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Zack Snyder’s ARMY OF THE DEAD New Trailer

From filmmaker Zack Snyder (300, Zack Snyder’s Justice League), ARMY OF THE DEAD takes place following a zombie outbreak that has left Las Vegas in ruins and walled off from the rest of the world. When Scott Ward (Dave Bautista), a displaced Vegas local, former zombie war hero who’s now flipping burgers on the outskirts of the town he now calls home, is approached by casino boss Bly Tanaka (Hiroyuki Sanada), it’s with the ultimate proposition: Break into the zombie-infested quarantine zone to retrieve $200 million sitting in a vault beneath the strip before the city is nuked by the government in 32 hours. Driven by the hope that the payoff could help pave the way to a reconciliation with his estranged daughter Kate (Ella Purnell), Ward takes on the challenge, assembling a ragtag team of experts for the heist. They include Maria Cruz (Ana de la Reguera), an ace mechanic and Ward’s old friend; Vanderohe (Omari Hardwick), a zombie killing machine; Marianne Peters (Tig Notaro), a cynical helicopter pilot; Mikey Guzman (Raúl Castillo), a go-for-broke influencer and Chambers (Samantha Win), his ride-or-die; Martin (Garret Dillahunt), the casino’s head of security; a badass warrior known as the Coyote (Nora Arnezeder) who recruits Burt Cummings (Theo Rossi), a slimy security guard; and a brilliant German safe cracker named Dieter (Matthias Schweighöfer). Scott finds an unexpected emotional hurdle when Kate joins the expedition to search for Geeta (Huma S. Qureshi), a mother who’s gone missing inside the city. With a ticking clock, a notoriously impenetrable vault, and a smarter, faster horde of Alpha zombies closing in, only one thing’s for certain in the greatest heist ever attempted: survivors take all.

ARMY OF THE DEAD is directed by Zack Snyder (who also served as director of photography) with a screenplay by Snyder & Shay Hatten and Joby Harold from a story by Snyder. The film is produced by Deborah Snyder, p.g.a.; Wesley Coller, p.g.a.; Zack Snyder, p.g.a. The film also stars Richard Cetrone and Michael Cassidy.

In Select Theaters May 14 and on Netflix May 21, 2021. Check out the new trailer below!

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Movie Review: “In The Earth”

The new horror film “In The Earth” is the mystifying tale of a devastating virus and what it will take to stop it.

Watch my full ICTN review in the video below and see if the film strikes enough fear to make it worth your time.

“In The Earth” opens in select theaters April 16, 2021.

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“Finding You” Trailer

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th, Roadside Attractions invites you to watch the new trailer for their upcoming exclusive theatrical release, FINDING YOU.

The film tells the story of Finley (Rose Reid), an accomplished young musician studying abroad in Ireland who meets heartthrob movie star Beckett (Jedidiah Goodacre) shooting his latest medieval fantasy blockbuster.  Sparks fly between the unlikely couple who inspire each other to find the strength to be true to oneself. But when forces surrounding Beckett’s stardom threaten to crush their dreams, Finley must decide what she is willing to risk for love.

Filmed in Ireland, FINDING YOU is written and directed by Brian Baugh and stars up-and-comers Rose Reid, Jedidiah Goodacre, Katherine McNamara and Saoirse-Monica Jackson alongside seasoned vets Patrick Bergin, Tom Everett Scott and Vanessa Redgrave.

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93rd Academy Awards Nomination Announcement

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Riz Ahmed in “Sound of Metal”
  • Chadwick Boseman in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • Anthony Hopkins in “The Father”
  • Gary Oldman in “Mank”
  • Steven Yeun in “Minari”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Sacha Baron Cohen in “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
  • Daniel Kaluuya in “Judas and the Black Messiah”
  • Leslie Odom, Jr. in “One Night in Miami…”
  • Paul Raci in “Sound of Metal”
  • Lakeith Stanfield in “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Viola Davis in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
  • Andra Day in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
  • Vanessa Kirby in “Pieces of a Woman”
  • Frances McDormand in “Nomadland”
  • Carey Mulligan in “Promising Young Woman”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Maria Bakalova in “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan”
  • Glenn Close in “Hillbilly Elegy”
  • Olivia Colman in “The Father”
  • Amanda Seyfried in “Mank”
  • Yuh-Jung Youn in “Minari”

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Onward” Dan Scanlon and Kori Rae
  • “Over the Moon” Glen Keane, Gennie Rim and Peilin Chou
  • “A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon” Richard Phelan, Will Becher and Paul Kewley
  • “Soul” Pete Docter and Dana Murray
  • “Wolfwalkers” Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart, Paul Young and Stéphan Roelants

Achievement in cinematography

  • “Judas and the Black Messiah” Sean Bobbitt
  • “Mank” Erik Messerschmidt
  • “News of the World” Dariusz Wolski
  • “Nomadland” Joshua James Richards
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7” Phedon Papamichael

Achievement in costume design

  • “Emma” Alexandra Byrne
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” Ann Roth
  • “Mank” Trish Summerville
  • “Mulan” Bina Daigeler
  • “Pinocchio” Massimo Cantini Parrini

Achievement in directing

  • “Another Round” Thomas Vinterberg
  • “Mank” David Fincher
  • “Minari” Lee Isaac Chung
  • “Nomadland” Chloé Zhao
  • “Promising Young Woman” Emerald Fennell

Best documentary feature

  • “Collective” Alexander Nanau and Bianca Oana
  • “Crip Camp” Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht and Sara Bolder
  • “The Mole Agent” Maite Alberdi and Marcela Santibáñez
  • “My Octopus Teacher” Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed and Craig Foster
  • “Time” Garrett Bradley, Lauren Domino and Kellen Quinn

Best documentary short subject

  • “Colette” Anthony Giacchino and Alice Doyard
  • “A Concerto Is a Conversation” Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers
  • “Do Not Split” Anders Hammer and Charlotte Cook
  • “Hunger Ward” Skye Fitzgerald and Michael Scheuerman
  • “A Love Song for Latasha” Sophia Nahli Allison and Janice Duncan

Achievement in film editing

  • “The Father” Yorgos Lamprinos
  • “Nomadland” Chloé Zhao
  • “Promising Young Woman” Frédéric Thoraval
  • “Sound of Metal” Mikkel E. G. Nielsen
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7” Alan Baumgarten

Best international feature film of the year

  • “Another Round” Denmark
  • “Better Days” Hong Kong
  • “Collective” Romania
  • “The Man Who Sold His Skin” Tunisia
  • “Quo Vadis, Aida?” Bosnia and Herzegovina

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

  • “Emma” Marese Langan, Laura Allen and Claudia Stolze
  • “Hillbilly Elegy” Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle and Patricia Dehaney
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson
  • “Mank” Gigi Williams, Kimberley Spiteri and Colleen LaBaff
  • “Pinocchio” Mark Coulier, Dalia Colli and Francesco Pegoretti

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • “Da 5 Bloods” Terence Blanchard
  • “Mank” Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
  • “Minari” Emile Mosseri
  • “News of the World” James Newton Howard
  • “Soul” Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah”
    Music by H.E.R. and Dernst Emile II; Lyric by H.E.R. and Tiara Thomas
  • “Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
    Music by Daniel Pemberton; Lyric by Daniel Pemberton and Celeste Waite
  • “Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”
    Music and Lyric by Savan Kotecha, Fat Max Gsus and Rickard Göransson
  • “Io Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)”
    Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Diane Warren and Laura Pausini
  • “Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami…”
    Music and Lyric by Leslie Odom, Jr. and Sam Ashworth

Best motion picture of the year

  • “The Father” David Parfitt, Jean-Louis Livi and Philippe Carcassonne, Producers
  • “Judas and the Black Messiah” Shaka King, Charles D. King and Ryan Coogler, Producers
  • “Mank” Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth and Douglas Urbanski, Producers
  • “Minari” Christina Oh, Producer
  • “Nomadland” Frances McDormand, Peter Spears, Mollye Asher, Dan Janvey and Chloé Zhao, Producers
  • “Promising Young Woman” Ben Browning, Ashley Fox, Emerald Fennell and Josey McNamara, Producers
  • “Sound of Metal” Bert Hamelinck and Sacha Ben Harroche, Producers
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7” Marc Platt and Stuart Besser, Producers

Achievement in production design

  • “The Father” Production Design: Peter Francis; Set Decoration: Cathy Featherstone
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” Production Design: Mark Ricker; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara and Diana Stoughton
  • “Mank” Production Design: Donald Graham Burt; Set Decoration: Jan Pascale
  • “News of the World” Production Design: David Crank; Set Decoration: Elizabeth Keenan
  • “Tenet” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas

Best animated short film

  • “Burrow” Madeline Sharafian and Michael Capbarat
  • “Genius Loci” Adrien Mérigeau and Amaury Ovise
  • “If Anything Happens I Love You” Will McCormack and Michael Govier
  • “Opera” Erick Oh
  • “Yes-People” Gísli Darri Halldórsson and Arnar Gunnarsson

Best live action short film

  • “Feeling Through” Doug Roland and Susan Ruzenski
  • “The Letter Room” Elvira Lind and Sofia Sondervan
  • “The Present” Farah Nabulsi
  • “Two Distant Strangers” Travon Free and Martin Desmond Roe
  • “White Eye” Tomer Shushan and Shira Hochman

Achievement in sound

  • “Greyhound” Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Beau Borders and David Wyman
  • “Mank” Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod, David Parker, Nathan Nance and Drew Kunin
  • “News of the World” Oliver Tarney, Mike Prestwood Smith, William Miller and John Pritchett
  • “Soul” Ren Klyce, Coya Elliott and David Parker
  • “Sound of Metal” Nicolas Becker, Jaime Baksht, Michelle Couttolenc, Carlos Cortés and Phillip Bladh

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Love and Monsters” Matt Sloan, Genevieve Camilleri, Matt Everitt and Brian Cox
  • “The Midnight Sky” Matthew Kasmir, Christopher Lawrence, Max Solomon and David Watkins
  • “Mulan” Sean Faden, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury and Steve Ingram
  • “The One and Only Ivan” Nick Davis, Greg Fisher, Ben Jones and Santiago Colomo Martinez
  • “Tenet” Andrew Jackson, David Lee, Andrew Lockley and Scott Fisher

Adapted screenplay

  • “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Peter Baynham & Erica Rivinoja & Dan Mazer & Jena Friedman & Lee Kern; Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Dan Swimer & Nina Pedrad
  • “The Father” Screenplay by Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller
  • “Nomadland” Written for the screen by Chloé Zhao
  • “One Night in Miami…” Screenplay by Kemp Powers
  • “The White Tigers” Written for the screen by Ramin Bahrani

Original screenplay

  • “Judas and the Black Messiah” Screenplay by Will Berson & Shaka King; Story by Will Berson & Shaka King and Kenny Lucas & Keith Lucas
  • “Minari” Written by Lee Isaac Chung
  • “Promising Young Woman” Written by Emerald Fennell
  • “Sound of Metal” Screenplay by Darius Marder & Abraham Marder; Story by Darius Marder & Derek Cianfrance
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7” Written by Aaron Sorkin

Interview: Director Edward Drake talks “Cosmic Sin”

I chatted with director Edward Drake to talk about the new sci-fi thriller, “Cosmic Sin”. We discuss the making of the film, the video games that inspired the film’s look, working with Bruce Willis, and much more. Watch the full interview below.

“Cosmic Sin” opens in theaters and is available On Demand March 12, 2021.

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Film Nominations Announced for the 26th Annual Critics Choice Awards

FILM NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCED FOR  THE 26TH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS  

Taye Diggs will Host the Ceremony. The show airs on The CW Sunday, March 7

BEST PICTURE  

Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)  

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)  

Mank (Netflix)  

Minari (A24)  

News of the World (Universal Pictures)  

Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)  

One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)  

Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)  

Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)  

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)  

BEST ACTOR  

Ben Affleck – The Way Back (Warner Bros.)  

Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)  

Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)  

Tom Hanks – News of the World (Universal Pictures)  

Anthony Hopkins – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)  

Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)  

Gary Oldman – Mank (Netflix)  

Steven Yeun – Minari (A24)  

BEST ACTRESS  

Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)  

Andra Day – The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu)  

Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features)  

Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman (Netflix)  

Frances McDormand – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)  

Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)  

Zendaya – Malcolm & Marie (Netflix)  

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR  

Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)  

Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)  

Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)  

Bill Murray – On the Rocks (A24/Apple TV+)  

Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)  

Paul Raci – Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)  

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS  

Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Studios)  

Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman (Netflix)  

Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix)  

Olivia Colman – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)  

Amanda Seyfried – Mank (Netflix)  

Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari (A24)  

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS  

Ryder Allen – Palmer (Apple TV+)  

Ibrahima Gueye – The Life Ahead (Netflix)  

Alan Kim – Minari (A24)  

Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features)  

Caoilinn Springall – The Midnight Sky (Netflix)  

Helena Zengel – News of the World (Universal Pictures)  

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE  

Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)  

Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)  

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)  

Minari (A24)  

One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)  

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)  

BEST DIRECTOR  

Lee Isaac Chung – Minari (A24)  

Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)  

David Fincher – Mank (Netflix)  

Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)  

Regina King – One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)  

Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)  

Chloé Zhao – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)  

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY  

Lee Isaac Chung – Minari (A24)  

Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)  

Jack Fincher – Mank (Netflix)  

Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always (Focus Features)  

Darius Marder & Abraham Marder – Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)  

Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)  

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY  

Paul Greengrass & Luke Davies – News of the World (Universal Pictures)  

Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)  

Kemp Powers – One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)  

Jon Raymond & Kelly Reichardt – First Cow (A24)  

Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)  

Chloé Zhao – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)  

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY  

Christopher Blauvelt – First Cow (A24)  

Erik Messerschmidt – Mank (Netflix)  

Lachlan Milne – Minari (A24)  

Joshua James Richards – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)  

Newton Thomas Sigel – Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)  

Hoyte Van Hoytema – Tenet (Warner Bros.)  

Dariusz Wolski – News of the World (Universal Pictures)  

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN  

Cristina Casali, Charlotte Dirickx – The Personal History of David Copperfield (Searchlight Pictures)  

David Crank, Elizabeth Keenan – News of the World (Universal Pictures)  

Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas – Tenet (Warner Bros.)  

Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale – Mank (Netflix)  

Kave Quinn, Stella Fox – Emma (Focus Features)  

Mark Ricker, Karen O’Hara & Diana Stoughton – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)  

BEST EDITING  

Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix)  

Kirk Baxter – Mank (Netflix)  

Jennifer Lame – Tenet (Warner Bros.)  

Yorgos Lamprinos – The Father (Sony Pictures Classics)  

Mikkel E. G. Nielsen – Sound of Metal (Amazon Studios)  

Chloé Zhao – Nomadland (Searchlight Pictures)  

BEST COSTUME DESIGN  

Alexandra Byrne – Emma (Focus Features)  

Bina Daigeler – Mulan (Disney)  

Suzie Harman & Robert Worley – The Personal History of David Copperfield (Searchlight Pictures)  

Ann Roth – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)  

Nancy Steiner – Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)  

Trish Summerville – Mank (Netflix)  

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP  

Emma (Focus Features)  

Hillbilly Elegy (Netflix)  

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix)  

Mank (Netflix)  

Promising Young Woman (Focus Features)  

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu)  

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS  

Greyhound (Apple TV+)  

The Invisible Man (Universal Pictures)  

Mank (Netflix)  

The Midnight Sky (Netflix)  

Mulan (Disney)  

Tenet (Warner Bros.)  

Wonder Woman 1984 (Warner Bros.)  

BEST COMEDY  

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Amazon Studios)  

The Forty-Year-Old Version (Netflix)  

The King of Staten Island (Universal Pictures)  

On the Rocks (A24/Apple TV+)  

Palm Springs (Hulu and NEON)  

The Prom (Netflix)  

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM  

Another Round (Samuel Goldwyn Films)  

Collective (Magnolia Pictures)  

La Llorona (Shudder)  

The Life Ahead (Netflix)  

Minari (A24)  

Two of Us (Magnolia Pictures)  

BEST SONG  

Everybody Cries – The Outpost (Screen Media Films)  

Fight for You – Judas and the Black Messiah (Warner Bros.)  

Husavik (My Home Town) – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (Netflix)  

Io sì (Seen) – The Life Ahead (Netflix)  

Speak Now – One Night in Miami (Amazon Studios)  

Tigress & Tweed – The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu)  

BEST SCORE  

Alexandre Desplat – The Midnight Sky (Netflix)  

Ludwig Göransson – Tenet (Warner Bros.)  

James Newton Howard – News of the World (Universal Pictures)  

Emile Mosseri – Minari (A24)  

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Mank (Netflix)  

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, and Jon Batiste – Soul (Disney)  

Top 10 Best Films of 2020

10. Soul

“Soul” follows, Joe (Jamie Foxx), a music teacher who has lost his passion for music and sense of purpose. But when he is transported into another realm to help someone find their spark, he discovers a new appreciation for life.  The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for this movie. Whether you have a dream you haven’t accomplished yet, or you feel as though your life hasn’t amounted to anything; take a second to reflect on all the good you already have. Your health, your family, your friends; our life is not as bad as we sometimes make it out to be. And remember to appreciate all the little things, even if it’s as small as a good slice of pizza.

9. Words on Bathroom Walls

“Words on Bathroom Walls” follows Adam(Charlie Plummer), a passionate cook who appears to be a typical teenage boy until an incident in his High School reveals he has schizophrenia. He is expelled, and forced to finish out his senior year at a Catholic High school. It’s there he meets, Maya (Taylor Russell). Their relationship in the film is tender and sweet, but the beauty of “Words on Bathroom Walls” is getting to see perspective on a mental illness that isn’t shown often, especially through a romance. This is something else that deserves representation and understanding. And though the film centers around Adam and Maya, the relationship between Adam and his mom is just as powerful. Her tenacity shows us a mother’s love is unconditional.

8. Let Him Go

After the death of their son, Margaret and George Blackledge (Diane Lane and Kevin Costner) have held on to the light in their life, their grandson, Jimmy. But when their daughter-in-law (Kayli Carter) remarries to an abusive man, Donnie Weboy (Will Brittain), he takes both her and Jimmy away to his family’s secluded home in North Dakota.  Margaret and George leave their ranch in Montana, and go on a mission to save what’s left of their family. Some may not find this movie special, but it transported me back to the theaters with how well it was shot and the incredible performances. You can’t help but feel for this couple, and want them to do whatever is necessary to get their grandson back.

7. On the Rocks

Bill Murray plays, Felix, a playboy art dealer who, long ago, walked out on his wife and children for the first of many women. He’s selfish and self-centered, yet you can’t help but love the guy. When he hears his daughter, Laura (Rashida Jones), is concerned about her husband’s many work trips, he assumes the worse and encourages her to look into the matter with him.  This film is such an easy and humorous watch. This is in big part due to the natural chemistry between Murray and Jones. Felix is trying to make up for lost time by taking this unfortunate circumstance as an opportunity to spend quality time with his daughter, who he genuinely cares for. “On the Rocks” highlights a sweet, yet unconventional father/daughter relationship, while also shedding a light on marriages that could use a little refresher.

6. Irresistible

I know politics is a touchy subject, but the beauty of “Irresistible” is that it really doesn’t try to sway you on either side. They focus more about how ridiculous a campaign can get and how much it costs. It’s not about conservatives versus liberals. Instead, the film makes you question the two party system. The all-star cast which includes Steve Carrell, Rose Byrne, Chris Cooper, and MacKenzie Davis all give top-notch, hilarious performances. The banter between Carrell and Byrne alone makes this film such a delight. “Irresistible” is the insightful, laugh-out-loud comedy we needed during this election year. Putting into perspective what is truly important in any leadership role. 

5. The Kid Detective

To all my fellow “Harriet the Spy” lovers, this movie is what I imagine happened to the male version of Harriet. Abe Applebaum (Adam Brody) was a once celebrated kid detective. Even adults used his services. But after he fails to solve the mystery of a kidnapping of a young girl/friend, he is no longer the same quality detective. Fast forward to his 30’s, he’s a washed up drunk, taking any minor case he can get to make end’s meat. That is until he is presented with his first murder case. I know a lot of you probably haven’t heard of this film, but it’s a really fun watch. Brody carries the movie with his wit and charm, but the story is just as engaging. “The Kid Detective” is truly the hidden gem of 2020.

4. Onward

I’m surprised by how high I have this film on my list, but since January I can’t get this movie or the ending out of my head. It’s one I get emotional just thinking about. On the day of Ian Lightfoot’s (Tom Holland) 16th birthday, he and his older brother (Chris Pratt) are given a gift from their late father. Turns out it’s a spell that will bring their dad back to life for 24 hours,  giving Ian a chance to finally meet his father. But the spell doesn’t go exactly as planned. At first glance, this seems like a possibly boring, one disaster after another road trip that will end predictably. It’s safe to say that’s not the case. Although this is a film about a son seeking a relationship with his father, it also recognizes those in our lives who unexpectedly became a father figure and shaped us into the person we are today.

3. Palm Springs

Not since “Groundhog Day” has any film with the similar formula been worth raving about (Except for maybe “Happy Death Day”). That is until “Palm Springs”. It manages to put a refreshing spin on the romantic comedy genre and time loop narrative. Nyles (Andy Samberg) and Sarah (Cristin Milioti) are two wedding guests reliving the same day. Samberg and Milioti are a dynamic duo with amazing chemistry. The film is heavier than you might expect. Nyles and Sarah are stuck together without even death as an escape. A romance grows, and soon they are partners in crime making the most of their care-free new existence; even if it comes with a rapid loss of meaning. “Palm Springs” is funny, sweet, and has a surprising little twist. 

2. Uncle Frank

If I could give anyone the Oscar right now, it would be Paul Bettany for his powerful and gut-wrenching performance in this film. I really hope this movie doesn’t go under the radar during award season, because it deserves recognition for its performances alone. Set in 1973, the film follows a teenager named Beth (Sophia Lillis) who leaves her rural Southern home to study at a New York University where her beloved Uncle Frank (Bettany) teaches. While there she discovers Frank is gay, and has been living with his long time partner, Wally (Peter Macdissi) – a secret he’s been keeping from his family for years. After the passing of his father, the three of them take a road trip home to North Carolina, and Frank is forced to face the worries and trauma he’s been running from. This film is my biggest tear-jerker of the year. I’m talking ugly crying. Watching Bettany play a character who has to hide his true self from his family in fear of how they might react is heartbreaking, and sadly, still relevant. “Uncle Frank” is a film everyone should watch.

1. Promising Young Woman

If you’ve heard me talk about this film, it should come as no surprise that it would make the top of my list. The movie has romance, comedy, mystery, revenge, and an all-star cast. “Promising Young Woman” features Carey Mulligan as Cassie, a med-school dropout who seeks revenge on a traumatizing past event. Not since “Hard Candy” have I enjoyed such an enticing revenge story. Mulligan is at her best, showing such complex emotions. She varies from cold-hearted to heartbreaking. This is a cautionary tale that would serve well in high school and college classrooms. Especially geared towards men who don’t seem to understand what consensual sexual activity means. The film goes beyond the actions of the men responsible for the sexual assaults. It also highlights those who turn a blind eye, and even the parties responsible for defending the guilty. “Promising Young Woman” is funny, dark, unforgettable, and for me, it’s the best film of the year.

The Best of the Rest:

11. Black Box

12. Shithouse

13. A Secret Love

14. Yes God Yes

15. The Trial of the Chicago 7

16. The Mauritanian

17. Da 5 Bloods

18. Freaky

19. Another Round

20. The Broken Hearts Gallery

Top 5 Worst Films of 2020

5. The Rhythm Section – I except more from Jude Law and Blake Lively at this point in their careers.

4. Underwater- A Knockoff underwater version of “Alien”. But bad, so bad.

3. The Sunlit Night- Terrible movie with the most forced and awkward sex scene.

2. The Prom – Had no idea James Corden was a bad actor until this film. Honestly, I couldn’t pay attention anything else.

1. The Witches (2020) – I almost forgot this movie happened. I’d like to keep it that way.

Trevor’s Top 10

10. Yes God Yes
9. Sonic the Hedgehog
8. Freaky
7. The Mauritanian
6. Palm Springs
5. The Old Guard
4. The Kid Detective
3. Promising Young Woman
2. Irresistible
1. Uncle Frank

Interview: Writer Mike Jones talks “Soul”

“Soul” follows Joe (Jamie Foxx) , a music teacher who has lost his passion for music and sense of purpose. But when he is transported into another realm to help someone find their spark, he discovers a new appreciation for life. I chatted with writer Mike Jones to discuss the film, what little things he appreciates about life, the value in asking people questions, and much more.

“Soul” is available to stream on Disney+ December 25.

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Movie Review: News of the World is an Enjoyable Ride

The last time director Paul Greengrass and Tom Hanks worked together was for “Captain Phillips”. A solid movie that was strong in its performances, but lacking in its story. Now, the two have teamed up again, and Hanks plays an even better Captain in the film, “News of the World”.

Hanks stars as Captain Kyle Kidd, a war veteran who travels from town to town five years after the Civil War, to read the news across Texas. But this man doesn’t just read the news, he brings life to it with his energy and storytelling; almost like a performance. He entertains the crowds at each stop with his loud, commanding voice.

While on his news tour, Kidd stumbles across a 10-year old girl which he names Johanna (Helena Zengel). She’s found abandoned on the road. She was raised by the Kiowa tribe, and doesn’t speak any English. Once Kidd realizes Johanna has no one to help her, he takes it upon himself to get her to her aunt and uncle’s farm near San Antonio. But this is no easy journey, and Kidd still must complete his work. Johanna tags along and watches in admiration as Kidd reads his “stories” to the towns they visit before their final destination.

“News of the World” does have some action, and there is enough intensity to keep you engaged. But be prepared for a lot of quiet and slow moments. With the exception of one shoot-out, this isn’t a very wild western. The enjoyment of the film comes from Kidd and Johanna. The two have great chemistry, and a very natural father/daughter like relationship. The dialogue between them is never forced or cheesy. The progression of the care and trust they build is incredibly heartwarming. They are both troubled and lost, but they find a home in each other.

The film is beautifully shot with luminous cinematography by Dariusz Wolski, and has a fantastic production design by David Crank. The exteriors of this film are wonderful, but what gives this movie life is the heart behind the two lead characters.

“News of the World” is an unconventional western. But regardless of your genre preference, Hanks and Zengel will win you over.

Rating: 4/5

“News of the World” opens in theaters December 25 and On Demand in January.

Interview: Aubrey Plaza talks “Black Bear”

Aubrey Plaza stars in the wildly entertaining, psychological drama, “Black Bear”. I chatted with Aubrey to discuss her performance, films that inspired her, and much more.

“Black Bear” opens in theaters and On Demand December 4, 2020.

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