Thursday, April 19, 2018


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.

Persall: Upon my retirement, a look back at a star-quality career

Persall: Upon my retirement, a look back at a star-quality career

Time to retire, nearly 25 years to the day after starting work as the Times' movie critic. That's how long I pledged to stay if hired in 1993. Nobody believed it. I couldn't blame them.
Updated: 9 hours ago
(From L-R): Kevin Heffernan, Jay Chandrasekhar, Erik Stolhanske, Paul Soter, and Steve Lemme in

This is a week to spring clean instead of hitting a movie theater.

It’s a spring cleaning weekend at multiplexes, with studios vacuuming every dollar from current releases before the Avengers and Amy Schumer drop in next week. If you’ve seen
Published: 04/18/18
Jon Hamm stars as Mason Skiles in

What’s in theaters: ‘Beirut,’ ‘Rampage,’ ‘Blumhouse’s Truth or Dare’

INDIE FLICKS:BEIRUTJon Hamm has no trouble looking like a movie star. Dapper or bedraggled, it doesn’t matter what kind of role. He’ll make it believable. What he doesn’t have yet is a...
Published: 04/12/18
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows  John Krasinski, left, and Noah Jupe in a scene from

Why it’d be even scarier to watch John Krasinski’s ‘A Quiet Place’ at home instead of in theater

A Quiet Place is where John Krasinski’s hushed experiment in terror should be watched, not at multiplexes where silence is easily broken.Krasinski’s movie wrings fright from silence so well that he accidentally makes a case for waiting...
Updated one month ago
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows actor-director John Krasinski on the set of

What’s in theaters this week: ‘A Quiet Place,’ ‘Blockers,’ ‘The Miracle Season’

A QUIET PLACEReal-life married couple Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, right, need to keep it down in A Quiet Place (PG-13). Silence isn’t just golden; it can save your...
Updated one month ago

What’s in theaters this week: ‘Ready Player One,’ ‘The Death of Stalin,’ ‘Tyler Perry’s Acrimony’

INDIE FLICKS: THE DEATH OF STALINDespite its somber title, The Death of Stalin (R) is the year’s funniest movie so far, delivered by director/co-writer Armando Iannucci with...
Updated one month ago
Tye Sheridan in a scene from

‘Ready Player One,’ all retro references and CGI dazzle, lacks emotional pull of Spielberg classics

After two hours of pop clutter and video game clatter, Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One has the audacity to proclaim reality matters. Kind of like a snuff film with an end note saying murder is bad.Ready Player One is...
Updated one month ago

Wes Anderson’s ‘Isle of Dogs’ is even more visually fantastic than ‘Mr. Fox.’ Is that a good thing?

Isle of Dogs is an oronym, a phrase sounding like another, in this case "I love dogs," which writer-director Wes Anderson obviously does.Anderson’s second foray into stop-motion animation applies his signature dry wit to wet noses, a...
Updated one month ago
Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero in

What’s in theaters this week: Gasparilla film fest, ‘Pacific Rim Uprising,’ ‘Sherlock Gnomes’

UNDER WAY: GASPARILLA, JEWISH FESTSTwo of Tampa Bay’s enduring film festivals wrap their first-ever collaboration this weekend with celebrities and celebrations. The 12th annual Suncoast Credit Union Gasparilla International...
Updated one month ago
Claire Foy in a scene from

Steven Soderbergh’s ‘Unsane’ is a thriller recorded on iPhone 7s -- and more fascinating for it

If you think Steven Soderbergh is talented with a movie camera, you should see what he does with a cellphone in Unsane.The Academy Award winning director’s latest experiment is a cuckoo’s nest thriller recorded on iPhone 7s and all the...
Updated one month ago