Category Archives: Film reviews

The Boogeyman review

Based on a Stephen King story, The Boogeyman is what I consider “good horror”. There is a strong storyline, at least at the beginning. But there are also dark corners of the film where the symbolizations are questionable. The Boogeyman is one of those supernatural horror films that will put its audiences’ gut to the test. I felt scared in increments, and The Boogeyman knows when to break in with jump scares. It is a film that will keep its audiences guessing what will come next.

The plot of The Boogeyman involves a widowed father, Will Harper (played by Chris Messina), who has two daughters to raise, Sadie and Sawyer (played by Sophie Thatcher and Vivien Lyra Blair). Will works long hours at his private practice as a counselor while also trying to help his daughters cope with their mother’s death. A man named Lester Billings (played by David Dastmalchian) comes into Will’s practice and explains disturbing events that have the potential to haunt Will and his daughters forever. With the girls already dealing with depression problems after the death of her mother, eerie scenarios begin for the Harper family. A weird spirit appears and all kinds of strange events begin to occur.

As the terror turns to danger, there is a growing fascination with The Boogeyman. Its dark backstory provides an element of surprise, because there are resolutions that are genius and superb as Will must do what he needs to do to protect Sadie and Sawyer from the spirit that has entered their life. There may be past events that are damaging, but they also provides hope. The Boogeyman challenges its characters and its audience to believe in what may be the right approach to fighting off the unexpected terror.

I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that The Boogeyman is a quite disturbing character. One way to explain what it looks like is that it’s almost like a monster paired with a wendigo, which is a Native American mythological creature or evil spirit. From my perspective it seemed a lot like a wendigo, specially with the weakness of the monster not liking lights. The creature is somewhat generic, but the film itself is still intriguing for its backstory.

So is Lester related to the evil spirit and these events? Is any of this related to the death of the girls’ mother? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel to the madness in The Boogeyman? Is there more to the events than its audience thinks? Is there a meaning that surrounds all the events that spiral into strange patterns? See for yourself and find out in The Boogeyman. It is a ride that is creepy but invigorating. Three out of four stars for The Boogeyman.


About My Father

This film grabbed my attention because of how it looked like a version of Meet the Parents (2000). I will say, however, this is a more dried-out version of that franchise. About My Father is funny in moments, but the writing is poor, the pacing is off, and the film is just plain quirky. There are fun personalities with Robert DeNiro and Sebastian Maniscalco playing father and son. Otherwise, About My Father is a film which does not seem to care about finding meaning in its humor. It is just an array of consistent slapstick jokes which led to an experience of silliness that was not memorable.

In About My Father, Maniscalco plays Sebastian, a man who has grown up with a father who is follows the rules of society. His father has a strict Italian personality and sticks to Italian traditions. His father is Salvo played by DeNiro. Salvo has always tried to teach his son to learn about life the hard way. He teaches him ways to be frugal with money, ways to be economical, and ultimately ways to use pure commonsense. This is a challenge for Sebastian who wants to marry the girl of his dreams, Ellie, played by Leslie Bibb. Ellie invites Sebastian to meet her family at an expensive, fancy property. Leslie’s parents are Tigger and Bill who are played by Kim Cattrall and David Rasche. Her brothers are Lucky and Doug and are played by Anders Holm and Brett Dier. Lucky is into sports is quite egotistical.  Doug is into healing therapies and has some strange perceptions. Salvo crashes a party for Sebastian by joining in on the family fun. Is that right for Sebastian? Can Salvo behave himself? How many quirks can there be?

About My Father is a comedy that might be taken more seriously, but it is a challenge to do so. The frequent quirks are either offensive or do not make sense. Surprisingly the “quirks” in DeNiro’s performance are genius, but not the “quirks” of the entire family. About My Father has a mixed dynamic that only defines ego and its attempt to be funny is not intriguing entertaining at all. During the film, I continued to ask myself how much more of the craziness in this poorly written comedy can I take? To me, it felt like watching paint dry.

The whole experience of watching this film was frustrating. DeNiro fits the role of strict father and Maniscalco fits the role of wimp son. Unfortunately, neither character can manage to salvage this poorly written comedy. To make matters worse, the scenes with Ellie’s rich family and the various wealthy characters in About My Father are even uninteresting and extremely dry.

About My Father is a movie that I was not sold on. I enjoyed the laughs here and there, but it was purely a mediocre film. If you do decide to watch it, maybe it is one of those films that may be more joyful from the comfort of one’s own home. One half star out of four for About My Father.

You Hurt My Feelings Review

The beginning of You Hurt My Feelings starts with a counseling session. The topics addressed focus on feelings. The film displays how human emotions can have a big impact on how people take criticism. You Hurt My Feelings is an experience exploring how others think of each other, and how their careers and success come into play.

The start of the film begins with adults having frustrations with their careers. The focus is on a married couple, Beth, and Don. Beth is played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Don is played by Tobias Menzies. Beth is a novelist and Don is a therapist. They have a son named Eliot played by Owen Teague. Beth is more determined to find success. She questions, however, if Don truly has faith in her dreams of exploring new ideas in her writing. Beth goes on a stroll with her sister Sarah (played by Michaela Watkins), and they find Don in a store talking to Sarah’s husband Mark (played by Arian Moayed). As they come closer to their husbands, Sarah freezes as she overhears Don say some snarky remarks about the novel Beth currently has in the works. This, of course, hurts Beth’s feelings as one might guess from the movie’s title. 

The film is filled with a plethora of turmoil among all the characters from this point forward. Not only does Beth feel annoyed and put down after overhearing Don, but Sarah also struggles to support her husband, Mark. Mark is a struggling actor who is not getting the roles that speak to him. Primarily, the focus is on Beth and Don, but the other character’s troubles play into the film’s theme of finding success. Beth has a hard time having faith in her husband, while Sarah has a hard time supporting her husband’s acting career. Don even finds himself in distress when working with his patients in his job as a counselor. Everyone in the film at times falls into a pattern of feeling thrown under the bus, or feeling like they are throwing someone else under the bus. The writing in You Hurt My Feelings is brilliant in the way it presents a calm and heartfelt sense with natural human emotions.

The appreciation demonstrated throughout the film is reestablished in various scenes and particular moments. Despite Beth’s frustration with Don’s critical words, she puts more effort into trying to help her son Eliot. Beth attempts to help her son follow his dreams through his writing. Eliot continues to struggle to get his act together. The inspirational factor in You Hurt My Feelings is its approach in showcasing how feeling rejected yourself can cause you to want to encourage others.

There are moments of joy and laughter even during the harsher scenarios in You Hurt My Feelings. There are also several scenes which reinforce the experience of realizing the need for change. Despite the aggravations between the characters, it all works out in the end. Three and a half stars for You Hurt My Feelings.