Reviews

Movie Review: TESLA

TESLA movie poster | ©2020 IFC Films

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Ethan Hawke, Eve Hewson, Kyle MacLachlan, Jim Gaffigan, Donnie Keshawarz, Rebecca Dayan, Ebon Moss-Bachrach Writer: Michael Almereyda Director: Michael Almereyda Distributor: IFC Films Release Date: August 21, 2020 TESLA is a quasi-biopic of Nicola Tesla (1856-1943), harnesser of alternating current electricity, and inventor of the induction motor and the Tesla coil. The “quasi” comes in with elements like a narrator (Eve Hewson), dressed in period garb, but who refers to a laptop and Google throughout. We also get live-action performers in front of full-screen period photos, and several scenes which, we’re promptly informed, never happened The film […]Read On »

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Movie Review: RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE

RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE movie poster | ©2020 Shudder/Elevation Pictures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Jesse Williams, Jordana Brewster, Jay Baruchel, Simon Northwood, Niamh Wilson, Clark Backo Writers: Jay Baruchel & Jesse Chabot, based on the graphic novel written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, illustrated by Giancarlo Caracuzzo Director: Jay Baruchel Distributor: Elevation Pictures (Canada); Shudder (U.S.) Release Date: July 18, 2020 (Canada); August 20, 2020 (U.S., U.K., Ireland)  RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE, based on the graphic novel written by Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, and illustrated by Giancarlo Caracuzzo, has a lot on its mind. Directed by Jay Baruchel from a screenplay by Baruchel & Jesse Chabot, the movie […]Read On »

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Movie Review: CUT THROAT CITY

CUT THROAT CITY movie poster | ©2020 Well Go USA Entertainment

Rating: R Stars: Shameik Moore, Demetrius Shipp Jr., Keean Johnson, Denzel Whitaker, Eiza Gonzalez, Kat Graham, T.I., Rob Morgan, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes, Terrence Howard Writer: P.G. Cuschieri Director: The RZA Distributor: Well Go USA Entertainment Release Date: August 21, 2020 CUT THROAT CITY starts with a lively animated opening credits sequence, with bloody comic book art of black workers vs. KKK members. At the end of the sequence, we discover this actually is the CUT THROAT CITY graphic novel, created by James, aka Blink (Shameik Moore), who is showing his new work to his brother Miracle (Demetrius Shipp Jr.) […]Read On »

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Movie Review: WATCH LIST

WATCH LIST movie poster | ©2020 Dark Star Pictures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Alessandra de Rossi, Arthur Acuña, Jake Macapagal Writers: Rona Lean Sales & Ben Rekhi Director: Ben Rekhi Distributor: Dark Star Pictures Release Date: August 21, 2020 (theatrical); September 1, 2020 (VOD) WATCH LIST opens with real-world footage of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte making an anti-drug speech, and tacitly praising Hitler. This is not an endorsement by the filmmakers, but rather their way of stating up front what ordinary Filipino citizens are up against in the Duterte regime’s war on drugs. We meet Maria (Alessandra de Rossi), her husband Turo, and their three youngsters, aged thirteen, nine, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MURDER IN THE WOODS

MURDER IN THE WOOD movie poster | ©2020 Rezinate Pictures/Amor Media/Stadium Media

Rating: R Stars: Jose Julian, Jeanette Samano, Chelsea Rendon, Catherine Toribio, Kade Wise, Jordan Diambrini, Soledad St. Hillaire, Danny Trejo Writer: Yelyna De Leon Director: Luis Iga Garza Distributor: Rezinate Pictures/Amor Media/Stadium Media Release Date: August 14, 2020 (theatrical); September 18, 2020 (digital and VOD) MURDER IN THE WOODS is here for those craving ‘80s-style slasher horror. It begins with a man, obviously already the victim of attempted murder, limping through the forest. He arrives at what appears to be an abandoned cabin. He is pursued by someone armed with a hatchet. Through all of this, we get ambiguous flashbacks […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE BAY OF SILENCE

THE BAY OF SILENCE movie poster | ©2020 Vertical Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Claes Bang, Olga Kurylenko, Brian Cox, Assaad Bouab, Alice Krige, Caroline Goodall, Shalisha James-Davis, Hannah van der Westhuysen Writer: Caroline Goodall, based on the novel by Lisa St. Aubin de Teran Director: Paula van der Oest Distributor: Vertical Entertainment Release Date: August 14, 2020 The Bay of Silence is a harbor in Liguria, Italy. The action subsequently hops to London, France, and Switzerland, and there’s a brief black and white prologue, but it’s here that we encounter Rosalind (Olga Kurylenko) and her boyfriend Will (Claes Bang). Will and Rosalind are besotted with each other. He proposes, […]Read On »

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TV Review: LINE OF DUTY

LINE OF DUTY Key Art | ©2020 Acorn TV

Stars: Martin Cumpston, Vicky McClure, Adrian Dunbar, Craig Parkinson, Lennie James, Keeley Hawes, Thandie Newton Writer: Jed Mercurio Directors: John Strickland, Douglas Mackinnon, David Caffrey, Daniel Nettheim, Michael Keillor, Jed Mercutio, Susan Tully Networks: AMC, Acorn TV Original Airdates: U.K., June 26, 2012; AMC, April 6, 2020 LINE OF DUTY is a British police drama unlike most. For one thing, it just won an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for Season 5, Episode 4. For another, LINE OF DUTY deals with a subject that U.S. police dramas so far won’t touch as a series premise: Internal Affairs. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE SECRET GARDEN

THE SECRET GARDEN poster | ©2020 STX Films

Rating: PG Stars: Daisy Egerikx, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, Edan Hayhurst, Amir Wilson, Isis Davis Writer: Jack Thorne, based on the novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett Director: Marc Munden Distributor: STX Films Release Date: August 7, 2020 THE SECRET GARDEN is based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s 1911 novel. It has been adapted for the screen many times before. So what’s the 2020 version like? Director Marc Munden and screenwriter Jack Thorne have updated the action to 1947. As subtitles explain to us, it is the “eve of Partition,” when India and Pakistan are splitting into separate countries. Imaginative little Mary […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE RENTAL

THE RENTAL movie poster | ©2020 IFC

Rating: R Stars: Dan Stevens, Alison Brie, Sheila Vand, Jeremy Allen White, Toby Huss Writers: Dave Franco & Joe Swanberg, story by Dave Franco & Joe Swanberg & Mike Demski Director: Dave Franco Distributor: IFC Films Release Date: July 24, 2020  THE RENTAL is the kind of thriller that teases the audience. For a good while, there are enough clues, both actual and red herrings, to keep us guessing as to what’s going on here. Will this turn out to be a saga of out of control jealousy? Is the caretaker up to something sinister? Is it both, or neither? […]Read On »

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Movie Review: LIMBO

LIMBO movie poster | ©2020 Uncork’d Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Lucian Charles Collier, Scottie Thompson, Lew Temple, Richard Riehle, Peter Jacobson, Lauryn Canny, Veronica Cartwright, James Purefoy Writer: Mark Young Director: Mark Young Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment Release Date: August 4, 2020 LIMBO takes place in the realm indicated by the title. Neither Heaven nor Hell, here Limbo is a dusty room that looks like an unused ‘30s warehouse office. The souls of the departed come here to be judged and sent to their ultimate destination.’’ The soul that occupies this version of Limbo is that of Jimmy Doyle (Lew Temple), who died as the result of […]Read On »

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