“Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (Mystery / Action: 2 hours, 4 minutes)
With: Carrie Coon, Paul Rudd, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace and Logan Kim
Director: Jason Reitman
Rated: PG-13 (Violence, sexual innuendos)
Movie Review: “Ghostbusters” (1984) and “Ghostbusters II” (1989), both directed by Ivan Reitman, were all part of a major movie franchise. This final chapter, âGhostbusters: Afterlifeâ, is directed by Ivan’s son Jason Reitman (âJunoâ, 2007). Like the 1984 film, âAfterlifeâ offers solid entertainment. Looks like 1984 is back.
Callie (Coon) and her two children, Trevor (Wolfhard) and Phoebe (Grace), move to a small rural town to take over the farm from Callie’s late father. Immediately after arriving, the city begins to have unusual earthquakes. As the tremors lead to something alien, Trevor and Phoebe soon learn of their connection to the original Ghostbusters.
âGhostbustersâ (director Paul Feig, 2016) was the last live-action film in this franchise. It was an all-female team. The latest film stars tweens and teens as the protagonists, and the cast is a lovely group that offers adventure, action, and comedy.
Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, Celeste O’Connor and Logan Kim make a good team. The young actors make their roles endearing. Wolfhard delivers one-liners like a seasoned pro. Grace is the endearing nerd, and Kim is funny like a character from “The Little Rascals” from yesteryear (1955, 1994).
The adults in this cast are entertaining as well. Carrie Coon and Paul Rudd offer a lot. Coon provides some dramatic moments that ground the film, bringing a sense of realism to this adventurous storyline. Rudd is at his best comedic as always. It offers many moments that make you laugh. In addition, the film offers a nice surprise, via notable appearances of four iconic actors.
The best of “Afterlife” is the amount of entertainment it offers, even when the moments aren’t convincing and the nostalgic attachment swaying. It’s a good movie for those who want comedy, action, and memorable characters.
Note: B (The spirit of the “Ghostbusters” of 1984 lives on.)
Play in the cinemas of the Valdosta stadium
âContusedâ (Drama / Sport: 2 hours, 9 minutes)
With: Halle Berry, Adan Canto, Adriane Lenox and Sheila Atim
Director: Halle Berry
Rated: R (Violence, intrusive language, sexual content and nudity)
Film Review: Halle Berry makes her directorial debut with “Bruised,” a gritty sports drama in which she also stars. Berry’s performance commands attention and it shows that the chops are present for better films in the future as a director. It offers good direction, but writer Michelle Rosenfarb’s screenplay puts too much of it in one movie.
Failed MMA fighter Jackie Justice (Berry) is an alcoholic with anger issues and childhood trauma. She finds a reason to change her life and return to the cage when Manny Lyons Jr. (Danny Boyd Jr.) arrives unpredictably after his father’s death. Manny is a traumatized child, the son Jackie abandoned when he was a baby.
Berry deserves praise for her first outing as a director. She stages well enough to grab the attention of film producers and good enough to hold that of moviegoers. She also puts on a great performance as a star, although she never seems to be as angry as one of the supporting characters says.
âBruised’s fault is his inclusion of every hardship imaginable that hangs over Jackie Justice. Jackie has been through a lot: a terrible relationship, dismissal, assault, sexual abuse, physical abuse, addiction, and depression. Life is killing her.
These elements have been in other films such as âRaging Bull (director Martin Scorsese, 1980). This drama places several difficulties at once and maintains them throughout the running time ofâ Bruised. âAs Director and producer, Berry’s fault is not knowing what to leave out, otherwise Berry and his crew are to be commended for producing the grainy realism they present.
Note: B- (Bruises are self-inflicted, but the title game is worth it.)
“King Richard” (Biographical drama / Sport: 2 hours, 18 minutes)
With: Will Smith, Aunjanue Ellis and Jon Bernthal
Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green
Classified: PG-13 (Violence, name calling and references to drugs and sexuality)
Film Review: “King Richard” is about one of the greatest sporting families, tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams. The film is an inspiring feature film that offers a glimpse of family patriarch Richard Williams, well played by Will Smith.
When someone asks him if he has already taken the time to rest, Richard Williams (Smith) replies: âNothing to come to a sleeper but a dream. “
From there, you see Richard working multiple jobs and spending a lot of time coaching his daughters, Venus (Saniyya Sidney) and Serena (Demi Singleton), on the tennis court. Additionally, Richard and his wife, Oracene “Brandy” Williams (Ellis), make sure Venus, Serena, and their three other daughters go to school. They are a family of accomplishment. Venus and Serena quickly become tennis stars; like them, Richard begins to assess his family role.
Will Smith tries to reinvent himself with every movie. He gets better with each movie, but his style is always similar. His performance for the first half of the film resembles an interpretation of his performance in “The Legend of Bagger Vance” (2000). Smith is a happy person, and it shows in his performances. We wait for it to be funny. The onus is how the public sees it about it.
However, Smith is impressive in the second half of the film. He becomes Richard in a refined and poignant way. His scenes with his on-screen wife played by Aunjanue Ellis are some of the best dramatic moments. Their marital arguments help to better understand Richard’s caliber as a man and a father. His relationship with his daughters shows his humanity.
Richard Williams’ portrait is not that of a saint, although he is a man of faith. Despite his shortcomings, he remains determined in the faith as a Christian and in the capacity of his daughters. It feels like he’s more complicated than this movie suggests. The mention of his outside loyalties and his children outside of his marriage, his thinking about Caucasians and his urge to cross ethical lines show a complicated man.
“King Richard” hardly seems to scratch the surface of this demanding father. Some scenes focus on the action on a tennis court rather than its lead actor, Richard Williams, but director Reinaldo Marcus Green (âMonsters and Menâ, 2018) creates an interesting film that offers a nice biography of Williams that rule those around him as if he were a King.
Grade: B (He is part of a royal court.)
Play in the cinemas of the Valdosta stadium
“Clifford the Big Red Dog” (Adventure / Family: 1h36)
With: Darby Camp, Jack Whitehall, Izaac Wang and John Cleese
Director: Walt Becker
Rated: PG (rude humor, thematic elements, and gentle action)
Movie Review: “Clifford the Big Red Dog” is proof that not all children’s books make great movies. Some books don’t translate well on the big screen because you have to take a big leap of the imagination to accommodate the story. Such is the case here. This adventure tale is fun, but nothing spectacular as entertainment, even as a children’s movie.
Emily Elizabeth (Darby Camp) tries to integrate into her college but discovers that she cannot master the social organization of the school. His status at school and in his neighborhood changes after discovering Clifford, a little red puppy who magically grows to the size of a large elephant overnight. Clifford becomes a big hit in New York, changing lives around him.
Again, the target audience for this film is families, practically their children. Movies like this don’t have to be sane. Strange circumstances in the movies are fine if certain characters behave in the world’s normal reactions to situations. “Clifford the Big Red Dog” never grows enough to get there.
Rating: C (The big dog offers medium pleasure.)
Play in the cinemas of the Valdosta stadium
“Tic, tic … Boom!” Â»(Biographical drama / Musical: 1 hour, 55 minutes)
With: Andrew Garfield, Alexandra Shipp and Robin de Jesus
Director: Lin-Manuel Miranda
Classified: PG-13 (Pregnancy, suggestive material and references to drugs)
Film review: “Rent” composer Jonathan Larson, who died in 1996, is the subject of this artful film directed by acclaimed “Hamilton” (2020) creator and star. Larson’s life while living in New York and writing his play “Superbia” is the intrigue. “Tic, tic … Boom!” Is an engaging musical based on Larson’s musical with a good performance by Andrew Garfield and inspiring songs.
Eight days before his 30th birthday in 1990, Larson (Garfield), a promising young theater composer, struggles to find inspiration to complete his play “Superbia”. He worked on the play for years. As he finishes the play, Larson faces difficult challenges. He must find work to pay his rent, survive a difficult relationship with the love of his life, Susan (Shipp), and maintain a friendship with Michael (De Jesus), whom he has known from high school.
The Life of an Artist in New York City forms the basis of this well-directed autobiographical musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda, its first director for a feature film, and screenwriter Steven Levenson. Miranda directs a musical, something he’s familiar with, with Levenson whose musical âDear Evan Hansenâ made its theatrical debut earlier this year. These men know their stuff, and their experience works well for “tic, tic … Boom!” “.
This musical allows you to get inside your main character’s head, and the moments work well, even when the story is hijacked because of it. As Larson contemplates his profession as a playwright, audiences see his creative process. These are often the best moments in films involving artists of any genre. Such works here, creating a beautiful tribute to Jonathan Larson and his craft.
Rating: B + (Huge boom makes its big screen debut.)
Adann-Kennn has been a film critic for over 20 years for the Valdosta Daily Times.