The Chapulín Colorado’s antenitas de vinil not only allowed the legendary Mexican superhero created by Roberto Gómez Bolaños Chespirito to detect the presence of the enemy but also to translate any language into Spanish…except that spoken and written by film critics. Well, as a film critic I have my very own antenitas de vinil and they became rather […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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, […]

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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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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