Reviews

Reviews

My Dad’s Christmas Date

Recently, I reviewed the hilariously spot-on holly-jolly spoof Cup of Cheer.  The comedy did such a good job calling out tropes, clichés, and lazy writing found in Christmas movies.  What it didn’t do, and what I realized after watching My Dad’s Christmas Date, is that Cup of Cheer didn’t poke fun at deceptive movies that bait viewers with seasonal qualities to dress up an otherwise dismal story.  If My Dad’s Christmas Date didn’t occasionally show…

Reviews

Dinner with Friends

In an unremarkable directorial debut from actor Nicol Paone, and randomly produced by The Heartbreak Kid co-stars Ben Stiller and Malin Akerman, Dinner with Friends features pals Molly and Abby (Akerman, Kat Dennings) hosting a small Thanksgiving that gradually becomes more outrageous as the night progresses.  The guest list grows, and the entertainment evolves the get-together into more of a party where magic mushrooms and sexcapades become a primary topic of discussion.  There isn’t much…

Reviews

The Kid Detective

The Kid Detective has done the best job, in recent memory, explaining why a mystery’s leading sleuth is such a sad sack.  The enigmatic and eccentric personality has become such a cliché in the genre, that the audience just expects and accepts the detective to be grizzled, or unhappy, or an unpredictable hot head.  In The Kid Detective, Abe Applebaum (Adam Brody) carries those traits, but writer/director Evan Morgan provides compelling motivation which fuels Brody’s top-form…

Reviews

The Cuban

By: Trevor Chartrand The Cuban explores the burgeoning friendship between a pre-med nurse, Mina (Ana Golja), and the elderly man she’s assigned to take care of (Louis Gossett Jr.) after she takes a job at a retirement home.  Her charge turns out to be a stubborn, guarded man named Luis Garcia;  a man plagued by Alzheimer’s, with a side order of dementia to boot.  As the two spend more and more time together, Mina discovers…

Reviews

Cup of Cheer

How do you satirize a genre that’s become a spoof of itself?  It isn’t an impossible trick but, to pull it off, it takes a keen eye for detail and a filmmaker who can thread the needle between appreciation and cynicism.  2014’s They Came Together, a comedy from the creators of Wet Hot American Summer that hilariously destroyed the rom-com genre, is the bellwether for me, and this year’s clever seasonal spoof Cup of Cheer…

Reviews

Love in Dangerous Times

Written and directed by Jon Garcia, Love in Dangerous Times is among the first of what is sure to be a plethora of pandemic-themed projects that will emerge over the coming months, and even years.  Written and filmed entirely in lockdown, the film follows Jason (Ian Stout), a struggling playwright searching for love in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Reviews

Ravers

In Ravers, a bad batch of energy drinks are cracked into during a night-long party at an abandoned factory.  Once consumed, the partiers begin twitching, “bugging out”, and eventually  become violently belligerent with superhuman strength.  Given that everyone is already shoulder-to-shoulder, with some who are already high on street drugs to begin with, the danger escalates quickly as our main heroes (including Becky, a germaphobic journalist) fight for survival.

Reviews

Defying All Odds

By: Trevor Chartrand Defying All Odds is an inspirational documentary that takes a hopeful, optimistic look the possibilities of contemporary medical studies and research.  In the climate of the pandemic we’re currently faced with, a positive outlook is a much needed breath of fresh air.

Reviews

His House

His House not only offers a new take on haunted horrors, but it offers a weaved interpretation of grief and guilt that’s both innovative and effectual.  It’s essentially the ideal horror movie for audiences looking for scares and substance.

Reviews

Come Play

Come Play feels like a natural throwback to traditional horror, where filmmakers build creative lore for a creature new to the genre. In this case, the monster is “Larry”: large, scaly, and looking for a companion. Larry zeroes in on Oliver (Azhy Robertson), a non-verbal outsider with Autism who struggles to make friends at school. We don’t know how long Larry has been observing Oliver for, but it must’ve been enough time for the creature…