Movie Review: STUBER

STUBER movie poster | ©2019 20th Century Fox

Rating: R Stars: Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin Writer: Tripper Clancy Director: Michael Dowse Distributor: 20th Century Fox Release Date: July 12, 2019 STUBER pairs Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani in a buddy action comedy. Given the track record of both performers, especially Nanjiani, STUBER feels like it ought to be funnier. It’s agreeable in a LETHAL WEAPON knockoff way, and its leads are both deeply likeable. It’s just that few of the gags land in the way that seems intended. Bautista plays LAPD detective Vic, ferociously determined to avenge the death of his partner […]Read On »

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Book Review: SNOWBOUND

SNOWBOUND novel by Maria Alexander | ©2019 Ghede Press

Writer: Maria Alexander Price: $13.99 Publisher: Ghede Press Publication Date: July 21, 2018 What with NOS4A2 making Christmas in July scary again on TV, this seems the ideal time to pick up Maria Alexander’s novel SNOWBOUND. This is the second in Alexander’s Yuletide trilogy, following her Bram Stoker Award-winning SNOWED. While it is advisable to read SNOWED before SNOWBOUND (and SNOWED is excellent in its own right), it’s not absolutely necessary. Alexander brings us up to speed without repeating herself. SNOWBOUND is told in the alternating first-person voices of Charity Jones, a brilliant just-out-of-high-school engineer now doing government work, and […]Read On »

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Movie Review: MIDSOMMAR

MIDSOMMAR movie poster | ©2019 A24

Rating: R Stars: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren, Will Poulter, Ellora Torchia, Archie Madekwe Writer: Ari Aster Director: Ari Aster Distributor: A24 Release Date: July 3, 2019 MIDSOMMAR is one of those rare films that is so physically beautiful and so consistent in its folklore that these elements elevate it throughout. Production designer Henrik Svensson deserves Oscar consideration, as do cinematographer Pawel Pogorzelski and art directors Richard T. Olson, Nille Svensson and Eszter Takacs. Writer/director Ari Aster, whose previous film was last year’s HEREDITARY, introduces us to Dani (Florence Pugh), who worries that she’s leaning on […]Read On »

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Movie Review: SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME

SPIDER-MAN FAR FROM HOME movie poster | ©2019 Sony Pictures/Marvel

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, Jacob Batalon, Angourie Rice, Martin Starr, JB Smoove Writers: Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, based on the Marvel comic book and characters created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Director: Jon Watts Distributor: Columbia/Sony Release Date: July 2, 2019 SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME is in the unenviable position of picking up the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline only three real-world months after the hugely emotional AVENGERS: ENDGAME. ENDGAME was presented as such a finale that it didn’t even have the customary Marvel mid-and-post credits […]Read On »

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Movie Review: YESTERDAY

YESTERDAY movie poster | ©2019 Unviersal Pictures

Rating: PG-13 Stars: Himesh Patel, Lily James, Ed Sheeran, Meera Syal, Sanjeev Baskar, Joel Fry, Kate McKinnon Writer: Richard Curtis, story by Jack Barth & Richard Curtis Director: Danny Boyle Distributor: Universal Pictures Release Date: June 28, 2019 YESTERDAY is the kind of movie that will make some people want to get into a bar fight. Not because there’s a bar fight in it – there isn’t – but because this is a movie that can get a person into the kind of argument where voices are raised and punches may be thrown. As anybody who has seen the trailer […]Read On »

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Blu-ray Review: MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE

MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE Blu-ray | ©2019 Vinegar Syndrome

Rated: R Stars: Bill Thurman, Anna Chappell, Will Mitchell Writer: Jim McCullough Jr. Director: Jim McCullough Sr. Distributor: Vinegar Syndrome Suggested Retail Price: $24.99 While not as well known as most slasher movies from the 1980s, MOUNTAINTOP MOTEL MASSACRE is a curious relic from the era that has actually aged quite gracefully. Directed by Jim McCullough Sr. and written by Jim McCullough Jr. , the film mixes PSYCHO with standard slasher fare for an occasionally spooky and atmospheric ride accompanied by a creepy score by Rob Dilulio. The film begins with the introduction of Mountaintop Motel proprietor Evelyn (Anna Chappell), […]Read On »

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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: SHAFT (2019)

SHAFT movie poster from the 2019 reboot | ©2019 Warner Bros.

Rating: R Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Jesse T. Usher, Regina Hall, Richard Roundtree, Alexandra Shipp, Isaach De Bankole, Titus Welliver Writers: Kenya Barris & Alex Barnow, based on the novel by Ernest Tidyman Director: Tim Story Distributor: Warner Bros. Release Date: June 14, 2019 The 2019 film SHAFT is technically a direct sequel to the 2000 film also entitled SHAFT, which also starred Samuel L. Jackson as the title character. That SHAFT was in turn a quasi-sequel to the trilogy of SHAFT films (the 1971 original, which won an Oscar for Isaac Hayes’s indelible theme song, 1972’s SHAFT’S BIG SCORE, […]Read On »

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