This film was “inspired by a true story,” which should clue you in that while dealing with some actual historical events many details have been fictionalized. There was indeed a black man who served seven different US Presidents as a White House butler. But his name wasn’t Cecil Gaines, he didn’t grow up on a […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Lee Daniel’s The Butler (2013)"
Director George Miller makes a stunning return to his classic post-apocalyptic future series with Tom Hardy very ably filling the role Mel Gibson originated years ago. Miller also co-wrote this all-out, non-stop spectacle with Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouvis. This time, a game and indomitable Charlize Theron provides the heroic loner with a fierce if sometimes reluctant […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Mad Max, Fury Road (2015)"
Dying of the Light (Theatrical Action Film, 2014, 1 hours 34 minutes). This middling Nicholas Cage vehicle is a spy versus terrorist action flick. The twist, to the extent there is one, is that the principle antagonists are both terminally ill. Cage does a very respectable job playing “Evan Lake,” a veteran CIA agent who never […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Dying of the Light (2014)"
Deadpool (Theatrical Super Hero Movie, 2016). Some Super Heroes and their movies take themselves entirely too seriously. That’s certainly not the case with Deadpool, the movie franchise or the character. Ryan Reynolds shines here (and in the more recent, equally uproarious sequel) as the smart-mouthed center of attention. The film’s joyously snarky animated opening credits leave […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Deadpool (2016, 108 Minutes)"
Arrival (Theatrical Science Fiction Movie, 2016). This film, based on a story by Ted Chang, one of the very best of the younger generation of SF authors, earned a fistful of Academy Award nominations. It won in one technical category (sound) and could’ve easily earned more. If it wasn’t that year’s actual Best Picture, it was […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Arrival"
Already 14 years since this came out? Wow. Anyway, even if you never saw this one you probably know about the real-life behind-the-scenes drama of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt beginning their relationship as an on-set affair. But let’s not focus on that, okay? Here and now, the movie is the thing. And what an odd, somewhat […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)"
The owner/operator of the Grand Midway, Blair Murphy, had business that kept him from being on hand for much of this Thursday’s coffeehouse. Accordingly, he asked yours truly to pinch-hit for him. I agreed, of course–I mean, why not? Being paid a bit to attend my favorite place, where I’d be spending the evening regardless! […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: September 6, 2018"