Home / Tag Archives: 3.5 Stars

Tag Archives: 3.5 Stars

Booksmart

The story is about two girls who spent their entire high school life studying and making the best grades so that they can get into the best colleges. On the day before graduation, after a scene in the bathroom, Molly realizes that she and Amy have probably missed out on an important part of high school life. They decide to go all out on their last night before graduation and have the experience they missed. What results is mostly hilarious as the two find themselves trying to find rides and finding themselves at different parties thrown by very different people …

Read More »

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Chapter 3 picks up where Chapter 2 left off – John Wick, who commits the ultimate crime of killing an enemy at the Continental Hotel, which is off-limits for killing of any sort, has been granted one hour to make himself scares before he officially becomes excommunicated from the underworld syndicate. The film starts at approximately T minus 20 minutes. The corporate office, which runs on old typewriters and telephone exchanges, is getting ready to pull the trigger and set the 14M prices for his head. We already know that the chances anyone is going to kill John Wick are …

Read More »

Everybody Knows

(Spanish) In this new film by two-time Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi (A Separation; The Salesman), Laura (Penelope Cruz) and her two children travel to Spain to attend the wedding of her sister. At the wedding, her daughter goes is kidnapped with only a note that no one should go to the police or her daughter will be killed. An old family friend Paco (Javier Bardem) becomes deeply involved in trying to find Laura’s daughter as well. While they search frantically for Laura’s daughter, personal secrets and family dynamics unfold. I really enjoyed the film. For the most part, the story …

Read More »

MId90’s

In Jonah Hill’s first hand at directing and screenwriting is the story of Stevie (“Sunburn”), played by Sunny Suljic, who lives in Los Angeles and is frequently beaten up by his older brother. Stevie finds a new set of older role models in a skater group. The boys of mixed ages introduce him to skating and usher him into adulthood in a way that his family can’t. Overall, I liked the film. The writing and the directing reminded me of Richard Linklater’s earliest films like Slacker; the camera works to merely observe without complicated plot and without judgment. I was …

Read More »

Ben is Back

Lucas Hedges plays Ben Burns, who on Christmas Eve shows up unexpectedly at home to spend 24 hours with his family; the reason he gives is that his sponsor said he was doing so well that he could take a day away from his drug treatment facility. His mom (Julia Roberts) is happy but also conflicted. The film is the story of his 24 hours at home and the various twists and turns the visit takes. I have mixed feelings about the film. Julia Roberts gives an emotionally intense performance in what is probably one of the best of her …

Read More »

The Green Book

Don Shirley (Mahershela Ali) was a brilliant pianist who headed the Don Shirley Trio. In 1961, he decides to take his band into the deep South and hires Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortenson), a bouncer, to drive him. Shirley had hoped that his concert tour would help change the racist practices. “Inspired by true events”, the movie tells the story of the friendship that develops between Shirley and Vallelonga. There has been a fair amount of controversy surrounding the film, given that the director admittedly did not consult with Shirley’s family to verify the events portrayed in the story (and the …

Read More »

Bohemian Rhapsody

Rami Malek stars as Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen. The film provides, through selected songs, the story of how the band became and retained its fame. Malek gives an incredibly strong and convincing performance as Mercury – at times, I sort of just felt like I was watching Mercury and not Malek performing Mercury. I enjoyed listening to the music and remembering again just how talented the band was. There were also scenes, especially those between Lucy Boynton, who played his life-long love Mary Austin, and those that showed Mercury’s loneliness, that were very powerful. I thought the film …

Read More »

Beautiful Boy

This film is based on memoirs of a father (David Sheff, who wrote Beautiful Boy) and son Nic Sheff (who wrote Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamines). The film opens with David (played by Steve Carell) visiting with an expert on crystal meth addiction to try to understand what Nic (played by Timothee Chalamet). The rest of the film documents, using a lot of flashbacks, how the addiction affected Nic and his family. The film has its powerful moments, particularly when Nic and his father were together. Chalamet is amazing; he has such command of Nic’s character and can seem to …

Read More »

Boy Erased

Based on a memoir, this is the story of 19-year-old Jared Eamons (played by Lucas Hedges) who spent time at Love in Action, a Christian-based gay conversion therapy camp. After being outed to his parents by an angry classmate, and rather than being rejected by his family, he chose to attend the camp. The film is the story of his experiences there and his relationship with his parents. I had rather mixed feelings about the film. The story is definitely compelling – these kinds of conversion camps are still legal in many states, and children under the age of 18 …

Read More »

Love, Gilda

This is a documentary of the life of Gilda Radner, one of the original Saturday Night Live comedy crew and who died young from ovarian cancer. The film uses a lot of archival footage of home movies to show her growing up in Detroit and footage from several of her best Saturday Night Live moments. The film also examines some of her demons, including her struggling with an eating disorder. I really liked the movie; her story deserves to be told for a younger generation that may not understand how groundbreaking her work was. Several more contemporary SNL comedians, including …

Read More »
Skip to toolbar