Film Review: “Extra Ordinary” (2019)

“Even the weakest ghost can possess cheese easily, due to the living bacteria in the cheese.”

A sweet, fresh gem of a supernatural Irish comedy that you should watch over and over again until you vomit ectoplasm.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “This is one of those movies where a VHS cover pull-quote fits right in with the aesthetic of the film, putting a lot of weight on these VHS cover pull-quotes — elevating them, even. Like Be Kind, Rewind or V/H/S. Well, I can’t handle that weight at all. I’m buckling under it! Just see the movie! It’s one of the most charming films I’ve seen in a long time, grabbing your attention with a fine mix of Ghostbusters style antics and small bursts of bloody fun, but keeping it with the well-drawn characters and lo-fi aesthetic. Oh, shit. I did it!”

Film Review: “The Climb” (2019)

“Do you remember the Blizzard of ’96?”

A buddy comedy exploring a common, toxic relationship between two guys that pulls in some Apatovian and mumblecore elements, adds a bit of genuine cinematic craft, and produces something that feels like an evolution of the genre.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “We saw this at a special Sundance premiere event in Philly, but they gave us a legit Sundance poster so in a few years I’m just going to go ahead and say we went to Sundance in 2020 and watch the jealousy roll in.”

Film Review: “Spies in Disguise” (2019)

“This is a vile misuse of tax dollars.”

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A bright, high energy spy comedy with a pretty well developed and tactful message of peace over violence that’s not afraid to get super weird with the constant antics (pigeon or otherwise).

My VHS cover pull-quote: “Unexpectedly, this might be the movie everyone should watch right now amidst all the doom, gloom, uncertainty and World War III memes.”

Film Review: “Little Women” (2019)

“I can’t believe childhood is over.”

An impressive adaptation that plays with the structure of the source material to draw the novel’s stark parallels between cold, distant adulthood and bright, sunlit childhood while also weaving a lovely meta thread through it all.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “I really like to think I’m a Jo, but I’m probably much more of a Meg and it’s time I admitted that to myself and my loved ones.”

Film Review: “Jumanji: The Next Level” (2019)

“I can’t say this enough. We’re in a video game.”

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As much of a solid, fun time as the last one, with yet more chances for these good-looking actors to play against type and do silly stuff, featuring some added wrinkles (because old people) to keep things semi-fresh.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “I’d like to see Dwayne Johnson beat all the Organization XIII data battles in Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix on Critical Mode. That’s the next level, Dwayne. Robin Williams could do it.”

Film Review: “Dark Waters” (2019)

“We protect us. We do. Nobody else.”

A legal thriller that finds a Mark Ruffalo-shaped bottle of hope pushing back against the power of corporate behemoths that don’t care about us, our children, or even our beautiful, innocent cows. It feels as much like a call to action as it does a call on our Teflon covered telephone to tell us we’re probably powerless and screwed so we should just lay down on the floor.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “It actually looks and plays a little like an episode of the late 70s Incredible Hulk show, only without the fury of Lou Ferrigno to round out the hour. All we get is the righteous fury of Mark Ruffalo, which will have to do.”

Film Review: “Doctor Sleep” (2019)

“Did anyone promise you would live forever?”

An excellent dark fantasy that stands on the shoulders of a horror masterpiece, reveling in its legacy and aesthetic while still creating something new, but not masterful.

My VHS cover pull-quote: “Spoilers, but Jacob Tremblay shows up and is almost immediately ritually murdered by being carved open and its one of the most effective ritual child murders I’ve seen because the kid is good at acting and really sells that he’s being ritually murdered.”