‘Kingsman: The Golden Circle’ Review: Suave British Spies Are Back & The Wacko Formula Still Works For Fans
In 2015 director Matthew Vaughn with the help of longtime screenwriting partner Jane Goldman turned the movie spy conceit on its head with the twisty and welcomely frenetic Kingsman: The Secret Service. It became an instant smash, grossing more than $400 million worldwide and creating a star in the making with Taron Egerton. He plays Eggsy, the London street tough who transformed into a super spy after being recruited into the British spy organization called Kingsman who… Read
‘Mother!’ Review: Pray For Jennifer Lawrence In Darren Aronofsky’s Intoxicating And Polarizing Dream Of Hell On Earth
Not long after I saw mother! at an early morning screening at the Toronto Film Festival this week, I ran into Christopher Nolan at his Dunkirk event and he was asking which movies I had seen, particularly curious about Darren Aronofsky’s. “I hear it is one of those movies you either love or hate,” he said. I replied that I actually loved and hated it.We both agreed maybe that is what a great movie should be.
Actually it was entirely appropriate I saw this film on a Sunday… Read
‘American Assassin’ Review: Michael Keaton Gets Down And Dirty In Action Thriller That Delivers On Its Promise
American Assassin doesn’t rewrite the book as far as action thrillers go, but in this first of a hoped-for many installments it meets the test of what audiences expect from this genre — and does it with dynamite edge-of-your-seat style excitement and a very game cast.
The first screen adaptation of one of the late Vince Flynn’s novels focusing on counterterrorism operator Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) introduces us to this young man whose life is turned upside down just… Read
‘SEAL Team’ ‘The Brave’ & ‘Valor’ Review: Only One Of These Military Series Deserves A Salute
With the upcoming debuts of CBS' SEAL Team, NBC's The Brave and the CW's Valor, military dramas are flying the flag this season more than ever. However, at least two of the new series reveal why their broadcasters are good at what they do — and why one of them should stick to that.
Premiering on September 27 right after the season premiere of Survivor, the David Boreanaz-led SEAL Team is the only one of the new trio that really plants its flag and deserves any of your… Read
‘Marvel’s Inhumans’ & ‘The Gifted’ Review: Fox’s Mutant Series Timely, ABC’s Hapless
With all the Marvel series coming in the next few months, the superhero giant will be taking up a lot of small screen space – for better in the case of Fox's The Gifted, and certainly for worse in the case of ABC's wooden Marvel's Inhumans.
Starting out with a "Mission Accomplished" proclamation, wig covered intimacy and some Moonscape Brutalism architecture, the September 29 debuting eight-episode Inhumans may be the worst thing Marvel has done for TV, as I say in my… Read
‘Outlander’ Season 3 Review: Starz Drama Goes Big & ‘Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf’
Premiering on September 10, the third season of Outlander sees the Starz drama based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels goes bigger, deeper and geographically grander than ever before and to great success. As I say in my video review above, this year Outlander also features two fingers of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf in many welcomed ways as the series moves to the cable big leagues of Sunday nights.
As those who've read Gabaldon's 1993 novel Voyager (from which the current… Read
‘The Deuce’ Review: HBO’s Latest 1970s New York City Drama Has A Lot Of Smarts & Skin
Not as dense as David Simon's last HBO project Show Me a Hero or as intense as The Wire, the September 10–debuting The Deuce and its multi-layered depiction of the rise of the modern porn industry in the seedy New York City of the early 1970s is still well worth investing in. Put it this way: Unlike Vinyl, the premium cabler's now-canceled previous look at the rotting Big Apple and the Me Decade, The Deuce keeps its game up.
No less than you would expect from Simon and… Read
‘Top Of The Lake: China Girl’ Review: Elisabeth Moss & Nicole Kidman Top-Notch In Jane Campion Series
Elisabeth Moss and Nicole Kidman are both up for Emmys this year, but based on their performances in Top Of The Lake: China Girl, they should be considered major contenders for 2018 awards too.
As I say in my video review above, both Moss –who won an Golden Globe for her role in the first Top Of The Lake installment in 2013 — and the Oscar-winning Kidman turn in prodigious performances in this compelling and almost endlessly emotionally probing six-episode limited series… Read
‘Stronger’ Review: Jake Gyllenhaal Triumphs With Gritty, Inspiring True Story Of Boston Bombing Survivor – Toronto
I was upset three years when Jake Gyllenhaal didn’t land an Academy Award nomination for what I consider his best performance, in the creepy and memorable Nightcrawler, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival. Now he is back with an equally fine and Oscar-worthy performance as Boston Marathon bombing survivor Jeff Bauman in the terrific Stronger, which had its world premiere tonight at TIFF. Although this film falls into the ever-bulging genre of inspirational… Read
‘Home Again’ Review: Reese Witherspoon & Company Prove There Is Still Life In The Endangered Rom-Com Genre
For a while I thought maybe Hollywood had completely forgotten how to make a romantic comedy, and by that I mean the good old-fashioned kind where you walk out with a smile on your face even if it isn’t totally related to real life.
Nancy Meyers, a writer-director I have always admired for coming up with such gems in this genre as Something’s Gotta Give, The Intern, What Women Want, It’s Complicated and many she made in a partnership with ex-husband Charles Shyer (Father O… Read
‘The Orville’ Review: Seth MacFarlane’s Fox Sci-Fi Drama Is Lost In Space
Debuting on September 10, The Orville should have a pretty decent launch with Fox setting up Seth MacFarlane's latest offering after an NFL doubleheader. Which is good because, as I say in my video review, this purposeless piece of Star Trek fan fiction likely won’t strike much gold otherwise — in this galaxy or the next.
Set 400 years in the very familiar future (doubly so if you are an enthusiast of the worlds of Gene Roddenberry), The Orville is nowhere near the comedy… Read
‘Victoria & Abdul’ Review: There Is Nothing Like This Dame When She Plays A Queen
Dame Judi Dench, even in her sleep, could probably play any British Queen, especially Victoria, but as she proves in Stephen Frears’ latest royal delight Victoria & Abdul, she seems to be finding new avenues to bring history alive. An Oscar winner as a Queen in Shakespeare In Love and a Best Actress nominee for Mrs. Brown in 1997, Dench returns to the latter film’s character of Queen Victoria, making it look like the first time anyone has tackled the part.
As I say in my v… Read