Week Ending 2/10/23
Some horror for Valentine's Day
I’d say it’s a product of counter-programming, but all these horror-adjacent genre films coming out the week before Valentine’s Day is really just a product of the industry. Genre films are big business now. Gone are the days every studio held onto those titles to release in the fall. I’m probably embellishing things, but it feels like half the films that get released on an annual basis fit under that ever-expanding label. So, six out of nine of the movies I watched this week following suit isn’t all that strange.
Next week should be a bit different if only because I think I’ll have time to watch some of the Oscar nominations I missed—and we all know The Academy hates rewarding horror. Will hopefully start on the Shorts too, but those will be for a round-up to publish via The Film Stage.
Speaking of that outlet, here’s my Posterized column from last week highlighting the poster designs of US domestic February releases: https://thefilmstage.com/posterized-february-2023/
What I Watched:
(now streaming on Paramount+)
Sometimes a rom-com can surprise you and transcend convention. Most times, however, they deliver exactly what you expected. Jonah Feingold’s AT MIDNIGHT is the latter—something its streaming-only status should have prepared you to learn sight unseen. You could say it fulfills its purpose to perfection as a result: familiar, non-controversial content to satisfy those late-night cravings of romance in the moonlight between gorgeous movie stars inhabiting low-self esteem characters who are destined to finally find the courage and confidence they need to take that next step in life and love because of the unconditional support of the other. Throw in quirky supporting roles and an overblown fight reminding them of their penchant for self-sabotage and voila! Forgettably enjoyable fluff.
This iteration of the formula concerns Sophie Wilder (Monica Barbaro) and “I’m just a regular Mexican guy and therefore don’t need a last name” Alejandro (Diego Boneta). It’s truly hilarious that everyone in Sophie’s Hollywood has a surname because they’re the type of people with the ego to demand it be used and the anxiety to make sure others know they know theirs too while the “help” is cool with just being casual. She’s part of the world’s current “It” couple with co-star and boyfriend Adam Clark (Anders Holm). He’s the junior manager of a palatial hotel that Sophie’s latest film is using to board its A-listers. Cue the meet-cute of him bringing towels and her being naked, the context wherein Adam cheated and she’s now privately single if publicly attached, and the Cinderella-esque midnight sojourns together that risk both their careers.
You can probably write the rest yourself and not be too far off. Whitney Cummings shows up as Sophie’s patriarchy’s-right-hand agent. Casey Thomas Brown plays her sassily high-strung manager. And Catherine Cohen earns more screen-time than Holm as her BFF (while making me wonder when someone is going to cast her and Rachel Sennott as sisters). Alejandro has a less pronounced posse because the idea is that Sophie is using his quiet life to escape her own. Not that he isn’t using her to escape that quiet’s underlying fear-driven monotony too. Will they get out of their own way to see what the other sees in them? That’s the big question as jobs, society, the media, and family poison their bliss to test their resolve. It’s broad strokes from start to finish—so exactly what those swooning at the trailer desire and what those rolling their eyes should avoid.
(now in limited release)
The debate is as follows: do “baby boxes” outside of churches provide a service to the unwanted children left behind or do they provide an excuse for parents to leave them? For the first third of Kore-eda Hirokazu’s BROKER, those weighing this two-sided coin are adults. There’s So-young (Ji-eun Lee) using the drop-off point for reasons yet to be revealed. Soo-jin (Bae Doona), a jaded detective on the trail of traffickers who use those boxes to procure their “goods.” And the duo of Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho) and Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won), traffickers with hearts of gold who take So-young’s son in order to place him with a suitable family. To half of them it’s a means towards happiness for the child. To the other it’s a scourge on society. In reality, however, it can never be so black and white since good intentions and unfortunate results will always be intertwined.
It’s around the middle third that a shift occurs. That’s when we discover more backstory such as Dong-soo having been one of those children. We learn more about So-young’s motives, that Sang-hyeon is a father, and that Soo-jin (with help from her partner, Lee Joo-young’s Detective Lee) isn’t as callous as she may let on. Add a stowaway in the form of eight-year-old orphan Hae-jin (Seung-soo Im) and you suddenly realize Kore-eda has filled his script with every possible person who might have insight or opinion on the subject. Those who have survived it, those currently living it, and those about to fall prey to its potential as well as those who haven’t needed to go down that route, those currently forced to see it through, and those positioned to evolve their stance upon witnessing just how much more complicated the subject is than what headlines and hardline morality pretend.
BROKER exists in that gray area. Right off the bat we see that Sang-hyeon and Dong-soo aren’t bad men. Yes, they sell babies for profit, but they do so with the child’s interests at heart—perhaps more so than the church they’re stealing from. It’s similar with Soo-jin and her quest to enforce the law only to gradually see that the law’s inability to use nuance is perhaps more damaging than breaking it. We hear this truth from countless players including those who run orphanages and those who’ve come to understand it is sometimes better not to be adopted when the alternative can prove worse. Add the fact that the system (especially so-called “pro-life” systems in the US) often blames the child it forced to be born and subsequently throws it away itself into poverty, crime, and death and you have to start questioning whether anyone actually values lives above money.
That’s why it’s such a joy living inside Sang-hyeon’s busted-up van for the duration. We see experience true love and compassion with this rag-tag bunch of abandoned souls who’ve found a genuine desire to help each other reach their potential outside a cutthroat system willing to throw anyone to the wolves as a means towards self-preservation. Not that this organic sense of family is enough. Crimes have been committed that cannot simply be ignored. But even those can be forgiven if not justified by listening to their stories and contextualizing their actions (past, present, and future). And if they can endear themselves to us, who’s to say they can’t endear themselves to Soo-jin too? That’s where the human interest appeal lies. Because societal and cultural change cannot happen purely in a vacuum. Those upholding the rules must be able to open their eyes to the fact they have the power to interpret them in relation to the cost of their inflexibility.
Kore-eda delivers another winner as a result. With fantastic performances and an intelligence to the storytelling that refuses to sacrifice authenticity for happy endings, he’s showing us society’s flaws while highlighting those best suited to fix them: the ones harmed most by their injustice. Pair it with the director’s SHOPLIFTERS (or most of Ken Loach’s oeuvre) and you have the evidence necessary to prove why term-limits in government and equity in representation matter. If you refuse to listen to those under society’s thumb because those in power have tricked you into believing they found themselves in that spot through their own inaction rather than the powerful’s action, you’re more likely to also end up under it than ever be at their side. Because the privileged don’t care about you. To them equality is oppression.
(now in limited release)
Father Romero (Danny Huston) and Mother Superior (Janet Suzman) repeat the words “There is but one God and his shadow” like a mantra throughout Christopher Smith’s CONSECRATION (co-written by Laurie Cook). Our assumption, of course, is that they’re speaking about the Catholic God and Satan since the film takes place on Vatican-owned land in Scotland amongst a convent of religious zealots who would take out their own eyes if ever they believed they had spied a demon. Like most things concerning faith, however, assumptions are bred from indoctrination. Just because one believes in Good vs. Evil doesn’t necessarily mean they know which side is which. They only think they do because they wish to be known as the former no matter what evil they must commit to fool the world.
It’s the age-old conundrum: are evil deeds truly sinful if they are performed in the name of God? We know what the church says. This is an establishment that sold pieces of paper to both fill its coffers and its army by promising any soldier who fought in the Crusades would have a place in Heaven regardless of their actions in that role. It’s a religion that allowed centuries of abuse to go unchecked, believing the pain and suffering of its parishioners was a justifiable cost to keep the lights on. So, who’s to say these men in black cloth and women in white gowns are truly operating with mankind’s best interests at heart? Who’s to say they haven’t been fooled by the Devil since the first words of the Bible were written down?
What then actually happened the night Grace’s (Jena Malone) brother died on that convent’s grounds? Some say he killed a renowned priest before committing suicide. Some say he was possessed by Satan and ultimately strong enough to throw himself over a nearby cliff before harming anyone else. Grace believes he was murdered by the nuns who tell it both ways. She’s never been religious herself despite her brother embracing the cloth—not after witnessing her adoptive father murder her adoptive mother. Grace devoted herself to science instead. She’s helped a lot of people in that vocation and tried hard to distance herself from her past until this tragedy has it all flooding back into focus.
Smith does a nice job ensuring that focus is perhaps stronger than it should be with memories making way towards hallucinations and blackouts. The nuns begin to whisper and you have to wonder if maybe whatever they say possessed her brother has now taken hold of her too. Or maybe things have escalated even further to a point where she was always the one harboring the darkness they fear. The more we learn about her history, the more plausible this reasoning sounds. And when unexplainable acts of self-harm run rampant, you wonder when Father Romero will begin his exorcism (Huston says he’s always wanted to play a priest and that he decided to wear the same glasses Max Von Sydow wore in THE EXORCIST to pay homage).
No matter how dark things get, CONSECRATION does well to remind us of that mantra: “There is but one God and his shadow.” By listening to the words spoken by the church and watching their actions, it becomes our duty to reconcile the two and wonder if they’re righteous in their assertive desire to spill blood to save souls or violent for the sake of sanctimonious superiority. Malone helps us discern the difference by never allowing Grace to fully give into anger and always finding genuine empathy for those who come to harm (even if they do so as a result of trying to harm her). Who then is bathed in light and who has been deceived? An answer will come—one some viewers might not like. Because life is built upon mirrors. Your demons are another’s angels. And faith unfortunately demands you’ll never be able to accept the truth if you’re eventually proven wrong.
(now in limited release and on VOD/Digital HD)
The mystery at the center of Corey Deshon’s DAUGHTER is what captivated me for its first half and frustrated me for the second because there is such a thing as being too ambiguous when it comes to narrative storytelling. It’s the hook at the start—demanding that we ask questions about this family’s motivations as well as the reality that sits outside their home’s quarantined walls. What is it that Father (Casper Van Dien) believes Brother (Ian Alexander) can do upon adulthood? Does he think the boy is the second-coming of Christ? Is he? What happened to their world since a cryptic conversation between Father and the newly kidnapped Sister (Vivien Ngô) infers something did happen? Where is the line between delusion and truth? Could Father’s cruelty ultimately prove mankind’s salvation?
It’s funny that Deshon mentions both DOGTOOTH and 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE as comparison points because he’s not wrong as far as the audience entering a strangely surreal world dictated by an untrustworthy patriarch. Where those both eventually shed light on what exists beneath the façade, however, DAUGHTER never does. That’s where my frustration set in since the script almost seems to toy with our expectations by leading us towards an ever-increasing sense of provocation on behalf of Sister. She’s not only testing her limits within this bastardized religious cult of one, but she’s also pushing Father closer and closer to his own. We therefore anticipate a collision that will force him to either confront the lie he’s created or confirm that he’s been correct the whole time.
Sadly, the film is all build-up. While this fact ensures the end will be unsatisfying in its ambiguity (rather than leaving things to interpretation, it simply stops unfinished), it also means that everything coming before the letdown is quite effective. Not only was I enthralled by the mythologizing and the characters (Elyse Dinh’s Mother may be the most complex of them all once revelations are made), but I was certain it was all leading me down a road towards excitement. How else could Father continue this charade with Mother and Brother’s help to secure new victims to complete their quartet? What did the future hold that was scary enough to sustain such a stifling atmosphere of oppressive totalitarianism? The danger remains palpable as Sister’s games threaten Father’s hypocrisy further. So, ending in a whimper doesn’t erase that good work. It just made me wonder what I missed.
(streams on Fandor starting 2/14)
There are three ways to get rid of a ghost. 1) Give it what it wants. 2) Let it decide to leave on its own. 3) Enlist another ghost to kill it. You could say Pete Ohs’ JETHICA propels itself forward from these choices once its central conflict depicting Elena (Callie Hernandez) and Jessica (Ashley Denise Robinson) trying to escape an unwanted visitor in the form of the latter’s stalker Kevin (Will Madden) reveals its hidden truth. He’s followed her from California to Santa Fe and now suddenly shows up on Elena’s grandmother’s property once the two old high school friends serendipitously run into each other at a gas station. Jessica welcomes the chance to rest after having driven days on end in the hopes of losing her tail. So, hearing him call her name from outside Elena’s trailer can only bring dread.
Why? Because he shouldn’t be there. Not just because Jessica was careful to leave no trace of her whereabouts, but because Kevin is dead. Apologies to those who may consider this fact a spoiler, but I don’t think you can talk about the film without it being out in the open. The majority of the runtime is literally these two women trying to get him to leave under his own volition and forcibly at the hand of another ghost. I also don’t considering it a spoiler because Kevin’s presence is little more than the reason to get these two friends together after all this time. The movie is a flashback after all—one that begins as a tale of when Elena killed a man. One ghost therefore leads to another. One woman’s physical demons lead us to another’s psychological demons until we discover the dead are fighting their own right alongside them.
This detail is both the best and worst parts of the film. Because where it allows for some deeply introspective thoughts on loneliness and guilt, it also asks the audience to empathize with an objectively abusive character in Kevin. The entire principal cast has co-writing credits alongside director Ohs, so we can assume JETHICA is mostly ad-libbed off a concrete layout of checkpoints. As such, one can also assume that the group found their way towards exorcising those demons for Elena, Jessica, and Benny (Andy Faulkner) the best way they could without perhaps seeing that doing so also exorcised Kevin’s too. That’s not to say he shouldn’t be given that opportunity. Just that making his road to closure be “someone is finally listening to me” badly diminishes the pain he wrought.
For those who haven’t gone through what Jessica has, it’s perhaps a minor point. For those who have, however, it might be a dealbreaker. I don’t know since I’m in the first camp. So, despite it not being enough to ruin my experience, I did feel it necessary to at least mention the potential if only as a trigger warning of sorts. Because the film’s overall message and execution is conversely very well reasoned and orchestrated. Seeing how Ohs and company achieve that success on a small indie budget while subverting genre conventions might be worth having to sit through that other blunder. And if you do find yourself enjoying what it has to offer, don’t forget to stay through the credits for one last scene.
LINE OF FIRE
(now on VOD/Digital HD)
It’s not easy to objectively look at a movie centered around a school shooting when you live in a country that endures one almost every month. This is especially true when confronted with one hailing from Australia like director Scott Major and writer Christopher Gist’s LINE OF FIRE (previously DARKLANDS). It’s been almost twenty-seven years since a lone gunman killed thirty-five people there, ushering in some of the world’s toughest gun laws. To therefore present this mass killing in such a way that makes it seem as commonplace an occurrence as it is in the US forces you to pause straight away. It proves the fictitious death of twenty children is merely a plot device—not to comment on gun violence or mental health, but to exploitatively pit a cop against a journalist for thrills that come at a much higher cost here.
Because you can’t just create this narrative without context or political ambitions. While it might be able to exist as a twisty thriller about a grieving mother violently teaching another woman that her pain isn’t for sale in Australia, its choices hold a lot more baggage in America. Here it’s cop (Nadine Garner’s Samantha Romans) versus media (Samantha Tolj’s Jamie Connard). It doesn’t matter that the former’s “good guy with a gun” failed to stop the shooting despite being on the grounds as it started. It doesn’t matter that the latter is a sensationalist blogger looking for clicks rather than the truth. All many people will see is a woman in blue coming from a troubled past justifiably dragging an affluent “member of the lying elite” through the trenches of true suffering.
Is that fair to the film? Perhaps not. But it’s a reality that must be reckoned with when it gets sold overseas to a country drenched in the blood of rising partisan politics and violence. So, while effectively drawn characters serving their specific purpose in this genre work, Samantha and Jamie also become stand-ins for two sides of a much more complicated reality. It therefore begins feeling like copaganda when the the story takes pains to show how far Samantha has been pushed into the darkness. And it feels bloodthirsty to root for Jamie’s torture even if her actions demand some form of education. Not only is she an ambulance chaser, but she refuses to do even a minimal background check on the target of her overzealous and libelous pursuit. She’s not a “real” journalist, but Major and company aren’t dealing with the nuance of that fact. The alt-right thinks actual journalistic truth is libelous too.
I can’t personally separate its entertainment from its messaging—unwitting or not. I just can’t. All the power to you if you can, though, because LINE OF FIRE is entertaining. When Jamie dares to “report” that Samantha was a coward for not confronting the shooter, I could feel the latter’s rage. This is someone who’s lived unspeakable trauma being judged by someone who’s never had to even conceive of what it means to face down death. And if Samantha has already lost everything, what does she have to lose by manufacturing a scenario where Jamie can know for certain whether her talk or “doing anything for her family” is more than bluster? Gist weaves a captivating yarn with surprises that may or may not prove moot considering we know Jamie records her phone calls, but that’s me projecting nuance again. The moment you do that, the film falls apart.
SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS
(now in limited release)
I’m seeing “derivative” thrown around a lot when it comes to Erik Bloomquist’s SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS (adapted from his and brother Carson’s short film of the same name) as though it’s a bad word. Does this comedic horror wear its inspirations on its sleeves? Sure. Would I have liked it to tread more unique territory? You bet. But if you take it at face value, I’m not really sure what’s not to like for genre fans. Decent kills. Massive body count. Intriguing (if convoluted) mythology. And a game cast ready to hightail it out of Dodge or run full-speed into the carnage depending on their character’s motivation. Just like Ben (Dan Leahy) and Ashley (Sienna Hubert-Ross) teach their drama campers: you have to set the stakes high with a real sense of danger to truly hook your audience.
The Bloomquists have some fun first with their 1987-era twenty-somethings all horned up and ready to unwind once the kids they’ve been watching go home. This night is about causing trouble, having sex, and, maybe, bringing back an old urban legend from the dead. That’s Peter’s (Spencer List) hope at least as the youngest member of the Camp Briarbrook ownership clan. While older brother Shawn (Tyler Elliot Burke) drives the kids home, mother Heather (Cara Buono) puts the finishing touches on managerial paperwork, and grandfather Gilbert (William Sadler) heads back to civilization to commence his retirement, Peter and his friends gather round a fire to prick their fingers and scream “Agatha” into the night.
That’s when the nightmare begins. One murder leads to another, creepy children flock to the woods with feral hissing, and every adult—even grisled Officer Matthews (Michael Park)—who hears that witch’s name freezes in terror. It may not seem like much, but a handful of a-hole kids running around like chickens with their heads cut off while ranting and raving about dead bodies only to have their elders’ sarcastic smirks drop the instant “Agatha” is spoken proves a highly effective device. It both means that this “legend” is very much steeped in truth and that becoming her next victim is a matter of when rather than if. Some lose it and flee. Some look to sacrifice the others to survive. And the McCalisters ready to close the book once and for all.
It leans into its 80s setting to get away with some extremely poor taste jokes and plays fast and loose with characters as long as they serve the plot (regardless of whether they become forgotten soon after—see the children), but the action never drags and a willingness to make everyone expendable helps keep us invested for the duration. And besides a lengthy exposition dump towards the end, those kills are the name of the game. It’s counselors versus witch and the latter has the advantage no matter how many of the former remain breathing at any given moment. That’s all the plot we need since nothing Gilbert explains changes their fight. He gives a bit of context, lets his soldiers catch their breath, and charges towards the climax.
SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW
(now streaming on Amazon Prime)
A little self-awareness goes a long way. It didn’t matter how charming Alison Brie’s Ally was at the start of Dave Franco’s SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW or how much genuine fun it seemed she and Jay Ellis’ Sean were having once an impromptu meeting at an old haunt in their hometown spirals into an all-night adventure the likes they hadn’t experienced together in over ten years. The moment we discover that he’s about to marry Kiersey Clemons’ Cassidy and witness the soul-crushing blow Ally is hit with in the wake of admitting it might have been a mistake to choose her career over him way back when, all I could think about was MY BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING. Thankfully, Franco and Brie (real-life couple and co-writers) did too. So, they wrote the comparison in to make sure we knew they knew. And with that out of the way, I was able to let their film exist on its own.
I’m glad too because there’s a lot more happening here than your run-of-mill love triangle. While that is where most of the comedy comes in, (Ally is trying to ruin things so she can win Sean back only to realize Cassidy is pretty cool and doesn’t deserve to be sabotaged), the film’s real success lies with its characters and interest in ensuring they all are drawn as complex people rather than stock archetypes. Take Danny Pudi’s Benny, for example. He’s the Rupert Everett to Brie’s Julia Roberts, but he’s also just as close to Sean. Benny is therefore positioned to be a conscience instead of a wingman for laughs. He’s there to support both of his old friends even if that means protecting them from themselves. It’s not enough nuance to fully offset the familiar beats, but it is enough to help us invest in them as more than just lazy tropes.
It’s that willingness to call out characters that got me to start sitting straighter in my seat throughout. Cassidy’s justified estrangement from her parents should be enough to stop Sean from constantly telling her she’ll regret their absence. Sean’s repeat desire for picket-fence, close-knit family shouldn’t be worth more than the independence and autonomy the women he falls in love with need to be more than his romantic ideal of a manufactured happily-ever-after. And Ally’s obvious sense of having sold out to make her dreams work in the context of industry advancement shouldn’t be ignored when what she sacrificed to meet those demands outweighs the spoils they supply. These are all complicated people (besides Haley Joel Osment’s Jeremy, who is written to be an open-book of simplistic desires) trying to find their footing in the murky space between past and future. It’s time to finally live in the present (like Julie Hagerty, stealing scenes as Ally’s Mom).
The title is two-fold as a result. Sean fell in love with Cassidy because she reminded him of who Ally was. Ally wants Cassidy’s happiness for the same reason. The more she pries, however, the more she sees just how familiar things truly are—so much so that this ill-conceived clandestine mission to steal another woman’s man born from regret actually shows her that the regret she’s feeling isn’t for leaving Sean. It’s for the gradual shift away from that which she left him to pursue. Because showrunning a reality TV show is a far-cry from hard-hitting documentaries. Just like she didn’t want to lose herself in Sean’s shadow by throwing the opportunity to pursue her art away, she also shouldn’t throw passion in all sectors of life away for vapidly forgettable entertainment. Happiness is about compromise. Not only with your partners and family, but also with yourself.
(hits VOD/Digital HD on 2/14)
Dom (Jose Colon) might be taking his best friend Benjamin (Cooper Koch) out for one last night on the town before the latter moves to LA to become famous, but his mood is hardly celebratory. He’s barely drinking, has his face in his phone, and refuses to dance all while the guest of honor tries to figure out what’s wrong. Benjamin asks for one reason that would make it worth sticking around and we can see in Dom’s body language and expression that he wants to say, “Me.” He won’t, though. That’s not the type of relationship that they’ve ever had or considered having since Dom has always dated women. Until now, of course, since this goodbye suddenly has him thinking otherwise. It’s got him realizing that he’s never loved anyone as deeply as Benjamin. What’s gender got to do with it?
It’s an intriguing thought that lingers at the back of what writer/director Carter Smith soon delivers with SWALLOWED courtesy of a parting gift. Dom wants to send Benjamin off with some cash so he asks his drug-world adjacent cousin to hook him up with a border run. Enter Alice (Jena Malone), a woman who’s willing to comply as long as Dom follows her rules—namely that this won’t be a matter of simply delivering a package. He will need to ingest the goods and ultimately pass them upon crossing. A few more stipulations like temperature control are added, but he and Benjamin are way past processing what any of it might mean now that they’re putting foreign substances into their bodies. The questions will come quick, though, once a redneck homophobe punches Dom in the gut to trigger a painful (yet pleasurable) chain reaction.
I was really vibing with the film for the first half of its runtime. It’s tense, mysterious, and Koch and Colon provide an endearing rapport that begs for things to turn left towards romance. Finding out the drugs aren’t quite as innocuous as Alice let on ratchets up the suspense as she starts waving her gun and they desperately try to stay alive, but the product eventually proves to be a misdirect. The blossoming love under duress too (although some tender moments do keep that subplot going). Once Alice’s boss (an unpredictable Mark Patton) joins the party, things slow to a crawl. It becomes a prolonged survival film as he and Benjamin play cat and mouse to familiar ends. Everything interesting about the premise is therefore stripped away, lingering in Benajmin’s motivations just enough to ensure the experience doesn’t completely fall apart in the absence.
Cinematic F-Bomb -
Here’s a just-added Jack Black going big in an alternate take for SAVING SILVERMAN’s R-rated cut (that’s inexplicably being sold as the PG-13 cut via digital purveyors). (Substack apparently can’t handle an embedded gif, so you’ll have to click over for a smoother experience. Or see everything at cinematicfbombs.com.)
New Releases This Week:
(Review links where applicable)
Opening Buffalo-area theaters 2/10/23 -
AMIGOS at Regal Elmwood
BROKER at North Park Theatre
Thoughts are above.
CONSECRATION at Regal Elmwood, Galleria & Quaker Crossing
Thoughts are above.
MAGIC MIKE’S LAST DANCE at AMC Maple Ridge; Regal Elmwood, Transit, Galleria & Quaker Crossing
SHE CAME FROM THE WOODS at Regal Transit
Thoughts are above.
TITANIC (25TH ANNIVERSARY) at Dipson Flix; AMC Maple Ridge & Market Arcade; Regal Elmwood, Transit, Galleria & Quaker Crossing
Streaming from 2/10/23 -
10 DAYS OF A GOOD MAN - Netflix on 2/10
AT MIDNIGHT - Paramount+ on 2/10
Thoughts are above.
MEET ME IN PARIS - Roku Channel on 2/10
SOMEBODY I USED TO KNOW - Amazon Prime on 2/10
Thoughts are above.
YOUR PLACE OR MINE - Netflix on 2/10
SQUARED LOVE ALL OVER AGAIN - Netflix on 2/13
ALL THE PLACES - Netflix on 2/14
RE/MEMBER - Netflix on 2/14
A SUNDAY AFFAIR - Netflix on 2/14
MUTZENBACHER - MUBI on 2/16
THE WITCH: PART 2 - THE OTHER ONE - Shudder on 2/16
Now on VOD/Digital HD -
“It's a lively enterprise that goes beyond historical fact to capture a prevailing attitude instead. It's not about what Elisabeth did, but why she had no choice but to do it.” - Full review at HHYS.
EMPIRE OF LIGHT (2/7)
“We bask in the period detail and cringe at the on-the-nose dialogue that always reminds us how "different" our two leads are. Colman and Ward are both very good, but neither can transcend the cardboard cutouts they're asked to play.” - Full review at jaredmobarak.com.
I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY (2/7)
THE LAST DEAL (2/7)
SAINT OMER (2/7)
“Reading that much of the on-screen scenario was born from lived experience makes sense considering how meticulously rendered and performed the courtroom scenes are. But also because of the emotions Diop imbues.” - Full review at HHYS.
THEY WAIT IN THE DARK (2/7)
WHAT JOSIAH SAW (2/7)
“Assumptions are confirmed, subverted, and confused for the truth to land with impact regardless of what you figured out and when.” - Full review at The Film Stage.
AMONG THE BEASTS (2/10)
SERIOUSLY RED (2/10)
“[Its] refusal to actually engage with the action as more than "corner-of-the-eye" periphery prevented me from investing in any of the so-called stakes. Because if the kids don't seemed scared, why should I?” - Full review at HHYS.
THE UNSETTLING (2/10)
From the press kit archive:
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