3RD STREET BLACKOUT

Opens tomorrow (4/29/16) in NYC. Review coming soon…

Posted in Reviews: # | Leave a comment

A BEAUTIFUL PLANET

29BEAUTIFULPLANET2-master675Director Toni Myers takes her audience on a journey like no other; an incredible journey through earth and space. A Beautiful Planet, narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, is filled with stunning imagery and will open your mind to the incredible wonders of the earth and the greater universe around us. (JEP: 5/5)

Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry

Filmmaker Toni Meyer’s A Beautiful Planet is perfectly balanced, providing its audience with both an educational narrative and a powerful message, yet never feeling heavy handed in its delivery. Appealing to viewers of all ages, the film is a journey in and of itself, outlining the earth’s makeup and how each part of the world was discovered and inhabited by its people, while consciously reminding us of our part and what we must do for the future of our beautiful planet.

Soon after the film opens, viewers find themselves aboard the International Space Station. Following three different groups of astronauts—each living and working on the Space station for varying durations of time, spanning a few months to an entire year in space—viewers’ eyes are opened to both the wonders of the job, and it’s pitfalls. In order to keep their muscles from deteriorating in space, each member on board must exercise two and a half hours each day. Additionally, besides being away from their families for months on end, the astronauts could face negative health affects that are not yet known to researchers.

But these things aside, each member on the team could not deny the wonders they have experienced on their time aboard the International Space Station, incredible sites only a handful of people ever get to see. Many of these wonders we, as an audience, are now able to see with our own eyes through stunning images captured by the filmbeautifulplanet-nighttimemakers aboard the space station. With never before seen views of earth from space, we are taken on a journey around the world, discovering cities and more as each part of the world sleeps and wakes.

While not the focus throughout the film, Myers does not shy away from instilling awareness of how humans have affected the earth over time, urging us to refocus our efforts on change. During an interview, one astronaut recounts the Chesapeake Bay—once heavily polluted and now thriving—as a success story for conservation. It can be done; we can and need to create solutions to protect our planet, instead of harming it as human industry has done in the past.

A Beautiful Planet is an extraordinary feat. Marking the first IMAX space production to use digital cameras, and filmed almost entirely from space itself, renowned IMAX director Toni Myers delivers an awe-inspiring forty-eight minute journey. This revolutionary “outside looking in” view of the world, allows the film to be extremely educational for young viewers and make a call for change to our generation, while not having to rely on its message. Myers invites us to be inspired by our earth’s beauty, and by it, to be inspired to protect it.

© Jessica E. Perry FF2 Media (4/30/16)a-beautiful-planet-imax

Top Photo: An astronaut unpacks fresh fruit after a supplies delivery.

Middle Photo: A view of the earth from space, while the world sleeps.

Bottom Photo: The world's beautiful colors, oceans, and terrain captured from space.

Photo Credits: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Q: Does A Beautiful Planet pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test?

 No.

While two female astronauts momentarily greet each other aboard the International Space Station, no conversations between two women are had.

Posted in Reviews: A | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE AMERICAN SIDE

Opens tomorrow (4/29/16) in NYC. Review coming soon…

Posted in Reviews: A | Leave a comment

L’ATTESA

Opens tomorrow (4/29/16) in NYC. Review coming soon…

Posted in Reviews: K-M | Leave a comment

MOTHER’S DAY

Opens tomorrow (4/29/16) in NYC. Review coming soon…

Posted in Reviews: K-M | Leave a comment

PALI ROAD

Opens tomorrow (4/29/16) in NYC. Review coming soon…

Posted in Reviews: N-P | Leave a comment

RATCHET & CLANK

Opens tomorrow (4/29/16) in NYC. Review coming soon…

Posted in Reviews: Q-S | Leave a comment

VIKTORIA

Opens tomorrow (4/29/16) in NYC. Review coming soon…

Posted in Reviews: U-W | Leave a comment

ELVIS & NIXON

TopBased on the photo of the December 1970 meeting between Elvis Presley and President Richard Nixon, Elvis & Nixon is a comedic take on the events surrounding this meeting between two of the world’s most notable men of the time. Directed by Liza Johnson, the film is wonderfully acted and perfectly balanced, Johnson blending equal parts comedy and drama with skill. (JEP: 4/5)

Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry

To this day the most requested photograph in Archives history is the one capturing Elvis and Nixon’s meeting on December 21, 1970. Until now, the events surrounding the meeting remained a story largely untold. But director Liza Johnson and screenwriters Joey Sagal, Hanala Sagal, and Cary Elwes, breathe new life into an oft-untold story, brilliantly supported by Kevin Spacey as “Nixon” and Michael Shannon as “Elvis.”

When the film opens Elvis has had enough; enough of being told where to spend his money and enough of the state of the increasing drug problem surrounding America’s youth. So in the middle of the night, Elvis flees his Graceland estate and heads to the airport. Brazenly walking up to the awestruck American Airlines ticket agent, “Margaret” (Ashley Benson), and requesting the next flight out to Los Angeles.

Elvis calls upon old friend, “Jerry Schilling” (Alex Pettyfer), who left Elvis’ employ to work behind the scenes at one of Hollywood’s studios. But Jerry cannot say no to Elvis when he calls, and so he agrees to pick him up at the airport in the middle of the night and shuttle Elvis to his mansion in Beverly Hills. Once there, Elvis reveals that his true intention is to go to America’s capital to acquire a Federal badge, and he wants Jerry by his side when he does so.

So the two men leave that night on the redeye, arriving in Washington D.C. in the early morning hours. Their first stop: The White House. Elvis strolls up to thMiddle copye gate at 6:30am to pass along a letter that he personally wrote to the President. The baffled security ensure Elvis that they will pass his letter along, and so the King goes to his hotel to wait for the phone call inviting him to meet with the President.

When the call doesn’t come immediately, Elvis makes his way to the offices for the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs. Elvis makes his case, expressing his concern for how the country’s drug problem is affecting America’s youth. Although a comical request, Elvis appears quite serious when he announces his need for a Federal badge so he can go undercover to resolve the drug issue.

Meanwhile, his letter makes its way into the hands of two members of the President’s staff, “Egil Krogh” (Colin Hanks) and “Dwight Chapin” (Evan Peters). Egil is an Elvis fan, and does his best to convince the right people that this meeting could be beneficial to the President’s image with America’s citizens.

After his request for a badge is promptly turned down by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, Elvis retreats back to his hotel vowing to stay in town as long as is necessary to ensure a meeting with the President. When Elvis begins to lose faith, his men Jerry and “Sonny West” (Johnny Knoxville) may just have an idea to convince the White House staff—and an extremely reluctant Nixon—to the true benefit of such a meeting.

Now, from the real-life photograph, we as an audience know that the meeting happens. But director Liza Johnson artfully captivates her audience throughout with masterful pacing and great comedic moments. When the meeting finally does happen, the audience is rewarded for their patience with an extremely clever, witty, and comical sequence where Shannon and Spacey—Elvis and Nixon—are perfectly matched.

© Jessica E. Perry FF2 Media (4/25/16)Bottom

Top Photo: Elvis, with Jerry and Sonny, waiting to meet the President.

Middle Photo: The iconic photograph of President Richard Nixon and Elvis Presley.

Bottom Photo: During the meeting scene, the film recreates the iconic photograph for the screen.

Photo Credits: Steve Dietl

Q: Does Elvis & Nixon pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test?

Not a chance.

Sadly, although directed by a woman, the film is extremely male dominated, with not a single female character of note.

Posted in Reviews: E-G | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LOVE THY NATURE

Love-thy-nature-11With a perfectly timed release, filmmaker Sylvie Rokab’s Love Thy Nature comes to us on Earth Day, as a reminder to respect the earth, nature, and other species that live among us. Narrated by Liam Neeson, and supported by stunning cinematic imagery from around the globe, the film urges us to reconnect with nature, advancing along with the natural world, instead of against it. (JEP: 4.5/5)

Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry

Written and directed by Sylvie Rokab, and narrated by Liam Neeson, Love Thy Nature is filled with stunning images from around the world. Supported by talking heads style interviews from industry professionals, the film takes its viewers on a journey from the beginning of time through present-day, reminding us just how important it is that we reconnect with nature in order to halt the negative effects our technological and industrial advances have had on the earth.

The film stresses the “evolutionary wall” that we have hit, and how humans need to reconnect with nature in order to break through this barrier. Instead of proceeding with the mindset of humans as “superior” to nature and the other species inhabiting the earth, Rokab urges us to shift this mindset to that of viewing the earth as a single system. We breathe the same air that every other animal breathes. We breathe in the oxygen that plant life breaths out, and they breathe in the carbon dioxide we exhale. We share 25% of genes with trees… the connections are endless. Rokab urges us to find new ways to advance that work with nature and these connections, instead of against them.8Digital-Kids

But how do we make this shift? Rokab’s answer: Biological Revolution. To be clear, the film is not suggesting that we, as humans, cease our technological advances. Instead, it posits that we create a new technological era inspired by nature. “Life creates conditions conducive to life,” and biomimicry professionals like Dayna Baumeister and Jay Harmon, seek to create products that align with nature’s design instead of destroying it.

Love Thy Nature is separated into parts, each defined by a thought-provoking quote. Each part tackles issues that have arisen from our failure to work with the earth in our technological pursuits. The documentary follows a well-mapped structure, providing us with the facts, both aurally and visually, and opening up discussion for some of the largest environmental issues affecting the world today.

Featuring interviews from some of the world’s leading environmental professionals and advocates, including Brian Swimme (Cosmologist), Andy Lipkis (Founder of TreePeople), and many more, Love Thy Nature seeks to inform its audience without demanding. And it succeeds. Backed by a swelling soundtrack and stunning landscape, ocean, and animal shots, filmmaker Sylvie Rokab delivers a thought-provoking documentary that opens a dialog for change.

© Jessica E. Perry FF2 Media (4/22/16)5Iceberg-Reflection_Alaska-copy

Top Photo: The documentary features slow motion sequences depicting the beauty of human connection with nature.

Middle Photo: Statistically, children today spend hours each day in front of a screen instead of being active outdoors as their parents did before them.

Bottom Photo: Nature's beauty captured in the reflection of an iceberg off the water.

Photo Credits: Eriberto Almeida Jr.

Q: Does Love Thy Nature pass the Bechdel-Wallace Test?

No.

Posted in Reviews: K-M | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment