My View: Halloween Ends (2022) R Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis) has finally found peace and put the whole specter of Michael Myers behind her. When a young man, Corey (Rohan Campbell), is accused of killing a boy he was babysitting, igniting a cascade of violence and terror that can only be the work of one person…Michael. I am a huge fan of the 1978 original film, and I loved the 2018 film where Laurie and Michael square up once again. Unfortunately, this film doesn’t even come close to the magic of those films. Michael Myers is almost a side-piece character in this film, as the movie centers on Corey, a young man troubled by a past that the town won’t let him forget. The film is taken down from the start by the romance between Laurie’s granddaughter (Andi Matichak) and Corey, who she sees as a fellow soul hounded by their past. Their meetup is painfully set up, and the attraction is there from the moment they lock eyes, just like a rom-com (which it most definitely isn’t). The film has a bunch of killings, but they are neither imaginative nor scary, and it has an ending that is jaw-droppingly bad. I hope Jamie Lee got a big check and stands by her statement that this is the last Halloween film she will do. Halloween Ends? Yes, please end it. My Rating: Cable Halloween Ends Website Now playing in theatres nationwide and on the Peacock platform.
My View: Till (2022) PG-13 In 1955 Emmett Till, while he was visiting relatives, was murdered in a brutal lynching in Mississippi. His mother, Mamie Till-Mobley (Danielle Deadwyler), vowed to show the world what they did to her son and, in doing so, undoubtedly changed a nation. The film centers around Mamie, the mother of Emmett, who made some incredibly hard choices and decided to let the world see what evil did to her beautiful son. Danielle Deadwyler gives us a powerful and multi-faceted performance that is heartbreaking to watch, giving us a woman whose life and love have been destroyed by men who wanted to show how above the law they thought they were. The scene where Mamie meets Emmett’s coffin at the train station is gut-wrenching, making it the most moving part of the film. The movie does a great job of letting us see the horrific results of Emmett’s torture without letting it overpower the story of one woman standing up to the horrors of the world. Till is Mamie’s story and Danielle Deadwyler gives us a performance worthy of her character and what she stood for. My Rating: Full Price Till Website Now playing in theatres nationwide.
My View: Rosaline (2022) PG-13 Rosaline is a comedic retelling of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ told from the point of view of Romeo’s jilted ex, Rosaline (Kaitlyn Dever). Rosaline was the woman Romeo first claimed to love before he dumped her for Juliet, and Rosaline isn’t too happy about it. This is a fun romp of a film, where the characters are in Shakespeare’s time but talk and act like they are living among us now. There is an amusing scene at the beginning of the film, where Romeo is courting Rosaline on a balcony, of course, and starts spouting off Shakespearian lines. Rosaline looks at him like he is an idiot and asks him what the heck he is saying. Kaitlyn Dever is perfect in the role of Rosaline, who loses her love, Romeo, to Juliet and then tries to scheme ways to get him back. The film rambles on a bit, but Dever is a blast to watch in this role, making it a joy to watch. My Rating: Full Price Rosaline Website Now playing on the Hulu platform.
Indiefest: Stars at Noon (2022) R Stars at Noon takes place in 1984 Nicaragua, where an English businessman (Joe Alwyn) and an American journalist (Margaret Qualley) meet at a bar and start a passionate romance. Be careful who you fall into bed with. It could get you into a dangerous labyrinth of lies, murder, and conspiracies you might never escape. With two main characters you don’t like, a plot that gets more confusing and convoluted as it goes along, almost no chemistry between its two leads, and you get a film that seems to go on forever and still get nowhere. You never can figure out what the Englishman is up to (I don’t even know if he has a name), and you don’t like the American journalist (to call her a journalist is pushing it) from the start, so it’s hard to root for these two lost people who don’t seem to belong to anyone or anywhere. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Stars at Noon Website Now playing in select theatres.
Familyfaire: The Curse of Bridge Hollow (2022) TV-14 Sydney (Priah Ferguson) and her family move to a new town that takes Halloween very seriously. Unfortunately, Sydney has accidentally released an ancient curse that causes all the decorations to come alive in the town. It’s up to Sydney to save the town, but she will need help from the last person she wants to team up with, her dad (Marlon Wayans). This is just a fun, goofy, sometimes stupid, and enjoyable family film that will have the kids watching for the monsters and the silly jokes. The plot is predictable; some of the come-to-life monsters are enjoyable to watch, and the film moves along at a brisk pace. Nothing is too scary, and as you would think, Marlon makes a lot of wisecracks and outlandish reactions in the movie. Priah Ferguson is fun to watch, especially when she is battling some of the monsters, but this is a film you will see once and soon forget. My Rating: Bargain Matinee The Curse of Bridge Hollow Website Now playing on the Netflix platform.
Indiefest: Tár (2022) R Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) is considered one of the greatest living composer/conductors and has recently become the first-ever female chief conductor of a major orchestra, but Lydia’s world is about to come crashing down around her, and there may not be anything she can do to stop it. Lydia Tár (Cate Blanchett) is considered one of the greatest living composer/conductors and has recently become the first-ever female chief conductor of a major orchestra, but Lydia’s world is about to come crashing down around her, and there may not be anything she can do to stop it. Blanchett gives a tour de force performance as the talented but flawed Lydia Tar, a woman so sure of herself that she doesn’t see her downfall coming. It’s a masterful performance in which Blanchett speaks several languages without a hitch, plays the piano, and even sings while accompanying herself on an accordion. This is the story of someone who believes that they can get away with just about anything because they are talented and gifted, even when their world is crumbling around them. Tar is a classical music fan’s dream, giving you an inside look at how an orchestra works under a conductor and the power that they possess. Equally impressive is the use of the camera. There is a remarkable sequence where Lydia is teaching a class at Julliard, and the camera seems to follow her around effortlessly as she puts a student in his place, giving us a lecture that encompasses everything from music to race relations. Lydia is not a person you will like; in fact, by the end of the film, you will probably despise her and probably revel in her downfall. You will also be reveling in the performance of Blanchett, something that we will be talking about for a long time. My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again Tar Website Now playing in select theatres.
Forgotten Film: Running on Empty (1988) PG-13 The Popes (Christine Lahti, Judd Hirsch) are a married couple who have been on the run since the 1960s when as part of a radical group, they blew up a building that, unknown to them at the time, had a janitor inside. They have raised their son, Danny (River Phoenix), by changing towns every few years, using their fake names, and always being careful never to stand out. Danny, though has a talent. He is a gifted piano player, and a local high school teacher gets him a scholarship to Juilliard. Now the Popes must decide; should they go back on the run or let Danny tell everyone who he is and get the future he deserves? Running on Empty is a beautiful and moving film directed by five-time nominated Sidney Lumet and has an outstanding supporting cast, including Martha Plimpton, who plays Danny’s girlfriend, L.M. Kit Carson as a former radical partner of the Popes and Steven Hill as the long-estranged grandfather of Danny’s. River Phoenix gives a powerful performance as the kid who has never known a future that didn’t involve lying and running and now must decide to stick with his parents or go on his own. The late River Phoenix got his only Oscar nomination for this role, and it’s a great one. My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again Running on Empty Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of Till: Rigging Medic
Coming Soon to Screen Near You: The Fabelmans (2022) PG-13 Growing up in post-World War II Arizona, Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) begins making home movies and learns how the power of film can help us see the truth about each other and ourselves. The Fabelmans is Steven Spielberg’s film about how he fell in love with movies. The cast includes Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, and Judd Hirsch. The Fabelmans Website The film will open in theatres in late November.