Dark Waters: A Warning For All Americans

Dark Waters is a warning for All Americans and shows what happens when the federal government allows corporate regulation to go unchecked. A corporate environmental defense attorney from Taft Stettinius & Hollister is probably the last person to take on Big Chem.  Yet this is exactly what Rob Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) did.  While he was originally doing something as a favor to an acquaintance of his grandmother’s it became bigger than anyone could ever have…

"Dark Waters: A Warning For All Americans"

Toronto 2019: Joker

Joker presents a new retelling of the character’s origins as a villain but the film fails so horribly on just about every single level. SPOILER ALERT: I apologize in advance for any spoilers but when it comes to reviews, please read at your own risk. There are so many problems with this film.  First of all, the Joker is a straight-out villain in the comics.  In prior movies, he has never once been presented in…

"Toronto 2019: Joker"

The Kitchen Isn’t The Feminist Thriller We Need

The Kitchen is about a trio of wives who take over protecting the neighborhood while their husbands are serving time in jail. Oscar-nominated screenwriter Andrea Berloff adapts Ollie Masters and Ming Doyle’s comic book series for the big screen.  I really wish that I could say that The Kitchen is a good film but it fails along the way.  The whole women-take-revenge plot was done so much better in Steve McQueen’s criminally underrated Widows.  Where…

"The Kitchen Isn’t The Feminist Thriller We Need"

Skin: Learning to Unlearn the Hate

Skin, based on a true story, isn’t an easy subject to tackle during an era that takes place following the horrible tragedy in Charlottesville. Filmmaker Guy Nattiv is the descendant of Holocaust survivors.  He grew up listening to his grandparents’ stories.  It is because of this that Bryon Widner’s (Jamie Bell, who met Widner on the day of the Charlottesville rally) story caught his interest.  How often do we learn of neo-Nazi’s learning to undo…

"Skin: Learning to Unlearn the Hate"

Native Son: Compelling, falls short

Native Son is a compelling film with strong performances but I can’t help but feel that something is lost in updating the story for present day. Like the novel its based on, Native Son is set in Chicago.  Instead of the 1930s, Suzan-Lori Parks updates the story for a contemporary telling.  Is this a good idea?  I don’t know.  I haven’t read the novel written by Richard Wright so I’m not in a position to compare the…

"Native Son: Compelling, falls short"

Wildlife: A Career-Best for Carey Mulligan

With first-time director Paul Dano at the helm, Wildlife benefits from a stand-out performance from actress Carey Mulligan. Based on Richard Ford’s book of the same name, we view the events through the eyes of teenager Joe Brinson (Ed Oxenbould) in Great Falls, Montana.  As his parents struggle financially, Joe decides to quit the football team to work for a photographer. Meanwhile, Joe’s dad, Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal), decides to run out of town to fight fires some…

"Wildlife: A Career-Best for Carey Mulligan"

TIFF 2018: The Land of Steady Habits

Based on the book of the same name, The Land of Steady Habits is more comedy than drama in this newest film from Nicole Holofcener. When we first meet Anders Hill (Ben Mendelsohn), he has retired from working in finance and is sleeping with other women after divrcing his ex-wife, Helene (Edie Falco).  Okay–so he’s a womanizer.  At first, a totally unlikable character, we’re finding ourselves gravitated towards rooting for him.  It makes so sense–I know–but this…

"TIFF 2018: The Land of Steady Habits"

TIFF 2018: Wildlife

With first-time director Paul Dano at the helm, Wildlife benefits from a stand-out performance from actress Carey Mulligan. Based on the book of the same name, we view the events through the eyes of teenager Joe Brinson (Ed Oxenbould).  As his parents struggle financially, he decides to quit the football team to work for a photographer.  Having lost his job at the golf club, Jerry (Jake Gyllenhaal) runs out of town to fight fires in Montana. …

"TIFF 2018: Wildlife"

Woman Walks Ahead: Poor In Execution

Woman Walks Ahead sounds like a great idea in theory but the film goes poorly in its execution. Catherine Weldon (Jessica Chastain) has an interesting story.  The Swiss immigrant arrived to the United States in 1852, where both she and her mom settled in Brooklyn.  She would later have a marriage to Bernhard Schlatter end in divorce in 1883.  It’s what happened after her marriage ended in which her life would truly begin to get interesting.…

"Woman Walks Ahead: Poor In Execution"

Crown Heights: Colin Warner’s Fight For Freedom

Crown Heights tells the true story of Colin Warner and the road he underwent to get his freedom after being wrongfully convicted of murder. Written and directed by Matt Ruskin, the biopic stars Lakeith Stanfield, Nnamdi Asomugha, Natalie Paul, Amari Cheatom, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Nestor Carbonell, Zach Grenier, Josh Pais, Yul Vazquez, Ron Canada, with Bill Camp. It’s 1980 when Marvin Grant gets gunned down in Flatbush, Brooklyn.  The only witness that the police are…

"Crown Heights: Colin Warner’s Fight For Freedom"