Currently Browsing: April 2015

CAS & DYLAN

Review of Cas & Dylan by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Tatiana Maslany and Richard Dreyfuss bring their talent, charm and chemistry to the heartfelt road trip film Cas & Dylan. Director Jason Priestley and screenwriter Jessie Gabe take the audience on the journey as two very different characters share a bond of friendship and […]

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HOMBRES A LA CARTA

Review of Hombres A La Carta by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Screenwriter Solanny Valdelamar Correa tells the story of a 36-year-old woman in a race with her ticking biological clock. Bordering between relatable and implausible, Hombres A La Carta (“Men on Demand”) follows “Cecilia” (Chichila Navia) and her contemporary ways of finding a husband […]

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RIDE (2014)

Oscar-winning actress Helen Hunt wrote, directed, and stars in this lovely dramedy about a brash New York editor facing her “Empty Nest Summer”–that turning point in life when her only son “Angelo” (Brenton Thwaites) has finished high school and is about to start college. I laughed; I cried; I had a great time! (JLH: 4/5) […]

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WELCOME TO ME

Shira Piven directs this “Dark Comedy” about a mentally ill woman who wins the lottery and decides to use her sudden wealth to produce her own Oprah-esque TV show. Screenplay by Eliot Laurence. (JLH: 3/5) ************************* “Alice Klieg” (Kristen Wiig) is a very troubled lady. Diagnosed as mentally ill sometime in her teens, Alice has now entered […]

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BAD GIRLS GO TO HELL

On April 23rd, I attended a fascinating program at Anthology Film Archives on 2nd Ave. Michael Bowen, adjunct film professor at FIT and curator of AFA’s “Beyond Cassavetes” film series, spoke at length about Doris Wishman (who is the subject of his doctoral dissertation) and then showed Wishman’s 1965 film Bad Girls Go to Hell. As Bowen […]

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24 DAYS

The harrowing but critically important French film 24 Days opening today in selected theatres (including NYC & Chicago). Also available on iTunes. When the 2014 Jerusalem Film Festival gave 24 Days their Lia Award celebrating films dealing with Jewish Heritage, they wrote: “This suspenseful drama manages to avoid clichés and intricately presents the experience of anti-Jewish […]

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ADULT BEGINNERS

BONUS POST: 2 Reviews from 2 Points-of-View! Nick Kroll and Rose Byrne star in a film about a washed-up man living with his sister’s family, a well-intentioned project that relies on its talented cast to carry a middle-of-the-road plot. Directed by Ross Katz and co-written by Jeff Cox and Liz Flahive, Adult Beginners has just enough heart […]

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AFTER THE BALL

Directed by Sean Garrity and written by Jason Sherman and Kate Melville, After the Ball is a Cinderella story reimagined, as a light romantic comedy in the corporate fashion world. Fashion school graduate “Kate” (Portia Doubleday) starts her career working for her father “Lee” (Chris Noth) at his retail company Kassell. Kate, hoping to become […]

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ANITA B

Freida Lee Mock’s documentary Anita tells the story of Anita Hill, law professor and civil rights activist. While then-Judge Clarence Thomas was being considered to be a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Hill spoke up about his sexual harassment of her when she worked for him. Since then, Hill has worked to spread awareness about sexual […]

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BODY & SOUL: THE STATE OF THE JEWISH NATION

Opens tomorrow in NYC. Review coming soon.

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HELICOPTER MOM

Review of Helicopter Mom by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Nia Vardalos stars as “Maggie Cooper,” a trying-too-hard mother who can’t seem to let her son find his own identity. From its depiction of LGBT youth to the caricatures of women on the PTA, Helicopter Mom is inundated with stereotypes. However, the well-intentioned film has […]

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ALEX OF VENICE

Sweet, earnest, perfectly-crafted first feature from actor Chris Messina about an LA family in transition. The delicate plot is graced with wonderful performances in all major and minor roles. Low-key and luminous. Directed by Chris Messina. Screenplay by Jessica Goldberg, Katie Nehra, and Justin Shilton. Not yet seen by Rich. (JLH: 4/5) ************************* “Roger” (Don […]

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ANTARCTIC EDGE

Opens Friday in NYC. Review coming soon…

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BENEATH THE HELMET

Beneath the Helmet: From High School to the Home Front is fascinating look at five young men undergoing rigorous paratrooper training in the IDF (Israeli Defense Force). Barely 18 years old and just out of high school, they are at a transformative moment in their lives. Who they meet along the way and how they […]

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THE HUMAN EXPERIMENT

Review of The Human Experiment by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Dana Nachman’s documentary studies the correlation between chemicals in everyday products and the increasing health defects infiltrating America. The film intimately follows three women and their stories of infertility, autism, and painful skin conditions, along with other environmental issues lobbied for lawmakers to change. […]

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LE CHALLAT DE TUNIS

From IMDb: Tunisia, before the revolution. A man on a motorbike, razor blade in hand, prowls the streets of Tunis slashing women’s buttocks. They call him The Challat, aka “The Blade”, and the mere mention of his name provokes fascination and terror. Is he a lone criminal, an urban legend, or could he be the creation […]

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EFFIE GRAY (BKP)

Weighing in across the generations: Our respect for Oscar-winning screenwriter & beloved actress Emma Thompson is so great that we have written two review of her new film Effie Gray. Spoiler Alert: WE BOTH LOVE IT! Click HERE for Jan’s review (with a “Real-to-Reel” bonus section). Brigid’s review is below. ************************* Review of Effie Gray by […]

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IT HAPPENED HERE

Review of It Happened Here by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky  Lisa F. Jackson’s timely documentary It Happened Here follows five young women as they share their testimonies of surviving sexual assault. Through intimate interviews, the film documents harrowing first-hand accounts of rape on America’s college campuses. (BKP: 5/5) ************************************ Angie Epifano. Kylie Angell. Sarah O’Brien. Carolyn […]

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FREETOWN

Well-intentioned but ultimately unsuccessful dramatization of a true story about Mormon missionaries caught in the middle of the Liberian Civil War. Directed by Garrett Batty who wrote the screenplay with Melissa Leilani Larson. NOT YET SEEN BY RICH. (JLH: 3/5) ************************* At great personal risk, a Liberian man named “Phillip Abubakar” (Henry Adofo) agrees to drive […]

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IN COUNTRY

Well-intentioned by ultimately confusing muddle about a group of guys who tromp around the woods of Western Oregon pretending they are “on patrol” in Vietnam. Co-Directed by Mike Attie and Meghan O’Hara. Not yet seen by Rich. (JLH: 3/5) ************************* Full-Disclosure: I am a member of the Vietnam War Generation. I fought about about the War in Vietnam […]

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THE SISTERHOOD OF NIGHT

Review of The Sisterhood of the Night by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Caryn Waechter’s witch-hunt drama ventures outside of Salem and into a modern American high school. The bizarre film, based on Steven Millhauser’s short story Sisterhood, follows goth-like “Mary Warren” (Georgie Henley) as she unplugs from social media and discretely takes her posse take […]

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Subscribe, Comment and Like: Documenting the real-girls of YouTube

By Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Aside from crime-fighting heroines in dystopian worlds or century-old Disney princesses –  strong, relatable girl characters are almost nonexistent in the multiplex. Young girls are looking elsewhere for relatable entertainment: their phones, their tablets, and their laptops. YouTube has more than one billion users. Every minute, 300 hours of video […]

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EFFIE GRAY (JLH)

Weighing in across the generations: Our respect for Oscar-winning screenwriter & beloved actress Emma Thompson is so great that we have written two review of her new film Effie Gray. Spoiler Alert: WE BOTH LOVE IT!  Click HERE for Brigid’s review. Jan’s review (with a “Real-to-Reel” bonus section) is below. ************************* Lovingly-crafted new BioPic stars Dakota […]

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EFFIE GRAY (JLH)

Lovingly-crafted new BioPic stars Dakota Fanning as yet another “notorious” 19th Century woman heretofore robbed by history of her own POV. Credit the sumptuous visuals to director Richard Laxton, but the essence of Effie Gray is in the screenplay by Emma Thompson, who also cast herself in the critical role of mentor. (JLH 4/5) ************************* On […]

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THE FORECASTER

Review of The Forecaster by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky The one-sided documentary takes a close-up look at Martin Armstrong, the financial advisor who used pi to “forecast” America’s economic turning points and ended up in prison. The film’s grouchy protagonist takes viewers through his journey of market manipulation, his sentence to jail, and his […]

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THE HAND THAT FEEDS

Review of The Hand That Feeds by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky The inspiring documentary by Rachel Lears takes us inside a world that many people interact with on a daily basis and hardly ever stop to notice. The Hand That Feeds tells the story of New York City sandwich-maker Mahoma Lopez as he unites […]

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3/29: At the Quad

Info coming soon…

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52 TUESDAYS

Review coming soon…

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Crawlin’ in Chelsea

Huge thanks to Nicole Casamento for organizing a second annual “gallery crawl” in honor of International SWAN Day. Last year (2014), we hit three galleries on the Upper East Side. This year (2015), we hit three galleries in Chelsea (on Manhattan’s West Side). We started at the Jack Shainman Gallery (on West 20th Street), where we saw […]

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CGC: Hayv Kahraman

Our first stop on the Chelsea Gallery Crawl was the Jack Shainman Gallery where we saw an astonishing new exhibit called “How Iraqi Are You?” by Hayv Kahraman! HAYV KAHRAMAN – HOW IRAQI ARE YOU?, February 27 – April 4, 2015 (from the Jack Shainman Gallery website): Jack Shainman Gallery is pleased to announce Hayv Kahraman’s second solo exhibition at […]

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