AUTHOR | Anthony Francis

ARCHIVES

REVIEW | A lemon and a Ladybug walk into the café car; “BULLET TRAIN”

Hang on to the bitter end
Brad Pitt, Brian Tyree Henry and Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Directed by David Leitch

Near the end of the new action headache “Bullet Train” a character is trying to stop the titular train as it speeds out of control. Desperately trying every switch and button he screams for the roaring machine to stop. After the first forty-five minutes of “Train” I wanted the same thing. “Bullet Train” is a live-action cartoon of violence and over-the-top madness that entertains but runs ... more >

“PREY” is a fantastic roller-coaster of an action picture! | REVIEW

The best "Predator" since the original
Amber Midthunder, Dakota Beavers and Dane DiLiegro
Directed by Dan Trachtenberg

Released thirty-five years after John McTiernan’s “Predator” “Prey” by Dan Trachtenberg arrives as a most welcome gift. I pray to the cinema gods every year in the hope that Hollywood will produce stronger and more interesting films, be they serious fare, comedy, or action, all I would like is quality productions with vision put into screenplay and design. Written by Patrick Aison and ... more >

Morgan Freeman and Juliette Binoche star in “PARADISE HIGHWAY” | REVIEW

Not our favorite film of the year, here's why
Juliette Binoche and Morgan Freeman
Directed by Anna Gutto

The strange casting of Juliette Binoche as an American truck driver is the jump-off point of the new film “Paradise Highway,” a thriller that is done in by underwhelming writing. First-time feature filmmaker Anna Gutto (she also wrote the screenplay) creates some interesting and potentially tense situations but the actions of her characters prevent her from being able to bring it all ... more >

In a Hollywood of recycled ideas and uninspiring filmmakers Jordan Peele’s voice is fresh; “NOPE” | REVIEW 

Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Brandon Perea and Michael Wincott
Directed by Jordan Peele

Jordan Peele’s “Nope” is one of the most inventive and entertaining genre films in years. In a sluggish cinematic year Peele has directed a film that is clever from scene to scene. There isn’t a moment where you take your eyes off of the screen. Set in a vast and beautiful valley, Daniel Kaluuya plays OJ, a man doing his best to keep his family’s Black-owned and operated ranch afloat. The ... more >

Are we there yet? “THE FORGIVEN” | MOVIE REVIEW

The inconveniences of getting lost in the Moroccan desert on your way to a party
Jessica Chastain, Ralph Fiennes, Abbey Lee and Ismail Abou-El-Kanater
Directed by John Michael McDonagh

John Michael McDonagh’s “The Forgiven” walks the ever-fine line between artful examination and utter monotony. Adapting Lawrence Osborne’s novel, McDonagh’s film takes place over one weekend in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco and skewers the privilege of the wealthy and white. David (Ralph Fiennes) and Jo (Jessica Chastain) are traveling to a party taking place in the Moroccan desert. Late, ... more >

In a year of underwhelming (thus far) cinema “THE BLACK PHONE” does little to stand out | FILM REVIEW

Mason Thames, Madeleine McGraw and Ethan Hawke
Directed by Scott Derrickson

Scott Derrickson’s “The Black Phone” continues 2022’s sad streak of being one of the most uninteresting years on record. Based on an excellent short story from author Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son), director Derrickson and co-writer C. Robert Cargill adapted the creepy tale of a Colorado town plagued by a serial killer of children known as “The Grabber," so named because of his M.O. of snatching ... more >

Austin Butler as Elvis Presley is a revelation, giving one of the best performances of recent memory; “ELVIS” | FILM REVIEW

Austin Butler, Tom Hanks and Olivia DeJonge
Directed by Baz Lurhmann

A star is born in Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis.” Austin Butler’s performance as the rock'n'roll legend is simply jaw-dropping. In an astonishing turn, the actor melts completely into Elvis, announcing the arrival of one hell of a committed actor. Unfortunately, Butler’s performance (and a couple of scenes towards the film’s end) are the only worthy piece of this near travesty of a motion picture. The ... more >