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Babyteeth rate me!
Deerskin 3
Good Woman Is Hard to Find, A 4
High Note, The 2
How to Build a Girl rate me!
Military Wives rate me!
Spaceship Earth rate me!
Trip to Greece, The 5
Trolls World Tour 5
True History of the Kelly Gang rate me!
Valley Girl (2020) rate me!
Wretched, The 3
"Tsai Chin is less lucky than just plain good here."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "It's not a trick that works every time, or even the thought process that most filmmakers are using, but you'll probably get something interesting by taking a story that has been done a lot and then adding twenty years or so to the main character's age. Sure, it may seem like suicide commercially, but you'll wind up with a terrific character actor in the lead, new challenges and solutions in the story, and the chance for nifty juxtapositions. It makes for one of the more intriguing bag-of-money movies to come out in a while." (more)
"Night Skies"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "In the last few weeks, I have seen a number of genre films—including current box-office champ “The Wretched”—that struck me as projects that might have worked perfectly as an episode of an anthology show like “The Twilight Zone” or “The Outer Limits” but wound up losing something along the way in the effort to stretch things out enough to make them into features. In the case of “The Vast of Night” (premiering on Amazon Prime), it takes that a step further by presenting itself as an episode of “Paradox Theater,” an ersatz anthology show whose opening, in which a narrator speaking in clipped cadences informs us that “you are entering a realm between clandestine and forgotten,” will certainly sound familiar to many viewers. The irony is that while those other films did not quite work because they were telling stories that might have been more effective in a shorter format, this one is a creatively audacious and smashingly entertaining throwback to everything from those aforementioned shows to the wild creations of the late, great Arch Oboler—the producer who chilled radio audiences with exquisitely designed sonic landscapes that convinced listeners that they were hearing people pulled inside out by a fog or the sounds of a giant chicken heart destroying the world—that finds debuting director Andrew Patterson working wonders with what I can only presume was a micro-sized budget." (more)
"Not Exactly Supreme"
2 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "The omnipresent television commercials for “The High Note” suggest that it is going to be a film centering on a veteran pop star who has been coasting on her past hits and legacy for years and who comes to a crossroads where she has to decide whether she is going to record her first album of new material in over a decade—a potentially risky move from a commercial standpoint—or take on an extended Las Vegas residency that would have her churning out the same old hits night after night—a highly lucrative deal but one that would essentially signal her complete creative standstill. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a potentially fascinating movie that could possibly offer up some real insight into the creative process and how celebrated artists wrestle with the question of trying new things as opposed to giving the audience more of what they already like. To make things more intriguing, the singer is played by Tracee Ellis Ross, the daughter of Diana, and while she clearly landed the role based on her own considerable talents, her presence adds an additional layer of frisson to the premise that probably would not be there if another actress got the part. And yet, anyone intrigued by the possibilities suggested by those commercials are going to be hugely disappointed when they see it for themselves and learns that most of them have been kicked to the side in order to make room for a narrative thrust and characters that are far less interesting and which transform the film into a cup of extremely weak tea that has been steeped in cliches and which pays lips service to female empowerment without actually having any notable thoughts on the subject as it heads to one of the more embarrassing wrap-ups in recent memory." (more)
"Get Them To The Greeks"
5 stars
Peter Sobczynski says... "If you had come up to me ten years ago and asked me to pick the one new film that would inspire the most unexpectedly durable and artistically satisfying franchise of the ensuing decade, I am not entirely sure which one I would have picked—in an era that gave us the likes of “MacGruber,” “Marmaduke” and that Robin Hood movie with Russell Crowe, who could possibly pick just one? I am fairly certain, however, that I would not have picked Michael Winterbottom’s “The Trip” for that honor. This is not to say that I did not like the film—like many, I was delighted with the largely improvised chronicle of comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing slightly exaggerated versions of themselves, touring the finest restaurants of Northern England while engaging in a constant game of one-upmanship punctuated with astoundingly detailed impersonations of actors more famous than them. However, comedies, as a rule, don’t really lend themselves well to sequels, let alone franchises, because all the inspired jokes have pretty much been used up the first time around and there is little left to do but repeat those familiar gags. (If you saw the entire “Hangover” series, you know what I mean. And yet, Winterbottom, Coogan and Brydon would return for “The Trip to Italy” (2014) and “The Trip to Spain” and while the basic outlines for those film would not deviate from the original, that concept proved to be a durable launching point for hilarious new improvisations and impersonations while occasionally moving, however subtly, into deeper and more thoughtful waters. Now comes “The Trip to Greece,” which all involved are claiming will be the last one and indeed, there is a sense of finality that hangs out on the edges this time around, though it is likely that you will be too busy laughing to notice until it takes center stage for its surprisingly affecting conclusion." (more)

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