REVIEW: Handsome Devil [2017]

“People do bad things out of fear” Just be yourself: sentiments easier said than done. The phrase is perfect fodder for coming-of-age films whether the meaning is to educate acceptance in one’s self on the skin’s surface or below. But being perfectly suited towards becoming a resonant vehicle for life lessons doesn’t mean the process […]

REVIEW: Alien: Covenant [2017]

“One wrong note eventually ruins the entire symphony” I was in the minority with Prometheus in 2012, declaring its brilliantly nuanced story diving beneath its genre conventions as the best entry in the Alien franchise since the original. It was spirituality-tinged science fiction whereas Ridley Scott‘s 1979 classic was character-based horror with palpable emotion-laden terror. […]

REVIEW: Churchill [2017]

“I mustn’t let it happen again” I’m far from a history buff. To me Winston Churchill was a pillar of strength that helped take down the Nazis and declare victory for the Allied forces against fascism. I don’t believe that’s an ill-advised description by any means, but it’s definitely a shallow one. Here we are […]

REVIEW: Chuck [2017]

“That guy could take a punch” Who is Chuck Wepner? It’s a legitimate question. I didn’t know—not that I’ve ever followed pugilism in my life. So when his story received the cinematic treatment from director Philippe Falardeau with the title The Bleeder, I honestly assumed fiction. Here comes another boxing movie about what’s assumedly a […]

REVIEW: Bienvenue à F.L. [Welcome to F.L.] [2015]

“It’s hard to figure out exactly who you are and then it’s even harder to actually become that person” It would have been difficult for filmmaker Geneviève Dulude-De Celles to find a better metaphor in action than the one at the center of her documentary Bienvenue à F.L. [Welcome to F.L.]. Beyond the wonderfully spare […]

REVIEW: Lost Highway [1997]

“I like to remember things my own way” POSSIBLE SPOILERS Every cinephile has a moment when “the movies” became more than entertainment. Mine was David Lynch‘s Lost Highway. It was my first foray into the auteur’s catalog—a viewing that occurred three or four years after its initial release courtesy of a rented VHS cassette tape. […]

REVIEW: David Lynch: The Art Life [2017]

“They got along like Ike and Mike” If you remember back to 2007, a documentary entitled Lynch came out portraying an all-access pass into the creative process of auteur David Lynch‘s final feature-length film, Inland Empire. There was a lot of smoke and mirrors surrounding its release from the use of a nom de plume […]

REVIEW: Flash Gordon [1980]

“No Vultan … it’s a rational transaction! One life for billions.” Star Sam J. Jones is the first to admit Flash Gordon is corny and full of camp. No one is disputing this fact and some say screenwriter Lorenzo Semple Jr. (he who was responsible for the Adam West “Batman” series) wrote it that way […]

REVIEW: The Exception [2017]

“Do your duty” By all accounts Kaiser Wilhelm II was hardly a great leader. He put Germany onto its fateful course towards World War I and shortly after defeat was forced to abdicate the throne into exile at the secluded Netherlands mansion Huis Doorn. Alan Judd would eventually write an historical fiction novel entitled The […]

REVIEW: ישמח חתני [Ismach Hatani] [The Women’s Balcony] [2016]

“Evil decrees upon evil decrees with evil decrees of evil” There’s more to ישמח חתני [Ismach Hatani] [The Women’s Balcony] than the American marketing machine has thus far presented. Billed as a feel good comedy of communal spirit—and correctly so—there are much weightier issues at play. This isn’t merely a farcical war between a synagogue’s […]

REVIEW: Everything, Everything [2017]

“When I talk to him it feels like I’m outside” I was with Nicola Yoon‘s Everything, Everything for its first three-quarters. While it’s just as implausibly overwrought as The Space Between Us—another YA love story mired by a high-concept contrivance that literally places a character’s life in jeopardy so he/she may experience what living free […]