Category: New Releases

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Tinseltown fantasy

“Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” is everything one might come to expect from a Quentin Tarantino film and yet somehow, it’s also nothing like what one might expect from Quentin Tarantino. Reflective of a man who grew up in the movies engrossed in every aspect of filmmaking, Tarantino’s ninth feature ramps up the dialogue and nonlinear storytelling while tempering down his trademark rampages … Read More Once Upon A Time In Hollywood: Tinseltown fantasy

The Lion King: A joyless wonder

Looks aren’t everything. Disney’s latest remake of an animated classic delivers a visually impressive cinematic experience that fails to hold muster over the course of two hours. Released 25 years after the two-time Oscar winning original in 1994, “The Lion King” swaps hand drawn cartoon animation for near perfect, photo realistic computer graphics. In so doing, Disney and director Jon Favreau have excised the … Read More The Lion King: A joyless wonder

Be Natural: Uncovering a film legend

Before there was Charlie Chaplin, there was Alice Guy-Blaché. Odds are, if you know even just a cursory amount of movie history, the silent film star is one of the first people rattled off the top of the list. The industry’s first female filmmaker – involved in almost 1,000 films as some combination of director, writer and producer – rarely comes to mind, if … Read More Be Natural: Uncovering a film legend

Stuber: Not a five-star ride

Kumail Nanjiani, writer and star of the 2017 breakout hit “The Big Sick,” is an extremely funny man. Dave Bautista, former World Wrestling Entertainment performer and “Guardians of the Galaxy” co-star, is following in the footsteps of wrestlers past like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena and can be a very funny man in his own right. Their first collaboration, a buddy comedy … Read More Stuber: Not a five-star ride

Spider-Man Far From Home: Passing the superhero torch

Spider-Man has some big shoes to fill. Following a 22-movie march to the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) has always been building towards something larger. Left in the wake of the second highest grossing film of all time, superhero movies turn once again to a web-slinging wall-crawler to point the way forward. Such is the daunting task before “Spider-Man: Far … Read More Spider-Man Far From Home: Passing the superhero torch

The Last Black Man in San Francisco: Relentless vision

Two men share one skateboard as they glide down winding hills in the Bay Area. It’s a beautiful picture wrapped in early morning light, but what’s most striking is how instantly personal the relationship is. Joe Talbot’s Sundance award winning film follows these two men across a changing city in a simple tale that evokes much more than it ever says. A story of … Read More The Last Black Man in San Francisco: Relentless vision

Toy Story 4: To infinity and beyond

Children don’t appreciate kids’ movies. Good writing, top notch animation, quality vocal talent to bring characters to life, these things are unimportant to a child. They just want to be entertained. “Toy Story 4,” the latest feature from Disney-owned Pixar Studios, may not be the most entertaining movie. It’s one heck of a piece of cinema though. After Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest … Read More Toy Story 4: To infinity and beyond

Murder Mystery: An unnecessary whodunit?

Perhaps the biggest saving grace about “Murder Mystery,” the latest movie partnership between Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions and Netflix, is that no one will have to pay money to sit in a movie theater to endure 100-plus minutes of subpar cinema. It isn’t just that the production design is simplified to a level that almost none of the crime comedy’s supposedly luxurious foreign … Read More Murder Mystery: An unnecessary whodunit?

Late Night: The headline of my analysis is complacency

Most moviegoers will see acting legend on the big screen this weekend as the head of an organization protecting Earth from aliens in the blockbuster sequel offshoot “Men In Black: International.” Where they should be her, however, is the underappreciated gem “Late Night,” a dramedy that sees Thompson as a late-night talk show host about to get the boot from a new network CEO … Read More Late Night: The headline of my analysis is complacency

Booksmart: Fresh perspective

Once or twice a year, a comedy will come out that has something more on its mind beyond just a quest for cheap laughs. In 2019, that film is “Booksmart,” a nuanced and insightful feature that elevates high school movie tropes to new heights. Written by four women and helmed by veteran actress turned first time director Olivia Wilde, “Booksmart” doesn’t seek to revolutionize … Read More Booksmart: Fresh perspective

Rocketman: Fantastical voyage

Director Dexter Fletcher’s new film is not a biopic of iconic musical genius Sir Elton John. “Rocketman” captures all the fantasy and majesty of John’s enduring legacy in a unique and magical way, cranking up the tunes in a dream-hazed jukebox portrait that lives and breathes the man’s identity without worrying all too much about historical accuracy. Theatricality and performance reign supreme in a … Read More Rocketman: Fantastical voyage

Aladdin: Same old song and dance

Underwhelming. Uninspired. Unnecessary. Rather than develop new voices in fresh stories, Disney has dumped millions upon millions of dollars into reimagined live action versions of their animated classics. If it feels like a studio resting on their laurels because they have no competition, that’s probably because it’s true. Such is the case once again with “Aladdin,” an extended reboot that doesn’t bring enough to … Read More Aladdin: Same old song and dance