• Earth, Wind & Fire to Become First R&B Group to Receive Kennedy Center Honors on December 8th
    Earth, Wind & Fire, the beloved Grammy-winning band best known for songs such as "September" and "Shining Star," will become the first R&B group to receive the Kennedy Center Honors during the annual ceremony held on Sunday, December 8th, which will subsequently be broadcast the following Sunday, December 15th, at 7pm CST on CBS.  Band […]
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Expands World of Legendary Franchise
    I’m old enough to remember when “Star Wars” properties were few and far between. Now they’re everywhere. Whether or not this market saturation is good or bad for the brand is material for another feature, but you almost have to admire the three-medium attack this holiday season. There will be children who watch the newest […]
  • Midnight Family
    The night comes alive in "Midnight Family," Luke Lorentzen's film about a private ambulance service in Mexico City. This is one of the great contemporary films about the look and feel of a big city after dark, luxuriating in the vastness of almost-empty avenues lit by buzzing streetlamps. It's a real-life answer to fiction movies like "Taxi Driver," "Bringing […]
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire
    French writer/director Céline Sciamma has hypnotizing powers—her spellbinding pull was unmissable in both the sensual “Water Lilies” and the gleaming coming-of-age tale “Girlhood.” With “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” she takes that cinematic magnetism to new heights and periods, to a cliffside manor somewhere on the coast of Brittany in the 1770s. Imbued with […]
  • Playmobil: The Movie
    A movie "inspired" by a line of toys has one essential challenge—to be more than a feature-length commercial. Tops in that category are "The Lego Movie" and "The Lego Batman Movie," with "Trolls" following behind. "Playmobil: The Movie" comes much further down the list, just before "UglyDolls," which couldn't even get its message straight about […]
  • The Aeronauts
    Tom Harper’s “The Aeronauts” begins just as Amelia (Felicity Jones), a balloon pilot, and James (Eddie Redmayne), a scientist desperate to prove his theories about the weather, take off on their 19th century vertical adventure in front of a large crowd to much fanfare. In flashbacks, “The Aeronauts” explains more about their tenuous relationship beyond […]
  • In Fabric
    Comics artist Howard Chaykin once (or twice) said that the role of advertising is to flatter you into thinking that you’re smarter than advertising. That concept is put to work in “In Fabric,” a slippery horror-comedy about the equally treacherous relationship between salespeople, consumers, and their possessions. Watching “In Fabric,” the latest giallo-inspired adult fairy […]
  • Into the Dark: A Nasty Piece of Work
    As I watched Charles Hood’s “A Nasty Piece of Work,” the Christmas installment of the Hulu & Blumhouse series “Into the Dark,” I kept taking notes of other works that I felt inspired this one. Recent echoes of class warfare in films like “Ready or Not” and “Parasite” are almost certainly coincidental (or, more accurately, a […]
  • The Disappearance of My Mother
    Benedetta Barzini does not like photographs. To her, they are static, flat, dead. "I don't like frozen things," she says. Even just snapping a photo to capture a happy moment takes on an almost sinister context. She complains, "Nothing is left to memory ... your own memory." If you are so busy trying to capture […]
  • The Wolf Hour
    Playing a self-banished, agoraphobic recluse, Naomi Watts delivers a disquieting, mostly one-woman performance in writer/director Alistair Banks Griffin’s “The Wolf Hour.” It’s a drab vision of mental struggle that owes all of its limited draw to its lead—you can’t imagine spending those 90 or so grimy and claustrophobic minutes with anyone other than Watts. But […]

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