Film Review: Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

The Rock Gets Back to His Roots as Samoa Gets the Black Panther Treatment: South Seas Cinema Stars in Action Series Spin-Off Hobbs & Shaw is an action-packed spin-off from the Fast & Furious film franchise, with Dwayne Johnson (aka The Rock) and Jason Stratham reprising their roles from that highly kinetic cinematic series as the titular Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw. There are plenty of explosions, car chases, combat, death defying Continue Reading...

Film Review: At War (En Guerre)

Class Struggle Cinema Coming Soon to a Theater Near You Stéphane Brizé’s award-winning At War (En Guerre) is a French feature about unions, strikes and class struggle being released in America shortly after Bastille Day, which commemorates that “other” French Revolution. In this movie a German-owned company reneges on promises to keep a factory open in an economically depressed region of France, despite the workers’ sacrifices, agreeing to Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Edge of Democracy

South American Documentary Sheds Light on Brazil - and a USA Teetering on the Brink As America ponders the impeachment of Trump and investigating him for crimes a young South American female director has made a documentary about another large democratic nation that recently underwent the ordeals of impeaching one president plus the trial and imprisonment of an ex-president. Petra Costa’s The Edge of Democracy is a sprawling nonfiction epic Continue Reading...

Book Review: Fire on the Mountain

John Brown's Story Lies A-Mouldering on the Page John Brown is one of American history’s most fascinating characters. The American Spartacus, Brown led an anti-slavery revolt in 1859 and has often been depicted as overzealous and even stark raving mad. After all, to racists, any white man who’d place himself in harm’s way by taking up arms in order to free Black slaves by definition had to be a lunatic. After his failed raid at Harpers Ferry a Continue Reading...

Film Review: The Man Who Killed Don Quixote

Terry Gilliam’s Quixotic Quest: Mancha Ado About…? Monty Python collaborator Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote falls into an interesting motion picture category. Cinematic lore includes a sort of subgenre of “difficult” films often made by powerful directors seeking to impose their exacting, iconic, auteurish visions on studios, audiences, critics, etc. During the silent screen era the original uncut versions of D.W. Griffith’s Continue Reading...

Film Review: Us

Jordan’s Jeremiad: Bunnies, Ballerinas - and the Revenge of the Underclass? OK, I admit it - I’m a cinematic scaredy-cat. Ever since small kid days, horror movies have frightened the hell out of me. The last one I went to see was a 2018 LA Film Festival screening of Spell, which I saw because it was set and shot on location in Iceland, a country I’ve only seen from the sky and am interested in. To tell you the truth, I did manage to get Continue Reading...

Film Review: Cold War

Defective Defectors Don’t Hit Trifecta Shot in glorious black and white, Cold War’s helmer Pawel Pawlikowski’s won the 2018 Cannes Film Festival’s Best Director award and the film was nominated for Cannes’ prestigious Palme d’Or. Cold War won six European Film Awards and as of this writing has won a total of 20 prizes and been nominated for another 32. In 2015 Pawlikowski’s Ida was nommed for a cinematography Oscar and earned the Best Foreign Continue Reading...

Film Review: Vice

Bureaucratic Brio: The Man Who Would Be Vice President - or Viceroy? Writer/director Adam McKay’s Vice, an all-star biographical movie about Dick Cheney is among Hollywood’s top 2018 political pictures. It’s utterly uncanny how Christian Bale completely disappears into his role as the former vice president, just as John C. Reilly does as Oliver Hardy in another biopic being released in America during the holiday season, Stan & Ollie. With Continue Reading...