Directed by Tom Gormican – Screenplay by Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten.
Nicolas Cage is incredible. He’s a legend. This film’s opening states as much. It is true, though. The Academy Award winner may have done a lot of cheaper straight-to-video B-films over the course of more than the last decade, but the star with a cult following has remained a wildly entertaining thespian through it all, and he hasn’t lost a step, like Michael Sarnoski’s Pig, from last year, proved. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent may not ultimately earn Cage as many critical accolades as the aforementioned Sarnoski film did, but it is a great comedic tribute to Cage, as well as a reminder to audiences all around the world that he’s still here, he never went anywhere, and he’s as entertaining as ever.
Directed by Mimi Cave – Screenplay by Lauryn Kahn.
Modern dating can be difficult. We all like to think that we can have a grand love story and just meet someone out of the blue, but, nowadays, many people find their eventual partners through online dating. In Mimi Cave’s FRESH — her feature debut as a director – Noa (played by Daisy Edgar-Jones) is tired of spending so much time finding potential suitors on the online ‘meat market.’ Her online dating usually ends with disappointing dates with rude men or with men sending inappropriate images that she never once asked for. So, it is understandable that she excitedly chases romance when she meets and flirts with the undeniable charming ‘Steve’ (played by Sebastian Stan) in a local supermarket. In spite of obvious red flags (he has no Instagram account!), she decides to go away with him on a weekend vacation, where she will soon find out that he has an uncommon ‘hobby’ — to say the least — and that his intentions aren’t good.
Directed by Adam McKay (Vice) — Screenplay by Adam McKay.
On Christmas Eve, Netflix released Adam McKay’s star-studded pre-apocalyptic satirical science-fiction film Don’t Look Up, which is a film about scientists trying to get people to care about a life-threatening event being on the horizon. The streamers’ global audience probably didn’t expect McKay’s satirical and irreverent take on a possible world-ending event in their Christmas stockings, but it isn’t coal you’ve found on Christmas morning, rather it is a minutes-to-midnight plea to look around you and realize what needs to be changed before it’s too late that is delivered via a scathing satire whose tone sometimes even resembles a Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg-esque apocalyptic comedy. Perhaps stars like DiCaprio, Lawrence, Streep, and Chalamet will get you to press play on a film that tries desperately to get people around the world to realize that we absolutely have to listen to and trust scientists and not just political campaigning.
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)”→