Film Review: Loving

Abolishing Miscegenation: Virginia is for Lovings Writer/director Jeff Nichols’ feature film Loving is about a real life Virginia couple whose interracial marriage set the stage for the Supreme Court’s historic 1967 ruling against laws prohibiting miscegenation in America.  Believe it or not, the last name of husband Richard (Joel Edgerton, 2013’s The Great Gatsby) and wife Mildred (Ruth Negga, 2013’s World War Z) was actually, Loving - as the Continue Reading...

Film Review: Bridget Jone’s Baby

Good Fun Chick Flick for Women - and Men It is like an indisputable law of physics: Sequels are always worse than the originals.  But every once in a great while, some upstart comes along and upends the Newtonian applecart.  1974’s The Godfather: Part II was superior to its 1972 predecessor, just as Francis Ford Coppola’s screen adaptation of The Godfather was one of those rare instances when the movie really was better than the book.  And Continue Reading...

Film Review: Jason Bourne

Bourne to be Wild: Don’t Trust the CIA Jason Bourne is the fifth installment in the Bourne film franchise derived from Robert Ludlum’s espionage novels that began with 2002’s The Bourne Identity.  Ludlum’s original Bourne trilogy began in 1980 but didn’t reach the big screen until shortly after 9/11, when the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies turned to what author Jane Mayer called The Dark Side.  The latest sequel continues the Bourne Continue Reading...

Film Review: Miles Ahead

When the Motion Picture Academy considers nominees for 2016’s films, in order to avoid the debacle regarding the awards for 2015’s movies with the “Cloroxed," all-white Oscars for acting and Best Picture, the voters should keep in mind Don Cheadle’s performance as Miles Davis in Miles Ahead.  At times, Cheadle’s rendition of the pathfinder jazz trumpeter and composer, in terms of look and sound down to that raspy voice (due, reportedly, to a Continue Reading...

Film Review: Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

The Bad Neighbor Policy: Liberté, Eqalité, Sororité Put your brain into neutral for Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, a raucous romp full of bathroom humor, bodily functions, some body parts, drug use, beer blasts, frat parties and the like.  This “long awaited” (that is, if you’re a Universal suit anxious to cash in on another mindless franchise) sequel to the 2014 hit Neighbors has the same plot premise: 30-something parents (drolly referred to Continue Reading...

Dalton Trumbo, the “Spartacus” Screenwriter Who Broke Hollywood’s Blacklist, Was WRONG!

Dalton Trumbo, the jailed Hollywood Ten screenwriter who broke the Hollywood Blacklist, is making a comeback.  The ex-Communist is the subject of a new 700 page biography and depicted by “Breaking Bad’s” Emmy and Golden Globe winner Bryan Cranston in the superb biopic “Trumbo”, opening November 6.  Its anti-censorship message remains relevant, considering current efforts by policemen and rightwing media to intimidate and boycott director Quentin Continue Reading...

Film Review: The End of the Tour – The End of the Bore

I enjoyed the first hour of James Ponsoldt’s The End of the Tour, which consists mostly of two 30-something men talking to each other.  As an author, interviewer and journalist I was interested in the real life premise: In 1996, staff writer David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) convinces his Rolling Stone editor (Ron Livingston in a cameo) to dispatch him from Manhattan to the Midwest to cover, all expenses paid, the latest literary phenom, David Continue Reading...

The Fetishism of Commodities: Meditations on Mad Men and Capitalism and Its Discontents

Pull Quote: “People forget that Karl Marx was the greatest economist who ever lived” - Mad Men’s creative copywriter Paul Kinsey.  NOTE: This article contains plot spoilers. When AMC’s Mad Men marathon began on Wednesday, May 13 at 3:00 p.m. PST, I watched 12 hours straight to 3:00 a.m., Thursday morning, and intermittently viewed the ensuing 92 episodes, culminating with the last hurrah at Big Sur entitled Person to Person.  Watching the Continue Reading...