Baywatch is A Complete Waste of Time

Baywatch had so much riding on it but it just couldn’t live up to the original series. Directed by Seth Gordon, Baywatch stars Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Jon Bass, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera, with David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. The critics were not what brought down the movie.  It was just poorly executed.  No disrespect to the cast–they are all talented–but some things are just better left untouched.  Given the horrible…

"Baywatch is A Complete Waste of Time"

Megan Leavey: Kleenex Not Included

Megan Leavey is based on a true story about the war hero and her dog, Rex.  If your eyes aren’t watering by the final frame, you’re watching the wrong film or you simply don’t have a heart.  Take it from me, you’ll want to bring some Kleenex. Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite from a screenplay written by Pamela Gray and Annie Mumolo & Tim Lovestedt, Meagan Leavey stars Kate Mara, Ramón Rodríguez, Tom Felton, Bradley Whitford,…

"Megan Leavey: Kleenex Not Included"

Middle Man: Comedy can be Killer

Parks and Recreation alumnus Jim O’Heir displays his range in the indie film, Middle Man, due out in select theaters this weekend. Written and directed by Ned Crowley, Middle Man stars O’Heir, Andrew J. West, Josh McDermitt, Anne Dudek, and Tracey Walter. Everybody who is anybody has a dream of being famous.  For Lenny Freeman, he wants to be a stand-up comedian even though he’s simply not funny.  After his mom dies, he heads out…

"Middle Man: Comedy can be Killer"

Wonder Woman Lives Up to the Hype

With the release of Wonder Woman, the female heroine created by William Moulton Marston, finally got her long-overdue origin story on the big screen. Directed by Jenkins, Gal Gadot leads a cast that includes Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Danny Huston, David Thewlis, Connie Nielsen, Elena Anaya, Ewen Bremner, Lucy Davis, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Eugen Brave Rock, and Saïd Taghmaoui.  Jenkins directs from a screenplay written by Allan Heinberg.  The story was written by Zack Snyder…

"Wonder Woman Lives Up to the Hype"

The Hunter’s Prayer is A Different Kind of Thriller

The Hunter’s Prayer provides for a subversive take on the thriller genre as a hit man decides to go against orders and protect his mark.  Instead of providing us with a traditional thriller, this one is completely character-driven. Directed by Jonathan Mostow, the film stars Sam Worthington, Odeya Rush, Allen Leech, Amy Landecker, Martin Compston and Verónica Echegui.  Based on the novel by Kevin Wignall, the screenplay was penned by John Brancato and Michael Ferris.…

"The Hunter’s Prayer is A Different Kind of Thriller"

My Cousin Rachel offers mystery, suspense in period thriller

My Cousin Rachel is a well-made period dramatic thriller about romance and mystery even though it’s a remake. Written and directed by Roger Michell from the novel by Daphne du Maurier, My Cousin Rachel stars Rachel Weisz, Sam Claflin, Holliday Granger, Iain Glen, Pierfrancesco Favino, Simon Russell Beale, and Vicki Pepperdine. My Cousin Rachel is set mostly on an estate in England where a young man decides to take revenge against his cousin as he…

"My Cousin Rachel offers mystery, suspense in period thriller"

Sam Elliott shines through in The Hero

Sam Elliott delivers a shining performance in The Hero as Lee Hayden. Written and directed by Brett Haley, The Hero stars Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Nick Offerman, Krysten Ritter, and Katharine Ross. In the newest film from writer/director Brett Haley, Elliott gives one of the strongest performances I have seen so far during this year’s Chicago Critics Film Festival.  We all know his voice–it’s just as iconic as Morgan Freeman.  It’s one of two films…

"Sam Elliott shines through in The Hero"

Dean: Demetri Martin’s feature directorial debut focus on love, grief

Demetri Martin’s directorial debut, Dean, makes for a n interesting dramedy on love and grief as fans are likely to crowd into Wonder Woman this weekend. The Daily Show alumnus, a veteran of stage specials, makes a movie that is he’s just wouldn’t be able to tell during a stand-up special.  It’s not a light comedy by any means as tragedy plays a big theme in the film. Written and directed by Demetri Martin, Dean…

"Dean: Demetri Martin’s feature directorial debut focus on love, grief"

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Closes a Chapter

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales appears to be a fitting conclusion for the saga.  Whether Disney will opt to greenlight a sixth film in the franchise remains to be determined but a post-credits scene could very well open the door for another film. Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg from a screenplay written by Jeff Nathanson (story by Nathanson and Pirates veteran Terry Rossio), Johnny Depp leads a cast that…

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Closes a Chapter"

Netflix original War Machine goes big but misses

War Machine is easily the biggest Netflix original film to date and the military satire contains solid acting performances even as it misses on some levels. Written and directed by David Michôd, Brad Pitt leads a cast that includes Emory Cohen, RJ Cyler, Topher Grace, Anthony Michael Hall, Anthony Hayes, John Magaro, Scoot McNairy, Will Poulter, Alan Ruck, Lakeith Stanfield, Josh Stewart, Meg Tilly, with Tilda Swinton and Sir Ben Kingsley.  Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner,…

"Netflix original War Machine goes big but misses"