Tom Holland is the new web-slinger in the new reboot

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) is the second reboot of the first superstar of the 21st century superhero boom since Sam Raimi’s hit trilogy and this time Sony (who still owns the movie rights) has handed the creative reins over to Marvel Studios and allowed them to integrate the webslinger into the Marvel Comics Movie Universe. Tom […]

Jake Gyllenhaal and Robert Downey Jr. in the David Fincher thriller

David Fincher’s ‘Zodiac’ on Netflix

Zodiac (2007), David Fincher’s drama about the notorious unsolved Zodiac killings that had San Francisco gripped in fear during the early seventies, was the filmmaker’s most disciplined, focused, and mesmerizing film to date when it was released in 2007. Based on the non-fiction book by Robert Graysmith, a newspaper cartoonist who became obsessed with the […]

Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, and Jodie Foster star in Spike Lee's 'Inside Man.'

‘Inside Man’ on Netflix and Showtime

Inside Man (2006) isn’t the kind of film you expect from Spike Lee, who has always favored conversation over action. That’s part of the pleasure. It’s a high concept heist thriller starring Clive Owen as the brains behind a bank robbery turned hostage situation and Denzel Washington as the presiding NYPD Detective on the scene, […]

Jackie Chan stars in the China / India co-production directed by Stanley Tong

Jackie Chan in ‘Kung Fu Yoga’ on Netflix

For Kung Fu Yoga (China, 2017), Jackie Chan returns to the Indiana Jones-inspired adventure comedy of his 1986 hit Armour of God, albeit as an older, more modest archaeologist adventurer, for this co-production between China and India. Jackie is Professor Jack Chan, ostensibly the same character he played in The Myth, who is lured back […]

Jean-Claude Van Damme plays himself in Mabrouk El Mechri self-aware thriller

‘JCVD’ – Jean-Claude at 47 on Amazon Prime

In the opening scene of JCVD (2008), Jean-Claude Van Damme takes out one heavily-armed, vaguely military bad guy after another with his bare hands (and whatever blunt instruments and discarded weapons he grabs along the way) in an elaborately choreographed long take. He comes out the other end huffing and winded as the set falls […]

James Woods and Brian Dennehy star in the smart little thriller written by Larry Cohen

‘Best Seller’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Best Seller (1987) is a modest but smartly-scripted thriller from 1987 that holds up remarkably well, thanks to a savvy original screenplay by Larry Cohen (who was better known at the time as a cagey creator of high-concept, low-budget exploitation films) and great casting. James Woods once again brings charm to the role of a pathologically […]

Riki Takeuchi and Sho Aikawa in Miike Takashi's Dead or Alive trilogy

Takashi Miike’s extreme ‘Dead or Alive’ trilogy on Amazon Prime

Takashi Miike made his reputation as Japan’s gonzo gun-for-hire, a genre madman who pumped manic energy and wild style into films he pushed to the extremes in every way, from violence to surreal twists. He once described himself as “an arranger, not an author.” Taking a cue from one of his own film titles, I […]

Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman

‘Wonder Woman’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

Wonder Woman (2017) is, if you’ll pardon such an obvious comment, a wonder of a superhero movie, a film that doesn’t transcend the genre but most certainly sets a high bar, especially next to the ponderous, humorless films of the new big screen universe of interconnected DC Comics heroes. Gal Gadot debuted as Amazon princess […]

Bertrand Bonello write and directs this mesmerizing political thriller

‘Nocturama’ – A different kind of terrorism on Netflix

Bertrand Bonello’s Nocturama (France, 2017) is mesmerizing. Ostensibly a terrorist thriller about a group of French millennials who stage an attack on the symbols of global capitalism, it becomes a portrait of anger and resistance transformed into an exacting yet vaguely-defined assault on property and information and cultural landmarks. The first half is a crisply […]