Northern Iowan

Friesen’s top films of 2019

Friesen’s top films of 2019

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

January 23, 2020

Well, the year has passed and we can finally let out a sigh of relief. The only thing left to do now is to look ahead to fresh beginnings in the new year and decade. But before we do that, let’s take some time to appreciate all the good that happened to us this last year, specifically within the mo...

Winter break film review roundup

Winter break film review roundup

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

January 16, 2020

With the weather outside being so frightful and the movie theatre being so delightful, this past break was a perfect time to check out the new batch of holiday films. Of course, there was a certain space opera that was released, but there were also a few others that may have flown a bit under-the-rad...

‘Marriage Story’ hits home with laughter and tears

‘Marriage Story’ hits home with laughter and tears

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

December 12, 2019

“Divorce is like a death without a body.” With nearly half of all marriages ending in divorce in America, this quote from Noah Baumbach’s new film now rings truer than ever. Debuting on Netflix, “Marriage Story” centers on the relationship between Charlie and Nicole Barber. Charlie is an emer...

Scorsese crafts crime epic ‘Irishman’

Scorsese crafts crime epic ‘Irishman’

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

December 9, 2019

Sprawling 50 years and dozens of features, director Martin Scorsese has crafted one of the finest filmographies in cinematic history. Over the decades, there appear to be two sides to the revered auteur’s style of filmmaking. One side is filled with fast-paced and violent storytelling in films such as ...

McKellen vs Mirren in ‘Good Liar’

McKellen vs Mirren in ‘Good Liar’

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

November 21, 2019

London octogenarian Roy Courtnay (Ian McKellen) is a career con man, swindling from those less fortunate enough to fall into one of his schemes. One day, as part of an online dating scam he occasionally pulls, he meets Betty McLeish (Helen Mirren), a recent widower who turns out to be worth nearly t...

Meyers delivers laughs in ‘Lobby Baby’

Meyers delivers laughs in ‘Lobby Baby’

GABRIELLE LEITNER, Executive Editor

November 18, 2019

In his first Netflix special, Seth Meyers ditches his desk at Studio 8G in 30 Rock for the Pantages Theater in Minneapolis. Released on Nov. 5, the hour-long comedy special titled “Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby,” gives the comedian an extension to his monologues on his show, “Late Night With Seth Meyers...

‘Jojo Rabbit’ comically attacks Nazis

‘Jojo Rabbit’ comically attacks Nazis

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

November 14, 2019

If you’re going to make a movie about the Nazis, you’d better make sure it’s going to be good. Multiply that rule by infinity if you’re going to make it a comedy.  Because of this strict rule, only a select few have been able to take the greatest human atrocity of the modern era and turn it i...

‘Dark Fate’ can’t revive tired franchise

‘Dark Fate’ can’t revive tired franchise

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

November 7, 2019

No matter what our differences may be when it comes to political and social issues, as humans, we can all agree that the “Terminator” franchise has been downright awful for nearly 30 years. Since the innovative “T2” by James Cameron, the three sequels by lesser filmmakers have buried this on...

‘Current War’ electrifies history

‘Current War’ electrifies history

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

October 31, 2019

In the late 19th century, Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse were the two titans of American innovation. With the country modernizing at a rapid pace, both realized the need for a better way to power society beyond candles and gas. After some years of development, they both discovered different ways to transm...

‘Zombieland’ returns without brains

‘Zombieland’ returns without brains

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

October 28, 2019

When the first “Zombieland” came out in 2009, it was a pleasant surprise. The zombie genre was in its initial rebirth stage and self-referential humor hadn’t reached its peak just yet. It became the talk of every middle and high school around the country, creating a rabid fanbase that launched ...

2 Smiths can’t save ‘Gemini Man’

2 Smiths can’t save ‘Gemini Man’

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

October 17, 2019

Henry Brogan (Will Smith) is the most elite assassin the U.S. government has ever had. He has 72 confirmed kills and is even able to hit a target on a moving train from over two kilometers away. Disillusioned and fatigued from years of killing, Henry decides to put it all away for a quiet retirement. ...

‘Between Two Ferns’ thrives in limelight

‘Between Two Ferns’ thrives in limelight

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

October 3, 2019

What started as a joke and over the years became an even bigger one, Zach Galifianakis’ long-running web series “Between Two Ferns” has been given the feature-length treatment via Netflix. Just like the show, the premise of the film is simple: Zach Galifianakis has been doing his web show for...

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