Tag Archives: Mahershala Ali

Alita: Battle Angel

HER TIME IS NOW. In 2563, Earth has been devastated; scientist Dyson Ido (Christoph Waltz) finds a female cyborg in the junkyard, gives her a new body and learns that she has great powers. This 3D adaptation of the Japanese manga series was long in the making, but the final result is worth a look. … Continue reading Alita: Battle Angel

Green Book

INSPIRED BY A TRUE FRIENDSHIP. In the early 1960s, New York City bouncer Tony ”Lip” (Viggo Mortensen) is hired by an African-American concert pianist (Mahershala Ali) for a tour through the Deep South; he’ll serve as a driver and security. This reality-based dramedy tackles 1960s race relations along the lines of Driving Miss Daisy (1989) … Continue reading Green Book

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

WHAT MAKES YOU DIFFERENT IS WHAT MAKES YOU SPIDER-MAN.  At the same time as Spider-Man battles Kingpin, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales is bitten by a spider and gains the same superpowers as Spider-Man. A comic-book character in danger of being overexposed gets a new look in the shape of a biracial teenager and throws him … Continue reading Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

House of Cards: Underwood’s Underworld

There were people who hated House of Cards right from the start. Some were political analysts who didn’t find any of the outlandish events on the show credible. Others considered the cynical tone unappealing and sort of unhelpful in a world that was becoming increasingly ugly; did we really need a show where every politician … Continue reading House of Cards: Underwood’s Underworld

Hidden Figures

MEET THE WOMEN YOU DON’T KNOW, BEHIND THE MISSION YOU DO.  In 1961, while the Americans try to catch up with the Russians in the space race, three black women (Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe) make great strides at segregated NASA. Indie filmmaker Theodor Melfi, who made St. Vincent (2014), delivered something decidedly … Continue reading Hidden Figures

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

THE REVOLUTION IS ABOUT ALL OF US. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and her allies prepare to liberate the people of Panem and defeat President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and his troops once and for all. The fourth and final chapter in this franchise is largely an overblown war movie, with scenes that might remind audiences of … Continue reading The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

FIRE BURNS BRIGHTER IN THE DARKNESS. After surviving another Hunger Game, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is in District 13 where the rebel leader, President Coin (Julianne Moore), wants to turn her into the Mockingjay, a symbol of the resistance. The third and fourth films in the franchise cut the last novel into two. A pointless … Continue reading The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

The Place Beyond the Pines

In Blue Valentine (2010), director Derek Cianfrance explored a marriage over several years. This time, his story evolves over 15 years as we first follow a man (Ryan Gosling) who becomes a bank robber, then a cop (Bradley Cooper) who takes a bullet in the line of duty, and eventually both men’s teenage sons as … Continue reading The Place Beyond the Pines

Predators

FEAR IS REBORN. A group of killers, including a black ops soldier (Adrien Brody) who assumes leadership, are dropped into a jungle where they seem to be hunted by predatory aliens. Not really a remake of the original Predator (1987); co-producer Robert Rodriguez prefers to see this film as the third chapter in the franchise. Actually, it looks … Continue reading Predators

Benjamin Button: Living Counter-Clockwise

LIFE ISN’T MEASURED IN MINUTES, BUT IN MOMENTS. Whenever you watch a film by David Fincher, you expect a dark thriller that grabs you by the throat. That’s what built his career. But not this time. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a fleshed-out take on an F. Scott Fitzgerald novella that looks like something Tim … Continue reading Benjamin Button: Living Counter-Clockwise