Film Review: Displacement

There are few themes in science fiction cinema that are harder to get right than time travel. It’s ridiculously complex because of all the built-in paradoxes. Travel back in time to fix something and you might inadvertently prevent your parents meeting and falling in love. Have a character in the movie try to explain what’s going on and things just get exponentially more confounding. That’s the fundamental problem with the indie time travel film Displacement. It…Read More

Best New Films to Netflix, May 2017

I haven’t written about what’s leaving and what’s coming to Netflix in a while, but let’s be honest: Netflix has so much content, it can be hard to realize that the catalog changes on any given month anyway. Particularly now that it’s so aggressively producing its own unique content, both movies and engrossing TV series. Still, let’s have a look at May, 2017’s big list. Leaving Netflix There are some really good movies leaving Netflix…Read More

How Dolby Cinema is Changing The Theater Experience

While home theaters have come a long way in terms of offering up a surround sound experience, there’s only so much you can do with three speakers plus a subwoofer. Okay, that front soundbar might have three speakers within it, front left, front center and front right, while the two back satellite speakers are rear left and rear right, but still, one big advantage that a movie theater has over even the most well equipped home is…Read More

Film Review: Ghost in the Shell

It’s the future and we’re all cybernetically enhanced human beings. Whether it’s a replacement limb, better eyesight, or even neural access to the Internet, everyone’s jacked in and everyone’s just a bit anxious about how far humanity can go. At what point does an enhanced human become a robot, not human at all? For Ghost in the Shell lead character Major (Scarlett Johansson), this is a highly personal question as she learns that her brain was…Read More

Film Review: Life

The premise of the new sci-fi horror thriller Life clearly borrows from two other excellent sci-fi thrillers Alien and The Andromeda Strain, and, like both of those, delivers a tense cinematic experience that keeps the viewer on the edge of their seat, guessing about the outcome up to the final scene. The action all takes place on the International Space Station, crewed by a team of six specialists who are focused on capturing and analyzing soil samples…Read More

Film Review: Hidden Figures

Watch enough movies about the space race and you’ll be convinced that Americans got off the planet and ultimately to the moon through the efforts of a lot of nerdy white guys with flat-top haircuts. It took way too long for the USA to get men and women of different ethnic and racial backgrounds into spaceships, but it turns out that behind the scenes, the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs were powered by a lot…Read More

Film Review: Passengers

You’ve been woken up from your cryopod 90 years early on a 120 year journey from Earth to the distant colony world of Homestead II. And you’re alone. No crew, and none of the other 5,000 passengers on the spaceship are conscious. What do you do? Denver-based mechanic Jim Preston (Chris Pratt) is the only conscious person on the massive deep space ship and he has no idea why his pod decided it was time for…Read More

Film Review: Morgan

There’s precious little that’s new and provocative in the sci-fi thriller Morgan, but its still sufficiently well-assembled that it’s worth a watch, albeit on HBO, Netflix or Redbox. The production team tried to deliver a dark commentary on humanity and genetic engineering, but the big reveal was so obvious that it might as well have been explicitly stated in the first reel. The story has a nameless corporation sponsoring the creation and nurturing of genetically…Read More

Film Review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Producing a series of films where each is a sequel of the previous is tricky enough, but slipping new films into an older series so that they begin and end at logical points yet tell a story all their own is extraordinarily difficult. And that’s exactly what director Gareth Edwards does with the terrific new Star Wars film Rogue One. The third film in the Star Wars saga, Revenge of the Sith (2005) ends with…Read More

Film Review: Allied

It’s 1942 and World War II is raging almost everywhere on the planet. Allied spy Max Vatan (Brad Pitt) parachutes into occupied French Moroccan city of Casablanca. His mission: assassinate the Nazi ambassador to Morocco. To accomplish this audacious goal he has to meet up with his “wife” and cover Marianne Beausejour (Marion Cotillard), who has spent the last few months ingratiating herself with the German occupation government and wrangling an invitation to the grand…Read More

Film Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

As a fan of the Harry Potter series and the wonderful universe created by author J. K. Rowling, I really wanted to like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. But I didn’t find much to love, just a safe, entertaining young adult focused cinematic experience. This new film, the first of a five-part series, is set a century before Harry’s birth and based in 1920’s New York City. Eminently likable Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) is…Read More

Film Review: Arrival

Don’t be misled by the movie poster and trailer, Arrival is a cerebral sci-fi thriller about the nature of time and the sequence of events in our lives. While there are visual aspects that are straight out of the Hollywood sci-fi tentpole alien invasion storyline, the film offers a slower and more thoughtful exploration of the core question that various human tribes have asked since the very first invasion: why are you here? The mysterious…Read More

Best Movies on Netflix, November 2016

Another month, another list of movies that are coming out of the Netflix catalog and a list of movies that are being added for our viewing pleasure. But, as always, what’s really worth your time? That’s where I come in! First off, here are a few movies you should have watched before they vanished: Deliverance (somewhat hard to watch, but a brilliantly assembled buddy film that invented some of our modern “city guys in the…Read More

Film Review: Inferno

Author Dan Brown had a blockbuster success with the book “The DaVinci Code” back in 2003, but even with celebrity power of star Tom Hanks and director Ron Howard, the 2006 film did poorly and isn’t very well considered. Part two of the trilogy featuring Harvard “symbologist” Robert Langdon is “Angels & Demons” and its 2009 cinematic adaptation was a distinct improvement over the first film. Enter “Inferno“, the third Langdon adventure. Named after the hell as portrayed…Read More

16 Great Films on Amazon Prime Video

A good friend asked if I could recommend a few good films that were available through the Amazon Prime Video program, so I started digging. Now they specifically asked about whether the movies are available for downloading, a cool feature of the Prime program that’s available for some, though not all, movies you can watch through Prime Video. Unfortunately, there’s no list of movies that meet this criterion on the site so it’s up to…Read More