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 […]

Venom Never Quite Comes Together

Before Marvel stepped in and put the brakes on things at Sony with regards to the Spider-Man franchise, they had a list of potential spin-offs in the pipeline including one preposterous project that would star a young Aunt May as some sort of Agent Carter type of character, completely inventing a history the character never had. That pushed the folks at Marvel too far, and after two not all that successful Spider-Man reboots with Andrew Garfield, Marvel felt it was time to step in and right the ship before it sank completely. A successful introduction of new Spider-Man Tom Holland […]

A Love Story Worth Telling Again

They say there are only a handful of original stories in Hollywood, which may explain the trend for remakes, reboots, and revivals. And now we have the third remake of the classic love story A Star is Born, first made in 1937 as a non-musical with Janet Gaynor and Frederic March. That film was remade in Hollywood’s musical heyday in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason and is a beloved classic. Another musical version came around in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson, became the third highest-grossing film of the year, and introduced the world to the eventual […]

The Perfect Summer Movie

Back in July 1999, Warner Brothers released what could’ve been an utterly ridiculous Jaws-inspired shark movie – Deep Blue Sea – that might’ve made a few bucks during the summer season and disappeared quickly. But … that movie has a moment that became legendary and propelled the film to cult status (it didn’t even spawn a sequel until this year and that was a straight-to-video effort). And now the same studio is going back into the deep blue sea with a new shark movie, The Meg, a long gestating project based – very loosely – on the 1997 novel Meg. […]

Take a Chance on Mamma Mia! at Toby’s

I grew up with the music of ABBA, and it’s safe to say most people are familiar with their multitude of hits. And of course, most people also know those songs were folded into a Broadway musical that ran for more than 5,700 performances. I was fortunate enough to see the final tour of Mamma Mia! when it came to Baltimore in January of 2017. I enjoyed the show, the cast and, most of all, the music which actually seemed a bit more important than the story. It has to be difficult to construct a story around already established songs […]

Getting Really High

I was a kid during the “Golden Age of Disaster Movies” in the 1970s. Airport really launched the all-star disaster epic, but it was The Poseidon Adventure that took disaster movies to the next level. That was followed by The Towering Inferno and Earthquake, but a succession of cheaply-made disaster movies with B-level stars (or badly slumming A-listers, such as Paul Newman and Sean Connery) helped the genre quickly peter out. There wasn’t another really good disaster movie until Daylight in 1996 (a very underrated film with a great cast that captures the spirit of the best of the 70s […]

A Spirited Adventure

Star Wars fans were concerned but eager to see a new movie that picked up where the original trilogy ended and were justly rewarded. The second film in the new trilogy was polarizing to say the least, so the mood going into the third film is tenuous at best. When Lucasfilm and Disney announced they would start producing spin-off movies set in the same universe but not related to the ongoing storyline, fans again were worried that the studios were going to dilute or “ruin” the films they already loved. And then Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came along […]