Review: “Mulan” (2020)

Warning: this review contains spoilers for “Mulan.” I will never forget watching the animated Disney movie “Mulan” in the theater when it was first released in 1998, and the sense of elation I felt walking out of the auditorium, the Stevie Wonder/98 Degrees tune “True to Your Heart” blaring over the end credits.  It’s still […]

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Review: “Centigrade”

The scariest aspect of “Centigrade” is that the catalyst for the events that unfold over the course of the film could happen to anyone: while driving through a snowstorm in Norway, a couple decide that the weather is too bad for them to continue, so they pull over to wait out the storm.  When they […]

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Review: “Tesla”

The first several minutes of writer/director Michael Almereyda’s “Tesla” unfold in fairly typical biopic fashion.  We see young inventor Nikola Tesla (Ethan Hawke) working under fellow inventor Thomas Edison (Kyle MacLachlan) upon first arriving in New York.  He soon leaves to strike out on his own.  But a meeting between Tesla, Edison, and other associates […]

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Review: “Made in Italy”

Sometimes, elements of a movie will come together in a way that seems like what can only be described as fate.  You can certainly say that regarding the casting of the leads for “Made in Italy,” a new comedy/drama that’s actor James D’Arcy’s feature debut as writer and director.  The film stars Liam Neeson and […]

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Review: “The Rental”

You may think twice about booking that weekend at someone’s Airbnb after watching “The Rental,” the thriller that’s Dave Franco’s directorial debut.  The film, which is co-written by Franco and Joe Swanberg, follows two couples: Michelle (Alison Brie) and Charlie (Dan Stevens) and Charlie’s brother Josh (Jeremy Allen White) and his girlfriend Mina (Shelia Vand).  […]

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Review: “The Painted Bird”

Toward the beginning of “The Painted Bird,” we see the nameless young protagonist (played by Petr Kotlár) watch Lekh (Lech Dyblik), the bird breeder he is staying with, paint the wings of a small bird he has captured before releasing it to rejoin its flock.  But because the painted bird is different from the rest, […]

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Streaming Movie Recap: June 2020

June was a pretty busy month for movies released on streaming platforms, particularly as several films originally intended for theatrical release made their debut on demand or on streaming services like Disney Plus instead due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  I’ve already reviewed some of those films (and I’ve linked my reviews below), but you can […]

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Review: “Babyteeth”

A romance with a terminally ill teen is practically a subgenre within the universe of young adult novels and films, often weepy, often tender, and often dwelling a lot on the illness itself.  “Babyteeth,” a new release from IFC Films and the debut feature from director Shannon Murphy, is none of those things. “Babyteeth” centers […]

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Review: “Shirley”

Writer Shirley Jackson is perhaps best known for her horror novel The Haunting of Hill House, widely regarded as one of the best and scariest ghost stories ever written.  But Jackson’s personal life becomes a sort of horror story of its own in “Shirley,” a new drama based on the novel by Susan Scarf Merrell […]

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