Film & TV

‘Creatures of Necessity’: How Not to Write a Movie

Ulises Duenas

While the performances in the movie range from average to bad, the real issue is the script. The writer clearly wants to include their social commentary on top of what is a bargain-bin-level idea and at this point, I think the general audience is past the point of needing bad movies that try to make statements on race and gender roles. Isabella is meant to be an empowered character by the end, but the execution is just confusing and sloppy.

‘Bros’ and the Legacy of Gay Cowboy Movies

Angelo Franco

Yes, Parting Glances dealt with AIDS and that can be a downer (another AIDS movie!?). But Parting Glances had the incredible bravery of existing in the mid-80s, having a frank depiction of AIDS and its effect at the height of the pandemic and in the face of the Reagan administration’s inaction: only five months prior to its release, Reagan finally said the acronym AIDS. It’s a bittersweet rom-com gorgeously written and directed by Bill Sherwood, a gay man himself who would die of AIDS before he could make another film.

‘The Banshees of Inisherin’ Is One of the Best Films of the Year

Ulises Duenas

What really makes this movie stand out is the brilliant writing and directing of Martin McDonagh, combined with the stellar performances from Colin Farrell as Padraic and Brendan Gleeson as Colm. Padraic goes through his own stages of grief since not only did he lose a friend in Colm, but others on the island have died, making it feel like Padraic’s world is shrinking. This all happens against the backdrop of the civil war.

‘Missing’ Is a Brilliant, Dark Story About Mystery and Death

Ulises Duenas

Santoshi is a newly widowed father going through depression and dealing with debt as he tries to keep his daughter Kaede happy and in school. After telling his daughter that he plans to track down a serial killer for the reward money, Santoshi vanishes, leaving Kaede to investigate what happened to him. The first quarter of the movie has an almost lighthearted tone as Kaede does her best to find leads on her father’s whereabouts, but things get dark quickly after she has a confrontation with the serial killer.

The Sex Scandal That Brought Down the Falwells

Ben Friedman

Billy Corben’s God Forbid: The Sex Scandal That Brought Down a Dynasty gives a firsthand account of the seven-year sexual relationship between the Falwells and the infamously dubbed “pool boy” Giancarlo Granda. Here, Giancarlo details his first encounter with Becki while working in Miami. He chronicles his relationship with Jerry, meeting the Falwells’ children, becoming a business partner with the family, and his realization of the power the family held over him.

‘Don’t Look at the Demon’ Delivers Fine Acting, Impressive Special Effects

Ben Friedman

A seasoned screen queen, Dourif is well cast within the role.  A physical performer, her facial expressions and ticks create a sense of dread that feels genuine. As her screen partner, Dickinson has a good on-screen chemistry with Dourif and overcomes the burden of having to deliver much of the film’s exposition monologues and does so with ease. The film features some great visual flairs and excellent use of jump scares. Lee achieves impressively scary special effects despite the low-budget nature of the film.

Great Halloween Films for People Who Hate Horror

Ben Friedman

The following five films embrace the Halloween spirit while offering an alternative to traditional horror films. Think of these as “horror adjacent” films. They have the aesthetics of horror, mixed with other more palatable genres, laughs, and familiar storytelling that lessen the blow of the horror on screen. The list is ranked by the pleasantness of the viewing experiences, to offer non-horror fans a chance to test their comfort within the genre. All these films are available to stream and should make for an enjoyable and hopefully not too scary Halloween experience.

‘Amsterdam’ Is a Flawed Retelling of a Real Conspiracy

Ulises Duenas

While Washington and Robbie put in good performances, it’s Bale’s work that really stands out in the film. His portrayal of an eccentric doctor plagued with pain and trauma from the war is compelling and provides moments of comedy throughout the film. While a lot of the movie is lighthearted in tone, there weren’t any scenes that are "laugh out loud" funny, but the script does have some dry wit to it.

New Comedy Follows a Day in the Life of a Brothel Worker

Ben Friedman

Despite a strong leading performance from Lea Thompson, who gives an emotionally compelling and often humorous performance, this film fails her by not giving her enough to do. The film works best when Thompson is on screen. Yet, the story insists on cutting back to the magician, thus grinding any form of positive momentum to a complete stop. His character does not have an arc, and the story’s attempts at philosophical musings fall flat.

A Salute to Hollywood’s Underrated Filmmakers and Actors

Forrest Hartman

In this article, we’ll look at 10 filmmakers who – by my estimation – are underrated. An article like this is, of course, fraught with difficulty because my definition of “underrated” may differ from that of readers. So, we’ll start by defining terms. We aren’t talking no-names who have been universally ignored by fans, critics and peers. Rather, this list is populated by artists who are often celebrated in critical circles, but have not received the widespread recognition they deserve.


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