Star Wars The Last Jedi – Listening to old voices with a new ear

Star Wars The Last Jedi - 2017 Written and Directed by Rian Johnson Starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro After so many movies and so much written and television on the characters and concepts of the force, it was a kind of foregone conclusion that we'd … Continue reading Star Wars The Last Jedi – Listening to old voices with a new ear

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Lady Bird (*****) perfectly flawed

Lady Bird - 2017 Written and Directed by Greta Gerwig Starring  Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothée Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Lois Smith It's amazing how great of a year it's been in movies. I have had one film after the other take the spot of best movie and favorite movie. Up to now, none of them have … Continue reading Lady Bird (*****) perfectly flawed

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (**1/2) is a take worth leaving

McDonagh has been effective in the past, with many of the same actors, even. He completely wastes Searcy, Dinklage and Hawkes here. If his writing seemed better in the past, it may have been due to more familiarity with the subjects. I wish the focus had been more on realistic characters, maybe punching up the plot a bit. Telling urban American city folk that the people living out there where there's green trees and grass are creepy and weird is a surefire way to win festivals and maybe awards. It will not win as history or any sort of lesson, though.

Traveller (****) is a deceptive lead for Paxton

If you have no patience, this film is not for you. Honestly, the first 3/4 of the film is almost a complete throwaway. The thing about that ending, though, is it brings you to the point where its all worth watching over again to see what it is you missed watching the first time.  One thing's for sure, though, if you like Paxton, this one is a must. And you'll miss him every time.

Forgotten Gems: Tequila Sunrise (***1/2) is a Recurring Dream

As a fan of Russell, Walsh and Juliá, this film has plenty going for it beyond Hall. It's debatable that people these days understand the gravitas of Gibson and Pfeiffer from this film alone. That's okay though. The Oscar nominated cinematography by Hall is worth the price of admission, too. Most people don't live on the beautiful California coast of the late 1980's. It doesn't get old from my seat here in the rains of November. 

Roman J. Israel, Esq. (***1/2) – We can’t have nice things

There's virtually no shot at this film winning any awards, and perhaps it doesn't truly deserve any. Washington's about the only actor alive that can so eloquently display his faults as a virtue. He's able to color a little outside the lines of his somewhat limited character, but he knows the point of his character is self-analysis that the others will learn from, so he plays it like he's doomed from the start. 

Justice League (***) Gathered too soon

I want to see more films with this cast. They are likable and they have something to offer. A deliberate altering of the path needs to happen behind to make that talent come alive.

Wonder (****1/2) is something that everyone should experience

My complaints are trivial compared to what this movie gets right. I have to be honest, I was crying from about the 10 minute mark through to the end. My oldest daughter and her friend were in a constant state of tears, too. My youngest even found a lot of this felt true to the challenges she goes through. This film is honest, painful, but mostly it's optimistic. This is my favorite film of the year and it is the kind of story that goes a long way to improving the human experience. And if my view of the film is colored by my personal experiences, I wish I could have used these colors years ago.

Murder on the Orient Express (***1/2) – It’s never about whodonit

Murder on the Orient Express - 2017 Director Kenneth Branagh Screenplay Michael Green based on the novel by Agatha Christie Starring Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Tom Bateman "Lies – and again lies. It amazes me, the amount of lies we had told to us this morning." (said Bouc) "There are … Continue reading Murder on the Orient Express (***1/2) – It’s never about whodonit