news of the world review

Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is a newsman. No, he doesn’t report the news. Nor does he work for a newspaper. Instead, he drifts from town to town on his rickety horse-drawn cart and brings the news to those too weary, too busy, and otherwise unable to read it themselves. For a small fee, Kidd will stand up in front of a meeting room and comb through the pages of newspapers, looking for stories to tell. And not just any stories. “Something to take us away from our troubles,” he tells the crowds over and over again. It’s a lovely little concept, and when you have Tom Hanks as the guy telling the stories, it’s hard not to hang on every word.

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the midnight sky review

It’s the end of the world as we know it in The Midnight Sky, a post-apocalyptic drama from director George Clooney. Set in the year 2049, an unspecified event is quickly killing off the planet, sending people underground. But there are also people much, much higher above – a group of astronauts who have been on a two-year mission and have no idea they’re heading back to a near-dead planet. Can the seemingly last-man-on Earth warn them to turn around before it’s too late? The clock is ticking, and the stage is set for what could be a thrilling, emotional, intense journey. It’s none of those things.

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let them all talk review

Can you even imagine going on a cruise again? I’m sure some people are perfectly fine with the idea – heck, some people would be willing to go right now, this very second, if they could. But here in the age of the coronavirus, cruises seem like floating Petri dishes; isolated barges with no escape. Which makes Steven Soderbergh‘s curious Let Them All Talk already feel weirdly dated. It’s set in a world where people gather freely, maskless, throwing their cares to the wind. They board a huge ship and take to the sea. It’s almost surreal at this point.

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the godfather coda review

When it comes to Francis Ford Coppola‘s Godfather trilogy, everyone seems to be in agreement: the first two movies are full-blown masterpieces, and the less said about the third film the better. We shouldn’t cry too hard for The Godfather Part III – despite its modern-day reputation of being a dud, it was actually well-received at the box office and even netted itself seven Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture!). But over the years, Coppola’s swan song for the Corleone family has become the red-headed stepchild of the trilogy.

Now, in the spirit of his multiple cuts of Apocalypse Now and the more recent Cotton Club Encore, Coppola has gone back and reworked the film into the awkwardly-titled The Godfather, Coda: The Death of Michael CorleoneThis is what he and Godfather creator Mario Puzo wanted audiences to experience – not the third entry in a trilogy, but rather an epilogue to what came before. But is this new version really all that different?

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run movie review

Sarah Paulson gives new meaning to the overprotective mother in Run, the latest from Searching director Aneesh Chaganty. In a thriller that seems at least partially inspired by the true story of Dee Dee and Gypsy Rose Blanchard, Paulson plays Diane, a smothery mom from hell – a woman who will stop at nothing to keep her daughter from the outside world. That daughter is Chloe (Kiera Allen), a 17-year-old wheelchair user who suffers from a dictionary’s worth of ailments. Or so she’s been told. But Chloe has grown restless in her teen years, and she longs to finally leave home for college. Surely dear old mom can understand that, right?

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freaky review

Filled with inventive kills, genuinely funny jokes, and a surprisingly warm heart, Freaky is one of the year’s most enjoyable films. It’s a blood-drenched horror-comedy that goes for big laughs, bigger gore, and wraps it all up in touching pathos that’s bound to catch more than a few viewers off guard. The original pitch for the film was Freaky Friday meets Friday the 13th, and if that isn’t enough to catch your attention, what is? A body-swap comedy crossed with a slasher flick, Freaky feels like it has something for everyone. It’s the best, and most inventive, slasher movie since Scream.

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mank review

“It isn’t enough to tell us what a man did. You’ve got to tell us who he was.” – Citizen Kane

Herman J. Mankiewicz, genius Hollywood screenwriter, has been sent away to Arizona. Broken – his leg is in a thick cast following a car accident – and eager to get drunk at the drop of a hat, Mank – as everyone calls him – has been tasked with hammering out a screenplay for Hollywood’s new golden boy, Orson Welles. And Mank has a whopper of an idea: he’s going to write about newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, one of the most powerful men in the country. It’s a subject Mank is well-versed in, having spent countless nights drunkenly cavorting at Hearst’s castle-like estate San Simeon. Mank knows Hearst. Knows the people in Hearst’s inner-circle. And with his clacking typewriter, he’s going to destroy them all – and possibly himself, in the process.

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rebecca review

It’s never a good idea to remake Hitchcock, even though several have tried. And while Ben Wheatley‘s new Netflix Rebecca is technically not a remake, but rather a new adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s classic novel, it can’t escape the Hitchock film’s legacy. Like its main character, Rebecca is living in the shadow of its predecessor. To Wheatley’s credit, he doesn’t try to ape Hitchcock in any way, shape, or form. But, oddly enough, he doesn’t bring much new life to the proceedings, either. For a film filled with such lush production design, Rebecca is a curiously stifled affair.

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welcome to the blumhouse review

With theatrical releases a bit up in the air, and plenty of options to pick from, the frightmasters at Blumhouse have decided to release four of their pending films on Amazon Prime Video, packaging them as Welcome to the Blumhouse. It’s a novel idea, arriving just in time for Halloween season, with films grouped together. The first pair to arrive – Black Box and The Lie may not be connected by story, but they do share similar elements – primarily how we perceive things, and how we let other things deceive us. But as far as launches go, Welcome to the Blumhouse is off to a shaky start.

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