The Sundance Reel

After 24 years, the saga of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear is coming to an end—apparently—with Toy Story 4.

It’s remarkable when a sequel is well-done and entertaining—even more so when it comes many years after the original film and it’s the fourth film in the franchise.

In “Toy Story 4” Pixar is continuing the fun and the adventures. But more to the point, they are still aware of the pathos behind the whole computer-animated world here—the idea that the toys yearn to be played with, to be loved—lest they fade away, forgotten and forsaken, like Puff the Magic Dragon.

Friday Film Review - "The Secret Life Of Pets 2"

Jun 21, 2019

This week’s film is “The Secret Life of Pets 2”, the sequel of the 2016 animated peek at what pets do when their owners take off for the day.  The first film was surprisingly good, bouncing back and forth between owner and pet perspective.  In this round, the ever-versatile comedian Patton Oswalt replaces embattled Louis C. K.

“Late Night” sold for record breaking big bucks after its premiere at Sundance 2019.

Although I wouldn't place “Late Night” in the “Chick-flic” genre this film hits the trifecta with talented women. Director Nisha Ganantra teams up with Mindy Kaling who wrote the screenplay and co-stars with Emma Thompson.

Following the example of “Bohemian Rhapsody” a new film telling the story of a rock n roll legend has hit the big screen.

A new film hits theaters just in time for graduation season.

For the new movie “Booksmart’ it’s easy to imagine the hook someone presented at a pitch meeting.  Instead of a wild comedy about horny misfit teen boys in high school, like “Superbad”, let’s do it with girls!

Fortunately, the result is funny, fast, and relatable enough to overcome the clichés.

Friday Film Review - "Tolkien"

May 24, 2019

A new film looks at the life of the man who would go on to write “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.”

Finnish director Dome Karukoski, most recently known for his 2017 biopic, Tom of Finland, is back with a new one, Tolkien, a look at author J.R.R. Tolkien’s life.


Friday Film Review - "Amazing Grace"

May 17, 2019

Legendary singer Aretha Franklin is the subject of the new music documentary that almost never made it to the big screen.

In 1972, as a young star on the rise, Aretha Franklin set out to make a bold musical statement. Returning to her Gospel roots, she traveled to the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles, for two nights that made music history.


Friday Film Review - "Long Shot"

May 10, 2019

Take a look at an endangered species in your local movie theater—the Rom-Com

KPCW is pleased to welcome a new member of the Friday Film review crew. For her debut, Wendy Gourley is stepping out of her comfort zone and taking a look at the new horror film, "The Curse of La Llorona"

I admit I’m not a big fan of horror movies, so you might wonder why I chose “The Curse of La Llorona” for my first Friday Film Review. I owe it all to La Llorona herself and my fascination with folklore.

Friday Film Review - "Transit"

Apr 26, 2019

Not even a road map will help viewers of the foreign film “Transit” on their trip.

German writer and director Christian Petzold, most recently known for the 2014 Holocaust film, “Phoenix”, has a new film, “Transit”, which continues his look at the Third Reich.

Friday Film Review - "The Beach Bum"

Apr 19, 2019

A mash up of infamous movie characters Spicoli and The Dude, Matthew McConaughey is Moondog in Harmony Korine’s new comedy “The Beach Bum”.

Casting Matthew McConaughey as an aging beach bum/beat poet isn’t too much of a stretch, but in Harmony Korine’s new comedy “The Beach Bum” McConaughey is so convincing as the stoner poet Moondog, he’s almost unrecognizable.

There's a new version of "Pet Sematery" the classic Stephen King novel about a cursed burial ground, an undead cat, and Family Values gone very wrong.

This new version of the Stephen King novel “Pet Sematery” highlights one of its most famous lines— “Sometimes, dead is better.”

That could also refer to Hollywood’s dismal history in the past 15 years, of again and again, going back to some classic from the Eighties, and coming up with a lame replica.

This newest effort, at least, may catch you off guard—but to what end?

Friday Film Review - "Us"

Apr 8, 2019

Director Jordan Peele returns to theaters with “Us”, the follow-up to his debut 2017 American horror film “Get Out”. Is his sophomore effort equally as frightening?

Are you ready to believe—again—that an elephant can fly? A new version of “Dumbo” is hitting theaters, nearly 80 years after the original. It’s likable, but it also comes from that new Disney attraction—Remake Mountain.

Director Tim Burton, who began his career working for the Disney Studios, is now helming this new version of their 1941 classic “Dumbo.”

Burton doesn’t always succeed at re-makes. But he’s comfortable recreating America in 1919, when fleabag circuses rattled around on the rails from one mid-sized city and hamlet to another.

Friday Film Review - "Apollo 11"

Mar 22, 2019

One small step for Man—one giant leap for the Friday Film Review? Well, you’ll have to decide about that.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins’ Apollo 11 flight and the first landing on the moon, director Todd Douglas Miller brings us his incredible documentary, “Apollo 11”.