REVIEW: Three Minutes: A Lengthening [2022]

Their trip to Poland was an extraordinary detour. You never know what you’ll find in the attic collecting dust. Even so, thinking you might uncover film of a Polish city inhabited by a thousand people who would surely end up murdered a couple years later in the Holocaust is hardly amongst anyone’s first guesses. That’s exactly what Glenn Kurtz discovered, though. Squirreled away in his parents’ Florida closet was a reel of 16mm film his grandfather took in 1938 during a trip to Europe. And amongst the usual tourist destinations…

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REVIEW: Nope [2022]

I guess some animals ain’t fit to be trained. The scene that encapsulates what Jordan Peele‘s Nope delivers comes somewhat early as OJ (Daniel Kaluuya) and Em Haywood (Keke Palmer) visit the owner and operator of the theme park that serves as their neighbor out in Agua Dulce, California. The purpose of the visit is to sell Ricky ‘Jupe’ Park (Steven Yeun) another of their Hollywood trained horses now that their father’s (Keith David‘s Otis) death has left them with the debts an industry shift towards digital animal effects exacerbated.…

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REVIEW: The Legend of Molly Johnson [2022]

Sing it in your sleep. A favorite of Leah Purcell‘s as a child, Henry Lawson’s short story “The Drover’s Wife” was always at the front of her mind upon growing into adulthood as an artist. It only makes sense then that she would take that tale from 1892 and reimagine it as an Australian western able to bring her own ancestral history as a fair-skinned Aboriginal woman into the light. First, she had to give the titular wife a name: Molly Johnson. Next, it was fleshing out a dramatic narrative…

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REVIEW: The Immaculate Room [2022]

What if he’s watching? On its surface, The Immaculate Room is a contest. A game. If you and your romantic partner can spend fifty days in a stark white room with nothing but a bed, minimalist couch-like ottoman, and bathroom that only allows one contestant at a time, you go home with five million dollars. It seems easy because it is … if you’re only looking at the surface. Peel back the layers of its conceit, however, and you see the potential for participants to go stir crazy with nothing…

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REVIEW: Orphan: First Kill [2022]

Nothing is ever just one thing. Screenwriters Alex Mace and David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick gave their character Leena Klammer, aka Esther Albright, a complete back story at the end of Jaume Collet-Serra‘s Orphan. A victim of a rare hormone disorder known as hypopituitarism, causing proportional dwarfism, had made it so her thirty-three-year-old woman looked as though she was only nine. The condition obviously prevented her from being seen as a mature adult and so she used it to her manipulative advantage. What began as thieving, however, eventually escalated to murder once…

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REVIEW: Get Away If You Can [2022]

The eternal trip to nowhere. Some people deserve a second chance. Few deserve a third. Especially when we’re talking about having a modicum of human decency for the person you say you love. Yet that’s exactly what we’re asked to give TJ (Terrence Martin). From what we can glean via disjointed flashbacks leading up to a sailing adventure to Easter Island meant to reignite their marriage, he’s had one purely selfless and enjoyable period in his life: meeting Domi (Dominique Braun). As soon as he brought her into his chauvinistically…

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REVIEW: Spin Me Round [2022]

You seem so open-minded. The last thing Amber (Alison Brie) expected when coming into work as manager of Bakersfield, CA’s popular Tuscan Grove, an Olive Garden-esque shingle of minimum wage employees squeezing microwaved alfredo sauce onto linguine, was an all-expenses paid “retreat” to Italy. It’s what she got, though, courtesy of her location’s owner (Lil Rel Howery‘s Paul) submitting her name to the exclusive managerial team building week annually held by TG’s charismatic CEO and face of the franchise, Nick Martucci (Alessandro Nivola). Having just broken up with a toxic…

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REVIEW: Summering [2022]

This is our body. It used to be that going to see the dead body was the adventure. Now we have a need to figure out why the body is dead. There’s probably something in this contrast that speaks to the evolutionary shift in technology, adolescent maturity, and genre envelope-pushing that occurred between Stand By Me in 1986 and Summering in 2022, but the latter isn’t necessarily interested in the differences as much as it is in pretending differences don’t exist. The world has changed while our children’s comprehension of…

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REVIEW: Rogue Agent [2022]

Everyone has a story they want to be told. I’m surprised the studio gives up the game in its marketing materials since Declan Lawn and Adam Patterson‘s Rogue Agent is built in such a way that allows the ruse to stand as truth until a midway point revelation. It’s a case where not watching a trailer probably augmented my enjoyment of the piece because I genuinely didn’t know where things were going or who to believe. Was Robert Freegard (James Norton) really an MI5 agent who fell in love and…

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REVIEW: Thor: Love and Thunder [2022]

Team kids-in-a-cage. Korg (Taika Waititi as narrator/sidekick/co-writer/director) isn’t wrong when describing Thor: Love and Thunder as a love story for the ages. What else would a heartfelt tale of blood and justice centering a romance between a man and his hammer be called? Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Mjolnir were inseparable until the former’s older sister maliciously broke the latter into pieces (don’t worry, he got payback). He’s had to live without his baby for years now, desperately trying to fill its void with an axe (Stormbreaker) despite still lamenting what…

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REVIEW: Fall [2022]

If you’re scared of dying, don’t be afraid to live. It’s been a year since Dan Connor (Mason Gooding) fell to his death while rock climbing with his wife Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and her best friend Hunter (Virginia Gardner). The latter was free-climbing and mocking the other two for being slow as they detached and reattached their ropes with every maneuver to create a semblance of safety. Rather than be ironic that Dan is the one who dies, however, the choice is purely driven by narrative and suspense. Whereas…

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