Category: New Releases

Onward: Movie watching heading ‘homeward’

One month ago, the latest film from Disney’s Pixar Studios opened in over 4,300 theaters nationwide and grossed more than $39 million in its opening weekend. With the hopefully short-term decimation of the movie theater experience thanks to the novel coronavirus, “Onward” has gone from the biggest box office hit of March to just one of countless new films available on a streaming service … Read More Onward: Movie watching heading ‘homeward’

Uncorked: Fathers and sons

Over the last several years, major film directors have made their way to the small screen, making limited series in search of creative freedom and risk-taking with the help of content hungry streaming services. Slowly but surely, this trend is starting to pay dividends for movie lovers as young, talented television writers and creators are making their way to feature films. Prentice Penny, show … Read More Uncorked: Fathers and sons

The Banker: Timing is everything

If “The Banker” had come out when it was supposed to, director George Nolfi’s film would have been the talk of the town. A spiritual successor to the Academy Award winning “Green Book,” it was a film with a lot going for it: a pair of talented African American actors including Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson, a well-crafted screenplay based on true events and … Read More The Banker: Timing is everything

Spenser Confidential: Last man standing

It started with unflappable British spy James Bond heading for the hills as “No Time To Die” moved from a mid-April release to late November. Within the last week, film studios have been shelving their biggest upcoming releases with Disney’s “Mulan” postponed indefinitely and Universal’s ninth “Fast and the Furious” film pushed to 2021 amid growing concerns for public safety due to the coronavirus … Read More Spenser Confidential: Last man standing

The Way Back: Acting for revitalization

Famous celebrity, actor, and Oscar-winning writer/director Ben Affleck has spent the past several years confronting his personal demons both on and off screen. His work in David Fincher’s 2014 mystery thriller “Gone Girl” was a treatise on the cult of celebrity status – and largely unbeknownst to Affleck during filming – an intentional bit of casting that put audiences at odds with his character … Read More The Way Back: Acting for revitalization

Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Subtlety in romance

Desire is all about delay. The anticipation, the angst, the longing all cascading towards a moment of passion. It’s a difficult trick to pull off in the world of cinema, but Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” builds from embers into a raging inferno of emotion in one of the best romance films in ten years. The French filmmaker progresses from a … Read More Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Subtlety in romance

The Last Thing He Wanted: Short term loss, long term value

With a seemingly endless budget, Netflix continues to pour money into project after project with avid disregard for the bottom line. This strategy may seem counter-intuitive to budget conscious business owners, but for film lovers, the streaming service writing blank checks to everyone from Martin Scorsese to Noah Baumbach to Michael Bay is an overall win. Some productions may miss the mark financially, but … Read More The Last Thing He Wanted: Short term loss, long term value

Birds Of Prey: Identity crisis

She’s just an ordinary girl who loves her breakfast sandwich. Sure, she also loves money, the ability to do whatever she wants without recourse or retribution and her pet hyena, Bruce. But Harley Quinn – at least as seen through the lens of Margot Robbie’s gobsmackingly fun portrayal – isn’t simply a bad guy. She’s misunderstood. An inevitability following the breakout success of Robbie’s … Read More Birds Of Prey: Identity crisis

+

92nd Academy Awards preview: Parasite v 1917

For the sake of posterity, here are my predictions and thoughts on tonight’s Academy Awards: Best Picture: Going to win – 1917, the runaway winner at BAFTA and odds on favorite tonight, the Academy will likely favor an old standard in Best Picture winners: the technically proficient, period war epic Should win – Parasite, probably sitting in the runner-up chair, Bong Joon-Ho’s masterpiece has … Read More 92nd Academy Awards preview: Parasite v 1917

Just Mercy: Truth in the final hours

A star-studded, politically relevant courtroom drama based on a true story released right in the middle of awards season is typically the kind of film Oscar voters and general audiences eat up. So why is no one going to see “Just Mercy,” the latest film from indie darling director Destin Daniel Cretton starring a pair of Academy Award winners and led by “Black Panther” … Read More Just Mercy: Truth in the final hours

1917: War close at hand

You’ll never see Roger Deakins on screen, but he’s in every frame of director Sam Mendes’ new war epic “1917,” from the opening frames bathed across a sea of endless green grass until the final cut to black before the credits. World-renowned as a master craftsman in his art, the British-born Deakins achieves his magnum opus with “1917” – a visual spectacle combining his … Read More 1917: War close at hand

Uncut Gems: Loving the uncomfortable

Tense situations often provide for the best drama and leave bystanders watching things unfolding on the sidelines captivated in awe. It’s a compulsion that pulls us to slow down and gawk at accidents and train-wrecks; the very thing that allows a television program like “The Jerry Springer Show” to exist. Cinematically, that uncomfortable draw that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats can … Read More Uncut Gems: Loving the uncomfortable