NBC Peacock’s Intelligence Just Isn’t Smart Enough

David Schwimmer makes his return to sitcom television today with the July 15 launch of “Intelligence,” a new comedy on the NBC Universal streaming service Peacock. Advertised as the home of programming from networks like NBC and USA, Peacock also wants to stand out as a platform for original content, and so today’s launch includes …

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NBC Peacock’s Brave New World Presents an Exhausting Revolution

Aldous Huxley was onto something when he devised the civilization of New London in Brand New World, an existence recreated with care by NBC’s new streaming service Peacock in all of its drug-addicted, stimulating, non-monogamous glory. The gist of this civilization is that people are pacified by a drug called Soma, which quells urges both …

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Decade of Fire

Americans of a certain age will remember the images of Bronx in ruins. Throughout the 1970s, the New York City borough was thought of as the epicenter of urban decay: a wasteland of rubble piles, vacant lots, and decaying apartment buildings where law-abiding citizens eked out a desperate living while trying to avoid contact with …

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Sony’s Ghost of Tsushima Pays Homage to Samurai Cinema

Many games embed their cinematic influences in their design or storytelling elements, but few display them as proudly as Sony’s exclusive “Ghost of Tsushima,” an experience built more on the way samurai culture has been portrayed in cinema than anything else. The filmic influence on the developers of this game is so prominent that the …

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Peacock’s Evocative Crime Thriller The Capture is Watching You

A loud green and purple banner with the acronym CCTV (Caring for the Community Through Vigilance) first catches viewers’ eyes before the camera pans down to a soldier and a woman in a trench coat, walking down the street together. Monitoring them are a trio of CCTV specialists who watch as a heartwarming scene deteriorates into …

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Game of Death

A bored Millennial touches himself within the first three minutes of “Game of Death,” a new horror movie about murderous youths that has nothing to do with the famous Bruce Lee film of the same name. No, this “Game of Death” concern seven waifishly thin twenty-somethings who discover something new about themselves when they, on …

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Wake Up!: Revisiting Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing Over 30 Years Later

On May 25, 2020, a video surfaced on the internet of George Floyd being choked to death by cops during an arrest in Minneapolis. His death caused global outrage, with chants of “I can’t breathe” heard from demonstrators everywhere. When I first watched the distressing footage, it filled me with anger, and frustration. It was …

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Something Deeper in Badass Immortal Heroes: Gina Prince-Bythewood and KiKi Layne on The Old Guard

“The Old Guard” uses the characters’ near-immortality to raise vital questions about purpose and meaning. It also has stunning action sequences and one of the most romantic declarations in movie history. In an interview, director Gina Prince-Bythewood and actor KiKi Layne, who plays Marine-turned-immortal Nile, talked about setting a fantasy concept in a lived-in world …

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Why Watch Hamilton Now: An Interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda

With live theaters closed around the world, Disney+ moved up the release date of “Hamilton,” the filmed version of the original Broadway cast, from October 2021 to July 2020. Ever since its first staging, the Tony Award-winning musical has resonated with audiences worldwide, but it feels more urgent than ever. Australian entertainment reporter Katherine Tulich spoke …

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Book Excerpt: Roads to nowhere: Kelly Reichardt’s broken American Dreams

The below is an excerpt from the new book Roads to nowhere: Kelly Reichardt’s broken American dreams, which is being released by Seventh Row Publishing on July 7. Reichardt’s latest film, “First Cow,” is now available on all digital platforms.  Find out more about the ebook at, visit reichardtbook.com.  When I saw Kelly Reichardt’s second feature, Old Joy (2006), …

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Palm Springs

“Palm Springs,” directed by Max Barbakow (his feature film debut), is a very interesting and thought-provoking experience. It often made me laugh out loud. The cast—Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti, J.K. Simmons, Peter Gallagher, Meredith Hagner—is so talented, so in the zone with the material that they crackle with unexpected character development, absurdity, flaws, humor. With all …

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The Old Guard

Just as Ryan Coogler crafted “Black Panther” as an entry in his own directorial universe, Gina Prince-Bythewood casts her Netflix superhero film, “The Old Guard” in her own stylistic image. The director of “Love and Basketball,” “The Secret Life of Bees,” and “Beyond the Lights” enjoys scenes where her characters get all up in their …

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Greyhound

Tom Hanks continues his role as a WWII historian with “Greyhound,” an intense Aaron Schneider film that barely plays longer than an episode of the Hanks-produced HBO series “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific.” At just over 80 minutes if you skip the end credits, fans of this war movie will be drawn to its …

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Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets

Bursting with humanity, grounded in humility, and in love with the poetry of faces, “Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets” is a classic indie film that will irritate or mystify some viewers while inspiring evangelical fervor in others. The rating at the top of this review tells you where this writer stands. Set on closing day at The Roaring 20s, a …

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We Are Little Zombies

The best coming of age stories tend to dramatize without totally embracing their teenage or preteen subjects’ angst. At least that’s how it seems to me right now as I think about “We Are Little Zombies,” a feel-good Japanese black comedy about four adolescent orphans who start a garage band after their parents die.  “We …

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Guest of Honour

For a long time, the latest movie from Cairo-born Canadian director Atom Egoyan would be an eagerly anticipated showcase piece at the Toronto International Film Festival. His early pictures such as “The Adjustor” and “Exotica” were bold, exploratory dramas with heavy art-film accents. 1997’s “The Sweet Hereafter,” based on a Russell Banks novel, told a …

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Archive

Deep in a snow-covered forest in Japan, George (Theo James) is on a lonely mission to restart a decommissioned base. It is an unwelcoming concrete palace, as cold on the inside as the weather outside—like a spaceship plopped on another planet. As George returns from a brisk run, he greets the two robots he built …

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The Tobacconist

Sigmund Freud would be, all things considered, an excellent wingman. A more introspective one than usual, but by trade the psychologist is certainly one of the best listeners you could ask for. That’s not a thought I had watching “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure,” and yet it is one that came to me during “The …

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Volition

The uninspiring time travel thriller “Volition” begins with windshield wipers moving in slow-motion across a dark, rainy windshield. James Odin (Adrian Glynn McMorran), a hard-living clairvoyant, speaks: “They say when you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes.” A few excruciating seconds pass; the wipers wipe. Then James adds, “I wish it were that …

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Sing Along with the Endearing Little Voice

A struggling singer-songwriter navigating New York City’s Indie music scene, Bess King (Brittany O’Grady) tirelessly composes songs in a makeshift recording studio. Adjacent to her creative space, a converted storage unit, is a pining British filmmaker named Ethan (Sean Teale). Bess balances Ethan with her other love interest, her guitarist Samuel (Colton Ryan), while safeguarding …

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