TL;DR – While some parts of this have aged as well as blue cheese in the sun, you can’t help but feel the pull and allure of a story swinging for the fences at every opportunity.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid for the Disney+ service that viewed this film
True Lies Review –
When getting ready for my 2022 best of lists, I discovered that I had revied 99 films this year. Which made me wonder, what could be the lucky number 100? Just as I pondered that, True Lies finally made its way onto streaming. I have not seen this in years, but while I loved it when I was younger, the years are rarely kind to films like this. But given the year that James Cameron has had with Avatar, it was all the better time to jump back to one of his classics.
So to set the scene, an exclusive party is taking part on a snowy cold night at Lake Chapeau, Switzerland, at a heavily guarded chalet. But not all the guests are coming in the front door. Some are cutting through the gates to the lake under the ice. Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) works for a secret US counterterrorism unit called Omega Sector and is investigating the billionaire art dealer Jamal Khaled (Marshall Manesh) as a possible front for laundering money to Islamic Terrorists. But no one outside of the agency and his team, Albert “Gib” Gibson (Tom Arnold) and Faisil (Grant Heslov), not even Harry’s wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) and daughter Dana (Eliza Dushku), knows what he does. One tango later, Harry must make a less-than-quiet exit from the party. But while his work and home life are separate entities, they are about to come crashing together.
TL;DR – You may have been told how wild this film is, but trust me, whoever was talking to you was completely underselling it.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I paid to see this film
Everything Everywhere All at Once Review –
The word surreal gets thrown around quite a bit and usually means something that might be a bit cerebral or weird or maybe both. But for something to be genuinely surreal, it needs to challenge the nature of reality, to contest the very bedrock we live our lives on. Films will often dip their toes into the surreal, but every now and again, a film will dive in headfirst. Today, we are looking at just such a film that just might nail everything it sets out to do.
So to set the scene, in a city in America, Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) lives above the laundromat that she runs with her husband Waymond (Ke Huy Quan). Things are pretty stressful for Evelyn at the moment. The IRS is auditing the business. She is trying to put together a party for he estranged father, Gong Gong (James Hong), she is feuding with her daughter Joy (Stephanie Hsu), and Waymond is about to drop divorce papers on her. As they arrive at the IRS to be audited by Deirdre Beaubeirdra (Jamie Lee Curtis), Waymond suddenly changes into a completely different person. He declares that Evelyn is in trouble because a force from another universe is hunting her down, and it just might have found its prey, and that is when the alarms go off.
TL;DR – A charmingly delightful film about murder filled with fantastic performances and a real heart.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
For reasons that are far above my pay grade, there are film genres that come in and out of fashion all the time. One of these is the murder-mystery. I honestly can’t remember how long it has since I have seen a good old-fashioned murder-mystery up on the big screen. A film where you don’t know who done it because everyone is lying about something and there are many motives to go around. Well fear no more because today I get to talk about a film that takes this genre and not only produces a great version of it, but it also elevates the genre in the process.
So to set the scene, one-night wealthy murder-novel writer Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is celebrating his 85th birthday with every member of his extended family in attendance. There is his daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) the real estate mogul and her husband Richard (Don Johnson), his son Walt (Michael Shannon) who runs his publishing agency, Joni (Toni Collette) the wife of his now-deceased son and her daughter Meg (Katherine Langford), and of course the black sheep of the family Hugh ‘Ransom’ Drysdale (Chris Evans). It is a fun evening of catching up and putting plans into place but the next morning as Fran (Edi Patterson) the housekeeper brings up his morning meal she discovers that Harlan has killed himself in the night. A week later everything has settled but then Marta (Ana de Armas), Harlan’s nurse, is called back to the house with the family by Detective Lieutenant Elliot (Lakeith Stanfield) because famed private eye Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) has been hired to look into the matter. Why is he there? Well because someone does not think Harlon’s death was suicide… they think it was murder. Now because of the nature of the film, it is hard to discuss it without getting into spoilers, so keep that in mind if you have not seen the film.