Review: DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH

By Mark Saldana

Rating: 2.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

“You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.” Those immortal lyrics will be forever sung every holiday season.  Since 1957, when Dr. Seuss published his story, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, this beloved/reviled sourpuss character would eventually become a Christmas icon.  This fate was sealed when animation filmmakers Chuck Jones and Ben Washam adapted the story for a television special.  For several generations of children, television’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas was the only version of this story outside of Seuss’ book.  That is, until director Ron Howard and Imagine Entertainment adapted a live action version for the big screen in 2000. Read more »

Austin Film Festival 2018: Interview: TEXAS COTTON

By Liz Lopez

At last year’s Austin Film Festival (AFF) a short film entitled “Texas Cotton” featured actor George Hardy as a law enforcement officer. Hardy is not a full time actor and yet, he was willing and able to be the protagonist when the opportunity for the feature arose. Directed by Tyler Russell (“Dog Years”) and written by Jameel Khaja (“A Passage to Ottawa”), this year’s AFF was host to the premiere of the feature, “Texas Cotton.” This independent movie set in small-town Texas was actually shot close to San Antonio in the community of LaCoste/Medina County. It is not a fictional place. Khaja has written characters that are quite believable (especially for those of us who are from Texas or spent any length of time in a small town in the state). There are plenty of superhero movies that come along with big budgets for everyone to see. Then there are great stories about different heroes who still try to do the right thing, not only for the community as a whole, but for the individuals and their families who are invested in their homestead, that is often a legacy from generations in the past. You won’t see capes, tights or other fantasy stories in “Texas Cotton,” but the strong convictions and actions will keep you rooting for the community as a whole. Read more »

Austin Film Festival 2018 Review/Interview: ORIGINAL SIN (PECADO ORIGINAL)

By Liz Lopez

Rating: B-

“Original Sin” (“Pecado Original”) had its Texas premiere at the 25th Annual Austin Film Festival in competition in the Comedy Vanguard category. Director/Writer: Jean Lee presents her feature directorial debut, “Original Sin” (“Pecado Original”) and stars an international cast, including Maia Nikiphoroff, an up-and-coming star from Paraguay, alongside costars Alejandro Torres Menchaca from Mexico and César Di Bello from Spain. This one hour and fifteen minute Spanish language rom – com certainly has humor and drama as is to be expected when there are characters in a marriage that do not have the same sense of satisfaction as husband and wife. The script is engaging and does have some great performances, more so when the three characters, a married couple and an artist, are talking out their differences in the home. I certainly look forward to seeing the actors in future films. Read more »

Digital Copy Review: INCREDIBLES 2

By Mark Saldana

The long-awaited sequel to Disney/Pixar’s acclaimed and popular superhero movie is now available to own via digital, Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD.  I recently re-watched the equally lovable sequel and took a gander at some of the many extras available on these video formats.  Disney Home Entertainment has put together quite the package for movie fans who love to spend much time watching behind the scenes clips, bonus or deleted scenes and other kinds of extra fun stuff added to enhance the movie enjoyment experience. Regardless of the format, this video release is definitely a must own for fans of the film. Read more »

Review: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

By Mark Saldana 

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 4 Stars)

After director Bryan Singer’s firing from this project went public, it seemed as if the future of this film was in jeopardy.  A lot of the movie had already been filmed, but producers had to act quickly if they wanted to see it completed.  Thankfully, actor/director Dexter Fletcher stepped in to finish the work, and despite all of the production drama, Bohemian Rhapsody is now in theaters.  Now much has alteady been said about the behind the scenes troubles, but now it is time to discuss the completed film. Read more »