While it's a fairly straight-forward, academic documentary, "Make|SHIFT" shows the amazing evolution and transformation of advertising, from its earliest incarnations of the 20th Century, to the hyper-focused targeted ads of today. It even hints at what is to come.
And while its an interesting journey to see how far we've come, the documentary is also about the "ad men" - and women - who have influenced their industry, and in turn American culture, over the decades. It's the subjects that add to the worthwhile nature of this indie doc, and what makes "Make|SHIFT" effective.
Those that choose to watch monster movies such as "Godzilla vs. Kong" do not have very high expectations. They're not looking for an intricate plot, Oscar-worthy performances or clever twists. They just want to watch these monsters wreak havoc, and beat the hell out of one another.
With that in mind, "Godzilla vs. Kong" checks all the boxes you'd expect it to: Intricate plot? Nah. Oscar-worthy performances or clever twists? Nope and nope. Havoc being wreaked, and lots of beatings? You betcha.
But sadly, while the ingredients are all there, the two heavyweights on the title card don't share the screen quite enough...a real letdown for a film called "Godzilla vs. Kong." And the "fun" spirit of "Kong: Skull Island" is discarded for the more serious overtone of the past two "Godzilla" movies, which makes this one clunker of a clash.
Near the end of the documentary, "Tina," the legendary, raspy-voiced superstar singer is escorted into a Broadway play based on her life, "Tina: The Tina Turner Story," with screaming, adoring fans mobbed all over the scene and surrounding her as she makes her way inside. On one arm is Tina's husband since 2013, Erwin Bach, and on her other arm is none other than her close friend, Oprah Winfrey.
It took me a few seconds to even realize that Oprah was there, and the fervorous fan-base chanting Tina's name also couldn't care less. Tina still has it...and is still such a force to be reckoned with that you don't even notice when she's standing next to Oprah Winfrey. Tina is larger than life, larger than Oprah...an icon and an inspiration to many. But arriving at that precise moment outside the theater, happy, content and in love, is really a tremendous testament to the endurance of Tina Turner. I'd say her rise was impossible, if only Tina hadn't in fact made it possible.
The tumultuous, incredible life of Tina Turner is on full display in the new HBO Max documentary film, simply titled "Tina." It takes what you may know about her and goes deeper than ever before, and is an emotional swan song for the now 81-year-old legend, who is deciding to slowly bow out of the limelight after all these years.
If the crime-action-farce "Nobody" seems oddly familiar to you, it's probably because you've pretty much seen it before when it was called "John Wick." But coming from a critic who did not like "John Wick" or "John Wick 3" ("John Wick 2" was admittedly pretty cool), I actually think that "Nobody" does it better.
Benedict Cumberbatch is perhaps better than he's ever been, and is given wonderful support by his ensemble in "The Courier," a well-made thriller that - had it been released a bit earlier in the year - may have even been in the conversation for a few awards.
NETFLIX Review: 'Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal,' privilege with and for a price
In 2019, an investigation that was dubbed "Operation Varsity Blues" uncovered a scandalous scheme involving super-wealthy parents who were caught buying access for their children to attend prestigious colleges and universities across America.
To the majority of the public, the "faces" of this scandal were actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin - who were perhaps the two most famous individuals involved - but there were allegedly over 700 families caught up in it (though over 50 formally charged). All of whom had two things in common: They had committed a felony, and they had dealt directly with Rick Singer, a "coach" and consultant to the super-rich, who was the man who cooked the whole thing up.
"Director's cuts" are not a new concept...as far back as Charlie Chaplin's "The Gold Rush," filmmakers and auteurs have tinkered and fiddled with previously released versions of films, trying to perfect their original visions, right wrongs of the past, or undo the meddling of those pesky movie studios who apparently are only in business to feverishly attempt to suppress creator's masterpieces.
In case you're not on Twitter, "Zack Snyder's Justice League" (coming Thursday, March 18th exclusively to HBO Max) is not your average "director's cut" of a film, and actually has quite the story behind it. It's not a vanity project. It is in fact, a labor of love and an example of unfinished business being made whole.
But let's not bury the lead, for those reading this in wild anticipation: This is a vastly improved film compared to the 2017 version. The new film - at over 4 hours!!! - is somehow a more focused and centered film than it's 2-hour-long predecessor. In other words, "Zack Snyder's Justice League" will be a direct smash hit with its target audience...but to the rest of the world, it will present itself as a mountain perhaps too steep to climb or worse, an effort in futility.
The deciding factor as to whether a family-friendly comedy is "good," usually comes down to this: Is it something that can be simultaneously enjoyed by kids and adults alike? With "Yes Day," the answer to this question is an emphatic "no."
It was inevitable that when you direct the highest-grossing film EVER - "Avengers: Endgame" - that your follow-up film would be destined to pale in comparison. But for Anthony and Joe Russo, who have risen to fame and fandom after directing a slew of beloved Marvel movies ("Captain America: Winter Soldier," "Avengers: Age of Ultron," "Avengers: Infinity War" and "Avengers: Endgame" among them), "Cherry" is more than a step-down, it is a baffling fall from grace.
Released just in time to qualify for the 2020 movie awards-cycle, "The Father" should and will be in the mix as one of the best, and truly one of the most powerful, films of the year.
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