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Sunday - January 24, 2021
Quad Cities USA - Guide to Davenport & Bettendorf Iowa and Rock Island & Moline Illinois
 

Last Man (Review: The Midnight Sky)

January 18th, 2021

My kid Liam is around six months into his thirteenth year. He’s kind, smart, funny, and I can already see that he’ll go much further in life than I ever will. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Also, since he’s taking his first coltish steps in being a teenager, he has Opinions. Many, many opinions about many, many subjects. Which is also how it’s supposed to be. For example, here’s me camped out in my chair, watching George Clooney’s newest film, The Midnight Sky. Maybe 45 minutes into it, Liam comes in and announces he’s done with school. He asks what I’m watching and what I... Read More

The Self-Made Myth

December 4th, 2020

Hillbilly Elegy is streaming on Netflix There’s a story many of us tell ourselves about poverty.* Poor people are poor due to their own actions or inactions. They just want a handout from the government. They’re lazy. They’re not very intelligent or motivated, and when they do utilize a kind of low cunning, it’s to figure out ways to game the system and screw over virtuous taxpayers like “us.” I remember being told that story when I was very young. We had a house in Rockville, Maryland, and while my mother stayed indoors to protect the fragile health that would eventually fail her,... Read More

Renewed Fascination With Royals Deepens Tradition of Tragedy

November 28th, 2020

Saturday In The Arts is a weekly look at a personality, place, trend or topic of interest to the Quad-Cities. It runs every Saturday morning on your site for fun, free, local entertainment and features, QuadCities.com. Wealth and power don’t guarantee happiness. We’ve seen that over and over throughout history – from Greek tragedy to Shakespearean rulers, through the many curses and deaths of the Kennedy family (the closest America has to a royal family). The new fourth season of “The Crown” – the stunning, sumptuous dramatic series on Netflix – leans heavily into foreboding, dread,... Read More

Disorder In the Court

November 20th, 2020

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is streaming on Netflix There’s a long and semi-proud tradition in Hollywood of the courtroom movie. Some of them, such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Verdict, and 12 Angry Men stand the test of time.* They have something particular to say about the law, about justice, and how we either uphold our ideals or abandon them altogether. Here’s the thing about making a courtroom movie…they’re hard. The first problem before you is the script. Ever read legal transcripts? If not, they’re a very effective substitution for valium. Your first challenge is to hack through... Read More

“Yes, God, Yes” a Sweet, Small Film Exposing Enormity of Catholic Hypocrisy

October 26th, 2020

The 70-minute teen comedy/drama “Yes, God, Yes” is a sweet, slight and mostly satisfying film that deftly, gently tackles enormous, weighty subjects – sexuality, morality, religion, personal autonomy and responsibility, and the vast, disgusting hypocrisy of the Catholic Church. The 2019 film was written and directed by Karen Maine (who co-wrote the 2014 abortion-themed “Obvious Child”) and stars Natalia Dyer (of “Stranger Things” fame), based on Maine’s 2017 short film of the same name also starring Dyer as a shy, sympathetic, and secret rebel. The awkward, totally identifiable... Read More

Miss Mystery

October 22nd, 2020

Enola Holmes is streaming on Netflix Perhaps the best part of a movie, for me, is the first couple of seconds. By that point, I have a broad idea of the premise. I’ve poured myself a drink. My brain is prepared. When the first production company logo appears onscreen, we’re in a Schrodinger’s Movie scenario. Anything is possible, and even if the premise is ill-advised, there’s a chance of getting something amazing.* Add to that the excitement you get from hearing a strong concept. A secret organization protects Earth from alien threats? Sold. A rag-tag group of scientists opens a business... Read More

New Chicago 7 Film Carries Powerful Relevance Today

October 20th, 2020

What year is it? There are scores of protests over racial injustice and civil rights. There’s rioting and police brutality. A global pandemic kills tens of thousands of Americans. A bitter presidential election featuring a former vice president. Debates over law and order and the limits of free speech. Of course, you could be talking about this year, with its collision of cataclysmic crises. But that also summarized 1968, which also featured the shocking assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy, which fed into the massive violence in Chicago during the August Democratic... Read More

Pandemic Lends Itself to Blissful and Nervous Binge-Watching

October 17th, 2020

Saturday In The Arts is a weekly look at a personality, place, trend or topic of interest to the Quad-Cities. It runs every Saturday morning on your site for fun, free, local entertainment and features, QuadCities.com. I know it’s faintly ridiculous to watch so much film and TV on my iPhone, but life in pandemic-plagued 2020 has glued me to the really small screen to an unprecedented degree. It’s pretty much my lone companion before falling asleep every night, and due to the seemingly inexhaustible smorgasbord of content on Netflix (my go-to app), I’ve been binge-watching a lot. It’s provided... Read More

From ‘Tiger King’ To ‘Last Dance’ To ‘Cobra Kai’ To ‘Social Dilemma,’ Netflix Has Nailed The Covid Zeitgeist

October 9th, 2020

Are Netflix executives reading our minds? There’s been an eerie pattern throughout the pandemic, in regard to the most popular programming emerging on the streaming platform. In an uncanny way, it’s mirrored the attitudes and zeitgeist of society at that time, especially over the past year during the time of covid. Certainly, some of it can be chalked up to unconscious needs and preferences being manifested in viewing choices — of people being attracted to certain programs at certain times and them becoming popular because the vast majority of us are feeling a certain thing at... Read More

That Old Time Religion

October 6th, 2020

The Devil All the Time is streaming on Netflix I’ve been to the South, but I’ve never been to The South. To clarify, years ago my wife and I took a week off for a road trip. We were on the East Coast then, and with the exception of a couple of trips to Florida, I had never spent any appreciable time further South than Maryland. I was intensely curious about what I would find. Honestly, I loved it. In particular, I fell deeply in love with Charleston, the elegantly crumbling South Carolina city. The food? Incredible. The sights? Marvelous. The people? Delightful.* In particular was a couple... Read More