Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review: Celebration

— by BEV QUESTAD — What is there to hide? Banned for 18 years, “Celebration,” an introspective on Yves Saint Laurent as a dress designer, has finally been released for all to view. Opening for a limited US run last October (2019), “Celebration” is streaming online this April. Whi[...]

Review: Vitalina Varela

— by RON WILKINSON — Now and then, rarely, a film appears that takes full advantage of the medium. This movie does that to such a degree that the complete lack of narrative dialog goes unnoticed. There is so much happening on the screen that the ear takes second place and the eyes are fa[...]

Review: Human Nature

— by BEV QUESTAD — The magic was here all along, and now, more than ever, it is ready to be used to eradicate congenital disorders, save coral reefs and possibly even help adaptation to climate change. It’s called CRISPR and it enables genetic engineering. Already it’s close to preve[...]

Review: Run This Town

— by BEV QUESTAD — Beginning with a mock convention involving stand-ins for mayor and other local pols, “Run This Town” has an underlying satirical spirit. The intellectual acumen and clever arguments in the mock city hall hearings are entertaining. At random intervals, a washer or d[...]

Review: Human Capital

— by RON WILKINSON — Uncorking a big one, emerging director Marc Meyers spins a dynamic web of stories and viewpoints. The performances are there, with the chemistry between Liev Schreiber, Marisa Tomei and Peter Sarsgaard steaming off the screen. Even so, the viewer has to pay close att[...]

Review: Bull

— by RON WILKINSON — Using the rodeo as a metaphor for life is not new. Champions of all stripes are ripe for tragic treatment, those that fly too high, too, fast, and lose track of what is important. Some emerge triumphant, with the latter acts held for a different time and place, a dif[...]

Review: Disappearance at Clifton Hill

— by RON WILKINSON — The child leaves her family and walks alone through the dark forest. This alone is cause for tension, even without the one-eyed boy. Bloody bandage over one eye, the kid is doing all right for himself, crouching to avoid the luxury car on the road above, conveying he[...]

Review: The Traitor

— by RON WILKINSON — One person’s savior is another person’s traitor. An old school Cosa Nostra lieutenant turns on the family in this narrative fiction remake of the true story of the first mafia informant in Sicily in the 1980s. As the film tells it, Buscetta described himself as a[...]

Review: The Banker

— by RON WILKINSON — Many kids consider going into investment banking. The hours are not bad, working conditions are safe and, unless you are a black person in 1939 Willis, Texas, there is little chance you will be hanged for it. Such were Bernard Garrett’s father’s words to the prod[...]

Review: The Wild Goose Lake

— by RON WILKINSON — Brooklyn is far away. These are the mean streets of Wuhan, but a man still whacks a wallop and a woman still understands a good slap in the mouth or a slug from a .45. Small-time mob boss Zhou Zenong still gets up every day to the rackets only instead […][...]

Review: Sorry We Missed You

— by RON WILKINSON — Ken Loach nukes the system milking those caught between the bytes of the gig economy. Wound around his scanner as surely as Charlie Chaplin was between his “Modern Times” gears, Ricky Turner (Kris Hitchen) cannot catch a break. Everything that could go wrong goes[...]

Review: American Factory

— by BEV QUESTAD — Yes, “American Factory” won the Oscar for Best Documentary. But was it really the best? The story is about a big American GM plant that closed in Dayton, Ohio, in 2008. The founder and CEO of a Chinese automobile glass manufacturing company, Cho Tak Wong, saw a bar[...]

Review: Camp Cold Brook

— by RON WILKINSON — “Haunt Squad” TV reality show host Jack Wilson is in a tough spot. Like many horror show heroes, he is faced with losing his money, his house, his family, his dog and his TV show if he fails to make a big score. He needs a hit and he needs […][...]

Review: Les Miserables

— by RON WILKINSON — This heavily updated version of Victor Hugo’s classic adds timely touches of tragedy. Set in today’s Montfermeil suburb of Paris, the social estate called “les Bosquets” is home to multinationals starting a new life in France. North African, Middle Ea[...]