‘Hotel Artemis’ Review: Jodie Foster’s Acting Return & Impressive Cast Make Noirish Curiosity Worth Watching
It has been five years since Elysium, the last time Jodie Foster headlined a movie on camera, and for her return she has chosen another futuristic tale, Hotel Artemis — a rather odd duck of a project. In this dystopian crime thriller, she is considerably aged up and known only as The Nurse, a take-all-prisoners woman who for 22 years has run the Hotel Artemis, an Art Deco-looking building in 2028 Los Angeles whose penthouse serves as an emergency hospital for criminals… Read
‘Ocean’s 8’ Review: Forget The Guys! Sandra Bullock & Cate Blanchett Lead Stylish Take On The Heist Franchise
It all started in 1960 with the memorable Rat Pack Vegas heist picture Ocean’s 11, and then continued with a trio of reboots starting in 2001. Ocean’s 11, 12 and finally 13 were (mostly) male-driven con job movies masterminded by director Steven Soderbergh and producer Jerry Weintraub. When Clooney, Pitt, Damon & Co. decided to give it up in 2007 with the very entertaining Ocean’s 13 (making up for the indulgences of 12), the franchise looked to be done, especially with… Read
‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Review: Masterful Mister Rogers Documentary Is Perfect Antidote For Trump Era
If ever the time was right for Mister Rogers, it has to be now.
Hitting once again into unexpected hidden areas of the pop culture zeitgeist, Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville delivers a touching, fascinating and perfectly timed study of the magic the legendary children's television host weaved in the simplest ways possible for generations of young people weaned on his popular PBS series, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which ran for more than 30 years — from 1968-2001… Read
‘Adrift’ Review: Shailene Woodley & Sam Claflin Nicely Weather The Storm Of Romance On The Open Sea
It has taken 35 years for Tami Oldham's compelling survival-at-sea story to make it to the movies, but as I say in my video review (click the link above to watch), it was worth the wait. Sure we have seen similar kinds of stories like this, where one person must face the odds alone against Mother Nature, but when it is well done, as this one is, it is worth taking the voyage.
At 23, Tami (Shailene Woodley) gets the opportunity to sail a yacht from Tahiti to California… Read
‘The Americans’ Series Finale: FX’s Cold War Drama Ends More Nyet Than Glasnost
SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details of tonight's The Americans series finale.
The Americans will always be one of the greatest television shows ever but tonight's series finale was not one of its greatest moments.
Lacking the tension that has defined the show from its 2013 debut up until tonight, hobbled with inconsistencies and stumbling with sentimentality over and over like a roadside sobriety test drunk, the Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg-penned end to the sixth… Read
‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Review: Han, Chewy & Lando Save The Day In Rip-Roarin’ Origin Story
By now everyone knows of the troubled production history of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which saw its directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord replaced halfway through the shoot by veteran Ron Howard. It supposedly was due to “creative differences,” but whatever happened in bringing the origin story of Han Solo to the screen doesn’t matter much once you consider the end product.
The film delivers a rip-roaring summer entertainment and perhaps the key entry in this… Read
‘On Chesil Beach’ Review: Saoirse Ronan & Billy Howle Navigate Difficult Wedding Night In Touching, Complicated Drama
Just one week after the opening of the excellent indie The Seagull, in which Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle play star-crossed lovers, they are back at it again. But this time it’s in a much more serious drama, On Chesil Beach. Awkward timing most likely is responsible for the dueling releases starring the young pair, but both movies are well worth seeing, On Chesil Beach, based on the book by Ian McEwan (who also did the screenplay adaptation), is a highly unusual drama… Read
‘Book Club’ Review: A Four-Star Delight As Fonda, Keaton, Bergen & Steenburgen Get Down And Dirty
For that part of the moviegoing audience that might be over age 25 — or even, say, 50 — it just doesn’t get much better than having a quartet like Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen and Candice Bergen together in one smart, funny, warm and wonderful movie. Book Club, as I say in my video review (click the link above to watch), is a must-see for audiences looking for a feel-good movie that lifts you up and sends you out of the theater with a big smile. That’s what… Read
‘Patrick Melrose’ Review: Benedict Cumberbatch Brilliant As Damaged & Decadent Toff In Showtime Limited Series
Full of bitterness, spite, snobbery, sarcasm, self-loathing, abuse, addiction and recovery, Showtime's limited series Patrick Melrose is simply an irresistible tour de force from Benedict Cumberbatch that I cannot recommend strongly enough.
Debuting on May 12, the five-episode series is based on Edward St. Aubyn's scathing and wonderfully sardonic novels about the landmines of inherited wealth, one of which was nominated for a Booker Prize. With Emmy contention clearly… Read
‘The Seagull’ Review: Annette Bening & Saoirse Ronan Lead Sterling Cast In Smart Take On Chekhov Classic
The great director Sidney Lumet brought a beautifully acted version of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull to the screen in 1968, but apparently it has taken another half-century to get a another version that gives Chekhov’s 1895 play a new spin in movies.
I have to say, the new The Seagull compares favorably to any previous attempt, particularly in bringing out the lighter aspects of what is a very funny piece. Lumet’s version had the likes of James Mason and Vanessa Redgrave… Read
‘Safe’ Review: Dodgy Accent Aside, Michael C. Hall’s UK Thriller Is Uneventful
With a pedigree that includes Six Feet Under and Dexter, Michael C. Hall has never retreated from risky projects, but his new series Safe certainly would never be characterized in that way. A case of honesty in advertising if nothing else, the UK-set Netflix series that launches May 10 is almost entirely without distinction except in how by the book it mostly is. Clearly coming out of the streaming service's algorithm and the desire to snare an obvious talent like Hall… Read
‘Vida’ Review: Starz’s Latinx Drama Is Supernovela TV That’s Truly Full Of Life
"Find your way back home" is the tagline for Vida, but this new Starz drama is in many ways a road map into the real American mosaic of 2018 in all its messy, hurtful, complex and heartfelt glory. With gender, culture, economics, family, sexuality, conflict and unconventional wisdom at its often raw core, the May 6-debuting Latinx series from Tanya Saracho has the added value of being really good television.
Clearly influenced by the original The L Word and that other… Read