Author: Brett_G

“Firestarter” (2022)

6.4

Unfortunately fell flat for me…a cross between “Stranger Things,” “Matilda,” and “Carrie.” It had some well-done scenes but failed to build consistent momentum and ultimately left me underwhelmed.

The one bright spot in this hot mess, aside from the brilliant score by John Carpenter, was the performance of the main lead Ryan Kiera Armstrong. She stole the focus in almost every scene and held down the fort while Efron overacted the likes of Jim Carrey.

Throughout the runtime, this film felt like a cheap attempt to play on tropes. Though brilliant in its own right, even the score was essentially the “Halloween” score in a different scale.

“Cow”

6.5

True to the title, it’s just 90 minutes of the life and times of a dairy cow.

WARNING – It may not be suitable for children. It includes the beginning and end of the life of a dairy cow, if you catch my drift. It was a much more visceral experience than I expected.

“Everything, Everywhere, All at Once”

8.4

Your move, Dr. Strange. The bar has been set for multiverse movies.

I’m still not precisely positive about how to explain this A24 home run, other than to say you will cycle through all the feels by the time the credits roll. A wonderful tale of family, the meaning of life, and our relationship with others is a wonderfully whimsical adventure across the dimensions to drive the points home. A lot of this runtime will be spent with your jaw on the ground. They take a lot of risks, and they all pay off in the end. Keep up the great work, A24!

Side note – The song you can’t quite place that serves as the film’s title theme is “Absolutely” by Nine Days. Makes about as much sense as everything else. It is, after all… a story of a girl…

“Love & Other Drugs”

8.1

“Sometimes the things you want the most don’t happen, and what you least expect happens. I don’t know; you meet thousands of people, and none of them really touch you. And then you meet one person, and your life is changed forever.”

Another film that I was led to by a Tik Tok. However, this time, I was pleasantly surprised by this powerhouse of a romantic comedy! I never expected the “they learn from each other to become better people and build a deep connection” to be this well-executed and impactful! I may have even become a bit misty-eyed at the finale. Separately, on the surface, they’re genuinely terrible people. The classic “you’ve met your match” scenario, where our leads bring out both the best and worst in each other. Through this wild ride of a whirlwind romance, you get just as lost in the blinding infatuation as the characters do.

It even contains some insightful commentary on the healthcare field and pharmaceutical industry. The other pharma reps duking it out in the corporate world. A disillusioned physician searching for the meaning that called him to the profession. Another unexpected well of insight and narrative depth that gave this film much more of a well-rounded sense of profundity to balance the levity of Jamie and Maggie’s no strings attached love affair.

“The Outfit”

7.8

“A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.” – Oscar Wilde

I KNEW there was more to the old man than met the eye!

Zoey Deutch got me into the theater. This one-room play put to film that has better twists and turns than most trying to be mystery films kept me there and engaged until the credits rolled. It was like “Phantom Thread” meets “Goodfellas,” and I was all-in. The actors all do a superb job of slowly revealing their true selves and motives and keep the audience guessing almost until the film’s final frame. It was indeed a work of art.