Recent Reviews

 

Bohemian Rhapsody

Even as a casual fan of the momentous band Queen which rocked the ’70’s and ’80’s, I can tell when the music biopic Bohemian Rhapsody is filtered or watered-down, or just plain lying to me. Rami Malek is at times electric as Freddie Mercury […]

 
 

The Hate U Give

It’s a welcome footnote, and antidote to these politically ugly times, that we get a compassionate youth novel turned big screen movie in the name of The Hate You Give and that it becomes a minor breakout hit and talking point on racism […]

 
 

First Man

First Man has a stunning, auspicious opening – the kind that leads you to believe this is going to be a very good movie! – as Armstrong is seen breaking the atmosphere with a rocket plane, with a few moments of him losing control, being short on fuel, and possibly getting drifted into outer space […]

 
 

A Star is Born

It’s the showbiz melodrama that is injected with such pitch-perfect delivery and wide-eyed perception that it blows away comparisons. A Star is Born features practically perfect performances by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper (who also directed), who both time and time again miraculously find the essence of the moment […]

 
 

The Predator

Whenever I look at an item like The Predator which is a long-gestated sequel, I wonder what is the point of making it if it cannot live up to the quality of the original, or give us a bigger terrain to work with than the original, or give us a hero as larger than life than the original […]

 
 

Searching

It’s with reluctance to approach a thriller, or any movie, that adopts the gimmick of being told through computer web cameras and smartphones. I think, A Computer Jockey Thriller! When does the curtain go down so I can take a nap!?! Yet Searching, with John Cho as a widowed father […]

 
 

Papillon

The new 2018 Pappilon creates very little else to what was already done in the 1973 version that featured the unimprovable duo of Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman. When that one came out, you felt as if you were really peeking in at the most inhumane prison system of the last two centuries […]

 
 

Crazy Rich Asians

Swank, elegant, gutsy, funny, glamorous, snobby, flashy, flaunt, chic, mod, remarkable. Crazy Rich Asians is all that and has the right modern mood and luxurious settings to qualify as a Cinderella fable, one that would be a dream come true […]

 
 

BlacKkKlansman

Spike Lee is spurred to make an important but little known historical movie about 1970’s police infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan in Colorado Springs and tying it to the actions and behaviors of the fateful Charlottesville, Virginia riots of August 2017. You can feel Lee’s year-long passion and drive to getting BlacKkKlansman made […]

 
 

Mission: Impossible — Fallout

The idea of the Big Summer Blockbuster exists so that once in awhile we will see one that blows all the other competition out of the water. Mission: Impossible – Fallout continues the uptick trend in the series to become more sophisticated in its plotting. But in resemblance to a powerful drumbeat […]

 
 

The Ballad of Narayama (1983, Japan)

A despairing masterpiece, but with a keenness for sociology one watches with morbid fascination. The Ballad of Narayama (1983, Japan) appears to be a roughhewn but tranquil depiction of nineteenth century life in the mountains of Japan where families adhere to duties to keep the community functioning […]

 
 

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

Harmless. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again puts together scrap pieces for a story, but what family audiences and summer lovers are really here for is the music and the dance choreography. If you love the cast, let it be shamelessly known the movie is a happy reunion […]