Hey everyone! I wish I had the time to write long full reviews for each of these films but unfortunately I’ve gotten behind and that’s not possible right now. I did have the chance to review some films for Good Things Utah a few weeks ago. You can check out my review of Creed III, Emily, Mandalorian s3 and The Love Club on Hallmark Channel here:
If you have seen any of these films I would love to know your thoughts.
Here’s a few more reviews:
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
It’s easy these days to be cynical about movies like Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. Most of the time movies based on existing IP like D&D feel underwhelming and lazy but fortunately that’s not the case with this film from directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. I’m not even a big fantasy person and I still had a good time with this film.
Chris Pine brings his usual charisma playing Edgin, a man who becomes a thief after his wife is killed by a Red Wizard. He ends up imprisoned and the villainous Forge (Hugh Grant) takes his position including raising Edgin’s daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman.) Edgin then gathers a motley crew together including barbarian Holga (Michelle Rodriguez), Xenk (Rege-Jean Page) and Simon (Justice Smith).
I have no idea how well this captures the game but if you enjoy adventure stories like A Princess Bride or the first Pirates movie than you’ll have a good time with this one. It is PG-13 for “fantasy action/violence and some language” but if your kids can handle the latest superhero movies they should be fine with this.
I admit I was really tired when I saw this one at a morning screening but I still had a fun time. I look forward to watching it again and getting even more out of it. If you are looking for a grand adventure with a charismatic cast than this is the movie for you.
7 out of 10
Movies about business can be an interesting enterprise. If done wrong they can be as dull as most business meetings are. If done right they can be some of the most compelling human dramas ever released. Of course people think of Moneyball and The Social Network but you can go back to movies like Broadcast News and Network. This year seems to be the year of corporate origin story movies with Tetris, Flaming Hot, Blackberry and this movie AIR.
AIR tells the story of how salesman Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) convinced Nike to bet on Michael Jordan and the Air Jordan line of shoes. The film is directed by Ben Affleck and he plays Nike CEO Phil Knight (I couldn’t help but think of poor Will Vinton and Laika Studios whenever they showed Knight) along with a terrific cast including Chris Tucker, Jason Bateman and a very memorable Chris Messina as Jordan’s agent David Falk.
As with most movies, AIR comes down to the script. Writer Alex Convery has given us a very entertaining debut screenplay with characters that feel authentic and dialogue that pops. Aside from it being an R-rated, I think I could recommend this film to just about anyone. It’s so entertaining and engaging even though we know how it is all going to end. I could care less about basketball, Michael Jordan or shoes and I still really enjoyed this film because it’s not about any of that. It’s about people and the risks they take to make the big deal. Viola Davis is also great as Jordan’s mother.
I’m not sure why they didn’t release this last year so it could count for Oscars 2023 but I hope at least the screenplay doesn’t get forgotten for next year. It’s super fun. (They also spent a fortune on music for this movie. Get the soundtrack!)
8 out of 10
One movie I missed out of Sundance 2023 is the rom-com Rye Lane. As a lover of the genre I was so disappointed to miss it but gratefully got to catch up with it this last week. While I don’t think I loved it as much as those who saw it at the festival I still recommend it and especially loved the lead couple of Dom (David Jonsson) and Yas (Vivian Oprah.)
The two have a meet-cute when Yas finds Dom crying in a public uni-sex bathroom. As it turns out they have both recently been through break-ups and they decide to spend the day together strolling around London and experiencing all kinds of shenanigans.
I really loved both Jonsson and Oparah together and felt both actors had great chemistry together. I found myself rooting for both of them and being happy when they start to fall for each other, which is exactly what you want in a romantic comedy.
The humor was more hit-and-miss for me and the harsh lighting/fisheye cinematography was distracting but not so much to ruin the experience. Rye Lane is an R rated film and like I said the humor was uneven but I’d still recommend it playing on hulu right now.
6.5 out of 10
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