Into the Dark Good Boy Review

(Blumhouse Television and Hulu have partnered for a monthly horror anthology series titled Into The Dark, set to release a full holiday-themed feature every month. Horror anthology expert Matt Donato will be tackling the series one-by-one, stacking up the entries as they become streamable.)

In honor of June’s Pet Appreciation Week, Into The Dark’s latest feature has gone to the dogs (strap in, pun haters). From Tragedy Girls and Patchwork director Tyler MacIntyre comes Good Boy, which you might assume summons a canine werewolf (“werewoof”) based on trailer assessments. Not quite the case, as writers Aaron and Will Eisenberg rework butt-buddy comedy Bad Milo but with an emotional support pupper as the protective creature who kills on behalf of its host. It’s humorous, features plenty of “good boy” shots, and carries a certain animal-lover charm that’s properly twisted by blood-stained fur coats.

Also, Judy Greer isn’t shoved into an ancillary role. For this, we Greer stans adore Good Boy even more.

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da 5 bloods review

Like a blast of dynamite, like a punch to the gut, here comes Da 5 Bloods, the new Spike Lee Joint that arrives during a month when protests against violence aimed at Black lives continue to spread throughout the country. Lee made his film before the current climate, but in many ways, it feels almost prescient as it deals with African-Americans fighting for rights they’ve been denied for centuries. It’s not a preachy film, but it is underscored with the undeniable acknowledgment of that fight. “We been dying for this country from the very get, hoping one day they’d give us our rightful place,” says a character played by Chadwick Boseman. “All they give us is a foot up our ass.”

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king of staten island review

“There’s something wrong with me…mentally.” So says Scott (Pete Davidson), a directionless 20-something whose greatest ambition in life is to open a tattoo restaurant and get high all day while still living with his mom. Prone to fits of anger, and seemingly incapable of reading a room, Scott has never gotten over the death of his firefighter father. So when his long-suffering mother (Marisa Tomei) starts dating another firefighter (Bill Burr), Scott’s entire fractured world spins even further out of his control.

Judd Apatow’s The King of Staten Island is meant to be Pete Davidson’s big moment. Sure, Davidson isn’t exactly an unknown at this point – he’s been on Saturday Night Live since 2014, had supporting parts in numerous films and TV shows, and his very public relationship with singer Ariana Grande was plastered everywhere for a period of time. But Davidson has never had a leading role like this before, and the marketing for King of Staten Island makes a big deal about how Apatow is about to do for Davidson what he did for performers like Steve Carell, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, Jason Segel, Kristen Wiig, Amy Schumer, and Kumail Nanjiani.

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asia review

All the signs of a weepy incurable disease movie show themselves early in Asia, Israeli filmmaker Ruthy Pribar‘s tender debut film. But slowly, subtly, Asia sets itself apart from the rest of its sentimental cohorts and shows itself to be a moving and poignant mother-daughter drama of a different kind.

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the trip to greece review

Few could have guessed that a simple BBC travelogue series that followed two British comedians riffing and doing Michael Caine impressions would take off, but the Trip movies have been a comforting part of our pop culture landscape for the past decade. Like a warm blanket. Or a nicely grilled scallop. For 10 years, Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have been traveling across Europe, feasting on local delicacies while exchanging hilarious banter and ponderous musings about life and aging. It’s a formula that has worked for the past three movies, and which director Michael Winterbottom repeats again with a heavier dose of melancholy in The Trip to Greece.

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12 hour shift review

“Did you ever smell sadness?”

Films may not be able to give off scents (yet), but 12 Hour Shift, with its washed out yellow walls and harsh fluorescent lighting, practically reeks of anesthetic and musty hospital bedsheets. And a little bit of sadness. But that sadness is quickly overtaken by the bizarro bloodbath that unfolds in Bea Grant‘s stylish, darkly comic thriller.

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the high note review

Too many female-led comedies focus on the romance of it all. The chick flick, the rom-com – they’re terms that are interchangeable. But there is so much more depth of emotion that women feel, so many more nuanced relationships that women have, that are rarely show on the big screen. Only a handful of so-called “rom-coms” dig into them, but they’re often mislabeled because it’s less about the romance, or even the comedy, then it is about the women at the center of them.

One of the more recent films to nail the complexity of female relationships was Nisha Ganatra‘s 2019 dramedy Late Night, which followed Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling as a reluctant late-night show employer and employee pairing who become close friends. Ganatra seeks to repeat this formula with The High Note, a flashy comedy/drama that stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson in those roles, but now set in the glamorous music industry. But with newcomer Flora Greeson on the script and none of Kaling’s winking humor to drive the drama, Ganatra’s attempt to recapture the success of her previous female-led workplace dramedy unfortunately falls a bit flat.

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the lovebirds review

Falling in love is easy, staying in love is hard, at least in The Lovebirds. This breezy rom-com from director Michael Showalter takes the immensely likable, very good looking Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani, and sets them on a madcap capper involving mistaken identity, blackmail, and murder. It has all the makings of the type of mid-budget piece of entertainment Hollywood tends to avoid these days. A light runtime (86 short minutes), two attractive leads – what’s not to love? Well…a couple of things.

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scoob digital release

When you think of the world of Scooby-Doo, what might pop into your head? There’s a quartet of human friends, of course, and their goofy dog pal. Oh, yes, and their colorful old-school van the Mystery Machine. It’s in that van that they drive around and around, solving supernatural mysteries in spooky locations. And the solutions to those mysteries usually involve a crabby old man hiding under a sheet, just pretending to be a ghost or a vampire or whatnot. That, at least, has been the basic formula of almost every Scooby-Doo story for 50 or so years. What the new film Scoob! presupposes is…what if a Scooby-Doo story had almost none of those elements? It’s a weird, baffling animated feature that’s all too willing to avoid being a Scooby-Doo movie, in favor of a superhero adventure no one asked for.

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capone review

Al Capone wanders out of the bushes, a diaper sagging around his midsection, a Tommy Gun at the ready. And not just any Tommy Gun, but a Tommy Gun made out of solid gold. A carrot clenched between his teeth like a cigar, Capone begins firing wildly, growling, screaming, drooling. He chomps down on that carrot like a deranged Bugs Bunny, and hikes up his soiled diaper.

This is Capone, Josh Trank‘s strange hybrid that wants to be both a gangster movie and also a horror pic. At the center of it all is Tom Hardy, who gets another excuse to use a strange voice. Hardy’s Capone is not the legendary gangster at the height of his Scarface days, but Capone nearing the end of his life, his mind ravaged by neurosyphilis. Here is a man who will not live out his final days with dignity.

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