Currently Browsing: September 2018

‘306 Hollywood’ a dynamic attempt to archive a loved one

306 Hollywood is an eclectic attempt to document what is left of someone after they die. After their grandmother passes away, Elan and Jonathan Bogarin process the loss of a loved one by piecing together her life from the belongings left in her home and taped interviews they collected over her last 10 years. What […]

CONTINUE READING

Stand-up comedian searches for freedom from her past

Eva Vives writes and directs All About Nina—an intimate and personal story about a troubled rising comedian. The comedy stage gives Nina a platform to be truthful, when her reality is built up upon lies. (KIZJ: 4/5)

CONTINUE READING

‘Free Solo’ is undeniably captivating

Alex Honnold dares to be the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite’s 3,000ft high El Capitan Wall. We follow him as he meticulously plans each move while juggling injury, relationship tensions, and the insane feat of climbing without any ropes to save him from a life-ending fall. Directors Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy […]

CONTINUE READING

‘Golden Job’; not quite golden, but still manages to entertain

A group of adoptive brothers and partners in crime plan one last heist to steal vital medication for children in Africa. However, a most unexpected betrayal will change their lives forever. Director and writer Kar Lok Chin along with writers Susan Chan, Chi-Yin Cheung, Kin Lok-Kwok, Erica Li, and Heiward Mak deliver an action-packed viewing […]

CONTINUE READING

‘Hell Fest’ a fun start to Halloween season

From screenwriter Blair Butler (one of five credited writers) and director Gregory Plotkin, Hell Fest is a typical teen slasher film that’s refreshingly free of demonic possession, but also free of originality. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky Childhood friends Brooke (Reign Edwards) and Natalie (Amy Forsyth) reunite for Halloween to attend […]

CONTINUE READING

‘Jane Fonda in Five Acts’ is a triumph for women

Directed by Susan Lacey, Jane Fonda in Five Acts explores Jane Fonda’s life to date divided into five movements: her childhood, her three marriages, and finally herself. Emotional, honest and strikingly brave, this film is a masterpiece. (JRL: 4.5/5) In Jane Fonda in Five Acts, Jane Fonda recounts her life experiences in five distinct parts. […]

CONTINUE READING

Niederpruem’s ‘Little Women’ lacks authenticity and believability

A modern retelling of Louisa May Alcott’s beloved classic, Little Women follows the lives of the March sisters as they overcome hardships and follow their dreams. With good intentions, director and writer Clare Niederpruem and writer Kristi Shimek deliver a Hallmark card of a film dripping in sentimentality and lacking authenticity. (RMM: 2.5/5) Review by […]

CONTINUE READING

Big heart saves charming ‘Smallfoot’

Smallfoot is a clever animated comedy with a metaphorical message about curiosity and the importance of truth. Voice acting from Channing Tatum, Zendaya and Common brings a sincere humor to this screenplay from Blended screenwriter Clare Sera and co-director Karey Kirkpatrick. (GEP: 4/5) Review by Contributing Editor Georgiana E. Presecky  Migo (Tatum) is a proud Yeti […]

CONTINUE READING

‘Summer 03’ is a fresh coming of age film from Becca Gleason

Jaime’s grandmother has just said her last words: “learn how to give a proper blowjob.” Writer and director Becca Gleason opens with those last words as she sets the tone for Jaime (Joey King) and her family as they deal with the drastically different ways each one of them deals with grief in her wonderfully […]

CONTINUE READING

‘Colette’ another female historical figure worth remembering

Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Wash Westmoreland, and Richard Glatzer co-write Colette—a biopic starring Keira Knightley and Dominic West. Director Westmoreland’s period piece tells the tale of a French novelist, “Colette”, whose hunger for life pushes past gender norms. It shows how a girl from the countryside transforms into a pioneering feminist woman of the world. (KIZJ: 5/5)

CONTINUE READING

Sasha Waters explores life and times of photographer in ‘Garry Winogrand’

In her new documentary Garry Winogrand: All Things are Photographable, Sasha Waters Freyer highlights photographer Garry Winogrand and his body of work in the context of his life and the times. She crafts a subjective exploration of the question the photographer himself was trying to answer with his wok – what is photography? (HRM 4/5)

CONTINUE READING

‘A Happening of Monumental Proportions’ is anything but monumental

In just one day, a dead body is found, a man loses his job, an affair ends, a crime is committed, and hearts are broken. In her directorial debut, director Judy Greer attempts to weave together the vignettes of many characters but fails to create a cohesive, compelling, or funny narrative. The star-studded cast is […]

CONTINUE READING

‘Intelligent Lives’ demonstrates amazing ability of the disabled

Intelligent Lives (directed by Dan Habib and co-written by Jody Becker) is an inspiring and informative documentary about three intellectually disabled young adults making their way in the world despite the myriad of challenges that face them every day. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood Intelligent Lives begins with actor Chris Cooper discussing […]

CONTINUE READING

Like the film’s heroine, ‘Love, Gilda’ leaves lasting impact

Like a belated memoir-turned-audiobook, Gilda Radner tells her story in her own words – in her own voice. Director Lisa D’Apolito collects and chronologizes the life of the famous funny girl using her own 1989 autobiography, “It’s Always Something,” along with personal belongings, family videotapes and journal entries from the height of her Saturday Night Live fame. Documenting personal struggles with family, friends and her own health, Love, Gilda leaves you wanting more – of the film and her. (4.5/5)

CONTINUE READING

MOSES AND THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (2016): Review by Katharine Cutler

Moses and the 10 Commandments is a unique retelling of the classic, biblical story. Following the format of a telenovela, this film is the most fun you can have reliving an often told story. (KAC: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Written by Paula Richard and Vivian de Oliveira, this Brazilian version has everything. […]

CONTINUE READING

‘Quincy’ documents the making of a legend

Quincy is a retrospective on the life and career of iconic composer, producer, and musician Quincy Jones. The film was co-directed and co-written by Rashida Jones (who in addition to being a filmmaker and actress is Jones’s daughter) and Alan Hicks. (RM: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Contributing Editor Rachel Mosely As Quincy opens, we travel […]

CONTINUE READING

‘The Song of Sway Lake’ sways us into nostalgia

In director Ari Gold’s award-winning film The Song of Sway Lake, Elizabeth Bull writes a story of nostalgia, pain, and betrayal. In this tale, the obsession over a 78 record is taken over by the feeling of pain and nostalgia. (SYJ: 4/5) Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin Wanting to freeze time, […]

CONTINUE READING

Blake Lively at her best in twisty, original ‘A Simple Favor’

A Simple Favor is a compelling and strange comedy-thriller hybrid from director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy, Ghostbusters) and screenwriter Jessica Sharzer (Nerve). When Stephanie (Anna Kendrick) meets mysterious fellow mom Emily (Blake Lively) at her son’s elementary school, their fast friendship quickly spirals into a wild ride involving missing persons and mistaken identities. While not necessarily unique in plot, Feig and Sharzer’s adaptation of Darcey Bell’s novel remains consistently unique in tone and entertainment value. (BKP: 4/5)

CONTINUE READING

‘Hale County’ a graceful portrait of small-town Alabama

Hale County This Morning, This Evening is a delicate portrait of a way of life. Shot in director RaMell Ross’s hometown, Hale County, Alabama, this film contains the beauty and the darkness of passing time. (KAC: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Written by Ross and Maya Krinsky, Hale County is not a typical […]

CONTINUE READING

‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ changes post-apocalyptic norms

Written by Mike Makowsky and directed by Reed Morano, I Think We’re Alone Now is a unique twist on the post-apocalyptic genre, as it explores the beautifully complex journey of a man and a woman who are seemingly the last two people on Earth. (FEA 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Farah Elattar For “Del” (Peter […]

CONTINUE READING

‘The Land of Steady Habits’ paints a painfully resonant image of conventional suburban life

Feeling suffocated by the conventionality of his job and his family life, a man retires and leaves his wife in an attempt to feel alive again. However, after befriending the troubled teenage son of his wife’s best friend, he finds that everything he does is met with the disapproval of his community. Based on the […]

CONTINUE READING

‘Letter from Masanjia’ exposes harsh reality of Chinese labor camps

Letter from Masanjia (co-written by Leon Lee and Caylan Ford and directed by Leon Lee) is an exposing documentary about the labor camp brutality experienced by Sun Yi and other practitioners of Falun Gong. The film mainly follows Sun Yi’s struggles and his attempts to live a normal life after the torture, despite constant pursuit by […]

CONTINUE READING

Powerful ‘Lost Child’ gracefully examines childhood trauma

Ramaa Mosley’s Lost Child is a powerful story about returning to one’s roots to find healing. Both suspenseful and affecting, it paints a noble portrait of someone’s journey of working through a past trauma.  (HRM: 4/5) Review By Hannah Mayo After being processed out of the army, “Fern” (Leven Rambin) returns to her hometown deep […]

CONTINUE READING

‘Reversing Roe’ explores abortion’s evolution from personal to political

Directed by Anne Sundberg and Ricki Stern, Reversing Roe is a well-informed, illuminating and powerful resource for those who want to know more about one of the country’s most controversial topics. (JRL: 4/5)

CONTINUE READING

‘Science Fair’ inspires the younger generation to succeed in the scientific field

Cristina Costantini writes and directs a multi-award winning film Science Fair. Co-directed and co-written by Darren Foster, the film tells the stories of various high school science students. This feature is a “brilliant and quirky” appreciation of the teenage genii that the rest of the world will one day depend upon. (SYJ:4.5/5) Review written by […]

CONTINUE READING

WARNING SHOT (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

In Warning Shot, writer Breanne Mattson delivers a script even more poorly done than the shoddy craftsmanship on the production. A plot to steal water rights from a young single mother and her child becomes a hostage situation that devolves into a bizarre series of revelations before an action-packed ending leads to a fake-ironic conclusion. […]

CONTINUE READING

In the canon of World War II films, ‘Where Hands Touch’ is one to skip

Review of Where Hands Touch by Eliana Levenson While Amma Asante’s desire to tell a story of a group whose struggle is often lost in the atrocities of Nazi Germany isn’t inherently a bad thing, Where Hands Touch delivers an incredibly tone-deaf narrative that fails in almost every way. (EML: 2/5) Review by FF2 Associate […]

CONTINUE READING

‘The Apparition’ a lengthy journey of questioning miracles

Unlike the horror-thriller genre one might expect from a church story titled The Apparition, the drama tells the story of a journalist investigating a young woman who claims to have miraculously been visited by the Virgin Mary. Lengthy in its 144-minute running time, the film is anchored in its compelling performances and test of faith in the Catholic church. (BKP: 4/5)

CONTINUE READING

Tender performances stand out in narrative biopic ‘Blaze’

Based on the biography by Sybil Rosen, Blaze recounts the life and death of an unknown legend in Texas music history. Gentle and loving, this biopic celebrates the complexities that made up Blaze Foley’s life. (KAC: 5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Directed by Ethan Hawke, Blaze is a story of love and loss […]

CONTINUE READING

‘Hal’ blasts us back to the past

In Amy Scott’s directorial debut, Hal, she describes Hal Ashby’s successes and failures as an Oscar-winning director, and as an individual. Following in the footsteps of her protagonist, Scott directs her first feature of the long awaited story of the ingenious director and editor Hal Ashby. (SYJ: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y […]

CONTINUE READING