Review: ‘The Power of the Dog’ features a powerhouse performance from Benedict Cumberbatch

THE POWER OF THE DOG

It’s fair to say that Benedict Cumberbatch is perhaps a little over-exposed. Since his big break with Sherlock in 2010, he has appeared in all manner of films, not only in prestige dramas like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Imitation Game, but also in major franchises like Star Trek, The Hobbit, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite their varied nature and differing challenges, it feels like all of these roles have blinded us to the simple fact that he is actually an outstanding actor. Not to say that he hasn’t done good work in the past ten years, but rather that we’ve forgotten exactly how good he can be.

Jane Campion is here to remind us of this and that she is one of the best directors working today.

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Review: ‘Cowboy Bebop’ recreates the look, but not the feel, of the classic anime series it’s based on

It isn’t an understatement to say that the 1998 anime series Cowboy Bebop, directed by Shinichirō Watanabe, written by Keiko Nobumoto, and scored by Yoko Kanno, is a masterpiece. Binding together influences from around our world, in particular noir thrillers like The Big Sleep, westerns like The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly, and science fiction classics like 2001: A Space Odyssey, it became a gateway anime for many –including myself.

Its 26-episode (and one movie) run is far more approachable than most anime series. Despite its near-flung future setting –where the earth is ruined, and the solar system colonized–, Cowboy Bebop became a stone-cold classic of the genre that holds up to this day.

It’s only natural that someone would want to remake it as a live-action series; the only surprise here is how long it took to do so. With such an intricate world and iconic characters, adapting it was never going to be easy. Still, while Netflix has wrangled a promising cast and put a ton of money into re-creating the future of the anime series, they managed to miss the mark.

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Awesome Friday Movie Podcast: ‘The Harder They Fall’ & ‘Tick Tick…Boom’

Podcast

Greetings, programs, and welcome to the latest edition of the Awesome Friday Movie Podcast! This week we are looking at two new Netflix movies. First up, The Harder They Fall, a western starring Jonathan Majors, Idris Elba, and a host of other talented actors. Second, Tick, Tick… Boom! , the new film adaptation of famed Rent composer Jonathan Larson’s one-person show directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and starring Andrew Garfield. One of these movies we have differing opinions on, the other we unabashedly loved. Listen in to find out which!

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Review: ‘Passing’; Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut is a heart-rending film with two exceptional performances

Passing

Passing feels like it might be the most appropriate to the format in a year full of exceptionally shot black and white films. Chronicling the story of two black women in the 1920s –one of whom is passing for white, and all the complications that entail, it’s a heartbreaking story elevated by the central performances from Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga.

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Home Video: Buy, Rent, or Stream Cowboy Bebop ahead of its live-action remake

As one of the most well-regarded anime series of all time, the live-action remake coming to Netflix is highly anticipated. The trailers show promise, but the original has a certain style and charm that will be difficult to replicate, but I am choosing to remain hopeful.

Either way, whether it’s time for a re-watch or if you’ve never seen it, now is a perfect time to revisit the anime series as well as the animated film they made a few years later.

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Review: ‘The Harder They Fall’ is a bloody good time

A preacher says grace with his family. He has a kind voice and is revered by his wife and young son. Their pleasant dinner is interrupted by a knock at the door from the preacher’s past. The stranger on the other side, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sporting two gold pistols, joins them at the dinner table. The preacher begs, but the stranger shoots him and his wife several moments and then uses a razor to carve a cross into the young boy’s forehead.

This is the opening to The Harder They Fall; it sets the stage for a film that will all at once be a revenge picture, a colourful and bloody action picture, a history lesson, and a damn good time at the movies.

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Review: ‘Red Notice’ coasts on the strength of its cast

Rawson Marshall Thurber has had an interesting career as a director. His films aren’t terribly inventive; they often wear their influences on their sleeve and often get by on the fact that he works with charismatic casts.

His latest, Red Notice, a globe-trotting heist action movie starring Dwayne Johnson, Ryan Reynolds, and Gal Gadot, is no different.

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Fantastic Fest Review: ‘The Trip’ is fun, funny, and mean-spirited as hell.

The Trip

We’ve all been there. That feeling of being trapped in a relationship and not seeing a way out, knowing that you need to act but not knowing exactly what to do. The characters in The Trip are in this place, but rather than taking an ordinary course of action, they separately decide to kill each other. Things only go downhill from there, and the movie that follows takes this couple and puts them through the wringer. It’s brutal, and it’s problematic, and it’s pretty fun.

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Review: ‘The Guilty’ is saved by a fully committed Jake Gyllenhaal performance

THE GUILTY: JAKE GYLLENHAAL as JOE BAYLER. CR: NETFLIX © 2021.

Jake Gyllenhaal is one of our great actors at this point. He has proven himself over and over again in a multitude of supporting and leading roles. That he carries The Guilty –a remake of a recent, critically acclaimed Danish film of the same name– should be no surprise then, given his stature. Given the conceit that most of the other characters are only ever heard on the phone, it’s also the main thing that the movie has going for it.

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Awesome Friday Movie Podcast: ‘Star Wars: Visions’ & ‘Midnight Mass’

Awesome Friday Podcast: Star Wars: Visions & Midnight Mass

Greetings programs! It’s that time again, Awesome Friday on a Sunday! Remember, it’s a state of mind and not a day of the week. In this episode, we have two new series to talk about, the latest Star Wars project Star Wars: Visions and director Mike Flanagan’s latest series for Netflix, Midnight Mass. This episode is nearly 90s minutes long, but that’s because we absolutely loved one of these series and have a lot to say about it. Join us!

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Awesome Friday Movie Podcast: ‘Kate’ & ‘Cruella’

Awesome Friday Podcast Kate & Cruella

Greetings programs! We’re back with our 9th episode of the new Awesome Friday Podcast. This week we’re talking about one new thing and one not so new thing. First up is the new Mary Elizabeth Winstead starring action film from Netflix, Kate, which we have mixed feelings about, and second is the new-to-all-Disney+-subscribers film starring Emma Stone, Cruella, which as it turns out, we both really like.

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Review: ‘Kate’ has a killer premise that you have definitely seen before

Kate

I am, if I am totally honest, not even sure where to begin. Kate, the upcoming action film from Netflix, has a killer lead actress, a killer premise, looks gorgeous and falls entirely flat at every turn. If it were not for some stylistic flourishes –which are problematic in their own right– I don’t know if I’d have anything nice to say about it.

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Review: ‘Worth’ is worth seeing for Michael Keaton alone

Worth

It’s hard to believe that the September 11th attacks were 20 years ago this month. It was an event that scarred the American psyche and that the country has been trying to reckon with through art ever since. We remember vividly things, such as the images of debris-covered civilians fleeing the scene or the American flag hanging over the ruins. There are things we don’t remember so well also, though, such as the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund which was created by an act of Congress just days after the attacks with an end goal of stopping the victims from suing the airlines involved.

Worth tells the story of Ken Feinberg and the administration of that fund, from its inception through the struggles to bring all the victims families on board and to its final resolution and payout to nearly 97% of them. If this sounds like it’s a little dry, well, you’re not entirely wrong.

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