Review: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Chases Ghosts

Tom Cruise returns to a role that made him famous.  Tom Cruise took flight into Hollywood’s firmament of stars in 1986’s Top Gun.  Arriving midway through Ronald Reagan’s second term as U.S. President, the film glorified military activity to an obnoxious degree. Under director Tony Scott (The Hunger), the slick visual stylings resembled a feature-length Navy recruitment ad, filled with glistening male abdomens and submissive … Continue reading Review: ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Chases Ghosts

Review: ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business,’ Teachers and Students

Designed and built strictly for family audiences, The Boss Baby: Family Business pumps out a steady stream of jokes, wisecracks, and cultural references in a boldly frank endeavor to appeal to both parents and their pre-teen children (but no real-life babies).  The sequel to The Boss Baby (2017) requires absolutely no knowledge of the first film, since the premise remains the same: babies are far … Continue reading Review: ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business,’ Teachers and Students

Review: ‘Raya and the Last Dragon,’ Warm Hearts, Cool Adventures

Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina lead the voice cast in Disney’s magnificent, heart-warming animated adventure.  Refreshing in its approach to story, drawn from Southeast Asian folklore, and, perhaps even more importantly, in its depiction of the traditional “Disney princess” (compare with the company’s own descriptions and marketing of such), Raya and the Last Dragon is an encouraging step into a world first broached in Moana … Continue reading Review: ‘Raya and the Last Dragon,’ Warm Hearts, Cool Adventures

Review: ‘You Should Have Left’ Unsettles to a Diabolical Degree

Kevin Bacon and Amanda Seyfried star in the psychological thriller, directed by David Koepp.  All they wanted was a pleasant, relaxing family vacation. They got something else, instead.  By all outward appearances, Theo Conroy (Kevin Bacon) should be a happy man. Rich and retired, Theo is married to successful actress Susanna (Amanda Seyfried). They are very much in love and are happily raising their daughter, Ella … Continue reading Review: ‘You Should Have Left’ Unsettles to a Diabolical Degree

Review: ‘The Vast of Night’

Andrew Patterson’s The Vast of Night begins inside a bit of a gimmick. Slowly maneuvering towards a television set located in the center of an impeccably decorated 50’s style living room, the film about to unfurl before us is introduced as part of “The Paradox Theatre” . . . an obvious nod to “The Twilight Zone,” with its block lettering and baritone narrator. The camera seeps … Continue reading Review: ‘The Vast of Night’