Review by Camden Ferrell
Scoob! is the newest animated movie featuring the beloved Mystery Inc. This movie comes from veteran animation director Tony Cervone. While this movie earns a few points for its attempt to set itself apart from previous incarnations of these characters, but it ultimately fails at being as funny and charming as one would hope.
In this newest adventure, our characters find themselves faced with their greatest threat yet. With the help of superheroes Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, the gang must stop Dick Dastardly from unleashing a “dogpocalypse” on the world. This story is a departure from the typically more contained adventures of Mystery Inc., but it still had the potential to explore our characters while amping up their stakes.
The overall execution of most of the scenes feels mostly uninspired. The timing feels out of place in a lot of its scenes, and the physical comedy doesn’t land with its intended impact. The scenes of action aren’t particularly enthralling either, and they don’t properly take advantage of its grandiose potential. It’s not bad in any way, but these scenes could have been carried out in a more engaging and lively manner. Luckily, this is somewhat made up with its occasionally astounding animation and color pallete.
The acting in this film is a heavily mixed bag. This movie unfortunately mostly opts for onscreen talent in place of traditional voice actors. Zac Efron gives a forgettable and pretty underwhelming performance as Fred. Amanda Seyfried and Gina Rodriguez are equally forgettable in their roles as Daphne and Velma respectively. Thankfully, Frank Welker returns to give a fairly decent performance as Scooby-Doo even if it pales in comparison to some of his other work. One of the more interesting performances comes from Will Forte who plays Shaggy. This is a hard character to nail, and it’s one of the most iconic characters in animation. While Forte is a talented voice actor and his performance is solid, it feels slightly out of place as Shaggy.
The movie does have some fun additions as well. It includes Blue Falcon and Dynomutt from their 1976 series, and they are played by Mark Wahlberg and Ken Jeong. Wahlberg gives a surprisingly great performance as Blue Falcon, and he’s a funny and charming addition to the cast. Unlike the rest of the actors, Wahlberg has great comedic timing and vocal inflection that makes the role more memorable than the others.
There are a lot of creative departures, but the movie seems to always make attempts at capturing the charm and spirit of the series. These attempts are rather unsuccessful, and it deviates to levels that make the characters feel significantly distant from the ones with which we grew up. Despite being able to speak in full sentences since the 2010 series, Scooby-Doo’s dialogue in this movie feels misplaced and gimmicky.
The film is also overfilled with pop culture references from Tinder to a brief rendition of “Shallow” from A Star is Born. It feels like the writers lazily throwing adult viewers a bone to satiate them as they watch with their children. It gets tired, and it doesn’t do much to enhance the film’s already week script.
Scoob! is not a movie that will make you feel nostalgic or greatly entertained. While it has its occasional virtues, it is a mostly lifeless and derogatory animated adventure that will probably appeal mostly to young viewers.
Scoob! is now available on VOD.
Review by Camden Ferrell
After the fallout of his previous film, Fantastic Four, Josh Trank (Chronicle) has returned to the director’s chair for his newest feature. Capone is his first film in 5 years, and he served as writer, director, and editor. While it is undoubtedly the result of singular vision, the ostentatious performances, muddled script, and poor execution make this movie a major misfire.
This movie tells the story of legendary and notorious gangster Al Capone. However, the film doesn’t focus on his years as a crime boss, but it opts to tell the story of the end of his life. After no longer being deemed to be a public threat, we see Capone as he is released from prison as his health declines due to neurosyphilis. This is a period of Capone’s life that isn’t often talked about, and while it could have been interesting to see him in this time, this movie squanders this premise with sloppy writing and themes.
The script is very weak throughout. It juggles a lot of cliché dialogue throughout, and it feels terribly superficial. It also fails to elucidate some of the basic facts of this story, and even though this could be for the sake of ambiguity or artistic merit, it comes off as messy and uncontrolled. It’s not as insightful as it tries to believe it is, and it leaves one knowing very little about its titular character. This is a shame considering how retrospective the movie tried to be.
The acting is also all over the place. Tom Hardy (Venom) plays Al Capone, and his performance ranges between uninspired and off the rails. A lot of the time, he painfully overacts every scene, delivering his dialogue with a baffling accent. It’s comes off as a caricature rather than an honest depiction of its subject. Even though some members of the cast like Linda Cardellini (Dead to Me) and the typically reliable Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks) are somewhat passable, the rest of the cast fails to add anything of worth to the film.
Trank’s execution is also erratic. It jumps between a variety of paces and tones, and it does so with abrupt shifts that make little narrative or thematic sense. It’s clear that he’s a director with a distinct vision, but it’s a shame that the vision is clouded and involves a lot of unique albeit misguided creative choices. It is possible that this movie could just be another misstep for Trank, but there are some glimmers of hope in a handful of moments throughout the movie that suggest better things to come in the future.
Peter Deming (Twin Peaks) was the director of photography for this movie, so it should have been as visually stunning as his other works. However, this wasn’t terrible, but it was one of the bigger let downs of the film. He usually delivers with some stylish visuals and beautiful imagery, but this movie doesn’t fully deliver on this. There are a few really great shots, but many of the scenes feel lackluster and somewhat uninspired. This along with the film’s score leaves a lot to be desired.
Ultimately, the movie is an extremely confusing and shallow look at the legacy of one of the most famous men of the 20th century. It’s moments of tension are weak, and they do little to add to the entertainment value of the movie. Despite being under two hours, this movie feels sluggish, and it is rather uninteresting for most of its runtime.
Capone is one of the most bizarre movies of the year, and it’s one that is better left unseen. While it’s subject is somewhat interesting, its themes and messages are lost in senility. There is a profound lack of awareness, strong performances, or sound creative choices, and it wastes the potential of its cast and intriguing subject matter.
Capone will be available on VOD May 12.
Review by Camden Ferrell
Driveways is the second feature film of director Andrew Ahn. The movie had its premiere at the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival and also played at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival. While this movie isn’t the most well-paced or captivating, it still finds a lot of meaning in its subtlety and character development.
In this movie, a young boy named Cody and his mother, Kathy, spend the summer in a town in New York in order to clean out the house of his deceased aunt. As they work on getting the house ready for sale, Cody strikes up an unlikely friendship with Del, a retired veteran who lives next door. This premise is simple, and it doesn’t rely on any gimmicks or anything too flashy. It’s not the most interesting story in the world, but Ahn does a fairly decent job of using the limited plot to the best of his ability.
The script, written by Hannah Bos and Paul Thureen, can often jump between mundane and intriguing. Some sections of the movie don’t feel like they contribute too much to the themes and character development, and they’re mostly forgettable. However, there are a fair amount of really interesting interactions and solemn moments that contribute significantly to the ultimate intention of the film.
The acting is the strongest aspect of the film. Lucas Jaye gives a strong performance as Cody. It’s a lot of pressure for a child actor to lead a movie, but Jaye does it with confidence, and he’s able to capture the insecurities and growth of the character very well. Hong Chau (Downsizing) also does a great job as Kathy. She is able to give a maternal performance that is interesting without undermining any other characters. Brian Dennehy (First Blood) gives a very strong performance as Del. He plays the role in a contemplative way that highlights the message and themes of the movie very well.
Ahn’s execution doesn’t always hit the mark, but there’s a lot of virtue to be found in its attempt. Even when the script occasionally hits a lull, Ahn tries his best to justify the scene, and this can be seen in the way he paces and blocks his actors. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always compensate for the material, and these moments can create noticeable drags in the film.
The cinematography by Ki Jin Kim is surprisingly poignant. The film is framed very well, and there are some downright beautiful shots spread throughout that emphasize the emotion of scenes especially in the latter half of the film. These visuals pair nicely with the simple yet sometimes almost profound story, and it creates some really sweet and tender moments throughout.
One of the film’s main flaws is how much better its second half is. The first act of the film drags a lot, and it feels like it takes a sluggish pace towards its main character interaction. The relationship between Cody and Del is one of the film’s strongest aspects, but it’s one that isn’t highlighted nearly enough which is a shame since Del’s character had a lot of narrative potential.
Driveways doesn’t always captivate audiences, but it should be sufficient for those looking for a simple and meditative character drama. It features some great acting by its cast even if it can lack in other departments. This is an adequate albeit promising second feature from Ahn.
Driveways is available on VOD May 7.
Review by Camden Ferrell
Working Man is the debut feature of writer/director Robert Jury, and it has played at several festivals since its premiere. The movie is definitely a product of its time and may bear some significance on modern industry, but its efforts to speak loudly are sometimes undermined by a slow pace and forgettable writing.
After a factory closes down, Allery, a man who has worked multiple decades with the company, is forced to confront a life without work. Unable to do so and with help of a former co-worker, Allery heads back to work in order to galvanize a small town in the Rust Belt. It’s a quiet story that has the potential to speak to many, but the movie unfortunately gets too involved in its own simplicity.
Jury’s script is minimal, but it’s sufficient in communicating its ideas. It doesn’t indulge itself into expository dialogue, but it rather lets the viewer learn through the observation of the quiet and routine-driven protagonist. The screenplay is one of the more subtle virtues of this movie, and it does make up for some but not all of its shortcomings. It shows that Jury has some untapped potential to reach profound heights, and it’s a potential that is seen in brief moments in the film.
The best part of this movie was its performances. Peter Gerety (Flight) plays Allery, and his performance is as minimal as it gets, but he’s able to make it interesting enough in most of his scenes. It’s nothing special, but it gets the job done. Billy Brown (How to Get Away with Murder) also does some interesting things as his co-worker, but the best performance comes from Talia Shire (Rocky). Playing Allery’s wife, Shire does some great things, and she puts a lot of soul into the backstory and sadness of her character.
While this film succeeds in some departments, it doesn’t always deliver in others. Jury’s script is decent, but the way he executes scenes and blocks them is lackluster to say the least. Even though the topic isn’t meant to incite excitement, the direction could still add some more life to many moments. It’s not awful, but it leaves quite a lot to be desired.
The movie can also find itself wandering into some implausible territory. For a film rooted in such real experiences that are shared by many, its uplifting story can become too familiar and contrived to feel authentic. It’s a minor qualm, but it’s one that took me away from the experience and altered the way I perceived the message of the film.
One of the most interesting aspects of the film was the tragic backstory of Allery that isn’t nearly explored enough. While it might be justified by the events of the film, it would have been nice to have more development. Also, the movie does have a decent amount to say about the modern decline of the Rust Belt. It highlights the plight and troubles of those who lose work and those who want to work. It may not speak equally to all, but it addresses issues that affect everyone in one way or another. Sadly, this relevance often gets muddled slightly throughout the movie.
Working Man is a solemn movie about one man’s desire to work in the face of an industry that’s dying. It’s an underwhelming yet hopeful debut for Jury, and it shows slight beacons of some great things to come from him. The movie has some great acting, but it can’t always make up for what it’s missing.
Working Man is available on VOD May 5.
Review by Camden Ferrell
Long Gone By premiered at the 2019 New York Latino Film Festival. This is the first narrative feature of director Andrew Morgan. The movie has some moments that drag a little too much, but it ultimately succeeds due to its timely premise, great acting, and engaging execution.
In this movie, Ana, a single mother from Nicaragua, is informed that she will soon be deported from her home in Indiana. During all of this, her daughter, Izzy, is accepted to Indiana University but due to her immigration status, she can’t the financial assistance needed. Ana decides to risk everything to pay off her daughter’s tuition before she is deported. This is a story that is very timely, and it’s a story that says a lot about our current system of immigration.
The screenplay by Morgan and David Wappel is simple yet effective. Ana’s conversation with the school about finances may seem mundane but there’s a troubling subtext of economic oppression that many immigrants in the U.S. face. Similar moments are highlighted throughout the film, and it balances its social commentary with some really sweet and charming scenes of Izzy’s high school experience. It doesn’t juggle too much, but it makes the most of what it has.
The acting in this film is great. Erica Muñoz plays Ana, and she carries this film very well. She plays the role with a certain maternal instinct that is so recognizable but difficult to describe. She does a fascinating job of showing the stress of her situation in a way that isn’t too melodramatic. Izzy Hau’ula plays Izzy, and she gives an impressive first performance. There are times where it can feel a bit stale, but for the most part, she gives a strong performance that supports Muñoz very well.
Morgan’s direction is really interesting to see. He often blends genres throughout the film, and it’s a juggling act that is interesting to see and mostly works. There are elements of drama, suspense, and coming-of-age that’s refreshing to see. He especially excels in the way he executes scenes of suspense but also lingering agony. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it does make the film more captivating.
One of the few flaws of this film comes from its pacing. While most of the scenes are paced very well, there are some moments that feel out of place due to how it slows the film’s momentum. It doesn’t happen too often, but it is very noticeable. Even though it’s an essential story, it is one that could have benefited from some more brevity.
This movie is about the undying love of a mother and the lengths one mother is willing to go to secure the future of her daughter. It’s a lasting portrait of love, sacrifice, and modern oppression. There may be many films tackling the status of immigrants, but there aren’t a lot that give it the maternal angle from the perspective of the mother. It makes the film feel necessary and more honest, and it really does highlight the human cost of such harmful systems.
Long Gone By has no shortness of humanity, and it uses it to tell a harrowing story of motherly love. Despite its few flaws, this is a movie that is definitely worth watching. It features a strong leading performance from Muñoz and a promising debut from Hau’ula.
Long Gone By premieres on HBO Latino on May 1 at 8pm EST. It will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO On Demand, and HBO GO.
Review by Camden Ferrell
Trolls World Tour is the animated sequel to the 2016 predecessor, and it is one of the first major theatrical releases to debut on demand while theaters are closed. While this movie hits several familiar beats, it’s a harmless and toe-tapping movie that improves upon the original.
In this movie, Poppy and Branch learn that there are other troll tribes dedicated to different genres of music. Together, they go on an adventure to stop Queen Barb of the Rock Trolls from taking over all of the other tribes. This is a fun premise that has more room to play around with its musical premise more than the original, and it’s partly why it’s a better film.
Like the first film, this movie is heavily aimed at young children, and this can be seen clearly in its writing. The jokes aren’t complex or layered, but they’re funny enough on a superficial level. There are some great visual gags that will appeal to all ages, but it’s fairly formulaic for the most part. Thanks to the return of Walt Dohrn as director, the film still retains some of the comedic style and timing of the original while also trying to build onto that humor.
The voice acting is pretty great throughout. Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) does another fantastic job as Queen Poppy. She gives such a positive and infectious performance that is balanced very well with her amazing singing voice. Justin Timberlake also returns as Branch, and while his performance isn’t as great as Kendrick’s, it’s still very solid. This film features newcomers such as Rachel Bloom as Barb and Sam Rockwell as Hickory, and they both give really great performances as well.
The music in this film is what one would expect. It’s a silly jukebox musical that features many popular songs. There is some variation in genre which prevents the movie from getting repetitive, and it will more than sufficiently entertain families and young children. The more prominent role of music in this film makes it more energetic than the first, and it allows the film the avoid any significant lulls.
At the heart of this film is a not so subtle metaphor for racism and acceptance. The movie forces this theme heavily, but it is done with the best intentions. It can often feel like it doesn’t trust the capabilities of its audience, but it’s somewhat excusable considering the film’s very young target audience. It’s a completely unobjectionable message that will be great for kids even if it’s something that’s been done before.
This may not entertain most adults, but it’s a harmless film that is short, fun, and very musical. It fixes a lot of the problems with the first film, but it also retains a lot of its familiarity. This sequel doesn’t do anything original or new, but fans of the first film will find lots to love in this new film.
Trolls World Tour doesn’t always hit the mark, but it has enough energy and optimism to overcome its faults. Of all the new movies on demand to watch, this is easily the most family friendly even if it isn’t the best.
Trolls World Tour is now available for rent on demand.
Review by Camden Ferrell
The Mindfulness Movement is the newest documentary from director Robert Beemer. This film also comes from executive producers Deepak Chopra and Jewel. While the methods might be valid to many, the execution is very poor and lacks the skills to reliably convey its heavy-handed message.
This movie is about the idea of mindfulness, which is described as a type of meditation based on peaceful attentiveness and presence. We see how mindfulness has affected the lives of many individuals such as Grammy-nominee Jewel as well as TV anchor and correspondent Dan Harris. This is a growing movement, and it is a form of secular meditation that might be beneficial, but the movie has a hard time of communicating its ideas effectively.
From the start, it’s obvious that its execution is poor. The editing is choppy and inconsistent, and it feels like it has a difficult time finding its own rhythm. The B-roll is unimpressive, and it seems as if a lot of the footage could have come from stock photos. It doesn’t have a lot of personality or life to make it interesting. Even if its intentions are in the right place, it gets bogged down heavily by the way the film was put together.
The narration is also very forgettable. It can often be lackluster, and it doesn’t do much to spice up the film in any way. The film does rarely succeed in its subjects though. The film mostly intercuts between four stories, and each details the ways in which mindfulness has changed someone’s life. Jewel and Dan Harris are by far the most interesting subjects (not a surprise considering their line of work), and there are some emotional backstories for these people, but it still can feel underwhelming more times than not. Again, while the film’s heart is always in the right place, it can’t help but feel like their interviews are shallower than they should have been.
This documentary feels like an infomercial for most of its runtime, and it constantly feels like a sales pitch. While it’s the point of a documentary to send a message, the film tries to do so in a way that cheapens its effect. They provide some supporting evidence for mindfulness from people who have experienced it to those who have implemented it in prisons and schools, but it still lacks the ethos to form a proper argument. The film also features an “interactive” portion of the video which didn’t seem to be as effective as I had hoped. If one is interested in mindfulness, it would most likely behoove them to do their own research about the method and read about it rather than watch the documentary which probably doesn’t go in depth nearly as well.
The Mindfulness Movement is consistently well-meaning, but it lacks the execution, argument, and personality to tell its story and properly relay its message. This doesn’t diminish the positive potential of the movie or the ability of mindfulness to reduce stress and anxiety, but it does diminish the film’s quality. A good documentary is ideally entertaining and educational, but this one is only a little bit of the latter.
The Mindfulness Movement will be available on the film's official site on April 10.
Review by Camden Ferrell
Never Rarely Sometimes Always premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and also competed at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival. This is the newest movie from director Eliza Hittman (Beach Rats). Easily the best movie of the year so far, this film packs an emotional punch with its minimalist yet extremely realistic and important story.
In this movie, Autumn, a 17-year-old, and her cousin leave their small town in Pennsylvania to travel to New York where she can receive a medical procedure after an unintended pregnancy. This story is simple, but it’s one that is heartbreakingly all too common for many women. It’s a timely premise that Hittman is able to pull of beautifully and with no gimmicks.
Hittman’s script is a masterclass in visual storytelling. The dialogue is stripped down to its ultra-realistic minimum, and it makes the movie much more effective. She is able to manipulate silence in versatile ways throughout. The movie finds a lot of pain, hope, and fear in its moments of silence, and the writing serves as a solid foundation for these techniques that Hittman utilizes throughout.
The performances in this movie are astounding. In her first performance, Sydney Flanigan does some remarkable things playing Autumn. It’s such a complex performance that many actors would not be able to pull off, but Flanigan does it perfectly. There is so much restraint and apprehension in many moments, and Flanigan communicates those feelings in powerful ways. It’s a subtle performance that is masterful nonetheless. She is a perfect lead for this movie, and she will fill your heart with pain and empathy along the way.
This is a movie that could only have been told by a woman. It’s such an essential look at a prominent issue today, and it highlights the many struggles women have when faced with an unintended pregnancy. The movie feels so profound and well-done because of the perspective that Hittman helps convey. It’s such an unpretentious film, and it’s one that is a showcase for Hittman’s ability to effectively tell a story.
What I really enjoyed about this movie, is that it truly is Autumn’s movie. Hittman doesn’t give any other character real depth or focus, and it emphasizes the thematic points of the film very well. This is Autumn’s journey, and what she does with her body is her choice. Hittman doesn’t give anybody else power in Autumn’s narrative, and it allows this film to really highlight her story and why it’s important.
There are many fine details that Hittman includes that make the movie feel thoroughly developed and realistic, and it’s a non-essential but much appreciated part of the film. It’s one of the most raw and realistic films to come out in a long time, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. This is a story that happens every day, and it’s one that needs to be seen now.
Never Rarely Sometimes Always can often be hard to watch, but it’s the best film of the year, and it’s also the most essential movie to come out in recent years. Hittman’s story is profound, and its message is communicated phenomenally. Flanigan gives a beautiful performance that I hope won’t be forgotten come awards season. This is a film that is great to watch and discuss during this time when movie theaters are closed.
Never Rarely Sometimes Always is available on VOD now.
Review by Camden Ferrell
With theaters being closed nationwide, one of the new releases available to watch this week is the newest Disneynature film, Elephant. Directed by Mark Linfield and Vanessa Berlowitz (this being Linfield’s fourth Disneynature film), this movie is yet another family-friendly, educational, and moving portrait of Earth’s wildlife.
In this movie, we follow a group of African elephants as they make their yearly travel across the Kalahari Desert. The group of elephants consist of the matriarch, Gaia, as well as Shani and her young son Jomo. Throughout the movie, we see their dangerous journey as they combat heat, lack of food and water, and the land’s predators.
This is a really interesting story, and the journey of the elephants gives the movie a narrative feeling. It doesn’t feel like an overly expository look at these elephants, but it rather tells us about these creatures in context of their captivating journey. This definitely prevents the movie from feeling monotonous or bland in any way, and it makes the movie very consumable for families and young audiences.
This documentary is narrated by Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex. Markle has an amazing voice with fantastic character. While the elephants are very interesting on their own, she is able to provide more excitement and personality into the already colorful film. She has great timing, intonation, and she is able to really convey the emotions in her tone and inflection. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a very well-done narration by Markle.
Linfield and Berlowitz did a fantastic job with the execution of the film. They were able to fluctuate emotions and tones in a way that made the film engaging. The elephants and their surroundings are unpredictable, but they were able to balance feelings of happiness, suffering, danger, and empathy in truly great ways.
The cinematography, like most Disneynature films, is truly astounding. The composition of each shot is riveting, and the image is so pristine, and it gives a really detailed look at these animals and the lives they live. There are a handful of truly breathtaking shots of the landscape and the elephants, and it just adds more dimensions to the story that is being told.
One of the few shortcomings is the film’s abrupt lull in its final thirty minutes. Granted, there wasn’t too much the film could have done due to the unpredictable nature of the film. However, it does compensate in this flaw with a heavy dose of highly emotional storytelling that will fill your heart with joy, sadness, and love.
Elephant doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s still another fascinating and education film from Disneynature. It has many intense and truly inspiring moments that make up for almost all of its flaws. For those staying home with young kids and family, this film is definitely worth checking out.
Elephant is now streaming on Disney+.
Review by Camden Ferrell
Based on true events, Tape is the newest movie from director Deborah Kampmeier. Despite a somewhat sluggish and oddly executed first half, the movie utilizes its second half to deliver a chilling and painful story about the horrors woman face in the entertainment industry.
In New York City, two young actresses, Rosa and Pearl cross paths. Using a hidden camera, Rosa is secretly filming Pearl. Slowly, the dark side of the entertainment industry presents itself and we learn about all of the painfully accurate behavior women face every day. This is a timely story that is unfortunately still heavily present in our world. They add a layer of mystery to this tale without losing any of its authenticity.
Kampmeier’s script is fairly strong, but it does have its inconsistencies. The movie navigates between Rosa’s intent with her hidden cameras and Pearl’s pursuit of an acting career with her manager Lux. While there is some overlap, each section feels completely different in the quality and style of their writing. With Rosa, the dialogue is minimal, and the film is heavily reliant on visual storytelling at which it doesn’t always excel. However, Pearl’s scenes are written fantastically, and it captures the haunting realism of the subject matter, and it’s very interesting to watch.
The acting in this film is decent throughout. Annarosa Mudd, who plays Rosa, does a decent job in her first major acting role, but there are times where her physical acting and expressions could have been better. The real standout of this film is Isabelle Fuhrman (The Hunger Games) who plays Pearl. Her scenes are not easy to watch, and Fuhrman does an amazing job of conveying the fear, discomfort, and embarrassment of her character with stark realism and conviction.
The visual style of the film is unique, but it doesn’t always fit in the film. Since Rosa is using hidden cameras to record Pearl, a lot of the scenes in this movie are told through that lens, and it is just somewhat distracting. It’s constantly adjusting focus, and while that is how those cameras work, it feels like it could have been used in moderation. However, every other scene was shot and blocked very well.
On a thematic level, this movie is phenomenal. It’s a #MeToo story that says a lot about the state of the entertainment industry right now. It’s heartbreaking to know that this movie was based on true events, but it does shine a light on the problem and call out the lack of attention this receives. It’s an essential story about how strong, ambitious women are preyed on and exploited every day. It’s chilling, disturbing, and deeply distressing, and it sends its message clearly.
Kampmeier does a great job with executing the second half of the film. It is done in a way that is tasteful, sensitive, but doesn’t ever compromise the power and effectiveness of her message. It is a story that could only have been told by a woman, and Kampmeier understands this and carries out the movie very well. Even though some scenes in the first half weren’t the best, the second half shows that she has the potential to be the next great director.
Tape is a difficult watch, but on a thematic level, it’s a must-see. The movie does have its shortcomings, but it is a highly engaging and unsettling story that will stick with you. For those who have dealt with sexual harassment, exploitation, and assault, this may prove to be too much, and I recommend using discretion before watching the film. This is a great movie about the plight and dangers women face every day.
Tape will have daily screenings at 7pm EST from March 26 to April 9. Each screening will be followed by a panel conversation, and the movie will be on VOD April 10. For more information, visit www.TAPEVirtualPremiere.com