Review: Manglehorn

Excerpt: “Pacino is on a career high this year, delivering tender moments in his genuine performances. He can do cantankerous with ease, but he also injects his own personality into his performance, making it much more authentic. This film falls heavily on Pacino’s shoulders, making his character’s metamorphosis the center of the story, even when the pacing slows to a crawl. He does the best he can with they story he is given, relying on his great chemistry with Holly Hunter to get us through the particularly sluggish scenes.”

RATING: ★★★★★ (5/10 stars)

To read my full review, go to The Young Folks

Review: “Love & Mercy” Unveils Brian Wilson

Excerpt: Brian Wilson’s life, past and present, has always been shrouded with a melancholy mystery. Decoding the man from the myth is impossible, and an ambitious attempt to do through any medium, but Love & Mercy succeeds in lifting (if only slightly) the veil the is/was Brian Wilson. Using a young Wilson (Paul Dano) and an older Wilson (John Cusack) to show the equally tumultuous time periods in the artist’s life, director Bill Pohlad manages to blend this parallel narrative to help explain Wilson’s rise and temporary fall.

RATING: ★★★★★★★★ (8/10 stars)

To read my full review, go to The Young Folks

Review – “Insidious: Chapter 3” is Actually a Preface

Excerpt: At this point, you may have realized that the third chapter in the Insidious saga is actually a prequel to the first film. The major difference between this sequel/prequel and the rest of the continuity is that it corrects a huge mistake made in the first film: killing off the most likeable/interesting character. Aside from the ghostly geek squad, Elise (played by the talented Lin Shaye) is the anchor to the story. Having her die in the first film was a mistake they couldn’t quite retcon, and even having her as only a spirit in the second film was limiting to the overall story. Although it would have been amusing to see the continuation of the story with Elise communicating through ambiguous signs and symbols, the only way to fix the franchise and any future sequels was to give Elise an origin story and the ability to continue to (physically) appear in the films in the form of backdated, episodic films dealing with a new case/story each film. This act may have saved the franchise and given it the change it needed to recapture our attention.

RATING: ★★★★★★ (6/10 stars)

To read my full review, go to The Young Folks

Review: “Spy” Slays Familiar Foes

Excerpt: One of the best things Feig introduces into the spy canon is a paradigm-crushing example of an inspirational female spy. Like male spies, females spies are often hyper-sexualized, forcing only tall, thin, blonde or dark-haired women to be the standard. With their impractical plunging necklines and foot-torturing high heels, they are laughably ill-equipped for battle, yet they somehow manage to easily overcome their opponents. Feig introduces a more realistic spy with Susan Cooper, one that shows us how intelligence and skill will always win over sexual manipulation and stilettos.

RATING: ★★★★★★★★★ (9/10 stars)

To read my full review, go to The Young Folks

Review: “Barely Lethal” Is Deadly If Ingested

Excerpt: Barely Lethal thinks it has hopes of becoming a comic book film franchise all its own, but even with the borrowed cast from other such films (AvengersSin City, and X-Men: Apocalypse) and the rented elements from films past, this only comes off as a shallow parody of an homage to a film. The title itself is a warning reminding you that any more of this film is enough to kill you.

RATING: ★★ (2/10 stars)

To read my full review, go to The Young Folks