Reviews

 

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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 […]

 
 

Eighth Grade

Within moments I was certain the film was observant and perceptive of what it is like to be a middle school wallflower, a type of friendless teen using social media apps as a surrogate for actual life. But my question was, is Eighth Grade going to be able to consistently say something vital […]

 
 

Leave No Trace

It is an interesting film at least from the outset, and it has some compelling shots, but I was left feeling why do I need this? The father character Will (Ben Foster) deliberately has an impenetrable mind in Leave No Trace. He raises his daughter Tom (Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie) in the woods […]

 
 

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 […]