Is Ghostbusters: Afterlife a worthy continuation of the franchise, and is House of Gucci a substantial follow-up to The Last Duel? In the debut episode of The Lenient Critic Podcast, Foster Harlfinger joins Rowan to review four of the latest films, and preview four that we will see in the coming weeks! They also break down their favorite biopics (a loaded category!) and talk about what they’ve been watching in November, whether it be very good...or very bad.
The game’s in the name! I love movies and television, and I always try to look for the good in everything while also respecting the amount of work that goes into creating a piece of content. After years of reviewing for the Cape Cod Chronicle, I decided to start my own self-published review website where I can continue to build my skills and experience as a critic while also chronicling my love and appreciation for new and older films alike.
November 30, 2021
The Lenient Critic Podcast Episode 1: Ghostbusters: Afterlife, King Richard, House of Gucci, tick, tick...BOOM!
November 29, 2021
Review: “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” Revives the Franchise
Everything about Ghostbusters: Afterlife certainly fits in with that subtitle. Instead of young male physicists, the titular Ghostbusters are and Phoebe (McKenna Grace) and Trevor Spengler (Finn Wolfhard), grandchildren of original Ghostbuster Egon Spengler, and their friend who is simply named Podcast (Logan Kim). They discover the remnants of the team’s initial iteration, just as a supernatural event begins to rock their small town.
November 26, 2021
Review: “House of Gucci” Isn’t Particularly Ethical, or Fair
That’s my dilemma with House of Gucci, Ridley Scott’s second film of 2021, released within a month of The Last Duel, which (spoiler) I liked much better than this one. Funnily enough, both star Adam Driver and feature bloated two and a half hour runtimes. Each has their merits, and each their downsides.
As I alluded to earlier, House of Gucci is a (fictionalized) historical retelling depicting the fall of the Gucci family dynasty, which owned the company since its founding. Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) marries the youngest member of the Gucci family, Maurizio (Adam Driver), whose father essentially disowns him over his relationship with Patrizia. Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons and Al Pacino also star as the other members of the Gucci family, who essentially become main characters as the film progresses.
November 24, 2021
“Resident Evil” Review: Stay a While in Raccoon City
A well-used $25 million budget does the film a service, allowing it to really live up to its premise. There’s no shying away from violence, oftentimes cartoonish and absurdly fun: zombies munching on eyeballs, hell-hounds leaping through car windows and flaming truck drivers are some of the film’s many offerings. Not all of it has to make sense, but it brings with it a certain sense of self-awareness that we’ve been seeing a lot of in the horror genre recently. I don’t mind it — I actually think it improves Raccoon City — but I think this element of modern horror film should start to take a backseat in favor of more original ideas. And from what I hear, Raccoon City doesn’t have too many of those.
November 18, 2021
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” and Tempering Expectations
The studios even made an “event” out of the trailer release, hosting a packed auditorium in Los Angeles to screen it minutes before the rest of the internet saw it. This is a brilliant marketing strategy (something Marvel has proven to be quite good at), but I simply find it ridiculous. I saw on Twitter that people were flying out to Los Angeles just to see the trailer. A trailer that can just as easily be pulled up on a phone at a moment’s notice.
November 13, 2021
Review: “Home Sweet Home Alone” is a Hollow Echo of a Classic
No. No, it doesn’t. Disney has once again come for our childhoods with another soulless reimagining of a classic property — and what’s worse, they even acknowledge this fact in the actual film. While watching an outer space-set remake of “Angels with Filthy Souls” (the movie Kevin watches in the original), a character rhetorically asks “why are they always remaking the classics?” Clearly, they knew what they were doing, and at least someone decided to be self-aware about it instead of blissful ignorance.
Everyone else in this movie is living in that fantasy world. Archie Yates is charming and likable enough (especially given his young age), but it’s a shame that his character, Max Mercer, is such an unsympathetic brat…and not in an endearing way, like this series’ first protagonist. Regardless, Yates isn’t the main problem with this movie, because he’s actually trying, which is more than I can say about most everyone else here. Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney play Pam and Jeff McKenzie, a married couple who have fallen on hard times. They believe Max has stolen from them, so they plan to break into his house and steal back what they believe is rightfully theirs. And...what do you know? Max’s family went on vacation to Japan, and conveniently left him behind.
November 7, 2021
Review: Ocean’s Three Steal More than the Show in “Red Notice”
One thing I will say is that, bar the opening sequence, the plot finds its footing very quickly. We’re thrown into a museum chase where FBI profiler John Hartley (Dwayne Johnson) is pursuing art thief Nolan Booth (Ryan Reynolds). Booth is after Cleopatra’s eggs, but so is the Bishop (Gal Gadot), another, more elusive art thief. You can imagine how the rest of the story might play out: friendships are formed, secrets are revealed, long distances are traveled in impossibly short times — the staples of a traditional heist film.
November 5, 2021
Review: “Eternals” Assemble in a True Marvel Experiment
November 4, 2021
Review: “Big Mouth” Season 4 is a Mature Take on Immaturity
Note: This review was originally published in The Cape Cod Chronicle in December 2020.
That seems to be the main gimmick of Big Mouth, a raunchy animated series from creative team (and childhood friends) Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg, centered around very fictionalized versions of themselves as kids. I’ve been a viewer of the show since its premiere in 2017, and as more issues and subjects concerning the young people of today find a place in the news, so does Big Mouth. The series has continued to grow, along with its protagonists, finding new ground to cover and new areas to explore with each passing season.
November 2, 2021
Expanding the Universe: October 2021 (Part Two)
November 1, 2021
Expanding the Universe: October 2021 (Part One)
It’s spooky season, and schoolwork is beginning to ramp up! That doesn’t stop my watching habits, though -- not while there’s entertainment to be had! Featuring horror and otherwise, here is what I watched in October 2021.