Movie Review: JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE

JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE movie poster | ©2020 Magnolia Pictures

Stars: John Lewis Director: Dawn Porter Distributor: Magnolia Pictures Release Date: July 3, 2020 JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE is, as its title suggests, a biographical documentary about the Democratic Georgia congressman and civil rights activist who has served in the U.S. House since 1987. Director/producer Dawn Porter and her subject both exude cautious optimism in the face of current events. “Good trouble” is what Lewis urges people to get into, which he also refers to “necessary trouble.” This means standing up for one’s principles and being willing to face sometimes monumental consequences. Lewis has survived segregation, over forty arrests during […]Read On »

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Movie Review: FOUR KIDS AND IT

FOUR KIDS AND IT movie poster | ©2020 Lionsgate

Rating: PG Stars: Teddie Malleson-Allen, Ashleigh Aufderheide, Matthew Goode, Paula Patton, Billy Jenkins, Ellie-Mae Siame, Russell Brand, Michael Caine Writer: Simon Lewis, additional writing by Mark Oswin, based on the novel FOUR CHILDREN AND IT by Jacqueline Wilson, based on the novel FIVE CHILDREN AND IT by E. Nesbit Director: Andy de Emmony Distributor: Lionsgate Release Date: June 30, 2020 FOUR KIDS AND IT doesn’t hide its literary origins. Right up front, we see the E. Nesbit FIVE CHILDREN AND IT book as thirteen-year-old Ros (Teddie Malleson-Allen) obtains it at a bookstore. As this novel was originally published in 1902, […]Read On »

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Movie Review: FOLLOWED

FOLLOWED movie poster | ©2020 Global View Entertainment

Rating: R Stars: Matthew Solomon, Sam Valentine, Tim Drier, Caitlin Grace, Kelsey Griswold, John Savage Writer: Todd Klick Director: Antoine Le Distributor: Global View Entertainment Release Date: June 19, 2020 (release expands June 26, 2020) FOLLOWED is a better-than-average found-footage horror movie. What elevates FOLLOWED among its fellows? For one thing, it’s got a plot, which immediately helps. For another, it’s got characters who have understandable motivations. For a third, it’s got good, creepy mythology to go with its suitably ominous setting. However, those who cannot abide the found-footage subgenre should take heed at the outset. Michael (Matthew Solomon), who […]Read On »

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Movie Review: YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT

YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT movie poster | ©2020 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Kevin Bacon, Amanda Seyfried, Avery Essex, Colin Bluemenau Writer: David Koepp, based on the novella by Daniel Kehlmann Director: David Koepp Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: June 19, 2020 YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT borrows from several other iconic horror books-into-film adaptations. They won’t be named here, as that would give the game away, and most viewers will make those associations for themselves. Still, it’s a nicely creepy haunted-house story that mostly strikes a balance between serving its premise and not belaboring it, though the climax leaves something to be desired. Theo Conroy (Kevin Bacon) would seem to […]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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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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