Flix At :48

Thursdays at 4:48 p.m.

Each week UPR’s Film Guru Casey T. Allen joins us for Flix at :48.

Tune in Thursday afternoons at 4:48 during All Things Considered for Casey’s reviews of the latest movie releases from Tinseltown.

Us movie

When an ordinary family of 4 takes a summer vacation together at a peaceful lake house, their sun-filled fun is disrupted when another identical family of 4 starts terrorizing them. How can this ordinary family fight against real people who look exactly like them, move like them, and think like them? This tale of bloody survival takes viewers to a dark hall of mirrors, an eerily empty beach, and a strange, sterile underworld covered in white tiles. 

Captive State takes us to a Chicago far into the future when Earth is under the occupation of a mysterious, and dominant, alien race. But instead of a future that is sexy, fast, or technologically advanced with lots of smooth glass and polished steel, this Chicago is dreary, dirty, dilapidated, and under constant surveillance. 

Captain Marvel

I think I have seen the first film of 2019 that doesn't completely suck or disappoint. Brie Larson (Kong: Skull Island, 2017) plays Carol Danvers, a pilot for the U.S. Air Force who survives a strange explosion that infuses her body with super-human strength, flight, and fists of blazing heat. I don't know how the Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps doing it, but this film manages to be funny, exciting, and memorable as Carol Danvers learns to control her powers and understand her place in the universe. 

greta

Twenty-two-year-old actress Chloe Grace Moretz (Hugo, 2011) plays a timid waitress in New York City who finds a forgotten purse on the subway. How convenient to find a woman's ID right inside the purse too! 

Fighting with My Family

Comedic actor and writer Stephen Merchant (Logan, 2017) has given us an unlikely story of family, courage, and wrestling. 

Flickr

This week's review focuses on the upcoming 91st annual Academy Awards honoring the best in film from 2018. Casey gives us his predictions in the main categories as well as his thoughts on films that were forgotten in the nomination process.

What Men Want

Flipping the script on a light-hearted romantic comedy has never felt so dismal or uninspired (much like my own personal love life). What Men Want is a remake of the 2000 comedy What Women Want when Mel Gibson (Daddy's Home Two, 2017) magically earns the power to hear all women's thoughts and even more magically becomes less of a misogynist in the process.

Miss Bala

Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin TV series) plays a Mexican-American woman living in current-day Los Angeles whose innocence transforms into determined survival. After escaping an attack of bullets in a Tijuana nightclub, she's abducted by members of the Mexican drug cartel and forced to carry out their plans of drug trafficking and murder. 

Glass Movie

Indian-American director M. Night Shyamalan (The Visit, 2015) is at it again with another psychological thriller packed with the tension of boiled linguine and the flavor of skim milk. 

If Beale Street Could Talk is a moving and vivid love story of 2 young people in 1960s Harlem whose love becomes strained when the man (Stephan James, Race, 2016) is arrested and jailed for a crime he didn't commit, while the woman (gorgeous newcomer Kiki Layne) tries to work with a lawyer to prove her partner's innocence. 

I did not watch a newly released film this week. Instead, I watched Eighth Grade, an adorable comedy released back in August of 2018 (which first premiered at Sundance) and now available through your personal movie streaming or delivery service. 

Vice

 

Vice is a biographical film that chronicles the life and career of Dick Cheney, who has often been named by historians as the most powerful Vice President in U.S. history. 

IMP Awards

I’m so lucky to have seen this film. It has the perfect balance of history, emotion, intrigue and comedy.

IMP Awards

It’s not often I watch a movie that feels like it was made for me. Boy Erased is such a movie. Based on a memoir of the same name by Garrard Conley first published in 2016, Boy Erased tells the story of a teenage boy in a devout Baptist family who comes out as gay to his parents and is then enrolled in a conversion therapy program to cure him of his attraction to men.

imdb.com

When a professional, black piano player hires a white nightclub bouncer to drive him on a 2-month concert tour through the Deep South in 1962, an awkward road trip turns into a journey of sobering self-discovery. 

Creed 2

Creed II is a sequel to the hit drama Creed from 2015 that was directed by Ryan Coogler (Black Panther, 2018). This sequel again pairs famous boxing champion Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone, Escape Plan, 2013) with his protégé Adonis Johnson, the son of one of Rocky’s greatest rivals, Apollo Creed. 

Overlord

Once in a while a movie comes along that defies categorization. Being part war drama, part horror mystery, part action frenzy, Overlord is such a movie. It’s also difficult to categorize because it’s completely insane.

imdb.com

Bohemian Rhapsody is a half musical half biographical film about the rock band Queen and its rise to fame in the 1970s and 80s with particular attention on the life of the band’s lead singer Freddy Mercury. Born as Farrokh Bulsara to traditional parents from India who immigrated to London, Freddie Mercury’s story as a bold, risk-taking visionary is one that will inspire and fascinate audiences, despite this film smoothing over many rough edges of the band’s life.

mid90s

Jonah Hill has been an established actor in Hollywood for the past 10 years known mostly for comedies like Superbad (2007), Cyrus (2010), 21 Jump Street (2012), and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013). Mid90s is Jonah Hill's first time as director and screenwriter of a full-length feature film, and it completely transported me. 

The Hate U Give

When a black teenage girl witnesses her black friend unlawfully shot to death by a police officer, she is forced to confront complicated, adult issues of identity, violence, and racism in her hometown. This film is based on a young adult novel of the same title written by Angie Thomas and published in 2017. The novel also spent time as a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

First Man

Film critic Roger Ebert is quoted saying, “It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.” And this sentiment is echoed beautifully in First Man. Instead of being a dramatic crescendo proclaiming the unstoppable force of American patriotism, this film is a patient, introspective, quiet exploration of Neil Armstrong’s life; an ordinary man who lands in extraordinary circumstances leading Apollo 11, the first manned spacecraft to the moon in 1969.

A Star is Born is a remake of a well-known story that’s been told in 3 previous Hollywood films all with the same title. First in 1937 with Janet Gaynor, in 1954 with Judy Garland, and in 1976 with Barbra Streisand. This 2018 version has Bradley Cooper (American Sniper, 2014) playing an established rock star who meets a working-class waitress (played by Lady Gaga, American Horror Story: Hotel, 2015-2016) who has her own hopes of singing stardom. 

I don't understand who thought this movie was a good idea, and I don't understand why anyone involved with this movie thought it was funny. With comedy stars Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish leading this film, it had potential to be funny and charming. Kevin Hart (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, 2017) and Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip, 2017) are both very successful stand-up comedians, and deservedly so. 


This newly released version of Life Itself is an emotional and touching drama about 3 generations of 2 separate families, one in New York City and one in Spain, and how these disparate families cross paths and influence each other’s lives. Through milestones of death, birth, love, mental illness, and separation, the film incessantly reminds us that each person is precious, and the directions of people’s lives can take surprising turns.

When a happy wife and mother in current day Los Angeles sees her husband and 10-year-old daughter killed in a drive-by shooting, her life takes a nasty turn. It becomes an even greater tragedy when the justice system allows the murderers in the drive-by shooting to go free. Five years later this broken, fragile, widowed woman resurfaces in L.A. with a lot of weapons, a new attitude, and a new haircut to exact her revenge on the criminals who took her family.

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