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 […]

Loki (Disney+): Can Evil Be Redeemed?

By Jacob Sahms Two episodes into Disney+’s latest Marvel adventure, Tom Hiddleston may finally be growing on me. I know, I know, there are fans of Hiddleston’s Loki everywhere, but this show may actually be providing us with a softer side of the God of Mischief from Asgard. While Loki finally lets Loki be the star, it’s […]

Former MLB Executive Delivers Powerful Testimony in The Shawn Miracle

By Jacob Sahms The former general manager of Major League Baseball’s L.A. Dodgers and Montreal Expos, Kevin Malone has been cross-examined and inspected in the public eye for years. Now, he’s on a different platform, as he and his family are the subject of Brian Ivie’s (The Drop Box, Emmanuel) latest documentary, The Shawn Miracle. […]

Blue Miracle’s Jimmy Gonzales Shows Courage in the Face of Fear

By Jacob Sahms The son of immigrants, Jimmy Gonzales was raised in rural Oregon, moving from one foster one to another as a teenager. His father, an addict, was in and out of prison, while his mother juggled a disability and periodic custody of her children. Now, his story seems “Disneyfied” as his dreams of […]