FANTASIA19 REVIEW: Jesus shows you the way to the Highway [2019]

“Duty calls for the last time” All Agent D.T. Gagano (Daniel Tadesse) wants is to retire from the CIA and help his love Malin (Gerda-Annette Allikas) open the best kickboxing joint the world has ever seen. Maybe he’ll hone his pizza-making skills and put a pizzeria next door too if all pans out. Before that […]

FANTASIA19 REVIEW: The Art of Self-Defense [2019]

“I want to be what intimidates me” There was definite trepidation upon learning writer/director Riley Stearns‘ follow-up to Faults would be a comedy. That’s not to say his debut wasn’t funny, however. It was. But where its humor arrived from the matter-of-fact nature of the characterizations he utilized to turn his tale of cult deprogramming […]

REVIEW: Sword of Trust [2019]

“Is this ‘Antiques Roadshow’ for racists?” There’s a point in Lynn Shelton‘s Sword of Trust where the four principal characters are being led into a situation with as much chance of ending in their death as it does the payment of forty thousand dollars. Sitting there in that moment of uncertainty without any bearing as […]

REVIEW: Phil [2019]

“I never promised you a rose garden” We meet Phil McGuire (Greg Kinnear) exiting his parked car while still in traffic to climb up a bridge railing. It’s a one hundred-plus foot drop into the water and he imagines taking the plunge before a group of teens with cellphones outstretched jolt him from the morbid […]

REVIEW: Anastasia [1997]

“In the dark of the night she’ll be gone” In a fantasy world where royalty was adored as idyllically benevolent leaders thinking only about how to protect and serve their people, the Romanovs were betrayed by the evil Rasputin (Christopher Lloyd) who subsequently consorted with the Devil to wield dark magic powerful enough to curse […]

REVIEW: Last Night [1998]

“Would it hurt you to play along just once?” The cause might be unnamed, but the fact it’s still sunny at midnight guarantees the giant star at the center of our solar system is going supernova (whether or not physics deems it possible). Because all life on Earth will cease in a predetermined instant, you […]

REVIEW: Yesterday [2019]

“Have you got coke?” Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) has dreams of singer/songwriter stardom, but this Clacton-on-Sea native is lucky if one person besides best friend/manager Ellie (Lily James) and their mates Nick (Harry Michell) and Carol (Sophia Di Martino) is actually listening to “Summer Song” let alone enjoying it at gigs. That’s the pitfall of […]

REVIEW: Toy Story 4 [2019]

“She’ll be okay” It was said upon the release of Toy Story 3 that the franchise was done as far as Woody (Tom Hanks) and Buzz Lightyear’s (Tim Allen) adventures were concerned. These sentiments made sense because it ended nicely on a logical breaking point wherein the boy whose name adorned their feet grew-up and […]

REVIEW: Partysaurus Rex [2012]

“You were way scarier than the last sea monster” As the wet blanket of the group, Rex (Wallace Shawn) rarely gets to do anything more than fret and accidentally cause problems due to uncontrollable anxieties. So why not let him have some fun, albeit against his better judgment? Knowing this outcome would only be possible […]

REVIEW: Aladdin [2019]

“Get your own jam” The Disney animated film that demands most skepticism when considering a live-action remake is Aladdin. No character besides the late Robin Williams‘ Genie has transcended its source to become larger than the Mickey brand itself and no actor could ever dream of filling his shoes with an impression guaranteeing unflattering comparisons. […]

REVIEW: My Josephine [2003]

“Something that never touches the ground shouldn’t be dirty” It’s only fitting that Barry Jenkins‘ student film My Josephine would stand as a precursor for the unrequited love bubbling beneath the surface of unspoken hardship he’d later explore in Moonlight. Inspired by a laundromat he passed post-9/11 with a sign reading “American flags clean free” […]