Friday, May 7, 2021

What to Watch This Weekend: Wrath of Man, Paper Tigers, Columnist, Water man, Judas and the Black Messiah, Human Factor, Initiation, Sons of Sam

For A Darker Guy Ritchie Experience: Wrath of Man (In Theaters)
Wrath of Man has Ritchie's trademark sharp writing, style, and a solid Statham performance, but with a darker tone and more intense action.  For more information, check out the review!

For The True Crime Fans: The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness (Netflix)
The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness details a fascinating theory and the brilliant but flawed proponent of it with amazing clippings, clips, and plenty of research.  For more information, check out the review!

For A Bloody Good Free Speech Satire: The Columnist (Virtual Cinema)
The Columnist is a stylish and entertaining satire--fueled by Katja Herbers's wonderful performance--about the dangers of social media and the very painful effect that online activities can have on real people.    For more information, check out the review

For A Crazy, Murderous Horror Party: Initiation (Theaters and Digital)
Initiation's college slasher party is amplified with great practical effects, brutal deaths, a good amount of tension, and a social media message.  For more information, check out our review!

For A Fascinating Historical Documentary: The Human Factor (In Theaters)
The Human Factor is a fascinating look at peace in the middle east, with great narration, clever effects to keep the viewer engaged, and a humbling look at just how complicated this issue really is.   For more information, check out the review!

For A Family Film Dealing With Real Issues: The Water Man (In Theaters)
Nomadland highlights a different, beautiful lifestyle with a very human performance by McDormand, amazing cinematography, and a wonderful sense of community.  For more information, check out the review!

For A Thoroughly Entertaining Martial Arts Film: The Paper Tigers (In Theaters and Digital)
Paper Tigers will knock you out with its wonderful comedic style, over the top and over the hill characters, and the amazing camaraderie and heart of the main trio.  For more information, check out our review!

For A Powerful Film About Racial Injustice: Judas and the Black Messiah (Redbox)
Judas and the Black Messiah is an amazing, powerful film that chronicles the short life of a charismatic leader, and highlights ideals and injustices that are still relevant today.  For more information, check out the review!

Fried Barry Review: A Drug, Sex, and Adrenaline Fueled Trip

Release date: May 7, 2021
Running time: 92 minutes
Starring Gary Green, Bianka Hartenstein, Sean Cameron Michael, Chanelle de Jager, Joey Cramer, and Jonathan Pienaar
Written By:  James C. Williamson and Ryan Kruger
Directed By: Ryan Kruger

Fried Barry follows the story of a drug-addled degenerate who, after yet another bender, gets abducted by aliens. Barry takes a backseat as his alien visitor assumes control of his body and takes it for a joyride through Cape Town. What follows is an onslaught of drugs, sex and violence as Barry’s alien tourist enters the weird and wonderful world of humankind.

Fried Barry is definitely a unique trip.  The film is just a random experience from start to finish.  It starts slowly as you get to meet Barry and then his new inhabitant.  But after that, it gets amped up to 11.  From sex, to drugs, to violence, and everything in between, Fried Barry will have you experiencing all sorts of craziness on Barry's wild night.  Like a child, Barry experiences all sorts of life experiences in one night.  

Fried Barry is made by Green's ridiculous, intense performance.  He has to wear lots of hats and his performance is out of this world.  Love or hate his character, Green's performance is perfectly situated for this bizarre situation.  The rest of the cast do well in this strange film, and I especially liked seeing Sean Cameron Michael again in a bizarre but perfectly fitting role.

But Fried Barry is also just a strange film.  It's not bad, but oftentimes it seems to be weird for the sake of being weird.  The movie has a strange obsession with sex and violence, and some grotesque instances that let you know just how odd Barry's night is.  It does have really good effects and plenty of set pieces.  And it also has a great, pumping soundtrack at times.  Some of Barry's stranger sequences are accompanied by a great beat that lets you feel the craziness that fuels this night.  Fried Barry is not a bad film, but it is a strange one and you have to be in the right mindset for it.  But if you are, this is one experience you won't soon forget.

Fried Barry is a drug, sex, and adrenaline fueled trip with some intense visuals, great music, and a unique performance by Gary Green! 

Rent it.

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Fried Barry is available to stream on Shudder starting May 7, 2021. 

The Unthinkable Review: Intense Drama and Exciting Disaster In Sweden

Christoffer Nordenrot	...	Alex Lisa Henni	Lisa Henni	...	Anna Jesper Barkselius	Jesper Barkselius	...	Björn Pia Halvorsen	Pia Halvorsen	...	Eva Magnus Sundberg	Magnus Sundberg	...	Konny Krister Kern	Krister Kern	...	Kim Karin Bertling	Karin Bertling	...	Farmor Ulrika Bäckström	Ulrika Bäckström	...	Klara Alexej Manvelov	Alexej Manvelov	...	Tholén Yngve Dahlberg	Yngve Dahlberg	...	Emil Håkan Ehn	Håkan Ehn	...	Lasse Tarmo Sakari Hietala	Tarmo Sakari Hietala	...	Bärplockaren Niklas Jarneheim	Niklas Jarneheim	...	Morbror Erik Arvin Kananian	Arvin Kananian	...	Sharokh Lo Lexfors	Lo Lexfors	...	Elin Liselott Lindeborg	Liselott Lindeborg	...	Lenny Rickard Lundquist	Rickard Lundquist	...	Landers Carlos Fernando	Carlos Fernando	...	Polis (as Carlos Paulsson) Rikard Svensson	Rikard Svensson	...	Jögga Johan Wåhlin	Johan Wåhlin	...	Råsmark Eleonor Leone	Eleonor Leone	...	Julia Erik Bolin	Erik Bolin	...	Insatsledare Magdalena Eshaya	Magdalena Eshaya	...	Tiggaren Carina Perenkranz	Carina Perenkranz	...	Minister Johannes Yachouh	Johannes Yachouh	...	Midsommmarfirare Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Lukas Ahlin	Lukas Ahlin	...	Midsommarfirare Måns Ahlin	Måns Ahlin	...	En av de svenska ministrarna Nicolas Dagsson	Nicolas Dagsson	...	Chockad kille när bron sprängs Susanne Hörnquist	Susanne Hörnquist	...	Säpoagent Linda Kulle	Linda Kulle	...	Pettersson David Laib	David Laib	...	En av de svenska ministrarna Mikael Nyborg	Mikael Nyborg	...	En av soldaterna Pauline Wågström	Pauline Wågström	...	Midsommarfirare

Release date: May 7, 2021
Running time: 129 minutes
Starring: Christoffer Nordenrot, Lisa Henni, Jesper Barkselius, Pia Halvorsen, Magnus Sundberg, Krister Kern, Karin Bertling, Ulrika Bäckström, Alexej Manvelov
Director: Victor Danell
Writers: Victor Danell (as Crazy Pictures), Christoffer Nordenrot

In Swedish film collective Crazy Pictures feature "Den blomstertid nu kommer" Sweden faces a mysterious attack while Alex tries to reunite with his youth love, Anna.

Ami Ekström	...	co-producer Henrik Eld	...	co-producer Bernhard Lebourne	...	co-producer John Nordling	...	executive producer Albin Pettersson	...	producer: Crazy Pictures Olle Tholén	...	producer: Crazy Pictures Emil Wiklund	...	executive producer
The Unthinkable is an interesting hybrid film; part disaster movie, part action movie, part romance and family drama, this movie takes a lot of distinct concepts and merges them into a unique cinematic experience.  The movie is an ambitious one, with an intense disaster brewing amid Alex (Nordenrot)'s internal family drama and the coming to terms of his life's mistakes.  However, in doing that he is forced to confront his abusive but loving father and his childhood love.  And amid all of this he has to stay alive during a strange happening that is causing death and destruction throughout Sweden.

The Unthinkable effectively tells this disaster story through some amazing acting by its large cast and some great special effects.  Although this movie is mostly a drama, the effects do not play second fiddle.  Huge explosions, dramatic sequences, and some intense hand to hand fighting let you know that this movie takes its action seriously.  And that these visuals are accompanied by some world-ending sound helps with both the excitement and confusion of this time.  But the main draw of this film is the drama that occurs amid this world-ending event, starting from Alex's childhood and progressing into modern times.  You get to see where he came from and what he wishes he had done, along with the lives of many characters that intersect with Alex during this crazy time.

However, although The Unthinkable tells a unique story and is an experience that I did not expect, the film doesn't quite come together.  The start is filled with these intense sequences of both drama and action, but I really couldn't tell what was going on or how everyone connected.  Part of this might be the run time, which let the directors spend extra time developing these characters.  But even when the action started (much farther into the film than I expected), I still did not have a good sense of how everyone fit together.  The film has so many plot threads and so many disparate sequences that it makes it tough to weave them all together.  And sometimes it feels like the world ending event is an afterthought to the interesting romance.  Finally, the film has a few plot holes involving this event that are not cleared up during the movie's long but exciting run time.

The Unthinkable is a unique experience, with an intense drama amid an apocalyptic event. The effects and characters will keep you motivated as you learn about their past and their fate.

Rent it.

Directed by  Victor Danell	...	(as Crazy Pictures)Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Victor Danell	...	(as Crazy Pictures) Christoffer Nordenrot
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The Unthinkable is available digitally, and on demand on May 7, 2021.  

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The Boy From Medellin Review: An Intimate Look At The International Superstar

Release date: May 7, 2021
Running time: 95 minutes
Directed and Produced by Matthew Heineman
Starring Jose Alvaro Osorio Balvin

From Academy Award®-nominee and Emmy-winning filmmaker Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land, City of Ghosts, A Private War) comes an astonishingly intimate portrait of one of the biggest international music superstars of our time. THE BOY FROM MEDELLÍN follows J Balvin as he prepares for the most important concert of his career--a sold-out stadium show in his hometown of Medellín, Colombia. But as the performance draws ever closer, the streets explode with growing political unrest, forcing the Latin Grammy-winning musician to wrestle with his responsibility as an artist to his country and his legions of fans around the globe. As the public pressure of the approaching concert heightens, behind the scenes Balvin also continues to deal with the anxiety and depression that has plagued him for years. Shot entirely in the dramatic week leading up to the concert, the film gives and intimate and up close look at this superstar.

The Boy From Medellin does give an intimate look at the international superstar, including going back to his roots and showing where he grew up.  It is a surprisingly candid and unfiltered look at the superstar.  J Balvin speaks his mind and is very open with his life and his struggles with mental health.  I really loved seeing how honest he was in discussing his life and his career; Balvin spoke openly about dealing with depression and his need for help.  And you get a real time look at this as Balvin is also open about his growing anxiety as the biggest concert of his career grows closer. It was insightful to see him deal with stress, anxiety, and his fear of failure despite everything he has.  Sure, Balivin has a great life, but he has worked hard to get there and having a good life doesn't make you immune from depression.  

The film also gives you a look at Balvin's inner circle; those who he relies on and trusts to help guide his life and decisions.  Those are also interesting to watch as you get to see some people that knew him before he was a superstar.  It is fun to see these people interact with him as Jose and not as the musician.  But I also loved seeing Balvin interact with his fans.  The man seems to be a genuinely good person who loves his fans and those around him.  He stops all the time for pictures, autographs, and other interactions and it seems like he is genuine in this love of other people.  But the film does have a slow pace as it sometimes deals with his own mental insecurities.  This can lead to sections where not much happens as he gets treatment or tries to overcome his own anxiety.  These are important themes but they can disrupt the pace of the film.  And if you don't know who Balvin is, seeing an intimate portrait of his life might not be the most engaging thing.  But for fans, The Boy From Medellin gives you a close up look at this international star and some of the reasons why he is so popular.

The Boy From Medellin gives an intimate look at the international superstar, with unfiltered access to his life, his struggles with anxiety and depression, and his genuine joy at performing.

Rent it.

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Without Remorse is available on Amazon Prime Video on April 30, 2020.

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Wrath of Man Review: Guy Ritchie's Trademark Style Gets Darker and More Serious

Jason Statham	...	H Holt McCallany	Holt McCallany	...	Bullet Rocci Williams	Rocci Williams	...	Hollow Bob Josh Hartnett	Josh Hartnett	...	Boy Sweat Dave Jeffrey Donovan	Jeffrey Donovan	...	Jackson Scott Eastwood	Scott Eastwood	...	Jan Andy Garcia	Andy Garcia	...	Agent King Deobia Oparei	Deobia Oparei	...	Brad Laz Alonso	Laz Alonso	...	Carlos Raúl Castillo	Raúl Castillo	...	Sam Chris Reilly	Chris Reilly	...	Tom Eddie Marsan	Eddie Marsan	...	Terry Niamh Algar	Niamh Algar	...	Dana Tadhg Murphy	Tadhg Murphy	...	Shirley Alessandro Babalola	Alessandro Babalola	...	Stuart

Release date: May 7, 2021
Running time: 119 minutes
Director: Guy Ritchie
Screenplay by: Guy Ritchie and Ivan Atkinson & Marn Davies
Cast: Jason Statham, Holt McCallany, Jeffrey Donovan, Josh Hartnett, Laz Alonzo, Raúl Castillo, Deobia Oparei with Eddie Marsan and Scott Eastwood

A mysterious and wild-eyed new cash truck security guard (Jason Statham) surprises his coworkers during a heist in which he unexpectedly unleashes precision skills. The crew is left wondering who he is and where he came from. Soon, the marksman’s ultimate motive becomes clear as he takes dramatic and irrevocable steps to settle a score. 

Niamh Algar	...	Dana Tadhg Murphy	Tadhg Murphy	...	Shirley Alessandro Babalola	Alessandro Babalola	...	Stuart Mark Arnold	Mark Arnold	...	Super Gerald Tyler	Gerald Tyler	...	Armourer Alex Ferns	Alex Ferns	...	John Josh Cowdery	Josh Cowdery	...	FBI Agent Hubbard Jason Wong	Jason Wong	...	FBI Agent Okey Rob Delaney	Rob Delaney	...	Boss Blake Halls Eli Brown	Eli Brown	...	Dougie Kerry Shale	Kerry Shale	...	Doctor Cameron Jack	Cameron Jack	...	Brendan Darrell D'Silva	Darrell D'Silva	...	Mike Babs Olusanmokun	Babs Olusanmokun	...	Moggy Thomas Dominique	Thomas Dominique	...	Jerome Lyne Renée	Lyne Renée	...	Kirsty Rebecca Calder	Rebecca Calder	...	Amy Matthew Illesley	Matthew Illesley	...	Jackson's Son
Guy Ritchie films are always dripping with style and Wrath of Man is no different.  However, the style in this film is much darker, more serious than some of Ritchie's other movies.  Those tended to have dark elements but an underlying sense of twisted humour.  However, Wrath of Man has no humour to accompany its dark style.  It starts off and feels more like a Nolan film, than trademark Ritchie.  But that is not a knock, Wrath of Man is an intense, mysterious experience from start to finish.

It opens with a bang, showcasing some recurring themes: intense action, realistic gunplay, and a pulsing, powerful theme song that plays throughout the film.  I really liked the theme song--similar to the Inception BONG--this theme is a common thread throughout this film.  It sets the tone as a more of a dark, Nolanesque film and gives some consistency to the overall style.  And since this is Guy Ritchie, the film also has great acting and writing.  The movie's performances are quite good, with pronounced but consistent characters and solid performances.  Like the action, the writing is crisp and to the point.  And although there isn't a lot of humor, there are some great one-liners that can be considered humorous from an overly confident Statham.  And  I love seeing Josh Hartnett back on the screen. It's been a while but he is still a fantastic actor and I liked his character.  And this film also has a decently diverse cast including several prominent minority characters and a badass female team member. 

The story of Wrath of Man, as you would expect from Ritchie, is an involved one that takes you down multiple rabbit holes.  It is more straightforward than past films, but it does provide enough twists to keep the film moving along.  And it also provides plenty of options for action sequences.  In actuality, the story feels like it could be a little bit shorter but I didn't mind the run time as I loved the characters and the style.  

Wrath of Man has Ritchie's trademark sharp writing, style, and a solid Statham performance, but with a darker tone and more intense action.

Watch it.

Phoebe Farnham	...	Jackson's Daughter Eve Macklin	Eve Macklin	...	Jane Fernando Martinez	Fernando Martinez	...	Chef James Warren	James Warren	...	Heavy #1 Austin Post	Austin Post	...	Robber #6 Sam Shoubber	Sam Shoubber	...	Rich Arab Anthony Elfonzia	Anthony Elfonzia	...	Bank Guard (Desk) Brian Schaeffer	Brian Schaeffer	...	Crew #5 Mark Cotone	Mark Cotone	...	Marko Glenn Boateng	Glenn Boateng	...	SWAT Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Cain Aiden	Cain Aiden	...	Stadium Goer (uncredited) Martin Bratanov	Martin Bratanov	...	Office Manager (uncredited) Stevee Davies	Stevee Davies	...	Hotel Receptionist (uncredited) Nick Donald	Nick Donald	...	Security guard (uncredited) Khalid Ghajji	Khalid Ghajji	...	Officer (uncredited) Leonardo Lacaria	Leonardo Lacaria	...	Bar customer (uncredited) Leon Lee	Leon Lee	...	Security Guard (uncredited) Luke Lynch	Luke Lynch	...	Played Pool In An Americain Bar (uncredited)
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Wrath of Man is in theaters on May 7, 2021. For tickets, click here.

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The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness Review: A Fascinating Documentary About A Flawed Investigator

Paul Giamatti	...	 Maury Terry4 episodes, 2021  Phil Amicone	Phil Amicone	...	 Self - Brother-in-Law of Maury Terry4 episodes, 2021  Charlie Ott	Charlie Ott	...	 Self - Friend of Maury Terry4 episodes, 2021  Mary Murphy	Mary Murphy	...	 Self - TV Reporter4 episodes, 2021  Michael Zuckerman	Michael Zuckerman	...	 Self - Fmr. Reporter, Gannett Newspapers4 episodes, 2021  Georgiana Byrne	Georgiana Byrne	...	 Self - Former Wife of Maury Terry4 episodes, 2021  Joseph Borrelli	Joseph Borrelli	...	 Self - Ret. Lead Detective, NYPD3 episodes, 2021  Kevin Murphy	Kevin Murphy	...	 Self - Ret. Detective, Yonkers PD3 episodes, 2021  Wayne Darwen	Wayne Darwen	...	 Self - Journalist4 episodes, 2021  Lawrence Klausner	Lawrence Klausner	...	 Self - Author, Son of Sam2 episodes, 2021  Dick Belsky	Dick Belsky	...	 Self - Fmr. Metro Editor, New York Post2 episodes, 2021  Carl Denaro	Carl Denaro	...	 Self - Victim2 episodes, 2021  Kay Amicone	Kay Amicone	...	 Self - Sister of Maury Terry2 episodes, 2021  Gary Lachman	Gary Lachman	...	 Self - Occult Historian2 episodes, 2021  Don Mounts	Don Mounts	...	 Self - Ret. Detective, NYPD

Release date: May 5, 2021
Running time: Four 60 minute episodes
Directed by: Joshua Zeman

The hunt for the “Son of Sam” captivated the world in the late 1970s, but the story behind one of America’s most notorious serial murderers is all but forgotten -- until now. While the arrest and conviction of David Berkowitz brought the nightmare to an end for many New Yorkers, for journalist and Ultimate Evil author Maury Terry, the real mystery was just beginning. Terry, convinced Berkowitz had not acted alone, would go on to spend decades attempting to prove that the web of darkness behind the murders went deeper than anyone imagined – and his pursuit of that elusive truth would eventually cost him everything. Filmmaker Joshua Zeman (CROPSEY, MURDER MOUNTAIN) draws on archival news footage, conversations with the people closest to the investigation, and Terry’s own words and case files to tell a cautionary tale of a man who went down a rabbit hole and never came out. But was Maury Terry just chasing ghosts – or are the true Sons of Sam still out there...

true crime murder serial killer new york david berkowitz
The Sons of Sam weaves an interesting and well researched tale, mostly focusing on the detailed research of Maury Terry, who obsessively pursued this case for his entire life. It consumed him as he tried to prove his theories against a wall of apathy from the NYPD.  The documentary starts with a good primer on the Son of Sam killings, with eyewitness accounts, news articles, and video clips from the time.  The sheer brutality and randomness of the crimes is established early on.  And when the Son of Sam killer is caught, it seems like everything is over and wrapped up.  

But then the documentary goes into the theory of multiple killers, and backs that up with additional evidence, connections, and eye witness accounts.  Although the theory has never been officially acknowledged by the NYPD, Maury Terry and the documentary make a strong case for the idea that there were multiple participants in the Son of Sam killings.  The coincidences, discrepancies in accounts of the shooter, and sheer timing of some of the murders make for a compelling case and any true crime fan will be fascinated by these revelations.  But the documentary also shows how far down the rabbit hole one can go.  It details Maury Terry's obsession with this case and in finding connections and evil in every corner of America.  At some point his theories went from strong to extreme, and that is probably a major reason why we don't have an association of multiple killers. 

The documentary goes in 3 arcs: first detailing the crimes, then expounding on Maury Terry and the multiple shooter theory, and finally going into the major rabbit holes Terry went down in drawing additional connections to the crimes.  This makes sense as the longer you spend with these theories, the more you have to look at Terry and his personal crusade.  But the film is peppered with amazing interviews, news clippings, and news clips from the time and paints a fascinating picture of the theory and the man behind it.  

The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness details a fascinating theory and the brilliant but flawed proponent of it with amazing clippings, clips, and plenty of research.

Watch it.

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The Sons of Sam: A Descent Into Darkness is available on Netflix on May 5, 2021.

The Columnist Review: A Stylish Satire That Cuts Deep

Genio de Groot	...	Arend Katja Herbers	Katja Herbers	...	Femke Boot Rein Hofman	Rein Hofman	...	Arjen Tol, neighbor Bram van der Kelen	Bram van der Kelen	...	Steven Dood Achraf Koutet	Achraf Koutet	...	Tarik Bos Claire Porro	Claire Porro	...	Anna Boot Harry van Rijthoven	Harry van Rijthoven	...	Head of the school Seno Sever	Seno Sever	...	Politieagent Antoin Peeters	Antoin Peeters	...	Antoin Peeters (uncredited) Matthijs van Nieuwkerk	Matthijs van Nieuwkerk	...	Matthijs van Nieuwkerk (uncredited) Merel Westrik	Merel Westrik	...	Merel Westrik (uncredited)

Release date: May 7, 2021
Running time: 85 minutes
Directed by: Ivo van Aart
Written by: Daan Windhorst
Cast: Katja Herbers, Genio de Groot, Rein Hofman, Bram van der Kelen, Achraf Koutet, Claire Porro

In this darkly funny horror film, Femke Boot (Katja Herbers) is a columnist and writer suffering from endless abusive posts and death threats on social media. Femke is obsessed by these hate-filled messages and spends every moment checking her Twitter feed. This obsession consumes her life and her work suffers as she fails to write her columns and novel. One day, all her pent-up anger and frustration explode in a moment of shocking and unexpected violence. But how long can she continue this double life? Can she hide her nightly murders from her teenage daughter and her new boyfriend, horror writer Steven Dood (Bram van der Kelen)? And is fighting hatred with hatred really the best solution?

Produced by  Sabine Brian	...	producer Wynand Chocolaad	...	line producer Ronald Versteeg	...	producer Kaja Wolffers	...	producerMusic by  Jeffrey van Rossum	Cinematography by  Martijn Cousijn	Film Editing by  Imre Reutelingsperger	 Yamal Stitou
The Columnist has a quirky, irreverent style that is apparent from the start of the film.  The movie has a carefree demeaner to the opening that instantly lets you know that this film has a dark humor to it.  I really loved this style with its hyper realized world and wonderful techno soundtrack.  And the film also does a great job of making the viewer feel the issues that Femke has.  The film uses stifling sounds to simulate the distractions and unease that Femke is feeling when she gets writers block and the overbearing nature of her own feelings of unease.  

The film focuses on Femke Boot and Katja Herbers does an amazing job as this outspoken but outwardly timid columnist.  She is relatable and her subtle portrayal of someone who is dealing with a torrent of negative social media makes her someone to root for, despite the horrible things that she does.  Her character is funny and blunt, saying some very direct things to those around her and it is refreshing to see an outspoken female lead that will take matters into her own hands.  I also liked how her character felt over her head many times during this strange, irreverent serial killer run.  And I also really liked van der Kelen as Steven Dood, who does a great job of showcasing the differences between a public persona and a private one.  His character is outwardly outspoken and vitriolic, but in private he is a very different, more relatable person. 

And speaking of public versus private persona, I loved the way that The Columnist highlighted this dichotomy.  It does a great job of showcasing people who are toxic on the internet yet have a very different mentality when meeting in person.  This idea that people will say things on the internet that they would never say face to face is an important subject to explore in our increasingly polarized times.  And it also does a great job of highlighting how someone can easily drown in the torrent of negative social media comments, and become obsessed with those negative ideas.  It is a risk that anyone who puts themselves out on the internet inherently takes and The Columnist shows the darker side of that while still being an entertaining piece of media.  And the film also does a great job of showcasing how online speech can affect people differently.  Many times the writers thought nothing of the hurtful comments that they made, but to Femke they were horrible affronts that needed to be righted.  And finally, I loved the irony in the film; there are subplots of free speech and the importance of fighting against censorship, which are all happening as Femke is censoring those around her.  

The Columnist is a stylish and entertaining satire--fueled by Katja Herbers's wonderful performance--about the dangers of social media and the very painful effect that online activities can have on real people.  

Watch it.

Directed by  Ivo van Aart	Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)   Daan Windhorst
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The Columnist is available in virtual cinemas starting May 7, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

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