Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Movie Review

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” is a follow-up to “Black Panther” (released in 2018). The main cast and crew are the same, but for one tragic difference. The prior movie’s main star, Chadwick Boseman, had sadly passed away. How would the new edition of the Marvel adventure to the mythical African country of Wakanda handle this situation? With surprising grace and with much respect to the fallen superhero.

 

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Armageddon Time Movie Review

Truly magnificent. With this coming-of-age story, writer/director James Gray (We Own the Night, Ad Astra) has granted his audience a very intimate and realistic look into the portrayal of a family. Once I watched it, I wasn’t too surprised to learn that this is, in fact, based on Gray’s personal upbringing. His family was sometimes in sync with one another but, more often than not, at great odds.

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Good Night Oppy

Good Night Oppy Movie Review

In theaters November 4, 2022

Streaming on Prime Video beginning Nov. 22, 2022

 

“Good Night Oppy” is a documentary that is out-of-this-world. No really, it is literally out of this world, because the focus is on the planet Mars. The Red Planet has had a couple of robot rovers, and they are named Spirit and Opportunity. These mechanical marvels had been designed to last at least 90 days. Oppy lasted for close to 15 years…

 

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The Guest Room

The Guest Room (La Stanza) Movie Review

“The Guest Room” is a freaky thriller about a home invasion that is not exactly as it seems. There are only three people involved, and there is mystery to unravel in the chaos and madness. Many things are not as they seem, and the ultimate goal is what can bring a family together. Couples Therapy has never been so terrifying!

 

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Causeway Movie Review

Jennifer Lawrence is the absolute best thing about this movie. She gives it balance and ties you to a storyline that often goes off the rails when you need it to be straight with you. That said, her performances in “Silver Linings Playbook,” “The Hunger Games” and “American Hustle” proves she knows how to give what it takes to hold an audience. She’ll do that here, too, as Lynsey. Lynsey was involved in an incident in Afghanistan that gave her a severe brain injury. The damage also left her with post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a condition triggered by a horrifying event. The brain of the person who suffers from this disorder causes flashbacks, severe anxiety, physical difficulties and depression.

At the film’s beginning, we see Lynsey in recovery so she can get back to who she once was. She hopes her doctor will allow her to redeploy when she’s completely healed.

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The Banshees of Inisherin Movie Review

I knew going in that with the writer/director of “In Bruges” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” that “The Banshees of Inisherin” was going to be really good. What an understatement. What I got was exceptionally solid, better than any of the previous McDonagh movies. I couldn’t find a thing wrong with it, and I looked. I asked, will Gleeson and Farrell still have chemistry? Will the writing be as masterful as these other films? Will the story be as unique? I’m happy to say yes to all of these. Yes, but if you’re a fan of those films, you’ll be delighted to learn how far this new movie surpasses expectations.

 

Though Inisherin isn’t a real island, a few places the movie was shot are Inishmore and Achill Island, which are stunningly beautiful locations. Butterflies, birds and a miniature donkey named “Jenny” stir the imagination and brighten every moment of loneliness. The film has many comedic moments, coming mainly from the delivery of lines, but it can also get surprisingly dark at times. Director of photography Ben Davis (Guardians of the Galaxy, Doctor Strange, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) makes sure you notice the darkness hovering over everything, figuratively and literally, by removing any sunlight. In one shot, he includes a massive grey cloud above the tiny island, partly, like the Banshee herself, to warn of what’s coming.

 

We start during the Irish Civil War, when Colm (Gleeson), a musician, first tells farmer and drinking buddy, Pádraic (Farrell) that he doesn’t like him anymore. Pádraic finds it hard to accept. The entire day Pádraic’s wounded heart can’t receive what it has heard. The next morning, he looks at his calendar and notices that yesterday was April first. Ah! His pal was playing a joke on him. Unable to accept that a friend on a small island of few people would no longer tolerate his company, Pádraic finds excuses to run into Colm to ferret out the truth. The truth is that his old comrade has realized that without Pádraic around, he gets more done. He no longer wants to chat with a limited man who’s dull and aimless. When Colm dies, he wants something to show for it. Sitting and chatting about cattle won’t achieve this goal. The last thing he wants to continue doing is hearing about Pádraic’s farm.

 

Pádraic lives with his sister Siobhan, played by Kerry Condon. She’s fantastic, by the way. Anyway, she sympathizes with Colm to a degree, but also with her brother. These two have been friends forever; why break up the pairing now when it wouldn’t be a very nice thing to do? Colm’s argument when it’s suggested he’s being mean is that music and paintings last, not uninspired friendships. He wants to be left alone and doesn’t feel he should have to give everyone on the islands an explanation as to why. When your friend, who plays the violin, is willing to chop off phalanges, maybe it’s time to believe he’s serious and leave him be.

Another great character is the young, dim-witted Dominic, played frighteningly well by Barry Keoghan. He loves Siobhan and gets into Pádraic’s business, mostly to get closer to her. Pay close attention to the storyline here. It’s unexpectedly moving.

 

What the movie boils down to are love and loss. The suffering we can control and the cost of what hope brings. In Irish folklore, the Banshee is a female spirit who trumpets the death of a family member, usually by screaming or wailing. Colm can see that the Banshee is sitting back, amused… watching and observing. He fears she’s there to take him. If there is a Banshee on the island, she does indeed foretell death, but of who and should this warning be observed?

 

As I alluded to earlier, the cinematography in “The Banshees of Inisherin” is gorgeous. You get to see the most spectacular sun, off in the distance,  fading away (like everything else). It sets a tone of its own.

In the acting department, there aren’t enough awards to be given to those who deserve one for their work here, and the script is arousing and clever. I can’t recommend it enough. Do not miss it and see it on the big screen! But as you watch, stay sharp. You don’t want dialogue to get passed you. Every word is gold but sometimes hard to grasp due to the thick Irish accents.

 

The film is showing at Harkins Camelview.

The Banshees of Inisherin  

 

Directed by: Martin McDonagh
Written by: Martin McDonagh

Starring: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan

Rated: R
Run Time: 1h 49m
Genres: Comedy, Drama

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Rating

The System

The System Movie Review

“The System” is a movie that takes an average ‘prison is hell’ scenario and says, how could we make this more exciting? I know – add the elements of ‘Thunderdome’ and ‘Fight Club’ to give it gritty hand-to-hand combat. Oh, and don’t forget the ‘sick daughter on the outside’ angle. And of course, the Warden who treats the prison as if it were his personal kingdom. Read more

Return-of-Tanya-Tucker-Featuring-Brandi-Carlile

The Return of Tanya Tucker: Featuring Brandi Carlile Movie Review

“The Return of Tanya Tucker: Featuring Brandi Carlile” is a heckuva title for a documentary. But right at first, you can tell it is about Tanya Tucker. Tucker has been ‘gone’, but now she has returned. But it will also feature Brandi Carlile. So there is a lot you can tell from a movie title. But now to unpack the various details found so far, and see what it all means…

 

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My Policeman Movie Review

Michael Grandage’s “My Policeman” is set in Britain in the 1990s, yet it continuously flashes back to the 1950s. In those days, if a person were gay, they lived an underground life, hiding who they truly were. I’m speaking of those two decades and those between. Unfortunately, this story is as relevant now as it was then. 
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