REVIEW: Outside the Wire (2021)

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‘Outside the Wire,’ — Photo: Jonathan Prime / Netflix.

Directed by Mikael Håfström — Screenplay by Rob Yescombe & Rowan Athale.

In 2020, Netflix found some success by placing a Marvel star in a fast-paced action movie with a somewhat forgettable plot with the Chris Hemsworth-led Extraction, which I liked. Now, in 2021, Netflix is hoping that they can do the same thing again with Outside the Wire, a science fiction action film starring Anthony Mackie, from the director of the John Cusack-led 1408, which I actually also like quite a bit. Unfortunately, Outside the Wire is nowhere near as effective of an action film as Extraction was, and they forgot to make it as fast-paced as the aforementioned film. Instead, we’re left with a serviceable but incredibly forgettable and generic science fiction flick. Continue reading “REVIEW: Outside the Wire (2021)”

REVIEW: WandaVision – Episodes 1 and 2

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Elizabeth Olsen is Wanda Maximoff and Paul Bettany is Vision in Marvel Studios’ WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+. — Photo: Disney+ / Marvel Studios.

The following is a recap and review of the first and second episodes of WandaVision, available exclusively on Disney+. Expect story spoilers and general Marvel Cinematic Universe spoilers. 

When we last saw Wanda Maximoff (played by Elizabeth Olsen), she attended Tony Stark’s funeral at the end of Avengers: Endgame. However, the last time we saw Vision (played by Paul Bettany) he was lying lifeless on the ground after Thanos had ripped out the mind stone from Vision’s forehead in Avengers: Infinity War. Therefore it would be a massive understatement to say that it is more than odd to see Vision and Wanda together in a 1950s, or 1960s, sitcom-style television series in Marvel Studios’ first Disney+ series WandaVision. Continue reading “REVIEW: WandaVision – Episodes 1 and 2”

REVIEW: Richard Jewell (2019)

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‘Richard Jewell,’ Still Image — Photo: Claire Folger / Warner Bros.

Directed by Clint Eastwood — Screenplay by Billy Ray.

There is a lot to say when it comes to Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell, which is a biopic about the security guard who discovered a bomb during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, then alerted authorities, and was later wrongly accused of having planted it. While the film is not without problems, on the whole, I thought that Clint Eastwood’s 2019 picture was a success. This is a heartbreaking and infuriating film about the investigation into the Centennial Olympic Park bombing and the media circus and harsh media trial that followed as a result of an FBI leak, and at the center of the film is a breakthrough performance that I don’t think got the praise it deserved. Continue reading “REVIEW: Richard Jewell (2019)”

REVIEW: Soul (2020)

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‘Soul,’ Still Image — Photo: Disney / Pixar.

Directed by Pete Docter — Screenplay by Pete Docter, Mike Jones, and Kemp Powers.

For years, critics all over the world have praised Pixar for their storytellers’ ability to make animated films that appeal to people of all ages. Often animated films will only reserve a couple of jokes to please parents and other adults, but Pixar tends to go the extra mile and provide us with films that enthrall both children and adults such as Coco, Up, and the Toy Story-films. However, with their latest film, Pete Doctor’s Soul, I think that Pixar has made an animated film that actually appeals more to adults than children. I have even had conversations with friends, who agree that Pixar’s latest great animated film actually feels like a film designed primarily for a grown-up audience. However, even though that could be true, Pete Docter’s Soul is yet another home run from an exceptional animation studio that is as good as it has ever been. Continue reading “REVIEW: Soul (2020)”

Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Dec. ’20: ‘Unhinged,’ ‘The Good Traitor,’ and ‘Equinox’

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‘Vores Mand i Amerika,’ Still Image — Photo: Katalin Vermes / Nimbus Film.

In the first-ever monthly movie and television catch-up article series titled ‘Additional Bite-Sized Reviews,’ I take a look at a solid Danish film from 2020, I tell you whether or not you should watch the new Danish television series that was released on Netflix on New Year’s Eve, and I also finally tell you what I think about the Russell Crowe starring vehicle Unhinged. Continue reading “Additional Bite-Sized Reviews, Dec. ’20: ‘Unhinged,’ ‘The Good Traitor,’ and ‘Equinox’”

REVIEW: Greenland (2020)

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‘Greenland,’ Still Image — Photo: Daniel McFadden / STXfilms.

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh — Screenplay by Chris Sparling.

Ric Roman Waugh’s Greenland follows John Garrity (played by Gerard Butler), a structural engineer, who is getting ready to attend a party at his wife Allison’s house where they, along with friends and their diabetic son Nathan (played by Roger Dale Floyd), plan to watch an interstellar comet pass by Earth together. However, Allison (played by Morena Baccarin) and the rest of the Garrity family are soon surprised by a sudden presidential alert that notifies them that their family has been selected for evacuation and emergency sheltering due to the fact that experts now apparently expect the comet to impact Earth and cause a cataclysmic event. Soon the Garrity family must travel great distances to reach a safe haven, while those not selected for emergency sheltering protest and riot. Continue reading “REVIEW: Greenland (2020)”

REVIEW: The Midnight Sky (2020)

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‘The Midnight Sky,’ Still Image — Photo: Philippe Antonello / Netflix.

Directed by George Clooney — Screenplay by Mark L. Smith.

I don’t think I have a favorite genre, per se, but, it is true that I usually am a sucker for science-fiction. It is probably the genre that I find the most interesting, and, whenever a new film is on its way, I do get excited about what new ambitious story is about to be told. George Clooney is no stranger to science-fiction and space films since he has appeared in films such as Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris, Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland, and, possibly most memorably, Alfonso Cuarón’s incredible Gravity. Due to Clooney’s own experience with the genre, I was very interested in seeing what kind of story he had planned to tell with The Midnight Sky, which he both starred in and directed. Unfortunately, it ended up being a bit of a disappointment, for me. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Midnight Sky (2020)”

REVIEW: We Can Be Heroes (2020)

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‘We Can Be Heroes,’ Still Image — Photo: Ryan Green / Netflix.

Directed by Robert Rodríguez — Screenplay by Robert Rodríguez.

Robert Rodríquez’ We Can Be Heroes is a sequel to his 2005 family adventure film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D. His 2020 standalone sequel tells the story of how after the superhero team ‘The Heroics’ — this universe’s Avengers — fail to prevent an alien attack, their children, who almost all exhibit X-Men like superpowers, must work together to find a way to save their parents and the entire world from the invading extraterrestrials. Continue reading “REVIEW: We Can Be Heroes (2020)”

REVIEW: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

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‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,’ Still Image — Photo: David Lee / Netflix.

Directed by George C. Wolfe — Screenplay by Ruben Santiago-Hudson.

Based on the August Wilson play of the same name, George C. Wolfe’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom primarily takes place in a recording studio in Chicago back in the 1920s. Here Ma Rainey (played by Viola Davis), lovingly dubbed the ‘Mother of the Blues,’ is planning to record several songs with her band. Rainey arrives fashionably late and is ready and able to throw her weight around, whereas the ambitious, animated, and flirty Levee (played by Chadwick Boseman), a young and talented trumpeter, is preparing his next move towards stardom while practicing with the rest of the band. While Rainey battles with both her manager and a producer for the purpose of having some control of her own career, Levee’s ambitious attitude doesn’t sit right with Ma or his bandmates (played by Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo, and Michael Potts). Continue reading “REVIEW: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)”

REVIEW: Collective (2020 – Documentary)

‘Collective,’ Still Image — Photo: HBO Europe / HBO Nordic.

Directed by Alexander Nanau — Seen on HBO Nordic.

It was inevitable that during this global coronavirus pandemic we would all start to think more about the state of our countries’ health systems and hospitals. During both the first and second wave of the pandemic, there has been a lot of talk about how many patients each hospital can take in, and so on and so forth. I thought about all of this as I watched the incredible and infuriating Romanian documentary Collective, which is an exposé of widespread corruption in Romania and a health system that, as one whistleblower puts it, has lost its humanity. Continue reading “REVIEW: Collective (2020 – Documentary)”