Review: Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista Are Well Worth Seeing, But Not in 'Stuber'

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista are so appealing in 'Stuber' -- so personable and droll in their verbal parrying -- that you can't help wishing someone would put them in a buddy comedy someday. It wouldn't even have to be a top-shelf buddy comedy -- something, for example, that might have caught the attention of Eddie Murphy or Mel Gibson back...Read more

Review: 'Midsommar' is a Hallucinatory Swedish Road Trip from Virtuoso Writer-Director Ari Aster

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Ari Aster's new movie -- the follow-up to his hair-raising debut, "Hereditary" -- merits an old-school description. "Freaky" was one term I heard after a recent screening. "Head trip," believe it or not, was another. "Mindf---" is the one that occurred to me.

These archaic locutions fit the movie's vivid psychedelic presentation. We see a ...Read more

Review: In 'Yesterday' Meet the Last Man on Earth Who Loves the Beatles

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Jack Malik (Himesh Patel, an alumnus of the never-ending British soap opera "EastEnders") is a going-nowhere singer-songwriter in an English resort town. One day some friends give him a new guitar as a present. To try it out he plays one of his favorite songs: "Yesterday." His friends love it, and assume Jack wrote it. Jack is astounded: The ...Read more

Review: 'Child's Play' or Return of the Tiresome Terror Tyke

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

For a guy -- well, an evil doll -- like Chucky, life has always been nasty and brutish, although never as short as his creator, the writer and sometimes director Don Mancini, has so often made us hope. Over the course of 30 years, seven movies and endless pandemonium, the pint-size exterminator has been shot, stabbed, beheaded, dismembered and ...Read more

'Men in Black: International' and 'The Dead Don't Die': The Unrequested Return of a Vintage Comedy Franchise, and a Brand-New Brain-Dead Zombie Riff

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Twenty-two years after the launch of their original series, the Men in Black are back. But why? Well, yes, the Earth is still home to a plenteous undercover population of intergalactic space aliens, and they still need herding. And some of them still pose existential threats to the planet, and so require sterner attention. But as we see in ...Read more

'Dark Phoenix': The X-Men Saga Comes to an Exhausted Conclusion

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

There are several things wrong with "Dark Phoenix." I'm tempted to say everything is wrong with it, except that the picture is largely in focus and the credits appear to be correctly spelled. Other than that, though...

If Disney really wanted to throw $200 million up on the screen and flick a match at it, it would make sense that they ...Read more

'Rocketman' and 'Ma': Elton John By the Numbers; Octavia Spencer in a Horror Mood

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

"Rocketman" is the kind of music-biz biopic in which the star of the show, Elton John (played by Taron Egerton), sings a duet with his 9-year-old self (Matthew Illesley) -- a rendition of the 1974 E.J. hit "The Bitch Is Back." It's also the kind of movie in which this scene is set in the middle of a group therapy session at the rehab facility ...Read more

'Aladdin': Will Smith Makes Robin Williams' Old Genie Role His Own

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

How much could there possibly be to say about the new live-action "Aladdin"? It's another squeeze of the Disney property that's already yielded a phenomenally popular 1992 animated film, a pair of straight-to-video sequels (best left undiscussed), and a stage show that's been running on Broadway pretty much forever. (Well, since 2014.) I haven...Read more

REVIEW: 'John Wick: Chapter 3 -- Parabellum': Keanu Reeves Kills, Again

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Forget the bullets in the face, the hatchet in the head, the kill teams and katana masters and the 7-foot-tall goon lurking among the stacks in the New York Public Library. These are everyday annoyances in the urban jungle of stylish mayhem through which our man John Wick moves. In his third big-screen kill-a-thon, Wick -- Keanu Reeves, as ...Read more

'All Is True': Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench and Ian McKellen - Three Great Shakespeareans - in a Glowing Tribute to Shakespeare Himself

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

You know you're watching a different kind of Shakespeare movie when it begins with the great man's London theatre, the Globe, burning down in 1613. A standard biopic might have ended there, or likely earlier. But Kenneth Branagh, the director and star of "All Is True," uses that conflagration to launch a moving, minor-key account of the last ...Read more

'Shadow': Zhang Yimou Returns to the World of Flying Daggers

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Maybe you've never thought of umbrellas as deadly weapons. I never did. But take a look at the ones in the new Zhang Yimou movie "Shadow," in which the usual rib-and-cloth umbrella assembly has been replaced with a canopy of long razory knives. At first I thought Zhang had to be making these babies up, but the internet tells me he wasn't, ...Read more

'Avengers: Endgame': Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson and Chris Hemsworth Assemble a Decade's Worth of Superheroes for a Long, Fond... Farewell?

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Rounding the bend into hour three of "Avengers: Endgame," I heard a snurfling sound to my right. A discreet peek revealed that the guy next to me was semi-weeping, blotting away the odd tear with his shirt sleeve. Jeez, I thought. And then I realized...

Never mind. This is a superhero movie that delivers all the requisite action (and, unlike ...Read more

'Hail Satan?': The Devil Gets His Due

Entertainment / Kurt Loder /

Let's say it's 2013 and you're Rick Scott, multimillionaire governor of Florida and evangelical Christian, and you're trying to force the introduction of prayer into the state's public schools. One day, a gaggle of supporters shows up on the steps of the statehouse. Oddly, they're wearing black hooded robes and their leader has a pair of fake ...Read more


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