Over the years, I have certainly not tried to hide the fact that I think 2016’s Suicide Squad, which was directed by David Ayer (though he has repeatedly made it clear that the film was essentially taken away from him as a result of studio interference), is, to put it mildly, one of my least favorite films ever made in the superhero genre. That 2016 film certainly reeked of studio interference, it was an almost incoherent mess, it was needlessly grimy and at times quite ugly, it used a decent soundtrack as a crutch and in a way that became incredibly tiring, all the while failing to get you to care about the characters or the relationships they were building. There were some decent things about it, but, on the whole, it felt like someone had tried to turn Ayer’s vision into a shameless imitation of James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and that just didn’t work for the film that Ayer had envisioned.
Directed by Craig Brewer (Dolemite Is My Name) — Screenplay by Kenya Barris, Barry W. Blaustein, and David Sheffield.
Craig Brewer’s Coming 2 America takes place 30 years after the events of the first film, and the sequel still follows Akeem (played by Eddie Murphy), who has now become king of Zamunda, as he tries to figure out who his heir to the throne will be. The neighboring nation conveniently called Nextdoria (you get the joke) has proposed that since Akeem has no male successor to the throne, his eldest daughter, Meeka (played by KiKi Layne), should be married to the eldest son of the leader of Nextdoria for the purpose of bringing the two nations closer together. But Akeem doesn’t like that idea, so he is looking for another way out of this problem. Continue reading “REVIEW: Coming 2 America (2021)”→
Directed by Anders Thomas Jensen — Screenplay by Anders Thomas Jensen.
It is quite extraordinary that in a year like 2020, which has seen a global pandemic severely damage the film industry and movie theaters all around the world, somehow the Danish film industry has thrived. This year has produced several event films, so to speak, in my home country. It all began with Mikkel Nørgaard’s Klovn: The Final, which is a continuation of arguably Denmark’s most popular comedy series of the last two decades. Then, not too long ago, Thomas Vinterberg’s near-masterpiece Druk was released to rave reviews, and it has almost single-handedly revived Danish movie theaters. Now, this week, Anders Thomas Jensen’s black comedy Retfærdighedens Ryttere has been released in Denmark. It is strange to say this, but, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has been a remarkably strong year for the Danish film industry. Continue reading “REVIEW: Retfærdighedens Ryttere (2020)”→
The following is a review of Sonic the Hedgehog — Directed by Jeff Fowler.
Jeff Fowler’s Sonic the Hedgehog is based on the popular iconic video game franchise of the same name, which is about an anthropomorphic blue hedgehog that can run extremely fast. At the outset of the film, the aforementioned blue hedgehog (voiced by Ben Schwartz) is just a fast young hedgehog without a care in the world, but, when it becomes too dangerous to stay on his homeworld, Longclaw the Owl (voiced by Donna Jay Fulks), Sonic’s guardian, gives Sonic a small bag full of magical rings that can help him travel to different worlds in the universe. Sonic the Hedgehog needs to find a safe and new home. Continue reading “REVIEW: Sonic the Hedgehog (2020)”→
The following is a review of The Lovebirds — Directed by Michael Showalter.
The Coronavirus Pandemic has had a serious impact on the film industry. The future of the movie theater industry is uncertain as some films that were meant for a theatrical release have been released on video-on-demand or streaming services, while many of the year’s biggest films have been removed from the 2020 theatrical release schedule entirely. This Michael Showalter romantic-comedy, The Lovebirds, was originally meant to be released in theaters by Paramount Pictures in April, but when theaters around the world closed their doors, the film studio sold its rights to Netflix, who finally released the film on the 22nd of May. The Lovebirds fits right in on Netflix, but, quality-wise, it is a significant step down from The Big Sick, Showalter’s previous film as a director. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Lovebirds (2020)”→
The following is a short review of Coffee & Kareem — Directed by Michael Dowse.
Michael Dowse’s Coffee & Kareem is an action-comedy buddy film about police officer James Coffee (played by Ed Helms) and his attempt to connect with and establish a rapport with his girlfriend’s son, Kareem (played by Terrence Little Gardenhigh), who both doesn’t trust law enforcement and is protective of his mother (played by Taraji P. Henson). While driving Kareem home from school, both Kareem and officer Coffee become involved in dangerous criminal activity and encounter dirty cops. Continue reading “REVIEW: Coffee & Kareem (2020)”→
The following is a review of Klovn: The Final — Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard.
The Final is the third and supposedly final film entry in the wildly popular Danish comedy series known as Klovn (which means clown), a Danish comedy franchise inspired by Curb Your Enthusiasm starring two of Denmark’s most popular comedians, Casper Christensen and Frank Hvam, playing fictionalized versions of themselves. Casper Christensen, who recently appeared in Chris Addison’s Rebel Wilson and Anne Hathaway-led comedy The Hustle, could be called Denmark’s Jerry Seinfeld, but his character on the show is very different. The Casper character is a womanizing sexual addict, who constantly gets his best friend Frank into trouble. Frank Hvam’s character is the ‘Larry David’ of Klovn. The Frank-character makes many embarrassing blunders, and his partnership with Casper Christensen always gets him into trouble with his wife and their friends. Continue reading “REVIEW: Klovn: The Final (2020)”→
The following is a review of Parasite (‘기생충‘) — Directed by Bong Joon-ho.
Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is a South Korean drama about the class system. The film follows a very poor South Korean family who lives in an abandoned basement. The Kim-family spend their days searching for free WiFi, and they make a living folding pizza boxes. The parents — Ki-Taek (played by Song Kang-ho) and Chung-sook (played by Chang Hyae-jin) — hope that their children — Ki-woo (played by Choi Woo-shik) and Ki-jeong (played by Park So-dam) — can climb the social ladder and make a life for themselves that is prosperous. Ki-woo plans to go to college and make something of himself. However, as their father, Ki-Taek, later warns, plans are unreliable. Continue reading “REVIEW: Parasite (2019)”→
The following is a review of Zombieland: Double Tap — Directed by Ruben Fleischer.
Belated comedy sequels scare me. They certainly don’t scare me as much as the flesh-eating living dead can, but whenever I hear about a sequel to a comedy that came out a decade ago, or longer, I get a chill down my spine. I watch these trailers with a concerned look on my face, and I’m always ready to cover my forehead with my palm if the trailer frustrates me. 2014’s Dumb and Dumber To was a terribly disappointing belated sequel to Peter Farrelly’s 1994 comedy classic, and Ben Stiller’s 2016 sequel to Zoolander might be one of the worst comedy sequels that I’ve ever seen. So when I pressed play on the first trailer for Zombieland: Double Tap, which has been released ten years after the original comedy hit came out, I was more worried than I was excited. To tell you the truth, I absolutely hated that trailer, which is exactly why I was so pleasantly surprised to see that Zombieland: Double Tap is one of the rare belated comedy sequels that actually works. Continue reading “REVIEW: Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)”→
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)”→