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Articles written by Jennifer Nanek


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  • MOVIE REVIEW: "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" a Fun, Familiar Ride

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Apr 12, 2024

    While not breaking new ground, "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire" delivers a fun and engaging experience for fans of the franchise. Set in New York City, the film seamlessly blends the "next generation" team with the original Ghostbusters, giving the returning cast something to do. A highlight is Annie Potts finally suiting up as a Ghostbuster! The movie is packed with Easter eggs and throwbacks to the original films and the beloved cartoon series. Bill Murray gets some funny...

  • Movie Review: Maestro" A Look at Leonard Bernstein's Life and Legacy

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    "Maestro," Bradley Cooper's sophomore directorial effort available on Netflix, dives into the life of Leonard Bernstein, the iconic American composer and conductor. The film serves as a good introduction to Bernstein for newcomers like me, as, I didn't know anything about Leonard Bernstein. However the movie doesn't delve as deeply as it could have. Cooper both directs and plays the title role in the film. His performance is undeniably strong, capturing Bernstein's flamboyant...

  • Sci-Fi Shenanigans and Stone's Spark: A Review of Poor Things

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Apr 6, 2024

    A darkly comedic gem, "Poor Things" shines with audacious storytelling and a captivating performance by Emma Stone. Fueled by an Oscar win for Stone, this film by acclaimed director Yorgos Lanthimos ("The Lobster," "The Favourite") is a genre-bending blend of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and dark comedy. This is right up my alley! Reminiscent of Frankenstein, it tells the bizarre tale of Bella (Stone), a woman brought back to life with the brain of a baby. Raised by her e...

  • Movie Review: A Delightfully Subversive Romp in "Wicked Little Letters"

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Apr 1, 2024

    This movie, Wicked Little Letters, starring Olivia Coleman and Jesse Buckley, is absolutely hilarious. The film is a 2023 British black comedy/mystery, directed by Thea Sharrock and written by Jonny Sweet, set in 1920s small town England. When a conservative spinster named Edith, played by Olivia Coleman, starts getting these really offensive letters, her brash, vulgar next door neighbor from Ireland, Rose played by Jessie Buckley, is accused. All of the performances are...

  • A Deep Dive into Dune: Part 2 A Thought-Provoking Epic

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Mar 25, 2024

    I was glad to finally see Dune part 2 after it was delayed several months due to the writers and actors strikes. Denis Villeneuve's triumphant return to Arrakis in Dune: Part Two is a feast for the senses. The visuals are phenomenal. Stunning cinematography, dazzling special effects, and Hans Zimmer's ever-present, pulse-pounding score coalesce to create a truly immersive experience. We are transported back to the harsh beauty of the desert planet Arrakus, feeling the heat of...

  • Despite Talented Cast, Argylle is a Disappointing Film

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Mar 4, 2024

    "Argylle" is a spy thriller that boasts a star-studded cast, including Henry Cavill, Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, and Dua Lipa. Despite its impressive cast, the film falls short in various aspects. This movie, directed by Matthew Vaughn, is based on a book series by author Elly Conway. However, the film is actually an adaptation of the fourth book in the series, which is not yet published. The first book in the series was published before the movie was released. This is...

  • "American Fiction" a Satire That Hits All the Right Notes

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Feb 28, 2024

    "American Fiction" offers us some great satire performed by a stellar cast. Directed and written by the talented Cord Jefferson and starring Jeffrey Wright, this film is a masterpiece in both storytelling and social commentary. This movie is about an African American writer whose books are not accepted by publishers because they don't fit certain specific expected African American themes. This is based on a book written 20 years ago but the issues are still true today. As an...

  • "Good Grief," is a Heartfelt Exploration of Friendship and Discovery

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Feb 15, 2024

    I recently had the opportunity to watch Dan Levy's directorial debut, Good Grief, on Netflix. Dan Levy is best known for his comedy Schitt's Creek. I love that show, it's hilarious. When he entered into a deal to create content with Netflix I was and still am looking forward to anything he does. "Good Grief," is a heartfelt exploration of grief, friendship, and self-discovery. While it may not land every comedic or dramatic beat perfectly, it offers a tender, character-driven...

  • "May December" a Dark Comedy on Netflix

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Feb 5, 2024

    This is a dark comedy starring Natalie Portman, Julianne Moore and Charles Melton in a story loosely based on Mary Kay Letourneau and her affair with one of her young students. It is directed by Todd Haynes. In this film, Natalie Portman plays Elizabeth, an actress who is going to play a part in a movie based on the relationship between Gracie and Joe, played respectfully by Julianne Moore and Charles Melton. The movie takes place in Savannah Georgia, a beautiful historic...

  • The Color Purple: A Triumphant Return

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Jan 29, 2024

    The beloved story of Celie Johnson is returned to the big screen, and this time, it's singing its heart out. "The Color Purple" (2023) is a triumphant musical adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, and it's a testament to the enduring power of this timeless tale. The film is actually based upon the Broadway musical more than the book, even though it's basically the same story. I had seen the original movie and I did read the book once upon a time. I had...

  • Aquaman 2 and the Lost Kingdom: A Surprisingly Enjoyable Dip in Troubled Waters

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Jan 20, 2024

    I was a bit delayed watching Aquaman 2 as I was gone over the holidays. I finally got to see it recently. I went into Aquaman 2 expecting a shipwreck, weighed down by the negativity swirling around it. But surprisingly, I found myself bobbing to the surface, entertained and enjoying it. Don't get me wrong, it's not a cinematic masterpiece, but it delivered a fun, albeit uneven, underwater adventure. So this is the last Snyder verse movie. Everybody knew going into this movie...

  • Movie Review of "Wonka" : A Sweet Surprise (with a Few Wonky Bits)

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Jan 9, 2024

    I'll admit, I walked into the new Wonka movie bracing myself for disappointment. The shadow of Gene Wilder's iconic performance loomed large, and the more recent Johnny Depp version didn't exactly instill confidence. But, much like discovering a golden ticket tucked beneath a wrapper, I found myself pleasantly surprised by this chocolatey adventure. This movie was directed by Paul King who is known for his recent Paddington Bear movies. The cast did a good job. Timothée...

  • "Rebel Moon" a Great Popcorn Flick

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Dec 30, 2023

    I watched Zack Snyder's Rebel Moon movie, recently released on Netflix. While Snyder doesn't always get it right, I like looking at whatever he does. He is known for the Man of Steel and other DC superhero movies. Rebel Moon part 1 delivers a visually stunning sci-fi spectacle with great characters and wonderful special effects. Sofia Boutella shines as Kora, a warrior haunted by her past who seeks to become the unlikely savior of a peaceful moon farming colony. Ed Skrein is e...

  • "Wish" a Tribute to Prior Disney Animated Films

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Dec 19, 2023

    This is not the best Disney movie ever. Not even close. Frozen it is not. However I enjoyed it very much. This movie seems to be a tribute to 100 years of Disney. One of the characters is 100 years old. The movie is filled with nods to other popular Disney movies. While "Wish" might not be an instant Disney classic, it offers a charming exploration of the power of wishes, both granted and ungranted. I especially loved how the film emphasized that the journey toward your...

  • Movie Review: "Napoleon" Visually Stunning But Lacks Depth

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Nov 27, 2023

    Director Ridley Scott's latest epic, "Napoleon," is a captivating portrayal of the rise and fall of the French Emperor. I have been looking forward to this Napoleon movie for a while. This is a massive project for any director to take on and I was looking forward to seeing what Ridley Scott does with it. This movie is long at 2 and 1/2 hours. We are promised a much longer version on Apple+ sometime later (which I will of course watch). With its grand scale, sweeping vistas,...

  • A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: A Thrilling and Thought-provoking Prequel to the Hunger Games trilogy.

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Nov 20, 2023

    "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes" is a captivating and suspenseful prequel to the beloved dystopian trilogy. I read the book several years back and very much enjoyed it. Set 64 years before Katniss Everdeen volunteers as tribute, the movie follows the ambitious and cunning Coriolanus Snow, a young man from a prominent but poor family in the opulent Capitol. When he is selected as a mentor for District 12 tribute Lucy Gray Baird, a defiant and talented musi...

  • Movie Review "What Happens Later" Is a Touching Tale of Second Chances and Rekindled Love

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Nov 8, 2023

    "What Happens Later," stands out as a refreshing and poignant exploration of second chances and rekindled love amidst the backdrop of mature relationships. This romantic comedy stars Meg Ryan and is also directed by Meg Ryan. This is her second directorial effort. The film revolves around Willa (Ryan) and Bill (David Duchovny), two former college sweethearts who unexpectedly reunite after decades of separation, finding themselves snowed in at a regional airport overnight....

  • Film Review: Killers of the Flower Moon

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Oct 31, 2023

    Martin Scorsese's new film, Killers of the Flower Moon, is a sprawling epic about the serial murder of Osage Nation members in 1920s Oklahoma. The film is based on the best-selling book of the same name by David Grann, and it stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro, and Lily Gladstone. I read this book back in 2019. I thought it was an excellent book and I thought then that it should be a movie. The film's acting is top-notch, with all three leads delivering excellent...

  • Movie Review - Strange Way of Life Earns Four Stars

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Oct 23, 2023

    Strange Way of Life is a 31-minute 2023 Spanish Western drama written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar starring Pedro Pascal and Ethan Hawke. It's a gay cowboy movie that I have been looking forward to all summer. The film follows Silva (Pascal), a gunslinger who rides into town to visit his old friend, now Sheriff Jake (Hawke) after 25 years. Silva is in love with Jake. However, there is more to this reunion. Almodóvar explores the complex relationship between the two men w...

  • Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods Earns Three Stars

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Oct 19, 2023

    Zachary Levi is back as Shazam, a teenager, who can turn into an adult superhero, and his band of foster siblings who are trying to save the world from angry Greek gods. There's a lot of silliness in this as kids are trying to be grown ups in this superhero adventure. I laughed a lot at this. Some jokes are cheesy though. Helen Mirren, the Queen herself, and Lucy Liu are the villians in this. They play Daughters of Atlas trying to reclaim the world for themselves somehow. Ther...

  • MOVIE REVIEW: A Haunting in Venice Earns Four Stars

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Sep 26, 2023

    Kenneth Branagh's latest Hercule Poirot film, A Haunting in Venice, is a haunted house movie but isn't that scary. It is a surprisingly enjoyable and suspenseful mystery. While it may not be the most original or groundbreaking film of the year, it's well-made, well-acted, beautifully shot and fun. The film is set in the atmospheric city of Venice, where Poirot is invited to investigate a series of mysterious deaths at a séance. The cast is full of talented actors, including Br...

  • Blue Beetle is a Fun Superhero Film

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Sep 15, 2023

    I finally got to see Blue Beetle over the weekend. This is a superhero character I had never heard of. Blue Beetle is a fun and enjoyable superhero film that brings a fresh perspective to the genre. Xolo Maridueña delivers a charming and charismatic performance as Jaime Reyes, a young man who stumbles upon an alien scarab that grants him extraordinary powers. Together with his family and friends, he must learn to control his newfound abilities and use them to protect his...

  • Red, White, and Royal Blue Earns Four Stars

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Aug 29, 2023

    Red, White & Royal Blue is a fun, silly, and heartwarming romantic comedy about the unlikely romance between Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of the United States President, and Prince Henry of Wales. The film is based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Casey McQuiston. I have not read the best-selling book but now I fully intend to. The film's two leads, Taylor Zakhar Perez and Nicholas Galitzine, are perfectly cast as Alex and Henry. Perez brings a lot of charisma and...

  • Movie Review: Happiness for Beginners Catches Three Stars

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Aug 8, 2023

    Happiness for Beginners is a July, 2023 romantic comedy film that follows Helen Carpenter, a 32-year-old woman who, in an attempt to rebuild her life after a difficult divorce, signs up for an extended hike in the Appalachian Mountains. Along the way, she encounters Jake Taylor, a handsome doctor who is friends with her brother and obviously has a crush on her. The protagonist is annoying and obnoxious. I wanted to smack her at several points during the movie. The film,...

  • Movie Review: Rye Lane Streams on Hulu, Earns Four Stars

    Jennifer Nanek, News Film Critic|Updated Aug 1, 2023

    The newest release from streaming service Hulu is Rye Lane, a fun and enjoyable romantic comedy that follows two youngsters reeling from bad break-ups who connect over a particularly eventful day in South London. The film is directed by Raine Allen Miller in her feature film debut, and stars David Jonsson and Vivian Oparah as Dom and Yas, respectively. The film's strengths lie in its characters, its humor, and its setting. Dom and Yas are both relatable and likable...

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