Review: War for the Planet of the Apes

I keep wondering what we did to deserve this. In this era of blockbuster fatigue and sequel after sequel of middling franchises grasping for every last drop of blood from the turnip (I’m looking at you Pirates and Transformers), how do we rate a trilogy of films, about talking monkeys of all things, that has…

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…

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…

Wonder Woman: Girl Power Rescues The DCEU

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…

Saturday Night Fever: How Deep is My Love?

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…

Beauty & the Beast: Disney’s Timeless Tale

Piggybacking off the success of recent live action adaptations to its animated library, Disney unveiled its modern retelling of the tale as old as time to audiences this weekend. Based on the box office reports, a lot of audiences at that. And while the Twitter-verse and various blog sites continue to hem and haw over…

Logan: Once More With Feeling

About ten minutes before my screening of Logan, 20th Century Fox’s latest venture into the X-Verse, a family of four wandered in, popcorn and sodas in hand. Mom, Dad, two kids. Two very young kids. Like, ten-ish at best. I don’t judge. How you parent your kids is on you. Maybe these people did the…

Get Out: It’s Black And White

About eight months ago, I was riding in a car with a friend.  Jason, we’ll call him.  Jason is not a close friend.  We see each other a couple of times a year, on Facebook occasionally, but we do not converse regularly.  Jason is Black.  After exchanging the normal pleasantries, I took the conversation to…