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Bones and All Review | The Cannibal Mystery Tour

NYFF: Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell star in Luca Guadagnino’s heartfelt cannibal film.



Why 2022 has become the year of cannibalism is well beyond me. Earlier in the year, we witnessed Daisy Edgar-Jones’ breakout performance in Fresh (which is streaming on Hulu now), and later this month, The Menu comes out; which apparently isn’t about “having friends for dinner,” but I’ll wait to confirm that until I’ve seen the film myself. And now entering the fray is Bones and All, a new film starring Timothée Chalamet and Taylor Russell, who’s far better here than the Escape Room film from last year would suggest (see what a film committed to making its actors shine does?) as two drifters who are the kind to have “friends for dinner” and they go on a self-discovery road trip across the midwest. 

As someone who appreciated Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name — this is not an endorsement of its subject matter — I was excited for Bones and All. It is perhaps a bit ironic considering the subject matter and someone in Call Me By Your Name (I’ll let you decipher that), but let me tell you at the door before you enter: Bones and All is not for those with a light stomach.

Director Luca Guadagnino on the set of Bones and All, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Yannis Drakoulidis / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures © 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Maren (Russell) has an insatiable appetite to bite the flesh off of others. Bones and All pulls no punches from the very start (within 10 minutes she’s invited over to a friend’s and lets her urges get the best of her). We quickly learn that this is not a one-time thing and has likely been happening since she was three. Her father has adapted to a drifter lifestyle as much one can — as evident in the way he is able to quickly pack up and leave for another state after this particular occurrence. But this is the last straw (or bone) and Maren’s father leaves her with all of the essentials: a small stack of cash, a birth certificate and tape recordings. So naturally, Maren sets off on a Cannibal Mystery Tour across the Midwest while listening to her tapes and discovering the 13 reasons why she craves flesh (okay, it’s not 13). Along the way, she meets a wide range of interesting people, to say the least. 

Russell carries the film’s emotional weight as a girl trying to find herself. It sounds cliché, but put yourself into the shoes of Maren under these circumstances. Maren has also never met her mother, but as many films with similar stories go, you should never meet your heroes (maybe “hero” is too strong of a word in this case). There’s a scene in a medical facility that is just brilliant and Guadagnino shows that he understands how to turn up the dial with tension on the drop of a hat.

In the past year, Mark Rylance has gone from animatronic Elon Musk-type in Don’t Look Up to a tailor for a Chicago mob family in The Outfit — one of this year’s finest and streaming on Peacock — and has now combined the two with his performance in Bones and All. Rylance plays Sullivan, make sure to call him Sully, who is the first checkpoint along Maren’s journey. Sporting a long ponytail — he also has a ponytail that gets a bee one added with each victim. I believe it was in her pit stop in Columbus, Ohio, where she is tracked down at the Greyhound station by Sully. 

But fear not! Sully has morals. “Eaters don’t eat friends,” mutters Rylance with this every southern accent that gives you chills. It’s an unsettling performance that garnered a number of laughs and applause from the audience.

Speaking of performances that garner laughs and applause, Michael Stuhlbarg appears in the film completely unbeknownst to me and is given the chance to chew up the scenery. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and now Bones and All make Stuhlbarg 2-for-2 this year with screenings where there were cheers upon his arrival. Disclaimer: His presence can be found on the IMDB page for the film, I was just unaware. Stuhlbarg’s performance in his short cameo is perhaps even more unsettling than Rylance’s, but his presence was met with applause from the audience and you’d think John Krasinski just showed up as one of the Fantastic Four! Jokes aside, Stuhlbarg is not here to give a fireside fatherly chat, that’s for sure. This put a smile on everyone’s face, including my own, and really breathed life into the film just as it was beginning to grow tired. He even gets to deliver the titular line. 

And Chalamet cannot go unmentioned for his performance as Lee. Simply put, Bones and All isn’t his story as much as Call Me By Your Name was. But Chalamet makes up for that in any scene he’s in. He represents another type of drifter and you see the humanity continue to come out of him as the film progresses. It’s also just great to see him play an eccentric character like he also did in Don’t Look Up (no prayer here, though). Everyone knows this, but Chalamet is just one of those actors who’s evolving right before our eyes, and this is yet another great performance under his belt. 

One last warning: Don’t go into Bones and All on a full stomach. I’m absolutely flabbergasted by the fact that anyone could sit and eat popcorn during this film, yet nearly everyone in the extremely full theater was chewing something. It’s the fact that you graphically see flesh being eaten that’ll make anyone with a light stomach hurl. Generally speaking, I’ve got a good tolerance for that type of stuff, yet Bones and All pushed me to my limit.

Director Luca Guadagnino on the set of Bones and All, a Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures film. Credit: Yannis Drakoulidis / Metro Goldwyn Mayer Pictures © 2022 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc. All Rights Reserved.

But Bones and All cuts deeper than just its three courses of Russell, Chalamet and Rylance. It deals with the concepts of loneliness and the morality of the cannibals’ actions. And at its core, Bones and All is a lovey story, albeit a bit unconventional. The relationship that blossoms between Maren and Lee reminded me of the relationship between George MacKay and Lily-Rose Depp’s characters in Wolf last year. In both instances, the characters are under unique circumstances and are “lone wolves” for lack of a better term. The duos find comfort with each other and there’s beauty in that.

The way in which Bones and All is able to change its tone from a dramatic scene to a more comedic one and then into a horror scene is both a strength and a weakness. I mentioned early a scene in a medical facility, which is the most effective example of this change of tone. And quite honestly, for the majority of the time, it works. However, the third act of Bones and All goes for a big, emotional ending that but chooses an odd way to get from A to B. The tone in this particular scene really diverts from the tone of the rest of the film. It’s an effective jumpscare, I’ll give it that, but it could have been worked into the story a bit cleaner so it wouldn’t be such an odd change of pace. And there clearly was a plan in mind for where the film wanted to end — and I think that this plane sticks the landing — it was just an odd means to that end.

Guadagnino is one of the great working directors and should be credited for bringing original stories to the silver screen. Bones and All may not have worked on every level for me, but the performances are all great and the film is really supplemented by its supporting characters. Notice how these supporting characters, whom you could even call cameos in some cases, actually enhance the film rather than being a cheap way to get audiences to clap like an MCU film? Bones and All manages to accomplish both with great supporting actors that mean something to the overall film. I must admit, I’m very impressed that Guadagnino found a way to integrate such a personal and oddly touching romance. Was Bones and All my cup of tea and will I be rewatching it any time soon? Not exactly, but it’s another hit for one of the best working directors today.

Bones and All held its world premiere in Venice on September 2 and will be released in theaters on November 23.


Andrew is an entertainment journalist and film "critic" who has written for the likes of Above the Line, Below the Line, Collider, Film Focus Online, /Film and The Hollywood Handle among others. Leader of the Kaitlyn Dever Fanclub.

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Expendables 4 Movie Review | Explosive & Funny!



Expendables 4 (Lionsgate Movies)

The following piece was written during the 2023 Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the movie material being covered here wouldn’t exist.


A new generation of stars join the world’s top action stars for an adrenaline-fueled adventure in Expend4bles. Reuniting as the team of elite mercenaries, Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, and Sylvester Stallone are joined for the first time by Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran, and Andy Garcia. Armed with every weapon they can get their hands on and the skills to use them, The Expendables are the world’s last line of defense and the team that gets called when all other options are off the table. But new team members with new styles and tactics are going to give “new blood” a whole new meaning.

Iko Uwais as Suarto Rahmat (Lionsgate Movies)

The Expendables Film Series

I highly recommend catching up on the other movies in the Expendables film series.

Expendables 1 (2010)

The only life they’ve known is war. The only loyalty they have is to each other. They are the Expendables: leader and mastermind Barney Ross (Stallone), former SAS blade expert Lee Christmas (Statham), hand-to-hand combat specialist Yin Yang (Li), long barrel weapons specialist Hale Caesar (Crews), demolitions expert Toll Road (Couture), and precision sniper Gunnar Jensen (Lundgren). Living life in the fringes of the law, these hardened mercenaries take on what appears to be a routine assignment: a covert, CIA-funded operation to infiltrate the South American country of Vilena and overthrow its ruthless dictator General Garza (David Zayas). But when their job is revealed to be a suicide mission, the men are faced with a deadly choice, one that might redeem their souls or destroy their brotherhood forever.

The Expendables Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Expendables 2

Barney Ross (Sylvester Stallone), Lee Christmas (Jason Statham), Yin Yang (Jet Li), Gunnar Jensen (Dolph Lundgren),Toll Road (Randy Couture) and Hale Caesar (Terry Crews) — with newest members Billy the Kid (Liam Hemsworth) and Maggie (Yu Nan) aboard — are reunited when Mr. Church (Bruce Willis) enlists the Expendables to take on a seemingly simple job. The task looks like an easy paycheck for Barney and his band of old-school mercenaries. But when things go wrong and one of their own is viciously killed, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory where the odds are stacked against them. Hell-bent on payback, the crew cuts a swath of destruction through opposing forces, wreaking havoc and shutting down an unexpected threat in the nick of time — six tons of weapons-grade plutonium; enough to change the balance of power in the world. But that’s nothing compared to the justice they serve against the villainous adversary who savagely murdered their brother. That is done the Expendables way….

The Expendables 2 Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Expendables 3 (2014)

In The Expendables 3, Barney (Stallone), Christmas (Statham) and the rest of the team comes face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks (Gibson), who years ago co-founded The Expendables with Barney. Stonebanks subsequently became a ruthless arms trader and someone who Barney was forced to kill… or so he thought. In order to defeat Stonebanks, Barney decides that he has to fight old blood with new blood, and brings in a new era of Expendables team members, recruiting individuals who are younger, faster and more tech-savvy. The latest mission becomes a clash of classic old-school style versus high-tech expertise in the Expendables’ most personal battle yet.

The Expendables 3 Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Movie Review

Jason Statham, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture and Sylvester Stallone bring the explosive energy needed to give us an explosive performance on-screen. The new members, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Megan Fox, Tony Jaa, Iko Uwais, Jacob Scipio, Levy Tran, and Andy Garcia bring in a breath of fresh air with new attitude and fighting styles to keep us entertained. This movie is the fourth in the Expendable film series, but there is definitely no clear link between this movie and the prequels. Each movie in essence is a new mission and Expendables 4 can be watched without watching the previous movies. I suggest watching the previous three movies to experience the explosive action that you get when you combine our favorite action heroes.

Sylvester Stallone as Barney Ross, leader of the Expendables (Lionsgate Movies)

Expendables 4 was great and delivered yet another action-packed mission filled with awesome fights, humor, cultural references and explosions. However, it wasn’t difficult to spot the main villain and there aren’t much surprises in terms of the new action stars who join this mission.

The movie starts us off with the Expendables in a race against time to retrieve nuclear warheads, but the mission goes south and instead of sticking to orders, one of the soldiers attempt to save his team member instead, which results in a failed mission and a casualty. The story follows the combination of accomplishing the mission while delivering a can of revenge-based whoop-ass. The last fight isn’t as explosive as the cast but still manages to deliver a plot-twist finale.

Megan Fox, Andy Garcia & Jacob Scipio, some of the newest members of the Expendables (Lionsgate Movies)

A future sequel should really consider a completely new group pick up the baton and leave us in suspense as to who the new heroes and villains could be. I love a good surprise with a side of plot twist in any movie.

There is no post-credits scene, so no need to wait till the very end. The trailer doesn’t spoil any of the plot twists you can expect from the movie. Overall, my rating for Expendables 4 is a 3.5 out of 5.

Make sure to watch at a cinema near you!

Expend4bles Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

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Sung Kang’s ‘Shaky Shivers’ is a Campy Horror-Comedy With Superb Performances



Brooke Markham and VyVy Nguyen in 'Shaky Shivers' (Cineverse)

If you thought that Sung Kang can only thrill you with amazing car stunts, then you are wrong. The acclaimed star is set to take you on an entertaining ride with his directorial debut titled ‘Shaky Shivers’.

The latest horror-comedy film marks the feature directorial debut of Sung Kang, renowned for his roles in the ‘Fast & Furious’ franchise and several other big projects. The movie stars Brooke Markham and VyVy Nguyen, with an ensemble cast including Jimmy Bellinger, Erin Daniels, and Herschel Sparber.

A still from ‘Shaky Shivers’ (Cineverse)

From the very beginning, ‘Shaky Shivers’ grabs hold of your attention with the comedic chemistry between lead actresses Brooke Markham (Lucy) and VyVy Nguyen (Karen). Their hilarious banter and dynamic friendship draw you into their world of magic, mayhem, and monstrous encounters. While a few other characters make appearances, the heart of the film rests on the shoulders of Karen and Lucy, whose relatable and believable friendship makes the story even more bewitching.

One of the best aspects of the film is how Sung Kang skillfully directs the title despite limited cast and limited settings. It still manages to keep audiences engaged and entertained. Kang also pays homage to classic horror films like ‘American Werewolf in London’ and injects fresh energy into the scenes while showcasing his comedic flair.

A still from ‘Shaky Shivers’ (Cineverse)

If you are one of those who enjoy unapologetically goofy and fun movies, ‘Shaky Shivers’ is undoubtedly a fun watch. Embracing its campiness, the film doesn’t try to be anything other than an enjoyable ride filled with supernatural elements. The characters have a helpful book of spells that they use to solve problems, which adds a clever and funny element to the story that will make you laugh..

While categorized as a horror-comedy, ‘Shaky Shivers’ leans more towards comedy than horror. However, don’t worry, as the supernatural beings like werewolves, zombies, and witches make their presence known throughout. The practical effects and impressive monster makeup, reminiscent of old-school horror flicks from the 70s and 80s, immerse you in a world of creatures and enchantment.

A still from ‘Shaky Shivers’ (Cineverse)

The plot of ‘Shaky Shivers’ escalates in an exciting and compelling manner, filled with unpredictable twists and goofy surprises.  While it may not leave you terrified, the perfect blend of supernatural ambiance and comedic moments guarantees plenty of laughter and enjoyment.

In conclusion, ‘Shaky Shivers’ is a must-watch horror-comedy that delivers on laughs, friendship, and supernatural encounters. With its engaging storyline, talented cast, and Sung Kang’s impressive directorial debut, the film is a delightful addition to the genre. So grab a large tub of popcorn and take your family for this fun-filled ride.

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Sex Education Season 4 is a Spectacular (and Overstuffed) Conclusion to One of Netflix’s Extraordinary Series



Official posted of 'Sex Education' Season 4 (Netflix)

When the first season of Sex Education came out on Netflix in 2019, it felt pretty daring and exciting for everyone. While there were many shows about teenagers and sex, ‘Sex Education’ stood out because it talked about these topics openly and covered them in a pretty detailed manner. Without any guesses, the show became really popular and is now considered a classic on Netflix. For 3 long seasons, viewers have seen students of Moordale, and everyone around them, dealing with a lot of complications, but now, it’s time to say goodbye to some of our character as the Netflix series has returned for its fourth and final edition.

At the end of Season 3, Moordale Secondary School closed down. This means that Otis, Eric, Aimee, Jackson, Vivienne, Cal, and Ruby have to go to a new school, Cavendish Sixth Form College. Some of them fit in well, while others struggle. And while Otis tries to focus on his therapy work, he finds out that there are other young people who are experts on relationships and sex in town.

Gillian Anderson as Jean Milburn in ‘Sex Education’ Season 4 (Netflix)

One of the strengths of Sex Education is its diverse and inclusive representation. The show shines a light on various sexual orientations, gender identities, and cultural backgrounds, providing a platform for underrepresented voices. Season 4 continues to explore these themes, introducing new characters who add depth and complexity to the narrative. On ghe other hand, the only problem with Season 4 is that there are too many things going on at once. There are so many sub-plots that might distract you at times and make you feel that this story might have looked good if there was another season in pipeline.

Even then, the writing remains sharp and witty, creating relatable and genuine teenage characters who grapple with their own insecurities and desires.

Ncuti Gatwa as Eric Effiong in Sex Education Season 4 (Netflix)

The performances in ‘Sex Education’ Season 4 are consistently strong. Asa Butterfield brings vulnerability and charm to his role as Otis, portraying the character’s growth and maturity. Ncuti Gatwa shines as Eric, capturing both his strength and vulnerability as he navigates new relationships and personal challenges. Emma Mackey delivers a nuanced performance as Maeve, showcasing her character’s intelligence and emotional depth. Mimi Keene is stupendous as well and bring another layer to her character which was so nice to see. Meanwhile, Gillian Anderson does what she is best at: deliver another extraordinary performance.

Emma Mackey as Maeve in Sex Education Season 4. (Netflix)

On the other hand, Aimee Lou Wood continues to mesmerise us with her charm and simplicity. Directors should definitely look at her and give her a leading role soon because she deserves it. Another actor that is surely a star in the making is Anthony Lexa, who portrays Abbi in Season 4. Her performance adds an additional charm to the series and gives a hope to Trans actors that they can too achieve their dreams.

A still from ‘Sex Education’ Season 4 (Netflix)

The final edition tackles difficult topics with sensitivity and care, highlighting the importance of consent, communication, and understanding in relationships. The show’s ability to tackle these issues head-on without becoming preachy is a testament to its thoughtful storytelling.

While the final season of ‘Sex Education’ does have some pacing and narrative issues, the strength of the performances, the thoughtful exploration of important issues, and the show’s commitment to inclusivity make it a satisfying and engaging watch. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to these beloved characters, but the legacy of Sex Education will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on the television landscape.

Sex Education Season 4. (L to R) Mimi Keene as Ruby, Asa Butterfield as Otis in Sex Education Season 4 (Netflix)

In conclusion, ‘Sex Education’ Season 4 continues to deliver a standout and boundary-pushing narrative that explores sexuality, identity, and personal growth with humor and sensitivity. Despite some minor flaws, the show remains a shining example of inclusive storytelling and offers a heartfelt farewell to its beloved characters.

Some goodbyes are hard and this is certainly one of them.

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