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‘What They Had’ Review: Hilary Swank Leads Sterling Ensemble In Intimate Family Drama That Stays In The Memory

What They Had

If you can watch the new family drama What They Had without at least shedding a few tears, then you have to be dead inside. From first-time feature writer-director Elizabeth Chomko, this movie about a family in crisis over the journey into dementia of its matriarch, and its impact on everyone else, is inspired by her own grandmother’s 16-year battle with Alzheimers, although Chomko has fictionalized this particular story for the most part. I’ve seen it twice now, and both… Read


‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ Review: Melissa McCarthy Takes A Brilliant, Oscar-Worthy Dramatic Turn

Can You Ever Forgive Me

When you see the name Melissa McCarthy you probably think of SNL, Mike and Molly, her highly successful comedic movies like Spy, The Heat, The Boss, and a rare Oscar nomination for a broad comedy role in Bridesmaids. What you likely don’t associate with her are the words: dramatic actress. But make no mistake, even though there are definitely moments that make you laugh in her new film, Can You Ever Forgive Me? they are solely coming out of the real-life character, Lee… Read


‘Halloween’ Review: Jamie Lee Curtis Battles Michael Myers (Again) In A Treat For Horror Fans


Ever since John Carpenter’s original Halloween and Michael Myers first came into our orbit in 1978, it has been the gift that keeps on giving at the box office, with so many spinoffs, sequels and reboots it is hard to keep track. From Halloweens II, III, IV and V to a 20-year revisit in 1998  and Halloween: Resurrection in 2002, hell there even are three films just simply titled Halloween II. There seems to be no need even to hide what the film is anymore — the 2007… Read


‘Daredevil’ Season 3 Review: The Man Without Fear’s Robust Return Is Dark & Delicious


Launching exactly a week after Netflix canceled Iron Fist, Marvel's Daredevil is back on the streaming service Friday for its long-awaited third season. Although its been more than two years and at least one Defenders miniseries since the series toplined by Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio last appeared on the small screen, the wait for more of The Man Without Fear is well worth it. Now run by former The Man in the High Castle producer Erik Oleson, the dark and excellent… Read


‘Mid90’s’ Review: Jonah Hill Makes A Sensational Directorial Debut With L.A. Based Coming-Of-Age Tale


Jonah Hill is well established as one of his generation’s finest actors, already the recipient of Oscar nominations for Moneyball and The Wolf of Wall Street and a standout onscreen since his breakout turn in 2007’s Superbad. But as I say in my video review (click the link above to watch), he now can add the words "writer and director" to his filmography with a terrific debut behind the camera on Mid90’s, a coming-of-age skateboarder tale set right in the heart of a place… Read


‘The Conners’ Review: ‘Roseanne’ Spinoff Lacks A Lot More Than Just Fired Star

The Conners

SPOILER ALERT: This review contains details of the The Conners debut tonight. "Pierce Brosnan is a much better singer than he gets credit for," proclaims Michael Fishman's DJ Conner while listening to the Mamma Mia soundtrack in one of the closest to genuinely funny lines of the Roseanne spinoff set to premiere on October 16 on ABC. Rising out of the racist tweets from Roseanne Barr herself and the subsequent crash, burn and cancellation of the President Trump praised bloc… Read


‘Titans’ Review: Behind “F*** Batman” Vow, DC Series Aims For Grit & Wit


Content may be king in the small-screen hierarchy but context is everything, and Titans seeks to establish early on that this DC Universe series is not for kids. One well-placed "f*ck Batman" by Brenton Thwaites' Robin in the series created by Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns and Greg Berlanti that debuts Friday may seem pedantic, but it squarely sends up a flare for the first live-action original scripted effort on the Warner Bros subscription service. With that mission… Read


‘The Romanoffs’ & ‘Camping’ Review: Matt Weiner & Lena Dunham Go ‘Full Frontal’

Camping The Romanoffs

Watching Matthew Weiner's upcoming The Romanoffs and Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's Camping, I couldn't get over the feeling I had seen these seriously flawed series before — and it was Steven Soderbergh's Full Frontal back in 2002. Coming off the Oscar success of Traffic and the box office hit Ocean's Eleven, Soderbergh’s Julia Roberts-led misfire was a big-screen lesson in what can happen to immensely talented people when left entirely to their own devices. That is what… Read


‘Bad Times At The El Royale’ Review: Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, & Chris Hemsworth Lead Cool Cast In Fun, Retro Film Noir Wannabe

The ads for the noirish new thriller Bad Times at the El Royale suggest that the plot revolves around seven strangers with a “secret to bury.” That certainly is truth in advertising as it seems to be exactly what writer-director Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) has in mind in a pic that recalls movies like Bogart’s Key Largo and film noirs of the 1940s but most recently the Quentin Tarantino oeuvre of blood-soaked multi-character flicks that bring a visceral edge to… Read


‘Beautiful Boy’ Review: Steve Carell & Timothée Chalamet Superb In Real-Life Family Drama About Drug Addiction

When father and son David Sheff and Nic Sheff wrote dueling books from their individual experience dealing with Nic’s severe crystal meth addiction over the course of several years, it didn’t appear the two memoirs could one day be merged into a single motion picture. But indeed it has with the moving, and often intense Beautiful Boywhich had a successful launch at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival and now goes out into theaters through Amazon Studios. As… Read


‘First Man’ Review: Damien Chazelle & Ryan Gosling Land Another Triumph

First Man

Damien Chazelle proves himself to be one of the more versatile directors around, following Oscar-nominated hits like Whiplash and La La Land by tackling a completely different genre — outer space — and succeeding admirably in bringing the story of Apollo 11’s first man on the moon, Neil Armstrong, to life in the appropriately titled First Man. As I say in my video review above, this area is not new to Hollywood and has been favorably filmed with such Best Picture nominees… Read


‘The Hate U Give’ Review: YA Adaptation With A Powerful, Timely Message Deserves To Be Seen And Heard

With more of an edge than most of today's YA adaptations that tend to center on futuristic dystopian societies, director George Tillman Jr.’s effective The Hate U Give is set right in the heart of today’s real world in which young people face intensely difficult circumstances just living a normal existence. Angie Thomas’ best seller, nicely adapted by Audrey Wells (who sadly died today after a long battle with cancer), in some ways was ripped right out of the headlines… Read