REVIEW: Dolor y Gloria (2019)

Spanish Theatrical Release Poster – Sony Pictures Releasing International

The following is a review of Dolor y Gloria (int. title: Pain and Glory) — Directed by Pedro Almodóvar.

Dolor y Gloria is Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar’s twenty-second feature film, but, admittedly, the first film of his that I have seen. It is a semi-autobiographical film about an aging Spanish filmmaker (whose name is unmistakably close to being an anagram for Almodóvar) who feels that his body and mind is working against him. Salvador Mallo (played by Antonio Banderas), the aforementioned fictitious filmmaker, is constantly depressed, and he also suffers from difficult headaches and serious back problems. All of these issues have stopped him in his tracks and made it difficult for him to continue to make his art — his films. Continue reading “REVIEW: Dolor y Gloria (2019)”

REVIEW: IT – Chapter Two (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros. Pictures

The following is a review of IT: Chapter Two — Directed by Andy Muschietti.

It would be an understatement to say that Andy Muschietti’s IT (2017) was a great success. Successfully building on audiences’ relationship with the 1990s mini-series, novel, or creature design, IT went on to become the highest-grossing Stephen King adaptation and the highest-grossing horror film in North American box office history (not adjusted for inflation). Therefore, naturally, expectations for the adaptation of the second ‘half’ of the 1000-page long clown-focused King novel were through the roof. Ultimately, although I don’t think the second chapter lives entirely up to the frightening but charming first film, IT: Chapter Two finds much more success in depicting the grown-up half of the novel than the mini-series did, and, even though I have notable problems with the film, I’m mostly satisfied with how this oversized crowdpleaser wrapped up the story. Continue reading “REVIEW: IT – Chapter Two (2019)”

REVIEW: Toy Story 4 (2019)

UK Theatrical Release Poster – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The following is a review of Toy Story 4 — Directed by Josh Cooley.

I once wrote that I am ‘a part of the Pixar-generation,’ i.e. I’ve grown up with their films and Toy Story was one of the first films I saw. I’ve loved almost all of the Pixar-films, and I love the Toy Story-films most of them all. The first film was a childhood favorite of mine. The second film was almost equally brilliant and becomes better the more I watch it. And, especially for my generation, the third film was a cathartic and nostalgic heartbreaker that had adults bawling their eyes out in crowded theaters or airplanes.

Toy Story is a special film series. The first three films are all some of the greatest animated films ever made and arguably include a couple of masterpieces among them. But it is also a film series that ended on the perfect note with Toy Story 3. So, I cannot say that I ever really wanted a fourth film. However, Toy Story 4 from feature film debut director Josh Cooley is another heartwarming and heartbreaking coming-of-age tale featuring childhood playthings. Though we didn’t need it, Pixar has, thankfully, brought us yet another great installment in this beloved film series, even though the fourth film isn’t as much of an instant classic as the first three films were. Continue reading “REVIEW: Toy Story 4 (2019)”

REVIEW: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Lionsgate

The following is a review of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark — Directed by André Øvredal.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is an adaptation of a trilogy of children’s horror short story collections of the same name from author Alvin Schwartz. The film has been in development since 2013, and now Norwegian filmmaker André Øvredal has finally brought the children’s short stories to the big screen in the form of a horror film that’s frankly really enjoyable if you know what you’re getting into. This is just scary enough to severely frighten teens, but I don’t think it is so frightening that it’ll haunt them at night unless they are young tweens, but you and your kids’ mileage may vary. It’s a cute and fairly effective horror film that, I think, has the potential to become a favorite for teens. Those who dug Annabelle Comes Home will be happy with this similarly cutesy horror film. Continue reading “REVIEW: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (2019)”

REVIEW: The Kid (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Lionsgate Films

The following is a short review of The Kid — Directed by Vincent D’Onofrio.

Maybe it’s an unfair and impolite thought, but whenever an actor-turned-director gets an A-list cast for his next feature, I start to worry that the star-studded cast only agreed to appear in the film as a favor to a good friend who is trying their hand at a new thing that he or she is relatively inexperienced at. The Kid, a new somewhat-biographical western, is Vincent D’Onofrio’s second feature film as a director. His sophomore effort as a director features a cast that includes Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, and Dane DeHaan. I may never learn if they joined this film as a favor or not, but I can say that I enjoyed this film quite a bit. Continue reading “REVIEW: The Kid (2019)”

REVIEW: Replicas (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures

The following is a review of Replicas — Directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff.

Jeffrey Nachmanoff’s Replicas follows William Foster (played by Keanu Reeves), a research neuroscientist who experiments with the concept of transferring a human mind — even that of a deceased individual — into the body of an android. William and his colleague Ed Whittle (played by Thomas Middleditch), however, are not finding much success, seeing as their best experiment ended with an expensive android speaking and then ripping its own face off. But the success of their experiments becomes much more important to William when he loses his wife (played by Alice Eve) and his three kids in a violent accident. As a direct result of the accident, William decides to secretly attempt to transfer his family’s minds into new bodies using the technology that his employer has provided the research division with. But William is faced with a tough decision when he finds out that he can only transfer three members of his family into new bodies. William has to not only decide which family member to let go, but he also has to wipe their existence from his family’s memories. Continue reading “REVIEW: Replicas (2019)”

REVIEW: The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

Theatrical Release Poster – Warner Bros. Pictures

The following is a review of The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part — Directed by Mike Mitchell.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s The LEGO Movie was, frankly, not just one of the best surprises of 2014. It was also one of the best movies of the year. The film’s first follow-up was the Batman spin-off, The LEGO Batman Movie, which, surprisingly, did not ‘exist in,’ so to speak, the real world like Lord and Miller’s hit did. The LEGO Batman Movie was a clever animated hit that I enjoyed greatly, though not as much as I enjoyed Lord and Miller’s LEGO-film. Then they released The LEGO Ninjago Movie which I couldn’t care less about when it was announced. I did see the film eventually, though, but it didn’t speak to me, and I didn’t enjoy it at all. Now we finally have a proper sequel to that first LEGO movie-hit. And although I don’t think it lives up to my expectations, it is a perfectly fine animated sequel. Continue reading “REVIEW: The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)”