Do you ever wonder where some of your favorite TV shows get their "professional" talking-heads? Or why certain "experts" or "doctors" would put their reputations on the line for seemingly bizarre claims?
The new documentary "Science Friction" (now available on TUBI and Amazon Prime Video) pulls back the curtain on some of the common practices of TV shows from "Ancient Aliens" to "Oprah," and how willing participants are often times misrepresented, or used out-of-context against their intended purposes.
In today's world of politicized media and 24-hour news cycles, the Flint Water Crisis doesn't just seem like yesterday's news, but ancient history. But for the people of Flint, this humanitarian disaster, this government-created atrocity, is not just still ongoing, but has in fact affected the lives of a generation of Flint children and residents.
There have been a handful of documentaries about the Flint Water Crisis over the past several years, but none of them quite as cohesive or quite as VITAL as Anthony Baxter's "Flint: Who Can You Trust?" The filmmaker approaches the topic from a brilliantly effective angle, not only spelling out the timeline and explaining the situation in easy-to-understand ways, but also giving the viewers a taste of the confusion and and chaos that the Flint residents have and are still experiencing today.
Who can you trust? As it turns out, nobody, on either side of the political spectrum.
Those in search of some real answers following the recent string of Marvel's Disney+ series, will find "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" ("DSITMOM") to be a maddening experience indeed.
But as a sheer piece of blockbuster entertainment, this film delivers, with a wild, rapid pace and some of the best visuals ever created thus far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). There are clearly some geniuses that work for Marvel Studios...but their collective effort seems unable to keep the MCU continuity from tangling itself up in giant knots, resulting in a truly dizzying - and increasingly tiring - exercise for the loyal viewers to take part in.
(Plot Spoilers to follow...you've been warned!)
"The Duke" is the sort of British comedy that we used to get more of over here stateside. There is a difference between an American comedy with British actors and a British comedy, with this film being the latter. It possesses the same tone and charm of films like "The Full Monty" (minus the strippers), and features two gems of the British acting crown, with Jim Broadbent and Helen Mirren lifting up an otherwise mediocre script, about a seemingly normal old man who once stole a prized Goya painting of the Duke of Wellington from the National Gallery in London.
"The Godfather" is widely known as the best movie ever made. Now, in a new 10-part limited-series coming to Paramount+ (first three episodes available on Thursday, April 28th, with new episodes each Thursday to follow), "The Offer" looks to tell a story so juicy that fans of the movie couldn't possibly refuse it.
So what's it all about? Is it any good? I was able to view all ten episodes of the series, and I can tell you that it's a real trip...if you're a fan of "The Godfather," Hollywood, gangsters or even just movies in general, "The Offer" has lots to, well, offer, despite it's overall lack of focus.
Filmmaker Robert Eggers is one hell of auteur, whose mastery of his craft can no longer be ignored. On the heels of his last two films, 2015's "The Witch" and 2019's "The Lighthouse," he thrusts "The Northman" upon us. It doesn't just cut to the bone, it tears apart flesh, splatters blood in our faces and spits in our eye.
And while "The Northman" is an enchanting work of cinema and Eggers' most effective achievement yet, it reveals another through-line of with his work. All three of these films sacrifice story, narrative and cohesiveness, in favor of mood, authenticity and rawness. In other words, each are dazzling movies but all three - "The Northman" included - are so poetic and visceral that they don't connect in the way that they perhaps should.
Even still, you have to respect a movie - and a filmmaker - who has the audacity to thrust a movie upon us with such gore and violence, matched with grace and beauty. "The Northman" is at once a blunt object, pummeling us with brutality, and it's sharp like a knife, slicing through what is really a generic revenge tale, to reveal some ugly truths about our humanity and what lies beneath the surface.
Squandering a premise that seems ripe for fun and laughter, "The Bad Guys" is about as bad as you can get.
Yes, kids for the most part will watch anything. But don't they - and we adults - deserve more than uninspired, generic dreck?
Writer/Director Riley Stearns really made a real splash with the criminally underrated and underseen 2019 black-comedy, "The Art of Self-Defense" (read my review of that film here). He follows it up with "Dual," another film that exists in the same darkly comedic vein that his previous work did, but this one doesn't quite resonate nearly as much.
"Dual" is a film that introduces a very compelling concept, but veers well off course. By the time it tries to right the ship, it's too far gone for us to care.
Review: 'Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore' a continuation of the worst film franchise spin-off maybe ever
If you live, eat and breathe Harry Potter, I still can't fathom a world where you would accept the "Fantastic Beasts" franchise as worthy of sharing the same film universe. Where the original Potter films were full of magic - both literally and figuratively speaking - the "Fantastic Beasts" film have been a flimsy rip-off since the get-go.
The cash-grab continues with the third film in the series, "The Secrets of Dumbledore," a film that not only doesn't live up to its title (what secrets???), but once again fails to hold a floating candle to any of the original Potter films.
Where to begin? Is there even a "beginning" or an "end," or are we all just in a meaningless construct of space and time? How would my life change if the next word I typed was fas;fljasdlfkjaetpieejpwaoifqwpeof. Did I just smash away at my keyboard for no reason or did that somehow, someway divert the course of my life? Is there an alternate reality where I started this review a different way, didn't review the film at all, or wasn't able to type it because I was a rock or perhaps my hands were made out of hot dogs?
Believe it or not, these are all relevant questions in the audaciously bonkers new sci-fi/action/adventure multi-verse film, "Everything Everywhere All At Once," the most wildly ambitious film since 2012's "Cloud Atlas." And for those that know me, this is the highest form of praise, being that "Cloud Atlas" ranked as my #2 best film of the past decade.
And although I highly recommend "Everything Everywhere All At Once" for its unbridled imagination, its deftness in conveying complicated exposition, its bold vision and its odd yet stellar cast, the film's title could also be used to describe it's narrative focus. It's high-art packaged as a surprisingly accessible popcorn blockbuster, and yet it's excessively mind-numbing.
In other words, it's messiness is it's strength AND its weakness, which I guess is only fitting.
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