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Art Films Dominate the 2018 New York Film Festival

If Beale Street Could Talk is a lushly created, gorgeously crafted work of art. At times the style outweighs the storyline, but most people looking for art films won’t care. The same can be said about a lot of the slate at the 56th annual New York Film Festival: Visually transporting but lacking in the consistently engaging storytelling that can add pep and momentum to what’s on view. […read more]

Entertainment

Film Review: Roman J. Israel, Esq.

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars Denzel Washington may be the most accomplished actor of our generation. Like a chameleon, he’s morphed from the stern father in “Fences” to a dorky, introverted attorney in this meandering crime-drama/thriller. His Read More

Entertainment

NNPA Newswire Film Review: Marshall

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) Considering all of his major accomplishments, why hasn’t someone made a film about Thurgood Marshall’s life that was comprehensive? He was the lawyer who won the Brown v. Board of Education United States Supreme Court case, the founder Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Detroit

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) “Detroit” tells a story of racial injustice and police brutality, based on fact, which is easy enough to believe and has parallels with today’s problems with police criminality and impunity. But since this important subject is not new, Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Girls Trip

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) This hilarious and relentlessly bawdy take on a girls’ weekend reunion in New Orleans is following in the footsteps of some very popular female-appeal movies like “Sex In the City” and “Bridesmaids.” But “Girls Trip” is not a Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Lowriders

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) Rarely do urban tales balance authenticity with solid drama elements and strong emotion. “Boyz n the Hood” and “Straight Outta Compton” are perfect examples. “Lowriders” is in their league; it checks all the boxes: acting, direction, writing and Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: T2 Trainspotting

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) “Trainspotting” was a breakthrough film back in 1996. An edgy, eccentric blend of debauchery and rebellion set to one of the best British rock soundtracks ever made. Twenty years later, the original director Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire,” “28 Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: 100 Streets

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) The mark of a brilliant actor is that he or she can give a compelling performance even in a film that doesn’t shine. That’s the case with Idris Elba, as he nearly saves this light, interwoven contemporary London Read More

Entertainment

The Best Films of 2016

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) As we go forward, movies guide us. They give us directions. They motivate us. They provide rest stops, comic relief and flashbacks to the past. And they reassure us that we will thrive. It’s a perfect time to Read More

Black History

Film Review: I Am Not Your Negro

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) James Baldwin, the intellectual, civil rights activist and renowned author, left behind some biting and enlightening words about racism and the status of the Black community that are just as relevant today in this age of the Black Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Jackie

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) It must have been two weeks of pure hell for First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. First there was November 22, 1963 to November 25, the time span between the assassination of her husband and his funeral. Then the Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Lion

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) Saroo Brierley, a five-year old boy from a small town in India, got lost on a train ride, wound up at the massive Howrah Junction railway station in Calcutta and became an orphaned street kid. An Australian couple Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Arrival

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) Nearly 40 years ago, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” set the bar very high for sci-fi films that eschewed conventional all-out action sequences and garnered their strength from immense suspense, evocative visuals and mind-numbing mystery. “Arrival” is Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Loving

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) For a long time it was a forbidden love. Through slavery, the reconstruction era, on into the 20th century, particularly in the South, interracial romantic relations were looked down on and marriages were illegal. Anti-miscegenation laws were on Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: The Birth of a Nation

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Wire Service Film Critic) Finally, a filmmaker unearths one of the biggest secrets in American history: slave revolts. It’s a lesson rarely mentioned in history books, though it’s common knowledge to anyone who has taken a Black History course. Kudos to Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Southside With You

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) “Thought he was just another smooth talking brother?” says an inquisitive Chicago mom. She’s repeating the words her daughter used to describe a colleague she’s meeting for a first date. Never have eight words been so inaccurate. That Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Hands of Stone

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) “Every boxer is someone’s hero.” It’s a saying that’s been hard to attach to Roberto Durán. Most people assume that he is just an infamous Panamanian boxer who left a match against Sugar Ray Leonard, uttering the words, Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Hell or High Water

By Dwight Brown (NNPA Newswire Film Critic) “I been poor my whole life. It’s like a disease.” And with that thought in mind, two brothers, Toby (Chris Pine, Star Trek’s Captain Kirk) a divorced dad and Tanner Howard (Ben Foster, “Lone Survivor”) an ex-con, go Read More

Entertainment

Movie Review: Suicide Squad

By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic “Deadpool” may have raised the bar far too high for the comic-book-turned-film genre. It was fresh, innovative, irreverent, demented, unpredictable, visually alluring, well-acted, written, directed and produced. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” flew in its shadow. Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Miss Sharon Jones!

By Dwight Brown (NNPA News Wire Film Critic) Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings is a Grammy-nominated R&B band from Brooklyn. Their groove is funky like James Brown’s. Jones’ gyrations are as wild and ferocious as Tina Tuner’s. The group’s soul shakes and their lead singer’s Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Jason Bourne

By Dwight Brown (NNPA News Wire Film Critic) There’s something missing in actor Matt Damon and director/writer Paul Greengrass’s return to the Bourne action/spy/thriller franchise. It’s hard to put your finger on it. But the brutal fight scenes, painstakingly coordinated cloak-and-dagger sequences and elaborate car Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Star Trek Beyond

By Dwight Brown (NNPA News Wire Film Critic) The big debate shouldn’t be if this is the best Star Trek film ever. The more interesting conversation is about whether Star Trek Beyond is a better sci-fi space adventure film than 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: The Legend of Tarzan

By Dwight Brown (NNPA News Wire Film Critic) Some things should be left in the past and forgotten. Case in point: Tarzan. This modern version, “The Legend of Tarzan,” adds some politically correct touches to an old-fashioned (dated) story. But even with new gloss and Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Free State of Jones

By Dwight Brown (NNPA News Wire Film Critic) “You can not own a child of God,” proclaims a slave named Moses (Mahershala Ali, HBO’s “Treme”). “We don’t got no country on either side. We’re our own country,” says Confederate Army deserter Newton “Newt” Knight (Matthew Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Keanu

By Dwight Brown (NNPA News Wire Film Critic) They’re 50 percent Black, 50 percent White. 100 percent Nerd. Go figure. Left to their own devices and dull lives, not a lot of excitement comes their way. Until that fateful day when a lost and forlorn Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: The Jungle Book

By Dwight Brown (NNPA News Wire Film Critic) Start the great debate right now. Is The Jungle Book the best kid’s action film ever made? Possibly. Expect to hear both sides of that argument waged by millions over lattes at Starbucks after they exit theaters. Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Born to Be Blue

By Dwight Brown (NNPA News Wire Film Critic) “I did it my way…” No, Ethan Hawke doesn’t sing those lyrics in this faux bio/film about jazz great Chet Baker. But judging by his thoroughly convincing performance and writer/director Robert Budreau’s impressionistic screenplay and artsy direction, Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Eye In The Sky

By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic What is the tolerance level for collateral damage during drone strikes? It’s been a topical subject for years, as the U.S. and other countries fight the war on terrorism from the air and not so much the Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: London Has Fallen

By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic A good action-thriller movie keeps you tense, engaged and excited. A great action-thriller does all that and you still feel anxious long after you’ve left the theater. This sequel to the $161M-grossing Olympus Has Fallen, about a Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Eddie The Eagle

By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic Somewhere in between the football tearjerker “Rudy” and the offbeat cult-classic Jamaican bobsled team bio “Cool Runnings,” there is room for this very disarming, true-life tale of a bumbling British ski jumper, Michael “Eddie” Edwards, who made Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Race

By Dwight Brown, NNPA News Wire Film Critic “On the track, there is no Black and White, just fast and slow. For those 10 seconds you are free,” says Jesse Owens (Stephan James) in this very moving and inspiring bio/sports movie that captures the essence of Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Triple 9

By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic Honor among thieves? Not with this bunch. These guys are playing a mean duplicitous game, and as they do, you can’t guess who will survive. That’s the mark of a solid, tense cop/crime/thriller. A good one will Read More

Entertainment

Movie Review: Deadpool

By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic “I’m super, but I’m not a superhero,” clarifies Deadpool, a petulant mutate. Yes, he has mighty powers, but no pretense about being a nice guy. If there is ever an Avengers Hall of Fame, he’ll never get Read More

Entertainment

Movie Review: Ride Along 2

By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic Too soon. As the opening credits start to roll, you wonder why the producers didn’t’ give moviegoers a real break between “Ride Along” (2014) and “Ride Along 2” (2016). Two years is not enough time to make Read More

Entertainment

The Best Films of 2015

By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic Movies have become a great comfort in what has been a tumultuous year. They’ve entertained us. Made us laugh, feel courageous, scared, romantic and educated us too. It’s a perfect time to reflect on the films, performances Read More

Entertainment

Movie Review: Creed

By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic “Why would you pick a fighter’s life if you didn’t have to,” asks the old, retired ex-boxer Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone). He would know. The life, it ain’t easy. Yet as he stares into the eyes of Read More

Entertainment

Movie Review: Trumbo

By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic The 1940s and ‘50s weren’t kind to people whose politics flirted with the far left, especially those in the Hollywood artist community. Writer Dalton Trumbo, Oscar-nominated for “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,” got caught up in the “Better Read More

Entertainment

Movie Review: Suffragette

By Dwight Brown NNPA News Wire Film Critic In the U.S., we revere Susan B. Anthony’s groundbreaking efforts for leading the fight for a woman’s right to vote in the late 1800s. In England, Emmeline Pankhurst, a feminist who used demonstrations, civil disobedience and violence Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’

By Dwight Brown NNPA Syndication Film Critic   It seems like just yesterday—well three decades ago—when a brash Australian actor, Mel Gibson, stormed on to the screen in the post-apocalyptic Australian Outback action film Mad Max. The original director/writer George Miller has breathed new life Read More

Business

Car Review: 2015 Toyota Yaris

By Frank S. Washington NNPA Columnist   PONTE VEDRA, Fla. (NNPA) – Toyota’s move to more aggressive and stylish designs is not just limited to its midsize and compact cars. The automaker’s subcompact Yaris didn’t escape the stylists’ touch, either. For 2015, the Toyota Yaris Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: American Sniper

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic   This well-produced but flawed bio/war/drama follows the armed forces career and subsequent malaise of ex- Navy Seal Chris Kyle. He was a legendary sniper who did four tours of duty in Iraq. His steely, icy demeanor gave him Read More

Entertainment

Film Review: Edge of Tomorrow

By Dwight Brown NNPA Film Critic   Day after day. Over and over again. He can see his demise. But no on else can see theirs.  Until…. In Hiroshi Sakurazak’s 2004 military science-fiction novel All You Need Is Kill, Mimics (vicious, crustacean-looking aliens) invade Japan. Keiji Kiriya, the book’s Read More