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  • Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank

    ★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    This seems like an abandoned (semi-autobiographical?) script Ball wrote in the 80s before he got inventive with American Beauty. Bettany and Lillis do their best but it's a predictable journey muddled by a poorly defined lead. (Does he have loving family members or not? Is he haunted by his first boyfriend's suicide or not? Is he living his best life in New York or is he tortured by his father's abandonment and the idea of eternal damnation?) There's also a whiplash-inducing happy ending.

  • Calm with Horses

    Calm with Horses

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    After Dark My Sweet is one of my fave films so this story was predictable because of some key similarities (a criminal's manipulation and underestimation of a punch-drunk ex-boxer known for killing an opponent; the boxer sacrificing himself to save a woman and boy). Still, this is a tidy little crime drama with strong performances, and I'll keep an eye out for the filmmaker's next project.

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  • Bohemian Rhapsody

    Bohemian Rhapsody

    ★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    This film will certainly create new Queen fans, but why fabricate a plotline using a clichéd rockstar movie template when there's a true story that's uniquely interesting? Freddie Mercury isn't Dewey Cox. He didn't betray the band by going solo (Roger and Brian did solo projects years before Freddie did; and Roger assisted Freddie's solo effort); the band never broke up; Live Aid wasn't their swan song; etc. Freddie is a one-of-a-kind music icon with an R-rated journey. His legacy deserves more than this sanitized cookie-cutter PG-13 crowd-pleaser.

  • Chernobyl

    Chernobyl

    ★★★★★

    Holy crap, what a gruesome nightmare event. Riveting storytelling with great style, excellent cinematography, an otherworldly soundtrack and strong performances across the board. This docudrama deserves all the awards. Every single one.