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 […]

Aquaman

For DC comic book fans, there is good news and bad news. First the negatives, and then the positive reasons why Aquaman may still make a dent in the box office, even if it isn’t perfect.  What’s lacking: The special effects (visual effects supervisor Kelvin McIlwain) aren’t exceptional. Visions of Arthur/Aquaman (Jason Momoa, Game of Thrones, Conan […]

Vice

It was an historic power grab. Not the Republicans taking back the White House after a controversial, razor-thin win by George W. Bush over Al Gore. It was the vice president-elect, Dick Cheney, out maneuvering George Jr. and becoming the puppet master. Cheney: “No one has shown the world the true power of the presidency.” […]

Best Films of 2018

In 2018, the stories told, talent on view, compelling characters, emotions expressed and genres stretched were just amazing. It was more than enough to make viewers track films from the theaters to streaming services. Or vice versa.   Check out the year in movies.  Enjoy. Ben Is Back – The plague of drug addiction hits the tony suburbs and writer/director Peter […]

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

“It’s not possible. I’m a normal kid!” Famous last words. That’s what’s on the lips of teenager Miles Morales as he goes through a change in life. No, not puberty. The young Blatino brother from Brooklyn has been bitten by a radioactive spider and his life has changed forever. And so did the legend of […]

Ben Is Back

No matter how you slice it, a problem once relegated to the inner city is now all of America’s crisis. From a homeless person living under a bridge in New York City, to a kid OD’ing in a wealthy, bedroom community, drugs are killing people and making families implode. The latter is the central focus […]