Movie Reviews

The devil is a central figure in Western culture. The ultimate rebel, he challenges God’s very polished, very tidy status quo, and at least in North American popular culture, gives voice to the anarchic, anti-establishment voices that exist in all of us. Whether Lucifer is portrayed as evil, as is the case in films like The Devil’s Advocate and The Prophecy, or comedically as he was in Bedazzled, he is always entertaining to watch. It has to be said, however, that truly sympathetic portrayals of the devil are rare to non-existent, at least in Hollywood.
 

Sherlock Holmes is one of England’s most famous cultural exports. This genius detective was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British medical doctor and writer. Doyle was a prolific writer whose works included fantasy and science fiction stories, plays and historic novels. He created the character of Sherlock Holmes in 1887 for A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels and fifty-six short stories about Holmes and Dr. Watson.

Baby boomers wield an incredible amount of power in North American society, the generation born from 1946 to 1964 has influenced our politics, music, movies and religion in ways that cannot be understated, and even as their numbers decline, those boomers who are part of the political establishments of both Canada and the United States jealously guard the power that they’ve accumulated.

On May 21, 1980, American movie goers were introduced to Boba Fett in the second movie in the Star Wars trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back. The strong, but silent, Mandalorian bounty hunter, impressive in his beautifully designed armor, only appears four times in the film and speaks one line of dialogue. In the final film of the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi, he appears three times, without any dialogue and is unceremoniously killed off in the most ridiculous, cartoonish way possible.

Alexander Hamilton was born in the British West Indies in the 1750s. His father was James Hamilton, a Scottish trader. His mother was Rachel Fawcett Lavine, the daughter of a French Huguenot physician, and wife of John Michael Lavine, a merchant who had settled on the island of St. Croix in the Danish West Indies. 

The Crown is an historical television series that chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s to modern times. Given that the monarchy is such an important part of the British identity, and that Elizabeth II has been on the throne since the early 1950s, it makes sense that films would be made about her.

Al Capone is a legend to the extent that his name is often the first one that comes to mind when people hear the word “gangster.” He was an American mobster and businessman who attained notoriety during the Prohibition era in Chicago. And yet his reign as a crime boss lasted only seven years and ended when he went to prison at the age of 33.

Coriolanus is a good movie with wonderful performances from first class actors. It may be based on an old Shakespearean play, but it is still very engaging and is definitely worth a look.

The Great is a satirical, comedic American television series loosely based on the life of Catherine the Great, the longest reigning female ruler in the history of Russia. 

Ritchie’s most recent cinematic offering is The Gentlemen, which takes Ritchie back to his roots. It is a film about a mob war between two London gangsters, a marijuana dealer played by Matthew McConaughey and a heroin dealer played by Henry Golding.