Black Panther (*****) – All the Stars

The onslaught of press behind this film is warranted, but not only for the intersectional reasons the media wants to throw in your face. This is an ageless story about a world we all would love to visit. Who it represents is important, but it shouldn't be a victory limited to race. To leave it there would belie how important it is to humanity that we tell good, relatable stories. This is a great film.

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (****1/2): There is hope. Lot’s of it.

#RogueOne This film makes the film that immediately follows it better. I did not think it was possible. Go see it. Again and again.

Arrival (****1/2) is learning to accept a different language.

For those of us who are interested in good sci-fi, Arrival hits the mark pretty solidly on the head. Approaching the concept of first contact from a practicality rarely seen in films, it asks questions few movies dare to ask.

The Hustler (****) / The Color Of Money (*****): Who owns this place?

The Hustler - 1961 Director Robert Rossen Starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott, Myron McCormick, Murray Hamilton, Jake LaMotta, Michael Constantine Screenplay Sidney Carroll & Rossen based on The Hustler by Walter Tevis In an era where film was often an extension of the stage, The Hustler plays as exactly that. It is an exceptional meditation of … Continue reading The Hustler (****) / The Color Of Money (*****): Who owns this place?

Forgotten Gems: Good Morning Vietnam (*****) – When we were young and so alive

Good Morning, Vietnam - 1987 Director Barry Levinson Starring Robin Williams, Forest Whitaker, J.T. Walsh, Bruno Kirby, Robert Wuhl, Tung Thanh Tran, Chintara Sukapatana, Noble Willingham, Richard Edson, Richard Portnow, Don and Dan Stanton Screenplay Mitch Markowitz The recent passing of Robin Williams was a shock to the world.  In a moment, millions of people clung to their favorite … Continue reading Forgotten Gems: Good Morning Vietnam (*****) – When we were young and so alive

Forgotten Gems: Phenomenon Dance with life

Phenomenon - 1996 Director John Turteltaub Starring John Travolta, Kyra Sedgwick, Forest Whitaker, Robert Duvall, Brent Spiner Screenplay Gerald Di Pego When one ponders the fate of the film Phenomenon, it really shows how much time has passed since its début in 1996.  At the time it was a sizeable hit, never reaching #1 but certainly lingering in the top 10. … Continue reading Forgotten Gems: Phenomenon Dance with life

Out of the Furnace The fire’s gone

Out of the Furnace - 2013 Director Scott Cooper Starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker, Willem Dafoe, Zoe Saldana, Sam Shepard Screenplay Brad Ingelsby and Cooper "He might be safer over in Iraq" It's hard to recall the last movie that featured common folk in Steel Mill country of Pennsylvania that started out with anything close to a sunny day. … Continue reading Out of the Furnace The fire’s gone

The Butler (***1/2) – Broad strokes don’t work as well as fine detail

The Butler - 2013Directed by Lee Daniels Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Terence Howard, David Oyelowo, Elijah Kelley, David Banner, Mariah Carey, Adriane Lenox, Yaya DaCosta, Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Redgrave, Clarence Williams III, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Lenny Kravitz, Colman Domingo, Robin Williams, James DuMont, Robert Aberdeen, James Mardsen, Minka Kelly, Liev Schreiber. John Cusack, Alex Manette, Colin … Continue reading The Butler (***1/2) – Broad strokes don’t work as well as fine detail

The Last Stand: Clean the chunk of beef off your hat

The Last Stand - 2013 Director Kim Jee-Woon Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Johnny Knoxville, Luis Guzmán, Forest Whitaker, Rodrigo Santoro, Jaimie Alexander, Eduardo Noriega, Peter Stormare, Zach Gilford, Génesis Rodríguez, Harry Dean Stanton Screenplay Andrew Knauer Arnold's first starring role since he was governor of California s the kind of film that would have  een a modest hit around the time … Continue reading The Last Stand: Clean the chunk of beef off your hat