Category Archives: Reviews

REVIEW: SWALLOW examines the idea of taking physical control over one’s self to escape the claustrophobic psychological horror of existential dread.

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Writer/director Carlo Mirabella-Davis’ unique feminist horror film examines the psychological damage from being forced to live as a trophy Stepford Wife versus the physical damage of the compulsive disorder used to make that burden palatable. In the past few years,

REVIEW: THE BANKER shines a compelling light on the injustices placed on many in search of the American Dream.

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Directo George Nolfi leads a star-studded cast in this captivating true-life story of African-American entrepreneurs who hired a white frontman to enable them to succeed in the segregated worlds of banking and real estate of the ’60s. Period pictures have

REVIEW: VEROTIKA, Glenn Danzig’s ode to the classic horror anthology, suffers from a case of ambition over experience in execution.

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While Danzig’s influences in Italian horror are well-represented, Verotika is a largely overstuffed affair without a critical eye for the editing and direction necessary to elevate the overall concept. On one level, Glenn Danzig, music legend and well-known comic book

REVIEW: GUNS AKIMBO is balls to the wall fun.

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Samara Weaving and Daniel Radcliffe headline this insane living Fortnite game of a film that is equal parts Suicide Squad, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Wanted, and American Ultra in an ultraviolent little package. You have to give props to

REVIEW: EXTRA ORDINARY is a fun and quirky supernaturally tinged comedy.

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Writer/Director team Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman channel the spirit of early Edgar Wright and Taika Waititi films in this endearing comedy about a failed ghosthunting medium turned driving school instructor. The Cornetto Trilogy by Edgar Wright is one of

REVIEW: THE INVISIBLE MAN is a compelling and modern take on the classic Universal Monster story.

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Writer/director Leigh Whannell provides a grounded take on the classic movie monster by juxtapozing it against the framework of a controlling & abusive relationship. Leigh Whannell may be most well-known as the co-creator of the juggernaut Saw horror franchise in

REVIEW: ALTERED CARBON Season 2 serves as an extended epilogue to Season 1, but offers little for new viewers

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If you enjoyed Season 1 of Netflix’s Altered Carbon, Season 2 serves as an extended coda for the final episode but offers little by way of the world-building & character studies of Season 2. I’ll be the first to say

REVIEW: JESSICA FOREVER sets up a cool premise, but largely delivers style over narrative substance.

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Writer/directors Caroline Poggi and Jonathan Vinel deliver a stylish looking science fiction film, but with little narrative focus to justify the visuals. Jessica Forever, a French genre science fiction picture debuting as an exclusive on Shudder this month, promised an

REVIEW: THE LODGE slyly plays with the idea of victim vs. predator in a film with an intriguing & compelling premise

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Directors Severin Fiala & Veronika Franz (Goodnight Mommy) deliver a unique set-up in a film that is anchored by Riley Keough’s strong lead performance. The past several years have shown contemporary filmgoers a modern renaissance in the horror arena. From

REVIEW: SONIC THE HEDGEHOG treads familiar footing but with a fun nostalgic flavor

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Sonic the Hedgehog is the rare video game movie that doesn’t take itself too seriously and serves up some formulaic premises but does so in a fun way that keeps you rooting for it. Growing up as a young kid

REVIEW: BIRDS OF PREY is a fun and comedic cinematic romp that rings true to the comics and satisfies as an R-Rated action film.

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Margot Robbie delivers as Harley Quinn in a film that boldly delivers on the line between action and comedy that Suicide Squad failed to live up to. Harley Quinn is one of DC Comics’ most popular characters; right up there

REVIEW: THE RHYTHM SECTION combines the formula of the current Bond film series with a dash of La Femme Nikita & John Wick in a paint-by-numbers would-be franchise starter.

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Blake Lively headlines this would be grounded take on a ‘Nikita as Wick’ revenge/spy/thriller from the producers of Bond. While it has some innovative scenes, it suffers from pacing issues & a thin screenplay. Producer Barbara Broccoli has minted gold

REVIEW: TIM BURTON’S LOST VEGAS at The Neon Museum brings the world of the director to life in a unique immersive experience

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It goes without saying that Tim Burton is one of my all-time favorite film directors. The man’s work has transcended genre to become a genre in and of itself to the point where seeing the phrase, “A Tim Burton Film,”

REVIEW: Richard Stanley’s COLOR OUT OF SPACE is an engrossing and immersive journey into the heart of madness.

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Solid performances and exemplary editing and cinematography elevate Stanley’s mid-budget film into a unique and artistic exploration of H.P. Lovecraft, albeit one with shades of films we’ve seen before. Much has been made of the legend of director Richard Stanley

REVIEW: THE TWO POPES is an intriguing docudrama with two of the year’s best acting performances

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Fernando Meirelles’ examination of the papal legacy of Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) and the rise of Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce) is simple yet enthralling, even if it does come close to being a hagiography at times. One of the

REVIEW: STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER plays to the fan-service choir in delivering a complacent finale to the Skywalker Saga.

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While J.J. Abrams’ film largely answers the questions set up in THE FORCE AWAKENS, he does so in a largely uneven film that seems largely designed to checkmark fan expectations while going out of its way not to rock the

REVIEW: BOMBSHELL tackles the early ramifications of #MeToo at Fox News Network, but struggles to find a relatable protagonist despite the subject matter.

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Jay Roach’s dramatization of the rise and fall of Roger Ailes at Fox Network benefits from strong performances from Margot Robbie, Kate McKinnon, and an unrecognizable Charlize Theron using the template of films like Vice and The Big Short, but

REVIEW: THE IRISHMAN is Scorsese’s captivating epilogue to his exploration of the life of the mafioso on film

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Taken along with GOODFELLAS and CASINO, THE IRISHMAN explores the melancholy and regret in the life of a former mob hitman set against the backdrop of the rise and fall of the Teamsters Union. Early on in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas,

REVIEW: THE GOOD LIAR is an intriguing game of cat and mouse pitting Helen Mirren and Ian McKellan in a grift spanning decades.

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Helen Mirren and Ian McKellan are at the top of their game in this engaging film full of scams and grifting with a dark underside at the bottom. It goes largely without saying that the strongest asset in The Good

REVIEW: Honey Boy offers an intimate and harrowing look at the dark side of fame as a child star.

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Writer and actor Shia LaBeouf channels his youth as a child star and the contentious relationship he had with his father into a raw and affecting script and performance in this beautifully directed film from Alma Har’el. When I was