Category: Indie

“The Tutor”


So… it’s a Hitchcock ripoff… kind of. A valiant effort. The ending shot was straight out of “Psycho.”

The twists you can see coming from a mile away. Overall, it frustrated me. It wasn’t that it was poorly executed in a technical sense. The shots are beautiful and there is some good tension building. And holy shit is Noah Schnapp creepy. But the story was too predictable for it to have its fullest impact. So, a few bright spots, but overall letdown.

“Winnie the Pooh: Blood & Honey”


Absolutely bonkers.

The forced creativity resulting from the reportedly less than $100,000 budget really led to an inventive film overall, even if it’s uncomfortable and increasingly strange at every turn.

It’s “The Strangers,” meets “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” dressed in Spirit Halloween. The most fun I’ve had in a packed theater since “Terrifier 2,” but this film keeps the runtime in check at a tight hour and a half. Here’s to hoping there’s more demented public domain character horror films in store for us in the years to come! This was hilariously, horrifically amazing.

“Knock at the Cabin”


Holy crap was this a surprise! A good one, too boot! Unlike “old,” Shyamalan lands the plane with the help of a fantastic cast and tight narrative in this one! Dave Bautista separates from the pack of WWE stars turned actors as my current favorite. The breadth and depth of roles he’s willing to take on is promising compared to The Rock’s one size fits all persona and whatever we want to call John Cena’s trajectory at the moment.

Kristen Cui nails it as Wen, and really gives a nice dose of innocence to the screen amongst all of the malevolence and chaos. The supporting cast also does a great job of carrying their weight, but not being overbearing. It’s really well executed, and not trying to be anything it’s not, which I greatly appreciated.

“Empire of Light”


It’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a movie this calculated to win Oscar’s. There’s typically one every year that crosses the line into being ham-handed with its intent.

While there may not be much in the way of story here, the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous, along with perfectly cast set pieces. Past that, it’s a movie about loving movies, race relations, feminism, and mental illness… checking off all the boxes on a “let’s win some awards” bingo card more so than treating any of the subjects with much care, unfortunately.



An… inspirational movie about human trafficking… with heart? Yep. I’m just as surprised as you are.

A murder mystery, buddy cop movie, and family drama all wrapped into one film. With a dash of “the hangover” story arc with the baby Carlos. Such an odd cast of characters’ paths colliding to form unlikely bonds and twists of fate from beginning to end. Similar to “Parasite,” it holds a mirror up and shines a light into a dark corner of humanity that we all are aware of, but also too often ignore. The messiness of humanity is on full display here, but also the tremendous power of love and camaraderie that can exist between veritable strangers, connected by nothing more than the common thread that connects us all as fellow humans. Well worth the subtitles, this leaves you with great questions and a good feeling towards our ability to coexist on this earth as people. Another great sleeper hit of this year’s Oscar season.