Novel centers on struggles of family grief

“Rabbit Cake” went from being a book that I almost didn’t read to one I’m pestering my friends to give a try. While I was not initially intrigued by the story – it centers around a young and precocious protagonist and deals with a tragic death among a quirky family and community – I was hooked immediately after reading an excerpt. The […]

An original film doesn’t live up to trailer

Daniel Espinosa’s “Life” may be original, but the trailer was better. The film, which follows six astronauts working in the International Space Station who are being threatened by a murderous hyper-intelligent alien, ultimately suffers from a similar problem to that of last year’s “Triple 9.” Both of these films managed to produce trailers that were better than the actual movie, which was disappointing. “Life” […]

A mighty disappointment: ‘Power Rangers’ fails to live up to TV show

A week ago, I re-watched a few episodes of “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers.” It was quite fun to revisit a piece of my childhood which included watching people in spandex, giant robots, ridiculous plot lines and a campy atmosphere. “Power Rangers,” however, is not very fun. In fact, it stinks. Living, breathing human beings should generally avoid this […]

Murder mystery ties in messages of opportunity and class privilege

Disturbing. Compelling. Upsetting. Masterful. I could go on and on about how amazing this novel, “So Much Pretty” by Cara Hoffman, is. The plot is deceptively simple. Wendy White, a cheerful, well-liked young woman disappears in rural upstate New York. Months later, her remains are found and a drifter is accused of her abduction and […]

The unnecessary remake of a classic movie: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ review

The original “Beauty and the Beast” is a true classic but, like every movie, it has its flaws. But one thing the film’s 2017 remake does is fill those flaws. The remake successfully expands the world of the original “Beauty and the Beast,” giving the audience more about Belle’s background. The remake also makes small changes to the […]

Chef captures culture of Harlem in cookbook: ‘The Red Rooster Cookbook’

Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s new cookbook “The Red Rooster Cookbook: The Story of Food and Hustle in Harlem” is a delightful mélange of recipes, essays, history and photographs celebrating Harlem, a neighborhood in New York City long associated with black culture.  Owner of Red Rooster in Harlem and best-selling author of “Yes, Chef: A Memoir” and other books, Samuelsson takes […]

Jordan Peele’s directorial debut, ‘Get Out’: Film sends message of cultural appropriation

Comedian Jordan Peele’s directorial debut film “Get Out” is no laughing matter. The film tells the story of Brooklyn-based photographer Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his trip to the estate of his girlfriend’s parents, who live in a predominately white upper-class cul-de-sac. Chris begins to worry when he learns that his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), has yet to tell her […]