Tuesday, February 20, 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.

This image released by Disney and Marvel Studios' shows Chadwick Boseman in a scene from

What’s in theaters this week: ‘Black Panther,’ ‘Early Man,’ ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’

OPENING THURSDAY: BLACK PANTHERLike its real-life radical namesakes, Black Panther (PG-13) promises to be truly revolutionary. Marvel Comics’ landmark African-American superhero comes to life with its...
Published: 02/14/18
This image released by Disney shows Chadwick Boseman in a scene from Marvel Studios'

Why ‘Black Panther’ is revolutionary — and an excellent movie

Like its real-life radical namesakes, Black Panther is revolutionary and Afrocentric, a black cultural fantasy made real in a medium taking too long. Children of any color except white haven’t seen blockbuster movie...
Published: 02/13/18
Updated: 02/14/18
Aardman Animations star Nick Park, the brilliant mind behind the adventures of

‘Early Man’ is a throwback in both story and Aardman Studios claymation style

Nick Park’s stop-motion clay animation made famous with Wallace & Gromit seems prehistoric in a digital age. That makes it perfectly suited for Early Man, a throwback in both story and Aardman Studios...
Published: 02/13/18
Universal Pictures
DAKOTA JOHNSON and JAMIE DORNAN return as Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey in

‘Fifty Shades Freed’ is as stupid-sexy as ever

Is it good for you? Do you see fireworks or a Freudian train entering a tunnel? Because Fifty Shades Freed is all up in your libido, finishing the job this softcore trilogy set out to do, stupid-sexier than ever.After an...
Published: 02/08/18
Spencer Stone, from left, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos in a scene from

Trio who stopped a train attack star as themselves in Clint Eastwood’s dull ‘The 15:17 to Paris’

Clint Eastwood admires flashpoint heroism, those spontaneous acts in crisis making a difference, saving lives. Sully landing a crippled airliner on the Hudson River, three impromptu heroes taking down a terrorist on The 15:17 to...
Published: 02/08/18
Disney Pixar
Oscar Shortlist for Best Animated Short Film Includes Pixar's

What’s in theaters this week: Oscar shorts at Tampa Theatre, ‘50 Shades Freed,’ ‘Peter Rabbit’

Let’s keep the intro short. Tampa Theatre is again presenting the Academy Awards-nominated short subjects divided in three rotating sessions: animated, live action and documentary. Here’s an overview of what to expect and...
Published: 02/07/18
Updated: 02/08/18
Adel Karam, left, and Kamel El Basha in a scene from

Tampa Theatre is showcasing some lesser known Oscar nominees

After showcasing this year’s leading Oscars contender, Tampa Theatre is pivoting to some of the academy’s fringe nominees.The Shape of Water ends its run today, 13 Academy Award nominations richer than when it debuted in...
Updated one month ago
Sylvester Stallone in

What’s in theaters this week: Helen Mirren in ‘Winchester,’ Tampa Theatre’s Totally ’80s Classic Movies

OPENING FRIDAY: WINCHESTERHelen Mirren is quite a dame, an esteemed actor defying the rigid image of one so revered in British theater, then Hollywood for so long. She’s not above anything.Classy and saucy at...
Updated one month ago
Olympic Hockey coach Herb Brooks (Kurt Russell, center) does the impossible as he leads a group of college kids up against the juggernaut from the Soviet Union at the 1980 Olympic Games in Miracle. Photo from Walt Disney Pictures

Five hockey movies to watch if you can’t hit the NHL All-Star Game in Tampa

HAT TRICK: HOCKEY FLICKSAnother form of entertainment taking a breather this weekend is the NHL. There’s only the All-Star Game on tap, but it’s in Tampa, so it’s kind of a big deal. The puck drops at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, but a hockey fix...
Updated one month ago
Daniel Kaluuya in a scene from,

This year’s Oscar nominations listened to #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite

An Oscar statuette doesn’t have ears, but Academy Award voters are listening, as this year’s nominations make clear.Complaints about a membership too white and sexist and months of scandalous Hollywood revelations were answered with a list of...
Updated one month ago