Currently Browsing: May 2014

BLENDED

Opens tomorrow in NYC. Review coming soon.

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GRAND DEPART

Opens tomorrow in NYC. Review coming soon.

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STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING DOORS

Opens tomorrow in NYC. Review coming soon.

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X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Opens tomorrow in NYC. Review coming soon.

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CYBERSENIORS

Engaging doc about high school students who teach residents in several Toronto senior living facilities how to get up & going in cyberspace. They start by creating Facebook accounts (“What is a ‘friend’?”) & end by posting Vlogs on YouTube! Filmmaker Saffron Cassaday asks no hard questions. This is pure uplift. But what is the […]

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FED UP

It’s the Worst Case Scenario: An excellent film is released that is timely, informative, and directed by a woman filmmaker (Stephanie Soechtig)… And yet the implications of Fed Up are so discouraging that I left the theater ready to pull the covers over my head. Journalist/activist Katie Couric is great as the narrator/champion who is leading the […]

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MOM’S NIGHT OUT

Quick-paced comedy about a happily married Mom who sets off on a night out with her GalPals… and hilarious consequences ensue! Yes, there is some “Christian Messaging” in the background, but I doubt there is a woman in America who will fail to relate to delicious Sarah Drew as “Allyson.” (JLH: 4/5) Click HERE for […]

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PALO ALTO

Debut feature by  Gia Coppola (the 3rd generation of Coppola filmmakers) focuses on the relationship between two teenage boys — “Teddy” (Jack Kilmer) and “Fred” (Nat Wolff) — who egg each other on to ever more dangerous behavior (drinking, drugs, reckless driving, etc). Kilmer and Wolff are both good, charismatic young actors, but Palo Alto […]

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QUEEN MARGOT (2014)

This is a newly released “Director’s Cut” of an award-winning 1994 film by Patrice Chéreau, based on a historical novel by Alexandre Dumas Pere. The centerpiece is the St. Bartholomew Day Massacre of 1572 in which thousands of high-ranking French Protestants were lured to Paris and then brutally murdered. The title character, “Margot” (Isabelle Adjani) is […]

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BHAJI at 20

“I know how personally empowering it is to show the world from my own perspective.” That’s what filmmaker Gurinder Chadha said last night at the New York Indian Film Festival’s 20th Anniversary celebration of her breakthrough film Bhaji on the Beach (which was originally released in the USA in May 1994). Since Bhaji’s release, Chadha […]

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Purse Power: Colavita

In her new doc Half the Road: The Passion, Pitfalls & Power of Women’s Professional Cycling, athlete, journalist & filmmaker Kathryn Bertine creates a great chart (“Pentagram of Blame”) which helps explain the complex set of interactions that continue to hold women back in almost every field of endeavor. Since Bertine’s focus is on Professional Cycling, sponsorship is […]

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BELLE (2013): Review by Jan

Supposedly based on the real life of a Mulatto woman nicknamed “Belle” who was raised in the English aristocracy around the time of the American Revolution, Belle is in fact a total fraud built up of melodramatic anachronisms and heaving bodices. Almost nothing in this film is true either to the specific life history of […]

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DOCUMENTED

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas outed himself as undocumented in 2011 to prove that many “Dreamers” like him are in fact “Model Americans.” This superb documentary film (co-directed by Vargas and Ann Raffaela Lupo) proves the thesis that “the personal IS political,” and shallow arguments about “Slippery Slopes” are for cowards. Rarely have I spent a more […]

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FRIENDED TO DEATH

Cute little Indie about an orphan (Ryan Hansen) who finds it easier to “bond” with people in cyberspace than risk losing anyone real. Unfortunately the cast is filled with TV actors (including writer/director Sarah Smick herself) who are not quite able to modulate themselves for the big screen. But Smick (collaborating with screenwriter/cast member Ian Michaels) […]

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IDA

Lodz 1962: “Anna” (Agata Trzebuchowska), a teenage novice in a Polish Convent, is about to take her vows when the Mother Superior (Halina Skoczynska) insists that she visit her long-lost “Aunt Wanda” (Agata Kulesza), someone whose existence had been hidden from her until that moment. As soon as they do meet, Wanda immediately informs Anna that her real name is […]

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