Review: ”Ema”

“Ema” opens with a shot that lingers on a city street at night. The lights from the buildings and street lamps frame what turns an otherwise normal scene extraordinary: a burning traffic light. Fire imagery is repeated throughout the remainder of director Pablo Larraín’s film, both visually and within the story. Ema (Mariana Di Girolamo) […]

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Streaming Movie Reviews

Happy September! Today I’m wrapping up August with a final batch of mini reviews of new streaming releases, ranging from pretty bad (“Sweet Girl”) to pretty good (“Val”) to hey, I actually really liked this movie and all of you haters are wrong (“He’s All That”). You can read my reviews of those movies and […]

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Cinema Classics: “42nd Street”

“42nd Street” is the definitive backstage musical. It’s also the film that likely saved the movie musical genre. In the early 1930s, a slew of poorly made musicals following the advent of talkies failed to gain a following amongst critics and audiences. “42nd Street”, directed by Lloyd Bacon and featuring spectacularly-shot musical numbers choreographed by the great […]

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Streaming Movie Reviews

As we’re fast approaching the end of August (what??) I’m recapping some of the new movies released on streaming services over the past month. There sure were some stinkers, but as we start to edge closer and closer to award season, some potential contenders are starting to pop up. Be sure to check out Sundance […]

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Review: “Candyman” (2021)

Sometime last year, in the early throes of quarantine, I watched the 1992 film “Candyman” for the first time, in preparation for Nia DaCosta’s new take on the story, which was delayed multiple times from its original June 2020 release date due to the pandemic. I pressed play sometime after midnight, which was a mistake—something […]

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Review: “The Night House”

In “The Night House,” fear stems less from supernatural occurrences and things that go bump in the night, and more from a less tangible sense of dread. The grief that consumes Beth (Rebecca Hall) in the wake of her husband Owen’s sudden suicide results in her starting to have strange dreams— dreams that bleed into […]

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Review: “Respect”

The Queen of Soul deserves the best—and the best is not “Respect,” a by-the-numbers biopic that focuses on Aretha Franklin’s life from 1952 to 1972. Despite having the right talent both behind and in front of the camera, “Respect” frequently feels like sanitized studio fare, touching on some of Franklin’s personal traumas—from her drinking to […]

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Review: “Reminiscence”

“The past can haunt a man. That’s what they say.” Nick Bannister’s (Hugh Jackman) opening narration in “Reminiscence,” and his voiceovers throughout the remainder of the film, calls to mind classic films noir in which the hardened protagonist wearily dictates his thoughts, feelings, and ruminations on morality. But “Reminiscence” never does more than remind us […]

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