Thursday, May 19, 2022     Volume: 23, Issue: 12
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A QUIET PLACE PART II
ANOTHER ROUND
BINGEABLE: 100 FOOT WAVE (2021)
BINGEABLE: ABBOTT ELEMENTARY (2021-present)
BINGEABLE: ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL (2022)
BINGEABLE: BARRY (2018-present)
BINGEABLE: CAPTIVE AUDIENCE (2022)
BINGEABLE: CASTLEVANIA (2017-2021)
BINGEABLE: CHEER (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG (2016-2019)
BINGEABLE: INVENTING ANNA (2022)
BINGEABLE: KUNG FU (2021)
BINGEABLE: LIFE & BETH (2022)
BINGEABLE: MAID (2021)
BINGEABLE: MIDNIGHT MASS (2021)
BINGEABLE: ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (2021)
BINGEABLE: SLOW HORSES (2022)
BINGEABLE: SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE (2022-)
BINGEABLE: SQUID GAME (2021)
BINGEABLE: STATION ELEVEN (2021)
BINGEABLE: SWEET TOOTH
BINGEABLE: TELL ME YOUR SECRETS (2021)
BINGEABLE: THE GREAT (2020-present)
BINGEABLE: THE THING ABOUT PAM (2022)
BINGEABLE: THE WOMAN IN THE HOUSE ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE GIRL IN THE WINDOW (2022)
BINGEABLE: TOKYO VICE (2022)
BINGEABLE: UNDERCURRENT: THE DISAPPEARANCE OF KIM WALL (2022)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COWBOY BEBOP (1998)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX (1999)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE SHOOTING (1966)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART (1990)
BOSS LEVEL
C’MON C’MON
DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE
GHOSTBUSTERS: AFTERLIFE
GUILTY PLEASURES: GUNPOWDER MILKSHAKE
GUILTY PLEASURES: JOLT
HAVE A GOOD TRIP: ADVENTURES IN PSYCHEDELICS
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM (1996)
I CARE A LOT
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
LICORICE PIZZA
NEW FLICKS: ANTLERS
NEW FLICKS: ARMY OF THIEVES
NEW FLICKS: CRUELLA
NEW FLICKS: DON’T LOOK UP
NEW FLICKS: ENCOUNTER
NEW FLICKS: FINCH
NEW FLICKS: FRESH
NEW FLICKS: I WANT YOU BACK
NEW FLICKS: KATE
NEW FLICKS: RED NOTICE
NEW FLICKS: RIDERS OF JUSTICE
NEW FLICKS: THE FOREVER PRISONER (2021)
NEW FLICKS: THE NORTHMAN
NEW FLICKS: VIVARIUM
NINE DAYS
NINE PERFECT STRANGERS (2021)
PIG
SOUL
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME
THE ADAM PROJECT
THE BATMAN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM (2019)
THE HARDER THEY FALL
THE LOST CITY
THE LOST DAUGHTER
THE MAP OF TINY PERFECT THINGS
THE NEW MUTANTS
THE PAPER TIGERS
THE PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN
THE SUNLIT NIGHT
THE TENDER BAR
THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT
TV REVIEW: BATES MOTEL
TV REVIEW: DEFENDING JACOB
TV REVIEW: EXTERMINATE ALL THE BRUTES (2021)
TV REVIEW: HOMECOMING
TV REVIEW: HOW TO WITH JOHN WILSON
TV REVIEW: I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE
TV REVIEW: I MAY DESTROY YOU
TV REVIEW: LENOX HILL
TV REVIEW: LITTLE AMERICA
TV REVIEW: MARE OF EASTTOWN
TV REVIEW: MRS. AMERICA
TV REVIEW: ONE MISSISSIPPI
TV REVIEW: PAINTING WITH JOHN (2021)
TV REVIEW: RAMY
TV REVIEW: RUN
TV REVIEW: SPACE FORCE
TV REVIEW: TABOO (2017)
TV REVIEW: TED LASSO (2020-present)
TV REVIEW: THE BOYS
TV REVIEW: THE END OF THE F***ING WORLD
TV REVIEW: THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT
TV REVIEW: THE LAST KINGDOM
TV REVIEW: THE MIDNIGHT GOSPEL
TV REVIEW: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA
TV REVIEW: THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT
TV REVIEW: UNDONE
TV REVIEW: WARRIOR
TV REVIEW: WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS
TV REVIEW: ZEROZEROZERO
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS (2005)
UNDERRATED: THE KINGDOM (2007)
YOU WON’T BE ALONE

‘Firestarter’ is an unnecessary remake

FIRESTARTER

PHOTO BY , COURTESY OF BLUMHOUSE PRODUCTIONS

FIRESTARTER


Where is it playing?: Regal Edwards RPX Santa Maria, Movies Lompoc, Regal Edwards Arroyo Grande, and streaming on Peacock

What's it rated?: R

What's it worth?: $Don’t bother (Anna Starkey)

What's it worth?: $Don’t bother (Glen Starkey)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Keith Thomas (The Vigil) directs Scott Teems’ (Halloween Kills) script based on Stephen King’s novel about a young girl with the power to ignite fire through telekinetic power. Married couple Andy (Zac Efron) and Vicky McGee (Sydney Lemmon) both acquired limited telekinetic powers during government experiments, but their daughter Charlie (Ryan Kiera Armstrong) has the frightening power of pyrokinesis, and the government wants to control her. (94 min.)  

Glen: File this one under the rapacious and unnecessary remake category. There’s absolutely nothing about this new version that warrants its existence—and it’s not like the 1984 original had no room for improvement. It was a middling sci-fi thriller based on one of Stephen King’s more mediocre works. What a wasted opportunity! This time around we have Armstrong standing in for Drew Barrymore, who out-cutes the newcomer by miles. Efron, who ought to be contemplating firing his agent, takes on the role originally held by David Keith. The stories are basically interchangeable, so why even bother? As far as I can tell, it’s just a money grab. What I’m more concerned about is that screenwriter Scott Teems, who added to the Halloween franchise with the so-so Halloween Kills (2021), has been tapped to write a sequel to the original The Exorcist (1973), which may turn into a trilogy, and Ellen Burstyn has agreed to return as Chris MacNeil, Regan’s mom. For the love of why?! 

Anna: I consider myself a King “Constant Reader,” and even I found this retelling a complete bore. While I refuse to participate in a cuteness contest between young Barrymore and Armstrong, I can say that either performance or nostalgia has me preferring the former in the role hands down. That said, Armstrong is a talented young actress and, along with the rest of the cast, her talents are wasted here. I just don’t know how this got through the hundreds of meetings and thousands of hours it takes to make a movie—surely someone along the way had the thought of, “What are we doing here? And more importantly, why?” When the highlight of a movie is that it is pretty short in length, you’re in trouble. This still felt long to me. Not even the thought of staring into Efron’s bleeding baby blues would make me give this remake a second watch.

Glen: I’m reticent of offering any praise for this dumpster fire of a film, but it does boast a moodily effective synth-driven John Carpenter film score, and Michael Greyeyes as telekinetic government operative Rainbird comes off as a quasi-interesting antihero. Beyond that, it’s just a snooze. I wish I had more to say about it, but writing this review two days after viewing, the film has already faded into brain ether. It’s simply dreadful and unmemorable. If you have Peacock, which is streaming the film, and you really want to see it, take your 94 minutes and squander them at your own discretion, but I can’t in good conscience suggest ponying up hard-earned money and seeing this in a theater. What a waste.

Anna: The score was cool; I’ll give Carpenter praise for that. But otherwise, the movie is straight-up boring, unoriginal, and completely dismissible. Sometimes when a film is a bust, it’s actually fun to pan it in a review, but alas, this one doesn’t even give us that joy. Charlie’s seething anger at being unable to use or reveal her gift/curse is the most interesting thing going on, and when it gets unleashed, what should be a big “wowza” moment just doesn’t pay off. Even with a Peacock subscription, I can’t recommend that you give up your time for this one. If you really want a Firestarter fix, go for the original.

New Times Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Sun Screen. Glen compiles streaming listings. Comment at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.










Weekly Poll
What type of vegetable would you grow in a free community garden?

Brussels sprouts, they are the best.
Broccoli because it can go with any meal.
Tomatoes, although I think those are technically a fruit.
French fries!

| Poll Results






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