REVIEW: The Aeronauts [2019]

Doubt is there to be listened to. When Jack Thorne decided to craft a screenplay that was able to embody the insanity of what Richard Holmes described in his book about early aeronautic pioneers, Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air, he recognized that cherry picking the best bits and smushing them together through fiction proved the simplest way to represent the era’s spirit if not each of the participants themselves. There was dramatic intrigue to meteorologist James Glaisher breaking the world record for flight altitude alongside pilot Henry…

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REVIEW: Charlie’s Angels [2019]

Hugs work. It’s been over fifteen years since Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle hit cinemas. That might not seem so long considering the first movie bowed almost twenty years after the television show went off the air, but TV reboots were all the rage back in the early ‘aughts. That extra time might have actually helped then because the fad’s key selling point was updating seventies-era properties with twenty-first century technology. Going from then until now, however, doesn’t quite hold the same demand for a “new look” as far as aesthetics…

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REVIEW: A Million Little Pieces [2019]

Get it right the first time, James. During the ensuing fallout once James Frey‘s memoir A Million Little Pieces was exposed as a fabrication well beyond his statement admitting to having altered “small details” of his past, it was discovered that the author had tried getting it published as fiction to no avail. Random House, the place that ultimately printed it and watched its ascent to the number one bestseller slot thanks to a coveted spot on Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club list, was supposedly one of the establishments that rejected…

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REVIEW: Queen & Slim [2019]

Can I be your legacy? Despite what your Fox News watching relatives say, Black people in America aren’t asking to be killed. They aren’t “thugs” leeching off a system those same folks are banking on to carry them through retirement. And their rage at being left for slaughter isn’t an excuse for you to wield a badge like a southern slave owner. So when a young couple lurch their car while driving at night, they aren’t baiting a cop to pull them over. That teetotaler praying before diner food and…

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REVIEW: The Peanut Butter Falcon [2019]

Two bandits on the run. Neither Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) nor Zak (Zack Gottsagen) is where he wants to be—each haunted by memories of their loss. The former suffers from demons of his own making after his brother Mark’s (Jon Bernthal) death while the latter contends with his family abandoning him into the guardianship of a state ill-equipped to care. They’re trapped in ways that only render an escape possible through criminal means. Tyler’s arson gives him an excuse to run by ensuring Duncan (John Hawkes) and Ratboy’s (Yelawolf) desperate fishermen…

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REVIEW: Uncut Gems [2019]

Black Jew power. Writers/directors Benny and Josh Safdie‘s debut feature bowed at Cannes in 2009 to spark a rather prolific career spanning shorts, music videos, documentaries, and critically acclaimed independents featuring an increasingly more familiar stable of actors at the lead. I mention this because that’s also the year that the Safdie brothers approached Adam Sandler with the idea that became Uncut Gems. That’s before Lenny Cooke. Before their breakthrough Heaven Knows What. Before they let Robert Pattinson loose in New York City for Good Time. That’s Hollywood. Maybe Sandler…

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REVIEW: Abominable [2019]

Dude. You darted Dave. Writer/director Jill Culton started production on Abominable in 2010 before eventually leaving the project and ultimately coming back on-board. Still retaining sole writing credit, I have to believe Dreamsworks stayed true to her original narrative vision during those years when she was away. Maybe they fiddled with things to hew closer to a proven formula (the plot similarities to the studio’s How to Train Your Dragon are many) or perhaps parallels to that 2010 release were always present considering the close proximity of their respective geneses.…

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REVIEW: Honey Boy [2019]

Why am I here? The bane of childhood stardom is that nothing you do will ever be a secret again. Your success will be written in black and white in the trades. Personal relationships will be speculated upon in the tabloids. And mistakes—large or small—will trend like wildfire on the internet until they become the prevalent way by which you will be defined. Shia LaBeouf experienced every last bit of this with a keen, if imperfect, vantage point allowing him to use it to his advantage through performance art pieces…

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REVIEW: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood [2019]

Anything mentionable is manageable. Anyone who grew up watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” has a friend. Their parents might have smiled at what they inaccurately presumed was a performance, but the children smiled because the connection felt was real. Here was a man who looked them in the eyes and spoke truths with as much compassion and vulnerability as they possessed while watching. He was someone who listened even though the act itself was impossible through television. Fred Rogers cared—sometimes when it seemed like no one else did—because he understood what…

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REVIEW: The Laundromat [2019]

Bad is such a big word … for being such a small word. The first time writer Scott Z. Burns paired up with director Steven Soderbergh proved to be a rousing success. The Informant! had real life intrigue, absurd comedy, and an inspired cast to pull everything together in a way that simultaneously educated and entertained. After teaming for two thrillers in the years since, this cinematic duo has now returned to that lighter side of dark subject matter courtesy of The Laundromat—an adaptation of Jake Bernstein‘s book Secrecy World:…

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REVIEW: The Souvenir [2019]

Very much in love. Love is a powerful drug. There’s the unadulterated high when things are going good and the debilitating anguish upon suffering withdrawal. We chase the former and fall into bad habits to avoid the latter—sacrificing everything we want to achieve for ourselves in order to sustain a union we cannot fathom being without. So even though Anthony (Tom Burke) is the only one shooting heroin, he’s not the only addict drawn by The Souvenir‘s writer/director Joanna Hogg. As he constantly asks Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) for money…

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