I haven’t liked a live action Disney film for at least five years. But If you’re a parent looking for a good movie to take your kids to, I strongly recommend CINDERELLA. British director Kenneth Branagh (who’s better known for Shakespeare than fairly tales) has made a highly satisfying CINDERELLA with a smart, updated screenplay, gorgeous cinematography, and terrific performances from Lily James… Continue reading Cinderella

What We Do in the Shadows

If you’re looking for some laughs at the movies, I recommend a comedy about vampires called WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS. This movie is a very funny “mockumentary,” a fake documentary about a group of vampires who rent a shabby old house together in Wellington, New Zealand. The vampires range in age from 183… Continue reading What We Do in the Shadows

Run All Night

Neeson not too old to “Run All Night” I’ve only seen six movies at the theaters this year and Liam Neeson starred in two of them. Forget James Brown. Liam Neeson is the new hardest-working man in show business. runallnight1I give all the credit in the world to the guy. After finding glory with “Taken”… Continue reading Run All Night

The Second Best…

Three years ago, a low budget British art house comedy-drama calledTHE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL became a sleeper hit at the box office. It made so much money that it has spawned a sequel called THE SECOND BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL, now playing in theaters everywhere. But it’s “second best” by a very wide margin.… Continue reading The Second Best…


The animated “Cinderella” was the first movie I ever saw on Maui and one of the few classic Disney films with a female protagonist that I’ve always found universally appealing, funny and adorable. I had a stuffed “Gus-Gus The Mouse” and used to know all the lyrics to “Bibbity-Bobbity Boo.” Despite my admittedly intense affection… Continue reading Cinderella

The Second Best…

It’s only fitting that the sequel to “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” is about franchising, since the story deals with the hotel’s manager, Sonny Kapoor, wanting to branch out and create a chain. Most of the original cast returns, particularly Judi Dench as the earthy Evelyn, Maggie Smith as the crotchety Muriel, Bill Nighy as… Continue reading The Second Best…

Leviathin & Focus

Which would you rather see? A Russian film with an Oscar nomination (LEVIATHAN) or a slick Hollywood film starring Will Smith as a con man (FOCUS)? A large majority of the nation’s movie critics would choose the Russian film. But I think the Will Smith movie is a lot more enjoyable. 99 critics out of a hundred recommend LEVIATHAN, so I… Continue reading Leviathin & Focus


There’s a portion of “Short Circuit 2″ that my brother and I used to quote with glee, much to the horror of my mother. Despite the film being a harmless, PG-rated sequel about the further adventures of bug-eyed, cutie-pie robot “Johnny Five,” it contains what is, for a children’s film, a questionable subplot. While Johnny… Continue reading Chappie


He’s a seasoned con man who goes by the nickname “Mellow” (played by Will Smith) and she’s an attractive but inexperienced watch snatcher, named Jess (Margot Robbie), with an approach both clumsy and in need of schooling. The first time they see each other, he recognizes the potential, the skill and the danger she possesses.… Continue reading Focus

McFarland, USA

Kevin Costner stars in MCFARLAND, USA, a film about people living in a small, poor farming town in California’s Central Valley. It’s better than you might expect, because it was directed by Niki Caro who made WHALE RIDER back in 2002. MCFARLAND, USA is based on a true story that happened in 1987. It’s about… Continue reading McFarland, USA