REVIEW: Greta (2019)

US Theatrical Release Poster – Focus Features

The following is a review of Greta — Directed by Neil Jordan.

It’s been a while since I last felt like walking out of a movie in the middle of it. It still hasn’t ever happened, because every time I feel this way, I’m watching the film with someone I know. Though I did watch the film in its entirety, Neil Jordan’s Greta really pushed me to my limits. Though it starred multiple actors who I enjoy, I had nowhere near as much fun watching the end product as much as it seems Isabelle Huppert enjoyed chewing the scenery in this terribly dull thriller. I’m sure some might say Greta is so bad it’s good, but, to me, it was so bad that even its most outrageously funny lines became infuriating in the long run. Continue reading “REVIEW: Greta (2019)”

REVIEW: Long Shot (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Lionsgate

The following is a review of Long Shot — Directed by Jonathan Levine.

It would appear that I have a soft spot for Jonathan Levine films. His is a name that immediately gets me excited to watch a film if his name is attached to it. I am one of the few who thinks Levine’s 50/50 is a genuine masterpiece of the genre within which it belongs. Furthermore, I think his 2015 holiday film The Night Before has the makings of a modern Christmas classic — in fact, it has already become a tradition for me to watch that film every Christmas. Likewise, I really enjoyed my time with Long Shot, which is Levine’s attempt at Rogenesque romantic comedy with a political twist. While I doubt that Long Shot will become as memorable to me as the aforementioned efforts, I think it is another example of a hip Levine film that goes down well. Continue reading “REVIEW: Long Shot (2019)”

REVIEW: At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal (2019 – Documentary)

Release Poster – HBO

The following is a short review of the HBO documentary At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal — Directed by Erin Lee Carr.

From the mid-to-late-1990s to the mid-2010s, Dr. Larry Nassar — a husband, and father of three children — worked for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University as a national team doctor and physician respectively. Nassar was, to many, seen as the nice guy in a sport populated by inhumane coaches. Nassar was, even by victims in this documentary, described as a confidante and friend.

What parents did not realize — and what gymnasts blocked out — was that Nassar was a serial abuser who used his position of power to abuse young women for decades until he was sentenced to between 40 and 175 years in prison in 2018. At the Heart of Gold — Erin Lee Carr’s latest HBO documentary — explores the institutional abuse that allowed for Nassar to exist, and it presents damning and heart-wrenching victim interviews. Continue reading “REVIEW: At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal (2019 – Documentary)”

REVIEW: Game of Thrones – “The Last of the Starks”

The following is a spoiler-filled review of the fourth episode of the eighth and final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. Expect spoilers for the episode in the review.

In the fourth episode of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, the characters in Winterfell mourn the dead and drink to their memory, Varys (played by Conleth Hill) and Tyrion (played by Peter Dinklage) lose faith, Jaime (played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) makes a decision, and Daenerys (played by Emilia Clarke) prepares for battle with Cersei (played by Lena Headey). Continue reading “REVIEW: Game of Thrones – “The Last of the Starks””

REVIEW: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile — Directed by Joe Berlinger.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile comes from Joe Berlinger, the director of Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes and is based on Elizabeth Kloepfer’s book The Phantom Prince about her relationship with the infamous serial killer Ted Bundy. Lily Collins stars as Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Kendall, a single mother who has met the perfect guy. He has a nice Volkswagen, he’s nice to her and her kid, and he is fairly attractive.

Zac Efron plays this man who seems to be too good to be true. That’s because he is. Because Efron is Ted Bundy, the man who we know as one of the most infamous serial killers in American history. As authorities catch up to Bundy, Liz becomes caught in a whirlwind with no sense of up or down. Liz doesn’t know if she is being played, or if the system is putting her new man behind bars unjustly. Continue reading “REVIEW: Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)”

Best Callbacks, Hints, and References in Avengers: Endgame – Special Features #51

This post is filled with spoilers for Avengers: Endgame. Do not, I repeat, do not read this list until you’ve seen Avengers: Endgame. Full spoilers below.

Okay, so we’ve all seen the movie right? I think right about now is a good time to actually talk about the little nods or references that were particularly fun or strong in Endgame. However, if you’ve not yet seen the film, then don’t worry at all, the article will be ready when you are. Anyhoo, the following is an unranked list of easter eggs, callbacks, and references that stood out to me. Let’s get to it.

Continue reading “Best Callbacks, Hints, and References in Avengers: Endgame – Special Features #51”

Best of the 2010s: Directorial Debut Films

There is something very exciting about a directorial debut. Obviously, the filmmaker is excited about their first chance to step behind the camera on a feature film, but, as an audience member or film writer of any kind, it is so fascinating to see the choices being made. Sometimes some of the boldest and most imaginative filmmakers present us with instant classics, other times newcomers deliver a product that may not be extraordinary filmmaking but which may still be a moving or exciting motion picture. In this month’s best of the decade list, I’m honoring the very best directorial debuts. Some of them are first works for potential auteurs, while others are impressive blockbuster entertainment from untested new filmmakers just learning the ropes. Continue reading “Best of the 2010s: Directorial Debut Films”