By Tony Beal
“No Hard Feelings”
A woman is hired to date a rich couple’s son in exchange for a car.
Simplicity is the perfect word to describe ‘No Hard Feelings.’ This fun, raunchy romp is surprisingly considerate of its leads and the subject matter. Jennifer Lawrence is absolutely incredible here, demonstrating considerable skill in physical comedy and timing, while Andrew Barth Feldman offers a soft-spoken performance that competes effectively with his co-star. The film adeptly illustrates the dangers of succumbing to unwanted pressure without sounding preachy. Most significantly, it sustains audience laughter throughout without overstaying its welcome, making it a pleasant surprise in an otherwise underwhelming summer.
“Run Rabbit Run”
A mother’s life begins to fall apart after her daughter begins acting strangely.
“Run Rabbit Run” serves as one of the poorest examples of “elevated” horror that purports to be “about trauma” but ultimately has nothing of substance to say. For 95 minutes, the film merely goes around in circles with its repetitive pattern. The sequence of the daughter acting weirdly, Sarah Snook experiencing a mental breakdown, and the inclusion of spooky Australian imagery, all rinse and repeat monotonously. Unfortunately, none of it is spooky or even unnerving; it is simply boring and irritating. The film doesn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of themes or filmmaking, except for imagery that is hard to discern due to excessive darkness. Overall, it’s a complete waste of time.
“Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed”
A look into the private life of Hollywood legend Rock Hudson.
Rock Hudson was undeniably one of the greatest actors to have ever lived. However, this documentary reveals that behind his brilliance lay a great deal of pain. Instead of relying solely on traditional talking head interviews (though a few are included from those who knew him), the filmmakers effectively use footage from his films and voiceovers, both new and old, to narrate his journey from his early roles to his final days. The correlations drawn between fiction and reality are genuinely impressive. While this documentary may not reveal much that is new to those already familiar with Hudson’s life, it provides an essential insight into the complexity of a man’s life that was tragically not lived to its fullest potential.
“Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One”
Ethan Hunt and crew face their greatest challenge yet while confronting a figure from his past.
As always, the “Mission: Impossible” movies continue to impress, even if this installment is a tad more uneven than the previous two. It mirrors “Mad Max: Fury Road” in how the narrative is propelled by relentless action, with each act essentially forming one major set piece. Despite its length, the film manages not to exhaust viewers but instead keeps them engaged. Moreover, there’s an emotional core delivered by our actors, both veteran and newcomer, through their compelling character portrayals. This film has everything and more, serving as a reminder of why we are drawn to the cinema.
“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem”
“Meg 2: The Trench”
“The Last Voyage of the Demeter”
“Back On the Strip”
“White Bird: A Wonder Story”