Movies like "Tár" seem to come along once every awards season. It's a stylish, yet self-indulgent, overlong, character-driven epic. It features an award-worthy performance at its center. Some will call it a "masterpiece."
For me however, "Tár" falls way short of that top-tier status. That's not to take anything away from the performance of Cate Blanchett, who is truly fantastic as the influential (and fictional!) composer, Lydia Tár. Like a classic orchestral arrangement, the film builds slowly until it finally hits the crescendo, before soaring through its final act. Blanchett is there in the middle of it all, a great actress keeping the tempo of the film as steady as she can.
And while "Tár" ends up being worth the trek in the end, the first 90 minutes of this colossal 158-minute opus is such a dreary, artsy slog, that I could see casual movie-goers wanting to head out the doors early. For those that do stay however (mostly film critics), they will be rewarded - critics and regular folk alike - mostly, by seeing how Blanchett sticks the landing.
It's been a long-time coming that the story of Emmett Till is finally getting the mainstream spotlight. Audiences need to ready themselves for "Till," because it's not only important, it's timely.
Told from the perspective of Emmett's mother, Mamie Till, actress Danielle Deadwyler has rocketed up to the top of my list of Best Actress performances in 2022. She carries the entirety of the film, showcasing a range of emotions both outwards and inwards, and commands the screen with dignity and grace like perhaps no one has since the early days of Sydney Poitier. Some might say that playing a grieving mother is one-note, but Deadwyler fills in the blanks in creating one of the more memorable film characters of the year.
There have been worse family-friendly Halloween films than "The Curse of Bridge Hollow." Heck, there have even been worse Halloween films starring Marlon Wayans (see 2012's "A Haunted House," or on second thought, don't).
A few mildly scary sequences and maybe a handful of curse words are the worst of what you'll find in "The Curse of Bridge Hollow" (now streaming on Netflix), a film that is not "good" by any means, but one that at least isn't painful to sit through. The bar is high when it comes to Marlon Wayans comedies, I guess.
Halloween is right around the corner, but there are several movies available to watch this October that won't scare the bejeezus out of your and/or your kids.
It's tough enough to find family-friendly films in general, let alone Halloween-themed ones. Well we've got you covered, with 13 movies that would be a perfect treat — no tricks — for the whole family this Halloween. But be warned, these are just suggestions and some of the films on this list do come with a PG-13 rating, so if you're looking for the perfect film for your infant or super little ones, just beware and use your own judgment. Now, here are 13 hauntingly perfect movies for your family to enjoy this Halloween (in no particular order):
Review: 'Hocus Pocus 2' will cast a spell on those already entranced by the original...but that's about it
I'm not sure exactly what the allure of Disney's "Hocus Pocus" is, other than it is a dearly beloved Halloween event for many. Originally released back in 1993, the film, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy as three enchanting witches, was a box office dud. And yet, it has become an undeniably loved cult-classic, and for its coven of fans, a must-see yearly Halloween-time ritual.
Hilarious. Authentic. Energetic. Outrageous. Revolutionary. These are all words that can be applied to two of the most important rom-coms of our time: 1989's "When Harry Met Sally" and 2022's "Bros."
Comparing it to "When Harry Met Sally" is the highest compliment I can think to give "Bros," a movie with some of the sharpest dialogue, funniest scenes and the most likable characters that I've seen in a romantic comedy in quite some time. Like Nora Ephron's legendary "When Harry Met Sally" script, Billy Eichner and Nicholas Stoller's words burst off of the screen with an urgency and with incredible insightfulness. This is a movie that has something to say...hell, it has LOTS to say, and there is so much to discover brimming beneath the surface. Even on the surface, it's the funniest movie of the year.
Roger Ebert (my second Roger Ebert quote in as many reviews - see my review of "Hocus Pocus 2" for more) once said that films should be reviewed relative to genre, and if that's so, then "Bros" is definitely deserving of Mount Rushmore rom-com status.
Perhaps you've heard of "Don't Worry Darling"? It's hard to have not heard about it, as it's been dominating headlines for all the wrong reasons over the past month. From "spit-gate" between Harry Styles and Chris Pine, to Florence Pugh not doing press for the film, to friction between director Olivia Wilde and allegedly "fired" actor Shia LaBeouf. It then debuted at the Venice Film Festival to mixed reviews, with many critics applauding the performance of Florence Pugh, but attacking the performance of Harry Styles, and the film as a whole.
Having now seen it, I can accept all sides of the argument. Yes, Florence Pugh is great. Yes, the film itself is a cluttered, unfocused mess at times. Yes, Olivia Wilde's direction seems a bit too artsy for her own good. I will push back though, on the performance of Styles, who I found to be better than just fine, heck, he was effective. Sure, he may not be on the same level as Pugh, but his role didn't demand that he needed to be.
At any rate, "Don't Worry Darling" is a movie that will polarize audiences. But that's also usually a good sign, that a movie was able to ignite some level of passion from its audience, for good or for bad.
But despite its many, many flaws, I found there to be a LOT going on under the hood. Themes of feminism, masculinity and control. Systemic issues that churn out desperate individuals, who will buy into almost anything that promises a better way. The idea of individualism, gender roles and boundaries. Even some deeply buried political messages.
"Don't Worry Darling" isn't a throw-away thriller. It has meaning and purpose, even if its execution is way off, sometimes jarringly so. And it's definitely a movie that should spark conversation on the car ride home, whether you loved it or loathed it.
Ana de Armas is a striking Marilyn Monroe. She nails the mannerisms, the facial expressions and the body language. With an impressive team of makeup, hair and costume artists, she becomes Marilyn Monroe, aka Norma Jeane.
This is the irony of "Blonde," a muddled, artsy and empty biopic about the iconic actress: For a woman whose talents were always overshadowed by her physical appearance, the movie looks just swell, but it is so caught up in its own glamour that it fails to glance inward.
Marilyn has always captivated the public, but we wish we knew more about her thoughts, her motivations, her mind. "Blonde" does none of this, even while pretending to pull back the curtain on her life. Instead, it perpetuates the same myths, stereotypes and negativity that has always been cast upon Monroe. This movie is not an answer to any questions we had about her. Instead, it represents part of the problem.
If you're not a die-hard fan of the legendary, milestone indie-flick, 1994's "Clerks," then I beg of you: Please, please, PLEASE avoid "Clerks III" at all costs. There is nothing here for anyone who doesn't consider themselves a big fan of filmmaker Kevin Smith's "View Askew-niverse," and in particularly, his first feature-film, "Clerks."
And even for those die-hards, "Clerks III" seems to go to the same well, the same safe places, that many of Smith's recent movies have, in order to suck dry familiar jokes and call-backs. I do think though, that there is enough nostalgia in "Clerks III" to make this a passable, if not an impressive, third and final act for Dante, Randall and the gang at the New Jersey Quick-E Mart.
Somewhere along the way, through a multitude of dick and poop jokes, the clouds of marijuana smoke (mostly provided by proverbial side-kicks, Jay & Silent Bob) and the lengthy discussions about intricate details of the Star Wars saga, we actually find that we care about these characters. "Clerks III" gives them the emotional send-off that they probably didn't deserve, or even needed. But it allows Smith the opportunity to reflect and comment on his original creation, now from the eyes of a middle-aged man with the wisdom of nearly 30 years of separation, instead of as a wide-eyed twenty-something-er looking to take the world by storm while simultaneously trying to figure out exactly who he is.
I rarely will start off a review by telling readers to watch the movie first, but in the instance of "Barbarian," I would hate to even spoil a morsel of the fun. So for real, if you haven't yet seen it, it's OK. You don't have to read on if you don't want to. Go see the movie and then come back here.
This isn't a spoiler-heavy review by any means, but "Barbarian" is best experienced by not knowing where the hell it's going. The headline is that I enjoyed it, despite it all falling apart by the end. It's a fantastic date movie or one to experience with friends, and it excels as a film that plays off of audience expectations...and trust me, no one will see where this one twists and turns to.
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