Movie Review – Shoplifters

Shoplifters (2018)
Written & Directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda

Osamu is the patriarch of a makeshift family living in the shadow of poverty in Tokyo. His partner Nobuyo is the mother with adopted son Shota, half-sister Aki, and grandmother Hatsue. Osamu and Shota routinely shoplift food from neighborhood grocery stores, having developed a system of signals and distractions. On their way home after a recent venture, they find Yuri, a little girl they have talked to before alone on her parent’s apartment balcony. Feeling sorry for her level of neglect they bring her home for dinner. Nobuyo helps Osamu bring her back after and they overhear Yuri’s parents fighting, her father hitting her mother, and the admission that they never wanted the child in the first place. Nobuyo decides to make Yuri a part of the family and from their life goes on as it always has. Until one day a news report announces that Yuri’s parents have filed a missing person report.

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Movie Review – The Wife

The Wife (2018)
Written by Jane Anderson
Directed by Bjorn Runge

Elderly writer Joseph Castleman receives the call many artists dream about. He is being awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, being told that he has made a significant contribution to the realm of writing in ways that will resound for generations beyond. His ever-loyal wife Joan listens on the phone extension and then prepares to care for and navigate her husband through the gauntlet of press and meetings to come. There is a secret behind her attentiveness to Joseph. They travel with their adult son to Stockholm where a week of formalities follows related to the prize. Tensions build when Nathaniel Bone, a journalist shows up and tells Joan he plans on writing an expose about Castleman, that he knows how Joan is tied to his success that he wants her to be the one to come forward first, on the record.

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Movie Review – Aquaman

Aquaman (2018)
Written by David Leslie, Johnson McGoldrick, Will Beall, Geoff Johns & James Wan
Directed by James Wan

Arthur Curry is the son of a lighthouse keeper and a runaway queen of Atlantis. When he was a toddler, his mother was taken back to her undersea homeworld, and so Arthur was raised by his father while learning about the strange new abilities he developed with each passing day. As an adult, Arthur has fought alongside the Justice League and has become a minor celebrity in his coastal town of Amnesty Bay. His profile increases when Mera, daughter of one of the seven kings of the ocean, implores him to help her stop a pending war with the surface. It seems, Arthur’s half-brother Orm is rallying the armies of the sea whether they like it or not. His end goal is to bring the land-dwellers to heel for the endless pollution of the ocean-realm. Arthur and Mera find themselves in a race to uncover the lost trident of Atlan, the one item that can only be wielded by the true king of Atlantis. With this weapon, they believe the war that will tear apart the planet can be avoided.

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Movie Review – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)
Written by Phil Lord & Rodney Rothman
Directed by Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, & Rodney Rothman

Spider-Man is the main hero of New York City and has been for decades. Meanwhile, Miles Morales is just a talented kid reluctantly attending a boarding school for the scientific minded. During a late excursion to tag a prime piece of real estate in the subway tunnels, Miles is bitten by a strange spider and begins to develop strange powers as a result. When Miles returns to the scene of the incident, he ends up dead center in a battle between Spider-Man and a host of villains in the employ of the Kingpin. The fight ends with Miles squarely set to inherit the mantle and in need of training. The result of Kingpin’s experiments is that the fabric of the multiverse is broken and a host of other Spider-people have found their way to Miles’ dimension. The clock is ticking as reality crumbles, and in a very short amount of time, our protagonist must learn to be the hero his universe needs him to be.

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Movie Review – Bumblebee

Bumblebee (2018)
Written by Christina Hodson
Directed by Travis Knight

The planet Cybertron is in chaos due to a civil war between the noble Autobots and the malicious Decepticons. Optimus Prime sends his Autobots out amongst the galaxy while secretly ensuring B-127 makes his way to Earth as an advance party for his people. However, when B-127 arrives, he runs afoul of both the U.S. military and a Decepticon who was tracking him. The battle ends with the Autobot’s vocal cords, and his memory wiped, leaving him stuck as a Volkswagen Beetle. He’s eventually discovered in a junkyard by teenager Charlie Watson. Charlie is mourning the passing of her dad who was a gearhead and trying to fix up an old car. Something draws her to B-127, whom she nicknames Bumblebee because of the small hive she finds under the vehicle. Once she learns the true nature of her new car, Charlie is quickly pulled into the battle between machines and sets out on a big adventure.

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Movie Review – If Beale Street Could Talk

If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
Written & Directed by Barry Jenkins

Tish is in an incredibly tough spot. Her boyfriend Fonny has been arrested and accused of a rape he didn’t commit. Now Tish has found out she is pregnant with his child. Everything feels impossible as she gathers up the courage to tell she and Fonny’s families. Money is crucial because the family needs every resource they have to pay legal costs to prove Fonny’s innocence, working against a system that was stacked against them before they were born. The film cuts back and forth between the present struggle and the early days of Tish and Fonny’s love story, showing us why they fight so desperately to regain the future that is being stolen from them.

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Movie Review – Bandersnatch

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
Written by Charlie Brooker
Directed by David Slade

Stefan Butler is a young man obsessed. It’s 1984, and he is plugging away at adapting the cult novel Bandersnatch, a choose your own adventure style book, into a PC game. He pitches the unfinished version of the game to the new kid on the block game company Tuckersoft. Butler lives at home under the worried gaze of his father while attending therapy sessions with Dr. Haynes. With Dr. Haynes, he talks about and relives the moment in his life that has caused the most trauma, the tragic death of his mother. Bandersnatch was something she left behind and, because of that emotional tie, he has become obsessed with the tome. From there, things get weird as the film is an interactive presentation, much like the book the viewer will choose the paths Stefan goes down, and that’s where the problems begin.

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