Multicultural Voices Sound Off at 2022 Tribeca Film Festival

This year at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, audiences listened to filmmakers as they told their vibrant stories in their own words.   Allswell (**1/2)  Three Brooklyn Latinx bond in this very charming family comedy drama. Screenwriters Elizabeth Rodriguez and Bob Snyder set the stage, and Snyder as the director pushes and pulls the characters around NYC’s biggest borough. The hub is […]

Elvis

(**1/2) Baz Luhrmann photobombs this Elvis portrait with over-extravagant filmmaking that dwarfs the iconic rock and roller. And that ain’t easy. The script, cowritten by Luhrmann, Sam Bromell and Craig Pearce (Moulin Rouge! and Romeo + Juliet), puts it all out there. Ambitious singer borrows heavily from R&B music, fuses it with up-tempo rock and twangy country […]

Black Life Goes Full Frame at 2022 Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival is back on track. In 2022 it offered both theater screenings (June 8th – 19th)  and at-home TFF App-viewings too (up to June 26th). Festival premieres and parties were back in full swing, and images of Black life were everywhere. Feature films, documentaries, shorts, series…  Aisha (***) For Aisha Osagie (Letitia Wright, Black Panther), a Nigerian […]

Hustle

(***) When comic actor Adam Sandler took on the challenging role of a diamond dealer in the gritty riveting film Uncut Gems, he crossed a chasm. It was as if he’d put his past behind him and was determined to become a multifaceted actor. Hustle proves that point.  Sandler doesn’t overdo the basketball scout character of Stanley Sugarmen. […]

Music Fans Come Home to Capital Jazz Fest 2022

They came by the tens of thousands to the Capital Jazz Fest 2022. Traveling from all parts of the country, on the first weekend in June, to Columbia, Maryland’s Merriweather Theater. It’s like they were returning to an annual reunion. Enthusiastic music lovers soaked up the jazz, R&B and funk music. They danced, swayed, clapped and sang […]

Top Gun: Maverick

(***1/2) Not sure what they paid Tom Cruise for making this Top Gun sequel. But whatever it was, it’s not enough. He carries this behemoth action/drama on his shoulders and well deserves a great big pay day. Back in 1986, cadets at a U.S. Navy elite fighter pilot school were rivals competing for respect. One upstart stood […]

The Takedown

Biracial buddy cop movies (e.g., Beverly Hills Cop, Lethal Weapon) aren’t a new phenomenon and could use a refresh. The genre gets a needed update with this French ebony/ivory crime story that’s novel due its unusual antagonists who are right-wing, antiimmigrant zealots.  In this year’s French presidential election, the incumbent Emmanuel Macron, a moderate, beat his far-right and very xenophobic challenger Marine Le Pen. Clearly racism and the fear of […]

Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story

(***) You can bet on music’s healing power. New Orleans has played those odds for over 50 years with its renown jazz fest that mends spirits and brings all kinds of people together.  Jazz festivals abound worldwide and quite often the term “Jazz” is just a catch-all for various music genres. Case in point, the […]