Movie Review: TOY STORY 4

TOY STORY 4 movie poster | ©2019 Walt Disney Pictures

Rating: G Stars (voices): Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Jordan Peele, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves, Madeleine McGraw, Jay Hernandez, Lori Alan, Ally Maki Writers: Andrew Stanton & Stephanie Folsom, story by John Lasseter & Andrew Stanton & Josh Cooley and Rashida Jones & Will McCormack & Martin Hynes & Stephanie Folsom Director: Josh Cooley Distributor: Walt Disney Release Date: June 21, 2019 It’s not fair to judge most movies by the lofty standards of 2010’s TOY STORY 3, which was wildly entertaining, yet so emotionally potent that grown-ups were sobbing in their seats. Reportedly, some […]Read On »

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Movie Review: CHILD’S PLAY (2019)

CHILD'S PLAY 2019 movie poster | ©2019 Orion Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Aubrey Plaza, Gabriel Bateman, Brian Tyree Henry, Tim Matheson, Mark Hamill (voice), Carlease Burke Writer: Tyler Burton Smith, based on the 1988 CHILD’S PLAY screenplay by Don Mancini and John Lafia and Tom Holland, story by Don Mancini Director: Lars Klevberg Distributor: Orion Pictures Release Date: June 21, 2019 While it doesn’t feel like the 1988 CHILD’S PLAY was crying out for a remake, what with the existence of 1990’s CHILD’S PLAY 2, 1991’s CHILD’S PLAY 3, and a whole slew of CHUCKY offshoots, the new CHILD’S PLAY is okay. Granted, this edition gets off to a […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE DEAD DON’T DIE

THE DEAD DON'T DIE movie poster | ©2019 Focus Features

Rating: R Stars: Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloe Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Caleb Landry Jones Writer: Jim Jarmusch Director: Jim Jarmusch Distributor: Focus Features Release Date: June 14, 2019 If you are familiar with the works filmmaker Jim Jarmusch, describing THE DEAD DON’T DIE as a Jim Jarmusch movie with zombies should tell you pretty much all you need to know about it. If you’re not familiar with Jarmusch’s oeuvre, perhaps the best way to attempt to convey the experience by noting this is a review, written by someone who’s aware that it’s a review, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: DARK PHOENIX

DARK PHOENIX poster | ©2019 20th Century Fox

Rating: PG-13 Stars: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Sophie Turner, Nicholas Hoult, Jessica Chastain, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee Writer: Simon Kinberg Director: Simon Kinberg Distributor: 20th Century Fox Release Date: June 7, 2019 DARK PHOENIX is okay. If that sounds like less than a ringing endorsement, this is because the movie doesn’t hum with the invention and joy of the best X-MEN movies. On the other hand, it’s clear and coherent, takes on a few issues previously unmentioned in the film series, and has some action sequences that work very well. Apart from THE WOLVERINE […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BRIGHTBURN

BRIGHTBURN teaser poster | ©2019 Screen Gems

Rating: R Stars: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn Writers: Brian Gunn & Mark Gunn Director: David Yarovesky Distributor: Sony/Screen Gems Release Date: May 23, 2019 While BRIGHTBURN touches on various mythologies, it is most closely linked to that of Superman. Like SUPERMAN, BRIGHTBURN deals with a human-looking baby, found in what is clearly a (very small) spacecraft by a sweet, childless couple, Tori (Elizabeth Banks) and Kyle Breyer (David Denman), who raise the boy as their own. The title of BRIGHTBURN turns out to be the name of one of those towns that figure in super origin stories, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: TOLKIEN

TOLKIEN movie poster | ©2019 Fox Searchlight

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, Harry Gilby, Craig Roberts, Patrick Gibson, Anthony Boyle, Tom Glynn-Carney, Adam Bregman, Albie Marber, Ty Tennant, Colm Meaney, Derek Jacobi, Laura Donnelly Writers: David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford Director: Dome Karukoski Distributor: Fox Searchlight Release Date: May 10, 2019 On a number of occasions in TOLKIEN, characters get excited about words. Not words put together into stories or poems (although there’s enthusiasm for that as well), but how sounds fit together, and where they came from, and how they might be put together into new languages. These are conversations that a lot of […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA

THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA movie poster | ©2019 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Linda Cardellini, Roman Christou, Jaynee-Lynne Kinchen, Raymond Cruz, Tony Amendola, Marisol Ramirez, Patricia Velasquez, Sean Patrick Thomas Writers: Mikki Daughtry & Tobias Iaconis Director: Michael Chaves Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: April 19, 2019 THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA is rated R. At first, this is surprising. There’s no nudity, no swearing, and not a whole lot of bloodshed. However, since THE CURSE OF LA LLORONA is, start to finish, about young children in supernatural jeopardy, the R rating is probably warranted. This is despite the film’s tone, which is more movie of the week than bone-chilling. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: RED JOAN

RED JOAN movie poster | ©2019 IFC Films

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Judy Dench, Sophie Woodson, Stephen Campbell Moore, Tom Hughes, Laurence Spellman, Tereza Srbova Writer: Lindsay Shapero, based on the novel by Jennie Rooney Director: Trevor Nunn Distributor: IFC Films Release Date: April 19, 2019 RED JOAN’s Joan Stanley, played at different stages of life by Judy Dench and Sophie Woodson, is not actually a real person. While she is based, very loosely, on the real Melita Norwood, this means that the screenplay by Lindsay Shapero, based on the novel by Jennie Rooney, can go wherever it wants. Norwood was in fact exposed as Britain’s longest-hidden KGB spy. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: LITTLE

LITTLE movie poster | ©2019 Universal Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Marsai Martin, Issa Rae, Regina Hall, Tracie Ellis Ross (voice), Tone Bell, Luke James Writers: Tracy Oliver and Tina Gordon, story by Tracy Oliver Director: Tina Gordon Distributor: Universal Release Date: April 12, 2019 LITTLE is essentially the inverse of the 1988 comedy BIG. That may sound like an easy line, but it’s true. In BIG, a twelve-year-old boy wishes to be an adult and turns into a thirty-year-old (played by Tom Hanks). This is also the plot of 13 GOING ON 30, with Jennifer Garner as the suddenly-grown version of a 13-year-old who wishes she were […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE PUBLIC

THE PUBLIC movie poster | ©2019 Greenwich Entertainment

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Alec Baldwin, Emilio Estevez Jena Malone, Taylor Schilling, Christian Slater, Gabrielle Union, Jacob Vargas, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jeffrey Wright Writer: Emilio Estevez Director: Emilio Estevez Distributor: Greenwich Entertainment (theatrical), Universal Pictures Home Entertainment (all media) Release Date: (theatrical) April 5, 2019 THE PUBLIC takes its title from the Cincinatti, Ohio Public Library, where most of the action is set. It is a fact that quite a few homeless people in cities all over the U.S. use public libraries not only as sources of information, but also as daytime shelters to get in out of the elements. It’s […]Read On »

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