reviews

  • It seems like every year there’s a new crop of memorable directorial debuts and 2022 is no exception.

  • With a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and narration by out actor Matt Bomer, it’s safe to say that you can’t go wrong watching co-directors Bryan Darling and Jesse Finley Reed’s 2022 doc “All Man: The International Male Story” (The Collaborative).

  • Who doesn’t love pansexual icon Janelle Monáe? The fiercest of divas (sorry Bey) in the music world, there are few who can compare to her when it comes to the inventiveness of her musical creations. As an actress, known for her layered performances in the Oscar-winning “Moonlight” and the Oscar-nominated “Hidden Figures,” she is truly on a path to cinematic stardom.

  • Writer/director James Gray’s well-intentioned but flawed drama “Armageddon Time” (Focus) attempts to draw a through-line from the dawn of the Reagan Era to the Trump-tainted present day, and even includes the presence of Fred Trump.

  • Revisionist history isn’t just for holocaust deniers. In Hollywood, filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood…”), Ryan Murphy (“Hollywood”), and even Steven Spielberg (“The Fabelmans”) have been taking liberties with Tinsel Town mythology, incorporating real and fictional characters to tell stories.

  • “Saturday Night Live” has been a launching pad for some of the best (and a few of the worst) acting careers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

  • The late filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallée, who died unexpectedly at 58 in December 2021, never saw his 2005 movie “C.R.A.Z.Y.” (Samuel Goldwyn Pictures) receive a general theatrical release in the States.

  • Writer/director Lukas Dhont’s “Close” (A24), winner of the Grand Prix at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, is also Belgium’s entry for the Oscar’s Best International Feature category.

  • First, the good news. There are no multiverses in “Downton Abbey: A New Era” (Focus Features).

  • As non-traditional documentaries go, Amélie van Elmbt and Maya Duverdier’s “Dreaming Walls: Inside the Chelsea Hotel” (Magnolia Pictures) is right up there with Todd Haynes’ “The Velvet Underground.”

  • When a movie about a pyromaniac sociopath opens with a shot of the burning traffic light she set ablaze and ends with her refilling a gas can at a petrol station, as Pablo Larraín’s “Ema” (Music Box Films) does, you know you are in for a scorching experience.

  • Hey, Marvel and DC, there’s a new multiverse in town, and it’s here to kick both of your tired, sagging asses.

  • At the time that this review is being written, Russia, its maniacal leader, its unnecessary war on Ukraine, and the potential for greater escalation, are very much on people’s minds.

  • Can you believe that Michelle Pfeiffer has never won an Academy Award? She’s been nominated three times but has never taken home an Oscar.

  • Halloween 2020 is behind us. However, for some people, especially LGBT folks, Thanksgiving can be much scarier. 

  • Prosecutors have charged a renowned San Francisco Police officer with two felony counts of hit-and-run in connection with a crash that left two men with serious injuries.

  • Going to the theater to see a play is on hold for the near future, even as talk of a COVID-19 vaccine is getting mixed reviews.

  • You don’t have to look at a calendar to know it’s January. All you have to do is look at the marquee of your local multiplex to see the failing crop of new releases. “80 For Brady,” anyone?

  • In a 2016 “People Magazine” interview, Oscar-winning actress Faye Dunaway admitted to regretting her over-the-top portrayal of Joan Crawford in the 1981 movie “Mommie Dearest” (Paramount), newly reissued on Blu-ray and digital as part of the Paramount Presents series.

  • In “Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon” (Saban Films), which can be best described as “Stranger Things” meets “Hustlers”, Kate Hudson continues her career comeback of 2022.

  • Lesley Manville earned an Oscar nomination for playing Cyril, the manager of her brother’s fashion house, in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2017 film “Phantom Thread,” set in 1950s London.

  • First things first. Harry Styles is not the worst thing about Michael Grandage’s film adaptation of Bethan Roberts’ novel “My Policeman” (Amazon Studios).

  • If you’ve ever seen Greg Mottola’s marvelous 1996 indie comedy “The Daytrippers,” starring Parker Posey, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, Hope Davis, and the late Anne Meara, then you know that New York City is a great place to try and catch a cheating spouse in action.

  • Hollywood has a habit of remaking foreign films into Americanized versions.

  • You never know what combination of elements will coalesce into a truly unforgettable movie experience.

  • With an opening that looks like what “West Side Story” might resemble had it been directed by John Waters, Amanda Kramer’s campy and thought-provoking, “Please Baby Please” (Music Box Films) is a sight to behold.

  • Gay filmmaker Wes Hurley’s inventive and captivating “Potato Dreams of America” (Darkstar), now available on Blu-ray, is the kind of movie another Wes (Anderson) would make if he was gay.

  • “Promising Young Woman” (Focus), the feature-length directorial debut by actress Emerald Fennell (Camilla Parker Bowles in “The Crown”) is a bit like an onion. It has many layers and it will make some people cry.

  • We have Rian Johnson and his critically acclaimed box office hit “Knives Out” to thank for the revival of the comedic murder mystery. Advance word on the sequel, “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery,” is that it’s as good as the original.

  • With no end to the COVID-19 pandemic in sight for the near future, college students have had to take a new and different approach to how they attend classes.

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