War for the Planet of the Apes

This recent Planet of the Apes trilogy has had a consistently haunting and majestic feel. It’s a sensibility that director Rupert Wyatt started with Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2011 and was sustained when filmmaker Matt Reeves directed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 2014. That looming yet spiritual feeling […]

Bronx Gothic

It’s hard to explain this performance piece. Easier to describe the artist who does it.   Okwui Okpokwasili is as tall as a WNBA player. As beautiful as a super model. She has the persona of a poet, an intellectual, a storyteller and a town crier. She is determined to bring the social consciousness of […]

Baby Driver

This thrill-a-minute addition to the crime/action/thriller genre doesn’t exactly break the mold, but it’s fun. 1. A teenager as the getaway driver is novel. 2. The integration of music as one of the essential film elements is a killer. 3. The car chase scenes, right from the beginning, are delicious.   Baby (Ansel Elgort), an […]

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story

The job of a good documentary is to probe, uncover and get answers to tough questions. The job of a promotional reel is to exalt its subject. This non-fiction film lays squarely in-between. On some levels it’s revealing. On others, it has as much depth as an 8 X 10 glossy.   Bad Boy Records, […]

Maudie

  Sometimes a film tells a story like an artist paints a picture. Sometimes like a playwright writes a play, or an author pens a novel, or a poet composes verses. Director Aisling Walsh (Song for a Raggy Boy), screenwriter Sherry White and an amazing tech crew have taken those aforementioned sensibilities and created a […]

The Mummy

Pathetic on just about every level, The Mummy should be entombed. What the hell were they thinking?   Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and his cohort Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) are shameless antiquities hunters. Their exploits take them to a desert village in an Iraq war zone, where they come under fire. U.S. armed forces have […]

I, Daniel Blake

  Filmmaker Ken Loach has been the voice of blue-collar workers, the homeless and downtrodden in Britain for about 50 years. These are the people he relates to and he tells their stories eloquently, often in realism so stark you feel close enough to touch his characters or join them on the unemployment line. His […]

War Machine

  For years, generals thought they could solve conflict with troops, weapons, tanks, bombs and aggression. These days, especially in the Middle East, guerrilla warfare, terrorism and an inability to distinguish friends from foes make winning wars nearly impossible. War Machine reminds us of that.   The source material for this cautionary tale is Michael […]

Lowriders

  Rarely do urban tales balance authenticity with solid drama elements and strong emotion. Boyz ‘N the Hood and Straight Outta Compton are perfect examples. Lowriders is in their league. It ticks all the boxes: Acting, direction, writing, production elements… This groundbreaking film, about the Latino experience in East LA, will become as classic as those […]

The 2017 Tribeca Film Festival – A Variety of Films and High Tech

    Founded in 2002 as a response to the 9/11 attack, New York City’s 16th Tribeca Film Festival will run this year from April 19th until April 30th. The festival showcases feature films, documentaries, shorts and a slew of high tech seminars and programs that distinguish it from other festivals.   Films to Seek […]