Apr 21 2023

Beau Is Afraid

Overmedicated and anxiety ridden Beau (Joaquin Phoenix) is supposed to fly home and visit his mother (Patti LuPone), but, when a missed flight begins a chain reaction of extreme and increasingly tragic events, Beau’s limits will be tested to levels never thought possible. The journey home might just be his darkest hour yet, perhaps estranged girlfriend Elaine (Parker Posey) holds the key to happiness, only one way to find out. Written and Directed by Ari Aster this cinematic showpiece provides a seemingly impossible visual smorgasbord inside what’s destined to become 2023’s most nightmarish and surreal plot line. Beginning grounded in sanity but quickly unfurling to reveal a three hour asphyxiation of normalcy, Phoenix’s ability to hold steadfast is uncanny and impressive. Meanwhile this arduous slog of a film will likely come as an acquired taste that most will never develop a taste for, that is unless you’re a fan of Kafka. Challenges of person vs. self vs. nature vs. others ring loud and clear and without explanation, many question marks hang in the balance, in the end, it’s just exhausting. Beau Is Afraid is rated R.

Apr 14 2023


According to legend, vampires often keep a human companion close at hand as their assistant/henchman otherwise called a “familiar.” To Dracula (Nicholas Cage), Renfield (Nicholas Hoult), is that familiar; but now, after decades of abuse, Renfield is beginning to realize the co-dependent nature of his relationship with Dracula. Empowered by a new friend, Rebecca (Awkwafina), Renfield may stand a chance to break the cycle and be free, but not before Dracula has a say in the matter. Written by Ryan Ridley and Robert Kirkman and Directed by Chris McKay this slapstick horror comedy brings the classic tale of Dracula into the 21st century, and, along with it, blood, lots and lots of blood. In what can be best described as the year’s bloodiest film on screen Nicholas Cage continues his streak of recent winners with a role that seems perfectly cut out for his often two speed delivery, 1) intense…and 2) more intense, to that end, it’s perfectly cast. And, with Hoult and Awkwafina holding up their ends, as ridiculous as it may sound, the film easily achieves most entertaining vampire sendup status, gallon for gallon, while also paying brief respects to Bela Lugosi and F.W. Murnau. Fans of the undead pestilence will find plenty to appreciate here. Not overstaying its welcome at a brief 93 minutes of runtime, Renfield is clearly rated R.

Apr 7 2023

The Super Mario Bros. Movie

When Mario and Luigi (Chris Pratt, Charlie Day), two plumbers from Brooklynn, are sucked through the New York sewer system and into a bizarre universe of magical proportions, their arrival comes just as Bowser (Jack Black), the King of the Koopas, is about to reign terror upon the Land of Mushrooms. Stopping Bowser, Helping the Princess (Anya Taylor-Joy), and saving the Mushroom people will be a tall order for the brothers, but, if they stick together and make some new friends, they might just stand a chance.Written by Matthew Fogel and Directed by Aaron Horvath and Michael Jelenic, this family friendly jaunt into the world of Nintendo sets up quickly and follows the Hero’s Quest for all in a compact 92 minute package. Aimed largely at younger audiences, the film offers a few chuckles for the older demographic but distinctly lacks a certain subtext or richness in narrative that audiences have come to expect in animated film. Regardless, audiences will still appreciate seeing their favorite characters come to life, and, hearing the once 8 bit audio track fully orchestrated and booming in surround sound. Vocal performances from the ensemble all fit on point, particular nods to Jack Black for his ever present sing-along wackiness. You could do a lot worse for your family weekend entertainment. The Super Mario Bros. Movie is rated PG.