REVIEW: Bad Boys for Life [2020]

“Ask the horse” The synopsis started with “two hip detectives” back in 1995 after Bad Boys switched gears from being a Jon Lovitz and Dana Carvey vehicle to the Michael Bay action extravaganza we know it as starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. It took eight years for “hip” to turn to “loose-cannon narcotics cops” […]

REVIEW: The Wave [2020]

“Reality’s a choice, maaaan” The first thing you need to know when entering director Gille Klabin and writer Carl W. Lucas‘ The Wave is that it takes a lot of liberties. The second thing is that doing so doesn’t have to be a problem. So much of what happens on-screen is born from convenience and […]

REVIEW: Synonymes [Synonyms] [2019]

“Do not look up” Israel has no future in Yaov’s (Tom Mercier) mind. It’s dead and he refuses to die with it even if he just risked dying for it to earn a silver star in the military. Why? Because his country won’t admit its failures or mistakes. They are victors. That’s it. They are […]

REVIEW: Greener Grass [2019]

“We’re supposed to tell people” Two of the most recognizable inhabitants of any plastic suburban nightmare you’ll come across are the “people-pleasers” and the “coveters.” The former will do whatever is necessary to ensure everyone is happy because they want to be appreciated as the type of person that can help make such happiness occur. […]

REVIEW: Jumanji: The Next Level [2019]

“Wherever they may be” The first cinematic adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg‘s Jumanji brought the board game’s wild jungle environment to its players’ quiet suburbia for a crazy survival adventure. Jake Kasdan and company could have easily done the exact same thing again with their reboot/sequel hybrid Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle due to over […]

REVIEW: Marriage Story [2019]

“The pie was just a pie” It’s crazy how love changes the way we see things. Ambition can look like genius when we’re there as a supportive cheerleader and narcissism when we begin to recognize our sacrifices in seeing it get fulfilled. Success can be construed as a mutually beneficial byproduct of a union when […]

REVIEW: The Two Popes [2019]

“We need someone to blow the ash away” I’m a lapsed Catholic who cynically wonders why the Pope isn’t considered a false idol—a direct result of my loathing of the church as a corrupt and hypocritical institution. I adopted this position years ago for the same reasons many others have. Catholicism has constantly proven itself […]

REVIEW: Frozen II [2019]

“Do the next right thing” I have to give directors Jennifer Lee (who also wrote the script) and Chris Buck credit for not simply jumping at the chance to follow up a cultural phenomenon for the paycheck. People wondered on opening weekend when a sequel to Frozen would arrive and these two held fast to […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]