Roma

Forget Alfonso Cuarón’s smooth camera work and his technical attention and his ability to wreak havoc in the background while his foregrounds remain calm and focused. Instead, watch Roma and pay attention to Cuarón the photographer who can bring beauty and life to a million shades of gray. Filmed in a black-and-white palate that is…

Cage’s Mandy, not Manilow’s

The 2018 Panos Cosmatos film Mandy could very well have been released in 1978, directed by John Carpenter or Tobe Hooper, and, aside from Nic Cage’s Academy Award-winning visage, no one would be the wiser. Featuring a crazed cult, motorcycle-riding demons, over-saturated film stock, and, well, Nic Cage wielding a custom axe, Mandy is a…

Believe It

Nick Foles cries. A lot. But he can afford to. He’s the Super Bowl MVP of the E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles. More to the point, I endorse his message of finding strength through weakness. Foles’ honesty is refreshing as he is not playing for fame, for wealth, or an accumulation of trophies. He’s playing to honor God….

The Syndicate

The Pictures was author Guy Bolton’s entry into pure, noir fiction. The read was golden as it was retro. Why then does his follow-up, The Syndicate, lack any of that LA snap? The Pictures was smooth, single-malt brewed to a James Cain beat. As a sequel, The Syndicate is as memorable as that last Coors…

Happy As Lazzaro

An odd yet beautiful film. However, its morality play center and rambling narrative diminishes the film’s quirkiness The first act of the Italian film Happy As Lazzaro focuses on naïve, worker-bee Lazzaro, an all-around good-guy who’s as gullible as Charlie Brown. He, along with his fellow working community, is exploited by a tobacco heiress as…

A Conspiracy Of Tall Men

Author/Creator/Director Noah Hawley. You know him. You dig him. From the trippy, mind-sprawling chaos of FX’s Legion to the Coen Bros-cool re imagining of Fargo, Hawley gets deep, he gets fun, he gets weird. Following the success from his latest novel, Before The Fall, Grand Central Publishing reissued Hawley’s debut novel, A Conspiracy Of Tall…

Chapter 11 – Duplex, San Gabriel

Valentin and Emily were together in bed. The sheet, rising and falling with their pronounced breathing, covering their perspiring bodies, both wet with love. The window was cracked open but any breeze was negligible. Too hot outside for it to only be spring. After the coos and promises of love quieted down, Emily asked the…

November Road

Beautifully efficient. That is how I described Lou Berney’s writing style to my wife referencing his latest, and allow me to add the hyperbole of masterful, book November Road. Within November Road, Berney fashions the perfect genre mashup. The tale is a first-rate crime story, that’s also a chase story, joined with a love story,…

Debris Line

The thriller Debris Line interchanges the sunny, idyllic life of coastal Portugal, crashing it into a star-spangled actioneer of drugs, hijacking, murder, and oh yes, crimes even more sinister. Matthew FitzSimmons runs his dangerous version of To Catch A Thief by placing his team of semi-retired hackers and military ops at play on vacation and…