This gorgeous ‘Rebecca’ reincarnation would work better as a series

“Rebecca” – Ever been to Monte Carlo? Yea, me neither, and the beyond-picturesque, seaside playground for the megarich – that sits in the French Riviera – is a bucket list trip, for sure.  To boot, the Cannes Film Festival is just 55 kilometers southwest along the A-8, so let’s make a second stop during a future holiday in May. For the moment, this critic will have to look back at memories of an NCAA Basketball Tournament weekend at Las Vegas’ Monte Carlo Hotel about 20 years ago, but I bet…

‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’ argues that 1968 and 2020 aren’t so different

“The Trial of the Chicago 7” – The Left Coast hosted The Summer of Love in 1967, a time when 100,000 young people converged on San Francisco for music, art, and a sense of community. In August 1969, the East Coast hosted Woodstock, the famous conglomeration of all-star musical acts and 400,000 human beings touching down on an Upstate NY farm for three days of peace, love, and rock ‘n’ roll/folk melodies. In between these iconic events, the American Midwest held an altogether different affair, the 1968 Democratic Convention.  Hosted…

‘The Devil All the Time’ is a well-crafted, exceedingly grim slow burn

“The Devil All the Time” – At the 46-minute mark of director Antonio Campos’ film adaptation of Donald Ray Pollock’s debut 2011 novel, Arvin Russell (Tom Holland) sheepishly smiles when his aunt brings out a cake with a lit candle on his birthday.  As an audience, let’s also celebrate the occasion, because this moment is one of the very few on-screen smiles offered in “The Devil All the Time”, a rough-and-tumble, exceedingly grim step into noir.  It’s a picture that might leave you depressed and reduced to near-zero hope for…

Interview with ‘The Devil All the Time’ director Antonio Campos

Director Antonio Campos (“Christine” (2016)) recruits an all-star cast – including Tom Holland, Robert Pattinson, Sebastian Stan, Mia Wasikowska, Riley Keough, Bill Skarsgard, and Jason Clarke – for his intricate noir picture “The Devil All the Time”.  This story – set in Ohio and West Virginia during the 1940s, 50s, and 60s – is adapted from Donald Ray Pollock’s debut 2011 novel with the same name.  Well, Jeff Mitchell (Phoenix Film Festival, Art House Film Wire) joined other respected names for a terrific group interview with Antonio, and we discussed…

The 10 best Arnold Schwarzenegger films

Happy Birthday, Mr. Governator, Mr. Action Star, Mr. Arnold Schwarzenegger!  Arnold took the most unlikely journey to movie stardom by moving to the United States from Austria in 1968 to pursue a bodybuilding career.  And how!  He won the Mr. Olympia title seven times from 1970 through 1980, and after his bodybuilding retirement, he took the big screen by storm in “Conan the Barbarian” (1982).  The rest is history… There is no doubt that Arnold left a mark in three worlds: bodybuilding, movies and politics, and in celebration of his…

Movies at Home: Celebrate Woody Harrelson’s birthday with his top five performances

Happy 57th Birthday, Woody Harrelson!   Mr. Harrelson burst on the scene in 1985 as Woody Boyd, Coach’s replacement, on the legendary and equally hilarious sitcom “Cheers”, which ran on NBC until its triumphant finale on May 20, 1993. Don’t look now, but Harrelson has popped up everywhere in key supporting roles in blockbusters like “The Hunger Games” series (2012 – 2015), “Now You See Me” (2013) and its sequel (2016), “Zombieland” (2009), “Solo” (2018), and “War for the Planet of the Apes” (2017). The man born in Midland, Texas in…

Plaza’s ‘Veronica’ delivers scares on Netflix

“What goes on in that place in the dark?”  – “Veronica” by Elvis Costello, 1989 Elvis Costello did not have a horror movie in mind when he released his song 29 years ago, but the aforementioned lyric could definitely apply to director Paco Plaza’s (“[REC]” (2007)) latest film “Veronica”. Released on Netflix, “Veronica” is a creepy horror film that you can “enjoy” at home.   Set in Madrid in 1991, Veronica (Sandra Escacena) – a 15-year-old girl – talks two of her schoolmates into summoning her late father’s spirit via a…

‘Blade Runner 2049’ director Denis Villeneuve’s best film is on Netflix and Amazon

“Blade Runner 2049” arrives in theatres on Fri., Oct. 6, and director Denis Villeneuve’s follow-up to Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking, 1982 film is garnering multitudes of buzz and anticipation.  Villeneuve is no stranger to science fiction, as his “Arrival” (2016) scooped up eight Oscar nominations in 2017, including Best Picture and Best Director, and it won for Sound Editing. With “Blade Runner 2049”, “Arrival”, “Sicario” (2015), and “Prisoners” (2013) proudly sitting on his resume, this Quebec native has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most respected directors. Art House Film Wire believes…

Four essential Michael Douglas movies from the 1980s on Netflix and/or Amazon

Michael Douglas celebrates his 73rd birthday on Sept. 25.  Happy Birthday, Mr. Douglas! For young fans, Douglas is known as Dr. Hank Pym in “Ant-Man” (2015) and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018), but this Hollywood legend has starred in great films for decades. Looking back to the 1980s, here are four essential Michael Douglas films that you can catch on Netflix and/or Amazon right now. “The Star Chamber” (1983) – After years of watching guilty men enter their courtrooms and unfairly walking free, a group of judges form their own…

Looking back at director Taika Waititi’s wonderful New Zealand film catalog

On Aug. 7, Art House Film Wire looked back at four fantastic four-star Australian thrillers on Netflix and/or Amazon, and the land Down Under has certainly raised the cinematic bar.   Well, Australia’s nearby neighbor, New Zealand, is not new to the movie-making business either.  Like the Aussies, the Kiwis have churned out terrific movies too, and no, New Zealand cinema is not limited to the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” series.   Specifically, let’s look at one director, Taika Waititi.   We’ll, he’s not just a director, because he…