When you really need a doctor, who do you choose? The young, baby-faced one who’s only been a resident for a couple of years, or the older doctor who has fought countless battles with sickness and death and won most of them? Experience matters, so I take the older doctor whenever I can. Same would go for an exorcist. I don’t want the young whippersnapper, I want the grizzled veteran who cracks jokes while in the presence of a demon just because it pisses it off. That is exactly the kind of priest Father Amorth (Russell Crowe) is. He’s been involved in more possessions than he can count. He’s so savvy he can tell within a matter of minutes whether a man is actually possessed or faking it. And if the afflicted is faking it, then Amorth is happy to oblige with a little of his own.
Continue reading “The Pope’s Exorcist”
Once upon a time, in the land known as America in the Go-Go Eighties, there lived a man named Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon). He worked for Nike as a talent scout, searching far and wide for talent to sign up to promote basketball shoes. Though he toiled day and night, his efforts proved fruitless. Then, in 1984, the answer to his prayers emerged. A young collegiate basketball player named Michael Jordan had risen to national prominence by helping North Carolina win the NCAA championship with an amazing shot in the closing seconds. He was subsequently drafted by the Chicago Bulls and tasked with not only leading them out of obscurity, but to NBA championship glory. Even though he was only eighteen years old, this didn’t phase him in the least. Everyone agreed it was only a matter of when he achieved greatness, not if. No, the biggest question surrounding Jordan was which company he would choose for a highly-lucrative shoe marketing contract.
Continue reading “Air”
The life of Edgin (Chris Pine) is a tale of misfortune and woe, sung in a pleasing tenor. In the fantasy realm where Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves takes place, he formerly was a member of a peacekeeping group known as the Harpers. The Harpers worked with the Red Wizards to keep things orderly. One day, he became disenchanted with his role and turned to thievery. For reasons I don’t want to divulge here, his wife was killed by Red Wizards. Edgin turned into a drunk and all-around lousy father, but fortunately for him, a warrior named Holga (Michelle Rodriguez) took pity on him. She decides to help him raise his daughter Kira (Chloe Coleman) for reasons never really made clear. The two are not romantically linked, even though that probably would be the case in any other movie they appeared in. (I also suspect this was done to remain true to the spirit of the D&D game, a favorite of nerds who probably avoid mushy romantic stuff at all costs.)
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Like many movies about drug addiction that have come before, A Good Person asks for our sympathy. To my surprise, it got it without a struggle. It tells the story of Allison (Florence Pugh), a young woman who became addicted to prescription painkillers after a fatal traffic accident. Physically, she seems fine. Allison moves about normally when she chooses to and has no visible scars. Mentally, she’s in an entirely different place. She spends her days in her house with the curtains drawn, lounging around, conspiring ways to obtain a refill of her expired prescription. Her mother Diane (Molly Shannon) pops over unannounced, throws open the curtains and shrilly demands that her daughter get her act together. Nobody ever told Diane that the last thing a drug addict wants is a high-energy pep talk.
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Once upon a time, in a quiet suburb in New Jersey, Burt (Paul Dano) and Mitzi Fabelman (Michelle Williams) take their son Sammy to see his first movie. He’s apprehensive about the experience, so they do their best to explain it to him. For an engineer like Burt, movies are nothing more than a magic trick the projector plays on your brain. Mitzi, a classically trained pianist, says that movies are dreams that you remember. Their views on movies, while worlds apart, are both correct. Sammy didn’t realize it then, but he will spend the rest of his life reconciling the perspectives of his parents on his journey to becoming a Hollywood film director.
Continue reading “The Fabelmans”