Currently Browsing: April 2016

3RD STREET BLACKOUT

Written, directed, and starred in by Negin Farsad and Jeremy Redleaf, 3rd Street Blackout is a quirky comedy about a tech-loving couple who must reevaluate their relationship when a storm hits Manhattan causing a blackout. (JEP: 3.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry “Mina Shamkhali” (Negin Farsad) and “Rudy Higgins” (Jeremy Redleaf) are a […]

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A BEAUTIFUL PLANET

Director 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 […]

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THE AMERICAN SIDE

Actor/writer Greg Stuhr’s insight and appreciation for his birthplace, Buffalo, New York, and the Niagara Falls area is featured front and center in The American Side, his collaborative detective drama directed and co-written by Jenna Ricker. Although the material isn’t particularly new and noteworthy here, Stuhr’s passion for this story shines through. (BKP: 3/5) Review […]

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L’ATTESA

Based on the play by Luigi Pirandello, L’Attesa (The Wait), directed by Piero Messina, and co-written by Giacomo Bendotti, Ilaria Macchia, and Andrea Paolo Massara, ventures into the most disorienting aspects of mourning. When “Jeanne” (Lou de Laâge) flies to Sicily to visit her boyfriend “Guiseppe” (Giovanni Anzaldo), his mysterious absence exacerbates her fears of […]

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MOTHER’S DAY

Screenwriters Anya Kochoff, Matthew Walker, and Tom Hines weave multiple narratives together, each story resolving itself on Mother’s Day. With a star-studded cast, director Gary Marshall delivers an overall enjoyable rom-com. Don’t expect much more than a few laughs and zany storylines from the film and you’ll walk out of the theater with a smile […]

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PALI ROAD

Writers Victoria Arch and Doc Pedrolie create a unique, imaginative and enjoyable story in their romantic thriller, Pali Road. When workaholic “Lily” (Michelle Chen) gets in a car accident, she wakes up with in a completely different version of her life. Set in the beautiful landscape of Hawaii, this familiar tale of “the road not […]

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RATCHET & CLANK

Directors Jessica Cleland and Kevin Munroe bring the Ratchet and Clank video game to life in a full-length feature film. Although the cookie-cutter premise of good versus evil is entertaining enough for a (very) young crowd, the 94-minute version of a Saturday morning cartoon may not be worth the ever-increasing price of admission. (BKP: 3/5) […]

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VIKTORIA (2014)

Viktoria is a stunning film from Bulgaria which begins as a political parody and ends as a feminist parable. Kudos to filmmaker Maya Vitkova for her extraordinary vision and execution. (JLH: 5/5) Review by FF2 Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner The year is 1979 and “Boryana” (Irmena Chichikova) is deeply unhappy. Her mother “Dima” (Mariana Krumova) is […]

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ELVIS & NIXON

Based 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 […]

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LOVE THY NATURE

With 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 […]

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THE MEDDLER

A widow sheltered from reality for decades by a indulgent but old fashioned husband must learn to start life anew in Lorene Scafaria’s lovely new film The Meddler. Much like her first feature Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, The Meddler takes its time introducing offbeat characters who seem all wrong but turn out to be […]

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NINA

Zoe Saldana stars as famed musician Nina Simone in the later part of her 70-year life. She drinks, smokes and falls into a vessel of self-destructive behavior. But despite Saldana’s efforts and the remaining – and impressive – supporting cast, Cynthia Mort’s script misses the mark. (BKP 3/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky […]

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SWORN VIRGIN

Writer/Director Laura Bispuri tackles the ever-present subject of gender and sexual identity. In Sworn Virgin, Alba Rohrwacher stars as Hana/Mark, a young woman who, after years of living life as a free man, chooses to return to her roots. Although the hot-button transgender issue is well-crafted here, the plot hits too many lulls for it […]

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THE ADDERALL DIARIES

Written and directed by Pamela Romanowsky, The Adderall Diaries is based on Stephen Elliott’s memoir that shares the same name. Writer Stephen Elliot, played by James Franco, has to go through an unconvincing journey from drug addiction and self-affliction to confront his guilt-ridden past and to forgive his abusive father. (PS: 1.5/5) Review by FF2 […]

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BARBERSHOP: THE NEXT CUT

Much of the cast you know and love from the first two Barbershop films are back in Barbershop: The Next Cut. This time around, screenwriters Tracy Oliver, Kenya Barris, and Mark Brown place their characters within a thought-provoking narrative, delivering a worthy addition to the already successful franchise. The South Side of Chicago is caught […]

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ECHO PARK

Writer Catalina Aguilar Mastretta and Director Amanda Maralis team up to tell a sweet, simple story of a brief love affair between unlucky-in-love “Sophie” (Mamie Gummer) and British dreamer “Alex” (Tony Okungbowa). Although the pacing could use a jolt of energy, this human story makes for an enjoyable, pleasantly surprising watch. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review By […]

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HIGH STRUNG

“Ruby” (Keenan Kampa) is a first year ballerina at a performing arts conservatory in Manhattan. As she struggles to shine in her coursework, Ruby meets a broody violinist busking in the New York Subway, and the as the pair grow close, they put their musical talents to use entering a performance competition with a high […]

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HOSTILE BORDER

A gripping drama directed by Michael Dwyer and written by Kaitlin McLaughlin, Hostile Border follows one young woman as she is deported back to Mexico when she is found guilty of credit card fraud. Alone in a new country, and unable to speak the language, she must learn who to trust in order to survive. […]

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SKY

Directed and co-written by French filmmaker and actress Fabienne Berthaud, Sky follows “Romy” (Diane Kruger) as she drives through the open skylines and cities of the American Southwest. Romy is newly separated from her stifling marriage, and she searches for meaning in her new adventures. The fascinatingly dark characters she meets, along with a beautiful […]

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THE SYNDROME

Director Meryl Goldsmith and co-writer/producer Susan Goldsmith attempt to pick apart the science behind SBS (Shaken-Baby Syndrome) and shed a light on wrongly-accused “abusive” parents. As controversial as the subject is, the filmmakers make a purposeful statement: people are villainized in America’s mainstream media. (BKP: 2.5/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky SBS, known […]

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BE HERE NOW

Be Here Now chronicles the story of Spartacus actor Andy Whitfield and his wife, Vashti, as they journey through his devastating diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In the hundreds of film reviews I have written for FF2 Media in the past eight years, nothing has ever come close to the experience of watching Lilibet Foster’s inspiring […]

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THE BOSS

Melissa McCarthy is back as screenwriter and star of The Boss. Thoroughly entertaining, The Boss follows successful mogul “Michelle Darnell” (McCarthy) who is dethroned from her seat atop industry when she is sentenced to prison for insider trading. When she is released Michelle must rebuild her empire, but this time around she must think outside […]

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THE INVITATION

Masterfully paced psychological thriller directed by Karyn Kusama, The Invitation is a nail biting, seat gripping, feature about a dinner party with old friends that slowly develops into something much more sinister when secrets are revealed and the truth is tested. (JEP: 4/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry After two years of silence, […]

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LOOK AT US NOW, MOTHER!

Gayle Kirschenbaum’s documentary is a tragically funny story about her tumultuous relationship with her feisty mother, Mildred Abramowitz Kirschenbaum. The home videos from past and present string together a touching narrative about love and heartbreak between a parent and her child. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Gayle Kirschenbaum, the documentarian known […]

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VITA ACTIVA

Opens Friday (4/8/16) in NYC. Review coming soon…

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WAITRESS Musical

Closing out another Women’s History Month at a performance of the fabulous new Broadway musical Waitress with my friend Ann Weil Feldman (from Livingston High School days) and our wonderfully accommodating spouses Rick and Rich. Waitress is based on the beloved film by Adrienne Shelly and has an all-female creative team lead by screenwriter/playwright Jessie Nelson, singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles, […]

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