Amazon Prime’s ‘7500’ Review

 “7500”, which premiered in 2019 at the Locarno Film Festival and was digitally released to stream in the US by Amazon a week ago, is a decent, if ultimately forgettable, hijacking thriller. The film centers on a young co-pilot named Tobias (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) whose plane is taken hostage by glass-knife-wielding Islamic terrorists. After a scuffle […]

BACK TO THE FUTURE: 35 Years Later

Thirty-five years ago, on July 3 1985, Universal Pictures released “Back to the Future”, creating an overnight sensation. Replete with elements that have been deeply subsumed into pop-culture consciousness (the iconic score, the DeLorean time machine, the famous one-liners, etc.), “Back to the Future” still manages to feel fresh and fun even all these years […]

AIRPLANE! – Celebrating 40 Years of Parodic Genius

“Airplane!”, directed by the trio of Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker, was released forty years ago today, and remains the pre-eminent darling, the elect, the holy grail, of the spoof/parody genre. The plot of the movie (though, admittedly, any notion of legitimate narrative or story is clearly secondary to the jokes and gags) […]

‘SHIRLEY’ REVIEW

For some, the name Shirley Jackson will evoke supernatural horrors—unseen ghosts and poltergeists sowing chaos as in her famous novel “The Haunting of Hill House.” For others, her name is synonymous with a different type of horror as demonstrated in “The Lottery”, an at-first innocent tale of suburbia that culminates in a brutal and barbaric […]

JAWS – 45 Years of Terror at the Beach

Forty-five years ago, Steven Spielberg burst into the mainstream with his seminal shark thriller, “Jaws.” With its iconic lines (“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”) and world-famous theme by John Williams, “Jaws” has become a beloved cinematic experience among moviegoers all around the world. It has even entered the realm of academia. A glance at […]

TOP FIVE FILMS ABOUT NAZI-OCCUPIED FRANCE

Eighty years ago, Nazi Germany emerged victorious in the Battle of France, with the northern half of the country falling directly under Nazi control and the southern half governed by the Vichy regime, which was essentially subservient to Hitler. To mark this momentous historical event, I chose five films that best capture the complexities, the […]

COMPARING THE ENDINGS OF TOY STORY 3 AND 4

A decade ago, audiences were led to believe that the beloved “Toy Story” saga had ended. Yet, nearly a year ago, after almost nine years of inculcated belief that “Toy Story” would always remain a trilogy, the folks at Pixar added a fourth installment, claiming that this would be the definitive end. Now that a […]

A TALE OF TWO FANTASIAS (A Comparison of the 1940 Classic and its Sequel)

Today marks the twentieth anniversary of “Fantasia 2000”, the sequel to the oft-celebrated “Fantasia”, which is approaching its own milestone anniversary of eighty years. Normally, anniversaries are causes for celebration, to look back with affectionate nostalgia and offer up a glowing retrospective appraisal. Unfortunately, my retrospect will have a more critical lens, focusing on how […]

‘THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND’ REVIEW

Judd Apatow’s latest offering stars SNL phenom Pete Davidson as Scott, a twenty-four-year-old burnout who, reeling from the trauma of his firefighter father’s death seventeen years ago, still lives with his mother, Margie (Marisa Tomei). His primary ambition, besides getting high with his friends, is to open a tattoo parlor/restaurant hybrid, an idea that not […]

‘THE VAST OF NIGHT’ REVIEW

“The Vast of Night” is Amazon Prime’s latest feature film and is a pleasing, old-school sci-fi thriller. The plot focuses on teenagers Everett (Jake Horowitz), a local radio DJ, and Fay (Sierra McCormick), a switchboard operator, as they try to uncover the source of strange sounds wreaking havoc at their respective places of work. Fay […]