Northern Iowan

Sandler’s ‘Hubie Halloween’ could be worse

Film critic Hunter Friesen reviews the new Adam Sandler film

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

October 15, 2020

Last year, Adam Sandler said that if he did not win an Oscar for his role as Howard Ratner in the Safdie brother’s film “Uncut Gems,” he would then make the worst movie of his career on purpose. It was a bold claim to make, especially considering Sandler is the one responsible for “Jack and J...

Film Review: stars shine in “Boys in the Band”

Film critic Hunter Friesen reviews the new Netflix film,

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

October 5, 2020

Back in 1968, playwright Matt Crowley shocked the world by penning a stage production solely comprised of gay men and their repressed feelings. The spiteful language and harsh authentic look at gay life were too much for “polite society” at the time. The production played off-Broadway for a few yea...

Netflix movie ‘Enola Holmes’ is clever fun

Film Critic Hunter Friesen reviews the new Netflix film,

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

October 1, 2020

Over the years, we’ve heard a lot of stories about the famed detective Sherlock Holmes. In fact, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s deerstalker wearing sleuth holds the record for the most portrayals of a literary character at 254. While Sherlock has dominated the mystery genre for over a century, a new part ...

Sin and sweat in ‘The Devil All The Time’

Film Critic Hunter Friesen reviews the new Netflix film,

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

September 24, 2020

What do you get when you combine two orphans by parental suicide, a serial-killing couple, a pedophile preacher, a corrupt sheriff and a town full of zealots? You get the darkest and most disturbing movie of the year.  The newest Netflix movie, “The Devil All the Time,” is a sprawling tale of fait...

‘Mulan’ review: more realistic, less fun

'Mulan' review: more realistic, less fun

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

September 14, 2020

For over a decade now, Disney has been mining their animated catalog of magical stories and remaking them into live-action movies. This trend has had its ups (the visual spectacle found within “The Jungle Book”) and its downs (last year’s joylessly photorealistic “The Lion King”), but each one ...

“Tenet”: an incomprehensible spectacle

Film critic Hunter Friesen reviews the new film,

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

September 3, 2020

Spell it backward or forward, it spells the same. From Christopher Nolan - the virtuoso behind “The Dark Knight” Trilogy, “Inception”, and “Dunkirk” - comes “Tenet”, an action blockbuster on a scale not seen before and that will never be replicated again. Armed with only one word, Tenet, and ...

“New Mutants” offers nothing new

Film Critic Hunter Friesen reviews the new film,

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

August 31, 2020

Fimed way back in the bygone time of 2017, “The New Mutants” - the newest entry into the now-scrapped X-Men Cinematic Universe - has had its fair share of trouble getting to theaters. Originally set for release in April 2018, the movie has had a record of seven date changes, making it a running ...

Top 5 movies released during quarantine

Top 5 movies released during quarantine

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

August 20, 2020

I know, I know. You just read the headline and thought to yourself, “What movies have come out over these past few months?” If you’re going by the usual distribution system of movies playing in cinemas, then nothing has come out since the middle of March. Fortunately, this pandemic taking place in 2...

Pixar’s ‘Onward’ is heartwarming

NI Film Critic Hunter Friesen reviews “Onward,” the animated film from Pixar.

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

March 12, 2020

Set on an Earth where the magical and mythological exist together, Pixar’s newest animated film, “Onward,” tells the tale of two elven brothers. The story begins on the 16th birthday of the younger brother, Ian Lightfoot, who never was able to meet his dad as he had died before Ian was born. ...

Friesen: ‘The Invisible Man’ is one to see

NI film critic Hunter Friesen reviews “The Invisible Man,” the newest film from horror director/writer Leigh Whannell.

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

March 5, 2020

“The Invisible Man” opens on a secluded waterfront mansion. Inside of it, Cecilia Kass is executing her plan to run away from her abusive boyfriend, Adrian. She successfully escapes, but not without Adrian running after her in a violent fury. A few weeks after her departure, Cecilia is notified that Adr...

NBC’s ‘Zoey’ fails to find its tune

NI Copy Editor and Opinion Writer Taylor Lien reviews the new NBC musical show, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist.

TAYLOR LIEN, Copy Editor

February 24, 2020

“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” has had an interesting life so far. The pilot aired originally on Jan. 7 as a special presentation to transition the weeks in between the holiday specials and the winter programming schedule. You may also recognize it as the 45-minute ad that NBC tried to sneak pas...

‘Sonic’ can’t outrun its problems

Sonic, voiced by Ben Schwartz, in "Sonic the Hedgehog ." [Paramount Pictures/Sega of America]

HUNTER FRIESEN, Film Critic

February 20, 2020

It’s been almost a year now since we were exposed to the horror that came with the first trailer for “Sonic the Hedgehog.” The blue furball we loved as a kid was turned into a monster with human teeth, small eyes and freakishly long legs. After the overwhelmingly negative reactions, Paramount ...

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