Movies at Home: Kurt Russell double-feature on Amazon Prime

March 17 is obviously St. Patrick’s Day, but with COVID-19 shutting down bars and restaurants in many locales around the U.S., our Irish celebrations will probably be muted this year.  Don’t be sad, it’s still St. Patty’s Day, and it’s also Kurt Russell’s birthday!  It’s true.  The man known as Snake, Rudy Russo, MacReady, and Star-Lord’s Dad turns 69 years young! While you’re busting out the green beer in the comfort of your living rooms, why not turn to Amazon Prime and guzzle down two memorable Kurt Russell films. “Bone…

Movies at Home: John Travolta double-feature on Amazon Prime

In 1978, John Travolta was the coolest man on the planet.  He starred as Vinnie Barbarino in the high-school TV comedy “Welcome Back, Kotter” (1975 – 1979) and made girls’ hearts melt in “Saturday Night Fever” (1977) and “Grease” (1978).  Looking back at his movie-resume, he has plenty of great films that will make you figuratively toe-tap after the final credits roll. Since we are living in a dystopian pandemic (at the moment, and hopefully not forever) and have to lay low, why not be cool like Vinnie Barbarino and…

‘First Cow’ grazes into a long-winded but mesmerizing underdog story

“First Cow” – “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”  – Albert Einstein Writer/director Kelly Reichardt grew up in Miami, Fla., but you wouldn’t know it from her films.  She set “Wendy and Lucy” (2008) and “Meeks Cutoff” (2010) in Oregon, a modern-day tale and a one from 1845, respectively.  2016’s “Certain Women” took place in Montana, and her new movie “First Cow” heads back to Oregon and the 19th century. Somewhere in the Oregon Territory wilderness, a quiet, reserved cook – appropriately nicknamed Cookie (John Magaro) – travels with…

Vin Diesel’s ‘Bloodshot’ feels like ‘Boreshot’

“Bloodshot” –  Don’t mess with a United States soldier.  Apparently, Dr. Emil Harting (Guy Pearce), a modern-day mad scientist of sorts, didn’t get the memo.  To make matters worse, his middle name might be Frankenstein, because in “Bloodshot”, he brings a soldier back from the dead and gives him some monster powers. Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel) prides himself on surviving countless dangerous missions and returning home to his wife Gina (Talulah Riley), but evidently, his commanders sent him on one too many assignments, because an unsuspecting adversary terminates him.  (Please…

Happy 80th Birthday, Chuck Norris!

Chuck Norris doesn’t wear a watch.  He decides what time it is. Whether it’s Father Time’s decision or not, March 10 is Chuck Norris’ birthday!  Believe it or not, this U.S. Air Force Air Policeman, martial artist and television/movie star is 80 years old.  Happy Birthday, Mr. Norris! Now, Chuck burst onto the scene in director/writer/star Bruce Lee’s Hong Kong production “The Way of the Dragon” (1972), as he took on the aforementioned legend in a memorable 6-minute fight to the death. Soon after, Hollywood came calling and placed Norris…

‘Greed’ isn’t that great

“Greed” – “Greed is good.”  – Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), “Wall Street” (1987) Sir Richard McCreadie (Steve Coogan) – the head of Monda, an international apparel corporation – is filthy rich. How rich? Well, Monda just paid a 1.2 billion (British) pound dividend to its owner, McCreadie’s wife Samantha (Isla Fisher).  Samantha then purchased a yacht for 100 million that proudly scoots around Monaco with no apparent altruistic purpose, and hey, that leaves 1.1 billion to fund her favorite 2020 U.S. Presidential candidate!  Okay, don’t expect the latter, although one…

‘The Invisible Man’: Sleeping with the Invisible Enemy

“The Invisible Man” (2020) – “Death’s got an Invisibility Cloak?”  Harry interrupted again.  “So he can sneak up on people,” said Ron.  “Sometimes he gets bored of running at them, flapping his arms and shrieking.” – J.K. Rowling, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” “In fact, even among women who have experienced violence from a partner, half or more report that the man’s emotional abuse is what is causing them the greatest harm.” – Lundy Bancroft, “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” Ever wish…

It doesn’t always connect, but ‘The Call of the Wild’ is a likable family adventure

“The Call of the Wild” – “He had been suddenly jerked from the heart of civilization and flung into the heart of things primordial.” – Jack London, “The Call of the Wild” “How much is that doggie in the window?  The one with the waggly tail.” – Patti Page, “(How Much Is) That Doggie in the Window” Buck is an aristocrat of sorts.  Perhaps an aristodog?  (Many apologies for going there. Couldn’t resist.) He’s a handsome, 140-pound St. Bernard-Scotch Collie, and the Miller Estate, located in Santa Clara, Calif., is…

Manville and Neeson are anything but ordinary in ‘Ordinary Love’

“Ordinary Love” – “If you have a friend or family member with breast cancer, try not to look at her with sad eyes.  Treat her like you always did; just show a little extra love.” – Hoda Kotb Joan (Lesley Manville) and Tom (Liam Neeson) have stable, healthy lives, but not ordinary ones.  In their 60s, they lounge around their spacious home – that sports a 40-year-old décor – in suburban Belfast.  This longtime husband and wife spend their days and nights with one another, as they relish brisk walks…

Romance is a bit fuzzy in ‘The Photograph’

“The Photograph” – Location, Location, Location. If you live in Mesa, AZ, would you take a job across town in Buckeye?  According to Google, the cities are 53 miles apart, and at 6:00pm on a Thursday, the one-way commute is 1 hour and 18 minutes.  Unless you have a How to Learn French in 500 hours app, a pile of gas money, a reliable, late model Honda or Toyota, and are born with oceans of patience, handing a tattoo pen to your 6 year-old son and asking him to draw…