‘Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain’ travels on several personal roads

“Roadrunner:  A Film About Anthony Bourdain” – “Travel is about the gorgeous feeling of teetering in the unknown.” – Anthony Bourdain “In America, the professional kitchen is the last refuge of the misfit.  It’s a place for people with bad pasts to find a new family.” – Anthony Bourdain Anthony, a chef at Les Halles, shared a kinship with this restaurant, but in 2000, he found a bigger family, the world, through a tell-all book.  He wrote a New York Times Best Seller, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly”,…

Movie of the Week: ‘Dirty Pretty Things’

“Dirty Pretty Things” (2002) – Okwe (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Senay (Audrey Tautou) are human beings without a country.  They are immigrants living in London but under a precarious environment. Okwe, from Nigeria, is here illegally, and Senay, from Turkey, works through the system to become a British citizen.  Although, that’s a lengthy process, and at the moment, she can’t rightfully take employment in England yet.  Still, both need to make a living.  They do, although under hidden circumstances, because every person of authority is a possible threat.  Unfortunately, their specific…

‘Black Widow’: This MCU cloak-and-dagger story somewhat satisfies

“Black Widow” (2021) – Budapest.  Hungary’s capital city is also the country’s largest, with 3 million people living in the greater metropolitan area.  Budapest is known for old-world architecture and a slew of museums, theatres, and operas.  If you’re hungry, a mean goulash or chicken paprikash could satisfy, or an easy, breezy boat ride along the Danube River might soothe the soul. Well, Marvel fans – including this critic – have wondered about some specific events in the Queen of the Danube – involving Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) and Clint…

Movie of the Week: ‘Collateral’

Tom Cruise turned 59 years young on July 3, and AHFW is celebrating with a fantastic Cruise performance in director Michael Mann’s thriller, “Collateral”. “Collateral” (2004) – Mann’s crime story runs all over the vast, sprawling City of Angeles into the wee hours of the evening, but at its narrative’s core, the film pits two men in a taxing confrontation, who sit just a few feet from one another. A cab driver, Max (Jamie Foxx), picks up a real estate executive, Vincent (Tom Cruise), in front of a towering downtown…

Five patriotic movies to stream on Independence Day

Millions of July 4th celebrations all over the United States include steady diets of barbecues, pool parties, fireworks, and laughter, but this holiday is also a great day for a movie!  Well, that’s because every day is a great day for a movie, of course. If you find a few spare hours on Independence Day, why not catch a movie at home?  Here are five films which pay homage to the U.S.A. in various ways, and you can stream them one or all at home. Happy Fourth! “In America” (2002)…

‘Summer of Soul’: Celebrate a 20th-century landmark event with this 21st-century cinematic treasure

“Summer of Soul” – The Summer of 1969.  What’s the first image that comes to mind?  The Apollo 11 Moon landing or Woodstock (or the Woodstock Rock Festival) might be # 1 for most Americans.    For the Gen X crowd, Bryan Adams’ 1985 single “Summer of ‘69” could round out the Top 3. After watching director Questlove’s enormously entertaining and informative documentary “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” – the best film I’ve seen this year and the best doc since “Searching for Sugar…

‘I Carry You with Me’ thoughtfully and uniquely conveys a personal immigrant story

“I Carry You with Me” – “I had that dream again.  I have it all the time.  It’s so real.  I’m in Mexico, my home.  I’ve returned.” – Ivan For Ivan, traveling back to Mexico can only be a far-out wish that will never – foreseeably – come to fruition.  It’s present-day, and this 40-something is riding the New York City subway, staring out a window, and thinking about his journey that brought him to The Big Apple.  Director/co-writer Heidi Ewing immerses her beautifully crafted and acted “I Carry You…

‘Zola’ runs 90 minutes, which is too long to be stuck in this on-screen weekend

“Zola” – “You want to hear a story about how me and this bitch fell out?  It’s kind of long, but it’s full of suspense.” – Zola (Taylour Paige) This cinematic tale – “Zola”, directed by Janicza Bravo – is based on a real-life 2015 Twitter post by A’Ziah Zola Wells, but this wasn’t an ordinary mention about her birthday, an adorable pet video, or a delicious meal photo.  This 20-year-old delivered a mindboggling-long social media post that totaled 148 connected Tweets, and it detailed her dubious weekend with a…

Movie of the Week: ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’

“Blue is the Warmest Color” (2013) – Adèle Exarchopoulos gives one of the very best performances of 2013 as a French high school student discovering her sexuality and graduating into womanhood through a passionate love affair with an early 20-something collegiate co-ed with blue hair (Lea Seydoux). Director/co-writer Abdellatif Kechiche winds through Adèle (Exarchopoulos) and Emma’s (Seydoux) relationship for three hours of runtime, and intricately captures subtle – and not so fine – nuances which show love as extraordinary and also traumatic.  Whether Adèle eats pasta at the table or…

‘Fathom’ communicates clearly, but it doesn’t cinematically speak

“Fathom” – Other than breathing, communication might be the most natural act in the world.  By definition, it’s “the imparting or exchanging of news; the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings; and social contact.” Sounds simple enough, but according to Google, “6,500 languages are spoken in the world today.”  If you’ve ever been to a foreign country where you don’t speak the native tongue, simple tasks like ordering off the menu, finding a restroom, or translating a subway map’s intricacies can be as bewildering as dumping 1,000 puzzle…