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Scott Waldyn

The Cloverfield Paradox

There’s a reason why The Cloverfield Paradox, the third entry in the Cloverfield franchise, was dumped onto Netflix. It’s not that The Cloverfield Paradox is necessarily awful, either. This sci-fi adventure about a team of scientists trapped in another dimension is simply too forgettable, employing a bag of sci-fi tropes and moments of “unexplained weirdness” to fill its hour-and-42-minute runtime. The Cloverfield Paradox does have moments of competency, but it strives to go nowhere. Once the bag of tricks runs out, so does the film.

I believe it was Virgil who once said, “Beware of [movie producers] bearing gifts.” 

The Polka King

The Polka King is billed as a comedy, but tonally, it can’t decide whether it’s zany or melodramatic. In this true story about a bandleader who fleeces his elderly fans of millions in a polka-fueled ponzi scheme, we’re offered up dueling performances of tenderness and over-the-top slapstick. It’s a jarring combination that doesn’t blend well. Jack Black works hard to create a charming and sympathetic “Polka King” con man Jan Lewan, and Jacki Weaver pulls out all the stops in accentuating the zaniness of Jan Lewan’s mother-in-law Barb. Someone didn’t get the right memo, and unfortunately, I’m not sure who.