Film & TV

Ed Helms Tackles Fatherhood and Surrogacy in ‘Together Together’

Adam Gravano

Helms portrays a man we can't help but cringe at as he bumbles toasts, telling his family about his plans, or being a supportive partner. He also invests seemingly trivial decisions, like the color of the nursery, with outsize importance. Much like another alumnus of The Office, Steve Carell in The Big Short or Foxcatcher, Helms provides evidence that he's ready for roles that are more than just cheap laughs.

‘Mortal Kombat’ Offers Blood, Guts, and Not Much Else

Ulises Duenas

The silver lining is that if you’re a Mortal Kombat fan and you want blood and gore, that’s exactly what you get. While the fight choreography is subpar, the amount of violence in the movie is through the roof. While it is gratuitous and sometimes comical, it was still fun to see and it wouldn’t have been a bona fide Mortal Kombat movie without it. It’s clear that the writer and director had a passion for the games and knowledge of their history.

‘Uprooting Addiction’ Shows the Face of the Opioid Epidemic

Ulises Duenas

The film’s title, “Uprooting Addiction,” refers to one of the support tools used by a social worker named Hope Payson who has helped hundreds of people with their addiction. The tool is a tree made of paper up on a board that embodies the roots of someone’s addiction and how they managed to heal from past traumas and deal with their vices. The tree shows that the most common cause of addiction is some type of childhood trauma.

Actor Kristoffer Polaha’s Journey to Stardom

Forrest Hartman

Rather than follow “America’s Prince” with increasingly important TV and movie roles, Polaha landed a string of starring appearances in television shows that seemed promising, launched … and then stalled … time and again. From 2004 to 2012, Polaha had key roles in the nighttime soap “North Shore,” the sitcom “Miss Guided,” the romantic comedy “Valentine,” the relationship drama “Life Unexpected” and the Sarah Michelle Gellar thriller “Ringer.”

An Eerie Plot and Hyperrealistic Narrative Dominate Thriller ‘Six Minutes to Midnight’

Christopher Karr

It’s worth mentioning that Six Minutes to Midnight (a rather outdated reference to the Doomsday Clock, if today’s moviegoers even know what that is) has a few unintentional laughs. It’s tough not to giggle when Jim Broadbent, when threatened with being scalded by the contents of a squealing tea kettle, says, with the kind of conviction that only a master craftsman can muster, “I’m not a bloody traitor. He’s half German, half English. I helped the English half of ‘im.”

‘The Courier’ Retells True Story of Spy Caper During the Cuban Missile Crisis

James Fozard

The well-written, poignant drama includes the famous speech, “We will bury you” by  Kruschev, the memorable speech by President Kennedy on the Cuban missile build-up, and several dramatic meetings between British intelligence and the CIA regarding  the merits of using the businessman as the courier. The cinematography and music are quite effective in capturing the settings and transfers of the spy materials and clandestine meetings of the traitor and courier.

Watching the Golden Globes: And the Best Films of 2020 Were…

Forrest Hartman

If Boseman wins a Golden Globe for his performance (he is nominated for best actor in a drama), some will believe it is out of sympathy. That thought should be dispelled now, as it diminishes his incredible work. In “Ma Rainey,” based on the like-titled August Wilson play, Boseman plays Levee Green, a trumpet player in a music world where black artists are mercilessly abused. Although capable of writing and playing with the best, Levee is relegated to backing Ma Rainey (Viola Davis, also nominated for a Globe), a black diva who has achieved enough fame and success to hold sway over white record producers.

The Story of Remarkable Teacher Pedro Santana Hits the Screen

Sandra Bertrand

With every encounter, the camera captures the magnetism of the man. Teaching in a Covid-free environment, he lights up the room with his smiles, kisses, and hugs. In the words of a colleague, “He always thought about the kid that was on the bottom.” But as one former student admitted, he “lets you know what he really thinks.”  “How are your grades?” became a familiar mantra to his charges.  He expected the best and to the amazement of his family, teachers, parents, and even nay-sayers, he got it.

‘Lapsis’ Paints a Picture of a Realistic but Grim Future

Ulises Duenas

While director Noah Hutton does a great job of illustrating the world he’s created through small scenes that show you how disingenuous the cabling company is and how desperate people are to make some extra cash, the film is still lacking. On one hand, Hutton replicates the dialogue and actions of human beings quite well. On the other, he does it so well that it becomes dull. The whole movie feels like a pilot to the miniseries.

A Chilling Cat-and-Mouse Game Ensues in ‘The Little Things’

Garrett Hartman

The performances are terrific, with Jared Leto giving a particularly superb performance as the  prime suspect, Albert Sparma. Leto creates an eerily charming antagonist who perfectly plays to the air of mystery, doubt, and confusion the film aims to create.  In typical noir style, the film offers no heroes -- which is utilized to serve the film’s theme on obsession and the nature of justice. Instead of conflicted characters who falter clearly behind the lines of right and wrong, these  characters always seem to be in the middle of the road.

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