Hot Takes

The Book of Boba Fett (Disney+): The Unlikeliest Hero

By Jacob Sahms In the pantheon of iconic Star Wars characters, who are not out-and-out villains, is there anyone less likely to be a hero than Boba Fett? If we put The Emperor, Jaba the Hutt, Moff Tarkin, etc. to the side… it seems unlikely. Yet, Disney has taken sixty-one-year-old New Zealander Temuera Morrison, inserted him […]

Sing 2 – Dreams Help You Rise, Music Helps You Heal

By Jacob Sahms Sing was everywhere – in commercials and hinted at in other Illumination films – before it landed a perfect 10 as a musical, animated comedy. Now, five years later, writer/director Garth Jennings has assembled almost all of the initial cast for a sequel that finds entrepreneur and showman Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey) taking […]

Encounter (Amazon): A Father’s Desperation

By Jacob Sahms Malik Khan (Riz Ahmed) has served his country on multiple tours abroad, but his return home has carried with it a dishonorable discharge, a divorce, and estrangement from his two sons. At the middle of the night, Khan enters his ex-wife’s home and encourages his sons (Lucian-River Chauhan and Aditya Geddada) to […]

Welcome to Earth (Disney+): Will Smith Leads Us to the World’s Secret Wonders

By Jacob Sahms Disney+ and National Geographic are delivering a spellbinding six-part series about hidden secrets around the world in nature. Executive producers Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, Protozoa Pictures, and Jane Root’s Nutopia and Westbrook Studios back a globe-trotting exploration by two-time Academy Award nominee Will Smith – yes, that Will Smith – who joins […]

Shaun the Sheep – Twas the Flight Before Christmas

By Jacob Sahms In the latest animated short from the delightful cartoonists behind Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep returns with a family-thrilling adventure just ahead of Christmas in Shaun of the Sheep: Twas the Flight Before Christmas. When Shaun decides that Timmy needs a bigger stocking, he goes on a raid of the farmhouse, and […]

Robin Robin (Netflix): Sneaking Christmas

By Jacob Sahms Robin (Bronte Carmichael) grows up in a mouse family after her egg winds up in a landfill. Like The Secrets of Nimh or Peter Rabbit, the mice have a healthy fear of the human society that they pilfer from. The problem is that the mice are extraordinarily good thieves, but Robin isn’t a mouse, and […]

King Richard (HBO Max): Serving For Love

By Jacob Sahms In the tennis biopic about the Williams sisters, the film focuses on the driving, impassioned dream of their father Richard Williams, who managed Venus and Serena through their careers. Powerful, dramatic, and inspiring, director Reinaldo Marcus Green’s film shows the tumultuous early years of the girls’ life in the home of a father […]

Living Through It – Surviving Suicide: Empathy & Awareness

By Jacob Sahms Directed by USC School of Social Work Ph.D candidate Daniel Kennedy, Living Through It — Surviving Suicide looks at several people whose lives dramatically intersected with the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. One of those people is Bertha Loaiza, whose mother jumped off of the bridge with her three-year-old daughter in her arms. Loaiza survived; her veteran […]

Red Notice (Netflix): Can Our Future Make Up For Our Past?

By Jacob Sahms Red Notice is a Netflix vehicle designed around the witty banter that Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds effortlessly delivered in Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw, betting on their star power with a strong dose of Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot. It also re-partners Johnson with director Rawson Marshall Thurber, who transitioned (partially) from […]

Clifford the Big Red Dog: You’re Different, Just Like You’re Supposed to Be

By Jacob Sahms Clifford the Big Red Dog serves up fun for the whole family, a delightfully charming film that is bigger and better than a story created on short children’s stories from Scholastic should dare to be. Maybe that’s because of the story by Justin Malen and Ellen Rapoport, or the direction of Walt Becker, or […]