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Sunday, July 14, 2019


When a mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) picks up a passenger (Dave Bautista) who turns out to be a cop hot on the trail of a brutal killer, he’s thrust into a harrowing ordeal where he desperately tries to hold onto his wits, his life and his five-star rating. Directed by Michael Dowse, this action-comedy from 20th Century Fox also stars Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino and Karen Gillan.

Director: Michael Dowse

Cast: Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino, Karen Gillan

Release Date: June 28, 2019

Action, Comedy, Crime

Rated R for violence and language throughout, some sexual references and brief graphic nudity

Runtime: 1 h 33 min


Stuber is one of those stupid mindless action comedies that seemingly pops up every summer.  Michael Dowse’s film knows what it is and never really pretends to be anything else especially anything resembling serious.  The action is loud, kinetic and surprisingly bloody for some reason.  Still it all carries very little weight in terms of gravitas.  It’s all played for fun and both the leads are more than ready to go all in.  Dave Bautista, aka Mr Monotone, uses a schtick similar to his Guardians of the Galaxy routine which works well here.  His massive size compared to Kumail Nanjiani’s plays right into the film’s general hook.  Nanjiani is perfectly neurotic as the hapless uber driver who’s commandeered for the drive around the city.  Together they make for a fun pair delivering a low rent 48 Hrs. or Running Scared.  Ultimately, the film does sort of feel like a throwback to those 80’s buddy comedies even if doesn’t quite reach classic status.


Sunday, July 7, 2019


With their relationship in trouble, a young American couple travel to a fabled Swedish midsummer festival where a seemingly pastoral paradise transforms into a sinister, dread-soaked nightmare as the locals reveal their terrifying agenda.

Director: Ari Aster

Cast: Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgren, Will Poulter

Release Date: July 3, 2019
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery

Rated R for disturbing ritualistic violence and grisly images, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, drug use and language

Runtime: 2 h 27 min


Midsommar, Ari Aster’s 2nd film, is a singular movie watching experience.  It’s the type of film that’ll stick with you for a long while afterward.  Aster’s direction is self assured and methodical while never being boring even with the film’s glacial pace.  There’s a steady sense of dread from the outset and it never really lets up throughout the better part of the film.  While this film isn’t quite as strong in the horror category as Hereditary was its still filled with plenty of starkly bleak imagery and iconography.  At its center is Florence Pugh who carries the film and elevates some of the weaker portions of the film’s plot.  Pugh’s ability to emote pain and grief comes through the screen which some of the film’s more trippy sequences all the more powerful.  As for those hallucinatory sequences they are some of the most discombobulating and outright weird sequences I’ve seen on film.  It's easy to compare Midsommar to the original Wicker Man, it does share various similarities with that film, but ultimately it’s it own wonderfully weird amalgam of that film and the 1981 film Possession, destined to become a cult classic in it's own right.


Cindy Prascik's Reviews of Spider-Man: Far from Home

Yesterday I took an (involuntary) break from back-to-back Rocketman screenings to check in with my friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Spoiler level here will be mild, nothing you wouldn't know from the trailers.

To no one's surprise, Peter Parker's plan to participate in a school trip like any normal teen goes awry.

Like almost all Marvel product, Spider-Man: Far from Home trades heavily on the capital of its star's charisma and real-life personality. Tom Holland is an absolute jackpot in this regard, having proved as charming off-screen as on, and--while Andrew Garfield remains my perfect Spidey--the more age-appropriate Holland carries a big franchise film with the ease of someone far more experienced. His supporting cast is fleshed out this time with the always-wonderful Jake Gyllenhaal, as well as recurring turns by Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Samuel L. Jackson, and Coby Smoulders. The movie's got flaws, but not a single member of this cast is among them.

Far from Home represents a sort-of torch-passing, following the events of Avengers: Endgame. The film features spectacular disaster and creature effects, yet somehow Spidey himself looks weirdly CGI-ed even when it's probably a live actor or stunt person performing. The movie is never boring, precisely, but it's too long before it even gets out of its first hour. There's a big "twist" that manages to serve its purpose while probably not being much of a surprise to most fans. Some great action sequences, an engaging cast, and spot-on humor make Far from Home a fun movie, but, ultimately, it's nothing special.

Spider-Man: Far from Home clocks in at an excessive 129 minutes and is rated PG13 for "sci-fi action violence, some language, and brief suggestive comments."

Far from Home is another fun-but-unremarkable outing from Marvel that you'll forget before the next fun-but-unremarkable outing from Marvel. Of a possible nine Weasleys, Spider-Man: Far from Home gets seven.

Fangirl points: My best boyfriend Jake (obvs.)! Martin Starr! The Ramones!

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.

Director: Jon Watts

Cast: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J. B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, Jake Gyllenhaal

Release Date: July 2, 2019

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments

Runtime: 2 h 9 min


Spider-Man: Far from Home has the simple task of tidying up the events of Avengers: Endgame while also moving forward Spider-Man character’s story.  It’s a hefty task and the film’s only partially able to pull it off, even though it’s at the cost of other elements.  Jon Watts’ film is a light and breezy affair with nary an air of heft or weight to it. They’re never any moments where you wonder if the hero is in any real danger, which is a common occurrence is these single character films but here it feels even more obvious.  That’s not say to there isn’t plenty of superhero action to go around along with some impressively staged sequences, particularly in the third act.  Tom Holland is still excellent as Parker/Spider-Man but while he gives more angst teen drama this entry, it feels more inorganic and stilted than it did in Homecoming.  Zendaya is relegated to a more standard love interest role than she did before and no amount of snark can hide it.  Jake Gyllenhaal is an interesting addition to the film but he’s a retconned villain from Spider-man villain who could just wear a sign around his neck stating “Don’t Trust Me” during the first half.  His reveal is interesting and it’s hard not to see the screenwriters taking swipes at a certain someone in the current political zeitgeist with the villain’s primary motivation.  It’s an interesting take and something that would have been more interesting if it’d been explored more but as is it’s a solid film.  Ultimately, it does close out this “phase” of the Marvel universe but does so in a workman like function.  That being said there are 2 post credit sequences that actually have bearing on the film you’ve finished watching so it’s worth staying all the way through the credits in this one.   

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