Tom Hanks shines in ‘News of the World,” but just because it’s a western when so few are made, does not mean it’s a classic

‘News of the World’ Where you can see it: Premiere Cinemas and Cinemark’s Tinseltown. Rated: PG-13 for violence, disturbing material and some language. Director: Paul Greengrass. Cast: Tom Hanks, Helena Zengel, Tom Astor, John Travis Johnson, Ray McKinnon and Mare Winningham. Screenplay: Co-written by Paul Greengrass and Luke Davies; based on novel by Paulette Jiles. Original … Continued

‘Ma Rainey’ on Netflix is well done and chance to say goodbye to Chadwick Boseman

‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ Directed: George C. Wolfe. Screenplay: Ruben Santiago-Hudson; based on the play by August Wilson. Original music: Branford Marsalis. Cinematography: Tobias Schliessler. Edited: Andrew Mondshein. Production design: Mark Ricker. Costume design: Ann Roth. Starring: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Jeremy Shamos, Jonny Coyne, Taylour Paige, Dusan Brown … Continued

‘Mank’ on Netflix is well-acted tale of making of ‘Citizen Kane,’ but sometimes needs a roadmap to follow

“Mank” Rated: R for “some language.” Streaming only on Netflix. Direction: David Fincher. Stars: Gary Oldman, Amanda Seyfried, Lily Collins, Tom Pelphrey, Arliss Howard, Tuppence Middleton, Monika Gossman, Joseph Cross, Sam Troughton, Toby Leonard Moore, Tom Burke, Charles Dance, Ferdinand Kingsley and Jeff Harms. Screenplay: Jack Fincher (who died in 2003). Music: Trent Reznor and … Continued

Live-action ‘Mulan’ isn’t worth Disney’s high price and even if you have Disney+ it may not be worth your time

Film: “Mulan,” rated PG-13 for sequences of violence. Streaming only on: Disney+. Director: Niki Caro. Cast: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Li Gong, Jet Li, Jason Scott Lee, Yoson An, Tzi Ma, Rosalind Chao, Pei-Pei Cheng, Xana Tang, Ron Yuan, Jun Yu and Chen Tang. Writers: Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Elizabeth Martin and Lauren Hynek, suggested … Continued

A Lubbock tradition … Bill’s annual Oscar predictions … accompanied by grandson Gage and some other guy

Oscar predictions in 21 out of the 24 total categories are made below by critics Bill Kerns and Gage Gregory and, in some categories, Terry Greenberg, Lubbock Lights editor, Hollywood native and film fan. Predicting the 2020 Academy Award winners – being announced at 7 p.m. Sunday on ABC to honor films released in the 2019 … Continued

Bill & Gage reveal their best/worst films … see how they compare to Oscar list

Bill’s Best Films of 2019 Academy Award nominations, reflecting films that debuted throughout 2019 either on theater screens or on increasingly popular streaming channels, were revealed this morning. The Oscars ceremony itself also will arrive rather quickly, on Feb. 9. Honestly, I prefer to share my yearly film preferences even earlier. Then again, I didn’t … Continued

If you haven’t yet seen latest ‘Star Wars,’ it’s worth seeing but don’t expect original magic

‘Star Wars, Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker’ Rated PG-13: Sci-fi violence and action. Playing at: Alamo Drafthouse, Premiere Cinemas, Cinemark Tinseltown 17, Cinemark Movies 16 and Stars & Stripes Drive-In. Directed by: J.J. Abrams. Writers: Screenplay by Chris Terrio & J.J. Abrams. From a story by Derek Connolly & Colin Trevorrow and Chris Terrio & J.J. Abrams. Based … Continued

A pair of reviews about ‘Gemini Man’ both say it’s not worth seeing once

‘Gemini Man’ Rated PG-13: Violence and action throughout and brief strong language. Playing at: Premiere Cinemas, Cinemark’s Tinseltown 17 and Cinemark’s Movies 16. Credits: Directed by Ang Lee. Screenplay by David Benioff, Billy Ray and Darren Lemke; from a story by Lemke and Benioff. Cinematography by Dion Beebe. Music by Lorne Balfe. Edited by Jacob Hunt and Tim … Continued

Saying ’47 Meters Down: Uncaged’ is a bad movie would be unfair to bad movies

’47 Meters Down: Uncaged’ Rated PG-13: Creature-related violence and terror, some bloody images and brief rude gestures. Playing at: Premiere Cinemas and Cinemark Movies 16. Credits: Directed by Johannes Roberts. Screenplay by Johannes Roberts and Ernest Riera. Original music by Tomandandy. Cinematography by Mark Silk. Edited by Martin Brinkler. Stars: John Corbett, Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, Sistine … Continued

Despite those space monkeys, Bill & The Boy give ‘Ad Astra’ enthusiastic endorsement

‘Ad Astra’ Rated PG-13: Some violence and bloody images and for brief strong language. Playing at: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Premiere Cinemas, Cinemark’s Tinseltown 17, Cinemark’s Movies 16 and Stars & Stripes Drive-In. Credits: Directed by James Gray. Screenplay by James Gray and Ethan Gross. Music by Max Richter. Cinematography by Hoyte Van Hoytema. Edited by John Axelrod and … Continued

‘Angel Has Fallen’ rises above ‘London Has Fallen,’ but short of franchise’s original

‘Angel Has Fallen’ Rated R: Violence and language throughout. Playing at: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Premiere Cinemas, Cinemark’s Tinseltown 17, Cinemark’s Movies 16 and Stars and Stripes Drive-In. Credits: Directed by Ric Roman Waugh. Screenplay by Robert Mark Kamen, Matt Cook and Ric Roman Waugh; from a story by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt; based on characters created by … Continued

‘Ready of Not’ is original, funny, but our critics somewhat disagree on how good it is

‘Ready or Not’ Rated R: Violence, bloody images, language throughout, and some drug use. Playing at: Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Premiere Cinemas, Cinemark’s Tinseltown 17, Cinemark’s Movies 16 and Stars and Stripes Drive-In. Credits: Co-directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. Screenplay by Guy Busick and Ryan Murphy. Cinematography by Brett Jutkiewicz. Edited by Terel Gibson. Production design by … Continued

Say hello to ‘The Farewell’ … one of this summer’s best films

‘The Farewell’ Rated PG: Thematic material, brief language and some smoking. Playing at: Cinemark’s Movies 16. Credits: Directed by Lulu Wang. Screenplay by Lulu Wang. Music by Alex Weston. Cinematography by Anna Franquesa Solano. Edited by Matt Friedman and Michael Taylor. Production design by Yong OK Lee. Stars: Awkwafina, Shuzhen Zhao, Tzi Ma, Diana Lin, Aoi Mizuhara, Han Chen … Continued

‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ isn’t that scary and isn’t that good, either

‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ Rated PG-13: Terror/violence, disturbing images, thematic elements, language including racial epithet and brief sexual references. Playing at: Alamo Drafthouse, Premiere Cinemas, Cinemark’s Tinseltown 17 and Cinemark’s Movies 16. Credits: Directed by Andre Ovredal. Screenplay by Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman and Guillermo del Toro; from a story by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick … Continued

‘Hobbs and Shaw’ isn’t a great movie … but it can be a lot of fun

‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw’ Rated PG-13: Prolonged sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and some strong language. Playing at: Alamo Drafthouse, Premiere Cinemas, Cinemark’s Tinseltown 17, Cinemark’s Movies 16 and Stars & Stripes Drive-In. Credits: Directed by David Leitch. Screenplay by Chris Morgan and Drew Pearce, from a story by Chris Morgan, based on … Continued

DiCaprio, Pitt shine in ‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’ … but overall film left us disappointed

‘Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood’ Rated R: Language throughout, some strong graphic violence, drug use, and sexual references. Playing at: Alamo Drafthouse, Premiere Cinemas, Tinseltown 17, and Stars & Stripes Drive-In. Credits – Directed by Quentin Tarantino. Screenplay by Quentin Tarantino. Cinematography by Robert Richardon. Edited by Robert Richardson. Production design by Barbara Ling. Costume … Continued