new films

‘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.

‘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.

‘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.

‘Barbarian' Is Surprising, and One of the Best Movies of the Year

Ulises Duenas

The film begins with a young woman named Tess arriving at her Airbnb to find out that it’s already occupied by a man named Keith. She ends up agreeing, begrudgingly,  to stay in the house for the night and starts to hear strange noises. In the morning she discovers that the rest of the neighborhood is completely run down except for the house she’s staying in. The movie does a good job of building tension while keeping the viewer wondering in which direction things are going.

‘Medieval’ Tells the Story of a Czech Hero in the Middle Ages

Ulises Duenas

The lighting and shots of the European countryside help create a creepy and uneasy atmosphere, although at times it does look a little too similar to other works that portray the Middle Ages. It’s an impressive feat for a movie that doesn’t have any supernatural elements and it keeps the slower scenes from feeling boring. One of the more notable shortcomings of Medieval is that none of the actors give breakthrough performances.

Fine Acting, Wit, and Stunning Visuals Make ‘Umbrella Men’ a Fond Addition to the Heist Film Genre

Ben Friedman

Everyone knows the filmmaking conventions that make a good heist movie: a mismatch of eccentric characters each with their own skill set, speeches about how the impossible task is actually possible, and the execution. Heist movies always feature the debonair hero, the hothead, the uneasy alliance, the romantic interest, and a villain. A heist film lives and dies on its storyteller’s ability to overcome the derivative and craft something exciting. John Barker’s The Umbrella Men represents the highs and lows of the genre.

‘Carmen’: A Maltese Film That Pays Homage to an Age-Old Tradition

Sandra Bertrand

Buhagiar can be forgiven for adding a bit of magic realism to shore up the storyline, or maybe it’s just God’s intervention. Take your pick.While the cathedral is closed for masses until further notice, the parishioners are welcome to confess. Concealing herself in the confessional, with “a voice like the Virgin Mary,” Carmen counsels the abused and forlorn women of the town. Even a young girl with the voice of an angel is advised to take money from the collection box and escape to Rome where her talent will be recognized.

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