Saturday, January 7, 2023

2023 Movie Guide

Mark Rylance stars in The Phantom of the Open

Weird:  The Al Yankovic Story - 3 1/2 Stars - Hit song parody comic Al Yankovic creates a completely made up story of his life, with Daniel Radcliff as Weird Al.  One of the year's most hilarious delights celebrating Weird Al's music and current music biographies.  A delight.  

Tar - 3 1/2 Stars - THEATERS - Cate Blanchett mesmerizes as a talented arrogant genius conductor.  Her rise and fall exhausts the viewer, but in a good way.  

Emily the Criminal --- 3 1/2 Stars - STREAMING - August 12, 2022. - Edgy Aubrey Plaza dares you to look away in this thriller crime drama.  An art school dropout with student loan debt, she learns the art of credit card theft launching a breath-taking adventure.    

All Quiet on the Western Front - 3 1/2 Stars - NETFLIX - October 20, 2022 - German boys learn war is not a game - the hard way.  A powerful remake of a classic film and novel.     

Vengeance - 3 1/2 Star - STREAMING - July 29, 2022 - East coast podcaster B.J. Novak undertakes adventure and a murder investigation in West Texas.  Ashton Kutcher delights with some really weird dialog.  A blue state fish out of water tale in red state Texas with sharp comedy and nice twists.  

The Outfit --- PRIME VIDEO --- 3 1/2 Stars --- March 22, 2022 - Mark Rylance poses as a quiet British tailor in 1950's Chicago all the while keeping an eye on the mob using his store as a front.  The set up turns into a twisty gob smacking thriller.

Cha Cha Real Smooth --- APPLE --- 3 1/ 2 Stars --- June 17, 2022 - Writer/Director/Actor Cooper Raiff creates a charming story of a just graduated college kid who finds his voice as a Bar Mitzva party "Starter" and grows up thanks to a connection with single mom Dakota Johnston and her autistic daughter. 

The Fabelmans - 3 Stars - Theaters - November 23, 2022 - Steven Spielberg reimagines his childhood through the eyes of his parent's marriage problems and his discovery of moviemaking.   A little long and a little slick, but moving nevertheless.  

A Christmas Story Christmas --- HBO Max - 3 Stars - November 17, 2022 - Peter Billingsley updates the Christmas classic as Ralphie, bringing his family to celebrate the holidays in his boyhood home.  Surprisingly hits some of the same chords of the original.  Better than expected. .  

The Banshees of Inisherin - THEATERS - 3 Stars --- November 4, 2022.  Rural Irish comedy with Colin Ferrell and Brendan Gleeson.  

The Good Nurse - 3 Stars ---NETFLIX --- September 11, 2022 - Tense medical thriller based on the true story of serial killer nurse Charlie Cullen.  Great cast includes award winners Jessica Chastain, and Eddie Redmayne plus Noah Emmerich, and Kim dickens.  

Elvis - 3 Stars - HBO Max September 2, 2022 - the rise and fall of Elvis told grand opera style by over-the-top director Baz Luhrmann.  

Where the Crawdads Sing - 3 Stars - STREAMING - July 13, 2022 - Romance, murder, and mystery in the North Carolina swamp over a 75-year span.  

Top Gun: Maverick - 3 Stars - May 27, 2022 - THEATERS - STREAMING - Tom Cruise shows a new generation how it's done in a patriotic familiar sequel to the 1980's original.

Babylon - 2 1/2 Stars - December 23, 2020 - Overstuffed 1920's Hollywood epic at least an hour two long, the boring parts offset by exhilarating moments.   

The Menu - 2 1/2 Stars - November 18, 2022 - THEATERS - Ralph Fiennes dominates this horror comedy as an angry chef intent on getting even with his best customers.  

She Said - 2 1/2 Stars ---November 18, 2022. THEATERS - By the numbers story of the New York Times reporting on the Harvey Weinstein scandal.  Uplifting but lacks the tension of All the President's Men or Spotlight.  

Empire of Light - 2 1/2 Stars - December 16, 2022 - Olivia Coleman as troubled woman working for a struggling cinema in the 1980's.  Morose story of film and community.   

Nope - 2 Stars - STREAMING - July 22, 2022 - Jordan Peele's UFO sci fi drama feels ordinary compared to his masterpiece Get Out.

Blonde - 1 Star - September 23, 2022 - NETFLIX - Hard to watch story of 1950's icon Marilyn Monroe's life. Beautifully produced but explicit, long, and painful. Hint:  She had Daddy issues.  

The Son - 1 Star - November 25, 2022 - NETFLIX - Hard to watch family drama starring badly miscast Hugh Jackman as the clueless father of a depressed son. 

White Noise - 1 Star - December 30, 2022 - Adam Driver and Greta Gerwig can't save this talky 1970s environmental dark comedy.  

The Whale - Zero - December 14, 2022 - THEATERS - morbidly obese man tries to square thigns with his family.  Mean spirited and hard to watch.