Film & TV

Not Even the Great J.K. Simmons Can Save ‘You Can’t Run Forever’

Ulises Duenas

Simmons opens the film by gassing up his motorcycle in a rural area and shooting three people there for no reason. Even though his character is a psychotic killer, Simmons is charming in this role -- too charming in fact. His casual attitude towards his actions is funny and takes away from any feeling of dread that a thriller needs in order to be compelling.

‘Adios Buenos Aires’ Is Another Poignant, Notable Film From Argentina

Tara Taghizadeh

John Lennon once said: Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans. And Adios Buenos Aires captures this sentiment perfectly.  As Julio dreams of abandoning Buenos Aires in favor of a fresh start, he is forced to reckon with the people and events that hold him back.

‘The Sopranos’ Turns 25 and Remains One of the Greatest Shows Ever Made

Ulises Duenas

James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano presented a complex character who showed the full range of triumph and tragedy. Edie Falco as his wife Carmela and Lorraine Bracco as therapist Jennifer Melfi are other standouts who go through their own arcs. 

From Cinequest 2024: Four Films About Successfully Beating the Odds

Ben Friedman

In curating this lineup, I selected four films that all share one specific point of commonality: flawed people trying to make it through their day despite the odds being stacked against them. Some stories are more successful than others, yet these four films demonstrate a unique perspective in their search to make sense of our current American lifestyles.

‘Under the Bridge’ Adapts a Lesser-Known True Crime Story Into a Great Drama

Ulises Duenas

Godfrey was returning to the area at the time to find inspiration for a book about the lives of the girls who live in a group home since they have nowhere else to go. There, she meets Josephine Bell, the de facto leader of the girls. Godfrey quickly learns of their harsh lifestyle and the fact that the city sees them as disposable.

More Soap Opera Than Feature Film, Melodramatic ‘Strictly Confidential’ Disappoints

Forrest Hartman

The new film, the feature debut of Damian Hurley (son of star Elizabeth Hurley), is melodrama at its most melodramatic. In fact, there are times when the tone verges on parody, but the swelling music and cast’s deadpan delivery argue that audiences are to take all this excess seriously.  

'Godzilla X Kong' Brings More Great Action but Lackluster Characters

Ulises Duenas

Of course, anyone who’s coming to this movie is doing so to watch the Titans fight, and it delivers great battles. Kong and Godzilla have their fights in the first half but eventually team up to fight the new big, bad villain: the Scar King -- a giant ape that lives in exile within Hollow Earth with other apes he’s enslaved.

From Wes Anderson to John and Yoko: Why the Oscar Shorts Deserve Accolades

Ben Friedman

Wes Anderson returns to the world of Roald Dahl with his now Oscar-winning short, The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar. The film tells the story of Henry Sugar, a man who learns to see without his eyes, allowing him to become the richest man in the world. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the titular role and is joined by Dev Patel, Ben Kingsley, and Ralph Fiennes in supporting roles.

Hulu’s ‘Freaknik’ Details the History of Atlanta’s Infamous Parties

Ulises Duenas

Freaknik didn’t survive the end of the ‘90s, and many debate if it was truly something that advanced the cultural mainstream, or just a party that spiraled out of control. Despite all the historical footage and Freaknik’s reputation for being debaucherous, this documentary doesn’t tell a story that is as outrageous as its marketing makes it out to be.

'Drive-Away Dolls' Fails to Deliver any Substance or Consistent Laughs

Ulises Duenas

Things finally start to ramp up towards the end, and by then the slow place turns into a mad dash to the credits. Pedro Pascal and Matt Damon show up for a couple of scenes and the movie could have benefited from having them on screen longer, but maybe the budget wouldn’t allow for it. The absurdity of the plot and what the bad guys are chasing make for some good, cheap laughs, but it just seems too little, too late. 

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