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LATEST REVIEWS
GHOSTING GLORIA
"Relationships with the dead can be problematic."
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED VIA THE 2021 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL: There's enough about "Ghosting Gloria" that is really clever and funny that the movie being built on a foundation that is, at best, questionable as all heck shouldn't really be necessary. A viewer can deal with that in a couple of ways, depending on their temperament (lamenting that some might be too circumspect for a sexy comedy or saying that the film tacitly acknowledges its issues), if one is so inclined, but one can't help but wonder: Why couldn't a film which is smart and creative throughout do better in one of its biggest moments?" (more)
HOLD ME BACK
"A romantic comedy for those who have been passing on romance."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "SCREENED VIA THE 2021 FANTASIA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL AND THE 2021 NEW YORK ASIAN FILM FESTIVAL: Those of us inclined to follow links to Japanese lifestyle stories when we come across them feel like we've been reading about young people - especially women - opting out of the dating pool and what a demographic time bomb that is for the past twenty years, although it has seldom seemed like those women have shown up in exported pop culture as protagonists. "Hold Me Back" does offer up a romance that the audience can get behind, but it's a relatively rare movie in that it's as interested in its protagonist being single as not." (more)
BEHEMOTH
"An empty calling card."
1 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Peter Szewczyk (credited here as Sefchik) is a digital-effects artist who has worked on a few "Star Wars" films and "Avatar." So in his feature directing debut "Behemoth," we know the monsters and other effects will be first-rate. Unfortunately, everything else in this underpopulated mash-up of paranoid corporate thriller and trippy supernatural horror is second-rate at best." (more)
PIG (2021)
"Cage makes it; otherwise not much."
3 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Frustrated viewers may pick apart "Pig" until there’s nothing left. "Pig" is one of those quietly opaque art-house wonders, in which volumes of meaning are meant to be expressed by what’s not said. But more often than not it just comes across as muffled and boring, despite Nicolas Cage’s implosive restraint in the lead." (more)
VAL
"A painfully fine portrait."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Not long before the lights go down on the raw and somewhat depressing videography "Val," its subject, Val Kilmer, in character as Mark Twain, offers a question — perhaps, for him, *the* question: “What are the words that heal a broken heart?”" (more)
LITTLE VAMPIRE (2020)
"Fun for kids of all ages."
4 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Sometimes we want a movie that isn’t going to make us worry too much, and the amiable French animated all-ages fantasy "Little Vampire" falls squarely in that category." (more)
KATE
"Same old same old."
2 stars
Rob Gonsalves says... "Slicker than goose shit, Netflix’s #1 trending new film "Kate" is stylishly brutal and will probably be praised in some quarters accordingly, but it leaves us wanting more." (more)
LANGUAGE LESSONS
"Funny, timely, and earnest."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... "I did not realize, going in, that "Language Lessons" was a movie that plays out on the characters' computer screens, and while there will probably a few more of those than usual coming out over the coming months,this one seems like it might wind up more than just a time capsule of the present moment. Even when the credits are rolling, it's not obvious whether this was specifically created to be a quarantine movie or not; odds are it's an influence, but it's good enough to stick even for those who don't want any reminders of what life is like now." (more)
SMALL ENGINE REPAIR
"The play you write for yourself becomes a movie that showcase your co-stars"
3 stars
Jay Seaver says... "Buried at the very end of the credits of this film is that it was adapted from writer/director/star John Pollono's play of the same name, and though it doesn't appear to have been a one-act play, it's got the feel of something where he started from a well-constructed second half and worked backward. He does it well enough that he's not just killing time and padding the movie, but there's certainly something more potent to be distilled from this fairly decent movie." (more)
NIGHT HOUSE, THE
"A thriller that knows what to do with its angry grief."
4 stars
Jay Seaver says... ""The Night House" is the sort of smart genre movie that I start to get worried about in the middle; I've been burned often enough by supernatural thrillers that are willing to sacrifice the themes that make them resonate in order to get one more scare or twist. This one definitely gives off that vibe at times, sometimes sinking a little too deep into its mythology for its own good, but ultimately the folks involved do want there to be something more to their scares than just making a viewer jump." (more)

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