CLASSIC

Goodfellas Pros: Everything Cons: Nothing (This review originally appeared in slightly different form on Epinions.com.) I always hate it when people ask me what my favorite movie is. There are so many that I love it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. But if I were ever to travel to a desert island

DECAYED URBAN SCHOOL DRAMA WITH SOME SUPERB ACTING AND QUESTIONABLE DIRECTION

Detachment  (2011) Pros: acting Cons: directing, editing Considering that British director Tony Kaye is best known for frequent and fierce clashes with Edward Norton over the 1998 “American History X” (for which Norton was nominated for an Oscar), it is surprising that Kaye could assemble the acting talent he did for “Detachment” (2011), starting with

MANDINGO FOR FUNDAMENTALISTS.

The Passion Of The Christ Pros: Great Cinematography Cons: Reduces Christ’s Crucifixion to the level of a snuff film. (Note: This review originally appeared on Epinions.com in slightly different form) It is to my mind “Mandingo” for Jews. “Mandingo” was a slave epic made for those interested in watching well-built black men being mistreated. “Schindler’s

AN IMPERFECT BUT CAPTIVATING LOOK AT THE FINAL DAYS OF WWII: JAPAN’S LONGEST DAY

JAPAN’S LONGEST DAY Pros:  Fascinating from a historical perspective; strong acting and directorial style Cons: Introduces literally hundreds of characters, making it difficult to follow the unfolding storyline Released to mark the 35th anniversary of the famed Toho Studios, 1967’s Japan’s Longest Day (a.k.a. Nihon no ichiban nagai hi) details the events from late July 1945 until the official

“…NOW I AM BECOME DEATH…THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS:” HOW WE BUILT THE BOMB

HOW WE BUILT THE BOMB on Discovery Channel Pros:  Accessible, captivating,  and informative, with a wealth of astounding archival footage Cons:  Actual interviews not included Made for the Discovery Channel networks and first broadcast in mid 2015 to mark the seventieth anniversary of the Trinity Test, How We Built the Bomb takes the form of a dramatized

THINGS GO AWRY IN NORTHERN NIGERIA

Confusion Na Wa (2013) Streaming on Netflix Pros: case, look Cons: many loose ends The 2013 “Confusion Na Wa,” written and directed by Kenneth Gyang, shot in Kaduna, is one African movie without any village-to-city dynamic, though it has self-righteous elders and amoral youth. There’s a lot going on in the movie, much of it