October 26, 2017

Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” is a miracle. A look at poverty that neither preaches nor exploits, it’s both joyous and heartbreaking, opening our eyes to those on society’s margins without losing an ounce of humanity. The film takes place at The Magic Castle, a day-glo purple budget motel in Orlando. While tourists spend thousands at luxurious resorts, visitors only head to the ultra-cheap motel if their reservations fall through. Otherwise, it’s occupied by people who can’t afford to live... Read more

October 20, 2017

“Killing Gunther” might not be the worst movie of the year — I haven’t forgotten about you, “Baywatch” — but it could go down as the most disappointing. The film takes a talented cast and fun premise and ends up a leaden, misshapen whiff. It’s an action movie with no thrills and a comedy with few laughs, a mess that’s only seeing the inside of a very small number of theaters because of its “Saturday Night Live” pedigree and a supporting turn... Read more

October 17, 2017

“Little Shop of Horrors” might be the most adorable movie ever made about murder. Frank Oz’s adaptation of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s musical — itself a loose adaptation of an old Roger Corman film — is beloved for its toe-tapping numbers, awkward romance between geeky lovers, and a scene-stealing plant that belts out Motown. It’s helmed by Frank Oz, the voice of Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy and Yoda. It spawned its own animated children’s series. Thirty years after its release,... Read more

October 16, 2017

So, I kind of dropped the ball on keeping links to the CROSS.CULTURE.CRITIC. podcast in here. I’ve had a great time co-hosting the show with Joe Yerke, and our conversations over the past few episodes have been really amazing. Not sure why I stopped posting them here, but I want to make sure you have an opportunity to listen in! On this week’s episode, Joe and I get serious and talk about the recent shooting in Las Vegas and America’s... Read more

October 12, 2017

Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner” was released to ambivalence in 1982, but grew in esteem as film lovers celebrated its visuals and debated its philosophical underpinnings. The story of a detective named Deckard (Harrison Ford) grappling with his own humanity when hunting down androids — “replicants” — the film left audiences debating Deckard’s identity, and its vision of the future set the tone for cinematic dystopias to come. Thirty-five years later, a sequel seems misguided. Is there anything new to add... Read more

October 10, 2017

For the month of October, the Movie of the Week will be Halloween-related (although not necessarily horror). This week, I have four selections around one theme.  Growing up, I was a big haunted house fan. It started when I would venture into my grandfather’s basement with my siblings and cousins before Halloween each year. His birthday was just a few days before the holiday, and when we’d gather to celebrate, he’d have his downstairs tricked-out with spooky music, black lights,... Read more

October 6, 2017

This weekend, HBO airs its documentary “Spielberg,” a 2.5-hour long overview of the career of America’s most beloved director. I wouldn’t be a film fan if it wasn’t for Spielberg. “E.T.” was the first film I ever saw in a theater, and my first (of seven) big-screen viewing of “Jurassic Park” is what made me fall in love with the movies. “Saving Private Ryan” was the first movie that devastated me emotionally, and on any given day it’s a toss-up... Read more

September 22, 2017

I’m going to keep this short, because this is a fun one and I can’t wait for ya’ll to hear it. Joe and I have been doing this CROSS.CULTURE.CRITIC. podcast for a few months now, and as I’ve said before, it’s exceeded my expectations. Not just in terms of downloads, although that’s been pleasantly surprising, but in terms of fulfillment. It’s truly a lot of fun to sit and record this show with him, and there have been times when... Read more

September 17, 2017

This is a new weekly feature I’m going to be running here. I hope you enjoy it. A lot of these will be films I’m watching in grad school, but we’ll get some other movies in there too. Feel free to submit your picks as well in the comments, on my Facebook page (link below) or via email. I hope you enjoy this new addition!  This semester, I’m taking a class about depictions of journalism and politics in film. We’re... Read more

September 15, 2017

If, like me, you grew up listening to Christian music, you know the work of Steve Taylor. In the 1980 and 1990s, he was a provocateur, with songs like “I Want to Be a Clone,” “I Blew Up the Clinic Real Good” and “Cash Cow” not only bringing Christian music to the masses but also pointing a finger at the church and its hypocrisy. As a teenager, he was deeply involved with albums by the Insyderz, the Newsboys and Sixpence... Read more

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