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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Monday, November 18, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


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Stream on Demand: Disney brings multiple universes to new streaming venture

What’s new for home viewing on Video on Demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other streaming services. Top streams for the week

Review: ‘Ford v Ferrari’ takes muscle car madness on a thrill ride

It’s the story of a couple of guys who love cars and live to make them go fast: Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and his pal, Ken Miles (Christian Bale). In …

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 13, 2019

Review: Blandness runs the game in ‘The Good Liar’ until its satisfying twist

The twisty little tete-a-tete is a fine vehicle for the two charming British actors – Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen – but it’s potentially the politest, gentlest movie about a …

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 13, 2019

Review: Kristen Stewart gives divinely comedic performance in woke ‘Charlie’s Angels’

“Charlie’s Angels” isn’t rocket science, but thanks to a charm offensive of stars, it’s an easy breezy blast of an action flick that delivers as many laughs as it does …

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 7, 2019

Review: Smokejumper farce ‘Playing With Fire’ is only half-baked – and wholly unfunny

The creators of “Playing With Fire,” a clodhopping comedy about California smokejumpers, built in little pauses after many of the film’s sight gags and verbal jokes, presumably to accommodate audience …

A comedy about Nazis that’s actually funny? Yes, but ‘Jojo Rabbit’ also is deadly serious

A sprightly, attractively composed coming-of-age comedy set in World War II Germany, “Jojo Rabbit” is an audacious high-wire act: a satire in which a buffoonish Adolf Hitler delivers some of …

Review: Mushrooms are new superheroes in documentary ‘Fantastic Fungi’

Director Louie Schwartzberg, with the aid of gorgeous time-lapse photography and mycophilic talking heads including Michael Pollan, Eugenia Bone and Andrew Weil, covers a lot of ground – pun intended …

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 7, 2019

Stream on Demand: HBO hits the books again for new fantasy series

What’s new for home viewing on Video on Demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other streaming services.

UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 7, 2019

Review: ‘Doctor Sleep’ can’t escape ‘The Shining’

What is the hold that “The Shining” has over us culturally? It’s the popularity of Stephen King, indeed, but it also is, specifically, Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film. The surreal and …

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 6, 2019

Review: ‘Last Christmas’ worth giving over your heart

In the past couple of years, it seems we all decided to admit that those made-for-TV holiday movies starring D-list celebs were actually pretty fun to watch. Since then, they’ve …

UPDATED: Wed., Nov. 6, 2019

Review: Nostalgic ‘Midway’ gives its heroes short shrift through information overload

In its combat scenes, “Midway” is a triumph. Though heavily enhanced by CGI, the action is rendered in crisp clarity and breathtaking immediacy, a direct view of the action from …

Stream on Demand: High-profile stars help Apple launch streaming service

What’s new for home viewing on Video on Demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other streaming services.

Review: ‘Where’s My Roy Cohn?’ a fascinating exploration of man who wrote Trump’s playbook

Former Vanity Fair editor-at-large and documentarian Matt Tyrnauer pulls back the curtain on Donald Trump’s notorious mentor Roy Cohn in the rollicking, salacious documentary “Where’s My Roy Cohn?,” a fast …

No sweet little old lady, hero of ‘Harriet’ a woman of action, moral courage

A movie starring Cynthia Erivo – and co-starring Leslie Odom, Jr. and Janelle Monae – cries out to be a musical. But “Harriet,” in which Erivo plays American icon Harriet …

Review: ‘Motherless Brooklyn’ a sturdy, wordy whodunit

In the age of blockbuster superhero entertainment vs. micro-budget indie films, Norton has delivered a movie of another era: a sturdy, wordy politically minded and wholly engaging whodunit.

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 30, 2019

Sixth ‘Terminator’ film succeeds by ignoring past three in beloved series

True to its title, there’s a subtext of fatalism to “Dark Fate” that lends the film, however much of it may repeat the first two, a new tone – one …

Stream on Demand: Disney gives new vision to ‘Lion King’

What’s new for home viewing on Video on Demand and Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and other streaming services.

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 24, 2019

A descent into madness – and flatulence – in haunting film ‘The Lighthouse’

Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson play mismatched lighthouse keepers in a film that essentially functions as a two-man show. Dafoe’s Thomas Wake is the sea dog tasked with overseeing the …

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 24, 2019

The Boss co-directs his first movie: A concert documentary with some extras

“Western Stars,” a new documentary co-directed by and starring Bruce Springsteen, swaggers across the landscape like a cinematic epic, but it’s basically a concert flick with some extras. And those …

Review: Eddie Murphy is back, baby, in lowdown, fizzily high-spirited ‘Dolemite Is My Name’

In this raunchy, ribald, expansive and forgiving ode to moviemaking and self-creation, Eddie Murphy plays the titular comedian with the kind of all-out commitment and panache that made him not …

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 23, 2019

Review: ‘Black and Blue’ a lean, mean corrupt cop thriller

It seems like director Deon Taylor might be the only filmmaker actively keeping the mid-budget adult thriller alive in this age of extinction.

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 23, 2019

Review: Dazzling filmmaking in ‘Current War: Director’s Cut’ not enough to hide story’s Wikipedia-esque feel

The film, which is about the arms race between Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch), George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon) and Nikola Tesla (Nicholas Hoult) to establish what kind of electric current would …

Review: Soderbergh takes Panama Papers to ‘The Laundromat’

Soderbergh’s “Laundromat” seeks to make sense of a story that is breathtakingly complex, with enough players and layers and locations and implications to make one’s head spin. Working with the …

Review: Ignoring 10-year gap, ‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ brings outdated schtick back from dead

“Zombieland” may have helped to give birth to the zomb-aissance, but “Double Tap” just might be the kill shot.

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 16, 2019

Review: ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ undermines important themes with goofy camp

What worked about the first “Maleficent” was Jolie herself, trying on something softer, even funny, her face, enhanced with prosthetics, half of the visual spectacle. But “Mistress of Evil” crowds …

Review: ‘The Addams Family’ reboot maintains its gently spooky charm but doesn’t break the mold

The enduring appeal of “The Addams Family” is quite impressive. With only four notes and a couple of snaps, plus a classic black dress, one can instantly evoke the classic …

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 3, 2019

Review: Controversy aside, ‘Joker’ is all setup, no punchline

With the amount of controversy surrounding it, “Joker” feels more like an idea and less like an actual movie. Could it possibly stand up to the mythology that has sprung …

UPDATED: Thu., Oct. 3, 2019

Review: In nuanced ‘Judy,’ Zellweger proves she just may be best singing actor of her generation

Based on Peter Quilter’s stage play “The End of the Rainbow,” adapted by Tom Edge for the screen, “Judy” takes place during a run of shows in 1969 at London’s …

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 25, 2019

Review: ‘Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool’ sees jazz legend with empathy, honesty

The trumpet was Miles Davis’ primary way of communicating with the world, and director Stanley Nelson makes a case that the vulnerable beauty of much of his music, notably the …

UPDATED: Wed., Sept. 25, 2019

Review: ‘Abominable’ offers familiar but delightful hero’s journey

The startlingly profound and moving message we’re left with is a universal one: If we care for nature and animals with compassion and understanding, there’s a larger, unseen magic that …