Steve Walker | KCUR

Steve Walker

Freelance Arts Reporter

Since 1998, Steve Walker has contributed stories and interviews about theater, visual arts, and music as an arts reporter at KCUR. He's also one of Up to Date's regular trio of critics who discuss the latest in art, independent and documentary films playing on area screens. 

In addition, Walker has taught creative writing and film criticism classes at the Kansas City Art Institute and currently teaches at the University of Kansas. His writing has appeared nationally in The Sondheim Review, The Advocate and Theater Week, and locally in The Kansas City Star, The Kansas City Business Journal, Ingram's, The Pitch and Review.

The Orchard

Animated superhero sequel "Incredibles 2" has stormed box offices, raking in the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time for an animated film. But if you're not in the mood for a theater packed with kids (and young adults trying to reconnect to their childhood), Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics assure us there are still plenty of things to see on area screens this weekend.

Steve Walker

"American Animals," R

A blonde woman is pictured against a neutral wall. The image shows her from the shoulders up.
Rockhaven Films

Father's Day is on Sunday. What are you and dear ol' dad getting up to this weekend? If you don't feel like rushing out to a department store to get him yet another tie (we're pretty sure he already has too many), an afternoon at the movies could be just the thing — tickets and popcorn on you, of course! He should probably get to pick the flick, too, but there's no shame in nudging him toward a movie that's bound to be good, at least according to Up To Date's Film Critics. 

Steve Walker

Robert Viglasky / Bleeker Street

There's always something fun to do over the weekend in Kansas City, and this one is no exception — especially if you love ethnic food, beer or sweet air guitar riffs.

Sony Pictures Classics

In a summer movie scene of genetically engineered dinosaurs and ultra-violent comic book blockbusters, it’s easy to lose sight of some of the subtler films coming to the silver screen. Fortunately, Up To Date's indie, documentary, and foreign Film Critics have picked out some of the lesser known gems worth seeing this weekend.

Steve Walker

“The Rider,” R

Two women stand in a hallway. One woman touches the face of the other woman.
Bleecker Street

It's Memorial Day weekend and, while many will venture out to a lake for celebrations, there are some who don't want to risk returning to work with a scathing sunburn. For those folks in the latter group, what better way to spend the long weekend than taking a well-deserved break at the local theaters? But what to see? The latest set of recommendations from Up to Date’s indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics are always a good place to start.

Cynthia Haines

"Let the Sunshine In," not rated

Ruth Bader Ginsburg works at a cluttered desk.
Magnolia Pictures

Social media is abuzz with news of this weekend's royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. If, like a lot of us, you're sick of hearing minute details about floral arrangements and napkin rings, you may be looking for a distraction. Lucky for you, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics have just the solution: Go see a movie. Here are their top picks, available at local theaters this weekend.

Bob Butler

​"Let the Sunshine In," not rated

Magnolia Pictures

Graduation season is upon us, which means long trips, awkward family gatherings and unbearable ceremonies. Looking for a break from the tedium? You're in luck. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics can't change your weird relatives, but they can recommend which movies to catch around town this weekend. Here are their picks to help you make small talk at the next commencement dinner.

Cynthia Haines

"Itzhak," not rated

Greenwich Entertainment

Warmer weather in Kansas City means it's time to start prepping some small-talk fodder for this spring's weekend barbecues. That means it's time to head to the movies! Up To Date's indie, documentary, and foreign Film Critics have picked out their favorites for you, and we're betting they'll inspire lots of grill-side chats.

Cynthia Haines

"Itzhak," not rated

Samuel Maoz / Sony Pictures

Spring has sprung! Sure, that means you can spend more time outside, but did you forget about the havoc wreaked by allergies? What about the blinding brightness of the sun? Have you ever met a bee you liked? We probably haven't convinced you not to welcome the warm weather with open arms, but Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are making a valiant effort to keep you inside for at least a few hours with this weekend's movie recommendations.

Cynthia Haines

"Foxtrot," R

Fox Searchlight Films

With the seemingly endless stream of state and national news stories, you might be looking for a break from it all. Luckily, there are plenty of options awaiting you at the local theater. From Hungarian wedding plans gone very awry to estranged sisters looking to bridge old divides, http://www.kcur.org/uptodateUp To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics have a few recommendations for your next trip to the cinema.

Steve Walker

Fox Searchlight Films

It's a good time of year for lovers of independent movies. Local cinemas are offering a bevy of intriguing plots, including a much-anticipated release from the symmetrically-inclined mind of Wes Anderson that features dogs you can comprehend and humans you can't (unless you understand Japanese). If stop-motion's not the fare for you, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have plenty more to recommend.

Steve Walker

"Finding Your Feet," PG-13

Menemsha Films

This time of the month comes with so many opportunities for entertainment that it's hard to pick just one. There's First Fridays, the Kansas City Ballet's Celebration of Dance, a footrace from Kansas City to Lawrence, even mixed martial arts and tribute-band blowout.

Thomas Reidelsheimer / Magnolia Pictures

With sunshine showing up Friday and possible snow appearing on Sunday, it feels like spring is teasing us. Throw in April Fool's Day at the end of the weekend and it may feel like everyone and everything is out to trick you. There is something you can trust, though, and that's Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics' weekend flick picks. 

Steve Walker

"Loveless," R

Sony Pictures Classics

If you're not one of the college basketball fans focused on NCAA tournament games this weekend, take to your local theater for moving pictures with equal drama but fewer sweaty athletes. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have plenty to recommend, including stories of a love lost too soon, potty-mouth party leaders and the most beautiful woman in the world.

Bob Butler

"A Fantastic Woman," R

Diaphana Films

Trying to avoid a certain green-saturated, Irish-themed event parading through midtown Kansas City this weekend? You're in luck! This weekend's movie recommendations from Up To Date's Film Critics will lead you to the dark haven of a local movie theater.

Cynthia Haines

"Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story," Not rated

Zeitgeist Films

As spring inches closer and the weather warms up, it's time to escape from under the blankets and venture into the world outside. After all, there are only so many films to stream for free from your couch. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics share their three must-see movies to get out and watch this weekend.

Steve Walker

"A Fantastic Woman," R

Bleeker Street Media

With the Oscars on Sunday, this weekend is your last chance to catch some of this year's nominees before winners are announced. If you've already seen them all and want something new to view, Up To Date's independent, foreign and documentary Film Critics have that covered, too, in this week's recommendations.

Steve Walker

"Nostalgia," R

Melissa Hillier / Flickr - CC

The Oscars are just over a week away, and your attention span may be a little brief after all the hype. Fortunately, Up To Date's Film Critics have short films at the top of their lists of movies not to miss. Feel like staying in this weekend? TV Guide has put together a list of streaming options for this year's Academy Award nominees.

Cynthia Haines

2018 Oscar-nominated short films: Animated

Sony Pictures Classics

This week, folks around the world have turned their attention toward Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the Olympic Winter Games, but you can only watch athletes slide themselves across frozen water for so long. If you need a break from breakneck turns, twists, and tricks over snow and ice, Up To Date's Film Critics have a handful of indie, foreign and documentary movie recommendations to freeze your go-for-gold fatigue.

Cynthia Haines

2018 Oscar-nominated short films: Animated

Off Road Films

Production companies and movie studios may have laid low during Super Bowl week, but the Eagles victory in Minneapolis means more folks will be watching movies again. Along with a suite of stories set overseas, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics suggest seeing some superb short films this weekend.

Focus Features

Nobody should experience the anxiety associated with broken relationships, secret romance, or a life thrown into turbulence, but it does make great film fodder. Cinemas this weekend are full of characters who must face down their fears or perish, and Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics think more than a couple are worth seeing. Given their recommendations, movie-goers who like watching others suffer should strongly consider a trip to the theater.

Cynthia Haines

Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures

This year's Oscar nominees were announced on Tuesday and social media has been buzzing with opinions and predictions. To help you catch up on the contenders you might have missed, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics recommend a few movies to see this weekend.

Steve Walker

The Road Movie, Not rated

Sony Pictures Classics

Six weeks may seem like plenty of time, but the 90th Academy Awards will be here before you know it. Now's the time to start catching up on the films that could be up for contention (official nominations are announced on January 23).

Focus Films

The holidays are officially over and now, well, it's just a gray winter stretching ahead of us. Exhausted from the week back at the old grind? Tired of always being cold? Our Film Critics have some ideas for how you can relax — and stay warm — this weekend. 

Cynthia Haines 

Darkest Hour, PG-13

Cohen Media Group

It's the last weekend of the holiday season and maybe you're looking to do that anti-New Year thing — you know, just kick back and relax. Well, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have some avenues of escape you can travel for a few hours. 

Steve Walker

Faces Places, PG 

Justina Mintz / A24 Films

If you've ever even driven past a theater on Christmas weekend, you know it's a huge one for movie fans and studios. But if the road to a big-money blockbuster is a little too well-worn for you, these recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics might be just the ticket. In the woods of silver-screen entertainment, these off-beat features are the path less traveled by, and it can make all the difference.

Cynthia Haines

Kerry Hayes / Twentieth Century Fox

People the world over will be rushing out to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi this week, but a select few will get to watch from space. NASA confirmed the movie will be screened for astronauts in-orbit on the International Space Station. If you can’t afford a ticket on a Soyuz rocket, hitch a ride on a SpaceX Dragon — or if endless strings of prequels just aren’t your cup of tea — Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have got you covered.

Steve Walker

Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures

Kansas City has been blessed with an unseasonably warm fall this year, though you won't be able to tell by stepping outside during the first half of this weekend. While you wait for the return of 50-degree weather — and you won't have to wait long — take in a good indie, foreign or documentary movie. The latest recommendations from Up To Date's Film Critics may not make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, but they will keep you warm and cozy while you avoid the outside.

Gloria Baker Feinstein / Argot Pictures

It's December, which means the holiday season is well underway. We've passed the Thanksgiving turkey, racked up those Black Friday credit card charges and driven by the now-illuminated Country Club Plaza. It seems like there's no hiding from this jolly time of year. For those looking to hold off on watching It's a Wonderful Life and Elf for a few more weeks, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have a few recommendations.

Steve Walker

Sony Pictures Classics

After the turkey day hubbub settles down (but before heading back in to work on Monday), get back in the swing of things with a movie. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics each have three suggestions for your weekend. They may not include dangerous car chases, big explosions or political intrigue but — hey! — didn't you get enough of that during Thanksgiving?

Cynthia Haines

Lady Bird, R

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