Ode to Joy: Rom-com lacking in laughs

Ode to Joy makes sure that its two leads have chemistry between them but as far as the laughs go, they feel like they’re few and far between. Brooklyn librarian Charlie (Martin Freeman) suffers from cataplexy.  What this means for the New York Mets fan–based on clothing choices–is that he is paralyzed by the feeling of joy.  Consequently, this means that something as small as the act of finding love results in paralysis.  Because of…

"Ode to Joy: Rom-com lacking in laughs"

Johnny English Strikes Again: Full of Spy Cliches

While there are laughs, Johnny English Strikes Again doesn’t have enough to over come the predictable cliches throughout this spy comedy. That the film starts out with a cyber attack revealing the identities of every single undercover agent in Britain isn’t a problem. It’s that this EXACT trope was played out before ten years ago in the film remake, Get Smart!  It just so happens that Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) happens to be retired from…

"Johnny English Strikes Again: Full of Spy Cliches"

Chicago Film Festival 2018: Diane

Led by a career-best performance from Mary Kay Place, Diane tells the story of a Massachusetts woman who puts others before herself. Time flies by for Diane (Mary Kay Place)–this is a woman who rarely puts herself first.  When we’re first introduced to her, it’s at the hospital to show support for her cousin, Donna (Deirdre O’Connell).  If she’s not showing care for Donna, she’s trying to deal with the mess that is her son,…

"Chicago Film Festival 2018: Diane"

Rampage: Please Stop Destroying Chicago

Rampage is the latest in a series of blockbusters that threaten to destroy Chicago–this time with genetically modified animals. Here’s the basic background: CRISPR made the waves in 1993 by giving scientists a way to treat previously incurable diseases through a process known as genetic editing.  By 2016, U.S. Intelligence Community had determined that genetic editing was considered to be a “Weapon of Mass Destruction and Proliferation.” Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) is a primatologist working for…

"Rampage: Please Stop Destroying Chicago"

Their Finest: Mixing Comedy and War In Crowd-Pleaser

Their Finest mixes both comedy and drama in this behind the scenes making of a propaganda war film and does so in a way that makes the film feel authentic to the time period. Directed by An Education‘s Lone Scherfig from a screenplay written by Gaby Chiappe, the film stars Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Jack Huston, Helen McCrory, Eddie Marsan, Jake Lacy, Rachael Stirling, with Richard E. Grant and Bill Nighy.  Chiappe’s script was based…

"Their Finest: Mixing Comedy and War In Crowd-Pleaser"