• Happy New Year

    Happy New Year

    ★★★½

    A twisty caper comedy with a wonderful Peter Falk lead performance as a crook with a flair for disguises who tries to steal some jewels along with the heart of an antiques dealer. A lovely little bauble like the ones Falk’s character tries to steal from Harry Winston.

  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

    ★★★½

    "This time, it's gonna take more than killing me to kill me” is on the Mount Rushmore of Sam Raimi moments.

  • Brother's Keeper

    Brother's Keeper

    ★★★★

    Would make an interesting double feature with It’s a Wonderful Life. No man is a failure who has friends.

  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2

    Sonic the Hedgehog 2

    ★★½

    A lot of this gets a shrug from me, but like with the first one I did enjoy how these movies give Jim Carrey license to channel mid-90s Jim Carrey and go WAY over the top. That stuff makes me smile. I also enjoyed all the scenes with Natasha Rothwell as a jilted bride. (I do not recall which game had Sonic contending with a scorned woman who got left at the altar, but whatever.)

  • Elvis

    Elvis

    ★★½

    There were many Elvis Presleys. The young, gorgeous Elvis who transformed pop music with a quiver of his voice and a wiggle of his hips. The movie star Elvis, who cranked out one musical after another and nearly lost his audience for good. The sequined jumpsuit Elvis, thrusting and karate kicking his way across the stage of the International Hotel in Las Vegas. And finally, the bloated, exhausted Elvis who seemingly worked (and drugged) himself to death.

    The best thing…

  • Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe

    Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe

    ★★★

    Even if Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe doesn’t quite achieve its full potential, and the overall package feels a little archaic in 2022, it does land a bunch of big laughs. And that’s where the calculus of streaming comes in. Would I recommended this movie if you had to spend $18 in a theater to see it? Probably not. But the film is streaming on Paramount+, where a subscription will run you ten bucks a month — and if…

  • Back to the Beach

    Back to the Beach

    ★★★

    Some may be able to resist a movie where Connie Stevens admiringly tells Annette Funicello “you sure have wasted an incredible pair of hooters” right before Pee-wee Herman shows up out of nowhere to perform “Surfin’ Bird.”

    Some, but not me.

  • Living Out Loud

    Living Out Loud

    ★★★½

    Here is a nice reminder that movies don’t have to be about astronauts or superheroes or test pilots or sorcerers or treasure hunters or dinosaur trainers. They can just be about people. If the cast is good, if the script is smart, that’s more than enough.

  • Spiderhead

    Spiderhead

    ★★½

    This movie didn’t do much for me after a promising first act — it’s too slight, too predictable, too obvious in its message, and way too trite in its ending — but its soundtrack of yacht rock bangers did. If in a couple years I remember the name of Kosinski’s other 2022 movie besides Top Gun: Maverick it will be because I have listened to the Spotify playlist of these songs a million times.

  • Who's the Man?

    Who's the Man?

    ★★★

    There should be more hip-hop whodunnits.

  • Lightyear

    Lightyear

    ★★★½

    A few minutes after my screening of Lightyear started, a mom and a young girl — I’d guess she was maybe 10 or 11 years old — arrived at the theater, and sat down right next to me. At first I was annoyed because I’m a germaphobic weirdo and I like to keep a little space around me at the theater these days if at all possible. This mom and daughter didn’t even leave me a buffer seat. For a…

  • Hustle

    Hustle

    ★★★½

    There are plenty of basketball movies you could compare this to, but probably Hustle’s real source is Rocky — if Rocky was told from Mickey’s perspective. It’s even set in Philadelphia.

    What I like about sports movies: They give filmmakers license to indulge their schmaltzy side. You want a happy ending? You want the impossible underdog to win? You want dreams to come true? Get yourself a sports movie.

    Sometimes, it’s just good to feel good. Movies can give that to us for a few minutes. There’s no reason they shouldn’t every once in a while.