War Machine

David Michôd’s War Machine works well as cautionary tale, not as satire

War is Hell, but War Machine is frustrating. David Michôd’s somewhat-satire of the Obama era’s continued efforts in the Afghanistan insurgency is far from a spirited successor to Dr. Stangelove; it’s more a nuanced look at the sobering complexities of the war through the eyes of fictional general Glen McMahon, based in part on Gen.…

By Cory Woodroof
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tale No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean-There, Done That: Latest Entry is Fun and Forgettable

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales doesn’t try to be either a good, or bad, movie. It’s a Pirates sequel – where the self-barometer is always leveled at “fun” or “not fun.” Thankfully, it’s fun! In the age of recycled entertainment, the latest film takes the familiar form of its three previous sequels…

By Cory Woodroof
The Lost City of Z

Review: James Gray’s ‘The Lost City of Z’

James Gray’s The Lost City of Z has moments that hearken back to any old Hollywood adventure epic – the grand journeys of yesteryear in which destination and discovery were the sole rewards. The music swells, the actors look stalwart, sly and in charge, and the scope widens to reveal a scenic vista worth many…

By Cory Woodroof
Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange Brings Metaphysics and Mysticism to the Marvel Cinematic Universe

By the time you’re watching stoic kung fu sorcerers chasing bad kung fu sorcerers through a labyrinth of twisting cityscapes and magical portals that lead to who knows where, you know this isn’t a normal Marvel Studios venture. The behemoth studio behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe has developed a sprawling storyline that has had some…

By Cory Woodroof
Sully Clint Eastwood Tom Hanks

In Clint Eastwood’s engrossing “Sully,” earnest heroism hits turbulence

Seven years removed from the “Miracle on the Hudson,” it’s a bit silly to think of Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger as anything else but a hero. The longtime pilot used his expertise, gumption and level head to land a major aircraft with failing engines onto the Hudson River and managed to keep everyone on-board alive…

By Cory Woodroof
Florence Foster Jenkins

Reviewing Florence Foster Jenkins: The Challenge of Dream-Chasing

There’s a pivotal moment at the end of Florence Foster Jenkins, the latest from director Stephen Frears, in which a gravely ill Jenkins (Meryl Streep) gently confronts her husband St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant) about a negative review of one of her concerts. The review isn’t necessarily incorrect – it states, rather bluntly, that Foster is…

By Cory Woodroof
Pete's Dragon

Folksy ‘Pete’s Dragon’ charms with homespun feel

The original Pete’s Dragon was a 70s family musical produced by a different Disney in a different era, complete with singing villagers, a lighthouse, Helen Reddy and a cartoon gentle giant dragon spliced into the landscape of a live action film (taking a page from the Mary Poppins playbook). The film has a fan base…

By Cory Woodroof