Ice Age: Collision Course

  It’s official. This is the year of animation. So many films from the genre are sprouting up like spring daisies that it’s making the Oscar race for Best Animation Feature Film a nail-biter. And it’s only midyear. Add to the list of strong contenders the fifth chapter in the Ice Age franchise, a doozy […]

The Secret Life of Pets

The race for the Best Animation Feature Film Oscar is on. Finding Dory may be the most touching and sentimental contender. On the other hand, The Secret Life of Pets has got to be the coolest of the challengers, so far. It’s a thoroughly amusing comedy thanks to the over-animated Kevin Hart and dour sarcastic […]

The Legend of Tarzan

  Some things should be left in the past and forgotten. Case in point: Tarzan. This modern version, The Legend of Tarzan, adds some politically correct touches to an old-fashioned (dated) story. But even with new gloss and a fresh scent, the central problem still remains: a near super human white man lording over apes, […]

Free State of Jones

  “You can not own a child of God,” proclaims a slave named Moses (Mahershala Ali, HBO’s Treme). “We don’t got no country on either side. We’re our own Country,” says Confederate Army deserter Newton “Newt” Knight (Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyer’s Club). Those poignant bits of dialogue sum up the rebellious spirit in this rousing […]

The 2016 San Francisco Jazz Festival Hits a Cool Vibe

  For years San Francisco has been the West Coast playground and refuge of jazz musicians. Since 2013, those artists have had a permanent home at the SFJAZZ Center, the first-ever standalone structure in the country dedicated to jazz. Think of it as a cool opera house, where the beats get funky, the music is […]

Presenting Princess Shaw

  She, Samantha Montgomery, is a 39-year-old who works a 9-5 at a nursing home in a rough section of New Orleans. On her own time, she takes on the persona of Princess Shaw, a singer/songwriter who posts a cappella performances of her songs on her YouTube channel. It’s a shot in the dark. Will […]

Nina

  If you haven’t picked up a copy of I Put a Spell on You: The Autobiography of Nina Simone, now is a good time to read it and let Simone reflect on her life, with her own enlightening words. If you haven’t seen the Oscar-nominated, bio-documentary film What Happened, Miss Simone?, it’s on Netflix […]

Deadpool

“I’m super, but I’m not a super hero,” clarifies Deadpool, a petulant mutate. Yes he has mighty powers, but no pretense about being a nice guy. If there is ever an Avengers Hall of Fame, he’ll never get there; they wouldn’t even let him clean the latrines. If an Avenger ever makes it on to […]