Follow the Money

If you enjoy movies like “All The President’s Men “and “The Big Short” where scandals are exposed through investigating fraudulent finance, HBO’s “Bad Education” makes for engrossing entertainment.

Continue reading

Public Enemies

If the coronavirus has you spending more time with Netflix than you’d like and the usual fare of film choices just isn’t cutting it, try one of Netflix’s own film productions to reaffirm your faith in ‘public enemies’ being defeated: “The Highwaymen” is an engaging, cat-and-mouse drama that tells the story of how legendary bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were brought to justice after a two-year crime spree.

Continue reading

Cellophane Siren

With a background in the “Saw” and “Insidious” movie franchises, writer/director Leigh Whannell puts enough clever twists into the classic tale of “The Invisible Man” to keep you interested but its Elisabeth Moss as Cecilia that makes you believe this disappearing act.

Continue reading

2019: The Ones

With the Oscars being presented on Sunday, February 9th, I like to focus on the films and performances that I found most memorable. In keeping with the tradition of the late Siskel & Ebert’s “If We Picked the Winners,” here are my standouts for 2019 using the nominees in the main Academy Award categories. While others try to second-guess Oscar politics with who ‘should win’ or ‘will win,’ I like to keep it simple. In case you missed any of them, these are the films and performances I’ll remember- simply put, these are the ones:  

Continue reading

The Hot Rock

This year’s films saved the best for last: “Uncut Gems” is one of those gritty character dramas that suck you into its world of addiction and the desperate hustle for one big score.

Continue reading

Wiseguy’s Last Waltz

Thanks to our fascination with mob stories, Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman” is a film that actually gets better as it goes along. Based on Charles Brandt’s book “I Heard You Paint Houses” recounting the experiences of hitman Frank Sheeran (Robert DeNiro), the yarn yields a sizeable knot- Sheeran may know what happened when Hoffa disappeared in 1975. Was Sheeran involved? Finding out is the hook that grabs you.

Continue reading

A Cut Above

Like a good jazz riff, “Knives Out” is director Rian Johnson (“Looper,” “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”) taking the conventional trappings of an all-star whodunit and twisting them into an engaging cat-and-mouse thriller with a subtle social commentary.

Continue reading

The Good, the Bad & the Arnold

“Terminator: Dark Fate” is a mixed bag for ‘Terminator’ franchise fans. While it refashions the same storyline with neat tweaks and big blowout action scenes, it can’t stop itself from steering toward an overly familiar, overly long, over-the-top finale.

Continue reading

The devil went down to Georgetown

There’s one movie I find myself watching every Halloween. For me, it’s a movie that strikes all the right chords in its blend of horror, creepiness, and scares. It features a smart, compelling story, actors I like who are given clever, humorous dialogue with obscure references to recite, film direction filled with creepy cutaways and insane imagery, and, in my mind, the granddaddy of all movie monsters. It’s one of the most overlooked and underrated horror movies ever made; a movie easily passed off as just another cheesy sequel- but it’s the real deal, a genuine continuation of arguably the scariest movie ever made. Written and directed by the man who created the original “Exorcist,” it’s William Peter Blatty’s 1990 film, “Exorcist III.”

Continue reading

Laughing the Loudest

Comic book fans may feel like the joke is on them watching “Joker” but what the movie lacks in substance, it makes up for in style.

 As the origin story for Batman’s arch nemesis, “Joker” immediately takes you out of fantasy and into gritty reality with a character study of Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix).

Continue reading