Tag: Film Reviews

Film Review: ‘A Journal for Jordan’: Director Denzel Washington Is All Over the Map

PG-13 | 2h 11min | Drama, Romance, Biography | 25 December 2021 (USA) In his first three features as a director, two-time Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington chose to explore the (often difficult) experiences of Black Americans. “Antwone Fisher” (2002) and “The Great Debaters” (2007) were fact-based and “Fences” (2016) was an adaptation of the 1985 play by August Wilson. All low-budget affairs,…


2 Delightful Family Films for the Holidays From October Through December

Beyond the most popular classic Christmas movies, like “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “White Christmas,” there are countless less-famous older movies with equally heartwarming holiday stories (not limited to Christmas) that fulfill our longing for family and our nostalgia for times gone by. “On Moonlight Bay” from 1951 and its sequel, “By the Light of…


‘West Side Story’: The Music Survives Socialist Realism

The new film adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical play “West Side Story” opened Dec. 10 to the conundrum of rave reviews and limp box office. Why director Steven Spielberg decided that the highly celebrated, Oscar-winning 1961 film of this musical needed remaking is anyone’s guess. If his purpose was to update the script to…


Iconic Films: ‘On the Waterfront’: Standing Up for What’s Right, No Matter the Cost

Not Rated| 1h 48min | Crime, Drama, Thriller |1954 Was there a movie when you were younger that was so stirring that it became indelibly lodged in the back of your mind and soul the first time you saw it? “On the Waterfront” (1954) was such a powerful cinematic experience for me that, the first time…


Popcorn and Inspiration: Film Review: ‘Free State of Jones’: The ‘Braveheart’ of Mississippi

June 24, 2016 | R | 2h 19m The year is 1863. Former blacksmith Newton Knight (Matthew McConaughey) steadies an ex-slave’s head against a mangrove tree in a Mississippi swamp and starts slamming the steel bolt on the medieval, 4-pronged “punishment collar” the runaway slave had been forced to wear. That particular sound of freedom…


Film Review: ‘Cyrano’: Director Joe Wright’s Clunky Musical Hits Multiple Sour Notes

PG-13 | 2h 4min | Drama, Musical, Romance | 17 December 2021 (USA) After the promising releases of “Pride & Prejudice” and “Atonement,” director Joe Wright’s output could kindly be described as uneven. The now seven further features range in quality from very good (“Hanna,” “Darkest Hour”) to meh (“Anna Karenina”) to, well, no thank you (“The Soloist,” “Pan,” “The Woman in…


Film Review: The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis: Excellent but Not Complete

NR | 1h 13min | Drama | 3 November 2021 (UK) In adapting Max McLean’s stage play “C.S. Lewis Onstage: The Most Reluctant Convert,” director Norman Stone resisted the temptation to add any filler and as a result the running time is a scant 73 minutes which might leave some viewers feeling a tad cheated. What Stone’s film might lack in…


New Series Review: ‘Are We Living in the End Times?’ With Dr. Mark W. Wilson

22min | Documentary | 2021 It seems like everywhere you look these days, a lot of chaos is unfolding. We’ve all just been put through the wringer that was the year 2020—where we were told to stay at home for only 15 days, and our docile compliance enabled nefarious forces to morph that into an…


Film Review: ‘National Champions’: Should College Student Athletes Unionize?

December 10, 2021 | R | 1h 56m “National Champions” is a crackling, high-voltage, testosterone-intensive sports drama about college football, where nary a down of football is played, and yet you can’t look away for the entire two-hour runtime. That’s a pretty neat trick. So what’s the premise? Unionization. A recent presidential hopeful wanted to…


Popcorn and Inspiration: ‘Hidden Figures’: NASA’s First Black Female Math Wizards

December 25, 2016 | PG | 2h 7m There was an African-American woman in the 1960s whose math skills not only outstripped all her male rocket-scientist colleagues at NASA, but also out-computed NASA’s gigantic, room-sized IBM computer. This is how we spell role model. Her staggeringly accurate calculations were solely responsible for sending America’s most…