Good Boys

Quick! Someone call Child Protective Services. Three juvenile actors have been kidnapped and forced to play bawdy tweens in this uncontrollably hilarious coming-of-age film.  With a salacious script by Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky, pervy direction by Stupnitsky, and a sense of devious humor that reeks of producer Seth Rogen (Pineapple Express), audiences will laugh themselves […]

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

So, what’s the big difference between the normal Fast & Furious franchise movies and this new spin-off? Well, when Hobbs & Shaw digs into the old F&F trick bag, it’s as good as the real thing. When it reverts to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s brand of far-fetched action movies (Skyscraper), it’s an inferior project—but not […]

Brian Banks

In this MeToo age, a biofilm about a wrongfully convicted high school football player, who was accused, tried and imprisoned for rape, is timely.  The real Brian Banks, the subject of this movie, lived through an ordeal that was tragic, inspiring and often profound. However, something is lost in this one-dimensional retelling of his life experiences. Something turns his extraordinary story […]

David Crosby: Remember My Name

David Crosby’s tenor voice is so angelic, it’s hard to believe that he was the most antagonistic member of the band Crosby Stills Nash & Young.  But according to his own self-reflection, he wasn’t always such a nice guy. Crosby wasn’t the most popular member or highest record seller of CSN&Y; that would be Neil Young. […]

The Farewell

That thing called life. Everyone goes through it, somehow putting a greater focus on the beginning and not the end. Who’s more adorable? Babies or elders? Yea, right.  The Farewell dares to venture to the last chapter of our existence as it examines how an Asian family handles the finish-line process. It does so with […]

Three Peaks

Sometimes novels that start out slowly turn out to be the books you just can’t put down. Similarly, German writer/director Jan Zabeil’s story about a modern family triad gone askew isn’t easy to discard. Like a painter, he takes his time etching in figures before brushing in colors, textures and shadows that add dimension. Lea […]

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

She’s a literary icon whose accolades include a 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. For the African American reader who has been glued to her books since 1970, starting with her poignant debut novel The Bluest Eye, this doc is an opportunity to see how the pieces of Morrison’s life have made her whole.  For those who […]

The Last Black Man in San Francisco

You can like the message even if the messenger isn’t perfect. The migration of well-to-do millennials, empty nesters and others into cities and the exit of working-class people and/or people of color is a social phenomenon: Brooklyn, Raleigh, Philly, Chicago, Nashville, Denver… Still, the poster child for cities in radical transition has got to be […]

Rocketman

Young pianist/songwriter Reginald Dwight (Targon Egerton) gets some good advice from a very wise soul singer (Jason Pennycooke, Mister Lonely): “Kill the person you were born to be, to become the person you want to be.” If that couldn’t goad the very staid Dwight into creating his new flamboyant Elton John persona, nothing could.  The music […]

Aladdin

Billed as a “live-action adaption of an animated classic,” the carpet gets pulled out from under this weak and formulaic production early on.  The basic story is about a poor young man who gets involved with a royal family, encounters a magic lamp and meets a genie. Purportedly, the origins of the fable come from One […]