Friday, February 25, 2022


My View: Cyrano (2021) PG-13   The legendary story of a wordsmith and master swordsman, Cyrano (Peter Dinklage), who falls madly for the lovely Roxanne (Haley Bennett). Despite being in love with Roxanne, Cyrano is too full of self-doubt to make a move but then is enlisted by the dashing Christian (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.) to woo her with letters that Cyrano writes for Christian. Cyrano de Bergerac is one of my favorite plays and has been brought to the screen numerous times, including some of my favorites of all time: Love Letters (1945), Cyrano de Bergerac (1950), Electric Dreams (1984), and the classic Steve Martin romantic comedy Roxanne (1987). So, accordingly, I fell in love with this version of Cyrano, a musical starring Peter Dinklage, who, instead of the enormous nose making Cyrano feel that he is not worthy of Roxanne’s love, it’s his size that causes his doubts. This version of Cyrano is a musical with a score written by members of the Indie-rock band The National. While not a great singer, the songs in the film allow Dinklage to half-sing, half-speak the songs, but this makes for a more mournful and soulful Cyrano, as he pours out his heart for a love lost. Dinklage is one of those performers who commands your attention, and he does this with an ease that makes him seem effortless on the screen. Haley Bennett is superb as the lovely Roxanne and Kelvin Harrison, Jr. belts some of the film's best songs as the tongue-tied Christian. I thoroughly enjoyed this revisit to an old friend about a man who sacrifices his happiness for what he thinks will make the love of his life happy, only to be disappointed by the cruel turn of events.   My Rating: Full Price  Cyrano Website  Now playing in theatres nationwide.

My View:  Studio 666  (2022) R   Dave and the rest of the Foo Fighters are looking for the perfect place to record their much-anticipated 10th album. Finally, they have found the ideal location, a mansion in Encino that is steeped in rock and roll history. However, there is one problem: supernatural forces threaten to take over their lives. If you are a fan of the Foo Fighters and have enjoyed their music videos, you will have a good time watching this film. Based on a story written by frontman Dave Grohl, a huge horror fan, the film is a take on the haunted house theme, with an evil force possessing Grohl for mayhem and gore. The film is a takeoff on all the low-budget slasher films you have seen, with each new death bloodier and grosser than the last one. The film is funny, but it overstays its welcome by at least 30 minutes, and I got tired of the seemingly endless plot, as the killings keep going long after I thought it was fun. The band looks as if they were having a blast and a lot depends on if you like Dave and his tendency to overact. If you're not a fan, you might want to skip Studio 666 and maybe try something like The Cabin in the Woods (2011) or Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010) instead.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Studio 666 Website  Now playing in theatres nationwide.

My View: No Exit (2022) R  Darby (Havana Rose Liu) is a runaway from rehab desperate to visit her sick mother, but Darby is stranded by a blizzard in an isolated highway rest stop. Shortly after arriving, she discovers a kidnapped child hidden in a car belonging to one of the people inside the rest stop she is stranded with. Darby (Havana Rose Liu) is a runaway from rehab desperate to visit her sick mother, but Darby is stranded by a blizzard in an isolated highway rest stop. Shortly after arriving, she discovers a kidnapped child hidden in a car belonging to one of the people inside the rest stop she is stranded with. No Exit is a gripping suspense film that starts with the premise that there is a kidnapper among the four people you meet in a rest stop, and you have to figure out who it is and how to get the child safe while trapped in cramped quarters. The film has plenty of nice twists to keep you interested while keeping the suspense high. I enjoyed this film, where you get to play detective along with Darby and try and figure a way out of an impossible situation. Havana Rose Liu gives us someone in Darby to help us figure out what is going on in a desperate attempt to rescue the child. No Exit loses a bit of steam in the second half, but it’s still a cool roller coster ride that becomes a bit horrific.  My Rating: Full Price   No Exit Website  Now playing on the Hulu platform.

In Memory of Ed Wood (A Movie I've Only Seen in Trailers But Just Looks Like a Bad Idea): A Day to Die  (2022) R   After killing a drug syndicate member while protecting a parolee, Connor (Matt Dillion) has one day to pay two million dollars in reparation. He enlists his old military ops crew, led by Brice Mason (Bruce Willis), to steal two million dollars. Anything these days with Bruce Willis on the movie poster is a bad sign. Willis is making a ton of these direct-to-video movies where he comes in, acts for a day or two, and then departs, making the film basically a walk-on for him, and the rest of the film is an action film without its star.    A Day to Die Info

Forgotten Film: Nobody's Fool (1994) R  Sully (Paul Newman) is a man in his 60’s who has lived a carefree life. He has a job as a construction worker, lives in a rented apartment, and gets by because he is charming and good-looking. He spends most of his days drinking beer at a local watering hole and flirting with his boss's wife (Melanie Griffith). Then in walks his son, Peter (Dylan Walsh), going through a messy divorce and has moved back to his hometown. Now, Sully must confront the past he has long ignored. Newman was one of those actors who could do incredible things with very little. Newman’s Sully is a man who, though full of faults, is someone you still root for. It’s that easy-going charm that Newman fills the screen with as no one else can. Nobody's Fool is a film that lets Newman fill with his presence, and it's a performance that is one of his best, especially of his later career. The cast is outstanding, including Bruce Willis as Sully’s boss and Jessica Tandy as Sully’s landlord (and old 8th-grade teacher), but it’s Newman that makes this film work and worth watching.   My Rating: Full Price    Nobody's Fool Website

Weird Credits: From the credits of Cyrano: Action Prop Buyer

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)   A cash-strapped Nicolas Cage (yes, that Nic Cage) has agreed to make an appearance for 1 million dollars at a billionaire’s (Pedro Pascal) birthday party. It gets complicated when Nic learns that the billionaire is not only a fan but is a drug kingpin. OK, Nic Cage is playing himself, so this could go one of two ways: a heck of a lot of fun or a huge mess. Either way, it will be worth seeing for this Cage fan.      The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Website

Until Next Time!

Friday, February 18, 2022


My View: Dog  (2022) PG-13  Briggs (Channing Tatum) is a grieving former Army Ranger who wants to get back into the Army. Surprisingly, Briggs is given a chance to prove himself when he is assigned to take Lulu, a retired military working dog, on a road trip to go to the dog’s late handler’s funeral. It’s a trip that will change everything. Everyone who knows me knows that I love dogs. And you can’t go wrong when the dog is the co-star of the film. Ok, there are a few clunkers (Marmaduke (2010) and Look Who’s Talking Now! (1993) comes to mind), but generally, dogs can make a movie better just because we love them, no matter how unruly or damaged they are. We know that love and understanding can make a dog heal (except for rabid dogs like Cujo). That’s the case with Dog, as Channing Tatum goes on a road trip with a dog that is suffering from a case of PTSD and who misses his handler. The film milks the charm of Channing Tatum and the fact that we love dogs, even ones that act up. I wish the adventures that two have were a little more fun and creative. There is an uncomfortable sequence between Brigs, Lulu, and two hippie pot farmers (Kevin Nash, Jane Adams) that just doesn’t work. Still, there are some fun scenes with Lulu acting up in Briggs’ beloved truck, and Tatum makes for a lovable big oaf with a heart that slowly melts for a dog that is as damaged as he is. Overall, this is a sweet story of a man and a dog who find healing in each other.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee  Dog Website  Now playing in theatres nationwide.

My View: Uncharted (2022) PG-13  Nathan (Tom Holland) meets up with legendary treasure hunter Sully (Mark Wahlberg) to go on an adventure to find the lost fortune of explorer Ferdinand Magellan. Straightaway, a simple heist becomes a race to find the 5 billion dollars in gold before the ruthless Santiago Moncada (Antonio Banderas) can. Every played a video game and thought, ‘hey, this would make for a fun movie.’ Well, that’s what Hollywood has been trying to do for quite a while with the Uncharted video game series, and after what seems like a hundred years and many, many rumors of casting, we finally have a movie. Unfortunately, this film never delivers the goods in this treasure hunting trip around the world. Tom Holland tries to bring his charm and action-adventure charisma to this film, but he is saddled with a horrible miscasting of Mark Wahlberg as his screen mate. In this film, Wahlberg never gives us much, making his Sully character seem charmless and dull. The film tries to spice things up by bringing a third treasure hunter into the picture, with Sophia Ali’s Chloe Frazer, and for a while, she sparks up the film for a bit, with Chloe making the boys keep on their toes for a while. But sadly, she is left out of the fun in the finale, letting Holland do all the heavy lifting of the action sequences while Wahlberg gets to spout a lame wisecrack or two. I was never caught up in the magic that the film wanted to create about finding the pot of gold at the end of the Magellan rainbow. Instead, we kind of got tricked, and a leprechaun wasn’t responsible, just Mark Wahlberg. If you make it to the end there is a post-credit scene to set up the next film (please, no).  My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Uncharted Website  Now playing in theatres nationwide.

My View: The Cursed (2021) R  In rural 19th-century France, a gypsy has cursed a small village and the nearby landowners. Consequently, a pathologist, John McBride (Boyd Holbrook), has come to town to investigate the attacks happening to the town folk. This supernatural menace is something that McBride has seen before with deadly results. I liked this horror film as it tells the tale of a werewolf terrorizing a local village. It reminded me in its plot and style of the old British Hammer films for the 60s and 70s, giving us lots of setup to understand the characters involved and building up the tension slowly, letting us imagine what could happen, then making the attacks more horrifying than our wildest nightmares. I loved the look and feel of this film as we only get glimpses of the werewolf, but we see just how scared the townspeople are, knowing fully what the gypsy curse means to their village. The Cursed builds to a satisfying and horrific conclusion, full of terror and fright. Remember to never cross a gypsy, or you could be next.   My Rating: Full Price  The Cursed Website  Now playing in select theatres.

My View: Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2022) R   A group of young friends visit a small, remote town in Texas with the thought that they will buy the town and return it to its former robust glory. Little do they know, inside the town is a building home to a family who has hidden their existence for almost 50 years, the home of a monster: Leatherface. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre from 1974 is one of my favorite horror films of all time. Made for a tiny amount of money, the Tobe Hooper classic changed the way horror films were presented, with a killing spree that happens so early in the movie, that you are shocked when it happens. I can’t say the same thing about this film. I was excited when I heard of the plot, with the character of Sally, the only survivor of the original film, coming back to wreak vengeance on Leatherface after 50 years of waiting. Unfortunately, we instead get another run-of-the-mill horror gorefest with Leatherface killing people right and left with either a sledgehammer or his trusty chainsaw (that remarkably fires right up after 50 years). The showdown between Sally (played by Olwen Fouere, taking the place of the late actress from the original film, the late Marilyn Burns) and Leatherface is disappointing, as is the film playing up the gore in its kill-fest, trying to top different ways people can die via chainsaw. Unfortunately, Sarah Yarkin (Happy Death Day 2) and indie fave Elsie Fisher (Eighth Grade), playing sisters trying to survive the Leatherface onslaught, can’t save this film from being anything but another boring, bloody mess of a bad horror film.   My Rating: Cable   Texas Chainsaw Massacre Website  Now playing on the Netflix platform.

Indiefest: The Worst Person in the World (2021) R  We follow the life of Julie (Renate Reinsve), a young woman who for four years navigates the troubled waters of her love life and her struggle to find a career. This is a film about a woman who can never find the footing that she needs to live the life she wants to lead. Julie is not your typical heroine as she is going to disappoint you continually with the choices she makes in life, but you will keep hoping and rooting for her to succeed. Julie is a person who thinks that the grass is always greener on the other side and is in a constant look for that side, even if it means heartbreak and burning bridges behind her. Renate Reinsve is remarkable as Julie, giving us a woman who can be in love one minute and then regret that she ever got into the relationship in the first place the next moment. There is a truly magical sequence in the film when Julie runs through town as the world slows down around her. It’s a scene that makes this film worth watching for it alone. But The Worst Person in the World is more than just that scene, with a performance that makes the film watchable from start to finish. My Rating: Full Price   The Worst Person in the World Website  Now playing in select theatres.

Indiefest: Breaking Bread (2020)   This documentary is about a food festival in Israel that pairs Arab and Jewish chefs to collaborate on exotic dishes, changing the world one plate at a time. If you love food and the chefs' passion for making people happy with the meals they have created, then this film is for you. Created by the first Muslim Arab to win the popular Israeli TV cooking show Master Chef, Dr. Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, the A-Sham Arabic Food Festival is an attempt to bring the food and cultures of the Arab and Israeli world together to celebrate how the love of food can unite and create friendship and understanding. The film highlights several chefs that bring their stories and recipes of family to be blended to create magic. The film celebrates all the different cultures that make up the region through the food that they are known for. We get mouth-watering behind-the-scenes looks on how the dishes are created and the exchange of recipes and ideas between the chefs as they collaborate for the food festival. I guarantee that you will want to make some homemade humus as soon as you finish this delightful and entertaining look at the chefs trying to change the world one plate at a time.   My Rating: Full Price   Breaking Bread Website  Now playing in select theatres.

My View: Pursuit (2022) R  A hacker, Rick Calloway (Emile Hirsch), has crossed the line with the people he works for, and now his wife is being held until he can complete a mission. Meanwhile, a cop (Jake Manley) is hot on his trail and will do anything to find him. The question is if Rick’s mobster father (John Cusack) is behind the whole thing. If you are watching this film for John Cusack, then don’t bother as most of Cusack’s scenes are either flashbacks to a birthday party for his grandson or his cooking steaks on a grill on the back porch of his mansion. I got lost in the plot, never quite figuring out who was doing what to whom, as Rick goes around killing everyone he can while looking for his wife who has been kidnapped. There are lots of firefights where Hirsch fires a gun in slow motion as he jumps sideways across a room, and he gets captured a lot but always figures some way on how to escape. The film's ending is as mystifying as the rest of the plot, but if you want to watch Hirsch fire a gun and look like a crazy guy in front of a computer, then take this film on. Otherwise, go watch something else from the Cusack catalog of movies.   My Rating: Cable   Pursuit Website  Now On-Demand and on Digital platforms.

Indiefest: Beans (2020)   Beans is about the 78-day standoff between the Mohawk community and the federal government when a golf course wants to expand into a tribal burial ground. Beans (Kiawentiio) is a young Mohawk girl who fights with her family for their right to keep a part of their history from being destroyed. A delightful film about a teen trying to find her way in a world that gets turned upside down when a battle ensues between the Mohawk community and the local government, quickly turning into a national struggle. The actress, Kiawentiio, who plays Beans, is fantastic in the role of a girl trying to grow up too fast, too soon, and getting into trouble because of it. Kiawentiio is perfect, playing Beans as an innocent girl whose promising future is being derailed by something much bigger than she can deal with. The film is based on filmmaker Tracy Deer’s own experiences as a young 12-year-old during the standoff and that makes it even more touching and enjoyable to watch.   My Rating: Full Price   Beans Website  Now playing on digital platforms including Amazon Prime.

Forgotten Film: The Hustler (1961) Fast Eddie (Paul Newman) is an up-and-coming pool player who, too early in his career, takes on a legend in the game, Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason), and loses everything in a high-stakes game. Now at rock bottom, Eddie is trying to resurrect his career with the help of the slick and smarmy manager, Bert (George C. Scott). Eddie realizes, possibly too late, that to get back to the top, he will have to risk everything he loves to hit the big time. The Hustler is one of those films that you see why Newman was one of the top actors of all time. He takes an unlikable, ego-driven person and makes you fall in love with him despite yourself, much like Piper Laurie's character in the film. The cast is outstanding, and Newman is a powerhouse on the screen. Newman played Fast Eddie again in the Tom Cruise film The Color of Money (1986).   My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again   The Hustler Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Dog: COVID Captains

Coming Soon to a Screen Near You:  X (2022) R   In 1979, a group of young, ambitious filmmakers go to an isolated set of homes in rural Texas to make an adult-rated film. Their stay will be cut short when things start going wrong when their reclusive, elderly hosts catch them in the act, and the cast finds themselves fighting for their lives. After the disappointment of the sequel horror film Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I hope this Ti West (The Innkeepers, The Sacrament) will be better at the scares. Add in the fact that Jenna Ortega is one of the film's stars, just off her appearance in Scream and The Fallout and I hope this one will something to watch.    X Website

Until Next Time!

Friday, February 11, 2022

Marry Me

My View:  Marry Me (2022) PG-13  Music superstars and power couple Kat Valdez (Jennifer Lopez) and Bastian (Maluma) are about to be married in the event of the year. Seconds before the big event, Kat finds out that Bastian has cheated on her. As a result and before a live audience, Kat locks eyes with a stranger in the crowd, Charlie (Owen Wilson), and decides right then and there to marry him. For fans of Jennifer Lopez, this will be a dream come true as she sings what seems like every five minutes and has more costume changes than possible anyone ever on-screen. That given, this is a classic rom com plot of two very different people being pushed into a situation, and loves comes from that unexpected place. I am not a big fan of Owen Wilson, but he makes this film work. His Charlie character makes you want to root for this couple, bringing a sweetness and innocence to the role that is very believable, and you can see why Kat falls for him. I loved the chemistry between the two stars, and their playful back and forth seemed genuine and was one of the best things about this film. Sure the plot is easy to figure out, but that’s what we love about this type of movie, plus we get a lot of Jennifer Lopez songs to get up and dance to.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Marry Me Website  Now playing in theaters nationwide and on the Peacock platform.

My View: I Want You Back (2022) R   Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate), who meet by chance on a day that both of them got dumped. Therefore, they decide to become a team to get back the ‘loves of their lives by breaking up their old partner's new relationships. What could go wrong? Since it’s almost Valentine’s Day, it's time for a good and very funny romantic comedy with two dynamic stars. Day is perfect as your likable everyman, and Jenny Slate is terrific as the quirky Emma, a woman who will do just about anything to get her man back. I Want You Back is a hilarious movie, mainly because Day and Slate have such great comedic timing and are just out and out hilarious. The supporting cast of Gina Rodriguez as Peter’s ex-girlfriend and Scott Eastwood, as the hunky ex-boyfriend of Emma, are fine in their roles but are there really just to be window dressing for the antics of Day and Slate. I loved this film and had a blast watching Charlie Day and Jenny Slate get into so much trouble trying to get their lovers back while slowly falling in love with each other.   My Rating: Full Price   I Want You Back Website  Now playing on the Amazon Prime platform.

Indiefest: The Sky is Everywhere (2022) PG-13    Lennie (Grace Kaufman), a musical prodigy high-school student, has lost her love for music because her older sister, Bailey, has died. Surprisingly, when she meets a new student, Joe (Jacques Colimon), a fellow music lover, things start looking up. However, everything gets complicated when Bailey’s grieving, devastated boyfriend Toby (Pico Alexander) shows up, and Lennie starts bonding with him. This film has a lot of tropes that make up the typical Young Adult romance. The quirky best friend (Grace Kaufman) is there to boost Lennie when things are down. The strange but kind relatives (Jason Segel, Cherry Jones) who only want what’s best for Lennie. The evil and mean rival (Julia Schlaepfer) who is always a thorn in Lennie’s side. And the two possible loves of Lennie: the perfect guy (Jacques Colimon) who falls for Lennie even though he could have any girl in the school and the bad boy Toby (Pico Alexander), who is suffering a loss just like Lennie. What makes this different from your ordinary YA romance is that we get to experience what Lennie is feeling through her thoughts in her mind. When Lennie first meets Joe, she falls over backward, blown away by his playing, or when they play a duet, as they fly above the crowd as people dance below. It’s those beautiful, magical moments where we get to experience the joy or sorrow that Lennie feels that make this film worth watching. My favorite scene is where Lennie is struggling with the loss of her sister, and as she talks on the phone, everyone around her is struggling too. Whether it’s the guy who drops his ice cream cone, or the man who can’t get his papers back into his briefcase, everyone around her in Lennie’s world is struggling with life just as much as Lennie is.   My Rating: Full Price    The Sky is Everywhere Website  Now playing in select theatres and on the Apple TV+ platform.

My View: Tall Girl 2 (2022) TV-PG  Your favorite ‘tall girl,’ Jodi (Ava Michelle), is back! Now that Jodi has everything going for her with a boyfriend and is suddenly popular in school, it would seem that things would be great. However, being popular can cause problems, especially when the new guy (Rico Paris) in school shows an interest in you. I liked the first Tall Girl film, which, while not a great movie, was charming and had a winning start in Ava Michelle. This sequel doesn’t match the first film's charm and feels like they are pushing the boundaries to make a lot out of very little plot. Michelle still gives us someone to root for, and we get to see her dance a couple of times, which is an added bonus. I just wish there had been a little more to the plot to keep my interest, though I think the younger crowd may enjoy it.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Tall Girl 2 Website  Now playing on the Netflix platform.

Indiefest: The In Between (2022) PG-13   Tessa (Joey King) is trying to piece her life back together after surviving a horrible car accident that took her boyfriend's life. Although heartbroken, Tessa suddenly realizes that Skylar (Kyle Allen) is trying to reconnect with her from the afterworld. In the film, we go back and forth between what happened before the accident, giving us all the adventures into love between Tessa and Skylar and the events after the accident, when Tessa starts getting what she thinks are messages from Skylar from the beyond. I liked but didn’t love this film about a young woman whose troubled past gets in the way of her loving someone now. Like many teen romance films, Skylar is the perfect boyfriend, with his only fault, trying to do the right thing for everyone. Tessa is the typical teen romance woman who can’t commit fully to the relationship because she has been hurt in the past. Add in the fact that Skylar is trying to contact Tessa from the afterlife, and Tessa is willing to risk her life to see him one last time, and you get a film that seems to fit all the base but never hits at the heart enough for us to care.   My Rating: Bargain Matinee    The In Between Website  Now playing on the Paramount + platform.

My View: Kimi (2022) R Angela (Zoë Kravitz) is a highly-skilled tech working on the latest voice-controlled AI called Kimi. Angela works from home because she has agoraphobia, making it almost impossible for her to leave her home. While fixing the AI’s system, she gets an audio file that she thinks maybe a recording of an assault. Taking a bit from Hitchcock’s Rear Window, along with a few other suspense films, filmmaker Steven Soderbergh gives us a thriller about the perils of a world dominated by devices that we now own and depend on. The film is a fun ride, with a few twists and turns that make it exciting, and Kravitz is great as the strange set in her ways Angela. Kimi speeds up a bit at the end, making it feel a bit rushed to get to the big ending, but it has a very satisfying conclusion.   My Rating: Full Price   Kimi Website  Now playing on HBO and the HBO Max platform.

Forgotten Film: Light Sleeper (1992) R   John (Willem Dafoe) is a drug dealer who has been serving the same clients for years. He used to do drugs but has been off them for a few years. He starts thinking about quitting the business when his boss (Susan Sarandon) keeps talking about going into a legit line of work. He then meets Marianne (Dana Delany), his one true love who left him a few years ago to get clean herself. Marianne wants nothing to do with John, as she is afraid she will go back to her old ways. Dafoe gives a sobering, gut-wrenching performance as we go deep into the world of drug addiction and the lives that it destroys.   My Rating: Full Price     Light Sleeper Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of I Want You Back: Lead Zone Monitor

Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: The Bad Guys (2022) PG A gang of criminals led by Mr. Wolf (voiced by Sam Rockwell) decides to turn a new leaf and go good, but it will be more challenging than they think it will be. The voice cast looks outstanding with Marc Maron, Awkwafina, Anthony Ramos, Craig Robinson, and Alex Borstein and the trailer looks like this could be a fun time.     The Bad Guys Website

Until Next Time!

Friday, February 4, 2022

Jackass Forever

My View: Jackass Forever   (2022) R   The Jackass gang is back for one last time of death-defying stunts that any normal person wouldn’t do, but we know that these guys aren’t normal. Ok, so I was never a fan of the TV series, but I did enjoy the last movie, Jackass 3D. I will tell you what I told the studio rep after seeing the film; despite my better judgment, I really thought this film was funny and fun to watch. Now I will warn you that this film is not for the squeamish, and you will see a whole heck of a lot of male full-frontal nudity. I think what makes this so much fun to watch, besides all the crazy, idiotic stunts, is the reactions of the rest of the gang when something horrible happens in a stunt. It's also the relief on their faces when they realize that that could be them tied down in a room covered in honey and salmon with a big live bear. The gang is led by Johnny Knoxville, who has the most fun watching his friends get creamed (no pun intended) by a stunt, as he is the instigator, often starting stunts on his own with a taser. Jackass Forever is undoubtedly the last one that Knoxville will do, as he is now over fifty and was very seriously hurt several times during the filming, including a stunt near the end of the film where I think he may have died for a few seconds. Most of the Jackass gang, which has added a few new recruits, look like they have been through several wars these past ten years since the last film, with the exception of Steve-O, who looks better now than he did in the previous movie, mainly because he has gotten off of drugs and alcohol. So, if you are brave, sit down and enjoy a bunch of people being tortured just for the fun of it. You will laugh, though you might be a little ashamed afterward.    My Rating: Full Price   Jackass Forever Website  Now playing in theatres nationwide.

My View:  Moonfall   (2022) PG-13   A mysterious force has knocked the moon from its orbit and is in a collision course with Earth. A former astronaut, Jo Fowler (Halle Berry), enlists a ragtag team (Patrick Wilson, John Bradley) to help her go on an impossible mission, leaving everything they love behind to try to save the Earth. The only problem, the moon isn’t what we think it is. Let me give you an example of how stupid this film is (or how stupid the filmmakers think we are). Halle Berry, a former astronaut, has become head of NASA (don’t ask how) and is now on a mission to save Earth. She states how she doesn’t know how much time they have to complete the mission before the world starts to send nukes to blow up the moon. Five minutes later, she states that ‘We have only ten minutes before they send the nukes.’ That is how well the plot of this film has been thought out. In fact, I bet a ten-year-old could come up with a better plot than this film has. Besides saving the Earth from disaster, all three leads have back stories where they are trying to repair their relationships with their loved ones. Patrick Wilson is a former astronaut whose life was destroyed after being blamed for a disastrous mission and now has a troubled teenager (Charlie Plummer) who goes on a joyride that turns into one of those car chases you see on TV. Berry is a single mom whose marriage has fallen apart, and John Bradley has never lived up to his mother’s expectations or his own. So while trying to save the Earth from certain destruction, they are still trying to fix their families. The plot has so many holes in it that you start going, ‘well, that would never happen, but ok, let's let that go.’ I will leave you with this. A central plot point is that they take a Space Shuttle, a spacecraft that hasn’t flown since 2011, and in 24 hours, it is launched in space. Oh, and it has graffiti on it.    My Rating: Cable   Moonfall Website  Now playing in theatres nationwide.

Indiefest: Jockey (2021)   Jackson (Clifton Collins Jr.) has been a jockey for a long time, and the toll that it’s taking on his body is catching up to him. When Jackson learns that his longtime trainer (Molly Parker) has acquired what appears to be a championship horse, he knows this could be his last chance. Jackson’s failing body and a new hot jockey (Moises Arias) on the scene are throwing into question his ability to continue his lifelong passion. All he needs is one last ride. What would you do if your mind told you to keep going but your body couldn’t? This is what almost every professional athlete has to go through in their career. When do you hang it up? Jackson is a jockey who has had past success but struggles to keep riding due to mounting injuries, some of which could be life-threatening. Clifton Collins Jr. gives us a touching and meaningful performance of a man who loves what he does and doesn’t want to give it up. Jackson is supported by his trainer Ruth, played by the fabulous Molly Parker. Ruth, a longtime trainer, has bought a horse that she thinks could be a champion, and she wants her partner in crime, Jackson, to ride this horse to fame and glory. But Jackson has two secrets that are bringing him down. The new jockey in town, played by Moises Arias, says that he is his son, and Jackson is starting to suffer serious side effects from previous injuries that could stop his ability to ride. Clifton Collins Jr. is brilliant as Jackson, a man who has a good heart and is a standup guy but can’t admit that he needs to hang it up. If this was a bigger studio film or had more star power behind it, I would say that Collins Jr. would be getting an Academy Award nomination out of this role, but I just don’t think enough voters will see this smaller film. But you should.   My Rating: Full Price   Jockey Website  Now playing in select theatres. 

Indiefest: Sundown (2021) R   Neil and Alice (Tim Roth, Charlotte Gainsbourg) are with their family on vacation at a fancy resort in Mexico. When a family emergency cuts their trip short, the family’s tight-knit order is struck to its core when one family member refuses to go back, bringing long-simmering tensions to rise to the surface. I love a film that doesn’t spell anything out for you. This is a film that slowly reveals itself, letting you try to figure out what is going on with its characters and never giving you too much information (though almost everything is explained by the end of the movie). Sundown is a character study on how different people deal with a crisis. Roth gives us a man who seems always to be moving in slow motion and is one of very few words (I would love to know the total of his lines in the script are). I loved this film and how it slowly peels back the story to let us into Neil’s world. Neil is a man you will not like until maybe the end of the movie, and even then, you might still not like or understand him. But that’s ok; it’s still an interesting journey that we go on with him.    My Rating: Full Price   Sundown Website  Now playing in select theatres.

Indiefest: The Wolf and the Lion (2021) PG   After her grandfather’s death, 20-year-old Alma (Molly Kunz) decides to return to his cabin on a little island in the heart of the wilderness. While there, she rescues a wolf cub from certain death. While raising the cub on her own, a plane crashes nearby, and the only survivor is a new addition to Alma’s growing family, a lion cub who was destined for a zoo. This is a sweet, simple, and well-meaning tale that kids and animal lovers will enjoy, while the rest of us may become a little bored. The two cubs are adorable, and their interactions are the highlight of the film. Unfortunately, the film has a plot that is a bit dull and very predictable, with a bit of over handedness on the cruelties of caging wild animals for people’s entertainment. The film writes itself into a corner that it quite can’t get out of, and the ending to the film is unbelievable. Still, young children may be entertained by two very different wild animals interacting and enjoying each other’s company.   My Rating: Cable   The Wolf and the Lion Website   Now playing in theatres nationwide.

Indiefest: Book of Love (2022)   Young, uptight English writer Henry (Sam Claflin) has a novel that has been an absolute failure. Henry is startled to find out that his book is a massive hit in Mexico and is invited there to promote it. He soon discovers why his book is such a hit; his Spanish translator Maria (Verónica Echegui) has rewritten his book into an erotic romance novel. Consequently, Henry must go on a book tour with Maria, not knowing anything about a book he is supposed to be the author of. I was really looking forward to this film. I love rom-coms, and I have much love in my heart for Mexico, but I was a little disappointed in the movie. I loved the fact that about 1/3 of the film was in Spanish. I'm not too fond of films that make everyone speak English in a foreign land. I wish the film had done a better job of showing the beauty of Mexico, but I felt that the film never left their one location, except for a few shots of Mexico City. I wanted more sparks between Claflin and Echegui, both of which are very likable on screen but never entirely developed the chemistry and fire that we need to see to make this film work. It’s not a bad rom-com, but nothing that the Hallmark channel doesn’t put out on a weekly basis, and I wanted more.    My Rating: Bargain Matinee   Book of Love Website  Now playing on the Amazon Prime platform.

Indiefest: Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (2021)   Criminal defense/civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States from the beginnings of slavery in this country to the modern myth of a post-racial America. I am a history buff and took a couple of courses in college on the Civil War, so I thought I knew a lot about slavery and its history in the United States until I saw this eye-opening and engaging documentary. It’s staggering and depressing how much I didn’t know about this country's history with slavery and just how much the country's history is taught, so one-sided. Robinson gives us the story of slavery and oppression in a well-thought-out discussion where he travels the country to interview people who have suffered and lost loved ones throughout the years. Robinson talks about the assignation of Martin Luther King, Jr. and how it was a tipping point fifty years ago. This is a sobering discussion on the subject of race in America and how we haven’t really progressed at all in the fifty years since the Civil Rights era. Please watch this documentary and then discuss it with your family and friends. Robinson lets us know that we are at another tipping point in our history, and this time we must not let it slide back down the hill. My Rating: Full Price    Who We Are Website  Now playing in select theatres.

Forgotten Film: The Long Good Friday (1980) R   Harold (Bob Hoskins) is doing well as a gangster about to hit the big time. When bombs start exploding in inconvenient places, Harold realizes that a new syndicate is trying to muscle its way on his territory. The syndicate will learn very soon that Harold isn’t going to go down without a fight. Hopkins gives one of the best performances of his career as a short-tempered mob boss who deals with force with the only thing he knows, brutality. The Long Good Friday is a film about a man who will stop at nothing to protect his stake and not take anything lying down. It’s a marvelous film that is both brutal and, at times, almost breathtaking, with a powerful performance by an actor at the top of his game.    My Rating: Full Price   The Long Good Friday Info

Weird Credits: From the credits of Moonfall: Splinter Unit Gaffer

Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: The Outfit (2022) R  Leonard (Mark Rylance) is an English tailor who used to work on London’s Savile Row. After a personal tragedy, Leonard now makes his home in Chicago, in a part of town where only mobsters can afford his hand-crafted suits. All Leonard wants to do is be left alone to make clothes with his assistant (Zoey Deutch), but his life is about to get complicated when two killers show up on his shop’s doorstep. The Outfit looks like a good old-fashioned thriller with a great cast headlined by Mark Rylance.  The Outfit Website

Until Next Time!