Movie Reviews

Movie Review: White Lie (2019)

White Lie opens with protagonist Katie Arneson (Kacey Rohl, “Red Riding Hood”) shaving her head. Combined with the title, this opening scene may well prompt the viewer to form an initial interpretation. While this first impression may be proved right, the film subsequently goes in several unexpected directions, probing deep and prompting unexpected reactions. Katie…

Movie Review: Girl (2020)

Girl, written, directed and starring Chad Faust (“Better Start Running”), is effective when it comes to mood and atmosphere. The problem, however, is that there isn’t enough substance to make Faust’s stylish choices mean something, so this thriller comes across as more empty that gratifying. It begins with the titular “Girl” (Bella Thorne, “The Babysitter:…

Movie Review: 1982 (2019)

On June 6, 1982, exactly 38 years after D-Day, roughly 60,000 Israeli troops and more than 800 tanks, heavily supported by aircraft, attack helicopters, artillery, and missile boats invaded Southern Lebanon, a country already involved in a decades-long civil war. Israel’s publicly-stated objective was to push PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) forces back 40 kilometers (25…

Movie Review: Soul (2020)

Why am I here? What is the meaning of my existence? What happens when I die? What is the mind? What is my personality? Why am I? Deep and profound questions, well suited to a long cinematic chin-stroker such as Andrei Tarkovsky’s “Solaris” and Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life.” Or a swift, snappy animated…

Movie Review: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

The second of his 12 plays dramatizing the Black experience in America during the twentieth century, August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is a haunting and powerful experience that focuses on Gertrude “Ma Rainey” (Viola Davis, “Widows”), known as “The Mother of the Blues,” one of the first popular Black blues singers to gain acceptance…

Movie Review: His House (2020)

The ghost story is common in the cinematic output of many countries. From the Mexican “The Devil’s Backbone” to the Spanish “The Orphanage” to the Japanese “Dark Water” and the British/Iranian “Under The Shadow,” as well as the renowned classics “The Haunting” and “The Innocents,” the ghost story has proven itself versatile and adaptable to…

Movie Review: Skyfire (2019)

Simon West’s Skyfire is equal parts “Jurassic Park,” “Armageddon,” and, well, “Volcano”: A tireless, heart-pounding leap beyond such niceties as logic and character development into the well-trod terrain of super-duper action movie. And by that purple prose, I mean that it’s a damn fine movie to veg out to and just enjoy for what it…

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