Posts tagged Mahershala Ali
SPECIAL: Winners announced for the first annual CIFCC Awards!

The 28 film critics and voting members, including yours truly, of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle completed their final ballots in 25 categories for their first annual CIFCC Awards.  The CIFCC hosted an invitation-only awards reception at Transistor Chicago on January 8, 2017.

Read More
COLUMN: Who should win/will win the 2017 Golden Globes?

What you're watching on TV on Sunday night is a party thrown by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hosted by Jimmy Fallon in an effort to be loved and share some love.  It’s a popularity contest more than a true Oscar precursor.  The winners do get a pretty positive rub and the marketers gain a few more "Winner of..." graphics to put in the newspapers next to their films and we get Brendan Fraser GIFs.  

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Hidden Figures

With a family-friendly PG rating, “Hidden Figures” becomes an instant must-see film for both classrooms and living rooms.  Boy or girl, man or woman, black or white, any audience member who has ever marveled at the Space Age of our national history will find much to love in Theodore Melfi’s follow-up to “St. Vincent” adapted from Margot Lee Shetterly’s nonfiction book.

Read More
COLUMN: New Year's Resolutions for the Movie Industry in 2017

Plenty of regular everyday people make New Year's Resolutions, but I think bigger entities, namely movie makers and movie moguls, need to make them too.  Annually, including this sixth edition, this is my absolute favorite editorial to write every year.  I have fun taking the movie industry to task for things they need to change.  I'm sarcastic, but I'm not the guy to take it to the false internet courage level of some Twitter troll.  This will be as forward as I get all year.  

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Moonlight

I dare you to look into the painful eyes of the three ages of Chiron and their matching performers and not have your soul triple in weight.  The arc in "Moonlight" from the innocence of the little boy to the uncomfortable vulnerability hiding underneath the muscles and gold fronts of the hardened resulting adult is arduously moving on multiple levels.  Observing his difficulties forces you to absorb the conflict and inescapable trepidation that surrounds the shared character.  Pressing his heart to your own makes for one of the most moving and rewarding film experiences this year.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: Free State of Jones

Since Hollywood has become a hit-generating factory more than a garden of artistry and truth, a historical drama film like “Free State of Jones” only has to raise its barometer to a midpoint of “good enough.”  That is because there is nearly unwinnable tug-of-war of disservice between history lessons and entertainment value, especially when your poster reads “based on a true story.”  Veer away from the facts too far with dramatic license and the film becomes disingenuous.  Veer too close to history without cinematic flashiness and no one will pay to see it.  “Free State of Jones” falls somewhere in the middle of that mud pit.

Read More
MOVIE REVIEW: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2

With all honesty, this writer has never been a fan of "The Hunger Games."   Dystopian worlds and brassy films about them are always fascinating, but kids-killing-kids-for-sport isn't a cup of tea fitting of endorsement.  It is easy to be intrigued but admittedly hard to be entertained by such a thing.  With the profit-milking complete from "Part 1" last November, "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 2" ties together its loose ends with reasonable quality.  To this critic, the series has always come down to your tolerance of overwrought melodrama, your acceptance of illogical hang-ups, and your stomach for grim fictionalized massacre with a high body count being pushed on kids.  It's hard to be a fan of that bleakness.  

Read More