Movie reviews for films like "Clifford the Big Red Dog" are a bit pointless...like, who is this for? The target audience for the movie (children under the age of six or Guantanamo Bay prisoners) are not going to be checking RottenTomatoes to see if this is a film worth checking out. Is a negative or (gasp!) a positive review of this film going to deter parents from taking their young ones to the movie? Most likely no. So for real...what's the point?
If you're a parent, you likely have more access and insight to "kids movies" than the average movie-goer who only gets to see what comes to multiplexes...most of those without children have never experienced or explored the depth of the unlimited amount of movies aimed at young children that can be found in the dark abyss of streaming sites like Disney+ or Paramount+. So there is a BIG difference between a "good" kids movie and a terrible one...we've all seen both. The best kid movies are able to keep the attention of a young child, and at best, offer a valuable life lesson about friendship, family, teamwork, compassion or love. At worst, this kind of film is still watchable by children, but will make parents want to gouge their eyes out. Because let's face it: Children will watch almost anything, especially with a bag of popcorn and some candy on their laps.
Writer/Director/Actor Jim Cummings is one of the more delightfully unique voices emerging in Hollywood. If you haven't seen or heard of his previous films, "Thunder Road" and "The Wolf of Snow Hollow," you're not alone, but do yourself a favor and seek them out.
In "The Beta Test" - co-written, co-directed and co-starring his real-life buddy PJ McCabe - his third independent film is his most biting...a delicious slice of entertainment and intrigue that satisfies as much as it unsettles.
It was considered an odd choice by many, when director Chloé Zhao named "Eternals" her follow-up to her 2020 Best Picture Oscar winner, "Nomadland." Zhao - up until now - had only dealt in small, character-driven movies, so helming a massive Marvel movie didn't seem like the right fit. After watching "Eternals," you can definitely understand what drew Zhao to the film, but her lofty ambitions to bring truth and humanity to the sheer enormity of a comic book movie such as this ends up being a fool's errand.
"Eternals" is the largest Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film to date in scope and aspiration, and that's why its failure on several fronts feels like such a colossal belly-flop.
Believe the hype: It's almost unimaginable to think that Kristen Stewart won't win an Oscar for her nuanced, powerful portrayal as Princess Diana, in Pablo Larrain's haunting fable, "Spencer."
Casting the iconic Tom Hanks as the only human in a film feels like it's been done before...and that's because it has, back in 2000 with the film "Cast Away." That film found Hanks stranded and all alone on a deserted island, with inanimate friend Wilson the Volleyball his only companion.
In "Finch," Hanks finds himself alone again, this time on a deserted planet following some deadly solar flares that he happened to survive, and instead of talking to a volleyball this time around, he has a trusty dog - and an intelligent robot - at his side.
The comparisons to "Cast Away" are inevitable, but "Finch" is far less a complete film. It doesn't really land any of the lofty ideals it raises, and it's so slight that even though we're at world's end, the stakes never seem too high.
"They just don't make 'em like they used to"...is a phrase that can be retired after watching the wildly entertaining new Western, "The Harder They Fall."
Well technically, they've NEVER made movies quite like this, as people of color have all but been left out of Westerns, or relegated to stereotypical roles, during the genre's boom in the early days of Hollywood. Director Jeymes Samuel makes up for lost time by packing his movie with an all-star cast, plenty of gun-fighting, and a stylish-comedic vibe that makes "The Harder They Fall" one of the more pure entertaining films of the year (it has previously been in theaters but releases on Netflix's streaming platform today, 11/3.)
Looking for a specific movie or review?