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: EVIL LITTLE THINGS

EVIL LITTLE THINGS movie poster | ©2020 Uncork’d Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Mason Wells, Geoff McKnight, L.A. Winters, Zach Galligan, Hannah Fierman, Courtney Hogan, Courtney Lakin, Jonathan Horne Writers: Yasmin Bakhtiari and Nancy Knight Director: Matt Green Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment Release Date (DVD and Digital): May 12, 2020 EVIL LITTLE THINGS is billed as a horror anthology. This isn’t quite accurate – it’s actually two stories, bound together by a wraparound third. The theme here is creepy dolls, which for some of us never gets old, providing it’s done right. Despite the fact that Matt Green directed the entire enterprise, the quality varies from piece to piece. The […]Read On »

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Movie Review: VALLEY GIRL (2020)

VALLEY GIRL (2020) Movie Poster | ©2020 Orion Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Jessica Rothe, Josh Whitehouse, Chloe Bennet, Ashleigh Murray, Jessie Ennis, Mae Whitman, Logan Paul, Alicia Silverstone, Judy Greer Writer: Amy Talkington, story by Andrew Lane and Wayne Crawford Director: Rachel Lee Goldenberg Distributor: Orion Classics Release Date (VOD and drive-ins): May 8, 2020 VALLEY GIRL is the latest movie to get partly tripped up by its title. If it were called anything except VALLEY GIRL, it would be easier to accept on its own terms. But somehow it was decided that using the name for a film very unlike the 1983 original, thereby inviting apples to cucumbers […]Read On »

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Movie Review: WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS

WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS movie poster | ©2020 Saban Films

Rating: R Stars: Alexandra Daddario, Amy Forsyth, Keean Johnson, Maddie Hasson, Johnny Knoxville, Logan Miller, Austin Swift, Allison McAtee Writer: Alan Trezza Director: Marc Meyers Distributor: Saban Films Release Date: (VOD and Digital) April 10, 2020 At the risk of being spoilery, but to save viewers seeking something specific from not receiving it, let’s state up front that WE SUMMON THE DARKNESS is not supernatural. Nothing gets summoned. That said, there’s plenty of gore and craziness. There is also what seems to be a bent toward black comedy that exists here more in theory than in fact. We are in […]Read On »

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Movie Review: VIVARIUM

VIVARIUM movie poster | ©2020 Saban Films

Rating: R Stars: Imogen Poots, Jesse Eisenberg, Jonathan Aris, Eanna Hardwicke, Senan Jennings Writer: Garret Shanley Director: Lorcan Finnegan Distributor: Saban Films Release Date: March 27, 2020 VIVARIUM begins with the spectacle of a young cuckoo chick shoving other baby birds of another species out of a nest so that it can get the other chicks’ parent’s food all to itself. This beginning is in one way a literal representation of what we’re about to see, but in another way, it’s inexact. We meet good-hearted elementary school teacher Gemma (Imogen Poots) and her landscaper boyfriend Tom (Jesse Eisenberg) as they’re […]Read On »

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Movie Review: RUN THIS TOWN

RUN THIS TOWN Movie Poster | ©2020 Quiver Distribution

Rating: R Stars: Ben Platt, Mena Massoud, Damian Lewis, Nina Dobrev, Scott Speedman, Jennifer Ehle Writer: Ricky Tollman Director: Ricky Tollman Distributor: Quiver Distribution Release Date: March 6, 2020 RUN THIS TOWN is an oddly structured piece that is, and yet is not, about a real-life political scandal. Set in 2013, the film, written and directed by Ricky Tollman, broadly concerns the downfall of Toronto, Canada mayor Rob Ford (played here by an unrecognizable Damian Lewis). Tollman tells the story partly from the point of view of rookie reporter Bram (Ben Platt) and partly from that of one of Ford’s […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE LODGE

THE LODGE movie poster | ©2020 Neon

Rating: R Stars: Riley Keogh, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Richard Armitage, Alicia Silverstone Writers: Sergio Casci and Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz Directors: Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz Distributor: Neon Release Date: January 31, 2020 The directing/writing team of Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz (they share script credit here with Sergio Casci) undeniably know their way around horror imagery and atmosphere. Eerie empty hallways, dolls that look too much like people, paintings that seem to sit in silent judgment – THE LODGE has it all. THE LODGE also has a good premise, but by the time what it is becomes […]Read On »

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Movie Review: CLEMENCY

CLEMENCY movie poster | ©2019 Neon

Rating: R Stars: Alfre Woodard, Aldis Hodge, Wendell Pierce, Richard Schiff, Michael O’Neill, Vernee Watson, Danielle Brooks Writer: Chinonye Chukwu Director: Chinonye Chukwu Distributor: Neon Release Date: December 27, 2019 CLEMENCY, written and directed by Chinonye Chukwu, is a movie we haven’t exactly ever seen before. There are certainly innumerable character studies, and plenty of movies about death row. But there aren’t many (if any) others from the point of view of the prison warden, and we haven’t met onscreen any wardens like Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard). Bernadine is thorough and dedicated to carrying out her job by the book. […]Read On »

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Movie Review: LITTLE WOMEN

LITTLE WOMEN movie poster | ©2019 Sony Pictures

Rating: PG Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Timothee Chalamet, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Bob Odenkirk, Meryl Streep, Tracy Letts, Chris Cooper, Louis Garrel, Jayne Houdyshell Writer: Greta Gerwig, based on the novel by Louisa May Alcott Director: Greta Gerwig Distributor: Sony/Columbia Release Date: December 25, 2019 This reviewer has long known of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved novel LITTLE WOMEN, and its multiple film, TV and stage adaptations without ever reading/seeing any of them. Therefore, this review of the new iteration, directed by Greta Gerwig from her screenplay, has been written with no basis for comparison. Strictly on its […]Read On »

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Movie Review: JUST MERCY

JUST MERCY movie poster | ©2019 Warner Bros.

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, Brie Larson, Tim Blake Nelson, Rob Morgan, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Rafe Spall Writers: Destin Daniel Cretton & Andrew Lanham, based on the book by Bryan Stevenson Director: Destin Daniel Cretton Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: December 25, 2019  JUST MERCY opens in 1987 Monroeville, Alabama (where, all of the white locals continually point out, Harper Lee wrote TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD). Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), known to all his friends as Johnny D, is a cheerful family man with his own pulping business. One night, he is pulled over and arrested for the […]Read On »

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