Directed by Maria Schrader
(2022, Universal Pictures (presents), Annapurna Pictures, Plan B Entertainment)
At this point we all know the stories that the name, “Harvey Weinstein” conjures up.
At this point we are all aware of the #metoo movement
However, in She Said, you must go back and remember a time when this was not a household definition. When the name, Harvey Weinstein was not synonymous with the terms, “groping” or “monster” or “rape.” The name Harvey Weinstein was coupled with terms such as “hit movies,” “mega-producing,”and “record breaking box-office records.”
That is until two New York Times reporters, Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor, started looking into allegations made by both famous and not-so-famous women against Harvey’s disgusting manipulations and crimes.
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Emily the Criminal
Directed by John Patton Ford
(2022, Low Spark Films)
It’s an Aubrey Plaza year – what with The White Lotus, Season 2 shooting to number one on HBO Max, and this, Emily the Criminal that she produced and starred in becoming the number one movie of Netflix.
I am here to tell you both are well deserved.
Emily the Criminal follows a character named, well, Emily, as she struggles to make ends meet, pay off student loans, and just tries achingly to get a solid footing in life.
It seems that every time she takes a step forward, she is pushed two steps back. When a co-worker in the food delivery service hands her a phone number to call to make some fast cash, she calls it, which lands her in a random warehouse of credit card scammers.
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Directed by Steven Soderbergh
(2022, New Line Cinema/Warner Bros.)
Jimmy Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock would remove themselves from the telescope of this modern take on the movie, Vertigo.
Zoe Kravitz plays Angela Childs, a shut-in by nature, too frightened and too paranoid to go outside which is only exacerbated by the pandemic.
Angela works for an artificial intelligence company where she oversees looking for and fixing the bugs in their voice assistance, KIMI (remove the K, replace with S; remove the M, replace with R, what do you get?)
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Triangle of Sadness
Directed by Ruben Östlund
(2022, Imperative Entertainment/Film iVäs/BBC Films )
The meek shall inherit the Earth or say they say. In the film, Triangle of Sadness the sharpness of this equation is brought to light when a luxury cruise liner carrying the rich and famous including influencers, arms dealers, and the like crashes into the ocean leaving several remaining passengers to live off the land.
Since these millionaires, billionaires and social media stars have never really had to fend for themselves, especially for their very survival, they become dependent upon the one person who does. One of the survivors – a member of the ship’s cleaning team – the toilet manager.
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A Christmas Story Christmas
Directed by Clay Katis
(2022, Warner Bros./Legendary Entertainment/Wild West Picture Show Productions/Toberoff ProductionsRotten Eggs Productions)
It’s been almost 40 years since Ralphie and the Hohman, Indiana gang have been on the screen albeit now on a streaming service (HBO Max). Something none of us in 1983 could have imagined.
Except for Ralphie, it’s now 1973 and he’s living in Chicago with his wife and two young children while attempting to become a published writer.
Ralphie and his family return to his hometown for Christmas where he meets up with his old pals Flick and Schwartz while his kids battle the next generation of the Farkus neighborhood bullies.
What could have been a schmaltzy, cheap cash-in on nostalgia, is actually a really sweet and endearing story hitting all the right emotional points, humor, and plenty of Easter eggs for fans of the original film.
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Directed by Rob Zombie
(2022, Capital Arts Entertainment/Hero Squared/Spookshow International/Universal 1440 Entertainment)
If you, like me, were hoping that director, Rob Zombie would delve into a reimagined, dark take of the classic 1960’s tv show, The Munsters, you might as well request Grandpa Munster to create a potion for you to grant such a wish.
This wildly bizarre take on The Munsters, which itself was already wildly bizarre is embarrassingly lacking of any intelligence, wit, or nuance.
I, like many others, watched in excitement as the Instagram posts rolled in from Budapest (where the movie was filmed) from Rob Zombie. The stills looked like something great was being created. Something new, dark, fresh, and different, breathing life (ahem) on a fun, classic tv show.
It wasn’t until filming wrapped and the actual trailer (not the teaser trailer which still showed promise) dropped that one would ask if this might be a joke. Was this just Mr. Zombie playing with the audience?
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The trailer made the movie look like a cheap, straight-to-video movie you might find in the reduced price movie Wal-Mart bin.
Directed by Tim Burton
(1994, Touchstone Pictures)
The story of infamously “bad” movie director, Ed Wood, Johnny Depp is excellent as the title character leading a truly stellar cast.
Martin Landeau plays a washed up Bella Lugosi, a role that earned him a best supporting actor Oscar. Sarah Jessica Parker plays Ed’s girlfriend with Bill Murray taking on the role of Bunny.
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Directed by Vanessa Gazy
(2022, Endemol Shine Australia/Netflix)
Who’s who in this whodunnit mystery on Netflix?
Michelle Monaghan just plays twins, Leni and Gina who have taken care of and been a part of (understatement) each other since they were children.
Now that they are grown adults they try to keep this pact they made as youngsters to do just that but when one twin goes missing, it sets off a litany of twists and turns that begin to unravel the two lives of the twins going back decades.
Continue reading “Echoes”
The French Dispatch
Directed by Wes Anderson
(2021, American Empirical Pictures/Indian Paintbrush/Studio Babelsberg)
What would the editor of ‘The French Dispatch,’ Arthur Howitzer, Jr. want his movie critic to write about the film, The French Dispatch?
This is the question I have been asking myself since screening the newest movie by director/avant garde artist, Wes Anderson. I believe he would want a fairly detailed piece on what the good folks of Liberty, Kansas would think of it.
Afterall, that is where ‘The French Dispatch” lives. A collection of articles from a team of ‘dispatch’ writers living in a small town in France whose stories are a part of the Liberty, Kansas Evening Sun.
The movie breaks its writers’ stories down into sections of the newspaper. For example, the first story is called, “The Cycling Reporter by Herbsaint Sazerac” played by Owen Wilson in which he goes around the fictional town of Ennui, describing for the reader (viewer) locations and residents. Other stories include articles by other “writers” played by Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright and the obituary section by the whole of the staff.
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Spider-Man: No Way Home
Directed by Jon Watts
(2021, Columbia Pictures/Pascal Pictures/Marvel Studios)
Admittedly, when I hear about a new Marvel movie, I find myself sighing, wondering what they have thought of now to milk yet more cash from the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
So, when I heard about another installment in the thrice rebooted Spider-Man series, I didn’t pay too much attention to it, I didn’t think too much of it, and I didn’t really care.
However, I did want to keep up with the pop culture zeitgeist, so there I was ready to watch yet another superhero movie with throwaway action scenes, “cool” tounge and cheek one liners and explosions galore.
But something happened on the way to the multiverse: I became entranced. Yes, just like a spell woven by Dr. Stephen Strange, I was instantly zapped into the web crawler goodness that was Spider-Man: No Way Home.
So, what happened to dissipate my curmudgeonly pessimism? The storytelling.
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