Category: New Releases

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


Little Women: Frantic urgency in domestic life

Another period drama remake of an oft-told story isn’t what cinema needs these days. There’s far too little originality in filmmaking to warrant updated versions of a book that already has six feature film adaptations. “Little Women” is the exception. From the opening moments where writer/director Greta Gerwig begins at the end, it’s readily apparent that Louisa May Alcott’s classic coming-of-age novel about four … Read More Little Women: Frantic urgency in domestic life


The Rise of Skywalker: No real end to never-ending saga

Millions upon millions of dollars have been poured into a series of Flash Gordon-esque movies about the unseen “Force” around us for the better part of a half-century. Many millions more have been poured into the bank accounts of Disney execs by casual and ardent fans of the acclaimed “Star Wars” franchise that reached its summation this weekend with director JJ Abrams’ second turn … Read More The Rise of Skywalker: No real end to never-ending saga


Richard Jewell: The measure of a man

The parallels are far too clear and distinct, so it’s best to just get them out of the way. “Richard Jewell,” the latest docudrama from director Clint Eastwood, is a striking indictment of law enforcement officials too quick to judge and trigger-happy media outlets trying to scoop each other before confirming all the facts. In very unsubtle terms, “Jewell” is a microcosm defense of … Read More Richard Jewell: The measure of a man

Marriage Story: Finding the beginning in the end

We’ve been told there’s two sides to every story. Often it feels as if it’s as simple as the truth and then anything other than the truth. But what happens when both sides of the story are true but conflict, or worse yet, outright contradict one another? Writer/director Noah Baumbach explores this complex duality through the structure of a fractured relationship in his latest … Read More Marriage Story: Finding the beginning in the end