• Everybody's Talking About Jamie

    Everybody's Talking About Jamie

    ★★★★½

    Quick thoughts:

    Everybody's Talking about Jamie is a biographical musical coming of age film, directed by Jonathan Butterell (in his feature film debut) from a screenplay written by Tom MacRae. The film is an adaptation of the UK stage musical of the same name by Dan Gillespie Sells and Tom MacRae, and stars Max Harwood as the titular Jamie New, who just turned 16 and doesn’t quite fit in—instead of pursuing a “real” career he dreams of becoming a drag…

  • Cinderella

    Cinderella

    ★½

    Quick thoughts:

    Cinderella (2021) is a musical film based on the classic fairy tale of the same name by Charles Perrault. The film was written and directed by Kay Cannon, and stars Camila Cabello as the titular Cinderella, an orphaned girl with an evil stepmother, who has big dreams and with the help of her Fabulous Godmother, she perseveres to make them come true. Listen, I love musicals, and I have enjoyed many of the various iterations of Cinderella. This…

  • Whisper of the Heart

    Whisper of the Heart

    ★★★★★

    Quick thoughts:

    There's an unfortunate tragic story behind the production of this next stop on the Ghibli Journey. This is Whisper of the Heart, the directorial debut for the late Yoshifumi Kondō, from a screenplay by Hayso Miyazaki based on the manga of the same name by Aoi Hiiragi. Shizuku lives a simple life, dominated by her love for stories and writing. One day she notices that all the library books she has have been previously checked out by the…

  • Cry Macho

    Cry Macho

    ★★★½

    Quick thoughts:

    Cry Macho is a Neo-Western drama directed, produced by, and starring Clint Eastwood, based on the novel of the same name by N. Richard Nash, and adapted for the screen by Nash and Nick Schenk. The film follows Mike Milo, a onetime rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who, in 1978, takes a job from an ex-boss to bring the man's young son home and away from his alcoholic mum. Crossing rural Mexico on their back way to…

  • From Up on Poppy Hill

    From Up on Poppy Hill

    ★★★½

    Quick thoughts:

    Sorry that it's been a while, but I'm finally back on the Ghibli Journey. This week we arrive at a complicated one, and we'll get into why shortly. This is 2011's From Up On Poppy Hill, directed by Goro Miyazaki from a screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa. Based on the manga of the same name illustrated by Chizuru Takahashi and written by Tetsurō Sayama, the film follows a group of Yokohama students fighting to save their…

  • Malignant

    Malignant

    ★★★★★

    Quick thoughts:

    Malignant is a supernatural slasher film directed by James Wan, from a screenplay by Akela Cooper, based on an original story by Wan, Ingrid Bisu, and Cooper. The film stars Annabelle Wallis as Maddison "Maddie" Lake-Mitchell, a woman paralyzed by fear from shocking visions, whose torment worsens as she discovers her waking dreams are terrifying realities. Reviewing this movie is going to be tough, because there's so much I want to talk about, but can't because it basically…

  • Candyman

    Candyman

    ★★★★½

    Quick thoughts:

    Candyman (2021) is a supernatural slasher film, and a direct sequel to the 1992 film of the same name, based on the short story "The Forbidden" by Clive Barker. This "legacy-quel" is directed by Nia DaCosta, from a screenplay co-written by DaCosta, Jordan Peele (also producer) and Win Rosenfeld. Anthony and his partner move into a loft in the now gentrified Cabrini. After a chance encounter with an old-timer exposes Anthony to the true story behind Candyman, he…

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    ★★★★★

    Quick thoughts:

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings is a martial arts superhero film set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and co-written by Daniel Cretton, Dave Callaham and Andrew Lanham, stars Simu Liu as the titular martial-arts master Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he's drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. Not since the first Guardians Galaxy have I entered an…

  • Pig

    Pig

    ★★★★★

    Quick thoughts:

    Pig is a drama film co-written and directed by Michael Sarnoski. The film stars Nicholas Cage as Robin Feld, a truffle hunter who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness must return to his past in Portland in search of his beloved foraging pig after she is kidnapped. Sadly I missed this one in theaters, but was finally able to check it out on VOD, and it's really damn good. As someone who prefers stories that are more character-driven,…

  • Free Guy

    Free Guy

    ★★★★★

    Quick thoughts:

    Free Guy is a sci-fi action comedy directed and produced by Shawn Levy from a screenplay written by Matt Lieberman and Zack Penn. When a bank teller named Guy, played by Ryan Reynolds, discovers he's actually a background player in an open-world video game, he decides to become the hero of his own story -- one that he can rewrite himself. In a world where there's no limits, he's determined to save the day his way before it's…

  • The Suicide Squad

    The Suicide Squad

    ★★★★★

    Quick thoughts:

    The Suicide Squad is the latest R-rated superhero romp set within the DC Extended Universe, written and directed by James Gunn. 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. The road leading…

  • Vivo

    Vivo

    ★★★★★

    Quick thoughts:

    Vivo is an animated musical comedy adventure film from Sony Pictures Animation. This film was directed by Kirk DeMicco and co-directed by Brandon Jeffords, from a screenplay written by Peter Barsocchini and Quiara Alegría Hudes, and stars Lin-Manuel Miranda as the titular Vivo, a music-loving kinkajou who embarks on the journey of a lifetime to fulfill his destiny and deliver a love song for an old friend. Full disclosure, I watched this movie the day after my great-uncle…