Stuber (2019) Movie Review

There may not be much charm in the title Stuber—if you don’t have the pieces of the clumsy portmanteau pieced together from the trailer before going to the cinema, then it is a title likely to breed more confusion than chuckles. But there is some charm to the notion of an original buddy cop comedy within a Summer drought of failing franchise/reboot IP (Disney not included, at least not financially-speaking).

On paper, a comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani as a civilian trapped in the middle of a police investigation led by a tough-nosed Dave Bautista sounds like Continue reading Stuber (2019) Movie Review

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Midsommar (2019) Movie Review

Ari Aster does not care if you’re comfortable. If his first two films are any indication, it appears that he prefers the opposite. With his debut, Hereditary, Aster approached grief with a macabre twist that winds up making the weight of grief seem feathery by comparison.

With Midsommar, Aster approaches grief with a macabre twist that winds up making the weight of grief seem…am I repeating myself?

Aster’s two films take staid, empty, and largely silent burdens and makes them bleed into

Continue reading Midsommar (2019) Movie Review

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Movie Review

Note: Spoilers for Avengers: Endgame

The Marvel Studios machine keeps turning. With Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, there was a satisfying conclusion to the three-phase arc that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far. This epic two-part film event provided caps on long-standing MCU characters without really hinting at anything beyond.

Yet MCU phase three, as it is currently outlined, concludes with Spider-Man: Far From Home.

jake-gyllenhaal-and-tom-holland-in-spider-man-far-from-home

Far From Home shows a world which has moved on from the havoc wreaked by Thanos—the havoc was Continue reading Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) Movie Review

Yesterday (2019) Movie Review

Yesterday is a perfect example of a film that makes for a great trailer. A trailer that hides everything but the premise, because nothing other than the premise would be enticing to put into a trailer.

This premise is this: a global blackout lasting 12 seconds causes failing musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) to be struck by a bus. After leaving the hospital, he is shocked to find that Continue reading Yesterday (2019) Movie Review

Toy Story 4 (2019) Movie Review

Note: I don’t spoil any major plot points in this review, but I hint at aspects of Toy Story 4 that could be construed as spoilers. So let’s just call this a spoiler review.

Walking into Pixar’s Toy Story 4, I thought the pertinent question would be: was a fourth installment necessary? Given how most Pixar sequels have not lived up to their predecessors (Toy Story 2 being the most notable exception) and how Toy Story 3 presents an adequate ending to the then trilogy, it made little sense for a fourth film to exist beyond the want for money.

Sitting through the first act of Josh Cooley’s film, however, this questioning starts to disappear. Toy Story 4 may not wind up being Continue reading Toy Story 4 (2019) Movie Review

Child’s Play (2019) Movie Review

Lars Klevberg and Tyler Burton Smith’s Child’s Play is not so much a reboot or remake. It is more of a new film with a Chucky skin layered on. The Child’s Play brand is well-known. Killer children’s doll kills. A simple premise.

Smith’s script changes many aspects surrounding this premise. The Buddi toy, even though it looks like a doll from the late ’80s, is a toy for the modern era. It is a home-connecting device, voice activated like a Google Home or an Amazon Alexa. It connects to your television, stereo, electrical system, etc.

Chucky (Mark Hamill), the doll in question, is gifted to teenage Andy (Gabriel Bateman) by his mother (Aubrey Plaza), who works at the return counter of the Zed Mart that is stuffed to the brim with Buddi dolls. Instead of being possessed by the soul of a ruthless killer, however, this Chucky is Continue reading Child’s Play (2019) Movie Review

The Dead Don’t Die (2019) Movie Review

This is not the elegant, professional way to start a review, but I’ve got to do it. The way that a zombie’s head explodes in Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die…boy, that’s something. Why, before now, have I never seen a zombie movie where the zombie’s dried-out corpse body spews purple dust blood? Just clouds of misting blood all over the frame. I love it.

Anyway…I guess I’ve got a review to write.

Jim Jarmusch is an idiosyncratic filmmaker. His previous film, Paterson, was a quiet and reserved meditation on life and art. His follow up to that is…a zombie film? And it has Continue reading The Dead Don’t Die (2019) Movie Review

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One man. Millions of movies.