‘Seven Seconds’ Review: ‘Killing’ Creator’s New Drama Needs Less Time, Not More
Time is in many ways of the essence with The Killing creator Veena Sud's Seven Seconds. Launching on February 23, the Netflix anthology series starts with the accidental killing of a black teen by a white Jersey City cop and turns to the ugly places with a bigoted wall of blue cover-up, family fallout, our clearly broken justice system, the Black Lives Matters movement and some brutal truths about American life. Yet despite an outstanding performance by American Crime… Read
‘Annihilation’ Review: Natalie Portman Ramps Up The Action In Alex Garland’s Smart, Scary Journey Into The Unknown
After making a big splash in the sci-fi space with the intelligent but chilling Ex Machina from indie upstart A24 a couple of years ago, writer-director Alex Garland has stepped up to the majors with Paramount’s equally chilling Annihilation. But thankfully, all the smart sensibility he brought before is still there, even if the budget is bigger.
Ex Machina became that rare indie to take the Visual Effects Oscar over much bigger studio blockbusters, and it is nice to… Read
‘Good Girls’ & ‘McMafia’ Review: NBC Series Is Aces; No Nutrition In AMC Drama
A mini-crime wave will hit the small screen next week with the February 26 debut of both NBC's Good Girls and AMC's McMafia. To avoid you getting caught behind programming bars, let me tell you now: The former is a score, while the latter is a heist of your time.
Airing at 10 PM, Good Girls, a 10-episode drama starring Christina Hendricks, Retta and Mae Whitman from ex-Scandal co-executive producer Jenna Bans, skillfully shifts a catchy premise into a surprisingly… Read
‘Nostalgia’ Review: Strong Performances From Jon Hamm And First-Rate Ensemble Make It One To Remember
The title says it all. Nostalgia is a movie worth remembering, a beautifully constructed multi-character drama with interconnected storylines and exceptional performances. It is one of those small, independently made films that impacts you stays with you long after you leave the theater. Director Mark Pellington and writer Alex Ross Perry have created a film about grief, loss, memories and stuff, the things we hang on to for numerous reasons that don’t always have a… Read
‘Early Man’ Review: Cavemen & Soccer A Match In Aardman’s Latest Delight
For me, if an animated film has Aardman’s name behind it, I’m there. Even if bigger entities like Disney/Pixar, DreamWorks and others are guaranteed box office, Aardman is guaranteed delight. The force behind films including Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse Of The Were-Rabbit, Shaun The Sheep Movie, and Pirates! have taken their stop-motion magic and applied it to another winner. As I say in my video review above, and to put it in the simplest terms, Early Man is… Read
‘Homeland’ & ‘Our Cartoon President’ Review: Spy Drama Returns On Point; Colbert’s Trump Comedy Flounders
If you are a big supporter of Donald Trump or happy that Hillary Clinton never made it to the White House, then Showtime has a Sunday lineup for you staring February 11 with the debut of Our Cartoon President and the Season 7 start of Homeland. The thing is, though, that while the Claire Danes-led Homeland again revels in layers of complexities and spycraft agendas, the new animated series executive produced by Stephen Colbert is little more than a protracted exercise in… Read
‘Fifty Shades Freed’ Review: No Shades Of Grey In Final Chapter Of E L James’ Sex Fantasy
They’re baaa-aaaack! Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, that is. Every year around Valentine’s Day, Universal has been shrewdly serving up another chapter of the pair’s steamy, kinky relationship, and it all comes to an end now with the third installment of the cinematic adaptation of E L James’ publishing phenomenon. Of course none of these movies looks much different, and Fifty Shades Freed — again from a screenplay by Niall Leonard and direction by James Foley… Read
‘The 15:17 To Paris’ Review: Clint Eastwood’s Gamble Casting Real-Life Heroes Is Worth A Look
Now in his 80s, the latest turn in Clint Eastwood’s remarkable career sees the producer-director taking on real-life heroes and situations to make his movies. There was the massive hit American Sniper, then the story of hero airline pilot Sully, and now perhaps his riskiest bet yet in The 15:17 to Paris. This is the story of those three young American military buddies travelling through Europe on August 21, 2015 when they thwarted a terrorist attack on Thalys Train #9364… Read
‘Peter Rabbit’ Review: Grab The Family And Hop To It
It might not be exactly what Beatrix Potter had in mind for a film version of her classic children’s book, but Sony Animation’s frenetic and entertaining new age telling of the tale works well enough to keep the brand hopping into a new generation.
Actually, this is what you call a live action/animation hybrid, with real humans interacting with CGI rabbits and other creatures in the McGregor vegetable garden. Coming right on the heels of another British family tale, Paddin… Read
‘Here & Now’ & ‘Queer Eye’ Review: Divided America Deserves Better
The biggest roadblock to HBO's Here and Now and Netflix's Queer Eye is that they are stuck in their own presumptions. Essentially caught in the vortex of Donald Trump, the former is a mess and the latter is surprisingly staid.
Additionally, in the case of the February 11-debuting drama about a progressive and multi-ethnic Portland family, the Alan Ball-created and Holly Hunter- and Tim Robbins-led Here and Now oddly never progresses beyond an unwieldy tale with… Read
‘Black Panther’ Review: Chadwick Boseman Powers Marvel’s Greatest Superhero Movie Yet
Marvel does it again with the much-anticipated Black Panther. It has taken more than half a century since the debut of the first black superhero character to make it to the screen, but director Ryan Coogler has done in great style with a dazzling film that not only thrills at every turn but has real social value and importance. Its themes including the importance of a wealthy nation taking on responsibility for the betterment of the whole world especially hit home for me… Read
‘The Cloverfield Paradox’ Review: A Mishmash Of Sci-Fi Tropes That Leaves More Unanswered Questions Behind
This review contains minor SPOILERS from The Cloverfield Paradox. After years of mystery, the enigmatic clouds of the J.J. Abrams-produced The Cloverfield Paradox have finally lifted, and the world can now take a look at what he has been keeping under wraps for so long. Directed by Julius Onah and written by Oren Uziel and Doug Jung, the latest installment of the Cloverfield universe plays out like a “greatest hits” of sci-fi movie tropes we have seen in the past. It’s a… Read