Friends with Benefits Is Fun To Watch

Friends with Benefits brings nothing new to the romantic comedy genre but it’s so much fun watching Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. Volcanoes in 1997. Planet-killing meteors in 1998. Friends with benefits in 2011. Funny enough both films featured the stars of 2010’s Black Swan. Mila Kunis’s Black Swan castmate was seen just over six months earlier in No Strings Attached. Both films were being made at the same time. It’s just unfortunate that there…

"Friends with Benefits Is Fun To Watch"

Rumor Has It… Is Still Funny Over 16 Years Later

The entire basis for Rumor Has It… is that a woman learns that both her mother and grandmother were the basis for 1967’s The Graduate. Following the end of Sundance, I was in the mood for a comedy and decided to rewatch this film for the first time since the theatrical release. The fact of the matter is that this film has a solid amount of laughs and laughs are so desperately needed right now.…

"Rumor Has It… Is Still Funny Over 16 Years Later"

Nightmare Alley: A Noir Thriller

Guillermo del Toro shies away from the supernatural to present an updated take on Nightmare Alley in this noir thriller. The gist of the film is that Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) befriends a clairvoyant Zeena Krumbein (Toni Collette) and her mentalist husband, Pete Krumbein (David Strathairn), at a traveling carnival. Stanton takes advantage of what he learns to break free of the carnival alongside Molly Cahill (Rooney Mara). Before you know it, he’s conning the…

"Nightmare Alley: A Noir Thriller"

Burn After Reading: A Comedic Political Thriller

The Coen brothers find a way to mix both political thriller and dark comedy in Burn After Reading to give us a beautiful piece of cinema. Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich) quits his job as a CIA analyst and uses this newfound time to write his memoir.  His wife, Katie (Tilda Swinton), sees this and continues having an affair with U.S. Marshal Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney).  It feels like everybody is having an affair as we…

"Burn After Reading: A Comedic Political Thriller"

Sundance 2020: Kajillionaire

Kajillionaire is a heist movie that follows a family of con artists living in Los Angeles and struggling to keep a roof over their head. Robert (Richard Jenkins) and Theresa Dyne (Debra Winger) are con artists.  They’ve raised their daughter, Old Dolio (Evan Rachel Wood), to follow them into the family business.  It may not be the best life but it’s the life they have for themselves.  The family owes money while also living in…

"Sundance 2020: Kajillionaire"

Sundance 2020: The Last Shift

One man is preparing to call it quits in The Last Shift while training his replacement in a film that starts a conversation on social issues. Stanley (Richard Jenkins) is closing in on his final graveyard shift at Oscar’s Chicken and Fish.  For this final weekend after 38 years, Stanley trains Jevon (Shane Paul McGhie) to take over the shift.  Throughout the weekend, we learn more about the characters.  For instance, Jevon is also a…

"Sundance 2020: The Last Shift"

Chicago Film Festival: The Shape of Water

The Shape of Water is perhaps the finest film ever to be directed by Guillermo del Toro and actress Sally Hawkins delivers a top-notch performance in the Cold War-set film. With a screenplay co-written by  del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, the film stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg and Octavia Spencer. Set in 1962, a classified asset is brought into a government laboratory in Baltimore where Strickland (Shannon) is hellbent…

"Chicago Film Festival: The Shape of Water"