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LATEST REVIEWS
NIGHTMARE CINEMA
"Needed a lot more fun."
2 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Only about three percent of you will be with me on this, but the uneven horror anthology 'Nightmare Cinema' made me sad." (more)
THIRD WIFE, THE
"They don't grow up so fast.In order to do that, it opens with a little bit"
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""The Third Wife" is the sort of film where the first subtitle doesn't appear for a while and dialogue can be sparse throughout, asking the audience to soak it up as the wispy story plays out. It earns the audience's patience, by and large, and does an impressive job of immersion even as it is built to be seen with a modern eye." (more)
SPY BEHIND HOME PLATE, THE
"A fine new look at one of the time's most intriguing people."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "Usually you get the documentary first and then the less-impressive narrative version afterward, but that order is reversed for Moe Berg, as "The Spy Behind Home Plate" comes out almost exactly a year after "The Catcher Was a Spy". This documentary is a broader look at the life of their subject than the narrative feature, wholly avoiding and arguably repudiating what served as the other film's central conceit while focusing more on his background. Even together they probably don't tell his whole story, though this one gives you the full sweep." (more)
UNTHINKABLE, THE
"Pesky Russian cyber-attacks, making family issues more difficult."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED AT BOSTON UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL 21: "The Unthinkable" is better than a lot of movies that try to link massive calamity to personal melodrama, mostly because it lets them be separate things despite the significant overlap, but "better" in this context can be kind of a tricky thing: It's never as empty as the other genre movies it shares a basic shape with, but that also makes the moments when it uses the same sort of storytelling devices a little less forgivable. The filmmakers will occasionally do something that makes a viewer say they're supposed to be better than this, though the fact that they are most of the time makes up some." (more)
MIDSOMMAR
"Bork Bork AAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!"
3 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "After the release of his undeniably brilliant and occasionally frustrating debut film, the critical and commercial horror hit “Hereditary,” writer-director Ari Aster found himself in the rarefied position of being able to do pretty much anything that he wanted for his followup project. When others in the past have found themselves at this exact career crossroads, the results have oftentimes falling into one of two categories—either they prove to be films as bold, visionary and unique as the ones that brought them attention or they wind up being bloated rehashes of those previous efforts that have been put together with more money but less creativity. In the case of his latest film, “Midsommar,” it appears Aster has clearly elected to go down both paths at the same time. At its best, the film is a brutal, brutally funny and visually spectacular work that truly gets under your skin with horrors that are all the more terrifying because of how recognizable they will prove to be to most viewers. At its worst, is a way-too-long meditation of themes that he already successfully mined the first time around and which wears its obvious influences so blatantly on its sleeve that there are times when it feels more like a remake than an original work." (more)
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME
"Travels in Europe with Spidey and Mysterio"
4 stars
alejandroariera says... "Sam Raimi’s first “Spider-Man” film (2002) resurrected a genre that was left moribund by Joel Schumacher’s mediocre to horrible contributions to the Batman film canon: “Batman Forever” (1995) and “Batman & Robin” (1997). Bryan Singer’s “X-Men” (2000) may have wiped away the bitter taste left by those two dayglo sequels and may have opened Hollywood’s eyes to the box-office potential behind the hundreds of titles and characters produced by the likes of DC and Marvel. But Raimi’s “Spider-Man” was special: it was exhilarating, fun, full of wonder. Tobey Maguire felt right as Peter Parker, Willem Dafoe portrayed a memorable Green Goblin and J.K. Simmons brought the house down as J. Jonah Jameson. In its sheer sense of joy, it evoked Richard Donner’s “Superman”; it made you want to swing across Manhattan’s skyscrapers. It reminded you why you read these books in the first place." (more)
THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD
"Jackson's best in many years."
5 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Near the end of the immersive World War I documentary 'They Shall Not Grow Old,' director/assembler Peter Jackson gives us perhaps the most breathtaking sound in the whole film: silence." (more)
LONDON FIELDS
"Give the director's cut a chance if you run across it."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "The beleaguered 'London Fields' was filmed so long ago (2013!) that its lead actress, Amber Heard, was still involved with Johnny Depp. This explains why Depp turns up in a few scenes uncredited as Chick Purchase, a scar-faced darts champion." (more)
WILD BUNCH, THE
"One of the essential westerns. Or films, full stop."
5 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Watching 'The Wild Bunch,' Sam Peckinpah’s magnum opus, you might imagine it should have killed off all Westerns forevermore. Or movies." (more)
US
"Keep 'em coming."
5 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Jordan Peele has proven himself one of the most fascinating writer-directors working today — not just in the horror genre, but in general. His presence behind the camera now guarantees my interest." (more)

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