Reviews

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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Movie Review: JUDY & PUNCH

JUDY & PUNCH movie poster | ©2020 Samuel Goldwyn Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Damon Herriman, Benedict Hardy. Gillian Jones, Terry Norris, Brenda Palmer Writer: Mirrah Foulkes Director: Mirrah Foulkes Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films Release Date (select theaters, Hulu, VOD): June 5, 2020 JUDY & PUNCH is a movie that makes viewers feel like we’ve stumbled into an odd, secret realm, perhaps the historical edge of the Twilight Zone. Not full-blown fantasy or horror or comedy, but with elements of all three, it’s a beguiling display of folklore cinema. Director/writer Mirrah Foulkes gives us a spooky, once-upon-a-time opening to a tale set in the 16th-century landlocked town of […]Read On »

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DVD/Blu-Ray Review: CREEPSHOW Season 1

CREEPSHOW Season 1 - Blu-ray | ©2020 RLJE Films

Rating: TV-MA Stars: Logan Allen, David Arquette, Adrienne Barbeau, Hannah Barefoot, Tobin Bell, Tracey Bonner, Jeffrey Combs, Voltaire Colin Council, Bruce Davison, James Devoti, Giancarlo Esposito, Cailey Fleming, Dana Gould, Tricia Helfer, Ravi Naidu, Antwon “Big Boi” Patton, DJ Qualls, Dane Rhodes, Gena Shaw, Sydney Wease Writers: Philip de Blasi, Christopher Buehlman, Jason Ciamarella, Paul Dini, John Esposito, John Harrison, Bruce Jones, Stephen Langford, Josh Malerman, Dori Miller, David J. Schow, Rob Schrab, John Skipp, Matt Venne, Byron Willinger Directors: Roxanne Benjamin, David Bruckner, John Harrison, Greg Nicotero, Tom Savini, Rob Schrab Distributor: RLJE Films Release Date (home video): June […]Read On »

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Movie Review: END OF SENTENCE

END OF SENTENCE movie poster | ©2020 Gravitas Ventures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: John Hawkes, Logan Lerman, Sarah Bolger, Andrea Irvine Writer: Michael Armbruster Director: Elfar Adalsteins Distributor: Gravitas Ventures Release Date: May 29, 2020 END OF SENTENCE is a gentle-feeling, quiet dramedy that’s mostly about family dynamics. Anna Fogle (Andrea Irvine) is dying of cancer when we meet her. She’s the one common bond between her husband Frank (John Hawkes) and their son Sean (Logan Lerman), who is doing time in an Alabama jail for car theft. Anna has passed by the time Sean is released. He doesn’t want anything to do with his father. However, Anna’s last […]Read On »

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Movie Review: EQUAL STANDARD

EQUAL STANDARD movie poster | ©2020 C.O.D.

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Tobias Truvillion, Syleena Johnson, Chris Kerson, Brad Fleischer, Rob Minutoli, Ice-T, Robert Clohessy Writer: Taheim Bryan Director: Brendan Kyle Cochrane Distributor: C.O.D. Release Date (streaming on demand at equalstandardmovie.com): May 14, 2020  EQUAL STANDARD stakes a claim in the Wild West of movie distribution during Covid-19 lockdown by making itself available at equalstandardmovie.com for $9.99. For big-city viewers, this is a decent price, especially if there’s more than one viewer. The plot and intended scope of EQUAL STANDARD might be better served by an HBO miniseries. NYPD Detective Chris Jones (Tobias Truvillion) and his wife, NYPD […]Read On »

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COUNCIL OF DADS: Actress Sarah Wayne Callies on new drama – Exclusive Interview

Sarah Wayne Callies as Robin Perry in COUNCIL OF DADS - Season 1| ©2020 NBC/Jeff Lipsky

NBC’s COUNCIL OF DADS is on Thursday nights in its first season. The feel-good drama, created by Tony Phelan and Joan Rater, is about a family that loses one member, only to gain many more. In the pilot, Scott Perry (Tom Everett Scott), having received a cancer diagnosis, asks the three men he trusts most – Anthony (Clive Standen), Larry (Michael O’Neill), and Oliver (J. August Richards) – to be there for his family and serve as substitute dads after his death. This occurs partway through the first episode. Sarah Wayne Callies plays Dr. Robin Perry, Scott’s wife/widow and mother […]Read On »

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