Movie Review: THE SPINE OF NIGHT

THE SPINE OF THE NIGHT movie poster | ©2021 RLJE Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars (voices): Richard E. Grant, Lucy Lawless, Patton Oswalt, Betty Gabriel, Malcolm Mills, Jordan Douglas Smith, Tom Lipinski, Nina Lisandrello, Abby Savage, Patrick Breen, Larry Fessenden, Maggie Lakis, Rob McClure, Joe Manganello Writers: Philip Gelatt & Morgan Galen King Directors: Philip Gelatt & Morgan Galen King Distributor: RLJE Films Release Date: October 29, 2021 THE SPINE OF NIGHT is one of those movies that starts slow, but somehow increases in power as it goes. It’s an ambitious animated myth that presents a series of thematically-tied stories, including a creation legend. We see a beautiful starry universe. Then […]Read On »

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Movie Review: TIME NOW

TIME NOW movie poster | ©2021 Dark Star Pictures/Uncork’d Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Eleanor Lambert, Xxavier Polk, Claudia Black, Paige Kay, Sebastian Beacon, Dwele, Jeannine Thompson, Peter Knox, Asher Atkisson, Ashli Sheri, Aaron Matthew Atkisson Writer: Spencer King Director: Spencer King Distributor: Dark Star Pictures/Uncork’d Entertainment Release Date: October 26, 2021 TIME NOW is a slow, somber family drama. At its best, TIME NOW can be said to be a steady build to what can happen when someone is desperate to blame anybody else for their own shortcomings. Director and writer Spencer King illustrates this point well. Unfortunately, TIME NOW is one of those movies that too often tries […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION

BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION movie poster | ©2021 Dark Sky Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Harry Shum Jr., Kelley Mack, Justin Welborn, Chris Sullivan Writers: Phil Drinkwater & Tim Woodall Director: Jacob Gentry Distributor: Dark Sky Films Release Date: October 22, 2021  BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION is a feature film based on the 2016 short of the same title. Phil Drinkwater & Tim Woodall jointly wrote and directed the short. They serve as screenwriters here, with Jacob Gentry taking over as director. Without seeing the short, it’s impossible to know if something has been lost in translation. The feature version of BROADCAST SIGNAL INTRUSION is effectively creepy, but the longer its mystery […]Read On »

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Movie Review: NEEDLE IN A TIMESTACK

NEEDLE IN A TIMESTACK movie poster | ©2021 Lionsgate

Rating: R Stars: Leslie Odom Jr., Frieda Pinto, Cynthia Erivo, Jadyn Wong, Orlando Bloom Writer: John Ridley, based on the short story by Robert Silverberg Director: John Ridley Distributor: Lionsgate Release Date: October 15, 2021 NEEDLE IN A TIMESTACK is based on a short story by Robert Silverberg, published in a collection of his work by the same title in 1966. Writer/director John Ridley has adapted this into a feature film that has some intriguing science-fiction ideas and questions about the nature of romantic love. Unfortunately, things don’t seem to be fully thought through. We are meant to be invested […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE OLD WAYS

THE OLD WAYS movie poster | ©2021 Netflix

Rating: R Stars: Brigitte Kali Canales, Andrea Cortės, Julia Vera, Sal Lopez, AJ Bowen Writer: Marcos Gabriel Director: Christopher Alender Distributor: Netflix Release Date: August 5, 2021 (theatrical/Netflix); October 12 (DVD/Blu-ray/Digital) THE OLD WAYS is in one sense, as its title suggests, folk horror. However, it also brings a fresh take to exorcism, and not just because it is set primarily in Veracruz, Mexico (THE OLD WAYS was actually shot in Puerto Rico and Los Angeles). In a prologue, we see several villagers trying to exorcise a woman whose young daughter watches the rite, uncomprehending. A few decades later, Cristina […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE FOREVER PURGE

THE FOREVER PURGE Blu-ray | ©2021 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Ana de la Reguera, Tenoch Herta, Josh Lucas, Cassidy Freeman, Leven Rambin, Will Patton, Zahn McClarnon Writer: James DeMonaco, based on his characters Director: Everardo Valerio Gout Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: July 2, 2021 (theatrical); September 14, 2021 (Digital); September 28, 2021 (Blu-ray/DVD/4K) THE FOREVER PURGE is the fifth film in the PURGE franchise, which launched in 2013 (there has also been a two-season cable TV series). The movies are unapologetically political (on the progressive side) and ultra-violent, set in a dystopian alternate reality. According to the original PURGE, the national holiday was instituted in the […]Read On »

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Movie Review: DEAR EVAN HANSEN

DEAR EVAN HANSEN movie poster | ©2021 Universal Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Ben Platt, Julianne Moore, Kaitlyn Dever, Amy Adams, Danny Pino, Amandla Stenberg, Colton Ryan, Nik Dodani Writer: Steven Levenson, music and lyrics by Benj Pasek & Justin Paul Director: Stephen Chbosky Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: September 24, 2021 DEAR EVAN HANSEN is a new musical film, based on the stage production, which won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score Written for the Theatre, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical. Not having seen the live version, this reviewer cannot make any comparisons, only […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SHELTER IN PLACE

SHELTER IN PLACE movie poster | ©2021 1091 Pictures

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Brendan Hines, Tatjana Marjanovic, Ola Kaminska, Kevin Daniels, Jey Reynolds Writers: Christopher Beyrooty & Connor Martin Directors: Christopher Beyrooty & Connor Martin Distributor: 1091 Pictures Release Date: September 14, 2021 SHELTER IN PLACE is set at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel (for Los Angeles non-locals, this is a real-life historic high-end establishment on Hollywood Boulevard). Fair warning: it takes place during a pandemic, when everything is on lockdown. If you feel that you’ve had enough of feeling isolated and trapped in your own recent experience and don’t want any more in your entertainment, this may not be […]Read On »

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Movie Review: CANDYMAN

CANDYMAN movie poster | ©2021 Universal Pictures/MGM

Rating: R Stars: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Kyle Kaminsky, Coleman Domingo, Michael Hargrove, Brian King, Rebecca Spence Writers: Jordan Peele and Win Rosenfeld and Nia DaCosta, based on the 1992 CANDYMAN screenplay by Bernard Rose and the short story THE FORBIDDEN by Clive Barker Director: Nia DaCosta Distributor: Universal/MGM Release Date: August 27, 2021 CANDYMAN is being billed as “a spiritual sequel” to the 1992 feature film of the same name. Since that was set in Chicago’s Cabrini-Green housing projects, and the new movie is set in the upscale apartment complexes occupying the same area, and since […]Read On »

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Movie Review: BLOOD CONSCIOUS

BLOOD CONSCIOUS movie poster | ©2021 Dark Sky Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Oghenero Gbaje, DeShawn White, Lenny Thomas, Lori Hammel, Nick Damici Writer: Timothy Covell Director: Timothy Covell Distributor: Dark Sky Films Release Date: August 20, 2021 In BLOOD CONSCIOUS, director/writer Timothy Covell puts forth a puzzle beloved of the TWILIGHT ZONE. Is there really a demonic infestation, or is it just mistrust and paranoia? How can the difference between these be determined? The set-up is promising and Covell gives us a number of scenarios in which we try to figure out what’s happening. However, he commits a grievous narrative sin only twenty minutes into the running time. […]Read On »

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