It's not exactly a "pick-me-upper," but "The Macaluso Sisters" is one of the most gripping dramas of the year.
Are there any comedies that movie studios are willing to green-light anymore, that don't star Ryan Reynolds?
Since his starring role in 2016's "Deadpool," Reynolds has been one of the hottest comedic commodities in Hollywood. But is the Ryan Reyn-aissance starting to over stay its welcome? One might begin to think so, judging by his latest romp.
"Free Guy" is part "The Truman Show," part "The Matrix" and part "Groundhog Day," with not even one pixel of the same creative spark or ingenuity of any of these films. It aims low and succeeds in hitting its target, I guess, but with a little care, "Free Guy" could have been so much more.
Surprisingly, the key to understanding the ambitious rock opera, "Annette," might be found in a documentary that came out earlier this year. That doc, "The Sparks Brothers," was about the 80s rock band Sparks, made up of brothers Russell and Ron Mael, whose quirky lyrics, music videos and rhythms led them to becoming one of the most influential bands of that decade, despite having never existed in the mainstream.
To call them and their music "eccentric" doesn't quite describe it. But their documentary is a good primer to trying to understand "Annette" - music and script by the Mael brothers - which is a film that by-and-large will not connect with most common movie-goers, and is even so bonkers and "out there" that it hasn't even been a sure-thing with critics either (as of this writing, it's clinging to a "Fresh" score of 70% on RottenTomatoes).
If you've seen "The Sparks Brothers," it may help get you close to the wavelength in which "Annette" exists, but even then, it's an over-long, showy and mostly hollow musical, kept interesting in spite of the Maels, not because of them. That's because one of the finest actors of his generation, Adam Driver, delivers one of the most boldly dedicated performances of his career, giving us an anchor of emotion in a sea of lunacy.
Like the icon in which it is based, "Respect" takes what would normally be thought of as traditional, run-of-the-mill material and breathes an absolute fire of life into it, transforming it into something completely original and, quite often, soul-inspiring.
"Respect," based on the legendary Aretha Franklin - The Queen of Soul - is brought to the big-screen with care, humility, electricity and most important of all, a deep respect for its subject. It may hit many of the same notes often found in musical biopics, but when it's Aretha playing those notes, everything is elevated.
"Respect" is one of the best films of the year so far, and perhaps more importantly, it's the version of her story that Aretha herself would approve of and that she deserves to be remembered by.
I've always been a sucker for "coming-of-age" movies, but "Coda" is a fresh and endlessly compelling entry into the genre, made great by the performance of 19-year-old Emilia Jones (Kinsley from Netflix's "Locke & Key").This isn't the first film Jones has appeared in, but it is destined to be a game-changing one for her promising, budding career.
"Coda" killed earlier this year at Sundance, and now we know why: It's simply one of the best films of 2021, living up to all of the hype.
"Nine Days" should be required viewing heading into the 2021 awards season. It has a slow, deliberate and contemplative pace, and deals with some complex themes, but unlike some other recent pretentious art films (cough cough "The Green Knight" cough cough), "Nine Days" is fully accessible to anyone with a soul.
Interviews with Jennifer Hudson and director Liesl Tommy, about the upcoming Aretha Franklin biopic, 'Respect' [VIDEO]
The long-awaited Aretha Franklin biopic movie is finally coming to theaters. Star Jennifer Hudson and director Liesl Tommy were in Detroit at the FOX Theater on Monday to discuss the new film.
Fans of an advanced screening of SUICIDE SQUAD were surprised last Sunday when 16-time world wrestling champion and actor John Cena ran into their theater just moments before the show was to begin.
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