Hotel Transylvania 4 -Transformania: Be Yourself

By Jacob Sahms As Hotel Transylvania 4- Transformania opens, Dac (Brian Hull in for Adam Sandler) plans to announce his retirement at a great celebration with all of his friends. But his plans to give the hotel to his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) doesn’t factor in her human husband, Johnny (Adam Sandberg), who longs to achieve […]

Encanto (Disney+): Chasing the Gift

By Jacob Sahms Encanto, Disney’s latest animated film, combines the beauty of animation and music thanks to the studio’s stable of excellent animators and the lyrical talents of Lin-Manuel Miranda. Fifteen-year-old Mirabel Madrigal (Stephanie Beatriz) serves as the audience’s focus, as a young woman in a household of powerful, magically-gifted family members… who has no […]

The Unforgivable (Netflix): An Unforgiving Society

By Jacob Sahms Sandra Bullock’s Ruth Slater is a different role than anything we’ve seen from the Academy Award-winning actress before in Netflix’s The Unforgivable. Sandra Bullock plays Ruth Slater, who went to prison for twenty years for murder and now slowly works to rebuild her life. Using Sally Wainwright’s British series Unforgiven as a […]

8-Bit Christmas (HBO Max): Remembering Christmas (Movies) Past

By Jacob Sahms Jake Doyle (Neil Patrick Harris) wants his daughter to understand him, and the childhood Christmases he lived through, so he tells her the story of a 1980s Christmas. Flashing back quickly to young Jake’s (Winslow Fegley) experience of school, family, and Christmas, the Christmas vibe of the 8-Bit Christmas rings in various Christmas films, […]

Old Henry: A Western Redemption

By Jacob Sahms Westerns, once a life blood for cinema, still contain the necessary power to strip back the excess of the modern lifestyle and reduce the audience to its most basic parts. Not every dusty, horse-riding film provides that true western influence because a western is not solely brandishing a six-shooter and galloping through […]

Mass: Forgiveness Takes Work

By Jacob Sahms Mass opens outside of an Episcopal church, as two members of the church prepare a room for a special meeting. More characters are slowly introduced, as a pair of couples assembles to have a conversation that will last ninety minutes in real time. For the most part, the appearances are benign, calm, […]

The Starling (Netflix): Wrestling with Grief

By Jacob Sahms Lilly and Jack Maynard (Melissa McCarthy and Chris O’Dowd) live a happy, hopeful, joke-filled life, blessed by the arrival of their infant daughter. But when tragedy strikes, the couple is torn apart. Jack enters a mental health facility and Lilly is left to run the household, including the overgrown garden that a […]

Coda (Apple TV+): Learning to Listen

By Jacob Sahms An English-language remake of the 2014 French-language film La Famille Bélier, Coda shares the story of the Rossi family, fishermen out of Gloucester, Massachusetts. Ruby (Emilia Jones) is the only member of the family who can hear, so she becomes the spokeswoman for the family made up of her parents (Troy Kotsur and Marlee […]

Jungle Cruise (Disney+): Take a Wild Ride Down the River

By Jacob Sahms Disney’s Jungle Cruise saunters down the river into the jungle with the panache of Dwayne Johnson at the helm. As the riverboat captain Frank Wolff, he’s transporting intrepid explorer sister and brother combo Lily and MacGregor Houghton (Emily Blunt and Jack Whitehall) reluctantly to a destination he believes they’ll never reach: the […]

Space Jam – A New Legacy: Fathers & Sons

By Jacob Sahms In 1996, Warner Bros. capitalized on the public’s interest in the Chicago Bulls’ Michael Jordan, and his charismatic, worldwide appeal after a brief hiatus playing baseball with director Joe Pytka’s Space Jam. Blending the immutable talents of Jordan, Bill Murray, and other NBA players with those of the animated Looney Tunes like Bugs Bunny […]