Alita: Battle Angel

As a self-contained film, this sci-fi/anime/action/thriller is fascinating but not perfect. Viewed as a set-up for a future franchise, it makes more sense. Studied as the next advancement in 3D anime, it’s groundbreaking. And, a teenage Latina lead is unique and could bring a host of young movie goers into the theater to see what’s […]

What Women Want

It’s about time Taraji P. Henson, after a string of B-movies (Proud Mary, Acrimony), rocked a bonafide comedy. On talk shows her innate sense of humor is evident. On the big screen (Hidden Figures, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and small one (Empire) she’s built a solid, award-winning rep in drama. Now she’s digging […]

Arctic

English singer/writer David Gray released a very evocative song in 2014 called “Birds of the High Arctic.” The verse is about a lost lover and the poignant refrain says: “They’re calling. Like the birds of the high Arctic. This darling. For the light in your eyes sparked it. Two sheets to the wind.” In just a […]

Woman at War

She’s a rebel with a cause. An anarchist with a plan. Hard to believe when you look at Halla (Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir), a fiftysomething schoolish-looking choral conductor, that she’s subversive beyond your wildest imagination.  Icelandic actor/writer/producer/director Benedikt Erlingsson has a wicked sense of humor, a great feel for the sublime and a real love for the biosphere. […]

An Acceptable Loss

Nothing about An Acceptable Loss screams, “Pay $12 bucks for me at the theater because I’m worth it.” This isn’t an artistic breakthrough (Roma). It doesn’t expand the thriller genre (A Quiet Place). The drama on view is never deep (Leave No Trace). The ensemble performances won’t win prestigious awards (The Favourite). The screenplay by writer/director Joe […]

Glass

After viewing Glass, there will be a great debate: Should M. Night Shyamalan stop writing scripts for his films? Should he refrain from directing them? Or maybe both! Remember The Sixth Sense? Slow, odd movie with a very shocking ending? Shyamalan has gone back to that drawing board and sketched in a hybrid movie that pulls together plotlines […]

The Upside

On paper, a story about a low-income black health-care aid who’s befriended by a rich white male quadriplegic sounds suspect. Patronizing films like Driving Miss Daisy come to mind, and potential filmgoers upon hearing the plotline may feel anxious, angry and nauseous all at the same time. On-screen, The Upside, an American remake of the 2011 Cesar-winning French […]