The Orion

‘Captain Marvel’ displays an astronomical origin story

Brie Larson stars as Vers, an extraterrestrial warrior from the Kree planet, Hala. 
IMDb website photo

Angel Ortega

March 11, 2019

Though it carries some flaws, “Captain Marvel” is an excellent superhero movie with an outstanding performance from Brie Larson. “Captain Marvel,” the latest installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), tells the origin story of Vers (Brie Larson), an extraterrestrial Kree warr...

Coen Brothers deliver another stellar period piece

Tim Blake Nelson stars as Buster Scruggs, the main character featured in one of six short films in

Angel Ortega

March 3, 2019

Written, directed and produced by Ethan and Joel Coen, “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” is an anthology film which consists of six vignettes, or short films. Though none of the vignettes are narratively connected, they are all period pieces that focus on pioneers and settlers making their way west...

Director Barry Jenkins delivers another masterpiece with ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’

Kiki Layne (left) and Stephan James (right) star as Tish and Fonny in Barry Jenkins' newest film,

Angel Ortega

February 6, 2019

From Academy Award-winning director Barry Jenkins, “If Beale Street Could Talk” is a romance set in 1970s Harlem, New York. It follows the lives of Tish (Kiki Layne) and her fiancé, Alonzo (Stephan James) who goes by the nickname Fonny. Tish and Fonny are young, in love and ready to...

“The Favourite” is a brilliant period piece

Angel Ortega

January 31, 2019

“The Favourite” captures some of the best on-screen performances and exquisite production values this year. The film, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, follows Queen Anne of Britain (Olivia Colman) in her later years during the late 18th century. As war with France drains the British economy and as...

‘Shoplifters’ manages to steal the hearts of moviegoers

Left to right: Sakura Ando, Mayu Matsuoka, Miyu Sasaki, Kairi Jo, and Lily Franky star in

Angel Ortega

January 22, 2019

With an incredible cast and immersive storytelling, “Shoplifters” delivers one of the most poignant films about family and love.“Shoplifters,” directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda, revolves around a Tokyo family living in poverty who shoplift for basic necessities just to get by. When ...

‘Final Portrait’ is clever, yet mundane

Armie Hammer and Geoffrey Rush star as James Lord and Alberto Giacometti in

Angel Ortega

May 11, 2018

“Final Portrait” is clever and witty but falls short from being an excellent biographical film. Directed by Stanley Tucci, “Final Portrait” follows Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush), a famous artist who is long past his prime. Before he “retires” from art, Giacomett...

Netflix original film ‘Mudbound’ brings a dense insight in race relations

Jason Mitchell and Garrett Hedlund star as Ronsel Jackson and Jamie McAllan in

Angel Ortega

May 10, 2018

Through well-crafted production and acting, “Mudbound” delivers an ambitious film that is well worth seeing. “Mudbound,” directed by Dee Rees, follows two families in rural post-World War II Mississippi. The white McAllan family operate a farm, while the black Jackson family ar...

‘The Death of Stalin’ is a cleverly written satire

Dermot Crowley, Paul Whitehouse, Steven Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor and Paul Chahidi in

Angel Ortega

May 1, 2018

Through witty dialogue and great performances, “The Death of Stalin” is one of the best comedies in recent years. Set in 1953, shortly after the death of Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin, his cronies begin a struggle for power as each member of Stalin’s personal counsel wants to the ne...

‘Isle of Dogs’ captivates and delights its audience in typical Wes Anderson fashion

Chief (Bryan Cranston) and Atari (Koyu Rankin) embrace each other in the film,

Angel Ortega

April 20, 2018

With its exceptional writing and wonderful vocal performances, “Isle of Dogs” is one of Wes Anderson’s best films. Anderson, a writer, producer and director of Isle of Dogs, has established himself in modern cinema with his unique artistic style. With notable films like “The Royal Ten...

‘The Leisure Seeker’ is a heartfelt romantic-comedy

Donald Sutherland and Helen Mirren star as John and Ella Spencer in

Angel Ortega

April 14, 2018

Though the film 'The Leisure Seeker' is an emotionally driven film, it does have flaws that almost lead it to its demise.The film “The Leisure Seeker,” John (Donald Sutherland) and Ella Spencer (Helen Mirren) are a retired couple who are cared for by their children, Jane (Janel Moloney) ...

‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’ delivers a flawed, but poignant romance

Jamie Bell and Annette Bening star in

Angel Ortega

March 15, 2018

Though the film does not deliver anything noteworthy in terms of cinematic value, “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” brings a heartfelt and emotional romance to the big screen. Recently featured at The Pageant in Chico, “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” follows t...

‘Winchester’ fails to deliver a fright

Helen Mirren stars as Sarah Winchester. 
CBS Films Website Photo

Angel Ortega

February 19, 2018

"Winchester" had the potential to be a decent horror film, but its overuse of clichés makes it one of the most disappointing horror films of the year. In terms of commercial success at the box office, horror movies are the current zeitgeist of the film industry. Many of 2017’s most successful movies...

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