Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

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It’s 1970, and Rudy Ray Moore is ready for comedy stardom. There are just a few things standing in his way. He’s over 40, overweight and black. It’s the 70s, so these things pretty much prevent him from ever achieving mainstream success. But he’s determined. When he works out a particular routine, involving vulgar, rhyming stories about a character named Dolemite, he produces a comedy record in his own apartment. And when record stores refuse to carry his work, calling it “filthy,” he decides to put the albums out himself, actually selling them from the trunk of his car. Eventually, he builds up enough of a following that he decides to bring Dolemite to the screen. Unfortunately, no one will invest in him, believing that there isn’t a big enough audience and that he isn’t leading man material. Rudy doesn’t let that stop him, though. As he always does, he finds a way to do it himself, discovering an abandoned hotel where he can shoot the movie without permits, and assembling a motley crew of film students, amateur actors, and strippers to bring the thing together. Will they succeed in creating a classic for the ages? Watch the movie and find out. Continue reading

Joker (2019)

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Arthur Fleck is a sick man. Not just in the sense that he has a condition that causes him to laugh uncontrollably. He’s sick in that he is delusional. He routinely hallucinates that people on the TV are interacting with him. At the start of the film, we learn that he was previously institutionalized and that he’s on no less than seven different medications. He is a man barely holding on to sanity. So what will happen when the city program giving him his meds gets shut down, he gets fired from his job at a clown for hire company, and a group of Wall Street types attacks him, unaware that he has a gun? Watch the movie and find out. Continue reading

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (2019)

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When his father dies, a man from rural China (Huang Jue) returns to his hometown, and begins searching for a woman he once loved (Tang Wei). Through a fragmented series of flashbacks, he recalls how they met, had a pregnancy scare, plotted to murder her gangster boyfriend, and were eventually caught. Then, after falling asleep in a movie theater, he has a long, meandering dream about his mother, his unborn son, and a woman who looks very much like the one he’s searching for. Continue reading

Ender’s Game (To Infinity Retrospective)

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ATTENTION! At ease, cadets. Welcome to the To Infinity Retrospective, a series created in preparation for Rise of Skywalker. Each month, you will receive reviews of different Space Operas, and it will be your job to read said reviews, like them, and share them with all your friends. Failure to do so will mean the end of the human race. This month, you’ll be looking at a critique of 2013’s Ender’s Game. What’s it about? Well… Continue reading

See You Yesterday (2019)

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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

Luce (2019)

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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.

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The Farewell (2019)

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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