REVIEW: Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Paramount Pictures / Buena Vista International

The following is a review of Terminator: Dark Fate — Directed by Tim Miller.

Just a couple of years ago, Terminator Genisys broke my heart. Nevertheless, on Friday, I found myself in a movie theater ready to watch the next Terminator-film in its opening weekend. Terminator, a long-running franchise that hasn’t found a lot of success since James Cameron left the film series’ director’s chair and let multiple others sit in it, has been run into the ground. The first two films, which were both directed by James Cameron, are both iconic and Terminator 2: Judgment Day might be my favorite action film ever made. Since then Jonathan Mostow, McG, and Alan Taylor have all tried and, to varying degrees, failed to resurrect and reboot the film series in a successful and satisfying way. Continue reading “REVIEW: Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)”

REVIEW: Judy (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – LD Entertainment / Pathé

The following is a review of Judy — Directed by Rupert Goold.

Rupert Goold’s Judy is a biographical picture about the final year of Judy Garland’s life. The biopic is based on the Peter Quilter stage musical End of the Rainbow, and the film mostly takes place in 1969 when Judy Garland (played by Renée Zellweger) relocated to the United Kingdom for work and to be able to afford a potential custody battle in court. The multi-talented star is, at this point in her life, a wreck. The American industries that made her a star now see her as unreliable, she is unable to pay her bills, she doesn’t eat, she is severely depressed, and she suffers from issues related to substance abuse. Her job in London represents one last moment in the spotlight to dazzle, use her stardom, and make the money she needs to keep her family together. Though she often hesitates to go on stage, it is only on the stage that she can find energy and satisfaction in her last year. Continue reading “REVIEW: Judy (2019)”

REVIEW: Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Dolemite Is My Name — Directed by Craig Brewer.

In 2006, Eddie Murphy, one of the greatest American comedians of all-time, was about to have his big moment in the spotlight as an actor. His performance in Dreamgirls given him industry recognition and critical praise. He had now finally won a Golden Globe and, realistically, he had set his sights on the golden statuette handed out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Eventually, though he was nominated, he lost the award to Alan Arkin. Back then, it was speculated that his appearance and performance in the critically panned Norbit was to blame for him having missed out on his Oscar. It’s ironic, really, that perhaps comedy had cost Eddie Murphy the most coveted award in cinema. With that having been said, comedy can take him back to Academy Awards. Because Dolemite Is My Name is a hoot and Eddie Murphy genuinely gives an awards-worthy performance in it. Continue reading “REVIEW: Dolemite Is My Name (2019)”

REVIEW: Wounds (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of Wounds — Directed by Babak Anvari.

A couple of years ago, Babak Anvari’s underseen and underappreciated Persian-language horror film — and directorial feature film debut — Under the Shadow was rightfully selected to compete for the foreign-language film award at the Oscars as the British entry. Anvari’s debut was a great surprise and a film that I have recommended to many people over the years. Even though poor word of mouth preceded its release on Netflix, I was still excited to see his second effort as a director of feature-length films. Unfortunately, Wounds, his first English-language feature film, is a messy, dreadful, and disappointing sophomore film. Continue reading “REVIEW: Wounds (2019)”

REVIEW: The Laundromat (2019)

The following is a review of The Laundromat — Directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Earlier this year, Palme d’Or-winning director Steven Soderbergh’s first Netflix film High Flying Bird was released on Netflix. It, a great film about the intersection of sports and business, is still one of the best surprises of the year. The Laundromat, Soderbergh’s second Netflix feature film, was a film that I was looking forward to, for quite some time, due to the director and the cast. Based on the premise, the filmmaker, and the cast, I thought this was going to be one of the most interesting films of the year. Unfortunately, The Laundromat, a playful but tired biographical drama, is interesting for all the wrong reasons. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Laundromat (2019)”

REVIEW: Succession – Season Two (2019)

Release Poster – HBO

The following is a short review of the second season of HBO’s Succession.

In the second season of Jesse Armstrong’s Succession, the future of Waystar Royco is still uncertain as shareholders are still considering the coup that Kendall (played by Jeremy Strong) orchestrated. So, to prove that the Roys can still be trusted to lead the company into the future, Logan (played by Brian Cox) has to start to consider who his successor should be. This season, Siobhan (played by Sarah Snook) becomes interested in the top position, Roman (played by Kieran Culkin) becomes fascinated by Gerri (played by J. Smith-Cameron), Connor (played by Alan Ruck) wants to become President of the United States, and Kendall seems incapacitated under his father’s thumb. Continue reading “REVIEW: Succession – Season Two (2019)”

REVIEW: El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)

Release Poster – Netflix

The following is a review of El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie — Directed by Vince Gilligan.

In the eleventh episode of the fifth season of Breaking Bad, Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul) found himself at a crossroads. He had been given an opportunity for a clean break, a new identity, and a fresh start. His dangerous business partner and former high school teacher (with whom he had built a drug empire), Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston), had told him that maybe that is exactly what Jesse needed: “You know, I really think that would be good for you. A clean slate. Just think about it. Get a job, something legitimate, something you like. Meet a girl. Start a family even, hell, you’re still so damn young. What’s here for you anyway? I’ll tell you if I could, I’d trade places.” Continue reading “REVIEW: El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (2019)”