My View: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022) PG-13 Due to Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) casting a forbidden spell, the doorway to the multiverse has been opened. Consequently, alternate realities are now running rampant, including multiple versions of Doctor Strange. It's a threat to humanity that Doctor Strange, Wong (Benedict Wong), and Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen) will need their power and skill to repair before it's too late. I was always a fan of Doctor Strange when I was a kid, mostly because he always had an attitude when doing superhero stuff, and this film continues that trend. Part fantasy, part horror, this film is a fun and enjoyable mix that takes you on an adventure into the multiverse. If you didn’t see the Wandavision TV series, you might be a little lost on some of the plot as Wanda plays a massive part in this film. Small kids may have a tough time with this one as there are some rather horrific characters in this film, both on the good and bad sides. There are some really cool surprises in this film, and the action is almost non-stop, with a final faceoff that keeps you guessing until the end. There are two extra scenes in the credits, one setting up the next Doctor Strange film, and the other is just a blast from the past (at least the director, Sam Raimi's past) . So go on an adventure with the Doctor and help him save not only our time but the rest of the multiverse. My Rating: Full Price Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness Website Now playing in theatres nationwide.
Indiefest: The Duke (2020) R The Duke takes place in England in 1961, where a priceless painting has been stolen from the National Gallery, Goya's portrait of the Duke of Wellington. Was it a master thief? A gang of thieves working for an underground collector? Surprisingly, it was Kempton Bunton (Jim Broadbent), a 60-year-old taxi driver who has hidden the painting in his wife's closet. Jim Broadbent is marvelous as a kind of modern-day Robin Hood (or maybe Don Quixote) as he is intent on fighting for the little man, especially the war veterans from WWI, who are in their twilight years. The interplay between Broadbent's Kempton and his long-put upon wife, Lily, played by Helen Mirren, is a wonder to watch. Mirren gives a restrained performance as the wife who continously puts up with Kempton's attempts to protest against the government, all the while the two are both still grieving the loss of their daughter many years ago. The Duke is a heartwarming true tale (though they fudge a bit with some of the story) about a remarkable man who steadfastly fought for the Everyman and his genuinely unique family. My Rating: Full Price The Duke Website Now playing in select theatres.
My View: Along for the Ride (2022) Auden (Emma Pasarow) has spent her whole life studying with her nose in a book. When Auden goes to a coastal town to spend the summer before college with her divorced father, she decides to live a little. On a late-night stroll, she meets Eli (Belmont Cameli), and the two embark on a nightly quest to help Auden experience the carefree life she never knew she needed. This is an enjoyable summer romance film with a likable cast. Emma Pasarow reminded me of a teenage Jennifer Garner with a winning presence about her that is very appealing. Pasarow has excellent chemistry with Belmont Cameli, the mysterious young man who has decided to become Auden's guide to living. Andie MacDowell and Dermot Mulroney have very little to do in this film besides being distant parents, but this film isn't meant to be hard-hitting. It's an enjoyable fling that follows a script that we all know too well but still enjoy, where everyone is happy in the end. My Rating; Bargain Matinee Along for the Ride Website Now playing on the Netflix platform.
Indiefest: Petite Maman (2021) PG Eight-year-old Nelly (Josephine Sanz) has just lost her maternal grandmother. Her parents and Nelly travel to the grandmother's home to empty it out. Nelly's mother can't handle the sorrow of being back in the house and leaves in the middle of the night. The next day Nelly goes out into the surrounding woods to play and meets a girl her age named Marion building a fort. Unquestionably, there is magic in this forest of Nelly's. Petite Maman is a short, sweet, heartwarming tale of a young girl dealing with one of life's hardest lessons, the act of grieving. This is a film that oozes with warmth and heart, brought forth by a breathtaking performance by Josephine Sanz, giving us a look into a little girl's life and her ability to deal with life, and all the problems that it presents to us. I just wish we all had a magical forest to retreat to, but at least we have Nelly's. My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again Petite Maman Website Now playing in select theatres.
Forgotten Film: Undertow (2004) R Two brothers (Jamie Bell and Devon Alan) are being raised by their father (Dermot Mulroney), who still mourns the loss of their mother while living on an isolated pig farm in rural Georgia. Things change when the father's ex-con brother (Josh Lucas) comes to the farm. Things get ugly over a family mystery surrounding some gold coins, and the two brothers run away, going on an adventure throughout the deep south that will change their lives forever. This film is a mix of Mark Twain and Southern Gothic, with a cast of characters that sometimes don't feel real but always pack a punch of emotion. The cast is outstanding, with even an appearance by a young Kristen Stewart as one of the boy's girlfriend. This film is a little strange at times but is full of emotional moments that will not be forgotten. My Rating: Full Price Undertow Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of The Duke: Rushes Runner
Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: Elvis (2022) The look at the life of the man, the myth, and the legend, Elvis Presley. The film stars Tom Hanks as Colonel Tom Parker, Olivia DeJonge (The Visit) as Priscilla, and Austin Butler (Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood) as Elvis. Written and directed by Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby), this should be interesting to watch. I hope it captures the magic of Elvis. Elvis Website Scheduled for a late June 2022 release.