Reviews

 

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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 […]

 
 

Filmworker

Absolutely necessary for any card-carrying member of the Stanley Kubrick cult. Filmworker profiles Leon Vitali, a handsome raw and loose Mick Jagger type, who in the mid-seventies landed a role in Kubrick’s “Barry Lyndon.” On set he impressed the master so much that […]

 
 

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 […]

 
 

Best Films of 2017 Revised

I won’t remind you what inexplicably won Best Picture at the Oscars. There were 25 excellent to very good films in 2017, and so that means 25 films did not win the top prize. Whatever. Seven months into July I felt compelled to revise my year’s ten best list […]

 
 

Scarecrow (1973)

We have seen all types of Al Pacino performances that suggest the breadth of his range. I hadn’t seen Scarecrow (1973) since I was 12-years old, but returning to it, I seemed to have gotten the final piece of the puzzle that truly defines the wizardry acting of Pacino […]

 
 

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Emotionally enveloping. We live in a time when it’s mission impossible to find a human being as much a genuine article as Fred Rogers, and that feeling is even more reconfirmed while watching the documentary of his life Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Nearly six decades are deftly covered […]

 
 

Hereditary

Last year we had “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” “Get Out,” “Raw” and “Happy Death Day.” This year, it’s even way better, we have “Annihilation” and now Hereditary. It can’t possibly be too early to say […]