Movies & Films

Reviews of both new release and older movies & films.

Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton Is Full of Whoa-Worthy Surfing

I’d never heard of Laird Hamilton before Take Every Wave, but then again I’d never been that big into the world of surfing. I’m sure my not knowing the most famous name in the art of catching waves would make any surfing enthusiast’s jaw drop, but that’s why a documentary like this one exists, even if it’s presented in a typical format of talking heads and stunning B-roll. Hamilton tells his story from the very beginning, going back to...

The Florida Project Is the Most Phenomenal Film of the Year

A few miles from Disney World exists another world entirely. There are castles, but they are less-than-regal housing for a poor community. There are little princesses, but they’re hidden behind filthy rooms, soda cans, and upset parents. There are heroes and villains, but the lines can blur at times. The parents are all in messy situations, struggling to do the right things when finance and feelings limit their options. The children, however, can only see the fun side of...

Breathe Is Too Light and Airy for a Film with Such a Powerful Story to Tell

The story of Robin Cavendish, who became an icon for people with disabilities, is one worth telling, but Andy Serkis stumbles in trying to find all the right notes in his directorial debut. Serkis tries with seemingly good intentions to hit the beats of Cavendish’s life, but the results are jumbled—Breathe is a film that seems as though it should be somber and tragic but becomes lost in its own sense of wonder at times. Perhaps Cavendish’s son, Jonathan,...

Throwback Thursday: In The Stunt Man, It’s Not Paranoia If the Director Really Is Trying to Kill You

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. As consumers, we like our containers. We like defined things. From frozen dinners in which everything has its own compartments to high-school cliques, we put things in the boxes we feel most comfortable with. Depending on where you are on the clique spectrum this can be a good thing...

Throwback Thursday: The End of Evangelion Is an Aberrant Epilogue

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. When television series head to the theater, it’s often for sequels, reboots, remakes, or spinoffs. The case was different for Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Japanese animated series that became a sleeper hit of a giant robot anime that dealt with depression whipped up with spirituality. The show unfortunately didn’t...

Wonderful Women, Not Wonder Woman, Make Professor Marston Stand Out

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, directed and written by Angela Robinson and starring Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, and Bella Heathcote, suffers from a PR problem. That PR problem is a vowel. If early social media is any indication, most people are expecting a movie about Wonder Woman. This ain’t that. This is about some wonderful women, plural. I understand the misinterpretation, however—the film does all that it can to visually remind the viewer that William Moulton Marston (Evans)...

Dina Is a Documentary That Approaches Adult Autism with Heart and Humanity

It seems as though media around autism is on the rise. The BBC’s children’s programming has been focusing primarily on children with autism, and then Roger Ross Williams’s documentary Life, Animated showcased 20-year-olds with autism. Now we have a film that takes place further down the line in Dina, a documentary about older adults with these development disabilities. The film follows Dina Buno and Scott Levin as they are about to be married. Both of them have issues outside...

In a Sea of Sequels, Blade Runner 2049 Is a Beacon

Having survived the bludgeoning and dumbing-down of almost all of the film properties I hold dearest to my cinematic soul, I approached Blade Runner 2049 with nothing but a deep skepticism. Early buzz had been good and the team behind it was rock solid, but still, even Ridley Scott himself managed to screw-up Alien: Covenant almost beyond recognition. Plus, Hollywood has gotten more and more risk averse as time goes on, so there was little to no hope that Blade Runner...

My Little Pony: The Movie Brings Friendship and Magic to the Big Screen

It didn’t hit me until I looked around the theater and realized what a strange feat Hasbro has pulled off with My Little Pony. To my right was my five-year-old daughter, eager and interested to see cartoon ponies on the big screen. To my left was a man in his late 20s wearing a Rainbow Dash sweater, equally enthused about the film. It’s not exactly the sight I envisioned 10 years ago for this franchise. I didn’t envision myself...

Infinity Chamber Stretches into Eternity

Infinity Chamber, a low-budget indie science-fiction picture that was written and directed by former Minnesotan Travis Milloy, is currently available on VOD after completing a short theatrical run. The film revolves around prisoner Frank Lerner (Christopher Soren Kelly) and his attempt to understand and escape from the strange holding cell in which he awakes, accompanied by his Life Support Operator, HOWARD (Jesse D. Arrow), a computer whose sole purpose is to keep Frank alive in the cell. Frank soon...
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