“I just can’t imagine eating anything that has a mother.” My gluttonous Thanksgiving: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Jojo Rabbit, Knives Out, Blinded by the Light, Kinky Boots, Lady & the Tramp, The Mandalorian, and Watchmen

I had a pretty gluttonous Thanksgiving. No, I don’t mean green bean casserole and pecan pie (I loathe pumpkin) and cranberry sauce and corn bread stuffing. I certainly don’t mean turkey. As Tom Hanks, thoughtfully portraying children’s TV icon Fred Rogers, observes in the surreally superlative A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, “I just can’t […]

“Dog Almighty.” A Thanksgiving analysis of the films Boy Erased, The Front Runner, and Isle of Dogs

There is no question that this world feels more than a bit broken these days. Over this Thanksgiving holiday, we took in three films that all deal with our shared past, present, future imperfect in poignant, heartrending, riotous, and allegorical ways: Boy Erased, The Front Runner, and Isle of Dogs. In essence, all three deal […]

“If you dream it, you can achieve it” – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Prom, Midnight Sky, Wonder Woman 1984 … and Cimarron?

Joe: You’re Norma Desmond. You used to be in silent pictures. You used to be big. Norma: I am big. It’s the pictures that got small. From Sunset Boulevard “If you dream it, you can achieve it.” – Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) in Wonder Woman 1984 “Nothing good is born from lies.” – Diana (Gal […]

The Other History of the DC Universe … eye-opening, transformative, damning, beautiful, human

Yes, I’m an adult (sort of) who reads (and enjoys) comic books. I’ve always relished the escapist interludes comics frequently provide. But sometimes they are transcendant. A few times in my life, be they in epic scale (Marv Wolfman’s and George Pérez’ Crisis On Infinite Earths, Brad Meltzer’s and Rags Morales’ Identity Crisis, Grant Morrison’s […]

“They paved paradise.” The power of documentary film in pandemic: A Castle in Brooklyn, King Arthur and Marvel’s 616

They paved paradisePut up a parking lotWith a pink hotel, a boutiqueAnd a swinging hot spot Don’t it always seem to goThat you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?They paved paradisePut up a parking lot – “Big Yellow Taxi,” Joni Mitchell “Your imperfections make you special.” – Joey, student actor in “Spotlight,” the […]

“I retain the right to be moved by those little things that nobody notices.” Cats (the movie!), Bombshell, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Little Women (2019), The House with a Clock in Its Walls, The Man Who Invented Christmas, Where’d You Go Bernadette?

We were the ONLY people in the theatre. And this was Cats’ second day showing at Columbia City’s Bones Theatre “I retain the right to be moved by those little things nobody notices.” – Bernadette (Cate Blanchett) in Where’d You Go, Bernadette? My favorite part of the Christmas to New Year’s gauntlet? Those empty days […]

“Fear is what can’t be trusted.” Frozen 2

Frozen 2 has a difficult task: justify its existence as more than an unnecessary cash grab sequel to a multi-billion-dollar, unexpected-franchise-spawning original that was kind of a rip-off of the Broadway musical Wicked (which was, itself, a watered-down derivative of a much more interesting novel).

“Perfect. We’ll make a killer of you yet.” The Favourite and Vice

“Beware the quiet man.” – proverb that opens the film Vice Oh, this special and lovely historical moment we are currently surviving, with volatile, temperamental, ill-informed leadership surrounded by hangers-on who benefit more from chaos than peace. You’d think we’d learn from the mistakes of our forebears. Hell, you’d think we’d learn from the mistakes […]

Attention Must be Paid: Tipping Point Theatre’s “Ripcord”

Originally published by Encore Michigan. One day you wake up, and you find you relate to characters and situations that just the other day felt safely, pleasantly distant and remote. In our home, we have a nightly ritual of watching an episode of a (now) classic sitcom right before going to sleep: Everybody Loves Raymond, […]

“Page-turners they were not.” Star Wars: The Last Jedi, A Christmas Story Live!, and the failure of marketing

There are few pieces of holiday entertainment about which I am more excited than the arrival of a new Star Wars flick or a live television musical event, and, yet, somehow, it took me a good week get around to watching Disney/LucasFilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi and soon-to-be-Disney-corporate-stablemate FOX’s A Christmas Story Live! In […]