Movie Review: “2001: A Space Odyssey”, The 4K Ultra HD Release

Every film fan has their favorites, a list of movies they can watch endlessly. The film might be a comedy, a drama or an action film, but they’ve become “feel good” movies where you have positive associations with both the film and your previous viewings. More serious film fans, however, also have films that they enjoy because of how profound they are or because they’re just so masterfully assembled, true examples of visual storytelling. The…Read More

Film Review: Mortal Engines

It’s a thousand years in the future and the Earth has been decimated. The few people that are left mostly live in mobile cities; resources are so scarce that cities have become mobile behemoths that zip around consuming smaller cities for both metal, mechanical and human resources. The apocalypse happened after a super-weapon called Medusa was created and annihilated most global population centers. But that’s ancient news. Now “historians” scrape through the ceaseless rubble hoping…Read More

Quality Father/Son Time with Our Pal “Venom”

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #ManCaveMovieNight #Venom #TheEqualizer2 My son’s in his first year of college. Dorm life, a completely unstructured lifestyle, girls, an occasional class to attend, lots of cafeteria food (fortunately Pitzer College has an excellent dining hall) and all the socializing a young man could desire. Underlying all of it, however, is a subtle current of loneliness; it’s…Read More

Film Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

So there’s this guy Kingpin (voice of Liev Schreiber) who really wants to be reunited with his family so he creates a supercollider that causes the multiverse to fracture and overlap: If he can do it just right, he can jump into an alternative reality where they’re still alive. Consequences? He’s a gangster and collateral damage to the rest of Brooklyn and the world are irrelevant when compared to his quest. Meanwhile, a likeable teen…Read More

Film Review: Robin Hood

The latest cinematic retelling of the Robin Hood myth from English history starts with a portentous voice warning you to “forget everything you know about Robin Hood. Forget history.” Perhaps a more apt warning has never appeared at the beginning of a movie, because this retelling of Robin Hood has nothing to do with the outlaw living in the forest with his band of merry men. It’s an abomination all its own. The era is…Read More

Film Review: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

Author J.K.Rowling has deserved all of her tremendous success with the extraordinarily successful Harry Potter franchise. Seven books. Eight movies. A stage production. Countless toys. And then there’s Fantastic Beasts, a related franchise that takes place in the “Potterverse” as a set of prequels to the famous story of The Boy Who Lived. The first film in the franchise, 2016’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, started as a short book by Rowling that was…Read More

Film Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet

This Internet thing we all use seems pretty durable but is apparently a pretty fragile thing, susceptible to viruses and all sorts of problems. At least, that’s true in the strange but visually lush world of Ralph Breaks the Internet. Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is a lovable lunk of a guy, the antagonist from an old school video game who we first met in the 2012 animated Wreck-It Ralph. This newer installment opens…Read More

Film Review: Overlord

The gorgeous and gory new horror movie Overlord neatly ties together two facets of World War II history: Operation Overlord and Hitler’s obsession with the occult. Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy and the Allied troops really did land behind enemy lines to clear the way for the massive beach invasion of D-Day, as suggested in the film. But what if the Allied troops encountered more than just determined German soldiers?…Read More

Film Review: The Elf

I can totally imagine how this went down in some Brentwood living room, or maybe an apartment in West Hollywood: Writer/Director Justin Price is shooting the breeze with his buddies and someone asks “Hey man, did your folks ever do that Elf On The Shelf thing when you were a kid?” After the laughter and one-upmanship of weird Elf on the Shelf stories dies down, Justin gets moody and thoughtful. “What if,” he finally says,…Read More

Does “City Slickers” Still Hold Up? Some Kids Just Yawn…

[[ A guest post by film critic and father Christian Toto ]] This so-called film expert got Family Movie Night wrong. Again. I thought my boys (ages 7, 9) would love Billy Crystal’s cowboy antics in the 1991 comedy City Slickers, just re-released on Blu-ray. Slapstick comedy is right in their wheelhouse, the broader, the better. Or maybe I was too curious about my own reaction to the movie all these years later, given its…Read More

Film Review: First Man

In curious ways, the new biopic First Man mirrors the experience of a trip to the moon, alternating between breathtakingly exciting and boring as watching paint dry. Don’t get me wrong, First Man is a really good movie and a fascinating insight into the emotional journey of astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to step foot on the moon. But it’s also dull at times, heavy with dialog and too reliant on a wooden Ryan…Read More

Film Review: Aliens At The Pentagon

There’s something undeniably appealing about a good conspiracy theory. I mean, what if there is a secret cabal that’s ruling the world, what if there really is an Illuminati controlling the actions of millions, what if there really are aliens? And they’re among us?! Self-avowed “world’s leading expert on UFOs, the unexplained and conspiracy theories” Nick Pope acts as writer and on-screen host for the documentary Aliens At The Pentagon and it’s an entertaining 66 minutes…Read More

Movie Review: The House with a Clock in its Walls

It’s a pretty typical coming of age story with a dose of Harry Potter, but The House with a Clock in its Walls is an entertaining read. The book has some tension and suspense, but mostly it’s straight “horror” teen literature. Which is why it’s surprising that the film adaptation turns out to be teetering on the edge of being too frightening for its very market, children and tweens who want a good scare, but…Read More

Movie Review: The Predator

There were a lot of great action films released during the 1980’s, from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark to Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Back to the Future to Ghostbusters. There were also a number of iconic sci-fi films that starred the Austrian action star Arnold Schwarzenegger, including The Terminator, Commando and the sly The Running Man. “Ah-nold” became iconic with his enormous muscles and thick accent, and rarely did…Read More

Movie Review: The Meg

When Steven Spielberg directed a film about a shark based on a best-selling Peter Benchley book of the same name, he had no way of knowing that it was going to not only be one of the first true cinematic blockbusters, but would influence a generation of swimmers too. The 1975 film Jaws turned sharks into toothy celebrities that are now memorialized in our culture through media events like Shark Week. With three increasingly weak…Read More