FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Eight years after Mad Max: Fury Road introduced one of the most electrifying female action heroes in decades with Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa, the character returns in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. While this prequel and origin story is quieter in some respects than the pedal-to-the-metal feel of Fury Road, it’s still an arresting post-apocalyptic adventure with a satisfying backstory that actually enriches the earlier film. From setups that pay off in Fury Road to echoes in visuals, sound, and theme, it’s a marvelous bit of filmmaking.

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THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE – Review by Susan Granger

There’s no doubt that the new box-office champ is The Super Mario Bros. Movie, a computer-animated comedy adventure. Based on the popular video game, this family-friendly film has redeemed the Nintendo franchise’s reputation after its catastrophic 1993 live-action movie adaptation. Scripted by Matthew Fogel and directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, it’s the hectic origin story for mustached Mario and his younger brother Luigi. They’re New York plumbers who decide to start their own business, even as they’re mocked by their former boss.

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THE MENU – Review by Clotilde Chinnici

The Menu movie dishes are carefully planned and prepared by Chef Julian Slowik, with each dish offering a specific meaning and commentary on the food industry and wealthy clientele. The courses served throughout The Menu foreshadow the dark and deadly outcome of the dinner experience, revealing Chef Slowik’s plan to kill everyone in the end. The significance behind each dish highlights themes such as the fleeting nature of human life, the futility of pursuing perfection, and the insecurities of toxic masculinity.

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THE MENU – Review by Susan Granger

One of the most bizarrely absurd thrillers of the year, The Menu skewers pretentious ‘foodies’ and the ‘fine dining’ they crave. A group of privileged epicureans pay $1,250 per person to travel to a windswept coastal island in the Pacific Northwest for what they believe will be a unique gastronomic experience at an exclusive restaurant called Hawthorne, run by a world-renowned chef. As the evening unfolds, there are many unexpected, unduly malevolent surprises for the stunned guests as multi-layered secrets are revealed and tension mounts.

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THE MENU – Review by T.J. Callahan

The Menu is a multi course meal full of meaty madness served up rare…as in bloody. It’s Get Out meets Hell’s Kitchen. No one will be allowed to pack their knives and go when a sadistic chef, played by Ralph Fiennes, invites a group of foodies to his exclusive restaurant on a secluded island to stir their pots and make their blood boil. There are no substitutions. All the guests are there for a reason…they upset the chef at one time or another and he’s ready for revenge.

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AMSTERDAM – Review by T.J. Callahan

The cast of Amsterdam reads like an Irwin Allen disaster picture lineup…Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Robert DeNiro, Anya Taylor-Joy, Mike Myers, Michael Shannon, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, Ed Begley, Jr, Timothy Olyfant and Taylor Swift…and like the Poseidon Adventure, this film is a sinking ship that barely manages to stay afloat.

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THE NORTHMAN – Review by T.J. Callahan

This film is barbaric, black and white and bloody. It’s vicious Viking vengeance that very well could make you vomit. The Northman is brutal on many levels with one being it’s 2 hour and 16 minute run time. There’s pillaging, conjuring, screaming, grunting and howling like wolves. The Northman is a turn of the 10th century soap opera that was expertly and artfully filmed for the big screen and will have fans of the medieval genre on the edge of their seats cheering. As for me, when the heads rolled, so did my eyes.

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THE NORTHMAN – Review by Susan Granger

If you like brawling, bloody brutality, head for The Northman, Robert Eggers’ intense Nordic nightmare. Eggers’ previous films – The Witch (2015) and The Lighthouse (2019) – blurred the boundary between fantasy and reality, so it’s not surprising that this Viking revenge saga follows suit. The dialogue is banal – apparently, Vikings weren’t very articulate – so Eggers and his DP Jarin Blaschke concentrate on violent, medieval mayhem.

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LAST NIGHT IN SOHO – Review by Pam Grady

Joyously dancing around her Cornwall home to Peter and Gordon’s 1964 chart-topper, A World Without Love, clad in a dress fashioned out of newspapers, Eloise (Thomasin McKenzie) is the picture of a happy, effervescent teenager. And this opening scene in Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho suggests a lively coming-of-age story is about to unfold. That Edgar, such a tease! No happy-go-lucky tale this as what gradually unfolds, instead, evolves into a chilling, time-traveling blend of Repulsion, The Shining, and Blow-Up.

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THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT – Review by Susan Granger

Who would have thought that this seven-episode Netflix series – built around an intellectual game like chess – could be so compelling? Based Walter Trevis’ novel, it’s written and directed by Scott Frank, who turns this fictional character-study into a fascinating coming-of-age drama about an obsessive, self-destructive young woman taking control of her life and succeeding in what is traditionally considered a man’s domain.

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