REVIEW: Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

Theatrical Release Poster – 20th Century Fox

The following is a review of Bad Times at the El Royale — Directed by Drew Goddard.

There are some films that you can only recommend with a very specific caveat — that the movie felt as if it had been designed and made for you. This feeling can happen all the time, and when this happens I almost always find myself saying that “I absolutely loved it,” and then I limit my statement with a “but.” In the case of Bad Times at the El Royale, that sentence would probably look something like this: “I absolutely loved it, but there is a very real chance that its length and pace will annoy the hell out of you.”  (more…)

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REVIEW: Halloween (2018)

Theatrical Release Poster – Universal Pictures

The following is a review of 2018’s Halloween — Directed by David Gordon Green.

One of the challenges of being a Star Wars fan is that newcomers to the series, or those unfamiliar with the texts, tend to become confused by the order of the film series. The first film is the fourth episode. The fourth film is the first episode. Sure, the seventh film is the seventh episode, but then you suddenly have to explain where the Disney spin-off films fit in. It can be fun, but it can also be tiring. Halloween fans know this problem all too well. (more…)

REVIEW: 22 July (2018)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Netflix’s 22 July — Directed by Paul Greengrass.

Paul Greengrass’ latest, 22 July, is a film about the 2011 Norway attacks set in Norway, starring Norwegian actors who are all speaking English. Greengrass’ feature film is not to be confused with Norwegian director Erik Poppe’s 2018 film about the 2011 Norway attacks, Utøya 22. Juli (sometimes referred to as U: July 22), set in Norway, starring Norwegian actors who all speak in their native language. (more…)

REVIEW: Apostle (2018)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a short review of APOSTLE — Directed by Gareth Evans.

In 2011, Welsh director Gareth Evans rose to fame in the film community for his Indonesian action film The Raid: Redemption. After he had completed its sequel, Evans had become known for these elaborate and inventive action set-pieces. His latest film is not an adrenaline-fueled action film in the vein of his previous Indonesian efforts. (more…)

REVIEW: Venom (2018)

Theatrical Release Poster – Sony Pictures Releasing

The following is a review of VENOM — Directed by Ruben Fleischer.

Last year, director Daniel Espinosa’s sci-fi film LIFE was released to mixed-to-positive reviews. I liked that film much more than I thought I would, and I was impressed with how such an under-the-radar sci-fi film somehow had a cast with A-list stars in it. Back when we were still only waiting for LIFE to be released, a fun fan theory surfaced online: what if LIFE was actually a prequel to the then-upcoming Sony Spider-Man spin-off film known as Venom? (more…)

REVIEW: Better Call Saul – “Winner”

The following is a recap and review of the tenth and final episode of the fourth season of Better Call Saul, available on AMC in the U. S. and on Netflix internationally. Expect story spoilers. 

In the tenth and final episode of the fourth season — Winner — Lalo (played by Tony Dalton) starts to follow the search for Werner Ziegler (played by Rainer Bock), while Jimmy McGill (played by Bob Odenkirk) prepares for the appeal hearing. Winner was written by Peter Gould and Thomas Schnauz, and directed by Adam Bernstein. (more…)

REVIEW: Private Life (2018)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Private Life — Directed by Tamara Jenkins.

Tamara Jenkins’ Private Life is a dramedy about a never-ending pursuit of parenthood. The film follows a frustrated middle-aged couple — Richard (played by Paul Giamatti) and Rachel (played by Kathryn Hahn) — as they desperately attempt to become parents. Expensive medical procedures, adoption, egg donor — you name it and they’ve either tried or considered the method. When their desperation reaches a new high, the couple decides to ask Richard’s niece, Sadie (played by Kayli Carter), if she would consider being their egg donor, even though her family might be against it. (more…)