One Night in Miami … , Regina King's debut as a feature-film director, boasts a premise that sounds like the beginning of a joke: “Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali, Sam Cooke, and Jim Brown walk into a motel room … .” Yet while King's adaptation of screenwriter Kemp Powers' stage play is no joke, it is funny, as well as tender, and powerful, and absolutely riveting.

On January 25, in a program hosted by the Davenport Public Library, Jonathan Turner – local author and current writer for WVIK and QuadCities.com – will explore our area's recent and long-ago pasts as highlighted in his 2016 book A Brief History of Bucktown: Davenport's Infamous District Transformed. And that adjective “infamous” will be the juicy subject of much of Turner's presentation, given that the event's title Davenport's Bucktown in 1903: “Worst Town in America.”

I want to put 2020 behind us as much as you all likely do. So in lieu of a lengthy intro to my annual Movies of the Year article, this time with downbeat commentary on delayed releases and shuttered cineplexes and the potential demise of the traditional film experience and everything else we don't want to reflect on, what say we just skip to the good stuff?

Over the past two weeks, barring review-writing and performing general upkeep on the Reader Web site, I've been on vacation. And I did what many of my fellow stay-cationers likely did during the holidays this year: I watched movies. Lots of movies. A few of them at an actual movie theater.

How is it that Tom Hanks portrayed Mister Rogers only last year and has already landed in the role of someone just as upstanding, decent, and effectively communicative with children?

There might be a perfectly valid, comic-book-related reason for this that I neither know about nor particularly care about. But seriously: Why, in director Patty Jenkins' sequel to her 2017 smash, are we watching a Wonder Woman adventure set in the mid-'80s?

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is vital as a recorded piece of American-theatre history, and absolutely indispensable as a Chadwick Boseman farewell. Like Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight, Boseman won't win an Academy Award next spring because he died. He'll win because he was likely going to win regardless.

For most of its length, The Prom is like an early, super-sized Glee episode with 100 percent fewer commercial breaks and 100 percent more Meryl Streep.

You kind of have to feel bad these days for David Fincher fanatics who genuflect at the brutal, testosterone-fueled altars of Seven and Fight Club and, to a lesser degree, Zodiac. They finally get their first new Fincher feature since 2014's Gone Girl, and it turns out that in order to even slightly enjoy the director's Mank (which premiered on Netflix this past Friday), they're required to have a pretty healthy working knowledge of Citizen Kane.

Lars Rehnberg, vice-president for Davenport's seasonal tavern Miracle at the Freight House, discussed the pop-up venue's origins, operations, and challenges in this pandemic year, along with the yuletide décor that might make Disneyland only the second-happiest place on Earth. We spoke on Wednesday, December 2.

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