My View: Bros (2022) R Bobby (Billy Eichner) is doing well professionally but has always had commitment issues. Aaron (Luke Macfarlane) is a lawyer who likes to go to clubs shirtless and also has commitment issues. The two meet up at a club and start to date. Can these two men make a go of it? I enjoyed this film as a fan of rom-coms, and of course, this isn’t your average heterosexual rom-com, so it pushes the boundaries a bit on the genre. Still, it has the two people who are very different start dating, then there is the breakup, and then the will they or won’t they get back together in the end story. Eichner sometimes goes a bit overboard with the comedy, with a few too many over-the-top jokes, but once the romance starts, the film settles down and becomes enjoyable because of the outstanding chemistry between Eichner and Macfarlane. There is a funny, running gag about Hallmark movies and a few digs at some Apatow films (he produced this film) that are fun. Overall, this rom-com fan had a good time with Bobby and Aaron and their take on a modern-day rom-com with a bit of a throwback or two to ones in the past. My Rating: Full Price Bros Website Now playing in theaters nationwide.
My View: Hocus Pocus 2 (2022) PG Three young women accidentally bring back the Sanderson Sisters, and boy, are they sorry they did. Basically, they must now figure out a way to get the sisters to return where they belong before the witches wreak havoc upon the world. I am not a fan of the original film, so it’s no surprise I didn’t enjoy this return to seeing the three sisters terrorize kids. Now, you will enjoy this film if you fondly remember the first film or are a big fan who demanded they bring it back for another one. I felt like everyone was trying too hard, especially because there are three songs in the film (one is in the credits, so if you are having a good time, keep watching), all seem incredibly out of place. The storyline pulls the first film in with some guest appearances, but it’s a plot that is about as weak as the idea that two of the witches, after a trip to Walgreens, have to use a Swiffer or a pair of robot floor vacuums to fly over the town. If you think that’s funny, then have at it. I didn’t. My Rating: Cable Hocus Pocus 2 Website Now playing on the Disney+ platform.
My View: Smile (2022) R After a patient, who claimed she was seeing something that no one else could see, killed herself in front of Dr. Rose Cotter (Sosie Bacon), Rose begins to experience frightening occurrences that she can’t explain. Rose must confront her troubled past to survive this new horrifying reality. Creepy is the best word to describe this scary horror movie. It’s a film that does have quite a few 'jump out of the dark' bits, but it also does a brilliant job of taking us down a rabbit hole that we don’t want to explore, and as Rose and we get more and more involved in the mystery, the tension is ramped up. I don’t know if Smile will be a favorite horror film down the line for me, as the plot is razor thin (no pun intended), but it’s still a fun experience if you like to be scared. You might avoid people that smile a lot for a few days after seeing this film. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Smile Website Now playing in theatres nationwide.
My View: The Greatest Beer Run Ever (2022) R One man (Zac Efron) had a crazy idea in 1967 to leave New York and bring beer to his buddies in the Army while they were fighting in Vietnam. It’s hard to make light of a war that tore a country apart, but that's what this film does. It’s an incredible true story about a guy named Chickie, who was egged on by his bar buddies (and a wise bar owner played by Bill Murray) to take a bunch of ‘American’ beer to the young men from the neighborhood that were in Vietnam. Efron is good as Chickie, who has always gotten by his ability to charm his way out of anything, even if it’s not the smartest thing. The fact that this was a true story is amazing, but the film never finds a footing on if it should be a comedy or a drama and never gets the emotional peak that it needs to be genuinely moving or make it more than just a story an ordinary guy who tries to do a foolish thing and learns that war is ugly, horrific and not what you see in the movies. My Rating: Bargain Matinee The Greatest Beer Run Ever Info Now playing in select theatres and on the Apple TV+ platform.
My View: Nothing Compares (2022) This is a documentary on Sinead O’Connor, who rose to worldwide fame, and how her iconoclastic personality resulted in her exile from the pop mainstream. I still remember that Saturday Night Live performance of O’Connor, singing a song that I had no clue the history of and then seeing her rip up the picture of the Pope live on air. The film does a great job of giving us background into both O’Connor’s life before that moment and the underlying aspects of her native Ireland and how it treated women during that time. It's an interesting and sad tale of someone who clearly had issues she hadn’t dealt with at the time. It gives you a full appreciation of not just the artist but also the person behind the voice that we all fell in love with. As the film continued, I kept thinking back to the footage of Sinead in an early rehearsal, where she was happy and at home, finding joy in expressing herself through her voice and writing. It’s too bad that we and the press were too quick to judge a woman for speaking her mind. Maybe through watching this film, we can learn to try to understand where artists are coming from before too quickly judging them. By the way, the Prince Foundation owns the rights to the song Nothing Compares 2 U, Prince wrote it, so we never hear the song in the film. But don't worry, we get to see Sinead sing many more. My Rating: Full Price Nothing Compares Website Now playing on Showtime.
Indiefest: The Good House (2021) R Hildy (Sigourney Weaver) is a New England realtor whose husband left her for another man, her kids sent her to rehab, and she needs a good year in real estate to keep her business from going under. In walks an old flame (Kevin Kline) of hers, and things are about to change. Boy, are things going to change. First, the trailer made it look like this is a rom-com, but it’s definitely a drama dealing with many issues, mainly alcoholism and depression. The film gets a little too dependent on letting Weaver talk directly to the audience to let us know how Hildy is feeling at the time. That being said, it is still a movie with two moving and brilliant performances by Weaver and Kline. They fit together on screen incredibly well, like a well-worn flannel shirt (something that Hildy might never wear). Weaner plays the hard-drinking, quick to put people down while keeping too many balls in the air to keep them all from staying up in the air. The film takes a little too long to get to where Hildy has her moment of clarity, but it's fun to see Weaver take the character with us along for the bumpy ride. My Take: Bargain Matinee The Good House Website Now playing in select theatres.
Indiefest: God’s Creatures (2022) R Aileen (Emily Watson) is surprised when her son, Brian (Paul Mescal), has returned to their small fishing village. However, things go wrong almost immediately when Brian is accused of a crime, and Aileen lies to keep him safe. It’s a lie that could tear the family apart. Emily Watson gives us a performance that we can once again point to and tell the world that she is one of the best actors on the planet today. It's a powerful and moving role of a woman who loves her son and wants him to succeed but also knows that he isn’t the man she wishes him to be. Aileen is willing to do anything to keep her son safe, even when she knows she is hurting other people. God's Creatures is a film that, right from the start, you feel as though the family you meet is cursed, and you are about to find out just how cursed they are. The performances throughout the cast are just so real, raw, and, at times, hard to watch, as Aileen’s world goes from bad to worse, all because she thought she was doing the right thing for her son. Little did Aileen know how big a cost that would be. My Rating: Full Price God's Creatures Website Now playing in select theatres.
Forgotten Film: Phone Booth (2002) R Stuart Shepard (Colin Farrell) is a publicist who is used to telling people what they want to hear. Stuart stops to use one of the last phone booths in NYC instead of his cell phone. Why? To call his mistress (Katie Holmes) so his wife won’t see the call on his cell. The phone rings and Stuart finds himself trapped in the booth, pinned down by an extortionist’s sniper rifle. Now Stuart must use the skills he learned over the years to stop the sniper from killing him. Phone Booth is an excellent film by filmmaker Joel Schumacher, who gave us St. Elmos’s Fire (1985), The Lost Boys (1987), and Falling Down (1993). Farrell is great in the role, and the film is a master class on building suspense in its short 88-minute run time. My Rating: Full Price Phone Booth Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of Smile: Lead Fire Rigger
Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) R Two lifelong friends, Padraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson), have been meeting for years every afternoon to walk down to their local pub and have a conversation. Until one day, Colm refuses to answer the door, claiming he has no more time to have stupid conversations with Padraic. Things go downhill from there. There is a lot of talk from film festivals that this is the performance that finally gets Colin Farrell an Oscar nomination. The film is by Martin McDonagh, the Oscar-winning filmmaker (Six Shooter (2004) of Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), and In Bruges (2008). The Banshees of Inisherin Website The film will be in theatres in mid-October.