When Adam Sandler was campaigning during the last awards-season for his performance in the Safdie Brothers’ Uncut Gems, he made a threat to the Academy and the film community as a whole. Sandler remarked that if he were to not get an Oscar nomination, then he would purposefully make a movie that was ‘so bad’ to make us all pay. Well, here we are. Sandler was not nominated for his phenomenal performance in Uncut Gems. Steven Brill’s Hubie Halloween, which was, of course, filmed prior to the Oscar ceremony in question, is Sandler’s first film since he missed out on a deserved Oscar-nomination. And, frankly, this film is not the worst straight-to-Netflix film that Sandler has made for the streaming service. In fact, if he keeps on churning out straight-to-Netflix films such as this one, even though it’s certainly not good, then I’ll take it, in return for an Oscar-worthy Sandler-performance every other year.
The following is a review of Knives Out — a Rian Johnson whodunnit.
Are Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery films making a quiet comeback right under our noses? In 2017, Kenneth Branagh resurrected the genre on the big screen with his adaptation of Murder On the Orient Express, which is getting a sequel in 2020. Earlier in 2019, Kyle Newacheck released an Adam Sandler-led murder mystery film titled Murder Mystery, which I suggested might be “the most watchable of Sandler’s made-for-Netflix comedies.” Now we have Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, which isn’t just the best of the bunch, it’s also genuinely one of the most entertaining films of the year. Knives Out is a fresh and modern labyrinthine murder mystery complete with a stylish main location, as well as witty and timely social and political satire. Continue reading “REVIEW: Knives Out (2019)”
The following is a review of Cold Case Hammarskjöld — Directed by Mads Brügger.
In Mads Brügger’s Cold Case Hammarskjöld, a Danish filmmaker and journalist teams up with Göran Björkdahl from Sweden who has inherited a particular obsession from his father. Björkdahl is obsessed with the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld, the UN General Secretary who died in a plane crash in Northern Rhodesia in 1961. Together, Brügger and Björkdahl hope to uncover what exactly happened to Hammarskjöld by investigating the theory that he was murdered. But, in doing so, Brügger and Björkdahl come upon a complex conspiracy theory about a mysterious paramilitary organization, the so-called South African Institute for Maritime Research (SAIMR), with sinister plans for the continent. Continue reading “REVIEW: Cold Case Hammarskjöld (2019 – Documentary)”
The following is a review Murder Mystery — Directed by Kyle Newacheck.
I go back and forth when it comes to Adam Sandler. I love plenty of the audience-favorite comedian’s films. I think Sandler is gifted with tremendous dramatic talent, which he showcased with his performances in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love and Noah Baumbach’s The Meyerowitz Stories. He is still a very funny stand-up comedian if his excellent Netflix special Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh is anything to go by. But, more often than not, Sandler is known for his comedies. More often than not, Sandler is known for his not-so-fresh, critically panned comedies. Sandler and Netflix have made about a handful of Happy Madison-comedies together, and, thankfully, though Murder Mystery isn’t exactly a home-run, it is far superior to the godawful, snoozefest that last year’s The Week Of, arguably the worst film of 2018, was. Continue reading “REVIEW: Murder Mystery (2019)”