Buckley blooms in ‘Wild Rose’

“Wild Rose” – “Whosever heard of a country singer from Glasgow?” – Rose-Lynn Harlan (Jessie Buckley) Rose-Lynn loves country music!  It’s sewn into the fabric of her being and also into her white leather jacket (with tassels) and accompanying white cowboy boots.  When she’s not performing onstage at the Glasgow Grand Opry, she listens to this particular music genre – born in the southern United States sometime during the early 20th century – on the bus or at the Inness House where she vacuums and dusts from 9 to 5…

‘Maiden’ is a must-see voyage

“Maiden” – Some people reach for the stars.  Tracy Edwards reached for the ocean. Growing up in a loving household, Tracy’s sunny trajectory in the UK took a sharp and painful detour, and before one could say “troublemaker”, high school administrators suspended her 26 times.  This frustrated teenager left home, and her unlikely, winding path led her to, of all things, sailing.  In approximately eight years – and fueled by a motivated, adventurous spirit – Tracy hired a crew and captained a yacht in the 1989 Whitbread Round the World…

‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’ doesn’t stray from Marvel’s Midas touch

“Spider-Man: Far from Home” – Peter Parker (Tom Holland) needs a break. This teenager fought alongside Tony Stark, became an Avenger, traveled into deep space, battled a purple-skinned, 8-foot Titan, died with half the universe’s population, and – five years later – came back to life.  If you have not seen “Avengers: Endgame” (2019), this critic will not reveal any more spoilers from that film’s colossal closing chapter on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s (MCU) first 11 years. Yes, “Endgame” delivered a spectacular ending, with all the madness and pomp and…

‘The Fall of the American Empire’ does not have highs and lows

“The Fall of the American Empire” – Three numbers:  .1, 188 and 90. The richest .1 percent of Americans earn 188 times as much as the bottom 90 percent, according to a 2017 study featured on inequality.org.  The 2019 numbers surely have grown more disproportionate, but if one thinks that the U.S. is the only country with such frightening statistics, the answer is no.  Include Canada too. Set in Montreal, writer/director Denys Arcand (“The Barbarian Invasions” (2003)) disburses “The Fall of the American Empire”, an economic inequality commentary delivered by…

‘Ma’: Spencer is a terrific villain, but she’s stuck in a clunky story

“Ma” – “Get home safe.  That’s all I care about.” – Sue Ann (Octavia Spencer) “Don’t make me drink alone.” – Sue Ann Erica (Juliette Lewis) and her high school-aged daughter Maggie (Diana Silvers) drive towards a small-town destination, and a single-stack nuclear power plant looms over the endless acres of leafless, dormant trees.  Little did they know that their lives would soon blow up, after Erica decided to move back to her hometown and into a modest three-bedroom ranch that sits on a dead end street. They should have…