Birds of Prey Packs a Punch

After DC Comics’ overly dark movie adaptations of its main comic book characters, hopes were high when Suicide Squad was announced because it was sure to be over-the-top fun. Unfortunately the film was a mess, with sloppy editing and even a bit … boring. Jared Leto’s interpretation of The Joker was off-putting for many but the one real standout was Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. So while the movie was a big pile of meh, Robbie stood out enough to nudge the Brothers Warner to consider giving her her own movie. And they did … sort of, by launching a new […]

Kinky Boots Slays at Toby’s Dinner Theatre

In 2005, the UK film Kinky Boots became a cult hit in the US and seven years later a stage musical version of the movie debuted in Chicago and then moved to Broadway on April 4th, 2013, with Stark Sands and Billy Porter in the lead roles of Charlie and Lola, respectively. The show came to Broadway with middling reviews but became a hit, eventually earning a season-high 13 Tony nominations and winning six, including Best Actor in a Musical for Porter, Best Score for Cyndi Lauper (the first solo female to win in the category), and Best Musical. A […]

Not Bored Games

Universal Pictures pulled its thriller The Hunt from release due to recent tragic events, so it’s a bit surprising that Fox Searchlight is moving ahead with its release of the thriller Ready or Not. I suppose that since the action is confined to one location and a single family, it’s not going to be as upsetting as The Hunt (which is basically just a remake of the 1930s thriller The Most Dangerous Game). Ready or Not has a very simple, yet effective, premise. A young couple, Grace (Samara Weaving) and Alex (Mark O’Brien), are getting married. Alex is part of […]

The Curse of La Llorona is All Wet

With the recent Pet Sematary remake offering little in the way of fright or originality, a new horror movie has come along that has the promise of some good quality scares coming from the producers of “The Conjuring Universe” … even though The Curse of La Llorona is not being billed as another chapter in that popular franchise. The story begins in 1673 Mexico, where a woman, her husband, and two boys are enjoying an outing. One of the boys gives mom a necklace and the next thing you know she’s drowning both of her sons, weeping at the realization […]

Good Intentions Don’t Pay Off in Gospel of Eureka

Documentaries are often made with good intentions, sometimes to spotlight the life of a beloved figure, reveal previously unknown details about a historical event, or expose the dark sides of governments and corporations. Of course there are myriad subjects documentaries can cover, but just because these films offer actual slices of life with new and archival footage and interviews, a lot of people don’t realize that it doesn’t all just come together after someone goes out with a camera to shoot something. Documentaries do need an outline so the filmmakers can focus on the story they want to tell with […]

Meet the Enemy

Have you ever had that feeling that someone is following you? You don’t see them, you don’t hear them, but you somehow just know that if you’re just at the right place at the right time – or in some cases the wrong place at the wrong time – you’re going to bump into that spectre. Sometimes it’s a relief but it could also go south real quickly. But what if that someone you finally encountered was not a friend or stranger but … you? That’s just a very vague set-up for Jordan Peele’s latest thriller Us. In the film, […]

Fashionistas Extradordinaire

Everyone pretty much knows who Andy Warhol is. Warhol made a name for himself with his illustrations, photographs, prints, movies, his group of friends and collaborators, and just by being “Andy Warhol.” Andy Warhol’s talent and persona kept him in the spotlight until his untimely death in 1987 (and that was 19 years after he was shot by Valerie Solanas, an event that caused physical and emotional scars that many attribute his death to). There is now a museum dedicated to his work in Pittsburgh (go visit – it’s worth the trip). But Warhol wasn’t the only artist making an […]

Rami Malek Rocks Out in Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody has had a tumultuous history in getting to the big screen. At one point, Sacha Baron Cohen was attached to play Freddie Mercury but when the dust settled it was Rami Malek who scored the coveted role with Bryan Singer directing. Then Singer was fired just before the film wrapped production due to conflicts with Malek and his own sexual assault / abuse scandal, and the movie was completed by Dexter Fletcher (although Singer retains sole directorial credit). Then the movie ran into some trouble with fans who were knocking the movie before they had even seen it, […]

Melissa McCarthy Goes for the Gold in ‘Forgive Me?’ It takes a lot of guts to make a biopic about someone no one’s heard of, but a lot of smarts to cast a big star in the lead

It takes a lot of guts to make a biographical movie about someone most people have never heard of, but it takes a lot of smarts to cast a big star in the lead to make sure people will be interested in seeing that movie. The folks at Fox Searchlight have taken a huge gamble with Can You Ever Forgive Me?, the story of author Lee Israel, and are banking on Melissa McCarthy to bring in audiences. Was the gamble worth it? Can You Ever Forgive Me? takes place during a severe downswing in Israel’s career. The once celebrated biographer, […]

Michael Myers Goes Slashing Again

As of now, there are three movies within the same franchise with the title Halloween. There is, of course, the original 1978 classic, the 2007 reboot/remake, and now the 2018 model. Any movie with that title and a number or subtitle after it – minus Halloween III: Season of the Witch which tried to take the series in a new direction but failed – can be forgotten. Yes, even Halloween II because of one significant piece of story that movie introduced into the franchise that really was not part of the original: that Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) was Michael […]