“Dunkirk” is a visceral experience unlike any war movie I’ve seen. It’s the type of movie that an opportunistic marketer could have a field day with, imploring you to FEEL the claustrophobia, HEAR the gunfire and SMELL the diesel. That it’s more than just an intense simulation is a testament to director Christopher Nolan, who plays to his strengths and avoids his worst tendencies. A craftsman who’s enamored with meticulousness, Nolan creates an innovative and precise look at one of World… Read more

It’s a great time to be a media consumer. It’s also an exhausting one. I’ve seen a great deal of movies and TV shows in the past month. I’ve also been reading voraciously, at a rate I haven’t in years (this is likely thanks to having the summer off grad school). And yet, I feel like I’m still playing catch up. Normally, I would just write or podcast about what I could and move on without addressing the rest. But… Read more

Podcasts are funny things. Unlike writing an article, I don’t start a podcast because there’s a particular point I want to make or because I have an agenda. For me, it’s a way to talk more about the things I love, and doing interviews scratches that journalistic itch I’ve had since leaving the newspaper world. It’s a way for me to wrestle with concepts that might be too sprawling to write about and, in the best instances, talk about those… Read more

  “War for the Planet of the Apes” is the type of movie I thought Hollywood had forgotten how to make. The third entry in the rebooted franchise is challenging, provocative and riveting entertainment. Boasting the best special effects and motion-capture work I’ve seen and an epic scope with strong biblical undertones, it’s a story of complex characters navigating muddy moral waters and the apocalyptic ramifications of violence. It’s troubling, astounding and difficult ⸺ and one of the best movies… Read more

The most joyful moment — and there many — in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” happens  after a short prelude, as the Marvel production logo bursts onto the screen, accompanied by Michael Giacchino’s orchestral arrangement of the theme from the “Spider-Man” cartoon series (“Spider-man, Spider-man, does whatever a spider can…”). It makes a promise: after 15 years, two actors and five movies, Spidey’s finally part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and it’s going to be fun. This isn’t Spider-Man’s first foray into the MCU of… Read more

    Let’s get this out of the way: Your kids are going to love “Despicable Me 3.” My 5 year old cackled and cheered at every bit of mayhem. For the target audience, this film delivers. As for me? Five minutes in, I was ready to grab an aspirin but worried that the yellow-coated tablets would induce Minion-related flashbacks. The “Despicable Me” franchise finally goes the route of “Shrek,” with a clever opening chapter followed by sequels that squeeze every bit of… Read more

Hey everyone, Episode 2 of my podcast “Cross.Culture.Critic.” went live this weekend, and I’m really excited for everyone to hear it! My original idea for the podcast, as I’ve said before, centered on the Christian music scene of the 90s and 00s. As a youth group kid in the mid-90s, I was greatly influenced by the music I listened to, and I’ve been curious what happened to some of the bands were regulars in my Walkman. The podcast idea changed… Read more

“The Women’s Balcony” is not traditional summer entertainment. A foreign film without a massive advertising budget, I wasn’t even aware it existed until a representative emailed me in advance of its debut at one of Detroit’s art theaters. A shame, as Emil Ben-Shimon’s film — the highest-grossing film in Israel — is a welcome antidote to summer’s orgies of destruction. It’s not surprising that the movie’s flown under the critical radar; foreign-language films about religion, gender roles and community can’t exactly compete… Read more

As I’ve written before, in recent years podcasting has become a hobby of mine. I’ve found its a great way to dive into in-depth interviews and talk about things in more detail than I can on this blog. For over two years, I’ve co-hosted “It’s My Favorite” with two friends, and recording those episodes has been a monthly highlight for me. Awhile back, I co-hosted a podcast for the Detroit Film Critics Society, which was great fun. Although I had… Read more

It’s official: I’m just never going to “get” Pixar’s Cars universe. Despite the studio’s ability to make me care for friendly monsters, plastic toys, foodie rats, wisecracking bugs and personified emotions, I’ve been left cold by the adventures of Lightning McQueen and his buddies. There’s just something about their design that makes it hard to connect. Aside from their windshield eyes and bumper-lips, these are still just vehicles moving around roadways and tracks, and something in me resists suspending disbelief, no… Read more

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