MOVIE REVIEW: First They Killed My Father

First They Killed My Father (2017) Going In Netflix’s latest original film to simultaneously release in theaters and on its streaming service is this foreign film directed by Angelina Jolie, adapted from the memoir of Loung Ung. I know very little outside of the fact that it tells the story of Cambodian genocide in the…

MOVIE REVIEW: Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) Rated: R   Going In In 2015, a new project from director Matthew Vaughn and comic book writer extraordinaire Mark Millar became a surprise theatrical hit, grossing $128 million domestically. As legend has it, Vaughn and Millar were at a bar one day discussing spy movies and decided that the genre…

MOVIE REVIEW: The Glass Castle

How does the old saying go? You can’t choose your family? If you could, it’s hard to fathom why anyone would willingly pick the Walls family. The Glass Castle, based off the memoir of journalist Jeannette Walls, tells the story of a dysfunctional family living way below the poverty line, desperate to find a balance between…

MOVIE REVIEW: A Ghost Story

Might as well get this out of the way. A Ghost Story is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. Honestly, it’s hard for me to imagine any middle ground here. You’re gonna love it, or hate it. Personally, count me as a “love it.” The film worked for me on every happy, sad,…

MOVIE REVIEW: Baby Driver

“Cause the world keeps spinnin’ ‘Round and ’round And my heart’s keepin’ time To the speed of sound” – from Hairspray With every toe-tapping, dashboard banging note, Baby Driver energizes.  It’s not a musical about driving, but music drives the movie; each screeching tire perfectly synched to a tune selected specifically to ride shotgun with the…

MOVIE REVIEW: It Comes At Night

Each time Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr., Birth of a Nation) picks up his lantern to wander the dark halls of his family’s  boarded up home, he strikes the image of a ghost- perhaps of a weary railroad conductor making his rounds. Tension builds with each creak of the floorboards, and the lengthening of shadows indicate…

MOVIE REVIEW: Wonder Woman

In the opening minutes of Wonder Woman, young Princess Diana (played by the precocious Lilly Aspell), bounds about the island of Themyscira with such a tireless enthusiasm, imitating lady warriors in training, channeling the energy of Wall Street’s Fearless Girl, defiant of rules and stereotypes.  Even as her mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielson), tries to…

MOVIE REVIEW: Alien: Covenant

In 2012, two types of people exited showings of Prometheus; those satisfied with the earnest attempt to weave some different ideas into the Alien franchise, and those pissed off at the lack of bloody, chest bursting goodness. Count me in the former. I quite liked Prometheus. I liked that director Ridley Scott chose to examine…

MOVIE REVIEW: Saturday Night Fever

Growing up on Buffalo’s west side in the 70’s was an unique experience. Mine was a predominantly Italian neighborhood, and many nights the aroma of home cooked pasta sauce permeated the air as we sucked the last flickers of daylight out of a pickup game of baseball in the telephone company parking lot. December 1977…

MOVIE REVIEW: Personal Shopper

Kristen Stewart is a polarizing actress. It took me a while to come around on her. Her brooding personality and the pained expression of someone who seemed to want to be anywhere else on the planet, set her off on the wrong foot with movie fans uninvested in choosing sides between Team Edward and Team…