Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

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A year after the Battle of Crait, Kylo Ren discovers that, somehow, Emperor Palpatine is still alive. Initially hoping to kill him, Kylo is persuaded to join Palpatine after he sees that the latter has, somehow, by himself, created an entire fleet of Star Destroyers. He also learns that Rey is Palpatine’s granddaughter, and that Palpatine wants to kill and/or convert her, depending on what scene he’s in. Meanwhile, Rey learns that Palpatine is alive, and so she, Finn and Poe set off to find a dagger, which will help them find a thing, which will lead them to the Emperor. I think. Will they do any of that? Watch the movie to find out. Continue reading

Hustlers (2019)

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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

First Man (2018)

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Most of the time when I write a review, I start off with a synopsis of the work I’m discussing. But since the film I’m critiquing, First Man is about the Apollo 11 Moon landing, an event that literally everyone on Earth knows about, I figured it’d be better to just save myself some time and launch into my thoughts on the filmmaking. Because, trust me, I have quite a few. Continue reading

Maniac (2018 Miniseries)

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In an oddball future, a future where you can avoid paying for things by listening to a certain number of ads, and where tiny robots patrol the streets, looking for poop to scoop, two broken people enter an experimental drug trial. One, Owen, is the neglected, schizophrenic son of a wealthy Manhattan family. He is being forced to lie under oath to prevent his brother from going to jail. Another, Annie, is a selfish, mean-spirited drug addict, who still feels guilt over having contributed to her sister’s death. Owen is there for the money. Annie is there for the drugs. But regardless of why they came, the head of the program, Dr. James Mantleray and his partner, Dr. Azumi Fujita, are confident that their drugs will solve ALL, yes, all, of their patients’ personal problems. But what happens when the computer administering the trial develops emotions and begins messing with the process? James and Azumi will be forced to bring in the former’s awful mother, whom the computer is modeled off of, while the patients will have to contend with a series of strange visions and increasingly surreal simulations. Continue reading

The Rider (2018)

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Brady is a Native American cowboy from South Dakota. He’s got a father with a gambling problem, and a sister with some, unspecified mental disability. Riding and training horses are all that he or his friends know. It is literally what they live for. So when Brady is injured in a riding accident at the beginning of the story, and is unable to compete in the rodeo, he finds himself at an existential crossroads. Should he quit riding, and find a job, or should he just keep going, regardless of consequence?
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Horsemen (2008)

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Estranged from his children after the death of their mother, hardened homicide detective Aiden Breslin (Dennis Quaid) is called in to investigate a series of ritualistic murders. His search brings him into contact with Kristen Spitz (Zhang Ziyi) the daughter of one of the victims. She pleads with him to find the killers, but then, five minutes later, reveals herself to be one. She explains that she is part of a group who model themselves after the four horsemen of the apocalypse (War, Famine, Pestilence and Death), and that there will be more murders. And, well, shit gets crazy from there.
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Death Note (2017)

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While doing other people’s homework, angry nerd Light Turner stumbles across a mysterious book with the words “Death Note” written on it. And by “stumbled,” I mean it falls from the sky, and hits him on the head. Anyway, when he opens it, a strange, spiky-faced demon named Ryuk appears before him, and explains that if Light writes a person’s name in the book, and pictures their face while doing so, he’ll be able to kill the unlucky soul. Realizing that this gives him virtually unlimited power, Light uses the book to kill off bullies, murderers and terrorists, eventually creating a god-like persona for himself called Kira. Some people love him, since he’s basically ridding the world of evil. Others hate him, since he’s essentially deciding who is worthy of life and who isn’t. Either way, the police, led by an eccentric detective called L, are brought in, and begin investigating Kira’s identity. This puts the pressure on Light, and his bloodthirsty girlfriend, Mia, who start to realize that, shock of all shocks, maybe killing people off indiscriminately is bad. Continue reading