Reba McIntyre! She’s the heartland mermaid strawberry atop the made-from-scratch dump cake that is “Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar” (2021). Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig (who also co-wrote the script) star as Midwestern gal pals at a Florida resort, trying to escape a midlife rut. Hollywood has a complicated relationship with heartland values and sometimes their comic depictions come off as more mean than funny. This one rides the edge between the two, but throws in so much stunt-casting (Reba!) – and a ridiculous, Dr. Evilesque subplot – you end up finding more to laugh with than laugh at.

Too much of a good thing. Bernardo Bertolucci tries to jam so much symbolism into “The Last Emperor” (1987), the film becomes exhausting to watch. Long, slow buildup follows long, slow buildup as we see a man born into pageantry and oppression and die under different pageantry and different oppressors. Our Chinese emperor, played by John Lone, is a symbol in himself, spending life as a powerless ruler trapped behind walls and never truly comprehending how others are using him. And yet, because of his inconsistent behavior, he’s not quite tragic enough to carry us through the 163-minute run time.

The whole time I’m watching “Vanquish” (2021), I thinking to myself, “isn’t Vanquish some kind of cold medicine or something?” Afterwards, Google confirmed it’s a medicine, but for headaches, which would be ironic if the film had made my head hurt. However, I pretty much could tell an action film with plausibility problems starring a crappy model/boxer/actress (Ruby Rose) as an elite hitwoman/courier/double-crosser with a sick kid doing the bidding of a phoning-it-in (literally!) cop/gangster/paraplegic (Morgan Freeman) with a guilt complex was going to suck, so it made me more sleepy than migrainey. Maybe they should have titled it “Sunosi.”