REVIEW: The Power of the Dog (2021)

Benedict Cumberbatch and Kodi Smit-McPhee in Jane Campion’s THE POWER OF THE DOG — Photo: Netflix.

Directed by Jane Campion — Screenplay by Jane Campion.

Based on the 1967 Thomas Savage novel of the same name, The Power of the Dog is a western drama set in Montana in the 1920s, when the old American west had begun to morph into a new era. While we hear about automobiles and cities at the local inn, the surrounding wide-open landscape and barren mountains still feel distinctly western. It is clear that the world is changing, and some of these changing roles are exemplified in the film’s characters.

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REVIEW: Pig (2021)

Nicolas Cage as Robin Feld with his titular companion in PIG — Photo: David Reamer / NEON.

Directed by Michael Sarnoski — Screenplay by Michael Sarnoski.

The beloved Academy Award-winning actor Nicolas Cage has had a strange career. The unpredictable cult-favorite thespian has, for quite some time, reshaped his career and, to some, perhaps diluted his filmography by starring in several direct-to-video B-films. Whenever he returns to a major project, it feels special and like something to treasure. Thankfully, Pig is the kind of film that feels like a return to form for Cage, whose latest performance is arguably one of his very best.

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Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Nov. 2021, pt. II: ‘The Morning Show,’ ‘A Quiet Place Part II,’ and More

Valeria Golino and Billy Crudup in “The Morning Show,” now streaming on Apple TV+ — Photo: Apple TV+.

In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I give my thoughts on the second season of the major Apple TV+ series The Morning Show, but I have also taken a look back at Steven Soderbergh’s latest film. And then, at the end of the article, I will finally reveal what my thoughts are on the sequel to A Quiet Place.

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REVIEW: tick, tick… BOOM! (2021)

Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson in Netflix’s tick, tick… BOOM! — Photo: Macall Polay / Netflix.

Directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda — Screenplay by Steven Levenson.

Hamilton-creator Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tick, tick… BOOM! is based on the Jonathan Larson musical of the same name and it tells the story of Jonathan Larson’s time as an aspiring composer and playwright in New York City in the early 1990s. Larson (played by Andrew Garfield) is about to turn thirty years old, and he is worried that he is about to miss his moment. While he is juggling paying his bills, working on his relationship with his girlfriend, Susan (played by Alexandra Shipp), and working as a waiter in a SoHo diner, he is also trying to complete his musical Superbia, which he has been working on for eight years, before it is to be presented a couple of days prior to his birthday. But Larson finds it difficult to find time for everyone in his life as he can constantly sense that time is ticking away inside his head.

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REVIEW: Red Notice (2021)

Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, and Gal Gadot in Red Notice — Photo: Netflix.

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber — Screenplay by Rawson Marshall Thurber.

Rawson Marshall Thurber’s Red Notice is an action-adventure buddy comedy film about the search for three priceless eggs once owned by Cleopatra. In the film, FBI Special Agent John Hartley (played by Dwayne Johnson) is forced to team-up with Nolan Booth (played by Ryan Reynolds), an internationally renowned art thief, in a race against time to find all three eggs before Booth’s main competitor, The Bishop (played by Gal Gadot), finds them and sells them to the highest bidder.

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Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Nov. 2021, pt. I: ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy,’ ‘Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin,’ and More

LeBron James in SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY — Photo: Warner Bros.

In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I take a look at some of the Warner Bros. films that I may have missed earlier this year, but I also take a look at a Paramount+ sequel to a very popular franchise, and a Netflix spin-off film. Is Space Jam: A New Legacy any good? Is the latest Paranormal Activity-film a return to form? Can Matthias Schweighöfer’s Army of Thieves live up to Zack Snyder’s Netflix zombie flick from earlier this year? Well, read more to find out what I think about all of that (and more) in yet another jam-packed edition of Additional Bite-Sized Reviews!

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REVIEW: Finch (2021)

Caleb Landry Jones (as Jeff the robot) and Tom Hanks in “Finch,” now streaming on Apple TV+.

Directed by Miguel Sapochnik — Screenplay by Craig Luck & Ivor Powell.

A former storyboard artist, Miguel Sapochnik’s career as a director is quite interesting. His 2010 feature film directorial debut, Repo Men, was met with relatively negative reviews. Perhaps that reaction really hurt the young director, because his next move was to turn to television again and again. Sapochnik has since become a seasoned television director, and he has been involved with shows such as House, Fringe, and True Detective. But the project that he really made his name with was Game of Thrones, which he has directed some of the most famous episodes of including Battle of the Bastards, for which he won an Emmy. Now, in 2021, his second film as a director, Finch, is finally here, and, while it probably won’t be as big of a hit as he may have hoped (since it has been released on a streaming service without much fanfare), I really liked Finch. It is yet another solid star vehicle for Tom Hanks on Apple TV+ after Greyhound.

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Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Oct. 21′: ‘Ted Lasso,’ ‘Squid Game,’ and More

Brendan Hunt, Jason Sudeikis, Brett Goldstein, and Nick Mohammed in TED LASSO — Photo: Apple TV+.

In this edition of my monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I discuss my thoughts on some of the hottest shows of the year, and then I tell you about some of the Netflix movies you may have missed recently. Is Squid Game as good as its word-of-mouth would have you believe? Is There’s Someone Inside of Your House a good modern update on Scream? Well, scroll down to find out what I think about all of that (and more) in yet another jam-packed edition of Additional Bite-Sized Reviews!

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REVIEW: The Guilty (2021)

Jake Gyllenhaal as Joe Baylor in Antoine Fuqua’s American version of THE GUILTY — Photo: Netflix.

Directed by Antoine Fuqua — Screenplay by Nic Pizzolatto.

Antoine Fuqua’s The Guilty, written by True Detective-creator Nic Pizzolatto, is an American remake of the 2018 Danish single-location thriller Den Skyldige, which was then directed by Gustav Möller. The film follows Joe Baylor (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), who is an agitated LAPD officer with a troubled past, while he is at a 911 call center. Though he is initially largely uninterested at the call center, he suddenly ‘wakes up’ when a distressed woman calls him and says she is being abducted by her ex-husband. From his computer and telephone, Joe must now try to figure out what is happening and try to get law enforcement to her position before it is too late.

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RETRO REVIEW: You Only Live Twice (1967)

James Bond (Sean Connery) watches a sumo wrestling match in Japan in YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE — Photo: United Artists / Eon Productions.

Directed by Lewis Gilbert — Screenplay by Roald Dahl.

After having released a Bond-film for every year from 1962 to 1965, Eon Productions and United Artists took a year-off before the next film in the franchise was released. Filmed mostly in Japan, You Only Live Twice was the second-to-last official Sean Connery Bond-film (and his last Bond-film before George Lazenby took over for one film). This fifth official Bond-film was the first Bond-picture to be directed by Lewis Gilbert who was hot off the heels after having won the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival the year before for his film Alfie. Interestingly, 1967 also marked the first time that an unofficial/Non-Eon Bond-film, the David Niven-led Casino Royale, was released. Niven’s film was released a few months prior to the release of You Only Live Twice, and it may have had a negative impact on the box office potential of Connery’s fifth Bond-film.

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