Regardless of genre, this is one of the finest films of recent years. It’s certainly among the most mature SF pieces of the decade, wonderfully detailed and realistic, with masterful direction by Ridley Scott and with maybe Matt Damon’s best acting work ever. Based on Andy Weir’s debut novel, the film centers on Mark Watney […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: The Martian (2015)"
The second weekly coffeehouse of the season at Windber’s Grand Midway Hotel was in many ways a disappointment. Attendance was well off from the previous week’s promising beginning, despite the presence of a handful of stalwart regulars. Yet there were some positive aspects worthy of mention. In honor of this week’s 50th anniversary of the […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: June 6, 2019"
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)"
Films where a number of shorter works (usually with a thematic connection) are bound together in an anthology format are pretty rare. As the title suggests, here the basic thread involves futuristic science fiction with a distinctly horrific sensibility. Features of this sort are almost guaranteed to be uneven in quality and impact. That’s certainly […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Galaxy of Horrors (2017)"
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"
I was again ‘minding the store’ for the first couple hours of last night’s coffeehouse at Windber’s Grand Midway Hotel as owner Blair Murphy rushes about, preparing the place for the next few weeks’ activities. A whole crew of ghost-hunter/paranormal researchers and the like are expected to headquarter here this Saturday–and that’s just the first […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights, 27 September 2018"