wolodarsky Distributor: Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions Release Date: September 30, 2022 THE GOOD HOUSE is set (mostly) in the present, but it feels like a whole lot of other literary adaptations, especially from the ‘70s and ‘80s. Indeed, THE GOOD HOUSE has been adapted from Ann Leary’s novel by the film’s directors, Maya Forbes […]Read On »


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Movie Review: BROS

©2022 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Billy Eichner, Luke Macfarlane, Jim Rash, Monica Raymund, Dot-Marie Jones, Eve Lindley, Amanda Bearse, Bowen Yang, Guillermo Diaz, Jai Rodriguez, Miss Lawrence, TS Madison, Ryan Faucett Writers: Billy Eichner & Nicholas Stoller Director: Nicholas Stoller Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: September 30, 2022 There are, by now, lots of gay romcom (and dramatic, and satiric, and everything else) movies out there. However, BROS is (to this reviewer’s knowledge) the first major studio release to put gay male romance, and sex, front and center. It’s surprising not so much because it exists, but because how often it scores […]Read On »


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Movie Review: DON’T WORRY DARLING

DON'T WORRY DARLING movie poster | ©2022 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, Sydney Chandler, Kate Berlant, Nick Kroll, Timothy Simons Writer: Katie Silberman, story by Carey Van Dyke & Shane Van Dyke and Katie Silberman Director: Olivia Wilde Distributor: Warner Bros./New Line Release Date: September 23, 2022 DON’T WORRY DARLING is directed by Olivia Wilde and scripted by Katie Silberman from a story Silberman devised with Carey Van Dyke & Shane Van Dyke. As it progresses, what’s going on may remind viewers of several other specific films, one so much that it feels like it ought to […]Read On »


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Movie Review: CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY

Bella Ramsey in CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY | ©Amazon/Alex Bailey Photo: ALEX BAILEY © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Bella Ramsey, Andrew Scott, Dean-Charles Chapman, Joe Alsworth, Isis Hainsworth, Billie Piper, Sophie Okenedo, Paul Kaye, Michael Woolfitt, Moya Brady, Archie Renaux Writer: Lena Dunham, based on the novel by Karen Cushman Director: Lena Dunham Distributor: Amazon Studios Release Date: September 23, 2022 (theatrical); October 7, 2022 (Prime Video) CATHERINE CALLED BIRDY is a cheerful non-romcom set in 1290 England. Director Lena Dunham, who also wrote the screenplay, has adapted Karen Cushman’s award-winning YA novel into an agreeable if uneven story of a whole family’s coming of age. Catherine, called Birdy (Bella Ramsey), is the fourteen-year-old daughter […]Read On »


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TIFF 2022: The 47th Annual Toronto International Film Festival – Part 3 (The Wrap-Up)

King Street, Toronto. The road is blocked off for several theater premiers, open to the public.

Dateline Toronto. In other posts I talk about the films I saw, the big buzz, the big stars and big awards. Here are some tips from a veteran. Director David Cronenberg famously called Toronto Ontario, Canada the best run big city in North America. He was right then and he’s right now. Here’s some behind the scenes photos (exclusive to Assignment X) with some observations. The gift shop in the TIFF Lightbox film center. Ever notice how many film critics last name starts with an R?               Related: Film Festival: The Scoop on the […]Read On »


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Film Festival: TIFF 2022: The 47th Annual Toronto International Film Festival – Part 1 (The Films)

TAR l ©2022 Focus Features

Dateline Toronto Film Festival: 10 Days. Over 200 films. You’re going to have to pick and chose carefully. After two years of Covid-19 restrictions and online “virtual film festivals” TIFF returned in 2022 to full on in person spectacle. The stars were back, the seats were full and the sponsors were happy. Here’s what I found; Taylor Swift lauded for shooting her video on film, two films (MY POLICEMAN, DON’T WORRY DARLING) staring singer turned actor Harry Styles and a whole lot more. (You know it’s an odd year when WEIRD: THE AL YANKOVIC STORY has jam packed press screenings). But […]Read On »


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Movie Review: PEARL

PEARL | ©2022 A24

Rating: R Stars: Mia Goth, David Corenswet, Tandi Wright, Matthew Sunderland, Emma Jenkins-Purro, Alistair Sewell Writers: Ti West & Mia Goth, based on characters created by Ti West Director: Ti West Distributor: A24 Release Date: September 16, 2022 We’re in 1918 Texas. Pearl (Mia Goth) is a young woman a certain amount of accurate self-awareness. She suspects there’s something wrong with her, and not just because her fiercely disapproving mother (Tandi Wright) keeps telling her so. Is Pearl’s problem that she isn’t as perfect as the silent film performers she idolizes? Is it that she’s not content with her lot […]Read On »


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