Following the financial crash of 2008, a group of New York strippers finds themselves out of work. With fewer Wall Street types coming in to spend money, there’s less revenue to go around. This hurts all of them, until Ramona, the chief moneymaker in their club, devises a daring scheme to get rich without dancing. The women will approach a businessman at a bar, spike his drink so that he passes out, take him to the strip club, and then, while he’s unconscious, max out his credit card. They assume that, even if the guy sees a big chunk of money missing from his bank account, he’ll be too embarrassed to admit that he spent it at a strip club. They’re correct, and, for a time, the scheme works. But, of course, as their operation gets bigger, Ramona gets more reckless, and eventually, the whole house of cards comes falling down.Continue reading →
Flatbush wiz-kids CJ and Sebastian have done the impossible. They’ve built real, functioning time machines. The catch is that they can only go back for 10-minute stretches before needing to return to the present. So what do they do with their first, incredibly valuable 10 minutes? Humiliate CJ’s asshole ex-boyfriend. They don’t think anything of it at first until they realize that changing the past caused the trajectory of CJ’s brother’s day to shift. And when I say “shift” I mean, he winds up getting killed by police. This devastates CJ, who decides to use her technology to go back and save him. When she does so, however, she discovers that it’s not so easy to correct the past, since every change brings about new, unforeseen consequences.Continue reading →
On the surface, Luce Edgar seems like the perfect son. He’s a star athlete. He’s valedictorian of his entire school. And that’s not even considering his past. He’s a former child soldier from Eritrea who, against all odds, seems to have put his trauma behind him, and formed a healthy, stable social life. “Seems” being the keyword here. See, one day, a teacher asks him to write an essay in the voice of a historical figure, and Luce delivers a piece emulating the style of Frantz Fanon, a pan-Africanist who argued that violence was necessary to settle political disputes. Disturbed, this same teacher breaks into Luce’s locker and discovers fireworks there. She alerts Luce’s parents to both of these things, and while neither of them wants to believe that their son could be capable of violence, as they do more digging, they realize that there might be more to their baby than once thought.
What would you do if someone you loved was dying, but you also couldn’t tell them? Would you stay away, for fear of revealing the secret? Or would you go to them, just so you could be at their side, one last time? These are the questions asked in The Farewell, a new movie starring Awkwafina, and directed by Lulu Wang. Based on Wang’s own experiences when she discovered that her grandmother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, but her family was going to keep that fact a secret, the movie is powerful, poignant and a bunch of other p words that definitely mean good. My heart is aching just thinking about this movie. Wherever you are, go and watch this flick. It is worth your time.Continue reading →
It’s 1969, and Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a fading, Western actor, struggling to maintain relevance in a rapidly changing Hollywood. His only friend is his driver, and longtime stunt man, Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), a Vietnam vet whom it is heavily implied murdered his wife. The two spend their days driving around LA, getting drunk, watching Rick’s various TV appearances, and debating about whether or not the latter should take an offer to make Spaghetti Westerns in Europe. Meanwhile, Hollywood director Roman Polanski and his wife, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie), have just moved into the house beside Dalton. Dalton sees in Polanski a chance to become legitimate again, and eagerly tries to get in their good graces. Something that could throw a wrench in his plans, however, is a small, delusional band of Hippies living out in a place called Spawn Ranch, who may or may not be hatching a murder scheme.Continue reading →
While walking home from the grocery store, mild-mannered accountant Casey Davies is beaten by a biker gang. This traumatizes him, and he begins desperately searching for some means to defend himself. First, he goes to a gun store, but when he learns about all the dangers associated with firearm ownership—an increased likelihood of suicide, and a greater chance of getting shot—he decides it’s not for him. Then, while walking through a rundown strip mall, he sees a karate class, taught by a charismatic, enigmatic figure known only as “sensei.” Sensei is everything Casey is not—confident, aggressive, charming—so naturally, Casey believes that he can become so as well by enrolling in courses. Over the next few months, Sensei molds him into his idea of manhood, not just by teaching him karate, but by instructing him on what music to listen to—Metal—and what language to learn—German. Desperate to please his new teacher, Casey goes along with everything the man says, even when the requests get much more violent, and considerably less legal.Continue reading →
A food critic, struggling with bulimia, and parental pressure to get married. An actress, seeking escape from a loveless marriage through an affair. A prostitute, attempting to leave the life behind, only to be consistently pulled back by her step-mother. Three women. Three separate lives, all of which become intertwined in ways that they don’t initially realize. How so? Watch the movie and find out.Continue reading →