Non-Fiction

The sneaky, narcissistic and shallow characters who inhabit Olivier Assayas’ backstabbing ode to the rapidly changing publishing industry are unappealing. It’s hard to relate to them even within the context of a slightly humorous script and efficient direction.  Avid readers are switching from hardcover books and paperbacks to Kindles and iPads. That change in the […]

The Intruder

This formulaic suspense/thriller with its toxic mix of obsession, anger and fear covers no new ground. What could happen that you haven’t seen before? Not much. Not anything.  Scott Russell (Michael Ealy, Sleeper Cell and Barbershop) is an ultra-successful marketing executive. How rich is he? He can afford to buy his wife Annie (Meagan Good, Think Like a […]

Avengers: Endgame

First, let’s get this out of the way. Avengers: Endgame is fascinating from beginning to end. However, it is not a wall-to-wall action film. The writers (Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely) and directors (Anthony and Joe Russo) take the time to set up and explore the characters’ emotional state, develop their arcs, interlock their backstories, add […]

Stuck

A musical about race relations that’s set on a stalled NYC subway car sounds like a premise for a Saturday Night Live sketch—and not a good one. Further impacting this less-than-professional take on an urban nightmare is a shallow script, dull music and unadventurous directing. In the old days, this kind of production would be a […]

Little

Little is a guilty pleasure. The guilt comes as you watch a 14-year-old actress (Marsai Martin, Black-ish) behaving like a lustful 38-year-old female who flirts with a middle school teacher. It’s kinda pervy. Or when an executive assistant (Issa Rae, HBO’s Insecure) points to her nether regions and gives a  man a sexy stare. Fine for adults to see, […]

Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy

At first glimpse, this martial arts film is a tad disorientating. Nothing looks real. The footage looks like it was shot entirely on a soundstage. There are few to no exterior shots with actual sun or moonlight. But, if you acclimate yourself to this process, you can enjoy this curious production that sometimes feels like […]

Mary Magdalene

The retelling of the last days of Jesus Christ has been a staple in the American film industry dating back to the silent picture era. With great restraint, director Garth Davis (Lion) and producers Iain Canning and Emile Sherman recount this spiritual story with a very modern focus on Mary Magdalene. They give it a feminist […]

Fast Color

Somewhere on this parched earth… It’s been eight years since the last drop of rain. Water is rationed like it is gold. People sponge bath rather than take showers or baths. The problem is particularly acute in the region around Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ruth (Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle, Beyond the Lights) is on the run. She seeks […]

Gary Clark Jr. Live at the Beacon Theater

It takes a genius musician to get a guitar to do his talking. Gary Clark Jr. did that Saturday night at the Beacon theater in New York City. Sure, he sang and bantered with the audience, but when he wanted to get a message across, his flaming red guitar did the screaming and yelling. It […]

Us

It’s not ordinary. But certainly not extraordinary. Jordan Peele’s follow-up to the box-office-smash Get Out doesn’t expand the boundaries of the horror genre like its predecessor or A Quiet Place did. It’s almost a retreat into norms that bring to mind humorous horror flicks like Scary Movie, zombie thrillers akin to Dawn of the Dead and over-produced shockers like The […]