Posts in MOVIE REVIEW
MOVIE REVIEW: Where'd You Go, Bernadette

Neurotically charming, yet misshapen in many ways, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is wholly unique from the Texan and Hollywood outsider. The movie has the equal ability to disarm and disgust depending on your perspective or experience with the Maria Semple source material. Non-readers will float with the staccato blustering and the Antarctic kayak currents of fancy. Ardent fans will wonder where all the scintillating mystery went that gave merit to all the haphazard happenings.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Peanut Butter Falcon

The Peanut Butter Falcon doesn’t just tell a good story. It tells a great one worthy of attention, praise, and undying appreciation. The purifying freedom that churns throughout this movie could cultivate even the most barren heart. This little lovable film, winner of the Narrative Spotlight Audience Award from the SXSW Film Festival, is the kind of experience that makes one rethink how their own story is going. That is a mighty, motivating accomplishment for something that couldn’t stand out more from the usual summer blockbuster fare.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Blinded by the Light

Hell no, you don’t have to be a superfan of Springsteen to enjoy Blinded by the Light, but it sure helps. Even if The Boss is not your ideal vibe, the sprightly emotions on-screen cannot help but target and trigger your own matching passionate feelings for whatever you revere that answers the questions of Lesson #1. Following the affable and lovingly-composed musical worship recently achieved by Yesterday earlier this summer, welcome to your next toe-tapping crowd pleaser to close the summer of 2019.

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REWIND REVIEW: Avengers: Endgame

Arriving on home media this week from Disney and Marvel Studios is their colossal blockbuster coda Avengers: Endgame starring everyone who’s everyone from the collective Marvel Cinematic Universe that has been built with tidy and patient blueprints since 2008. Time travel tropes aside, you couldn’t have asked for a better swan song of satisfaction than this big finish. Watch for it arriving in physical media form on store shelves Tuesday, August 13th after an extremely successful theatrical run. This is a pretty customary disc release, and one has to think Disney has something more complete, expansive, and expensive planned someday.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Luce

The enigmas revealed by the spiraling escalation of manipulative confrontations are incredible in Luce. Through the masterful mystery of folding facades written by director Julius Onah and playwright/writer J.C. Lee of How to Get Away With Murder, there is a feverish anticipation of who’s going to turn, who’s going to crack, who’s going to fall, and who’s going to rise. The tension present is unpredictable and captivating.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Brian Banks

As simple and well-tuned as it is, Brian Banks absolutely works as a fitting and crowd-pleasing source engaging inspiration. This is director Tom Shadyac’s first feature film in 17 years and rare foray into serious fare after a career built as the man who launched Jim Carrey to stardom. There is a steady maturity of craft and tone here that suits this kind of story without heavy melodrama. The sports movie cliches are absent to examine the life of a person before the redemptive fame. The result is a timely film of worthy importance.

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VINTAGE REVIEW: Medium Cool

When Medium Cool reaches its history-witnessing climax at the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests in Chicago, two crowd chants take over the urban soundscape. The first is a defiant “Hell no! We won’t go!” and the second is “The world is watching.” The observant cameras and microphones used by filmmaker Haskell Wexler preserved that spirited defiance for cinematic immortality. Fifty years after its release, the echoes of those unified shouts in Medium Cool still ring with relevance and importance today.  We’re not going anywhere, and people still fix their eyes on this film with shock and awe.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Red Sea Diving Resort

Ari likes define the risky propositions in this movie as having one of these two outcome feelings. Sadly, the movie itself wobbles between the same. Entertainment comes easy in this Netflix-backed programmer and yet with consequently little attention paid to the predominantly off-screen annihilation of an ethnic group. Reality like that makes the glee hard to take. We live in an era where we can do better than solely bravura. Good filmmakers and creative powers can aim for challenging movies that address vital history and still entertain.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Surviving Confession

Now imagine you’re the priest in this exchange. You have to both witness and share this wrenching process and ordeal repeatedly, with every visitor on every occasion, and remain unflappable and restrained in doing so. Who has it harder now? Breaking the fourth wall and spilling waterfalls of internal monologue, Surviving Confession pokes and prods the person who is supposed to be the pillar of strength. The film debuted July 30th on VOD platforms.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Astronaut

Through the niches and comely library aisles of off-label modest independent cinema, talent can elevate material. Sometimes the material isn’t the best at this level. A high class performer can come in and buoyantly lift an effort that wouldn’t have a chance to register or resonate with less. Little movies like that are easy to root for and even better to discover and appreciate. Richard Dreyfus bringing his talented capacity to Astronaut is exactly one of those exemplars.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Into the Ashes

Restraint is not a common artistic or narrative characteristic in revenge films nowadays. We live in an explicit world where the louder and more outlandish outpourings of violence are what grab attention and audiences. The stern and sullen are taken as dull and tedious. Like its title, Into the Ashes resides in the crackling smolder instead of the bright flames. There is plenty of heat to burn and brand from that calmer temperature of cinematic coals. The movie debuts on July 19th in limited theatrical release and VOD outlets.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Farewell

Even with this divisive indigenous practice happening to challenge the sensitivity of audiences, the universal human condition feels are extremely strong in one of the most entertaining and freeing film experiences of recent memory. The writer and director herself attests there is “not a wrong moment to laugh.” Lulu Wang is right. The catharsis, the grief, or both are intensely relatable. With that humorous dread and paralyzing poise, this distinct film carries poignant spirit. There is room in any season for an unexpected film to surround and heal one’s self in the difficult or awkward stakes of familial love and loss.

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GUEST CRITIC #30: Crawl

As busy I get from time to time, I find that I can't see every movie under the sun, leaving my friends and colleagues to fill in the blanks for me.  As poetically as I think I wax about movies on this website as a wannabe critic, there are other experts out there.  Sometimes, it inspires me to see the movie too and get back to being my circle's go-to movie guy.  In a new review series, I'm opening my site to friend submissions for guest movie reviews. Today, meet fellow Feelin’ Film contributor Jeremy Calcara!

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Lion King

Jon Favreau’s The Lion King stands as the biggest test to all of that progress and the attached criticism because of how little beyond the pristinely pixelated exterior is actually “reimagined.” So incredibly and, dare I say, unnecessarily much is nearly a shot-for-shot duplication of Disney’s most popular and most successful film of their Renaissance era. To go back to Dumbo, duplicated enjoyment may have been the goal, but that makes one question a tangible purpose for truly needing any such update. Luckily, the shininess, so to speak, is an undeniably impressive redeeming feature to a lack of implemented originality.

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SHORT FILM REVIEW: A Bad Feeling

Star Wars fans will quickly have their sensors triggered when they note the title of this short film from Charlotte Barrett and Sean Fallon. It is a nod to a running gag that is said as often in Star Wars films as the classic line “May the Force be with you.” The phrase alludes to a character’s audible dread and the heebie-jeebies warning of something awful, visible or invisible, on their horizon. The characters in those movie moments say it and mean it. In A Bad Feeling, the husband and wife central figures know their trouble, entirely feel it, but don’t announce their fears when they should.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Extra Innings

The expression “heart in the right place” is normally used as a smallish complement to counteract some obvious flaw or as a baseline pleasantry when something does not achieve its goal fully. Albert Dabah’s intensely personal independent film Extra Innings carries that expression with neither of those dismissive caveats. Its heart is indeed in the right place, with that position being right next to its soul. That soul is wearing cleats, a ball cap, a weathered glove, and a stirrup-ed uniform patrolling the grasses of center field on a baseball diamond on a sunny summer day.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Wild Rose

Tattooed on the right forearm of Jessie Buckley’s Rose-Lynn Harlan character from Tom Harper’s Wild Rose is the phrase “three chords and the truth.” It is an homage (and clear naming inspiration) to the quintessential description and motto of country music coined by 1950s era songwriter Harlan Howard. In spite of that mainstream majority, we’ve got a girl from Glasgow, Scotland behind bars with those historic words permanently etched into her skin. Foreign soil be damned, the honesty and harmony of hardscrabble is alive and well in Wild Rose. Shouts of anger and tirades of tears fuel the fights and the vocals churning from Jessie Buckley in what will stand as one of the finest performances of the year.

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MOVIE REVIEW: Yesterday

t takes quite a unique movie, dare I say even a special one, to take an absolutely preposterous concept and make it wholeheartedly joyful with extra whimsy. Know ahead that it is pure farce and fantasy, right there with something like Penny Marshall’s Big. Brush off the eye-rolling salt and you will find beaming smiles of sugar. That is the kind of serendipitous territory this movie zips through for the love letter of love letters to great music and the connecting pop culture we cherish.

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