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Review: Star Wars: The Last Jedi

— by RON WILKINSON —

The Force lives on with new blood. The same special effects and light saber hokum stalls for time in what appears to be a rebuilding year for the franchise. Notice is given at the outset when a 100-decibel opening dose of John Williams knocks you back in your seat like a laser siege cannon. If you came to this movie by mistake, you soon know it.

A cast of new characters is led by Daisy Ridley playing Rey. Rey appears to be the Jedi-elect as the franchise prepares to phase out Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Her nemesis is Adam Driver, playing Kylo Ren, the conflicted baddy who is torn between doing the right thing and becoming master of the universe. The screenplay does not do justice to either one of the characters, retreading them as the new Luke and Darth Vader. (CONTINUED)


Review: I, Tonya

— by RON WILKINSON — Unbridled ambition to rival Nicole Kidman’s “To Die For,” Tonya Harding’s story may be the dark comedy of the season. The first woman to land a triple axel in competition and one of only eight in the history of the sport, Harding was banned for life from skating competition. Spanning […][...]


Review: The New Radical

— by RON WILKINSON — After having invented the first internet distributed 3D printable gun, Cody Wilson was getting no respect. Once the authorities found out what he was doing, nobody would sell him a printer capable of making his masterpiece. Fedex and PayPal refused to service his business selling and shipping machines and assemblies […][...]


Review: Sweet Virginia

— by RON WILKINSON — Noir is difficult. And as of his second feature, director Jamie M. Dagg has a way to go. It is not enough to create a mystery thriller with a decent plot, there must be back stories. Without briefly dishing the dirt about why these lost souls inhabit the noir world, […][...]


Review: The Man Who Invented Christmas

— by RON WILKINSON — The season for tall tales is upon us and what better centerpiece than the immortal spook of all tales, “A Christmas Carol.” Dickens wracks his brain for a story as the writer’s worst nightmare looms. Poverty, homelessness, loss of a byline. Through those marvelously romantic London streets he roams. Sighting […][...]


Review: The Force

— by BEV QUESTAD — A staccato soundtrack by Justin Melland forebodes serious danger and grave trouble. The cinematographer/writer/director Peter Nicks, an Emmy Award-winning director, is the drive-along who lives to bring “The Force” to the screen. Earning the 2017 Sundance Film Festival Best Director for a Documentary Award, Nicks deserves it. He and his […][...]


Review: The Breadwinner

— by BEV QUESTAD — I couldn’t stop from noticing the ironic parallels in this film between the life of its producer, Angelina Jolie, and the life of women at large who are coming forward with complaints in one of the most advanced countries the world has ever known. Though “The Breadwinner” is an elegantly […][...]


Review: Trumping Democracy

— by BEV QUESTAD — I don’t mind advertisements. I know advertisers are trying their best to convince me to buy their product. Maybe they will even use a favorite pop song or celebrity. It’s okay. It’s an ad. But what if the ad is a lie? What if Pepsi said Coke causes cancer? What […][...]


Review: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Mo.

— by RON WILKINSON — Martin McDonagh’s latest has more in common with his brooding “In Bruges” than with star Francis McDormand’s signature “Fargo.” As she did with her North Dakota persona, she does with Mildred in Missouri. Only this time it is in spades. The sing-song, live and let live attitude of the northern […][...]