jackkyser has written 7 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

  • Your Honor

    Your Honor

    ★★★½

    The first full season of television I've watched in eons. Over the course of ten episodes, there are a number of exceptional individual sequences... counterbalanced with other moments of eye-rolling ridiculousness and over-seriousness. You can feel the show's makers saying, "Oh, yeah, you think *that's* dramatic? Well, get a load of THIS ENTIRELY IMPLAUSIBLE COINCIDENCE that'll make things comically worse for everyone involved!"

    One thing remains consistent from episode to episode - Michael Stuhlbarg is unbelievably compelling.

  • The King of Staten Island

    The King of Staten Island

    ★★★½

    Bel Powley is fantastic in this film. I sat there thinking, "Man, I don't know how Judd Apatow found this Staten Island native, but she's delightful." Of course, I wasn't aware I was watching the same British actress who similarly blew me away onstage in Lobby Hero three years ago.

  • The War with Grandpa

    The War with Grandpa

    ★★★½

    I love Robert De Niro. He’s been my favorite actor for as long as I can remember, and I make a point of seeing everything he’s in. There are years like 2019, where he appeared in two Best Picture nominees, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman (featuring one of his all-time finest performances) and Todd Phillips’ Joker. And now there’s this year, where we get a completely different kind of De Niro in the family-friendly The War with Grandpa. In reading early…

  • The Big Wedding

    The Big Wedding

    ★★★½

    Here I am making my way through the handful of De Niro films I still haven’t seen (I’m a loyal soldier for my favorite actor), and lo and behold, The Big Wedding is actually quite endearing!

  • An American Pickle

    An American Pickle

    ★★★½

    Brandon Trost’s An American Pickle is a delightful comedy, featuring one of star Seth Rogen’s best performances in some time (as two different characters, no less). The film is available to watch on HBO Max, after originally being intended for a theatrical release by Sony Pictures.

    The film opens in 1919, as Jewish grave-digger Herschel Greenbaum (Rogen) lives a rather dreary existence in Eastern Europe. When he and his wife, Sarah (Sarah Snook), immigrate to the United States, he takes…

  • Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

    Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

    ★★★½

    David Dobkin’s Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga is a truly enjoyable comedy, with one of those hilariously long, overly-specific titles you’d expect from star Will Ferrell (see also Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby). In Eurovision, Ferrell and Rachel McAdams play Icelandic musicians Lars and Sigrit, both lead singers in the less-than-stellar band Fire Saga. They’re a bit of a joke in their small town community, but nevertheless, Lars…

  • Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Solo: A Star Wars Story

    ★★★½

    Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story is a mostly enjoyable and pleasant ride, chiefly due to the strength and charm of its actors. Of course, looming over the film is a major question – what would this movie have been like if the original directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie), had not been fired mid-shoot and replaced by Howard? However, I think it’s a disservice to the film to question what might have been, and it’s…