Five new reviews to open December from Leo Brady on



What if I told you that fairy tales could be brought to life? Would you believe me? Well, you would if you went and saw Guillermo del Toro’s magnificent The Shape of Water. You would witness before your very eyes the creation of a story that is rich with fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and spy thriller themes. The sets and settings are so delicious you will want to eat them up and the cast of actors hit every perfect mark, The Shape of Water is a beautifully strange romance between a mute woman and a fish-like creature. This is a new imagination of Beauty and the Beast set in the 1950’s that audiences will want to submerge themselves right into.


You will be hard pressed to find a review from critics that doesn’t praise the performance and transformation of Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. And I will not be any different, because it is hands down, one of the best performances of 2017, but not to be forgotten, is the spectacular direction from the man behind the camera- Joe Wright. The life of Churchill has been portrayed numerous times before, but Wright closes us inside the dark rooms and the wandering mind of the British Prime minister, during his intense days of deciding between war with Hitler and efforts to talk peace. Darkest Houris a film about the gritty bipartisan work it took from Churchill and those surrounding him, to make a decision of enormous proportions.


Every year Woody Allen makes a movie and with the way more and more victims of sexual assault come forward in the news, it has become increasingly difficult to ignore Allen’s past family problems. It also does not help that his newest film, Wonder Wheel is one of Allen’s worst films in the past two decades. Although it looks beautiful and the cast is another great collection of talented actors, the final result is a wooden, glossy, and hollow film. Wonder Wheel feels like a ride you want to get off.


The stars are aligned in Michael Glover Smith‘s Mercury in Retrograde. In the writer/director’s sophomore installment, his work is bursting with confidence and boasting a spectacular cast to carry it out. Three couples have gathered at a summer home in Michigan, where laughs will be had and tears will be shed, as conversations go deeper, past regrets are conjured up, and dreams begin to reveal themselves. With an excellent collection of actors, in-depth dialogue, and breathtaking direction, Mercury in Retrograde left me full of emotions and excited to see what Michael Glover Smith does next.


The Disaster Artist is a comedy by unintentional circumstances. Honestly, I had trepidations about an approach of openly mocking the director of The Room and what that would look like. The jokes were not going to be in the punch lines, but in the ridiculousness of the man James Franco was portraying. On the contrary, The Disaster Artist is about much more, including the art of creation, and the relationship that was created between two unknown actors. Tommy Wiseau turned his cult catastrophe The Room into a multi-million dollar success, it now constantly plays at midnight screenings across the U.S., and Tommy even sells his own The Room-inspired apparel. It’s all because he made the worst movie of all time. Anyone who surfs the internet or hangs around Chicago’s Music Box Theatre, know what The Room is all about. To appreciate everything about The Disaster Artist, it might be best to see the film it’s making fun of first, or read the memoir by actor Greg Sestero, which vividly captured his experience of making the film. Either way, you will still be impressed with The Disaster Artist, a funny and intentionally ironic film, including an impressive performance from James Franco who becomes the mysterious Tommy Wiseau and can say, “he make great Hollywood movie.”


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