Archives for December 2019


BEST OF 2019: Anthony Francis presents his favorite movies

Some honorable mentions given out, too

2019 started out as a bumpy road. By summer I worried that I wouldn’t be able to make a full top ten. By year’s end, however, some fine work started to shine. 1. (an absolute tie of the two most original and cinematically pleasing films of the year!): “The Irishman” (directed by Martin Scorsese) / “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood” (directed by Quentin Tarantino). Both films brought back a ... more >

MOVIE REVIEW: “Star Wars : Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker”

"We've passed on all we know. A thousand generations live in you now. But this is your fight" (Luke Skywalker)
Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill and Adam Driver
Directed by J.J. Abrams

The circle is now complete. Forty-two years after George Lucas forever changed Hollywood (and the lives of moviegoers around the world!) with the original “Star Wars,” director J.J. Abrams brings it all home with “Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.” I was there opening weekend in 1977. When the music blared and the opening crawl began to roll, I knew I was in for something amazing. ... more >


BEST OF 2019: “Tel Aviv On Fire,” “This Must Be Heaven” and others make this film critic’s year

"Tel Aviv on Fire" (directed by Sameh Zoabi) (featured image) This Israeli film by Sameh Zoabi, an Arab Israeli, comes to us boasting a number of awards but that doesn’t prepare us for the treat of this thoroughly enjoyable and unpretentious story [...] (full review) "Pain and Glory" (directed by Pedro Almodovar) Antonio Banderas, in one of his most attaching roles ever (Banderas’s American ... more >

SUE LYON (she played Lolita in the Stanley Kubrick film) dead at 73

Sue Lyon was born in Davenport, Iowa. When she was ten months-old her family moved to L.A., hoping that Sue could help support them working as a child model. She got jobs modeling for J.C. Penney and shot a commercial that featured her bleached-blonde hair. Later, she got parts on "Dennis the Menace" (1959) and "The Loretta Young Show" (1953). Stanley Kubrick saw Sue on the show and suggested to ... more >

BEST OF 2019: Michael Apted’s “63 up” tops leaderboard

Runner-ups include, "A thousand miles behind," "Zulu summer" and "Apollo 11"

All week our film critics weigh in on a year that (almost) was by naming their favorite films “63 Up” The filmmaker Michael Apted has been checking in on a group of British folks every seven years since they were children of seven, with the initial mission being to discover both A) if Great Britain still had a class system; and B) if the aphorism “give me a child and I’ll show you the man” still ... more >

BEST OF 2019: “Queen of hearts”

(In these last few days of the year, we go back over the best films of 2019 - ed) The professional relationship between director May el-Toukhy and actress Trin Dyrholm is becoming quite important to world cinema. From their collaboration on the enjoyable relationship film “Long Story Short” to the Bergmanesque brilliance of the Danish series “The Legacy,” the two artists seem to have an ... more >

The last word on “A Bronx Tale” by Chazz Palminteri


When a kid growing up in the Bronx, Chazz Palminteri told an audience at the Bedford Playhouse recently, he was attracted to the gangster element like the one that is portrayed in "A Bronx Tale," which Palminteri wrote and starred in (this discussion, which the writer took part in, happened after the screening of the film -ed). Yes, he knew they were dangerous and theirs was a life that he didn’t ... more >