REVIEW: The Big Sick [2017]

“Always with the comedy” A lot of romantic comedies release each year—a lot. And they’re generally all the same with characters built from stereotypes rather than a writer’s personal experience. The ones that stick out are therefore those that arrive from the heart with something true to say. They’re the few possessing the honesty to […]

REVIEW: Despicable Me 3 [2017]

“I love the combination of Gummy Bears and meat” You have to give Illumination credit because they chose to cultivate an animated niche able to set them apart from Pixar rather than simply seek to copy their blueprint. Their path brings them closer to Dreamworks and yet we can still pick out the difference because […]

REVIEW: Rough Night [2017]

“Our kids are going to play together” I wasn’t expecting much out of “Broad City” co-writer/director Lucia Aniello‘s feature length debut Rough Night, but even low expectations run into the possibility of not quite being met. A big part of this stemmed from my anticipation of a dark comedy, one that might have the chops […]

REVIEW: Cars 3 [2017]

“I call you my senior project” I know I’m in the critical minority when admitting my enjoyment of the Cars franchise, but I honestly do. It’s not even that I am a “car guy” either—I’ve never seen the appeal of them beyond their utility as a transportation vehicle. So my enjoyment of the first film […]

REVIEW: Krisha [2016]

“Them cars are getting faster and them wings are getting weaker” While it may not be autobiographical in a plot sense, no one can watch Trey Edward Shults‘ debut Krisha without a full recognition of its honesty and authenticity as far as the emotional turmoil running through the writer/director’s mind. I say this more than […]

REVIEW: Carnal Knowledge [1971]

“I’m being pressured into it” When Tony, Grammy, and Oscar winning director Mike Nichols says your play is better suited for the silver screen, you listen. That’s what screenwriter Jules Feiffer did after showing the legend (who’d eventually complete his EGOT with an Emmy in 2001) his latest work Carnal Knowledge. That doesn’t mean the […]

REVIEW: לעבור את הקיר [Laavor et hakir] [The Wedding Plan] [2016]

“It’s a small task for God to find me a groom by the end of Hanukkah” Michal (Noa Koler) doesn’t want to get married. What she truly wants is to no longer be alone. She’s sick of being the person invited to get-togethers rather than the one doing the inviting so she enlists any matchmaker […]

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: The Fitzroy [2018]

“Rent or the beach with you!” In an alternative universe where WWII ended in widespread annihilation—England left under a perpetual cloud of poisonous chemical—life’s creature comforts have all but been erased. The gas mask becomes your best friend and survival hinges upon a hermetically sealed container whether it’s a home, commercial business, or submarine (the […]

REVIEW: Secretary [2002]

“I like dull work” I had read that Secretary the film was very different from its source material (a short story in Mary Gaitskill’s book Bad Behavior). Even so, I wasn’t prepared for the difference being tone rather than content. Besides a drastically altered ending, everything that happens in text is included almost verbatim. But […]

REVIEW: Prevenge [2017]

“Listen, Mommy. That’s how I was made.” Television actresses retain a sense of job security film actresses don’t when pregnant. Productions can work around this natural life choice with wardrobe, blocking, and script alterations. You can’t simply be cut loose once your casting has become an integral piece of the overall work. In Hollywood, however, […]