Congratulations, Solo: A Star Wars Story! You are the first of this new batch of Star Wars films to have left me indifferent. Whereas I have revisited The Force Awakens, Rogue One and The Last Jedi, with you…well, let me say that once will be more than enough. It’s not entirely your fault. God knows director Ron […]

Read More

Like his New German Cinema compère, Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders has produced and directed far more documentaries than fiction films in the last twenty years. And, like Herzog, the critical reception to his most recent fictional work (Submergence, Everything Will Be Fine) has been lukewarm at best while his documentary films (Pina, The Salt of […]

Read More

The news that Chicago chef Jake Bickelhaupt and his wife Alexa Welsh would open a fine dining restaurant in Uptown right under the “L” tracks as the nearby Wilson station was undergoing renovations, was welcomed by neighbors and bloggers alike as further evidence that change was unavoidable for their troubled neighborhood. The hyperlocal news site […]

Read More

When the end credits for Star Wars: The Last Jedi started to roll, I turned to a good friend and colleague and asked her, “Could we ask the projectionist to play it again?”. I could not stop grinning throughout the film, even during its most somber moments. It was the smile of that young kid […]

Read More

How would one categorize Guillermo del Toro’s marvelous, entrancing, delicate and sometimes dark new film The Shape of Water? As an adult fairy tale? Well, all fairy tales were written and told by adults for an adult audience before they were bowdlerized by the Grimm Brothers and Walt Disney. As his most personal film? Hell, […]

Read More

Pixar’s Coco is the second digitally animated film centered around Día de los Muertos to be released in the last three years. It shares with the Guillermo del Toro-produced and Jorge Gutiérrez-directed The Book of Life a lead protagonist who loves music and wants to make a career out of it against his family’s wishes. […]

Read More

Mudbound is that rare film where literary and cinematic techniques are not at odds with each other, where they, in fact, engage and complement each other in ways that are rewarding to the viewer, especially after multiple viewings regardless of platform (Netflix is simultaneously releasing Mudbound theatrically and on its digital streaming services). It is […]

Read More

Josh and Benny Safdie’s Good Time is a breath of fresh air in an indie landscape beset by a certain suburban dullness and by a desire to conform to what is contemptuously called the “Sundance style,” a type of semi-autobiographical film that is more often than not self-indulgent, stylistically conservative and oblivious to the world […]

Read More

In this day and age of franchise-driven, corporate filmmaking, the Planet of the Apes trilogy, like Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy before it, stands out like a sore thumb, an exception to the rule if you will, an example of what happens when studio bean counters stand to one side and let their creators strut […]

Read More

Sofia Coppola is an acquired taste… which is a nice way of saying that when it comes to her work, I run more cold than hot. Lost in Translation (2003), her best film so far, is a masterpiece of ennui and alienation driven by Bill Murray’s impeccably droll comedic timing and a one-of-a-kind plant-your-flag performance […]

Read More

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you,” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche. For Gloria, a New York-based internet writer with a serious alcohol problem in Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal, that abyss happens […]

Read More

I am not as invested in the Star Wars universe as most fans are. I have yet to watch a single episode of The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels or even Lego Star Wars; I have not read any of the novels published by Del Rey Books nor the comics published first by Dark Horse […]

Read More