Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Writers

Steve Persall

Steve Persall

Steve Persall's movie reviews usually appear in Thursday's Weekend section but — like his columns, features and interviews — can pop up anywhere in the Tampa Bay Times, any day of the week. Persall was conceived behind a Tarpon Springs drive-in theater his father managed, making him practically born for this job. He lives in Clearwater with his wife, Dianne (a.k.a. the right side of his brain), and trusty dog, Mojo.



Saoirse Ronan in

Thanksgiving movies: What to see, and avoid, in theaters this week

NOW IN THEATERS:COCODisney-Pixar’s animated dramedy Coco (PG) is inspired by Mexico’s annual Dia de los Muertos, the "day of the dead" when departed ancestors are celebrated. Good for diversity, although the movie isn’t...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Bleecker Street
Christopher Plummer (center, left) stars as Ebenezer Scrooge and Dan Stevens (center, right) stars as Charles Dickens in director Bharat Nalluriâ\u0080\u0099s THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS, a Bleecker Street release.

If you’re going to see ‘A Christmas Carol’ redo, make it ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’

The last thing this world needs is another rendition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, likely the most remade, reimagined and ripped off literary property ever.
Published: 11/22/17
Denzel Washington stars in

‘Roman J. Israel, Esq.’ is a sad waste of Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington’s labored portrayal of a shambling legal savant named Roman J. Israel, Esq. is the least of the movie’s worries. This is a story of shifting ethics that should be dramatic, but shaky logic prevents that from happening.Dan...
Updated: 5 hours ago
( L-r) Bryan Cranston as

‘Last Flag Flying’ is kind of a puzzling follow-up to 1973’s ‘The Last Detail’

Richard Linklater called 2016’s Everybody Wants Some!! a "spiritual sequel" to his last-century breakout Dazed and Confused. Different characters, same youthful, life-exploring vibe.Linklater’s latest, Last Flag Flying, can be considered a...
Published: 11/21/17
In

Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s Coco was more enjoyable three years ago when it was titled The Book of Life and came from Twentieth Century Fox.Both animated features spring from Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos celebration, the annual "day of the dead" when...
Published: 11/20/17
Updated: 11/21/17
Frances McDormand plays an angry, grieving mother in

‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is a study in grief that’s so much more

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is where Mildred Hayes vents grief over her daughter’s rape and murder, and anger toward a police chief who hasn’t solved the case. Ten words on stark canvases setting off a powder keg of poetic cruelty and...
Published: 11/16/17
Updated: 11/21/17
The Star movie (thestarmovie.com) 1215571

What’s new in theaters this week: ‘Justice League,’ ‘Wonder,’ ‘The Star’

OPENING FRIDAY:JUSTICE LEAGUEHow many superheroes does it take to salvage a comic book universe?Six. Five doing the heavy lifting and the Flash, who’s the lowercase joker DC’s too-serious superhero franchise...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/19/17
Why ‘Justice League’ nearly gets it right but still has DC movie problems

Why ‘Justice League’ nearly gets it right but still has DC movie problems

How many superheroes does it take to salvage a comic book universe?Six. Five doing the heavy lifting and the Flash, who’s the lowercase joker DC’s too-serious superhero franchise needs.Justice League assembles two overdone caped/cowled...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/17/17
This image released by Twentieth Century Fox shows Michelle Pfeiffer in a scene from,

What’s new in theaters: ‘Murder on the Orient Express,’ ‘Daddy’s Home 2’

OPENING FRIDAY:MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESSAgatha Christie’s signature mystery Murder on the Orient Express gets a classy remake 43 years after Ingrid Bergman won her third Oscar as one of a dozen unusual...
Published: 11/08/17
Updated: 11/14/17
Jeff Bridges, left, John Goodman, center, and Steve Buscemi appear in a scene from the motion picture

Lebowski Fest is at the Ritz Ybor this weekend, and you can abide with a White Russian

The last movie I saw at the Ritz in Ybor City could’ve been produced by Jackie Treehorn, the porn mogul played by Ben Gazzara in The Big Lebowski. That was in the mid 1970s, a St. Leo fraternity field trip. Not sure when the Ritz stopped...
Published: 11/08/17