The unabashedly corny, earnest, and well intentioned Canadian tearjerker The Meaning of Life never rises above its relentlessly manipulative subject matter, but it’s not entirely without merit.
With Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, documentarians Jeffrey Friedman and Rob Epstein have created a thorough and engaging overview of the singers career, reminding viewers why she was so successful and how her contributions changed the game for women in the industry.
Not much more than another standard tale of a young person learning to get over a tragic loss and believe in themselves through the help of a magical creature, Abominable doesn’t break any new ground in animated storytelling whatsoever, but at least it’s cute, enjoyable, and has a lot of heart.
Swerving around many of the cliched potholes modern day biopics about famous performers all too frequently and gleefully drive over at full speed, Judy smartly profiles its larger-than-life subject and talent at a couple of fixed, well chosen points in time rather than mounting a standard riches to rags tale.
What does it say when something as dreadful as The Fanatic turns out to be only the eighth worst movie of Travolta’s perpetually tarnished and only occasionally elevated career? It says that this talented actor officially needs to burn his entire career to the ground and start from scratch yet again.
A fun, stylish, energetic, and endearingly low budget throwback to the likes of Tuff Turf, Dangerously Close, Class of 1999, and the works of the late Dan O’Bannon Canadian director Jovanka Vuckovic’s Riot Girls is a refreshing genre cinema rarity.
A corny Chinese anthology tearjerker that starts off somewhat novel and enticing before growing wearisome and boring, Midnight Diner has a good heart, a proven concept, and no desire to pull back on the emotional manipulation whatsoever.
Overstuffed, but still breezily enjoyable and refreshingly relaxed in its approach, the theatre world-set comedy Before You Know It is a gentle, satisfying bit of entertainment to usher viewers from the warm days of summer and into the chilly autumnal season.
Yet another film to add to the pile of comedies that fail to capitalize upon or expand the short form sketches they’re spun off from, Between Two Ferns: The Movie is at its funniest when it sticks to what it does best.
One of the most original, moving, subtly funny, and disarmingly entertaining foreign language films of the year is Chinese filmmaker Teng Congcong’s debut feature, Send Me to the Clouds.