The Harder They Fall

They’re roughriders. Badasses. Pistol packing outlaws blasting bullets.  The setup for this shoot ’em up started with the 2013 short film They Die by Dawn, the brainchild of Jeymes Samuel, aka “The Bullitts.” He’s a British singer-songwriter, producer and writer/director who is also the brother of the Grammy Award-winning musician Seal. In the past, Samuel would make […]

Last Night in Soho

“Last night I saw something in my dreams,” says the occasionally psychic and always naive fashion student Eloise. Did she have visions of ghosts or of disappointed moviegoers leaving the theater? The trailers and posters for Last Night in Soho may trick potential audiences into believing that this ode to Soho, London in the swinging ‘60s might […]

Films From Near and Far — 2021 New York Film Festival

Voices from around the world were heard at the 2021 New York Film Festival. Auteurs like Pedro Almodóvar and Jane Campion reemerged with their latest works. New directors broke rules and made their marks with controversial or nostalgic movies. These films are making their way to local theaters in coming months.  Bergman Island (**1/2) This winsome story […]

Black Actors Making Big Noise at 2021 New York Film Festival

It’s a new day. In 2021 the New York Film Festival was live and in-person and exhibited a wide array of international films that broke new ground, featured veteran Black actors at their best and blockbusters that will be in movie theaters and on streaming services later this year or early 2022. These are some […]

No Time to Die

It’s a farewell. An elongated sendoff James Bond fans will instinctively desire. And they should. As should any action film enthusiast who likes a dash of style mixed in with their adrenaline-rush martini. James Bond (Daniel Craig) has retired from the game and MI6. He is not happy when his buddy CIA agent Felix Leiter […]

The Many Saints of Newark

This prequel film to the storied HBO cable series The Sopranos generated a lot of publicity with the novelty casting of the late lead actor James Gandolfini’s son Michael as the teen Tony Soprano. Now, fans are primed to watch the young impressionable Tony come of age. Is it worth it? Eschewing normal screenplay structure, where a […]

Old Henry

“You have no idea the hell storm you’re about to let loose.” No one would. This roughhewn “Micro Western” strips everything down to the basics. Down to the roots. Then it explodes. In the late 1880s, Henry (Time Blake Nelson, O Brother Where Art Thou), a widower, lives just outside of Nashville on a farm in […]

Noteworthy Films at the 2021 Toronto International Film Fest

The films featured at TIFF represented all genres from all kinds of places. Works by veterans and new filmmakers added dimension to the fest. These were in the mix.  Ali & Ava (***) With a certain sense of whimsy and an exceptional ability to tell a unique love story, writer-director Clio Barnard gives two lost souls a new chance […]

Black Actors in Noteworthy Films at 2021 Toronto International Film Fest

TIFF featured a dazzling array of films. Many had black actors cast in pivotal roles in unique stories from around the world. Their performances will resonate with movie fans in theaters and on streaming services.  7 Prisoners (*1/2) Brazilian American writer/director Alexandre Moratto examines the depravity and perils of human trafficking, and his intentions outweigh his success as a storyteller, […]

Perceptive Reflections of Black Life at 2021 Toronto International Film Fest

After a year of COVID, TIFF returned as a hybrid festival with in-person screenings in Toronto and digital screenings around the world. A fine selection of African Diaspora films, films with black actors in their cast and general-release films brought the magic of TIFF alive again. Attica (***1/2) The 1971 Attica Prison Riots, the country’s longest and deadliest prison rebellion, […]