AUTHOR | Anthony Francis

ARCHIVES

Director John Hyams achieves genre perfection with his new film “Alone” (REVIEW)

Film was co-executive produced by Yeardley Smith
Julles Willcox, Marc Menchaca and Anthony Heald
Directed by John Hyams

Just so we're clear, I have never cared for man-against-the-wilderness type films ( “Dersu Uzala,” Joe Carnahan’s “The Grey,” and “The Revenant” being exceptions) and I dislike kidnap films, as well. No matter how well-made, this type of film falls prey to unavoidable cliché. In film after film we witness the long fall off an unexpected cliff into the icy water or the tree branch going through ... more >

An intellectual tonic filled with pleasurable mysteries: “I’m thinking of ending things” (REVIEW)

From the director of "Synecdoche, New York"
Jesse Plemons, Jessie Buckley and Toni Collette
Directed by Charlie Kaufman

“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” This Oscar Wilde quote, spoken by a character in the new film “I’m Thinking of Ending Things,” is the perfect key to help viewers unlock its many thematic mysteries. By this film’s end, you will certainly have questions. You will be confused and perplexed and possibly ... more >

It’s the story of a silverback named Ivan, “The one and only Ivan” – REVIEW

Disney's newest family-oriented venture won us over
Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston and Phillipa Soo
Directed by Thea Sharrock

A problem with today’s family-oriented films is that they feel they must dumb everything down so the kids will sit quiet for an hour and a half and enjoy the movie. Many modern kid’s films refuse to put much substance into their characters and think their young audiences will be happy with messy slapstick and flatulent humor. It is this way of thinking that leads to so many family films insulting ... more >

MOVIE REVIEW: “WORDS ON BATHROOM WALLS”

Adapted from the namesake novel by Julia Walton
AnnaSophia Robb, Walton Goggins and Charlie Plummer
Directed by Thor Freudenthal

Artistically, Hollywood has had a tough time adapting young adult novels. While usually finding an audience, most of their adaptations of the more serious YA novels have fallen flat. Sadly, and despite a solid cast, the new film “Words on Bathroom Walls” is no exception. Adapting Julia Walton’s novel, screenwriter Nick Naveda attempts to recognize the issues of mental illness in realistic and ... more >

It is noir. It is Western. It is thriller. It is character study: “The Big Ugly”

Top-class actors, big gangster movie
Vinnie Jones, Malcolm McDowell and Ron Perlman
Directed by Scott Wiper

Seeing the trailer for the new film “The Big Ugly” could mislead the viewer into thinking they are in for just another straight-to-video action film cheapie starring Vinnie Jones, who made quite the post-Guy Ritchie films career out of this genre. This assessment would be massively incorrect. Writer/director Scott Wiper’s new film (co-written by Paul Tarantino) is a sharply focused southern ... more >

Oy vey, David Ayer’s “The Tax Collector” is a big let-down | REVIEW

As gangland taxman Shia Labeouf misses the mark
Bobby Soto, Cinthya Carmona and Shia LaBeouf
Directed by David Ayer

I really enjoy David Ayer’s work. His screenplays can occasionally bring about intense and powerful portrayals of cops and street criminals. When he hits, he hits hard such as with his screenplay for Ron Shelton’s excellent crooked cop drama “Dark Blue” starring Kurt Russell, and his sensational police drama “End of Watch” with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena. I even found Ayer’s 2014 ... more >

Adapted from the namesake Norwegian novel, “Out stealing horses” | REVIEW

Do you know who you are?
Stellan Skarsgård, Bjørn Floberg and Tobias Santelmann
Directed by Hans Petter Moland

“We decide for ourselves what will hurt” Ah, the past and the memories it leaves us. Be they good or bad they make a home in our mind and soul, guiding our life decisions and shaping who we will become. Sometimes warm, sometimes dark, our remembrances become our true and constant life companions. Hans Petter Moland’s adaptation of Per Petterson’s novel, “Out Stealing Horses” (Ut og stjaele ... more >