Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Mosquito State Review: A Cinematic But Ultimately Unfulfilling Psychological Descent

Beau Knapp	...	Richard Boca Charlotte Vega	Charlotte Vega	...	Lena del Alcázar Jack Kesy	Jack Kesy	...	Beau Harris Olivier Martinez	Olivier Martinez	...	Edward Werner Audrey Wasilewski	Audrey Wasilewski	...	Sally the Secretary Daisy Bishop	Daisy Bishop	...	Abigail Grant Dominika Kachlik	Dominika Kachlik	...	Jennifer Maximilian Kubiak	Maximilian Kubiak	...	Pete Seetharaman Krishna	Seetharaman Krishna	...	Naresh Hai Hung Dinh	Hai Hung Dinh	...	Bing Wojciech Bocianowski	Wojciech Bocianowski	...	Big Joe Krystin Goodwin	Krystin Goodwin	...	News Anchor Cindy Kelly Dean Cooper	Kelly Dean Cooper	...	News Anchor Dean (as Kelly Cooper) Carolina Espiro	Carolina Espiro	...	Resident Economist Rachel Godoy Mark McKinnon	Mark McKinnon	...	Marlon at the Sports Desk Blaise Corrigan	Blaise Corrigan	...	Limo Driver

Release date: August 26, 2021 Running time: 101 minutes Directed by Filip Jan Rymsza Written by Filip Jan Rymsza and Mario Zermeno Starring Beau Knapp, Charlotte Vega, Jack Kesy, Olivier Martinez

August 2007. Isolated in his austere penthouse overlooking Central Park, obsessive Wall Street data analyst Richard Boca (Beau Knapp) sees ominous patterns: His computer models are behaving erratically, as are the swarms of mosquitos breeding in his apartment, an infestation that attends his psychological meltdown. On Wall Street, they’re called “quants”—the intense data analysts whose mathematical prowess can make the difference between a fortune and a flop. Consumed with his work, Richard doesn’t often stray from his office or apartment. But when Richard decides to go to a company party, he makes two acquaintances: the mysterious, sylphlike Lena (Charlotte Vega) and one pesky mosquito, both of which take root in his mind, altering his existence in profound ways.

Jon Anderson	...	executive producer Al Di	...	executive producer Xiao Rui Fang	...	co-executive producer Benjamin Hampton	...	co-executive producer Joe Jenckes	...	development producer Olga Kagan	...	executive producer Wlodzimierz Niderhaus	...	producer Carla Rosen-Vacher	...	executive producer Filip Jan Rymsza	...	producer Alyssa Swanzey	...	producer Ruixiang Yang	...	co-executive producer Mario Zermeno	...	co-executive producer
Mosquito State is an unsettling film and it starts from the introduction. The movie masterfully uses the birth cycle of a mosquito, but zoomed into a microscopic level to give it an otherworldly feel to it. The movie uses this to great effect to show just how strange the reproduction of these bugs are, but also to show the rapid nature of it. And the unsettling side of it doesn't just stop there, as seeing Richard (Knapp) slowly descend into madness was a chilling thing to watch.

But Mosquito State just doesn't seem to have much to say. First off, the main character is not likable in the least. He could have been a sympathetic character but they chose to make him just strange. He barely speaks (first words are 16 minutes into the movie) and also tends to treat people poorly. And his actions throughout the film just seem to defy logic. Maybe there is more explanation if you have experience in Wall Street or New York, but for those not versed in those subjects the film just seems weird to be weird. It doesn't give a good explanation for what Richard is trying to accomplish. He has statements and platitudes but they just seem random given we don't have much other context. And overall, because he is not a likable or sympathetic character, his descent into madness just feels so disconnected from everything around him. The film is well made and well acted but you have to ask will the audience appreciate this or just be confused. And unfortunately, I believe that for a lot of the audience (myself included), it will be the latter.

Mosquito State has an unsettling introduction and good performances, but the overall strange nature of the film and the lack of sympathy for the main character make this a film you'll want to swat away.

Pass on it.

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Mosquito State is available to stream on Shudder starting August 26, 2021. 

Friday, August 27, 2021

What to Watch This Weekend: Candyman, Rushed, Wildland, Lost Leonardo, Vacation Friends, Peter Rabbit 2, First Love, A Taxi Driver

For A Stylish Horror Sequel: Candyman (Theaters)
Candyman is a fresh take on the classic horror film that is dripping with both style and blood, and a focus on social justice that uses horror to impart an important message.  Although you don't have to have seen the first one to enjoy this movie, you might be confused about some of the backstory if you don't!  For more information, check out the review!

For A Tense Family Drama: Rushed (Theaters and Digital)
Rushed mixes drama, grief, and thriller to create a compelling fraternity hazing story fueled by Siobhan Fallon Hogan's amazing performance and an intense opening and conclusion.  For more information, check out the review!

For A Scandinavian Tense Family Drama: Wildland (Virtual Cinema)
Wildland is a tense family drama with wonderful performances for this complicated, sinister family and a slow burning, intricate story.  For more information, check out the review!

For A Fascinating Art Documentary: The Lost Leonardo (Theaters)
The Lost Leonardo is a fascinating dive into the history of the Salvator Mundi and into the art world as a whole, with a look at the controversy and political influence surrounding the work.  For more information, check out the review

For A Hilarious Vacation Film: Vacation Friends (Hulu)
Vacation Friends will take you on a crazy trip with some a hilarious Cena and Hagner, plenty of laugh out loud moments, insane situations, and some genuine heart.  For more information, check out the review!

For The Kids: Peter Rabbit 2 (Redbox)
The well received follow up to Peter Rabbit is now available on Redbox, so beat the heat and give your kids an enjoyable movie night!

For A Stylish Japanese Film: First Love (Amazon Prime)
First Love is a tough film to follow, but those that do will be rewarded with some really interesting characters, fantastic music, and one of the most fulfilling final sequences I have seen in a film.  For more information, check out the review

For A Powerful Korean Drama: A Taxi Driver (Amazon Prime)
Kang-ho Song headlines this powerful drama about a down on his luck Taxi driver caught in the midst of the Gwanju Uprising!

Vacation Friends Review: A Hilarious Cena Makes This A Comedy Trip Worth Taking

John Cena	...	Ron Lil Rel Howery	Lil Rel Howery	...	Marcus Meredith Hagner	Meredith Hagner	...	Kyla Yvonne Orji	Yvonne Orji	...	Emily Barry Rothbart	Barry Rothbart	...	Darren Chuck Cooper	Chuck Cooper	...	Larry Hugh Moore	Hugh Moore	...	Zeke T. Love	T. Love	...	Fred Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Luis Antonio	Luis Antonio	...	Mayan Shaman Julitza Berberena	Julitza Berberena	...	Girl at the bar background Kamal Angelo Bolden	Kamal Angelo Bolden		 Jessica Danielle Curry	Jessica Danielle Curry	...	Chicago Wife Ramiro 'Ramir' Delgado Ruiz	Ramiro 'Ramir' Delgado Ruiz	...	Mexican mechanic Hans Francois	Hans Francois	...	Mexican Taxi Cab Driver Jose Fuentes	Jose Fuentes	...	Guitar Player #2 at Airport

Release date: August 27, 2021
Running time: 105 minutes
Director, Clay Tarver
Writers, Tom Mullen, Clay Tarver
Stars: John Cena, Lil Rel Howery, Meredith Hagner, Yvonne Orji

In this raw and raunchy comedy, strait-laced Marcus and Emily (Lil Rel Howery, Yvonne Orji) are befriended by wild, thrill-seeking partiers Ron and Kyla (John Cena, Meredith Hagner) at a resort in Mexico. Living in the moment, the usually level-headed couple lets loose to enjoy a week of uninhibited fun and debauchery with their new “vacation friends.” Months after their walk on the wild side, Marcus and Emily are horrified when Ron and Kyla show up uninvited at their wedding, creating chaos and proving that what happens on vacation, doesn’t necessarily stay on vacation.

Cristian Gonzalez	...	Enzo Anna Maria Horsford	Anna Maria Horsford	...	Nancy TJ Jackson	TJ Jackson	...	Bandleader / Piano Player Forrest Mitchell	Forrest Mitchell	...	Marcus' Construction Friend Hugh Moore	Hugh Moore	...	Zeke Shermonz Pounds	Shermonz Pounds	...	Self - Airport Scene (voice) Francisco Romo	Francisco Romo	...	Accordion Player at Airport Carlos Santos	Carlos Santos	...	Maurillio Jaclyn White	Jaclyn White	...	Airport customer Lynn Whitfield	Lynn Whitfield		 Robert Wisdom	Robert Wisdom		 Gloria Bishop	Gloria Bishop	...	Engagement Party Guest (uncredited) Christopher Cocke	Christopher Cocke	...	Construction Worker (uncredited) Jamie Michelle Kelley	Jamie Michelle Kelley	...	Patricia (uncredited) Michele Manchester	Michele Manchester	...	Chicago Wife (uncredited) Luis O. Rosado	Luis O. Rosado	...	Guy at the beach (uncredited) Kim Rosen	Kim Rosen	...	Self / Airport Scene Tourist & Self / Airport Scene Kiosk Employee (uncredited)
Your enjoyment of Vacation Friends will turn on how much you like the main cast of Cena, Lil Rel Howery, Meredith Hagner, and Yvonne Orji.  They all play very different characters that are fun to watch and sometimes don't work well together, but that is the point of the film.  But there is a consistent thread of craziness, drug humor, and downright insanity that permeates this film.  Sometimes it can be tough to watch but there are so many laugh out loud moments that will make you smile and wish you were vacationing with this crazy group.  From the drug humor, to the crazy stunts, to the drug humor, to the drugs, this film has plenty to keep you entertained.  And of all the characters, Cena is the most fun to watch.  I love how he really goes all into his roles and takes everything to an extreme; his friendship is extreme, his insanity is extreme, and all of it is fun to watch. 

And through all of this you have some genuine insights into friendship and love, despite how crazy and packed with baggage those insights come with.  And there are some genuine surprises throughout the movie as you learn more about this crazy group of friends and their equally dysfunctional family.  However, although Vacation friends is a very funny movie, the humor seems to stick to similar subjects.  This isn't necessarily bad as they are very funny subjects, but the movie can start to have a sense of familiarity partway through.  And as with this type of film, the humor can be anxiety inducing as Kyla and Ron do some pretty ridiculous things.  But equally anxiety inducing is Marcus and Emily's reaction to some of their misplaced but genuinely sweet sentiments.  And the film does seem to go on a little too long, though it's by no means an egregious runtime.  I just wish that there was a little trimmed in the middle to make it snappier.

Vacation Friends will take you on a crazy trip with a hilarious Cena and Hagner, plenty of laugh out loud moments, insane situations, and some genuine heart. 

Rent it.
If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Vacation Friends premieres on August 27, 2021 exclusively on Hulu

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

News: Check out the new trailer for Demigod, featuring Rachel Nichols

Gravitas Ventures just dropped the new trailer for Demigod, a chilling horror film starring Rachel Nichols.  The film is coming to theaters and on demand on October 15, 2021, but you can get a first look now from the official trailer.

Directed by: Miles Doleac

Starring: Rachel Nichols, Jeremy London, and Elena Sanchez 

Upon the death of her grandfather, a woman and her husband return to her birthplace in Germany's Black Forest, only to find a terrifying secret awaits them.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

The Lost Leonardo Review: A Fascinating Look At The Salvator Mundi And The Art World

Jerry Saltz	...	Self Martin Kemp	Martin Kemp	...	Self Doug Patteson	Doug Patteson	...	Self / CIA Officer Alexandra Bregman	Alexandra Bregman	...	Self Robert K. Wittman	Robert K. Wittman	...	Self / investigator Robert Simon	Robert Simon	...	Self Dianne Dwyer Modestini	Dianne Dwyer Modestini	...	Self Evan Beard	Evan Beard	...	Self David Kirkpatrick	David Kirkpatrick	...	Self Maria Teresa Fiorio	Maria Teresa Fiorio	...	Self Alexander Parish	Alexander Parish	...	Self Bradley Hope	Bradley Hope	...	Self Didier Rykner	Didier Rykner	...	Self Bernd Lindemann	Bernd Lindemann	...	Self Warren Adelson	Warren Adelson	...	Self Georgina Adam	Georgina Adam	...	Self Luke Syson	Luke Syson	...	Self

Release date: August 20, 2021
Running time: 101 minutes
Directed by: Andreas Koefoed

THE LOST LEONARDO is the inside story behind the Salvator Mundi, the most expensive painting ever sold at $450 million. From the moment the painting is bought for $1175 at a shady New Orleans auction house, and the restorer discovers masterful Renaissance brushstrokes under the heavy varnish of its cheap restoration, the Salvator Mundi’s fate is determined by an insatiable quest for fame, money and power. As its price soars, so do questions about its authenticity: is this painting really by Leonardo da Vinci?

Yves Bouvier	...	Self Stéphane Lacroix	Stéphane Lacroix	...	Self Alison Cole	Alison Cole	...	Self Antoine Harari	Antoine Harari	...	Self Kenny Schacter	Kenny Schacter	...	Self Bruce Lamarche	Bruce Lamarche	...	Self Jacques Franck	Jacques Franck	...	Self Frank Zöllner	Frank Zöllner	...	Self
The Lost Leonardo tells an interesting tale; one that is both factually fascinating but also well told.  The film isn't just about the painting itself, but goes into the art world some of the players in it.  It does this with interviews from dealers, critics, and everyone in between.  The movie gathers a distinguished and interesting group of individuals to discuss this strange painting and its very public history.  I really liked how the film framed the discussion in terms of the business of art and how art can influence people and politics.  Although the movie starts as more of a historical perspective on the Salavtor Mundi, it quickly turns into an exploration of the art world and of the perception of art on the geopolitical stage.

It was also interesting to see how the business of buying and selling art works.  there is so much obfuscation and so much unknown in this.  When you are purchasing a work, you can only do so much research to know if it is what it appears to be.  For this work, the determination that it is a Leonardo was based more on the technique rather than on specific evidence of the painter.  And even then, this film also looks at some of the obfuscation that can take place in the buying and selling of art; including having to rely on intermediaries and auction houses to make this happen.

And turning to the work of art itself, it is fascinating to see how this painting has both influenced the art world and the geopolitical world.  I really liked the last part of the film showing how this work become a piece in a larger political game.  For someone that is not versed in this world, this was both an interesting dive and also helped to show how this specific piece has been used in some important negotiations and world policies.  And through it all you get a fascinating tale of a controversial piece of art.

The Lost Leonardo is a fascinating dive into the history of the Salvator Mundi and into the art world as a whole, with a look at the controversy and political influence surrounding the work. 

Watch it.

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
The Lost Leonardo is in select theaters on August 20, 2021.  For showtimes, click herehere.

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

Rushed Review: A Dramatic Look At Hazing And Grief

Release date: August 27, 2021
Running time: 101 minutes
Directed By: Vibeke Muasya
Written By: Siobhan Fallon Hogan
Starring: Siobhan Fallon Hogan, Robert Patrick, Jake Weary, Jay Jay Warren, Lily Rosenthal

A grieving mother goes on a question for answers and revenge after her son dies during a fraternity party.  Her quest for answers and stories of other grieving parents will lead her to some very unexpected places and people.

Rushed is a few different types of movies in one as you follow Barbara (Siobhan Fallon Hogan) in her quest for justice and change.  The film starts with a great introduction to both the family and to the fraternity ritual of hazing.  This gives a nice contrast as well, showing the family's perception of what is happening at college versus the reality of what is happening.  It was a well done, layered intro to this.  But after this intro, the film also surprises in what topics it addresses.  Rushed is part drama, part redemption story, part quest for justice, and part thriller, all of which are mixed together to create this story.

And through all of this, the film is fueled by Siobhan Fallon Hogan's great performance.  Through much of it, she is the only constant character on screen as she seeks answers and understanding for what happened.  This lets you see her stretch her emotional acing but also showcases her character's humor and humanity during this.  But that is not to say that the other actors in this film are not equally well cast.  Robert Patrick as the father does a great job and I liked seeing how he and Barbara experienced grief differently.  And Jay Jay Warren as Jimmy was a pleasant surprise; he is such a great actor and in Rushed you get to see his likeable personality and dramatic chops early on. And even Jake Weary as Steven was well cast, though his character was not that enjoyable.  He has the unenviable job of being the heel in this film and he does that perfectly.

But what Rushed does so well is depict fraternity hazing.  The incident itself was tough to watch but also seemed accurately portrayed.  And the attitudes and pressures of fraternity life and of the hazing rituals were likewise well done.  If there were any criticisms of the film, I did not love the shift in tone towards the end of it, but it did make for an exciting and impactful ending, so I guess it can be forgiven.  And also, the film does clearly have a message about hazing and the dangers of it, but I would have liked to see something more about the positive relationships that can occur through fraternity.  It would have made the message mixed, but I feel like it would have been a more accurate representation of the good and the bad.  

But, all that being said, Rushed is a really good movie that will take you on a journey.  Rushed mixes drama, grief, and thriller to create a compelling fraternity hazing story fueled by Siobhan Fallon Hogan's amazing performance and an intense opening and conclusion. 

Watch it.

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Rushed is available in theaters, digitally, and on demand on August 27, 2021.  

For additional information about the film and to rent / buy it, check it out at the links below.

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

Screening: See Everybody's Talking About Jamie Early And Free

We have partnered with Amazon for an early screening of Everybody's Talking About Jamie!  The film is coming to Amazon Prime Video on September 17, 2021, but you can check it out early and free, no Amazon Prime membership required!  Details and entry form are below!


Jonathan Butterell

Screenplay and Lyrics:
Tom MacRae 

Dan Gillespie Sells 

Score Composed by:
Sells and Anne Dudley.

Max Harwood, Sarah Lancashire, Lauren Patel, Shobna Gulati, Ralph Ineson, Adeel Akhtar, Samuel Bottomley, with Sharon Horgan and Richard E. Grant


Inspired by true events, Everybody's Talking About Jamie is the film adaptation of the award-winning hit musical from London’s West End, about Jamie New (newcomer Max Harwood), a teenager in a blue-collar English town with a dream of life on stage. While his classmates plan their livelihoods after graduation, Jamie contemplates revealing his secret career ambition as a fierce and proud drag queen. His best friend Pritti (Lauren Patel) and his loving mom (Sarah Lancashire) shower him with endless support while local drag legend Miss Loco Chanelle (Richard E. Grant) mentors him toward his debut stage performance. But it’s not all rainbows for Jamie as his unsupportive dad (Ralph Ineson), an uninspired career advisor (Sharon Horgan), and some ignorant school kids attempt to rain on his sensational aspirations. In rousing and colorful musical numbers, Jamie and his community inspire one another to be more accepting, and to see the value in facing adversity stepping out of the darkness into the spotlight.

 Screening Info:


September 08, 2021



Bethesda Row Cinema

7235 Woodmont Ave.

Bethesda, MD 20814

Screening Link!

Only Murders in the Building Review: A Great Cast Mix True Crime And Comedy

Selena Gomez	Selena Gomez	...	 Mabel10 episodes, 2021  Steve Martin	Steve Martin	...	 Charles10 episodes, 2021  Martin Short	Martin Short	...	 Oliver10 episodes, 2021  Aaron Dominguez	Aaron Dominguez	...	 Oscar9 episodes, 2021  Vanessa Aspillaga	Vanessa Aspillaga	...	 Ursula5 episodes, 2021  Ryan Broussard	Ryan Broussard	...	 Will4 episodes, 2021  James Caverly	James Caverly	...	 Theo Dimas4 episodes, 2021  Michael Cyril Creighton	Michael Cyril Creighton	...	 Howard Morris4 episodes, 2021  Jeena Yi	Jeena Yi	...	 Amy Huang4 episodes, 2021  Lylan Carson	Lylan Carson	...	 Margo3 episodes, 2021  Olivia Reis	Olivia Reis	...	 Zoe Cassidy3 episodes, 2021  Esteban Benito	Esteban Benito	...	 Tavo Mora2 episodes, 2021  Russell G. Jones	Russell G. Jones	...	 Dr. Grover Stanley2 episodes, 2021  Dana Kreitz	Dana Kreitz	...	 Manda2 episodes, 2021  Anthony Ruiz	Anthony Ruiz	...	 Jose Torres2 episodes, 2021  Sting	Sting	...	 Self2 episodes, 2021  Adina Verson	Adina Verson	...	 Poppy White2 episodes, 2021  Jonathan Burke	Jonathan Burke	...	 Waiter

Release date: August 31, 2021
Running time: 10 x 30 minute episodes
Creators: John Hoffman, Steve Martin
Stars: Steve Martin (“Charles”), Martin Short (“Oliver”), Selena Gomez (“Mabel”), and
Aaron Dominguez (“Oscar”)

“Only Murders In The Building” follows three strangers (Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez) who share an obsession with true crime and suddenly find themselves wrapped up in one. When a grisly death occurs inside their exclusive Upper West Side apartment building, the trio suspects murder and employs their precise knowledge of true crime to investigate the truth. As they record a podcast of their own to document the case, the three unravel the complex secrets of the building which stretch back years. Perhaps even more explosive are the lies they tell one another. Soon, the endangered trio comes to realize a killer might be living amongst them as they race to decipher the mounting clues before it’s too late.

Teddy Coluca	...	 Lester1 episode, 2021  Adam DeCarlo	Adam DeCarlo	...	 Guy on the Street1 episode, 2021  Quincy Dunn-Baker	Quincy Dunn-Baker	...	 Kev1 episode, 2021  Meredith Holzman	Meredith Holzman	...	 Anita1 episode, 2021  Nathan Lane	Nathan Lane		1 episode, 2021  Maximilian Lee Piazza	Maximilian Lee Piazza	...	 Young Tim Kono1 episode, 2021  William Ragsdale	William Ragsdale	...	 Herman Brooks1 episode, 2021  Amy Ryan	Amy Ryan		1 episode, 2021  Eric R. Williams	Eric R. Williams	...	 Cashier Doug1 episode, 2021  Heather Ashley Chase	Heather Ashley Chase	...	 Daisy (uncredited)2 episodes, 2021  Series Produced by  Jane Raab	...	producer (10 episodes, 2021) Jamie Babbit	...	executive producer (3 episodes, 2021) Dan Fogelman	...	executive producer (3 episodes, 2021) John Hoffman	...	executive producer (3 episodes, 2021) Steve Martin	...	executive producer (3 episodes, 2021) Jess Rosenthal	...	executive producer (3 episodes, 2021) Thembi Banks	...	producer (1 episode, 2021) Kirker Butler	...	co-executive producer (1 episode, 2021) Selena Gomez	...	executive producer (1 episode, 2021) Kristin Newman	...	co-executive producer (1 episode, 2021) Martin Short	...	executive producer (1 episode, 2021)
Only Murders in the Building will draw people in with its all star cast.  And it was really fun to see Steve Martin and Martin Short together again on screen. They have a fun dynamic, both playing characters that have a little bit of drama in their past and a whole lot of personality now.  And they are joined by a very reserved but also mysterious Selena Gomez, who is someone with a lot more going on than initially meets the eye.  The dynamic between the three is a lot of fun, and not just because they are all funny actors.  The writing and situations, and very different lifestyles of the three, add to the overall humor of the film.  There are some funny age-related jokes as you would expect when Steve Martin is talking to Selena Gomez.  And she plays it perfectly, sometimes over emphasizing this to great effect. 

And the story of this series has plenty of twists and turns that will keep you engaged.  Like any good TV series (or podcast), each episode gives a little more information and then ends in a twist ending.  This is a lot of fun to see and will keep you hooked; this is definitely going to be a series that you want to binge.  And there is enough New York intrigue as well baked into the story that will please those who have lived in the city, or at least spent time in it.  And it is not just the wonderful main characters that will draw you into the series, there are some really great cameos as well that are a lot of fun to see. 

However, the film follows a true crime podcast, but it seems to not get as deep into the true crime as the obsessed characters should be.  Perhaps this will occur in the later episodes, but it does feel like a true crime-obsessed group would be more interested in some of the nitty gritty.  And despite the story and characters becoming much more enjoyable as the film progressed, I didn't love Martin Short and Steve Martin at the beginning.  They felt like they were trying too much to make their characters ridiculous.  Thankfully, that subsided by the second episode and it was a fun whirlwind from there.

Only Murders in the Building is an enjoyable series that will appeal to comedy and true crime fans, with a wonderful dynamic between the leads, great cameos, and a story with plenty of twists and turns.

Watch it.
If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Only Murders in the Building premieres on August 31, 2021 exclusively on Hulu

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Candyman Review: A Stylish Successor To The 90s Horror Film

Directed by  Nia DaCosta	Writing Credits   Jordan Peele	...	(screenplay by) & Win Rosenfeld	...	(screenplay by) and Nia DaCosta	...	(screenplay by)   Bernard Rose	...	(based on the 1992 film "Candyman" written by)   Clive Barker	...	(characters)Cast (in credits order)   Yahya Abdul-Mateen II	Yahya Abdul-Mateen II	...	Anthony McCoy Teyonah Parris	Teyonah Parris	...	Brianna Cartwright Nathan Stewart-Jarrett	Nathan Stewart-Jarrett	...	Troy Cartwright Colman Domingo	Colman Domingo	...	William Burke Kyle Kaminsky	Kyle Kaminsky	...	Grady Cartwright Vanessa Williams	Vanessa Williams	...	Anne-Marie McCoy Rebecca Spence	Rebecca Spence	...	Finley Stephens Carl Clemons-Hopkins	Carl Clemons-Hopkins	...	Jameson Brian King	Brian King	...	Clive Privler Miriam Moss	Miriam Moss	...	Jerrica Cooper Cassie Kramer	Cassie Kramer	...	Librarian Mark Montgomery	Mark Montgomery	...	Det. Lipez Genesis Denise Hale	Genesis Denise Hale	...	Sabrina Rodney L Jones III	Rodney L Jones III	...	Billy Pamela Jones	Pamela Jones	...	Devlin Sharpe Hannah Love Jones	Hannah Love Jones	...	Young Brianna Cedric Mays	Cedric Mays	...	Gil Cartwright Tony Todd	Tony Todd	...	Daniel Robitaille / Candyman Heidi Grace Engerman	Heidi Grace Engerman	...	Haley Gulick Christiana Clark	Christiana Clark	...	Danielle Harrington Torrey Hanson	Torrey Hanson	...	Jack Hyde Tien Tran	Tien Tran	...	Jane Ji Alec Silver	Alec Silver	...	Restaurant Server

Release date: August 27, 2021
Running time: 91 minutes
Director: Nia DaCosta
Screenplay by: Jordan Peele, Win Rosenfeld, and Nia DaCosta 
Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett, Colman Domingo

For as long as residents can remember, the housing projects of Chicago’s Cabrini-Green neighborhood were terrorized by a word-of-mouth ghost story about a supernatural killer with a hook for a hand, easily summoned by those daring to repeat his name five times into a mirror. In present day, a decade after the last of the Cabrini towers were torn down, visual artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his partner, gallery director Brianna Cartwright (Teyonah Parris), move into a luxury loft condo in Cabrini, now gentrified beyond recognition and inhabited by upwardly mobile millennials.  But does the ghost still exist even though the neighborhood has changed?

Sarah Wisterman	...	Celine Malic White	Malic White	...	Boof Sarah Lo	Sarah Lo	...	Samantha Breanna Lind	Breanna Lind	...	Annika Ireon Roach	Ireon Roach	...	Trina J. Nicole Brooks	J. Nicole Brooks	...	Dr. Collins Nancy Pender	Nancy Pender	...	TV News Anchor Mike Geraghty	Mike Geraghty	...	Police Officer #1 Nadia Simms	Nadia Simms	...	Ringleader Michael Hargrove	Michael Hargrove	...	Sherman Fields Jazlynn Givens	Jazlynn Givens	...	Archival Footage Girl #1 Breje Odom	Breje Odom	...	Archival Footage Girl #2 Chandlyr Davis	Chandlyr Davis	...	Archival Footage Girl #3 Danica Von Kampen	Danica Von Kampen	...	Archival Footage Girl #4 Teslyn Johnson	Teslyn Johnson	...	Archival Footage Girl #5 Teagan Crostreet	Teagan Crostreet	...	Archival Footage Girl #6 Avery Moss	Avery Moss	...	Archival Footage Girl #7 Graham Carlson	Graham Carlson	...	Archival Footage Boy #1
Candyman is Jordan Peele and Nia DaCosta's reimagining of the classic horror film and wow am I glad they got a hold of this.  The new version drips with style right from the start.  In fact, the film starts with a mirror world type feel with the splash screen shown backwards.  And the text in the sequence is the stylized Candyman text that evokes a papercraft feel that will make sense later in the film.  The opening has hints of a mirror world and the bee theme of Candyman by showing upside down buildings and things that look like hives.  Candyman also has some really great sequences showing paper cut out storytelling to both give it a classic feel and feels very fresh.  The movie also has some great music and moves the legend more towards a social justice message, both of which give the film a decidedly more modern feel.    

And the film has a nice slow buildup, like every good horror movie should.  It takes its time to set the stage and really lay the framework for the legend, giving the audience plenty of background.  But that's not to say that the film gives all the secrets away during the buildup, there are still revelations that occur throughout.  And the film is just a good horror movie through and through, from the slow buildup to the brutal effects.  There isn't a lot of gore, but when it's there, it is very well done with solid practical effects to ensure that everything looks as real as possible.  

However, although Candyman is a fresh reimagining of the story, it feels a little incomplete.  The rules for the killer seem simple at first, but don't necessarily conform as the movie progresses.  And I absolutely loved the social justice focus for Candyman; it seems like a great way to use horror, but it doesn't feel like it is fully realized.  It feels like an important message and one that should be explored, but melding it with this existing Candyman property didn't seem to mesh.  And finally, there were some weird reactions to the Candyman kills that just felt a little off.  I will say that apparently seeing the 1992 Candyman helps a lot with the comprehension, but as I hadn't seen it there was some story confusion for me. 

Candyman is a fresh take on the classic horror film that is dripping with both style and blood, and a focus on social justice that uses horror to impart an important message.

Watch it.

Nicholas Russell	...	Archival Footage Boy #2 Logan Vosburgh	Logan Vosburgh	...	Archival Footage Boy #3 Brandon Pelayo	Brandon Pelayo	...	Archival Footage Boy #4 Rest of cast listed alphabetically: Antwan Eilish	Antwan Eilish	...	Lucas Dan Fierro	Dan Fierro	...	Officer Rooney Evan J. Simpson	Evan J. Simpson		 Dominica Strong	Dominica Strong	...	Cabrini Green Resident Aaron Crippen	Aaron Crippen	...	Officer Smith (uncredited) Jeff Dlugolecki	Jeff Dlugolecki	...	Neighbor (uncredited) Michael Oilar	Michael Oilar	...	Pedestrian (uncredited) Ashland Thomas	Ashland Thomas	...	Night Crawler Patron (uncredited) Matthew J. Valadez	Matthew J. Valadez	...	Driver in the Rain During Gallery Killing (uncredited) Hans Dieter Wolff	Hans Dieter Wolff	...	European tourist (uncredi
If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Candyman is in theaters on August 27, 2021.  For showtimes, click here.

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

Screening: See Marvel's SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS Early and Free

We have partnered with Marvel Studios for an early screening of the Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings!  The film is coming to theaters on September 3, 2021, but you can check it out early and free!  Details and entry form are below!

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Simu Liu, Tony Leung, Awkwafina, Fala Chen, Meng’er Zhang, Florian Munteanu and Ronny Chieng with Michelle Yeoh

Destin Daniel Cretton

Kevin Feige, Jonathan Schwartz

Executive Producers:
Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Charles Newirth

Screenplay By:
David Callaham & Destin Daniel Cretton & Andrew Lanham

Marvel Studios’ “Shang-Chi and The Legend of The Ten Rings” stars Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, who must confront the past he thought he left behind when he is drawn into the web of the mysterious Ten Rings organization. 

 Screening Info:


Wednesday, September 1st


AMC Tysons Corner

Screening Pass Link!

Screening: See Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish in The Card Counter Early And Free

We have partnered with Focus Features for an early screening of the The Card Counter, starring Oscar Isaac and Tiffany Haddish!  The film is coming to theaters on September 10, 2021, but you can check it out early and free!  Details and entry form are below!

The Card Counter

Paul Schrader

Braxton Pope, Lauren Mann, David Wulf

Executive Producers:
Martin Scorsese, William Olsson, Lee Broda, Ruben Islas, Stanley Preschutti

Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan, Willem Dafoe

Redemption is the long game in Paul Schrader’s THE CARD COUNTER. Told with Schrader’s trademark cinematic intensity, the revenge thriller tells the story of an ex-military interrogator turned gambler haunted by the ghosts of his past decisions, and features riveting performances from stars Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan and Willem Dafoe.

 Screening Info:

Wednesday, September 8th
7:00 PM
AMC Tysons Corner

Screening Link!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Wildlands Review: A Tense Family Drama

Sandra Guldberg Kampp	...	Ida Sidse Babett Knudsen	Sidse Babett Knudsen	...	Bodil Joachim Fjelstrup	Joachim Fjelstrup	...	Jonas Elliott Crosset Hove	Elliott Crosset Hove	...	David Besir Zeciri	Besir Zeciri	...	Mads Carla Philip Røder	Carla Philip Røder	...	Anna Sofie Torp	Sofie Torp	...	Marie Omar Shargawi	Omar Shargawi	...	Omar Maria Esther Lemvigh	Maria Esther Lemvigh	...	Hanne Helene Ilse Lyhr Enzenberg	Helene Ilse Lyhr Enzenberg	...	Mia Frida Sejersen	Frida Sejersen	...	Sofia (as Frida Mai Mammen Sejersen) Marie Knudsen Fogh	Marie Knudsen Fogh	...	Sarah Henrik Vestergaard	Henrik Vestergaard	...	Sofias far Benjamin Kitter	Benjamin Kitter	...	Politibetjent Jonathan Rikke Bilde	Rikke Bilde	...	Sygeplejerske #1 Gitte Gry Bech Ballesheim	Gitte Gry Bech Ballesheim	...	Sygeplejerske #2

Release date: August 20, 2021
Running time: 89 minutes
Directed by: Jeanette Nordahl
Written by: Ingeborg Topsøe
Cast: Sandra Guldberg Kampp (Ida), Sidse Babett Knudsen (Bodil), Joachim Fjelstrup (Jonas), Elliott Crosset Hove (David), & Besir Zeciri (Mads)

Following the tragic death of her mother, seventeen-year-old Ida (Sandra Guldberg Kampp) falls into the care of her estranged aunt Bodil (Sidse Babett Knudsen; a 180-degree reversal from her role as the morally impeccable Danish Prime Minister in Borgen) and Bodil’s three grown sons (Joachim Fjelstrup, Elliott Crosset Hove and Besir Zeciri). Ida initially finds comfort in their home, which is filled with physical tenderness and a strong sense of unity. But the darker reality of her family’s criminal way of life and toxic dynamics slowly pushes her to accept violence, addiction and intimidation as normal. It isn’t until the situation spirals out of control that Ida realizes that love and violence have become impossible to separate. Doubting if she really belongs with this loyal, but dangerous matriarch and a brotherhood on the edge, Ida faces the same question that her mother once faced before her; just how far are you willing to go for your family in Nordahl’s accomplished directorial debut, a radical meditation on family, loyalty and the seductive cycle of corruption.

Maria Ekerhovd	...	associate producer Eva Jakobsen	...	producer Mikkel Jersin	...	producer Rebecka Lafrenz	...	associate producer Kir Laustsen	...	line producer Christina Palmegaard	...	post producer Katrin Pors	...	producer Mimmi Spång	...	associate producer Giulia Triolo	...	associate producer Signe Vinther	...	post producer
Wildland is a dramatic film that does so much with so little.  And that is not a knock on the movie; the film tells a sinister family crime tale without needing to use more than the simple interactions within the family and between the children and the iron0willed matriarch.  This is accomplished mainly through the great acting.  All the characters are well portrayed, but the tour de force in the film (as in the family itself) is Sidse Babett Knudsen as the mother.  She is strong willed and stern when needed, loving and motherly when it calls for it.  It is really interesting to see the dynamic around her as no one questions her.  And she rarely has to raise her voice as her cold, stern words are enough to push this family into motion.

The story of Wildland is a wonderfully slow one, that builds on the sinister nature of the mother and the family business.  It takes a while to get a full picture of what happens, but the film does a great job of making everything just feel slightly off.  Early on you don't necessarily know why the interactions seem strained and forced, but they just feel so right in a wrong kind of way.  And this story builds slowly without a need to showcase much else.  The main focus is the family and although there are scenes that take place outside the family home, we rarely see more than the main members and a few spouses and significant others.  The intrigue and unease are projected through this core group of complicated, intertwined individuals.  And through this gripping story, you just want to know what will happen next and more about this mysterious setup.  And the film concludes with a wonderful, bittersweet ending that is perfectly appropriate for the journey that we have been on.

Wildland is a tense family drama with wonderful performances for this complicated, sinister family and a slow burning, intricate story.  

Watch it.

Music by  Puce Mary	...	(as Frederikke Hoffmeier)Cinematography by  David Gallego	Film Editing by  Michael Aaglund	Casting By  Anja Philip	Production Design by  Helle Lygum Justesen	Costume Design by  Emilie Bøge Dresler	Makeup Department  Maria Møller	...	makeup artist Birgitte Samson	...	makeup designer
If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Wildland is available on August 20, 2021 via Virtual Cinema, VOD, and digital platforms.  For showtimes, click here.

Whelm Review: A Cinematic Experience That Overstays Its Welcome

Francesca Anderson	...	Edie Delil Baran	Delil Baran	...	Alexander Aleksy Ronan Colfer	Ronan Colfer	...	August Jacob Eaton	Jacob Eaton	...	Alden Brooks Dylan Grunn	Dylan Grunn	...	Reed Mark Hoover	Mark Hoover	...	Jonas Jeff Lawson	Jeff Lawson	...	Gang member Natalie Lawson	Natalie Lawson	...	Dancer Al Schumacher	Al Schumacher	...	Gang member Grant Schumacher	Grant Schumacher	...	Jimmy Brandie Thomas	Brandie Thomas	...	Dancer Josh Unger	Josh Unger	...	Gang member Lindy Unger	Lindy Unger	...	Mackley

Release date: August, 13, 2021
Running time: 116 minutes
Written and Directed By: Skyler Lawson
Francesca Anderson, Delil BaranRonan ColferJacob EatonDylan Grunn

WHELM is a mind-bending odyssey of two estranged brothers who get tangled in a rivalry between a legendary bank robber and an eccentric at the height of the Great Depression before finding they are a part of a larger historic scheme. Shot on 16mm film on location in Indiana.

Whelm is a tough movie to judge.  It does so much right and really does feel like a much more impressive film than its indie roots would let you believe.  It is a cinematic experience that feels like it has a much larger budget due to its absolutely gorgeous cinematography and music.  The shot choice and locations are wonderful and truly do give a more cinematic experience.  Whelm is shot on 16mm film, and this makes for a beautiful film, and also lets the natural beauty and light of the sets shine through.  The film also has some very interesting characters to meet along the way.  They are a little confusing to follow as the film shrouds them in mystery, but they definitely feel like well realized characters.  And each have multiple motivations and mysterious backgrounds that will keep you guessing about them throughout the film.

And on top of the fantastic cinematography, the film has a wonderful soundtrack as well.  It has driving strings that really keep the epic feel of the film front and center.  And the music also helps to evoke the period of the movie, with a classic feel for this 1930s setting.  But Whelm often feels like more style over substance.  That isn't to say that the substance isn't there, as there is clearly a deep story here, but it wasn't presented in a way that let me follow along.  I often felt confused at what was happening and it was tough the keep the characters and the storyline in sync.  The film has a slightly out of order storytelling and jumps in time periods a few times, so I sometimes didn't know who or what I was watching.  And despite this out of order storytelling, the story itself was very slow.  The film felt like a cinematic experience, just one that overstayed its welcome.  There is definitely an amazing movie in here, I just didn't stay motivated enough to follow it through.

Whelm is a cinematic experience, with amazing cinematography and driving music that belies its indie nature, but the slow and confusing story makes this film feel like style over substance.

Rent it.

If you liked this review and want to see more from Watch or Pass, please consider 
following us on our various social media platforms: FacebookTwitterInstagramYoutube
Whelm is available digitally and on demand on August 13, 2021.  

For additional information about the film and to rent / buy it, check it out at the links below.

This site contains affiliate links. //Commerce or this site may be compensated when you click through links on our site.  

Screening: See A Virtual Screening of Netflix's Worth, Starring Michael Keaton Early And Free

We have partnered with Netflix for an early screening of the Worth followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers!  The film is coming to Netflix on September 3, 2021, but you can check it out early and free, no Netflix required!  Details and entry form are below!


Sara Colangelo

Written by:
Max Borenstein 

Michael Keaton, Amy Ryan, Stanley Tucci, Tate Donovan, Shunori Ramanathan, Talia Balsam, Laura Benanti, Marc Maron, Ato Blankson-Wood, Chris Tardio, Carolyn Mignini and Victor Slezak


Following the horrific 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Congress appoints attorney and renowned mediator Kenneth Feinberg (Michael Keaton) to lead the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. Assigned with allocating financial resources to the victims of the tragedy, Feinberg and his firm’s head of operations, Camille Biros (Amy Ryan), face the impossible task of determining the worth of a life to help the families who had suffered incalculable losses. When Feinberg locks horns with Charles Wolf (Stanley Tucci), a community organizer mourning the death of his wife, his initial cynicism turns to compassion as he begins to learn the true human costs of the tragedy.

Based on true events, Worth is a moving reminder of the power of empathy and the value of human connection. 

 Screening Info:

Tuesday, August 31

To RSVP, fill out the form here by EOD on Wednesday, August 25!