Film Festival

Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “The Fabelmans” & “The Eternal Daughter”

Posted September 16, 2022 by Mitch Salem

  THE FABELMANS (Universal – November 11):  Like all superheroes, Steven Spielberg has an origin story, and he tells it in The Fabelmans, whose world premiere was far and away the signature event of this year’s Toronto Film Festival.  Bits and pieces of this lore have been scattered throughout Spielberg’s filmmaking career, with all its […]

Full Story »

Film Festival

Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Causeway” & “The Menu”

Posted September 14, 2022 by Mitch Salem

  CAUSEWAY (Apple – November 4):  After a decade as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, there was reason to wonder whether the Jennifer Lawrence who first came to prominence with the Sundance movie Winter’s Bone still had a gritty indie-movie gear.  She returns to those roots with Causeway, for which she also serves as a […]

Full Story »

Current Release

Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Bros” & “Butcher’s Crossing”

Posted September 13, 2022 by Mitch Salem

  BROS (Universal – Sept. 30):  Notwithstanding its occasional meta self-deprecation, it’s clear that Nicholas Stoller and Billy Eichner (both writer/producers and respectively director and star) want Bros to be Hollywood’s first mainstream big-screen gay rom-com hit.  It’s fitting in a way, then, that like so many straight rom-coms before it, Bros suffers from third […]

Full Story »

Film Festival

Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “The Woman King” & “Prisoner’s Daughter”

Posted September 13, 2022 by Mitch Salem

  THE WOMAN KING (Tri-Star/Sony – Sept. 16):  Gina Prince-Bythewood’s The Woman King feels something like what would happen if the Themyscira Island Amazonian sequences of Wonder Woman were feature length.  Dana Stevens’ script (from a story by the actress/producer Maria Bello) is set in the 19th-century African kingdom of Dahomey, which is ruled by […]

Full Story »

Film Festival

Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” & “Corsage”

Posted September 12, 2022 by Mitch Salem

  WEIRD: THE AL YANKOVIC STORY (Roku – November 4):  A comic book fantasia of a celebrity “biography,” Eric Appel’s Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (co-written with Yankovic himself, who’s also one of the producers), takes some fragments about the parody musician’s life and work, and transforms them into a nonstop array of gags that […]

Full Story »

Film Festival

Toronto Film Festival Reviews: “The Inspection” & “Emily”

Posted September 11, 2022 by Mitch Salem

  THE INSPECTION (A24 – November 14):  Back in 1983, Robert Altman directed the film version of David Rabe’s play Streamers, about a Vietnam-era boot camp that turned even more violent and vicious with the catalyst of one recruit’s closeted homosexuality.  Elegance Bratton’s The Inspection tells a similar story for the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” […]

Full Story »

Film Festival

ShowbuzzDaily Sundance 2022 Reviews: “Emily the Criminal” & “blood”

Posted January 26, 2022 by Mitch Salem

  EMILY THE CRIMINAL (no distrib):  John Patton Ford’s feature debut is a lean, gritty, accomplished thriller with a smashing star performance from Aubrey Plaza.  Plaza (who also produced) plays the titular Emily, an aspiring artist whose career got derailed due to a violent incident in college, giving her a record that’s preventing her from […]

Full Story »

Film Festival

ShowbuzzDaily Sundance 2022 Reviews: “God’s Country” & “Phoenix Rising”

Posted January 25, 2022 by Mitch Salem

  GOD’S COUNTRY (no distrib):  A deliberative character study that’s also a thriller of sorts, anchored by one of the best performances of Thandiwe Newton’s career.  When two hunters (Joris Jarsky and Yellowstone‘s Jefferson White) park their pick-up on college professor Sandra Guidry’s (Newton) land for their convenience, they’re messing with the wrong person.  Sandra’s […]

Full Story »