There have been lots of movies in recent weeks (not complaining!), both theatrical and on streaming, so here is a run-down of several of the movies I've managed to catch up with, along with my thoughts on each film.
I have FULL reviews of the following films:
"The Fabelmans" - Full Review
"Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery" - Full Review
"Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" - Full Review
Read on for more!
Forget what you know about the story of "Pinocchio," and then please, please, PLEASE forget about the recent Disney+ live-action remake from earlier this year.
I entered the theater thinking to myself: Is this what we need, another Pinocchio movie?
I left the theater, shocked and elated that I had just seen without a doubt one of my top overall (animated or otherwise) movies of 2022.
If you liked 2019's "Knives Out," then there is no reason why you won't love "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery." If there was ever a movie worth checking out in theaters instead of at home on streaming, this is it ("Glass Onion" is in theaters only for one week before being made available to stream on Netflix on December 23rd).
The master craftsman - the man, the myth, the legend - Steven Spielberg, gets personal with his latest coming-of-age drama, "The Fabelmans."
It's not necessarily a movie about movies, but it is a movie about how movies can affect us...how they can act as an escape, and how movies can heal and even save lives along the way.
In addition to having one of the best ensemble casts of 2022, "The Fabelmans" is a beautiful, deeply moving piece of cinema...in other words, it's just another day at the office for Steven Spielberg, as he serves up another gem in what has become an untouchable and unparalleled body of work for the 75-year-old filmmaker.
Undoubtedly, the biggest release of the week is the 30th Marvel Cinematic Universe film (and the final film of the MCU's "Phase Four"), "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
Click here if you missed our FULL review of
"Black Panther: Wakanda Forever."
However there are a few other, smaller releases this week, both in theaters and on streaming. Read on for reviews of those films!
It is completely possible to hold two thoughts in your head at the same time...a less-than-positive review of "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" - which is forthcoming - does not take away one iota from the fact that the late Chadwick Boseman was and is one of the most iconic, talented cinematic presences of his generation. Nor should it take away the impact or the historic importance of the first "Black Panther" movie, and what it means to millions of its fans across the world.
The loss of Boseman is felt deeply, and in "Wakanda Forever," it resonates through to the characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), who are mourning the loss of Boseman's character, Black Panther himself, the King of Wakanda, T'Challa.
But while the movie draws strength and motivation from his lasting legacy, it throws the amazing fictional nation of Wakanda under the bus, in an attempt to build up a new emerging (submerged?) nation, Talukon. The result is an over-serious, over-stuffed MCU film that never is quite able to sustain the emotional weight of its first 15 minutes.
It's been a rough stretch of busyness and preoccupation...yes, I've still been watching a lot of movies, but life just hasn't quite allowed me the time enough to properly write full reviews of some of the recent theatrical and streaming releases.
So instead of not posting anything, here are some quick blurb reviews of the movies I've seen in new release over the past few weekends, starting off with one of my favorite, funniest films of the year:
Yes, "Ticket to Paradise" is a "throwback," an old-school rom-com where things go exactly as you'd expect, where the main characters simply bounce from one impossible, ludicrous situation to another, where the cheese and corn are piled on high, and where love always prevails.
But did I like it? Oh, you bet I did.
If there was ever a stereotype for what a superhero comic book would be, there's a good chance that the word-bubbles with the sounds "Whiz!", "Bam!", and "Pow!" would be included in that cliché. And if there was ever a stereotype for what a superhero comic book MOVIE would be, just refer to "Black Adam," the latest swing-and-a-miss from the flailing DC Cinematic Universe (DCCU).
"Black Adam" does it all, in that it is definitely a superhero movie. It looks great, and contains plenty of slick CG, action and fighting. But sadly, it is as hollow as they come, a film where neither the protagonist or the antagonist is all that interesting. It's everything you think a superhero movie is, but in the day-and-age of Marvel movies (or even the stellar DCCU film from earlier this year, "The Batman"), audiences require - heck, deserve - more than what The Rock was cookin' with "Black Adam."
When did superhero movies stop being fun?
I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ethan Hawke is a national treasure. Up there too, is Ewan McGregor, who simply has an appeal unlike most other actors of his generation.
Hawke and McGregor are "Raymond & Ray." Well, actually McGregor plays Raymond, and Hawke plays Ray...two half-brothers who are brought together with the news that their estranged father has died. Despite the actors best efforts - and an occasional flash of clever insight - "Raymond & Ray" is all journey with no destination, making the movie a bit of a let-down given the talent and potential involved.
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