My View: Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (2023) PG Our favorite Brooklyn-based friendly neighborhood Spider-Man Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), is about to travel across the Multiverse with his pal Gwen Stacy (Hailee Steinfeld) to join up with a whole new batch of Spider-People to face off with a villain more powerful than anything they have ever challenged. I loved the first film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which was released back in 2018. I am happy to say it was worth the wait! In fact, I think this sequel is better than the original. The film is full of that eye-catching animation style we fell in love with in the first film. The humor is still there, but this film deals with much more than being a superhero. It’s about first love and how it can almost consume you. How important family is while trying to become your own person. And it is a film about fate and if you can change the future. The humor is still there, and the animation is just jaw-dropping. The amount of Easter-eggs in this film must be in the hundreds, and it will take a while to even log them all. Plus, figuring out who is doing some of the voice work will be fun because it’s a large cast. Now the length is long at two hours and twenty minutes, but that shouldn’t surprise you as the first one was in at two hours. Shameik Moore and Hailee Steinfeld are brilliant as our star-crossed lovers, and the new addition, Oscar Isaac, doesn’t disappoint as a new addition to the Spider-Man multiverse. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is a film that will thrill you, delight you, and, yes, bring a tear or two, and I can’t wait until the next one! Unlike many superhero films, there isn’t a need to stay through all the credits. My Rating: I Would Pay to See it Again Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Website Now playing in theatres nationwide.
My View: The Boogeyman (2023) PG-13 High-school student Sadie (Sophie Thatcher) and her younger sister, Sawyer (Vivien Lyra Blair), are still reeling from their mother’s death. Their father, Will (Chris Messina), isn’t doing much better, as he would rather bury himself in work than deal with his two grieving daughters. Sadie and Sawyer’s life will change when a desperate patient shows up at their home, letting in an entity that preys on grief-stricken families, feeding off of their sufferings. Based on a Stephen King short story and like most King adaptations, this one falls slightly short of its source material. The film has some nice scares and doesn’t rely too much on the jump-out-of-the-dark moments, but the film doesn’t keep the suspense going throughout. I felt the film spent too much time on the troubled teen and not enough on the younger sister. The film ends with a scene that is just too easy. I think Stephen could have done better. My Rating: Bargain Matinee The Boogeyman Website Now playing in theatres nationwide.
My View: Shooting Stars (2023) PG-13 The story of a high school basketball player who becomes so well known that he is already a junior, a sure pick as the number one draft choice of the NBA. That player, LeBron James. This isn’t a bad sport-themed movie; it is ordinary, unlike its subject. Since LeBron produces the film, you are going to get a feel-good movie that where the main characters don’t get into a lot of trouble, though LeBron and his basketball friends (called the ‘fab four’) do get obnoxious and, at times, pretty full of themselves. It does an excellent job of showing how LeBron’s fame in high school (he was on the cover of Sports Illustrated while a junior in high school) became a problem for LeBron and his fab four gang. If you love basketball, this is your movie, as there is a lot of it. But if you expect any more than a pleasant tale about the start of a great basketball career, then you will be disappointed. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Shooting Stars Website Now playing on the Peacock platform.
Indiefest: Esme, My Love (2022) Hannah (Stacey Weckstein) notices the symptoms of a terminal illness in her daughter Esme (Audrey Grace Marshall) and has taken Esme on a camping trip, with their ultimate destination Hannah’s parent’s old home. However, the longer they are in the woods, Esme becomes convinced that something is wrong with her mother. Will the two ever arrive at their intended destination? This film has two strong leads, excellent cinematography, and a brilliant score but is let down by a script that tries too hard to be mysterious and becomes incredibly complex and murky by its ending. Stacey Weckstein is fantastic as the mother who slowly lets her madness control her. Audrey Grace Marshall holds her own as the daughter who loves her mother. As the trip into the woods gets longer and longer, Esme starts to understand that something is really wrong with her mother. When I saw the trailer, I thought this would be a cool horror film or an interesting look at madness, but it never got to that point. Esme, My Love is a film that starts out strong and builds tension and dread but becomes a frustrating watch that ends with a whimper. My Rating: Bargain Matinee Esme, My Love Website Now playing in select theatres.
Forgotten Film: King of the Hill (1993) PG-13 Not to be confused with the animated TV show, the film is directed by Steven Soderbergh (Sex, Lies, and Videotape, Erin Brockovich, Traffic) but it’s a very different film from the rest of Soderbergh’s movies. This is the story of a 12-year-old boy, Aaron (Jesse Bradford), who lives in a rundown hotel in 1930s St. Louis during the Great Depression. Aaron’s sickly mother (Lisa Eichhorn) has been sent to a hospital for treatment for TB. His brother is sent away to relatives, and Aaron’s father (Jeroen Krabbe) leaves Aaron alone at the hotel to find a better job in another city, leaving Aaron to keep their room and the family car in his care. Thanks to help from some of the neighbors (Spalding Gray, Elizabeth McGovern) and a bit of luck, Aaron can survive and thrive. He talks his way into a private school and even gets a rich girlfriend, outsmarting anybody in his way. King of the Hill is a beautiful tale, full of heart, and an outstanding performance by Jesse Bradford. King of the Hill is a movie about learning how to survive on your own and learning from both good and bad experiences. My Rating: Full Price King of the Hill Info
Weird Credits: From the credits of The Boogeyman: Senior Character Animator
Coming Soon to a Screen Near You: Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One (2023) Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his IMF team must track down a dangerous weapon before it ends in the wrong hands. Just how far will Ethan have to go to save the world again? Two things to know about this series: Unlike other trailers, you know that with Mission Impossible films; you are only seeing a part of the stunts that will make up the film. And Tom Cruise is nuts for all the stunts that he does himself. Mission Impossible Website The film releases on July 12th.