Movie Review: HOST

HOST movie poster | ©2020 Shudder

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Haley Bishop, Jemma Moore, Emma Louise Webb, Radina Drandova, Caroline Ward, Edward Linard, Seylan Baxter Writers: Gemma Hurley & Rob Savage & Jed Shepherd Director: Rob Savage Distributor: Shudder Release Date: July 30, 2020 HOST, not to be confused with Bong Joon-ho’s 2006 monster movie THE HOST, the 1998 telefilm also known as VIRTUAL OBSESSION, the 2013 release starring Saoirse Ronan and Max Irons or any of the other over 450 films of that title (per IMDB), is now streaming on Shudder. The new HOST has the distinction of being shot, set, edited and released during […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE FIGHT

THE FIGHT movie poster | ©2020 Magnolia Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Lee Gelernt, Brigitte Amiri, Dale Ho, Josh Block, Chase Strangio Directors: Elyse Steinberg, Josh Kriegman, Eli Despres Distributor: Magnolia Pictures Release Date: July 31, 2020 THE FIGHT is a documentary about the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU. More specifically, as we are informed by a supertitle near the start, THE FIGHT is about four of the hundreds of lawsuits that the ACLU has brought against the Trump administration. In THE FIGHT, we follow four lawyers from the ACLU’s New York headquarters. Lee Gelernt, who specializes in immigrants’ rights, seeks to reunite parents and children who have […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE OLD GUARD

THE OLD GUARD poster | ©2020 Netflix

Rating: R Stars: Charlize Theron, KiKi Layne, Matthias Schoenaerts, Marwan Kenzari, Luca Martinelli, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling, Van Veronica Ngo Writer: Greg Rucka, based on the graphic novels by Greg Rucka, illustrated by Leandro Fernandez Director: Gina Prince-Bythewood Distributor: Netflix Release Date: July 10, 2020 THE OLD GUARD is about a group of Immortals. Mythology about immortality has been around for as long as humans have been telling stories. There’s no automatic reason to think that one new variation has ties to a specific older variation. Well, unless in the new variation, the Immortals all have swords, can sense each […]Read On »

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Movie Review: AMULET

AMULET movie poster | ©2020 Magnolia Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Carla Juri, Alec Secareanu, Angeliki Papoulia, Imelda Staunton, Anah Ruddin Writer: Romola Garai Director: Romola Garai Distributor: Magnolia Pictures Release Date: July 24, 2020 AMULET is a stylish, satisfying writing/directing feature debut from Romola Garai. Garai, a topnotch English actress (THE HOUR, SUFFRAGETTE) who does not appear here, demonstrates that she can get fine work from performers, and that she knows how to create an atmosphere that glides from dreamlike to nightmarish. We follow Tomaz (Alec Secareanu) in two timelines. In one, he is a young wartime guard at an Eastern European border crossing deep in the […]Read On »

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Movie Review: GHOSTS OF WAR

GHOSTS OF WAR movie poster | ©2020 Vertical Entertainment

Rating: R Stars: Brenton Thwaites, Theo Rossi, Skylar Astin, Kyle Gallner, Alan Ritchson Writer: Eric Bress Director: Eric Bress Distributor: Vertical Entertainment Release Date: July 17, 2020 GHOSTS OF WAR is largely a haunted house story set in 1944 Nazi-occupied France. That’s how the setting is identified in the opening crawl. We’re with a squad of five young American soldiers. Our first introduction is to Chris (Brenton Thwaites), who awakens in a dark clearing, with his comrades sleeping nearby. He either sees or hallucinates something in the surrounding forest. In daylight, we meet the rest of the group. Kirk (Theo […]Read On »

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Movie Review: RELIC

RELIC movie poster | ©2020 IFC Films

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Emily Mortimer, Robyn Nevin, Bella Heathcote Writers: Natalie Erika James and Christian White Director: Natalie Erika James Distributor: IFC Films Release Date: July 10, 2020 RELIC is a horror movie that deals with senile dementia. For a lot of people, this will be a form of gilding the lily. Dealing with a parent’s real-life cognitive decline is often so devastating that it’s hard to muster much added alarm about the possibility of a supernatural dimension to it. Director Natalie Erika James and her co-writer Christian White elicit some pathos, but in trying to mix tragedy with […]Read On »

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Movie Review: DRIVEN (2020)

DRIVEN Movie poster | ©2020 Uncork’d Entertainment

Rating: Not Rated Stars: Richard Speight Jr., Casey Dillard Writer: Casey Dillard Director: Glenn Payne Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment Release Date: June 16, 2020  The new movie DRIVEN, being released on June 16, 2020, should not be confused with the 2018 Jason Sudeikis/Lee Pace starrer of the same name about John DeLorean, or the other 2018 DRIVEN, about an out-of-control race car driver who falls in love, or the other race car driver movie, also called DRIVEN, that starred Sylvester Stallone and was released in 2001, or the DRIVEN TV series from 2018, or … In other words, somebody should probably […]Read On »

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Movie Review: THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND

THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND movie poster | ©2020 Universal Pictures

Rating: R Stars: Pete Davidson, Marisa Tomei, Bel Powley, Bill Burr, Maude Apatow Writers: Judd Apatow & Pete Davidson & Dave Sirus Director: Judd Apatow Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: June 12, 2020 THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND is so targeted at a specific audience that it may be unfair for anybody who’s not in that demographic to review it. The movie is dedicated to star/co-writer’s Pete Davidson’s father, the late firefighter Scott Davidson, and it’s impossible not to respect the sincerity of the tribute. THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND has Davidson playing Scott Carlin, who at age twenty-four, is […]Read On »

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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: 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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