WONDER WOMAN 1984 Review

Patty Jenkins Fumbles the Ball Big Time in this Bloated, Silly, and Non-Sensical Sequel to 2017's More Grounded and All-Around More Successful Wonder Woman Film.

NEWS OF THE WORLD Review

Tom Hanks Re-Teams with his Captain Phillips Director for a Western that Pays as Much Homage to the Genre as it does use it to Convey a Modern Story.

SOUL Review

Disney and Pixar Once Again Deliver an Ambitious Animated Film that Truly Swings for the Fences, but can't Quite Connect its Intent to its Emotions.

PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN Review

In Emerald Fennell's Uncompromising and Provocative Tale of Sweet Revenge, Carey Mulligan is Given her Most Explosive and Entertaining Role Yet.

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI... Review

Regina King's Directorial Debut Accesses Versions of Four Men who Would be Legends, Heores, and Martyrs in a Fashion that gets to the Essence of who Each Truly Were.

ARKANSAS Review

Right off the bat I'd like to acknowledge the fact I live in Hot Springs, Arkansas which is situated about forty-five minutes north east of Glenwood where writer/director and actor Clark Duke was born; his experiences in the area clearly informing his connection to and desire to adapt John Brandon's best-selling book of the same name. And yes, the climactic scene of the movie takes place on historic bathhouse row, and was shot about five minutes from my house in downtown Hot Springs National Park. I say all of this not to try and convince you of how cool I am (unless it's working, then yes-I'm very cool), but instead to make it clear there will be no playing favorites here simply because the movie takes its name from the state I've called home for nearly three decades and because I recognized a few locations. In fact, despite the title of the film Duke and his crew shot the majority of his directorial debut in Alabama rather than in or around the Little Rock area as the movie suggests. So while there is certainly a layer of appreciation and affection for some of the sites we see and the accents we hear, there was almost more of an eagerness to see these things serve as a backdrop for what is a genre of movie we're all very familiar with whether from the natural state or not. Arkansas pays plenty of homage to the overall tone of the state, especially in its flashbacks to the mid to late eighties as we're delivered the backstory of Vince Vaughn's character, Frog, as he belts out the Gatlin brothers and cruises past open fields and dilapidated barns in his Nissan Fairlady 300ZX Coupé. At one point, Vaughn's Frog asks a couple of his associates what they're up to in which they respond with a generic comment before summarizing the feeling as being, "asleep at the wheel of the American dream." There's almost no better phrasing one could have concocted to define the stagnant air of progress yet fierce commitment to maintaining aged ideals (some good, not all bad). It is in this kind of mentality that we find the best facets of Duke's film as he's not simply telling a story of the "Dixie mafia" and funneling said crime/drama through the lens of the south, but he's utilizing this contradictory air of the south where everything feels ironic without the slightest bit of intent to add specific tone to his crime caper. Arkansas, the film, although a story about drug dealers is mostly a story about two generations of men whose aspirations are only limited by the economic options of their environment and whose intelligence is only undermined by their (mostly) unassuming appearances dictated by that same environment.