Sylvie’s Love

It’s love at first sight. That’s true for the couple in this romantic period film and for audiences who will be transfixed by the stunningly beautiful footage.  It’s the summer of ’57. Sylvie (Tessa Thompson), a twentysomething, works in her dad’s (Lance Reddick, John Wick) small Harlem shop, Mr. Jay’s Records. Though she tries not to […]

Soul

Passing the love of jazz on to a younger generation, cloaked in the sweetness of an animated movie, is a genius move.  It’s a bit jarring. A New York City middle school band is murdering the Disney song “When You Wish Upon a Star.” By the time they’re through, you’d wish a dream-fulfilling star had […]

Best Films 2020

2020 kept us on our toes. Adapting became a way of life—especially for films and their fans. Part of the adjustment movie lovers had to make was viewing films on VOD and streaming services while only a few enthusiasts ventured out to near-empty theaters.  Within that context, here’s a look at the best and the […]

The Closet

A child becomes a demon. It’s a cliché in the horror film genre. So how does a smart filmmaker avoid the obvious and create the new? This way. He’s a mess. A recent car accident has taken the life of Sang-won’s (Jung-woo Ha, The Handmaiden) wife. The crash haunts him. As a busy architect, he’s overseeing the building […]

Farewell Amor

Absence doesn’t’ always make the heart grow fonder. Sometimes the heart forgets. That’s the case in this very observant tale that examines one immigrant family’s complicated back story and their questionable future.  Walter (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, The Chi and Tasmanian Devil), a taxi driver has been in the states for 17 years, on his own. His dream […]

Billie

She had an enigmatic presence. A unique, restrained voice with distinctive phrasing. Wrote and sang the iconic protest song “Strange Fruit.” That’s her. Billie Holiday. Lady Day. Died too young and now a faint memory. Eleanora Fagan was born on April 7, 1915 in Philadelphia and died July 17, 1959 at the age of 44 […]

Tripping with Nils Frahm

In the age of COVID, live performances are taking a real hit. If you’ve been longing for a night out at a concert listening to a vastly talented musician, this very eclectic and energizing film could be the ticket. At least for now. A select group of pianists have built an international following of legendary […]

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Who’s the Mother of the Blues? Better say Ma Rainey! 1927. It’s a steamy Chicago summer, just like the rest. Hot. Humid. Even the streets are sweating. Ma (Viola Davis) comes up from Georgia to Chi-town to make an album. Her quartet arrives before she does, practicing in a cramped recording studio rehearsal room. Cutler (Colman […]

Sound of Metal

It’s a struggle. Losing one of your senses can be devastating. But that’s the reality a punk-metal drummer faces. Hearing loss. He’s banging drums he can no longer hear. Ruben (Riz Ahmed, Nightcrawler), a percussionist, and his lover Lou (Olivia Cooke, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl), a lead singer and guitarist, form a two-person metal […]

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

What a nice surprise. David E. Talbert, a playwright (Love in the Nick of Tyme) turned filmmaker (First Sunday), lets his musicality fly and creates a viable family Christmas movie that’s as strong as any Disney film. Inspired by musicals like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dr. Dolittle and Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and motivated by his son’s desire […]