Quick Reviews: Father Of The Bride (2022), Press Play and Love & Gelato.

A father must come to grips with his daughter’s upcoming wedding and handle multiple relationships within his sprawling Cuban American family.

Father Of The Bride (2022) is the third film adaption of the novel of the same name, the other two being a 1950 film and a 1991 film. I’m not going to pretend I’m a super fan of either of the movies, for what they are they are solid comedy/romantic films that do a pretty decent job of entertaining the viewer. This version falls short mostly due to it overstaying it’s welcome, is a 1 hour and 58 minute movie that has horrendous pacing. It begins to feel like a chore to sit through unfortunately mostly due to not a whole lot happening, the performances are at least decent enough Chloe Fineman being the standout who’s genuinely hilarious in her delivery. Everything else just fine I guess, the writing really doesn’t do much to engage the viewer, the direction doesn’t really do anything offensive but nothing investing. It’s the type of movie where you would only watch unless there was absolutely nothing else.

Father Of The Bride is available on HBO Max.

5/10 C

Laura and Harrison have the picture-perfect romance built on the foundation of a shared love of music. After a deadly accident, Laura gets the chance to save the love of her life when she discovers that their mixtape can transport her back in time.

There’s a good idea somewhere in Press Play, it’s just sadly not fully realized. The acting is not too bad here the leads Lewis Pullman and Clara Rugaard-Larsen are both solid and Danny Glover in a supporting role isn’t too bad either. The main problem with this movie is it really doesn’t have anything going for it, everything is kept at a bare minimum level and introduces the concept of the movie but never goes further with it. Or at least doesn’t do anything noteworthy with it. It just ends up being a very safe romantic drama that surprisingly struggles with it’s more emotional moments, which is mainly due to the movie not knowing how to make the characters react to said moments. At the very least it didn’t over stay it’s welcome.

Press Play is available on all VOD platforms.

4/10 D+

Lina, a high school graduate, would rather spend her summer preparing for college than fly to Rome to fulfill her mother’s last wish. Once she decides to go, she finds herself immersed in new experiences.

I’m going to be real quick with this one because to be completely honest here…I’m not exactly sure what the whole purpose of this was. From what I could gather this movie is nothing like the book and in fact doesn’t even follow it well at all, but okay that doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad right? Well In this case it does, from the acting to the writing and the pacing it’s a complete and total mess on every single level. It’s a very lifeless movie that is the very definition of release date fodder, it’s just there so Netflix can say they released something. If you have seen any of Netflix’s terrible romantic comedies before then you have already seen this one.

Love & Gelato is available on Netflix!

Disgrace To Cinema F

SXSW Review: Tony Hawk Until The Wheels Fall Off (2022)

Follows famous skater Tony Hawk’s personal life, career and relationship with skateboarding, including never-before-seen footage and unprecedented access to Hawk, along with interviews with figures from the skateboarding world.

Honestly there isn’t a lot here to be said despite the documentary being 2 hours and 15 minutes, what we have here is a deep dive into Tony Hawk’s career and him as a person. The documentary surprisingly goes in great depth and has this element in it about moving on as you get older. Tony Hawk is a skateboarding icon heck a sports icon at this point, yet we still learn so much more about him from this documentary it feels very personal and really grabs the attention of the viewer quite well. There’s so much detail in this documentary to the point where it’s quite fascinating and while yes some of the information is common knowledge it’s still beautiful to hear Tony Hawk talk about his career, the only main flaw with the documentary is the running time as I said earlier it’s 2 hours and 15 minutes. Which I do feel like 10-13 minutes could have easily been trimmed because it does feel like the documentary crams a little too much information at once at times. However everything else about this documentary is incredibly solid and quite interesting, even if you aren’t a fan of Tony Hawk or skateboarding I do highly recommend checking this out!

Tony Hawk: Until The Wheels Fall Off will release April 5th on HBO and HBO Max!

8/10 B+

Kimi is a suspenseful thriller that will make you even more paranoid about technology.

A tech worker with agoraphobia discovers recorded evidence of a violent crime, but is met with resistance when she tries to report it. Seeking justice, she must do the thing she fears the most: she must leave her apartment.

Steven Soderbergh explores many different types of genres and it’s something I truly respect him for even if they don’t always work. Kimi is a thriller a genre that Soderbergh is does really well and that shows here, Zoë Kravitz gives a very strong performance that actually keeps things grounded, combine her performance with Soderbergh’s direction and you truly get something special. The pacing is absolutely fantastic here, this is the type of pacing that I wish more thrillers attempted, you have such a nicely paced film that is both suspenseful and energetic as well. The atmosphere is some of the most suspenseful I’ve felt from a thriller in quite some time, it has that good old fashion Soderbergh thrilling atmosphere to it. Then there’s the camerawork which Soderbergh continues to prove that he’s a mastermind behind the camera, each shot has it’s own identity and truly feels special in a unique way. The film combines themes of paranoia and technology both and does both those themes very well, it captures why we feel paranoid about technology. Such examples we ask ourselves are Who’s watching? Who’s listening? and so on, Kimi is also a film that actually uses the premise of Siri or Alexa in a clever way. The film goes for a more serious tone with using the two with some very strong writing as well, overall Kimi is so far one of the best films of the year and is absolutely something that you should check out!

Kimi is available on HBO Max!

9/10 A

Most Anticipated Films Of February 2022

Already February huh? Also I’ve decided that I will be leaving out films I already saw early so Worst Person In The World, Catch The Fair One and a lot of others were excluded from the list.

1. The Sky is Everywhere – February 11th (Apple TV+) 

2. KIMI – February 10th (HBO Max)

3. Studio 666 – February 25th (Theaters)

4. Hellbender – February 24th (Shudder)

5. Mothering Sunday – February 22nd (Theaters)

6. Jackass Forever – February 4th (Theaters)

7. The Desperate Hour – February 25th (VOD)

8. Strawberry Mansion – February 25th (VOD)

9. A Banquet – February 18th (VOD)

10. Alone With you – February 4th (Theaters) and February 8th (VOD)

11. Moonfall – February 4th (Theaters)

12. Marry Me – February 11th Theaters and Peacock

13. The In Between – February 11th (Paramount+)

8-Bit Christmas is a familiar yet charming Christmas Family Movie, Black Friday is a missed opportunity.

In 1980s Chicago, a ten-year-old sets out on a quest to get the Christmas gift of his generation – the latest and greatest video game system.

8-Bit Christmas definitely surprised me, although there really isn’t a whole to discuss here since the movie pretty much is A Christmas Story but with Nintendo. The movie still manages to be a whole lot of fun and actually hits pretty hard at the end as well, the performances are what you expect however Steve Zahn gives such a fun performance that it was worth bringing up (think of his performance in Diary Of A Wimpy Kid it’s pretty much the same here!) the movie also has some surprisingly decent jokes. Sure not all of them hit but there was definitely effort to make this movie actually pretty funny, which I can’t say the same for a lot of Christmas family comedies. Then there’s the heart of the film which I genuinely thought was very touching, it doesn’t come off as very tacky or forced it actually feels genuine. Which is what separates it from a lot of the clutter, also the style of the film was surprisingly pretty decent. It doesn’t have that cheap feeling a lot of these Christmas family comedies have, overall 8-Bit Christmas is familiar but still a very fun time to watch!

8-Bit Christmas is available on HBO Max!

A group of toy store employees must protect each other from a horde of parasite infected shoppers.

Black Friday desperately wants to be Krampus (2015) but fails to recognize what made Krampus actually pretty solid. For starters while the movie has a very fun premise it’s executed in such a lazy way that it’s almost surprising. Bruce Campbell and Michael Jai White are the best parts about this movie and easily give some good laughs, what mostly hurts this movie is the terrible writing, the characters feeling almost identical to each other and the humor almost never working. The humor has it’s moments towards the beginning but quickly wears off as it goes on, it’s another one of those horror comedies that tries to do way too much at a time. The characters really don’t bring anything interesting to the table as most of them are cliched characters with little to no personality, with that said there are fun moments to be had with Black Friday but it’s an overall a misfire that really shouldn’t had been.

Black Friday is available on all VOD Platforms!

3/10 D-

Women Is Losers tackles heavy subjects but feels lacking.

In 1960’s San Francisco, bright and talented catholic school girl Celina Guerrera survives a difficult home life by following the rules. That is until an indiscretion creates a series of devastating consequences. As Celina faces the compounded obstacles of being young and alone, she sets out to rise above the oppression of poverty and invest in a future that sets new precedents for the time.

Women is Losers has a lot of heart and means well when dealing with heavy subjects, unfortunately it feels way too on the nose and doesn’t say anything new or add anything into the conversation. Lorenza Izzo gives a great performance and is the highlight of some strong moments in the movie, the music I actually thought was pretty decent and the ending is actually solid. The writing is what’s holding Women is Losers back, a lot of it feels very surface level at best and while yes does tackle some heavy topics and is commendable it feels like it doesn’t do enough with it. It doesn’t help that the tone of the movie is a mess at times as well. Overall Women is Losers is a missed opportunity which is unfortunate because this most definitely had a ton of potential.

Women Is Losers is now available on HBO Max!

4/10 D+

Dune is Sci-Fi at it’s best!

Paul Atreides, a brilliant and gifted young man born into a great destiny beyond his understanding, must travel to the most dangerous planet in the universe to ensure the future of his family and his people. As malevolent forces explode into conflict over the planet’s exclusive supply of the most precious resource in existence, only those who can conquer their own fear will survive.

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune has been one of the most anticipated films for the longest time now, mostly due to Villeneuve’s ability to take a familiar Sci-Fi story (Blade Runner 2049) or Sci-Fi and other films in general (Arrival, Sicario, Enemy, Incendies and Prisoners) and do an incredible job with it. Dune is no exception, but before we get to the directing let’s talk about what else makes this film incredible. First off the character development is largely different than you see in other films, which I find to be quite unique. The use of a ton of quiet moments and show the emotions of the characters in the scene that’s currently going on adds some real power to them. It makes you feel like you are part of the journey along with the characters, the acting and writing both feel incredibly raw which isn’t something you often get in a lot of Sci-Fi films. I’m not going to go over every single actor in the film but I will go over the ones who I thought were the strongest, Timothée Chalamet did a fantastic job as Paul Atreides this is something much different than the type of performances that he usually does. So it is very refreshing to see him try something new and it payed off really well, he plays the part of a young hero very well and really captures what being a hero is about. Jason Momoa and Oscar Isaac are both fantastic here, both give some of the most powerful and striking scenes of the film as well as some very important ones. It’s really great to see two incredible actors at their best giving some of the best performances of the year. Finally Rebecca Ferguson who easily gives the best performance of the film, she does a masterful job as Lady Jessica and becomes the character, it’s truly beautiful and captures several of the best moments of Dune. If there is going to be one person who gets nominated when award season begins (which is next month) make it be Rebecca Ferguson. The writing is incredibly strong as I said before it feels very raw and does not feel manufactured at all, it feels like a character study combined with the events of the story. The direction from Denis Villeneuve is masterful, once again Villeneuve shows that he’s one of the best filmmakers working today. He took a familiar Sci-Fi story and made it his own from the ground up. His directing style especially works here, combine that with the cinematography and the visuals and you have yourself a masterfully made film. The cinematography and visuals are both gorgeous, both transport you into the world of which Dune is takes place and it really does feel like your there! Overall Dune is an outstanding film that succeeds on every single level, I highly recommend giving this one a watch! Looking forward to see what’s in store for Part 2!

Dune is now available in Theaters and on HBO Max!

10/10 A+

Malignant is bizarre in all the right ways!

Madison is paralyzed by shocking visions of grisly murders, and her torment worsens as she discovers that these waking dreams are in fact terrifying realities.

Malignant is a bold move by James Wan, going into this film I was very unsure if it would be good or not. The last horror film James Wan directed was The Conjuring 2 which is quite fantastic. Malignant is what happens when a director takes risks and does something completely different…and pays off. Malignant starts out as you would expect from reading the plot, nothing too crazy and feels very traditional. Annabelle Wallis and McKenna Grace both give fantastic performances, Wallis gives a haunting performance that is genuinely scary a lot of the time. Once the film reaches the final act all hell breaks loose and that’s when you get a collection of twists, gore and very bizarre scenes that make you have no idea what exactly your watching. Malignant combines all of that with fantastic build up that feels haunting and atmospheric, it’s a beautifully shot film that really captures what makes a lot of James Wan’s films so great, he takes elements from each of his last films (there’s even elements from Furious 7 and Aquaman) and combines them all into one bizarre film. Malignant is truly a film you need to see for yourself, it’s some of the most fun I’ve had with a movie so far this year. Malignant is most definitely not going to be for everyone, as this was certainly not made with a causal audience in mind, but I do highly recommend checking it out! Overall Malignant is one of the most boldest and bizarre films of the year, James Wan continues to show that he’s one of the best horror directors working today. I just hope we don’t have to wait another 5 years for another horror film by him.

Malignant is now available in theaters and on HBO Max!

10/10 A+

Reminiscence (2021) Movie Review!

A private investigator of the mind navigates the darkly alluring world of the past by helping his clients access lost memories. His life is forever changed as he uncovers a violent conspiracy while trying to solve the mystery behind a missing client.

Reminiscence is a prime example of a frustrating movie, it has all the right elements to make a great sci-fi film. But ends up falling down so many holes that a lot of sci-fi movies end up, luckily this movie isn’t all that bad. Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson are both quite fantastic in their roles, the chemistry is very strong and they both dive as deep as they can in their characters. The filming is also quite great, not every scene is a winner but for the most part there does seem to be an attempt to create a special world as well as to make it interesting. That’s where Reminiscence ends for me, I like what Lisa Joy was going for and at times I do think she actually succeeded, however the writing really does not help in a lot of cases. The writing felt a little too weak at times when it was begging to be much stronger, a lot of the other characters were kind of just there to move the plot forward. What ultimately hurts Reminiscence however is the pacing, one of the worst things that can happen to a sc-fi movie is the pacing is a complete mess and that the story itself gets less and less interesting as it goes on. Which is unfortunately what happened to Reminiscence, the story started out interesting but lost it’s steam as it went on. Overall Reminiscence is not a terrible movie, it’s just a very forgettable one that had a lot of potential.

Reminiscence is now available in theaters and on HBO Max!

5/10 C

The Suicide Squad (2021) Movie Review!

The government sends the most dangerous supervillains in the world — Bloodsport, Peacemaker, King Shark, Harley Quinn and others — to the remote, enemy-infused island of Corto Maltese. Armed with high-tech weapons, they trek through the dangerous jungle on a search-and-destroy mission, with only Col. Rick Flag on the ground to make them behave.

Before I start talking about The Suicide Squad I’m just going to warn you right now that it’s going to be next to impossible (at least for me) to talk about this film in great detail (or any detail for that matter without making my review sound boring) without including some spoilers. Don’t worry I’m going to include when the spoilers are and when they end so you skip around the review, thank you for understanding on to the review! So The Suicide Squad is directing by James Gunn who previously did the two Guardians Of The Galaxy films both of which I consider some of the best of the MCU (heck GOTG 2 is my favorite of the MCU) so I was pretty excited for The Suicide Squad….and this really surpassed my expectations, right from the beginning SPOILER ALERT the film kind of does a Scream type element in this case with Michael Rooker and his character Savant who you would expect to live but he dies very quickly along with some other characters! SPOILER ENDS so let’s talk about performances and a few characters, well for starters Viola Davis does such a fantastic job as always like in the 2016 movie Viola Davis absolutely kills it as Amanda Walker, casting her back in the role was such a smart move and her character shines even more in this film. Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn like Viola Davis as Amanda Walker have become the equivalent of Hugh Jackman as Logan, Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man and Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool where you can’t see anyone else doing those roles. Margot Robbie completely owns the character at this point and she does just as amazing in this film as she has in the other movies, she’s also given a script that really makes Harley Quinn really interesting and quite hilarious as well! Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag is quite incredible, his character is a lot of fun and truly one of my favorite parts of film SPOILER AHEAD his death I thought was the most impactful of the film, it’s an effective death that I was honestly not expecting at all. SPOILER ENDS John Cena as Peacmaker I wasn’t too sure how that was going to go but he really did an excellent job, he brought a lot to the character between a lot of hilarious moments and the serious moments that are quite brutal as well. Peacemaker is the complete opposite of Rick Flag which I found quite interesting it being a Ying and Yang type thing. Sylvester Stallone as King Shark is just a lot of fun and has some of the most hysterical moments sure there wasn’t a lot of development but did there really need to be? It’s a shark that says “nom nom” before eating people giving us some fantastic kills and gore throughout the film! Daniela Melchior as Ratcatcher 2 was a surprise for me, see a lot of the marketing didn’t focus on her character yet she was a lot of the heart of the film, I’ll get more into that when I get into more of the writing (I promise we are almost done with the characters and performances, I told you on Twitter I had a lot to say now didn’t I?) she gets some really strong character development that is actually quite meaningful and really cares for her teammates (oh and Sebastian the Rat is quite fantastic as well.) Finally I saved the best for last…Idris Elba as Bloodsport, whoever made this casting decision deserves a raise because this is one of the best performances so far this year. Idris Elba delivers so much into the film from being hilarious to a ton of character development through his past and his bond with his teammates Idris Elba truly knows how to lead a film and this just proves it even more. Plus his character is an overall badass who gives us some great kills and gore, the bit of the beginning of the film with Storm Reid sets a perfect tone for his character someone who can be full of humor but also be very serious at the same time. Now let’s get into the writing, as I said earlier Ratcatcher 2 is a lot of the heart of the film, it’s mostly due to the writing which blends a lot of comedy, action and the character development moments extremely well. They are all given certain moments to shine in the film, one moment you have some comedic bits with King Shark or Harley Quinn, other moments you will have action moments with most of the main characters that lead to some fantastic stunts, a clear camera that doesn’t shake every 25 seconds and some fantastic kills and gore lastly you will have the character development moments like with Ratchatcher 2, Bloodsport and a few others! It’s a fantastic blend that has not worked well for a lot of films, but works here perfectly which leads me to James Gunn’s direction. James Gunn really knows how to take the source material and make it his own, he’s shown that with the GOTG films and he’s once again shown it here, he creates an atmosphere of fun elements, character development elements and really brings you into the experience. It’s truly quite amazing how much Gunn packs into the film 2 hours and 12 minutes may seem long but it’s truly not with the film’s pacing. It’s one of those films that doesn’t even feel like it’s 2 hours, mostly due to so much going on that it keeps you invested thinking “who’s going to make it out alive.” Overall The Suicide Squad is a fantastic film and hands down one of my favorite films of 2021, I can easily see why a lot of people have been calling this “one of the best comic book films” because it does everything it’s supposed to and adds so much more into it! I highly recommend seeing this one!

The Suicide Squad is now available in Theaters and On HBO Max!

10/10 A+