By Tony Beal
“Don’t Worry Darling”
A 1950s housewife begins to suspect something is hiding beneath her perfect life.
Movies like “Don’t Worry Darling” sometimes seem like they’re designed to be a Twitter thread. There’s a cast of hot people (most of whom are usually good at acting), and a visually appealing location and style, set within a topical thriller that is filled with moments designed to be screen capped or clipped. At its core, the film is a hollow retread of much more complex stories before it, particularly in its themes of sexism. The actors don’t seem to think much of the material. Chris Pine and Olivia Wilde walk away as the only entertaining performances because of how they ham it up. But, while the former is getting more ambitious as a director, there’s still not much beyond it. This is a movie of empty calories disguised as brain food.
Two men with commitment issues attempt a relationship.
“Bros” is a very annoying movie that very much loves itself, which perhaps makes sense since this is a movie co-written and starring Billy Eichner. If you’re not a fan of his loud, in-your-face style of humor, you’re going to absolutely hate it. Even though the cast is sincerely trying, it feels like the film doesn’t really explore what makes the LGBT+ community diverse, save for some punchlines, despite the starting joke about how love life is different from traditional love stories seen in some of Nicholas Stoller’s previous films like “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and “Neighbors.” It’s a film that wants to be more important than interesting, and it’s a shame when we’re in a time with few comedies like this being made.
Years after Michael Myers’ last massacre, Laurie Strode must face him once more after murders begin again in his fashion.
Your mileage on “Halloween Ends” will depend on how you feel about older, cheesier horror films and if you want to watch someone’s descent into madness. Though the sudden change in character dynamics and heightened vibe will turn off viewers, it fits given the film’s focus on how distrustful and harsh the people of Haddonfield have become after the last two films. Jamie Lee Curtis’ last performance in her iconic role is a great development from before, giving a soft-spoken but still haunted change, and newcomer Rohan Campbell is great as our lead Corey Cunningham, convincing you of his rapid change as a character. Unfortunately, Andi Matichak is underused here, which is a shame after how much we’ve been with Allyson before. And, some of the film’s bizarre and abrupt editing choices will undermine what the film is going for. But, it’s still a solid and lean slasher, and one with an admirable change of pace that the series was needing, reminding you of how these films can be more than just killing sprees.
A woman is stalked by a mysterious force that digs deep into her past trauma.
At some point, there’s a point where a film’s surreal nature becomes just a cover for the film’s inconsistent rules. “Smile” is another horror film where the scares are about “trauma” but provides little thought about that. And, while it does keep an emphasis on the scares, they are laughable. The actors are trying their best, but they don’t walk away looking well, and there’s one notable argument scene that is hampered by its directing. The only element the film has that gives a sense of mood is the score, which feels like it’s meant for a different and better film. It’s hard to get mad because it’s great to see a horror debut from a filmmaker made at a studio level, but you still must put that money to good use.
• “Something In the Dirt” (Limited)
• “Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams” (Limited)
• “Weird: The Al Yankovic Story” (Roku)
• “My Policeman” (Amazon Prime)
• “Enola Holmes 2” (Netflix)
• “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
• “The Fabelmans” (Limited)
• “The Son” (Limited)
• “Spellbound” (Apple TV+)
• “The Wonder” (Netflix)
• “She Said”
• “The Menu”
• “Bones & All” (Limited)
• “The Inspection” (Limited)
• “Slumberland” (Netflix)
• “Spirited” (Apple TV+)
• “The People We Hate at The Wedding” (Amazon Prime)
• “Strange World”
• “All the Beauty and Bloodshed” (Limited)