Friday, September 17, 2021

Movie Review: ‘Relic’ could leave you with questions

By Matt Pascarella

Runtime: 1 hour 29 minutes

Rated: R

Right off the bat, let me say this is a slow burn. It’s a burn that you might think fizzles a little toward the end. The ending did catch my attention, but ultimately left me with questions. Don’t let the pace of this movie discourage you from watching it; it’s pretty good.

When Kay finds out that her mother, Edna hasn’t been seen in a few days, she becomes worried. Kay and her daughter Sam look everywhere they think she could be. In searching for Edna, Kay and Sam discover that there might be more going on at Edna’s home than either of them was originally aware.

Kay and Sam notice Edna’s behavior to be erratic and there is no logical explanation for it. Has something happened to her? Or is it deeper than that? “Relic” stars Robyn Nevin, Emily Mortimer, Bella Heathcote, Steve Rodgers, Chris Bunton, and Catherine Glavicic.

Once it is noticed that Edna (Nevin) is missing, Kay (Mortimer) files a report with the police and goes on a hunt for her with her daughter, Sam (Heathcote). Once found, they realize Edna’s isn’t who she used to be. She stares off in one direction at times, seemingly absent from the actual world or makes cruel comments that come from nowhere.

At one point, Edna turns to Kay and tells her “It’s here.” She then asks Kay to look under her bed to make sure there is nothing there. Edna says she’ll lose everything at one point and is seen with black marks, possibly bruises, on her body.

You see shadows at various points in the movie, in the distance or under a doorframe. Edna hugs Kay part way through and there is blood around Edna’s fingernails.

Sam goes exploring in a series of rooms behind the walls of Edna’s house and finds Post-It notes with various reminders concerning Edna and her life. One of the Post-Its says ‘my name is Edna.’ When Sam gets lost exploring back rooms at Edna’s home, she comes to a harsh realization.

Kay notices the continuing black marks on Edna’s body and black in her blood as well. What does this mean for Edna and the family? Is there someone or something attacking Edna?

Like I said in the beginning, this is a slow burn. It did keep me engaged through Edna’s strange behavior. While the end isn’t the best I’ve ever seen, it’s decent. It may surprise you.

This movie will not have you jumping out of your seat in fright, but there are parts that might make you gasp. Pay attention to the backgrounds. The sharp and biting musical accompaniment can sometimes build to an unforeseen event, but sometimes it can be nothing. You’ll have to watch to find out. I’d say this is worth a viewing. One thumb up.

You can purchase this movie where available or watch on Showtime.  <


Friday, September 3, 2021

‘Ted Lasso’ an upbeat winner for Apple TV+

By Matt Pascarella

Two seasons

American football coach turned European football coach Ted Lasso is almost instantly likeable. This is a feel-good show worth your time.

From the outstanding cast of supporting characters to it’s funny and folksy dialogue from this Kansas coach who finds himself navigating a strange, new world; this is a great show.

Available only on Apple TV+, but I promise signing up for a month just to watch this is money well spent. It stars Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Phil Dunster, Brett Goldstein, Juno Temple, Brendan Hunt and Nick Mohammed.

After she discovers her husband has been cheating on her, co-owner of England’s AFC Richmond football team, Rebecca Welton (Waddingham) gets the team in her divorce. Her plan is to hire a terrible coach and tank the team as revenge against her ex-husband.

She hires Lasso (Sudeikis) who admits to not understanding anything about soccer.

He and his assistant coach, Coach Beard (Hunt) and equipment manager Nate Sullivan (Mohammed) aren’t met with the warmest welcome from fans. Despite his best efforts, he is viewed as a joke and members of the team are just counting the days until he goes back to America.

Coach Lasso makes it known early on he is up to this challenge. While he is instantly disliked by many from the start, Lasso has a way of winning them over, whether it be his persistence of getting to know cold owner Rebecca with his morning ‘biscuits with the boss’ or the way he deals with the players notably Jamie Tartt (Dunster) and Roy Kent (Goldstein).

Lasso quips many pearls of wisdom throughout the series that stuck in my head.

After a fight breaks out in the locker room, he tells the players,“I like my locker room like I like my mama’s bathing suits – in one piece.”

That’s just funny.

Part of Lasso’s likeability comes from the fact that he is very positive despite the odds kind of being against him. He really tries to make the best of things. This show highlights the power of positivity.

In a particularly excellent scene where he earns some points with Rebecca, he explains that he’s been underestimated his whole life and encourages those around him to ‘be curious, not judgmental.’

The relationships between the characters, like player Jamie Tartt and model Keeley Jones (Temple) show exceptional character development. Over the course of the series, Lasso affects all the characters in one way or another.

The future of AFC Richmond and those associated with it continues to develop in new, heartfelt ways. Will Lasso remain up to the challenge?

Currently in its second season, episodes are so layered with jokes, you have to wait to laugh sometimes, so you don’t miss the next joke. In juxtaposition with its charm, there is a quite a bit of swearing throughout the series.

The end of every episode always leaves me wanting more. I’d recommend this show; give it at least three episodes. I think “Ted Lasso” will hook you before then.

Two army men up.

New episodes every Friday on Apple TV+. <