Some stories are so bizarre, they can't possibly be untrue.
"Zola" is one such tale.
Our country has never been more polarized, and facts have never been as important as they are now. But despite our differences, we should all be able to come together with pride to denounce that the new, R-rated, raunchy, gory, silly "America: The Motion Picture" tries way too hard at pretty much everything it attempts to do.
This might be the revisionist history we deserve, but it's more of a missed opportunity.
Meyer Lansky is one of the most enthralling mobsters in American history, and yet, he seems to always be represented as a supporting player. Finally, Lansky is given his due.
There is a lot to like about "Lansky," and if you're a fan of Mafia movies or crime dramas, you won't be disappointed that you checked this out. But you can't help but feel that there was a better version of his story to be told on-screen.
The premise of "Fathom" (coming to Apple TV+ on Friday, June 25th) seems like one that is ripe for exploration in a documentary film. It follows two scientists on opposite ends of the world as they try to understand how humpback whales communicate with one another.
Unfortunately, this film gets too far into the sea-weeds, wrapped up in the analytical minutiae of their quest and never giving casual viewers anything to become excited about. The whales themselves could have carried this movie by themselves, so why does "Fathom" feel so land-locked?
We've come to expect implausible, over-the-top ridiculousness in the "Fast & Furious" movies...heck, we almost rely on it.
But with "F9," the franchise is dealt a critical blow in that it forgets to be fun. Yes, in a film series where it is completely acceptable for cars to jump from skyscraper to skyscraper, where the laws of physics and all beliefs are permanently suspended, where men and women have perfected the ability to leap unscathed from exploding vehicles, "F9" is the first chapter that feels tired, uninspired, lazy and most egregiously of all for a "Fast & Furious" film, stuck in second gear.
The new, subversive romantic-comedy, "Good on Paper" is a showcase for stand-up comedian Iliza Shlesinger. She stars as a version of herself and also wrote the screenplay, based on her real-life dating experiences.
There are some funny moments and truths realized in her story about how a relationship can go from seemingly perfect to downright scary, but as a whole it isn't executed well and much of her comedy seems, well, better on the page than it does in real-life situations.
Video games have not translated well into movies. Other than "Sonic the Hedgehog," very few have ever worked. In other words, a great video game doth not maketh a great movie.
The latest example of this is "Werewolves Within," a popular VR (Virtual-Reality) video game by Ubisoft that is being given the big-screen treatment. Caught somewhere between horror and comedy, it works as neither, with the only real scare being in how miserably unfunny it ends up being.
If you've seen one underdog team sports film, you've seen them all, but that doesn't stop Hollywood from churning out another two or three per year ad nauseam. Welcome "12 Mighty Orphans" to the mix, a period football film that does nothing to further the genre, but one that might satisfy those who find themselves suckers for this brand of melodrama.
Let's face it: It's Rita Moreno's world, and we're all just living in it.
The new documentary film about the legendary actress's life is proudly titled, "Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It," and it's a celebration of the now 89-year-old's journey...a true pioneer who somehow leaves us feeling like she has more amazing things to do left in front of her than she has already accomplished behind her. She provides a first-hand account of her experiences - the good, the bad and the ugly - over her stellar, unparalleled 78-year career in show business, and she reveals some shocking, intimate stories about herself and others that she's encountered along the way.
Whether this is your first brush with Rita Moreno or you've been a life-long fan, this documentary is a biopic done right. It's not all fluff and praise and the only knock on it is that it perhaps doesn't achieve the same level of spunk and glowing attitude as its subject. But then again, how do you possibly match Rita Moreno's energetic personality?
Pixar is the most prestigious and well-known animation studio of the past several decades. But it isn't always a sure-thing with them, as they've produced more than a few clunkers (like "Cars 2" or "Cars 3" for example) in-between being responsible for iconic gems like the "Toy Story" films, "WALL-E" or "Inside Out." Even their 2020 release, "Soul," was a profound achievement, if not quite rising to the level of a "classic" Pixar film.
Their latest effort is "Luca," a movie that touches on some deeply important and contemporary themes of inclusion, acceptance and identity, but that - in more ways than one - is all wet.
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