Review: 'A Good Person' and 'Pinball: The Man Who Saved the Game'
In the wake of "John Wick: Chapter 4," is anybody ready for a kinder, gentler sort of movie? Oh. OK. Well, there are two such unanticipated films upon us anyway. One is an unabashedly teary family drama about grief and drug addiction; the other concerns the near-50-year struggle to legalize pinball machines in New York City. In neither of these ...Read more
Review: 'The Lost King' - Searching for Richard
William Shakespeare, the noted playwright and lying knave, gets a bit of comeuppance in "The Lost King," a movie that seeks to rescue Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet monarchs, from 400 years of bad-mouthing in one of Shakespeare's most famous plays. According to the Bard's "Richard III," which was written around 1593, the titular king ...Read more
Review: 'John Wick: Chapter 4' Has Our Hero On the Road Again
Many things happen in the nearly three hours it takes the new John Wick movie to unfurl. Many, many things. Among them:
There's a spectacular eruption of kung fu, gun fu, car fu and WTF fu as our man Wick (Keanu Reeves) circles around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, desperately wrestling the wheel of a careening muscle car whose driver's-side ...Read more
Some Scattered Oscars Thoughts
"All Quiet on the Western Front"
"Avatar: The Way of Water"
"The Banshees of Inisherin"
"Everything Everywhere All at Once"
"Top Gun: Maverick"
"Triangle of Sadness"
Martin McDonagh -- "The Banshees of Inisherin"
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert -- "Everything ...Read more
Review: 'Operation Fortune: Ruse de Guerre' - Jason Statham in an Underpowered Guy Ritchie Spy Flick
It's been a while since anyone went to the trouble of making a James Bond knockoff, but here comes Guy Ritchie to take a fresh whack at it. Back in the mid-1960s, after "Goldfinger" supercharged the nascent 007 franchise, the movie landscape swarmed with Bond rips. They ranged from kind-of-entertaining (James Coburn's "Our Man Flint") to fairly ...Read more
Review: 'Cocaine Bear' - Party Animal
The Following Column Contains Language That Readers Might Find Offensive. Thank You For Your Attention.
"Cocaine Bear" is a much better movie than it had to be. Based on a story ripped from the real-life headlines of 1985, it tells the tale of a large black bear that was padding through a Georgia forest one day when it came upon a ...Read more
Review: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania' - Let's Get Smaller
"Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" wants to psych you up about the launch of "Phase Five" of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a corporate entity that's now 15 years old and starting to look a little winded. Phase Five will naturally be a multimedia delivery system, hauling out the third "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie, a pair of sequels ("Captain...Read more
Review: 'Baby Ruby' and 'The Outwaters' - From Small Things...
"Baby Ruby" is a horror story for women. Or set among women, at any rate. I hesitate to presume anything on behalf of my fellow life voyagers, but I think women will instantly recognize the dark outlines of the story told here.
It centers on a woman named Jo (Noemie Merlant, of "Tar"), a lifestyle vlogger living with her husband, Spencer (Kit ...Read more
Review: 'Knock at the Cabin' and 'to Leslie' - Shyamalan's Latest Twist and a Most Unexpected Oscar Nom
"Knock at the Cabin" isn't M. Night Shyamalan's worst movie (we've already sat through a couple of those). But as skillfully made as it is, it's also a little dull, and -- a handicap in a horror movie -- it's not horrifying, either. The picture is based on a 2018 novel by Paul Tremblay, via a script by Steve Desmond and Michael Sherman that ...Read more
Review: 'Infinity Pool' - Please Kill 'Me.'
Brandon Cronenberg's new movie, "Infinity Pool," answers the question of what's for dinner by setting before you a plate of blood and guts and -- Jesus, what's that? -- a spurt of unexpected white goo, and then cheerily yelling out, "Mangia!" For those who figured this director couldn't possibly go much farther down the road of WTF than he did ...Read more
Review: 'Skinamarink' is Horror in Your Head
Say you're a little kid. You're 4 years old and your name is Kevin. You and your sister Kaylee -- she's 6 -- are wandering around the house in the middle of the night searching for your mom and dad. They seem to have disappeared. The two of you are alone. Or are you? It feels like there's someone else here -- or some thing. What is going...Read more
Review: 'The Pale Blue Eye' has Christian Bale in a Vintage Whodunnit
"The Pale Blue Eye" is an atmospheric murder mystery set at West Point, the U.S. military academy, in the snowy winter of 1830. This, you may know, was the period during which Edgar Allan Poe was very briefly a cadet at the school, and the movie, based on a book by Louis Bayard, muses about what might have happened if Poe -- already a budding ...Read more
Review: 'M3GAN' is Girl Powered
Gerard Johnstone's "M3GAN" draws back the dark curtains of the killer-doll movie genre and lets the sunshine in. The picture is a blast for a number of reasons, but mainly because of its one-of-a-kind star, an unnervingly implacable robo-girl named M3GAN, who's literally a piece of work. M3GAN isn't a toxic horror brat in the tradition of Chucky...Read more