Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) REVIEW – Skywalker Rises, and Falls

In a galaxy far, far away, the battle between light and dark isn’t the only uninterrupted crusade that contests against itself inside of the Star Wars universe. The Skywalker Trilogy, alternatively known as Disney’s constraint on Lucasfilm, brings the curtain down on another chapter of Star Wars with its ninth “episode,” sending off this latest, and hotly debated, addition to the iconic space opera. The … Continue reading Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) REVIEW – Skywalker Rises, and Falls


Little Women (2019) REVIEW – A Heartwarming Holiday Literary Adaptation

The timeless classic by Louisa May Alcott has been renovated time and again, but director Greta Gerwin stamps her signature style onto the most recent remake of time-honored novel reestablished for cinema.  Little Women taps into the daily life of the four March sisters, Jo (Saoirse Ronan), Meg (Emma Watson), Amy (Florence Pugh), and Beth (Eliza Scanlen) as they come of age in post-Civil War … Continue reading Little Women (2019) REVIEW – A Heartwarming Holiday Literary Adaptation

AUTOMATION (2019) REVIEW – Beware the Bot

Technology has been on the rise rapidly, and as our technology becomes more powerful, it becomes more intelligent. Mechanicalization learns, advances, and adapts to blend into our everyday lives just a little too well before we can even realize how well it chameleons itself as something we shouldn’t fear, but should. Following the day-to-day life of the robot Auto (Jeff J. Knight), as he familiarizes … Continue reading AUTOMATION (2019) REVIEW – Beware the Bot

Knives Out (2019) REVIEW – The Whodunit of the Decade

There’s a saying, that all good things come to those who wait. In this case, waiting doesn’t mean a week, a month, or even a year. When it came to the production of Knives Out, it took director Rian Johnson ten years to allow his riveting mystery movie to marinate. The first scene of the film was pitched a decade ago; now, it thrives on … Continue reading Knives Out (2019) REVIEW – The Whodunit of the Decade

The Mandalorian (2019-) REVIEW – A Star Wars Spaghetti Western

As the Star Wars universe expands, as does its lore, and with its lore, come more intriguing characters that deepen the intensity of the beloved space saga. Meet The Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal), a stark drifter of little words. After the fall of the Empire, prior to the First Order, the solitary gunslinger searches for his bounty in a galaxy far, far away. Announced back in … Continue reading The Mandalorian (2019-) REVIEW – A Star Wars Spaghetti Western

Ford v. Ferrari (2019) REVIEW – More Than a Feud

The term ‘rivalry’ is a cutting, astringent, acid word that is pinned to hostility and vinegary negativity, but beneath its surface, rivalry paves the way for victory, success, and history to be made. As the ’66 Le Mans race approached, Ford rose up, hungry for triumph over long-time Italian auto adversary Ferrari. While the ’60s waved goodbye to their waning years, Ford assembled a diligent … Continue reading Ford v. Ferrari (2019) REVIEW – More Than a Feud

Jojo Rabbit (2019) REVIEW – A Fresh Political Satire

Fox Searchlight sets out to challenge the textbook coming-of-age story that has been told time and time again. Taking an unsavory stance upon its opening, the progression of Jojo Rabbit delightfully surprises with its message, but with a softer blow than what is anticipated by applying a playful attitude towards the Holocaust that doesn’t dismiss its historical significance. Leeching off of the trauma of World … Continue reading Jojo Rabbit (2019) REVIEW – A Fresh Political Satire

The New Bauhaus (2019) REVIEW – Revitalizing Chicago Design

The city of Chicago is known for its long-winded history of outstanding design and architecture that captures the eye and challenges the evolution of construction. Chicago, prided on its everchanging design and forefront, cutting edge style, stands out once again with The New Bauhaus. The New Bauhaus, an art institute that aims to spearhead and revise the bases of modern design, was enlivened by Hungarian … Continue reading The New Bauhaus (2019) REVIEW – Revitalizing Chicago Design

JOKER (2019) Review – We Live in a Society

Gotham is revived in living color and in inauspicious despair as it bears growing lawlessness that commands the centric theme of the highly-anticipated character study on the harlequin of hate who has been praised as a saint for exiles throughout the ages – Joker. The notorious, infamous, face-painted, and fearmongering character has been one that has become, in sorts, a mockery of itself in recent … Continue reading JOKER (2019) Review – We Live in a Society

The Farewell (2019) REVIEW

A24 triumphs once again when it comes down to releasing comedies that target sensitive subjects while paying careful attention to capture the heart along the way. Writer and director Lulu Wang steps into the spotlight with her debut film, The Farewell, which retells the true events of Wang’s family discovering their grandmother’s terminal cancer diagnosis- and more importantly, how they plan to hide it from … Continue reading The Farewell (2019) REVIEW

The Lion King (2019) REVIEW

As Disney continues to re-imagine and re-release their Renaissance collection as live-action films, the animated classic is brought to life and introduced once again to Disney fans and curious filmgoers alike. Director Jon Favreau brings a similar element to The Lion King as he had done in previous years with The Jungle Book as he uses photo-realistic rendering and a similar pattern of creating a … Continue reading The Lion King (2019) REVIEW

Interview: Composer David Arnold discusses ‘GOOD OMENS’ and scoring film

Award-winning composer David Arnold provided the Amazon Prime mini-series Good Omens (2019-) with a structure through his compositions by taking the wonderfully weird substance material that the show provides and converting it into charming, whimsical, delightfully peculiar arrangements of music. Arnold, most recognizable for his work on Independence Day (1996,) Casino Royale (2006,) and Godzilla (1998) recalled that composing score was something that he fell … Continue reading Interview: Composer David Arnold discusses ‘GOOD OMENS’ and scoring film

Good Omens (2019-) REVIEW

Amazon Prime Video took Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s 1900s “reign of terror” novel “Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch” and have created a manic limited series that reminds us that Biblical tales can, in this case, be categorized in the “fantasy-comedy” genre. The series is short but sweet and takes the abbreviated title of the novel, simply going by … Continue reading Good Omens (2019-) REVIEW

X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) REVIEW – Jennifer Lawrence is Finally Free

The X-Men are definitely known for their extraordinary, unique, and outstanding abilities, but X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019,) however, reminds us that no matter how strong a character can try to be, a film can have the ability fall flat on its face. Director Simon Kinberg attempts to finish off the era of the X-Men franchise with a high, but ultimately recreates X-Men: The Last Stand … Continue reading X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) REVIEW – Jennifer Lawrence is Finally Free

Gearing Up for Anime Central 2019

Anime Central, otherwise known as Acen, is the largest anime, manga and Japanese culture convention held in Rosemont, Illinois, each year, and will return to the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center from May 17 to May 19, 2019. The convention prepares to bring in hundreds of thousands of fans and entertainers from not only across the country but from across the globe.  Notable guests that … Continue reading Gearing Up for Anime Central 2019

The Problem with “Stan” Twitter

If you have any online presence, more specifically, if you are a Twitter user, you are likely to be familiar with the subcommunity of “Stan” Twitter. “Stans” or users that categorize themselves in this cult-like subculture often run fan accounts for specific franchises of entertainment. Popular “stan” groups include Marvel Studios, DC Entertainment, Korean Pop or “K-Pop,” anime, and Ariana Grande’s fanbase. Thought these are … Continue reading The Problem with “Stan” Twitter

We Need to Talk About the Academy Awards…

Despite the usual controversy and problematic noise around any awards show, there’s something peculiar about The Oscars, or the Academy Awards, this year. The show, still scheduled for Sunday, February 24, still lacks a host and lacks substance. Comedian Kevin Hart withdrew from the position of the host after his homophobic comments had surfaced and his public shaming followed in suit. Hart refused to apologize … Continue reading We Need to Talk About the Academy Awards…

A Look Back at Anime Central 2018

Proudly stated as one of the largest anime, manga and Japanese culture conventions in the Midwest, Anime Central or ACEN had reached an impressive number of attendees in 2018, reaching  91,609 cosplayers and congers alike. With a number of attractions, activities, and live events, the convention is known for bringing in an outstanding crowd. Much like the success in past years, ACEN 2018 was another … Continue reading A Look Back at Anime Central 2018

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) REVIEW

Sure, we’ve seen multiple Spider-Men come and go over the past decade or so. It started off with Tobey Maguire, then it was Andrew Garfield, and now Tom Holland as the teenaged Peter Parker who “didn’t want to go” in Avengers: Infinity War (2018.) But this? Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) introduces a new breed of radioactive spider-bitten vigilantes. Sony knows how to kick off their animated … Continue reading Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) REVIEW

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies (2018)

As a die-hard and lifelong Marvel fanatic, I can honestly say that there was a lot of bias and apprehension during Teen Titans Go! To The Movies (2018.) However, despite where my loyalties lie,  DC Entertainment and Warner Brothers may have easily outdone themselves with this animated delight. The reboot of the Teen Titans on Cartoon Network is frankly cheesy and overdone. When it comes to the … Continue reading Teen Titans Go! To The Movies (2018)

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) REVIEW

Ten years ago, I recall gazing up at the screen where genius-playboy-billionaire-philanthropist Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) was set to the task of navigating himself out of a hostage situation in Afghanistan in Iron Man (2008.) Stark, who canonically has a heart condition and anxiety, was a new breed of character. Despite his arrogant bravado, it was important to see the representation of physical and mental … Continue reading Avengers: Infinity War (2018) REVIEW

Ready Player One (2018) REVIEW

Welcome to the OASIS, the virtual reality cyberspace that has given mankind the ability to live within a video gaming universe through bodily technology. Through these advances, nearly anything is possible through the futuristic forms of automation. It’s eerily resemblant to a modern-day VR chatroom in which we have access to in the present. Director Steven Spielberg is triumphant as Ready Player One is candidly visionary. The … Continue reading Ready Player One (2018) REVIEW

The First Trailer For “Avengers: Infinity War” Has Arrived

If you’ve been on Twitter at all in the past hour, or any other social media, you’ll note that there’s a large commotion around the release of the “Avengers: Infinity War” full-length trailer. There’s a reunition of Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo,) Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson,) and James Rhodes (Don Cheadle) shown, which can raise many questions from Captain America: Civil War (2016.) After Banner’s transformation into The … Continue reading The First Trailer For “Avengers: Infinity War” Has Arrived

The Death of Stalin (2018) REVIEW

When a dark comedy is taken from historical events- especially the death of a notorious dictator- it has to be done in a particular way that leaves audiences jaw-dropped, wide-eyed and trying to comprehend if what they saw was “even allowed in a movie.” These instances have been seen before in films such as The Dictator, Borat, or even The Interview, but there’s an aspect about director Armando … Continue reading The Death of Stalin (2018) REVIEW

Predicting the 2018 Oscars

As a new year in film is opened, the chapter of a year past is closed, and studios anxiously await the nominations of the Academy Awards that crown the best features. When the disappointments of the past movies are overlooked, the competition of esteemed and encaptivating pictures are facing off head-to-head at the 2018 Oscars. Dunkirk is a front-runner for “Best Picture,” through threats such … Continue reading Predicting the 2018 Oscars

Gary Oldman Shines In ‘The Darkest Hour’

“I smell an Oscar nomination,” Chicago-based film critic Dann Gire said as he settled into his seat before the screening of The Darkest Hour began. Gire’s estimation isn’t far off as Gary Oldman delivers his most riveting and notable performance in The Darkest Hour and flourishes as Winston Churchill. The film stands strong and tall as one of the most prominent biopic films that supplement Dunkirk as the … Continue reading Gary Oldman Shines In ‘The Darkest Hour’

‘Justice League’ Cast and Crew Are Far From Heroic

Justice League’s Cast is Another Example of Hollywood’s Corrupt Values With a reputation for underwhelming productions, DC Comics released their most recent project, Justice League, in theaters on November 17, 2017, shortly after Marvel Studios launched Thor: Ragnarok. Sure, this could count as a marketing strategy, but it isn’t the film we should be focusing on here: it’s the people in it that should raise … Continue reading ‘Justice League’ Cast and Crew Are Far From Heroic

Moira’s Here, But Heroes Never Die: Here’s Who Overwatch Will Release

Recluse, otherwise known as Spider Tank, was included in concept art ever since the game was released in 2016, but never formally met. BlizzCon 2017 has shown more images of her as creator Jeff Kaplan had presented panels at the California convention. During the DICE talk, an image can be seen of the character here.     Junkertown has been seen in shorts associated with … Continue reading Moira’s Here, But Heroes Never Die: Here’s Who Overwatch Will Release

For The Love Of George Is A Cute-But-Cliche Romantic Comedy

Everyone has an interest in George Clooney, but no one can be more in love with him more than Poppy (Nadia Jordan.) Thus the title, our protagonist is madly in love with the Hollywood star as she comes to the understanding that her husband Stephen (Henry Hereford)  is cheating on her. Devastated, Poppy leaves her husband behind to reside with her openly gay friend Justin (Rex … Continue reading For The Love Of George Is A Cute-But-Cliche Romantic Comedy

Nadia Jordan Faces Hollywood Odds With Her Latest Film “For The Love Of George”

Inspired by George Clooney’s good looks, charm, charisma, and humanitarianism,  Nadia Jordan has had the opportunity to watch her film screen at festivals from Los Angeles to Chicago. “For The Love Of George” is the first film that Jordan has written and produced, as well as starred in. “I’m in every scene,” Jordan said as she attended the 2017 Chicago Comedy Film Festival. Jordan said … Continue reading Nadia Jordan Faces Hollywood Odds With Her Latest Film “For The Love Of George”

Thor: Ragnarok Is The Thor We Deserve

Marvel has given its fanbase a real treat after the long-awaited installation thunders into theaters. Director Taika Waititi (What We Do In The Shadows, We’re Wolves,) has brought the most cosmically stunning, humorously clever film to both the Thor franchise and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Loki Laufeyson (Tom Hiddleston) continues his reign over Asgard while masking himself as Odin (Sir Anthony Hopkins,) Ragnarok opens upon an intense battle scene … Continue reading Thor: Ragnarok Is The Thor We Deserve

Marshall Is Empowering And Paramount For Biopic Cinema

Slow, lazy jazz crackles crispy through speakers as gazes cast screenward to watch the young attorney piece himself together. Background information floods the screen as the scene is set, and flickers to past trials that Thurgood Marshall had historically argued in. Director Reginald Hudlin (Django Unchained, Serving Sara) captures the heat of segregation as his film brings to life the struggles of people of color, … Continue reading Marshall Is Empowering And Paramount For Biopic Cinema

How ‘Overwatch’ Remains Diverse

Familiar lines such as “you are human,” or “remember this moment” may be little rehearsed pieces that voice actors Gaku Space or Paul Nakauchi use to breathe life into Hanzo and Genji- the Shimada brothers-  but for Blizzard Entertainment, the voices that build each Overwatch “hero” is what keeps their game timely and attractive. Overwatch was first publicized in 2016, but continues to reign true … Continue reading How ‘Overwatch’ Remains Diverse

Wheelman Is Wheely Bad

It seems that Netflix will pick up any film that is pitched. That seems to be the case for actor Frank Grillo’s latest feature, Wheelman, as it will be released onto the streaming platform. Grillo and Jeremy Rush’s production studio, WARPARTY, has filmed it’s first project- and it’s not good. Open on a disgruntled and ill-tempered Grillo griping about the coloring of the getaway car before … Continue reading Wheelman Is Wheely Bad

Kingsman ‘The Golden Circle’ Is Exciting And Loud

If Kingsman: The Secret Service wasn’t enough “what did I just watch”, director Matthew Vaughn (X-Men: First Class, Fantastic Four,)  originates his sequel is just enough chaos and excitement that will engage audiences from opening to end credits. “The Golden Circle,” otherwise known as the isolated drug cartel headed by Poppy, a 50’s nostalgic that is brazenly unlikable. She’s ruthless, manipulative, and she’s poisoning her own supply. A … Continue reading Kingsman ‘The Golden Circle’ Is Exciting And Loud

M A N I A Tour: Album Yet To Come

After a two-year production phase, Chicago native punk band Fall Out Boy had announced back in June that they would be preparing to release a new album in late 2017. Their tour for the album, “M A N I A,” would kick off in the middle of September at the House of Blues in their hometown. With a capacity of around 1,500 people, the concert … Continue reading M A N I A Tour: Album Yet To Come

Why Cinema Cannot Be Dying: A Poem

And thus, darkness falls at any hour, encapsulating eager audiences with widened eyes that stretch into curious moons. Vibration trembles within the thick bone of diaphragm as it wracks each and every being as their skin crawls and hair draws erect. Let it be the score as if it was conducted by Apollo himself Coaxing the raw emotion from its depthful hiding within the soul … Continue reading Why Cinema Cannot Be Dying: A Poem

Pretty Face, Poor Story: Rebel in the Rye

Though handsome, witty and sarcastic, J.D. Salinger (Nicholas Hoult) seems to share the same original pain and suffering that every great writer has to overcome before they can dip their parched tongues in the sweetness of success, yet soon to discover that it can become maddening. Director Danny Strong (Empire) brings to life the horrors, traumas, and struggles that Salinger must defeat as he learns to cope … Continue reading Pretty Face, Poor Story: Rebel in the Rye

Kevin Conroy Talks Batman, Voice Acting

When a character is trademarked by their voice, it isn’t the voice that actor Kevin Conroy is focused on- it’s the character’s demons that he elicits Batman’s growling, rasped tone from. Luckily enough for Conroy, Bruce Wayne is definitely elite amongst the unfortunate. “Whenever I get into a character, I go back to what happened to them as a child. The root of [Bruce Wayne’s] … Continue reading Kevin Conroy Talks Batman, Voice Acting

Bringing His Spirituality To The Silver Screen

Scarlet slivers vein around the white of actor Kevin Sorbo’s eyes -who had flown into Chicago from Los Angeles at nearly 5:30 am- and he inclines himself against the autograph counter to greet anxiously awaiting fans. His children busily scramble to keep order as his oldest son, Braden, organizes the line and entertains guests before they meet his father. Before Sorbo was most recognized as Hercules … Continue reading Bringing His Spirituality To The Silver Screen

“Incredible” On And Off Screen

“Thor is going to be a big surprise,” actor Lou Ferrigno said at Wizard World Comic Con Chicago on Thursday evening. The Incredible Hulk and King of Queens star Ferrigno persists that the details of the new, third installment of Marvel’s Thor series, “Ragnarok,” tightly stay between him and the studio. Though Mark Ruffalo and Edward Norton have been the face of gamma-radiated scientist and “science bro” Bruce … Continue reading “Incredible” On And Off Screen

Straight From The Bag

I sat down with my younger sister, Alissa Banks, as she took me on a tour through her makeup bags to discuss her top 15 favorite products she uses daily when she “beats” her face. Here’s what she has to say… Tarte “Rainforest of the Sea” Aquacealer concealer: “I really like it because it’s a really light concealer, but has a lot of coverage. It … Continue reading Straight From The Bag

The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Gore Meets Gorgeous

When Ryan Reynolds isn’t cast in a romantic comedy, he’s cast in a violent one in turn. Coping with the aftermath of a destroyed career when an unknown sniper executes his client from afar, Michael Bryce (Reynolds) had spent the following years protecting assassins from harm’s way and still struggling with the result of losing girlfriend Amelia Roussell, (Eldoie Yung,) and INTERPOL agent. Working with … Continue reading The Hitman’s Bodyguard – Gore Meets Gorgeous

Dead On Set Of Deadpool 2

Although there is no name to release, on the set of Deadpool 2 shooting of specific scenes had taken place, one including a motorcycling sequence that required stunt doubles. Though the complication of the stunt is withheld, the stunt-woman is reportedly dead. The only information given by police after the investigation had gone underway was that the individual was female. The stunt-woman had gone airborne … Continue reading Dead On Set Of Deadpool 2

The Dark Tower – More Tower, Less Dark

The adoption of Stephen King’s novel, The Dark Tower, incorporates a number of cliches into the plot-line in this summer’s somewhat predictable science fiction gunslinger dystopian film. Only the mind of a child can bring down The Dark Tower- a looming guardian that protects worlds from mass destruction and hell-bent harm- and that’s exactly what Jake Chambers (Tom Taylor) has. Dealing with the psychological aftermath of losing his … Continue reading The Dark Tower – More Tower, Less Dark