Quantcast
   
Thursday - May 19, 2022
Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois
 

Strange Tales (Movie Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness)

May 12th, 2022
Strange Tales (Movie Review: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness)

Within stories, the idea of continuity is powerful. It’s like the lure of history, the pull to understand events or character through the study of a chain of events. That’s why we dive into literary series, why we’ll binge-watch a show on Netflix, and why we’ll carry around decades of plot points regarding comic books. Author Douglas Wolk recently released his book All of the Marvels. He wrote about his experience reading every comic book published by Marvel Comics.* When I say “every comic book,” I mean that Wolk read over twenty-seven thousand published works, attempted to make sense... Read More

And the Nominees Will Be…

February 7th, 2022
And the Nominees Will Be…

It’s Oscar Nomination Eve! Yay! Despite my two favorite films of the year – Nightmare Alley & In the Heights – being left out of the Best Picture conversation, it was a rock star year for movies. It is definitely a year to celebrate! With an ever changing precursor season, however, it is getting more and more difficult to read the Oscar tea leaves. Luckily, I follow it all close enough that to still determine what’s out front and what’s been forgotten. So here we go! And the nominees for the 94th Academy Awards might be… BEST PICTURE Belfast The Power of the Dog King... Read More

New “West Side Story” An Emotional, Thrilling, Breathtaking Return to Movie Theater

December 20th, 2021
New “West Side Story” An Emotional, Thrilling, Breathtaking Return to Movie Theater

When my wife Betsy and I were married in July 1990, in a Quaker meeting house in Evanston, Ill., we included two Catholic priests in the service (in honor of my upbringing), but we “married” ourselves, under the care of the meeting, not repeating vows from a benevolent clergyman. During plans for our interfaith ceremony, I originally wanted the music to the immortal “One Hand, One Heart” played during our vows, joining our different faith traditions, but for some reason I backed out. The quiet, reverent Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim song (from 1957’s “West Side Story”) is one... Read More

Michael’s Game (Review: Halloween Kills)

October 20th, 2021
Michael’s Game (Review: Halloween Kills)

He was close. He thought he was ready, but at the last moment, he stepped away. Wait — let me back up and I’ll explain. To set the stage, last weekend I knew my upcoming review would be Halloween Kills, the latest entry in the extremely venerable franchise. The film picks up moments after the end of the 2018 Halloween, and as I had a little free time, rewatching Halloween felt like a good move. As my son Liam has gotten older, he’s been developing his own tastes when it comes to film. He has directors he likes* and films he’s been curious about.** The only genre he hasn’t leapt into is... Read More

The Bond Craigslist (Review: No Time to Die)

October 5th, 2021
The Bond Craigslist (Review: No Time to Die)

I once read that a person’s preferred 007 can be determined by when their father showed them their first Bond movie. This is not a concept that’s supported by any kind of rigorous scientific method, and I know that because of my own experiences. My father was a product of World War II and the Cold War. The exploits of a gentleman spy were right up his alley, and to the best of my knowledge, he never missed a Bond movie either theatrically or on television.* He loved Bond, and Roger Moore was his Bond. My first full Bond experience was us trooping to the theater to see A View to a Kill.** Dad... Read More

Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu (Review: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings)

September 29th, 2021
Deadly Hands of Kung-Fu (Review: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a trend-setter, and it’s kind of amazing considering the risks taken. Consider the lead of Iron Man was a troubled actor with a notable drug problem. Consider that the vast majority of people had no earthly idea who Iron Man even was. Consider that the idea of an interconnected multi-film franchise was looked at as, to be charitable, raging insanity. The irony is that, despite the huge chances taken by the MCU, Marvel Comics originally followed numerous trends instead of inspiring them. The creation of the Fantastic Four was a response to DC Comics’ creation... Read More

Budapest With An S.H. (Review: Black Widow)

July 20th, 2021
Budapest With An S.H. (Review: Black Widow)

Black Widow is streaming on Disney+ Prequels are terrible. That is, until they aren’t. It used to be that the idea of checking out the earlier adventures of beloved characters was nothing more than a craven cash grab. You had the tomfoolery of Butch and Sundance: The Early Years, the nonsense of Hannibal Rising, and the blatant idiocy of X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Done well, a prequel can add texture and character to a franchise. It can fill in the blanks and even recontextualize the original work. Despite the clunky execution, mostly poor acting, and thunderingly obvious storytelling, George... Read More

Everything’s Fine (Review: No Sudden Move)

July 19th, 2021
Everything’s Fine (Review: No Sudden Move)

No Sudden Move is streaming on HBO MAX I adore crime movies, though some flavors more than others. About half of Quentin Tarantino’s filmography focuses on crime, and Pulp Fiction alone birthed legions of imitators. For years, there were scores of films involving loquacious scumbags holding forth on pop culture and committing unexpected (but completely expected) acts of violence. Some of these movies were even good. Tarantino’s crime movies are like a cheeseburger ordered at the trendiest restaurant you can imagine, cooked by the biggest celebrity chef out there. You’ll enjoy that burger,... Read More

Mommy Brain (Review: False Positive)

July 8th, 2021
Mommy Brain (Review: False Positive)

False Positive is streaming on Hulu In 2016, the World Health Organization estimated that around 830 women die on a daily basis due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. If you read that number and were floored by the lethal math on display, it’s probably because you’re a man. The fact of the matter is, the process of pregnancy has always been tied up with risk. Three hundred years ago, along with the distressingly normal dangers associated with birth, a pregnant woman had to contend with barbaric practices that barely met the definition of medical, as well as an insanely misogynistic... Read More

The Devil Went Down to Connecticut (Review: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It)

June 17th, 2021
The Devil Went Down to Connecticut (Review: The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It)

“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” is streaming on HBO Max Much like life, franchises find a way. Sooner or later, they realize they can’t keep doing the same thing over and over, and they need to evolve. The Fast and the Furious began as a charmingly low rent ripoff of Point Break. With F9 being released a few weeks from now, we’ll see a series that took enormous chances and transformed into something entirely different. We’ve arrived at a point, not unlike the late 1960s, where studios don’t fully know what audiences want and are scared to death about it. Back then,... Read More