Monthly Archives: December 2019

The Best Films of 2019

It was a banner year for documentaries and an off year for animation. And Almodovar. Sure, give Banderas a Best Actor nomination, but “Pain & Glory?” Meh. It was a year without Woody Allen, our first and not our last. … Continue reading

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Netflixable? Brazil’s Porta dos Fundos lampoons Jesus & Co. with “The Last Hangover”

Netflix continues its holiday season culling of Christian fundamentalist subscribers by adding a second holiday-themed religious special from the Brazilian TV and Youtube comedy troop Porta dos Fundos” to its offerings. Whatever else they’ve managed in their brief career as … Continue reading

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RIP Syd Mead — futurist, designer of “Blade Runner,” “Tron” and “Aliens” was 86

The iconic look of sci fi cinema was redefined in the late ’70s and early ’80s by Syd Mead, a visual stylist who cast a long shadow over the genre. An artist and futurist who worked for Ford, his conceptual … Continue reading

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Netflixable? “Kevin Hart: Don’t F**k This Up”

I was one of the few critics to bother checking out Kevin Hart’s theatrical comedy concert film “Laugh at My Pain” when it opened back in 2011. He was already a veteran bit player, comic support on TV (Judd Apatow’s … Continue reading

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Netflixable? Director Abel Ferrara cameos in Italian thriller, “The App”

The reason to mention the sometime actor and director of such violent, lurid and iconic indie films as “King of New York” and “Bad Lieutenant” in the headline of this review is to zero in on the most promising possibility … Continue reading

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Movie Preview: Georgia lad kicks up his heels when he hears “And Now We Dance”

This isn’t the Georgia of the Falcons, “Real Housewives” or Tyler Perry. It’s the one Stalin came from. So you can see the “Billy Elliott” challenges of a life in tights in this Feb. release.  

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Movie Preview: Drug dealers learn what “VFW” stands for

Stephen Lang, Fred Williamson, David Patrick Kelly, William Sadler and George Wendt are among the aged vets trapped in a bar under siege in this gory, over the top action piece. “VFW,” played straight or for tongue in cheek laughs, … Continue reading

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Movie Review: Horror is a fiddle tune composed by Rutger Hauer, “The Sonata”

A sonata isn’t just a drab Hyundai sedan or a sleep-aid meant to treat insomnia. It’s a work for a solo instrumentalist, typically, in classical music, composed for violin or piano, although there are flute, organ and clarinet works famous … Continue reading

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BOX OFFICE: “Skywalker” falls to $72, “Little Women” clear $16

That’s not a terrible plummet, more a steep falloff for the “final” “Star Wars” film. It’s still trailing “Last Jedi,” at this same point in release. A big Xmas pushed it over $300 million and narrowed that gap considerably. Any … Continue reading

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Netflixable? A famed Mexican singer redeems himself, post mortem, in “Como Caido del Cielo (As Fallen from the Clouds)”

The dashing figure of singer, actor and icon Pedro Infante still looms large enough in Mexican pop culture as to inspire fresh appreciations of his talent. Sometimes, the reference can be oblique, in animated form (“Coco”). Sometimes, it’s more direct, … Continue reading

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