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Chef (2014)
Starting from scratch never tasted so good.
Director: Jon Favreau
Comedy

When Chef Carl Casper suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner, he is left to figure out what's next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife, his friend and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen -- and zest for life and love.

Street Audiences I watched this with the presumably self referential Nic Cage movie. I found that film far less self-referential than advertised, and this far more so. Favreau denies the connection that I am making here, but it hardly matters whether he intended the connection or not....


Published July 1, 2022
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2010)
It's not a diary, it's a movie.
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Comedy
Family

Greg Heffley is headed for big things, but first he has to survive the scariest, most humiliating experience of any kid’s life – middle school! That won’t be easy, considering he’s surrounded by hairy-freckled morons, wedgie-loving bullies and a moldy slice of cheese with nuclear cooties!

Painful I suppose the science behind this content is solid, for this and the sequels. Many of our films — primarily romantic comedies — deliberately give us a surrogate with whom to identify. And then they set the situation to be similar to those we’d experience,...


Published May 20, 2022
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Wrath of Man (2021)
Director: Guy Ritchie
Thriller
Action
Crime

A cold and mysterious new security guard for a Los Angeles cash truck company surprises his co-workers when he unleashes precision skills during a heist. The crew is left wondering who he is and where he came from. Soon, the marksman's ultimate motive becomes clear as he takes dramatic and irrevocable steps to settle a score.

Armoured A bit disappointed in Richie. This is a solid production. Nothing wrong. Timing and pacing are near perfect, as these things require. The drone in soundtrack is apt. The nested flashbacks are exactly where they need to be to get us hooked in that important...


Published May 13, 2022
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Cruella (2021)
Hello Cruel World
Director: Craig Gillespie
Comedy
Crime

In 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, a young grifter named Estella is determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute. But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.

Princess Leyline One way to look at this is why it was made. Clearly, Disney marketing has found a princess niche not served by the direct approach. You have to admire the art of discovering and mining a market. Perhaps no one can do what these...


Published May 13, 2022
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The Willoughbys (2020)
A family story for anyone who ever wanted to get away from their family
Director: Kris Pearn
Animation
Comedy
Family

When the four Willoughby children are abandoned by their selfish parents, they must learn how to adapt their Old-Fashioned values to the contemporary world in order to create something new: The Modern Family.

Evil Hair What used to be a side episode in larger stories has now grown to centre stage. In Cinderella, Snow White and such, we have a cruel stepmother. In recent films, we have dozens that mirror that and add inept father. But those use the...


Published May 13, 2022
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Captain Underpants (2018-20)
Director: S. S. Rajamouli
Comedy
Kids
Animation

Fourth-grade friends George and Harold have a shared love of pranks and comic books -- and turning their principal into an undies-wearing superhero.

Underawares I actually steer my kids to this area rather than ordinary fare. It has silliness and poor production values. While the stories are vacuous, they are refreshingly free of messages and morals. But the value to me is the incredible fun they have with shifted...


Published May 13, 2022
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The Woman in the Window (2021)
She has nothing to prove but what's real.
Director: Joe Wright
Crime
Mystery
Thriller

An agoraphobic woman living alone in New York begins spying on her new neighbors only to witness a disturbing act of violence.

Painful You wonder why filmmakers make the choices they do. Here is a filmmaker who specialises in acute realism, expansive vision and narrative clarity. He’s chosen a project designed to expand his palette, one that depends on claustrophobic madness and resulting visions. These visions are what...


Published May 13, 2022
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Army of the Dead (2021)
Survivors take all.
Director: Zack Snyder
Action
Crime
Drama
Horror
Science Fiction
Thriller

Following a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble: venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.

Legionnaire’s Disease I was completely taken by “Sucker Punch”: layered, visually imaginative. Narrative ambiguity and engineered parallel causality. “300” on the other hand seemed an unadorned testosterone arc. In both cases, the visual composition was notable, in terms of mastery of rhythm. This is more on...


Published May 13, 2022
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Death on the Nile (2022)
Murder was just the beginning.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Mystery
Crime
Thriller

Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot's Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple's idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short.

Red Fingernails Christie is more special to me than she should be because she represents a tradition I miss. When you read one of her novels, you enter into tryst with an invisible woman who teases you with a false world that you welcome. Is there...


Published May 13, 2022
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The Mitchells vs the Machines (2021)
Saving the world can be a trip.
Director: Jeff Rowe, Mike Rianda
Animation
Adventure
Comedy

A quirky, dysfunctional family's road trip is upended when they find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity's unlikeliest last hope.

Meme Film School I am a filmsfolding guy. That is where films understand they are films and engage the viewer on multiple levels. Devoted some of my life to thinking about them and appreciating the meta-art. I should like this. It is essentially a story about a...


Published May 13, 2022
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