Author Archives: Michael J

About Michael J

I watch movies, write about movies, think about movies, and cook.


There’s no point in rehashing the plot of Aladdin, Disney’s 2019 live-action remake of their similarly titled 1992 animated film — screenwriters John August and Guy Ritchie (who also directs) closely follow the story of a diamond-in-the-rough street rat and … Continue reading

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This week in Film — RUNNING WITH BETO

Politics and media have intersected every since we’ve had politics and media. Two recent documentaries: Knock Down the House and Running With Beto show that these types of portraits exist long after the race has finished and the position won or lost. Currently … Continue reading

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Science fiction writers and dreamers have long been fascinated with the concept of life beyond Earth. Maybe it’s on the dark side of the Moon, maybe it’s on Mars; maybe Titan, maybe another solar system altogether. Surely we can’t be … Continue reading

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This week in Film — HAIL SATAN?

Director Penny Lane is no stranger to a bizarre story. Nuts! — about Dr. John Brinkley’s odd remedy for impotence — was one of 2016’s best docs; an honor Hail Satan? might nab for 2019. Don’t worry, as the above Satanist in … Continue reading

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Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) just received a phone call that Dad is missing, presumed dead. No matter, Goodman and pops have been estranged for some time now — ever since Goodman lost his mother years ago — and with all … Continue reading

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This week in Film — ASK DR. RUTH and LIYANA

Made-for-TV documentaries of pop culture figures are all the rage these days, so it should be no surprise that Dr. Ruth Westheimer now gets hers in Ask Dr. Ruth, a better-than-average memoir of the 90-year-old Holocaust survivor cum sex therapist. … Continue reading

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Now Playing on TCM: Forbidden Hollywood

When it comes to the movies, sin never goes out of style. And on April 28, it’s back on your TV screen when TCM presents a three-film series looking back at Hollywood’s pre-Code era with three films: Little Caesar (1931), … Continue reading

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This week in Film — AVENGERS: ENDGAME

It’s been 11 years since the launch of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), and though Avengers: Endgame is far from the end of Marvel movies, the weekend’s latest release is both a satisfying conclusion to a unique cycle of movies and … Continue reading

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Japan, modern day: an emotionally distant father dies. His son, Masato (Takumi Saito), who also lost his mother at an earlier age, decides to close down his father’s, now his, ramen stand, leave his dog with friends, and head off … Continue reading

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Every studio should be allowed a dud now and then. Trouble is, money is involved and those holding the purse strings rarely have patience when a dud falls into their hands. Laika, the stop-motion animation studio known for Coraline (2009), … Continue reading

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