Nathan Weinbender

Movies 101 Co-Host

Nathan is an entertainment writer and film reviewer. He also produces stories and reviews for Spokane7.

Bo Burnham began his career as a teenager comedian on YouTube and has now bevome a filmmaker and his first feature as writer/director is "Eighth Grade," the story of an awkward teenage girl in her last year of middle school. Nathan Weinbender says it's rightfully earning a place amongst the best reviewed films of the year so far. 

"Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the fifth film in the prehistoric franchise, has already made $1 billion at the international box office and will no doubt inspire more sequels. But is it any good? Nathan Weinbender takes a look at the dino-film blockbuster and finds something of a guilty pleasure.

It received rave reviews at film festivals, it inspired a hyperbolic ad campain, and now it's dividing audiences. Hereditary is a horror film about a family that's already troubled before it's menaced by supernatural visitors, and Nathan Weinbender takes a look to see if it's deserving of all the hype.

There are more prestigious films in theaters right now, but few that are as fun. Upgrade is a hyper-violent sci-fi revenge film about a paralyzed man who becomes a killing machine, and Nathan Weinbender says it's solid entertainment for those who like their drive-in fare extra ridiculous.

Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody broke out with Oscar-winning film "Juno," about a pregnant teenager with an acid tongue. Now they're on their third collaboration, "Tully," another story about pregnancy. But this one is much different and much bolder, and, Nathan Weinbender says, even better than that 2007 comedy. 

Nathan Weinbender takes a look at the new blockbuster, which he proclaims to be overstuffed and quite long, and actually, pretty fun!

The big winner at the box office last week was a mostly silent affair. A Quiet Place, directed by and starring John Krasinski, is about monsters that kill you if you make noise, and the film follows suit. It's also, Nathan Weinbender says, an effective exercise in mounting tension.

More than two decades ago, we were introduced to Lara Croft, the pistol-packing adventurer in the video game "Tomb Raider." She's inspired movies before but now she's back in a gritty reboot, and played by Oscar winner Alicia Vikander. Nathan Weinbender takes a lookat the new game-turned-film, which he says, is about as much fun as watching someone else play Nintendo. 

Madeleine L'Engle's novel A Wrinkle in Time has been a kid lit favorite since the '60s, but it's only now made its way to the big screen. Director Ava DuVernay has taken on the planet-hopping sci-fi odyssey, and Nathan Weinbender says it's a refreshingly earnest children's film that works better in theory than practice.

Just when you thought Hollywood had run out of movies to remake, here comes "Death Wish," starring Bruce Willis in a role originated by Charles Bronson. Nathan Weinbender takes a look at the rehashed vigilante thriller, which is no less reactionary than its predecessor and even more confused.  

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