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The Irishman

It’s my general policy when reviewing movies to focus solely on the movie itself and ignore external factors. However, given the controversy regarding the credibility of Frank Sheeran, played by Robert De Niro in “The Irishman,” I find it hard to disregard the question…

Unhinged

The city that serves as the backdrop for “Unhinged” is one populated by extensive freeway congestion, aggressively hostile drivers, and an infrastructure that’s described as a confusing mass of spaghetti noodles.

Bill & Ted Face the Music

“Bill & Ted Face the Music” does what the last movie in any good trilogy does: It refers back to the previous movies, comes full circle, and ties up loose story points.

The Shepherd of the Hills

The sight of a young, trim, virile John Wayne wearing a big brim hat and brandishing a Winchester repeater could easily lead anyone to think that 1941’s “The Shepherd of the Hills” is a western. It’s not, neither in its themes nor in its location.

The Ipcress File

Given that “The Ipcress File” is a British spy movie from 1965, it’s best to answer the burning question first: How does Harry Palmer (Michael Caine) compare to that other famous British spy whose initials are J.B.? There are really only two similarities…

Haunt

I appreciate “Haunt,” a movie about an extreme haunted house, for being scary in the same way that haunted houses themselves are scary. There is a wide variety of settings, and each of those settings has a unique surprise in store for anyone passing through.

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

I have to admit to approaching “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” with hesitation and trepidation. This is due to the fact that I hold the television series “Breaking Bad” in such high regard. The final three episodes in particular are some of the finest television ever produced.

The Secret Garden

The private world of children is invariably one of magic, wonder, and imagination. It inhabits its own plane of existence away from the stifling and seemingly arbitrary rules of boring, buzzkill adults.

The Milagro Beanfield War

“Milagro” means “miracle” in Spanish. We learn this early in “The Milagro Beanfield War,” and it’s important to keep in mind throughout. Our first clue that there are some fantasy elements in director Robert Redford’s 1988 movie, about impoverished citizens in a New Mexico town…

The Masque Of The Red Death

“The Masque of the Red Death” was produced and directed by Roger Corman. Some know that name as the man who helped kicked off a roster of who’s-who names in Hollywood, including Jack Nicholson, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, James Cameron, and Ron Howard. Others may know his more recent work as producer of low budget schlock…

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Roman Holiday

Sometimes cliches are cliches for a reason, and oftentimes it’s because there is at least some bit of truth to them. I’ll dust off this old chestnut for “Roman Holiday”: They don’t make them like they used to.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Bad Education

Midway through “Bad Education” there’s a montage sequence in which small candy canes and Christmas cards are being stuffed into envelopes. These cards are meant for the parents of the Roslyn, Long Island, NY, school system.

Mulan

By now we’ve gotten used to the ritual that surrounds the release of the live-action version of a popular Disney animated film. (Never the unpopular ones. I’m not holding my breath for a star-studded reimagining of “The Black Cauldron.”) The Mouse House’s marketing machine goes into overdrive…

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Clockwise

As many fans of the iconic British comedy troupe Monty Python well know, the best choice for the role of an authority figure who constantly gets thwarted is John Cleese. No one puts on the airs of high-minded grace and dignity like Cleese.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: The King Of Staten Island

As an avid movie watcher, and particularly as one who is required to think critically about the sounds and images being paraded in front of me, it’s easy to get cynical. I see a premise for a movie like “The King of Staten Island,” in which a 24-year-old pot smoking, tattoo drawing burn out…

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: The Outpost

It’s been said that art imitates life. It’s also been said that history repeats itself. The truth in these axioms was clearer than ever to me as I watched “The Outpost,” about a U.S. Army unit in Afghanistan who had to battle back an onslaught of Taliban fighters in 2009.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Lorenzo's Oil

“Lorenzo’s Oil” has a first half that shows why some people become atheists, and a second half that shows how some people find their way to God. The movie, which is from 1992, starts off in 1984 and tells the story of Lorenzo Odone, played most prominently by Zack O’Malley Greenburg, a five-year-old stricken with what at one point is described as a “heartless disease” called adrenoleukodystrophy, or ALD for short.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Marriage Story

Charlie and Nicole Barber (Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson) are a couple going through a separation. It’s made clear in the beginning that they were once very happy. The reasons pulling them apart are not revealed immediately…What is clear is that once lawyers get involved in their break-up, the couple goes from amicable to acrimonious very quickly.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: The Lady Eve

Barbara Stanwyck is a charmer. With her petite frame and inviting smile, she has a sweet, endearing, approachable, girl next door quality that makes her extremely likeable—even if the character she is playing is a swindler, like in 1941’s “The Lady Eve.”

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Trolls: World Tour

A great shock awaited me in the opening of “Trolls: World Tour.” No, it wasn’t the discovery that the land inhabited by Queen Poppy (voice of Anna Kendrick) and her best pal Branch (voice of Justin Timberlake) was one of many in a much larger world.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Force Of Nature

With all of the pomp, circumstance, glitz, and glamor that comes with being a Hollywood movie star, it’s easy for us outsiders to lose focus on what is under that veneer. Before any of your favorite performers were stars, they were struggling actors, trying to make a name for themselves.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Murder By Decree

There’s a banter between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson that, when done properly, is musical. The contrast between the flabbergasted Watson, played in 1979’s “Murder by Decree” by James Mason, and the exuberant Sherlock Holmes (Christopher Plummer), creates a rhythm.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: The Etruscan Smile

The opening credits of “The Etruscan Smile” waste no time. Just a logo and some company credits, then the directing credit for co-directors Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis. That’s it. We then jump to the title screen and are off and running with the movie.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Brian's Song

Say the numbers “40” and “41” to a Chicago Bears fan and it’s an almost sure bet they’ll know who you mean. For the rest of us, these numbers belong to Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo, two running backs for the Bears who both came to the team in 1965.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Extra Ordinary

Possessed cheese is a thing. At least it is according to “Extra Ordinary,” a comedy from Ireland about a driving instructor named Rose Dooley (Maeve Higgins) who also has the gift to communicate with ghosts. “Gift” though, is the wrong word.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: The Invisible Man

It’s been standard for a while for modestly budgeted motion pictures to use Toronto, Ontario, as a stand in for New York. The city structure, climate, and architecture are close enough to make it believable. As of “The Invisible Man,” we can add another replacement city to the list.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Onward

The 3D animated movies made by Pixar look good—really good. They’ve been impressing audiences with their depth of field, light and shadow, and their own rules of physics for the past twenty-five years. This is great, but they also have not changed much in that time.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: The Call of the Wild

If a movie like “The Call of the Wild” doesn’t give you a hankering to see the Alaska and the Yukon territory in Canada, nothing will.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Gretel And Hansel

Looking up director Osgood Perkins (son of Anthony Perkins of “Psycho” fame, for those keeping score of such things) on IMDB, I discovered that he started his directing career in 2015. This is because most of his credits are as an actor under the name Oz Perkins.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Guns Akimbo

It is mostly by reading that I acquire new words to my vocabulary. Movies have taught me some words, but those have mostly been from higher-brow scripts. I don’t think that many will argue that writer-director Jason Lei Howden’s latest movie, “Guns Akimbo,” about a man named Miles who has pistols bolted to his hands, is high-brow.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: The Gentlemen

“The Gentlemen” is one of those ironic titles. It’s about a group of men—and one woman—who are anything but gentle. Sure, the men look the part with their posh, well-tailored suits and hats. Each is a dandy who dresses well enough to blend in with the upper crust of London society.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Just Mercy

I sometimes think if modern society had a polytheistic religious structure like those of our ancient ancestors, there would be a god of movies. This god would, for the most part, be a lazy, unimaginative lout who cared more about appealing to the basest nature of the movie-going masses than providing them with nourishment for the soul.

Blu-Ray Pick of the Week: Dolittle

I predict that in fifteen to twenty years, “Dolittle” will be remembered fondly as a classic. The how and why is because this movie delivers exactly what it needs to deliver for its target audience: Boys aged 7 to 12.

The Current War

The last names of the chief players in “The Current War” are ones we know today: Edison and Westinghouse. Edison is of course Thomas Edison. As played by Benedict Cumberbatch from the script by Michael Mitnick and direction by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon, the man is a fiercely competitive titan of industry…

The Etruscan Smile

“The Etruscan Smile” opens with Brian Cox, one of the great character actors of our time, enjoying a naked morning swim in the chilly shores of Scotland. It’s not exactly an image audiences have been clamoring to see, but the fact that it’s obviously cold, and his character doesn’t react at all to the cold, says a lot…

The Call of The Wild

Ah, the great outdoors. The cool, crisp air, the crunch of the snow beneath your feet, the beauty of a sunset beyond the mountains at the end of a perfect day. To be sure, one thing “The Call of the Wild” does well is embrace its location, the beatific Yukon territory of Alaska circa the 1890s…

Sonic The Hedgehog

“Sonic The Hedgehog” is inspired by one of the most popular video game franchises ever created. Its central premise follows Sonic, a blue hedgehog, who’s extraordinarily fast. For a film adaptation, one might presume director Jeff Fowler would take us on…

Must See

Mulan

By now we’ve gotten used to the ritual that surrounds the release of the live-action version of a popular Disney animated film. (Never the unpopular ones. I’m not holding my breath for a star-studded reimagining of “The Black Cauldron.”) The Mouse House’s marketing machine…

Presentations

Hudak On Hollywood presentations cover film, Broadway, and music. Great for country clubs and retirement communities, these presentations take old favorites and make them new again. Click below to learn more.

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