Currently Browsing: November 2018

Modern Christmas fable ‘Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer’ preaches dreaming big

Writer-director Jennifer Westcott’s Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer is spunky, cluttered holiday fun for kids. With help from voice talent like Josh Hutcherson, Samantha Bee and John Cleese, this somewhat-spastic narrative is more of a stocking stuffer than a whole-hearted gift. (GEP: 3.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Georgiana E. Presecky Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer would have […]

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THE FAVOURITE (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Co-writer Deborah Davis and (ahem) three-way stars Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Coleman serve up a stylish tale of intrigue in the court of Queen Anne, played by Coleman. Both the humor and the power-grabs are brutal in this exceptional period drama. (GPG: 5/5) Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto Two cousins fight for […]

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HAPPY AS LAZZARO (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Happy As Lazzaro is a metaphorical journey about a group of Italian peasants who are being exploited as sharecroppers by a tobacco producer. One young man, Lazzaro, is extremely kind, and lives a life of miracles and misfortune because of it. Director Alice Rohrwacher delivers a slightly absurd but meditative and aesthetically pleasing story about […]

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‘Head Full of Honey’ a light-hearted story about a heavy disease

Written by Hilly Martinek and Til Schweiger, Head Full of Honey is the story of a young girl who takes her grandfather with Alzheimer’s on a trip to Venice, where he first fell in love with his late wife. Both funny and heartbreaking, this film is a refreshing and honest story of family love in […]

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‘United Skates’ shows historical influence of hobby

Directed, written and produced by Dyana Winkler and Tina Brown, United Skates is a eye-opening documentary that explores a seemingly cult hobby and its influence both historically and musically. (BV: 4.5/5) Review by Intern Beatrice Viri Opening with factoids about how roller rinks are surprisingly an influential breeding ground for talent, United Skates explores how […]

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‘Becoming Astrid’ a travel between worlds

Becoming Astrid is a powerful rendering of the early years shaping the world-renowned children’s book author Astrid Lindgren. The film is about the person behind the beloved stories and depicts her youth pregnancy and unsteady existence as she travels between her childhood hamlet Vimmerby, her secretary school in Stockholm and her son’s foster home in […]

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Documentary dispels falsehoods about Hillbillies

Hillbilly is a documentary feature made to explore and dispel the traditional stereotype of who American “Hillbillies” are. With 4 awards and 1 nomination in the bag, Ashley York co-directs with Sally Rubin and co-writes with Rubin and Silas House this politically and culturally charged investigative piece. (KIZJ: 4.5/5)

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INVISIBLE HANDS (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Documentarian Shraysi Tandon illuminates the horrific condition of child laborers in developing countries. It will be hard for the audience to go back to their lifestyles of cheaply-manufactured clothing and plastic goods after Invisible Hands shows them about how those products got to the marketplace in the Western world. The ending of this film takes […]

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LAS SANDINISTAS! (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: Las Sandinistas! uncovers a watershed moment in history when a group of Nicaraguan women shattered barriers to lead rebel troops in battle and reshape their country with landmark social reforms during 1979’s Sandinista Revolution and the ensuing US-backed Contra War – only to face renewed marginalization by their male peers once the wars ended. Las […]

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‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ a clever, memorable Disney sequel

From co-screenwriter Pamela Ribon, Disney’s Ralph Breaks the Internet is a fun, thoughtful journey of two colorful arcade game character venturing into the world wide web. Undeniably imaginative and satirical without snark, this sequel to Wreck-It Ralph (2012) is a great addition to Disney’s ever-growing list of decent sequels. (BKP: 4.5/5) Review by Managing Editor […]

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WRITE WHEN YOU GET WORK (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: Ruth Duffy is getting by on an assistant’s salary at a pricey school for girls in Manhattan, managing to move beyond the trouble and loss of her teenage years. Jonny Collins is working local jobs near the Throgs Neck Bridge in the Bronx. When they cross paths after years apart, Jonny is as consumed […]

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‘At Eternity’s Gate’ is a Beautiful Tribute to the Life of Vincent van Gogh

Written by Louise Kugelburg, Jean-Claude Carrière and Julian Schnabel, At Eternity’s Gate tells the story of Van Gogh’s final years, spent surrounded by nature in the South of France. A heart-wrenching and breathtakingly vibrant tribute to the chaotic Vincent Van Gogh, this film is masterful from start to finish. (JRL: 4.5/5)   At Eternity’s Gate […]

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Tradition and modernity fuse in ‘Bali: Beats of Paradise’

Bali: Beats of Paradise, directed by Livi Zheng, promotes the traditional Indonesian art of Gamelan music to the western world through the collaboration “Queen of the Hill” between The Voice’s Judith Hill and Nyoman Wenten, a famous Indonesian composer. (BV: 3.5/5) Review by Intern Beatrice Viri In Bali: Beats of Paradise, Judith Hill, the singer […]

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Rowling, Redmayne dive deep in ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’

In Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald, J.K. Rowling uses her time turner to take us back to the 1920s Wizarding World, when Dumbledore (Jude Law) was still just a professor, long before the names Riddle and Potter appeared on his radar, let alone in his Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. The Ministry of […]

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‘Heart, Baby’ full of heart but lacking in execution

Boxing gives an incarcerated man the chance at freedom. He chooses love instead. Based on a true story, Heart, Baby depicts life in the Central Tennessee State Penitentiary in the 80s, where men and transgender women of all backgrounds and beliefs struggle to coexist within an unjust prison system and its highly homophobic atmosphere. Writer […]

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WIDOWS take on the job

In writer Gillian Flynn’s latest film Widows, she tells a story of four widows from very different backgrounds in contemporary Chicago. Widows allows women, and women of ethnic minorities, to take power and control in an almost all male action story. (SYJ: 3/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Jin   Based in a modern […]

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‘Here and Now’ peers into a woman’s crippling mind

Directed by Fabien Constant and written by Laura Eason, Here and Now follows the day Vivienne (Sarah Jessica Parker), a famous jazz singer, finds out devastating news that will change her life forever. She finds herself having to question her relationships with her family, friends, and even her random Lyft driver as she grapples with […]

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Stellar cast of ‘Lez Bomb’ guesses who’s coming out at dinner

Writer/director Jenna Laurenzo’s new spin on Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner tells the story of a closeted young woman who brings her girlfriend home for Thanksgiving. When her male roommate shows up unannounced, misunderstandings snowball into comedy gold, aided by a stellar supporting cast of Cloris Leachman, Bruce Dern, Deirdre O’Connell, Steve Guttenberg, Elaine Hendrix and Kevin Pollak. (BKP: 4/5)

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‘Liz and the Blue Bird’ teaches us to let go

Naoko Yamada, the critically acclaimed director of A Silent Voice, debuts her second feature animated film Liz and the Blue Bird. Originally a coming-of-age novel series, Sound! Euphonium, Yamada creates a film with subtle brilliance. (SYJ: 3.5/5) Review written by FF2Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin Liz and the Blue Bird is a tale of a […]

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The Long Dumb Road captures comedy, humanity, and fun

The Long Dumb Road (co-written and directed by Hannah Fidell) tracks two absurdly different men on a journey across the country full of twists, dry comedy, and a strikingly odd sense of friendship. (DLH: 3/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood The film begins with Nat (Tony Revolori) leaving his suburban parents to drive to […]

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Narcissister Bares All In Fascinating Documentary-Drama Hybrid

Brooklyn performance artist Narcissister combines her own stage performance work with graphic animation and her brother’s home videos to explore the nature of her parent’s relationship and familial history as it lives on in her life and work. The result is the fascinating and emotional piece of art documentary, Narcissister Organ Player. (HRM: 5/5) Review […]

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Unconventional ‘The New Romantic’ captures humor of Generation Z

Aspiring journalist and hopeless romantic Blake Conway takes on a new endeavor to preserve her column in her college’s newspaper in director Carly Stone’s The New Romantic – becoming a sugar baby. (BV 3.5/5)

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NUMBER 37 (2018): Review by Katharine Cutler

Number 37 is a chilling reimagining of Hitchcock’s Rear Window, throwing many expectations out the door. Despite beautiful imagery and great acting, the films fails to introduce something different. (KAC: 3/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Directed by Nosipho Dumisa, Number 37 follows glimpses of life in a crime-ridden neighborhood in Cape Town through […]

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OUTLAW KING (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A true David v. Goliath story of how the great 14th Century Scottish ‘Outlaw King’ Robert The Bruce used cunning and bravery to defeat and repel the much larger and better equipped occupying English army. Outlaw King opens 11/9/18 in NYC. FF2 review coming soon!

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‘Say Her Name’ Honors Sandra Bland and her Fight for the Black Lives Matter Movement

Directed by Kate Davis and David Heilbroner, Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland is a riveting documentary about a young black woman, Sandra Bland, who is sent to jail for a traffic violation and found hanged in her cell three days later. Say Her Name is a compelling exposee of our […]

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