Currently Browsing: 2018

ON HER SHOULDERS (2018): Review by Katharine Cutler

On Her Shoulders is a powerful look into the day to day life of Nadia Murad, an activist who fights for her people by sharing her deeply personal and traumatic story. (KAC: 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Nadia Murad Basee Taha is one of the strongest women you’ll ever see. Despite being captured […]

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REACH (2018): Review by Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Director Maria Capp presents a John Hughes influenced high school romp in Reach, but her portrayal of high school students and millennial culture shows that she has no idea what’s up with the kids these days. As someone not (that) long out of high school, I cringed many more times than I laughed while watching […]

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THE WALDHEIM WALTZ (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A biographical drama film about Kurt Josef Waldheim, former UN Secretary General and the controversy of his participation and role in the Nazi regime during WWII. The Waldheim Waltz opens 10/19 in NYC. FF2 review coming soon!

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‘What They Had’ is a Masterful Family Drama

Created by first-time writer and director Elizabeth Chomko, What They Had is a heart-wrenching family drama about the family of a woman with Alzheimer’s. With a raw and emotional storyline portrayed by excellent actors, What they Had is certainly a successful first film for Chomko. (JRL: 4 / 5) ‘What They Had’ is a Masterful Family […]

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WILDLIFE (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Paul Dano’s superb directorial debut is Wildlife, a portrait of a small town American family struggling to stay whole amidst economic hardship and personal turmoils. Beautifully and compassionately made, it is an affecting story of familial love. (HRM 5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Hannah Mayo Fourteen-year-old Joe (Ed Oxenbould) just moved with his parents to […]

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White and Monroe make believable pair in honest love story ‘After Everything’

Co-writers and co-directors Hannah Marks and Joey Power tell an honest, raw love story of two people who prematurely deal with the hardships adulthood. When Elliot is diagnosed with cancer after only one date with Mia, the couple is thrust into the role of patient/caregiver in the midst of a passionate, burgeoning relationship. (BKP: 4.5/5)

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The Kindergarten Teacher astounds in its psychosis

Written and directed by Sara Colangelo, The Kindergarten Teacher follows middle-aged Lisa Spinelli’s developing psychotic obsession with a five-year-old prodigy and his poems in a beautifully slow and muted film that is sure to leave you with more questions than answers. (DLH: 5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood Though Lisa Spinelli (Maggie Gyllenhaal)’s life […]

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‘Liyana’ and the autonomy that storytelling gives

At a home for orphans in Swaziland, five children become storytellers as they use their own experiences to tell the tale of one girl’s incredible journey. Directors Aaron and Amanda Kopp take the documentary genre and turn it on its head as they utilize fiction as a means for both exploring reality and teaching these […]

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‘Over the Limit’ awakens its audience to the tenacity it takes to be an athlete

Outstanding rhythmic gymnast Margarita Mamun needs to be the best in order to make it to the Olympic Games. Can she do it? In her gripping documentary Over the Limit, director Marta Prus shines a light on the competitive and intense world of the Russian rhythmic gymnastics team through the eyes of Mamun. MTP: ⅘ […]

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‘Sadie’ a thrilling coming of age story

Sadie tells the story of a young girl coming of age while faced with the challenges of a modern American military family. Realist and simple on the surface, it explores these issues from an intriguing psychological perspective, resulting in a dark and affecting drama. (HRM: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Hannah Mayo Adolescent Sadie (Sophia […]

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A family gathers to bid farewell to a beloved pet in the wise & winsome ‘Stella’s Last Weekend’

Stella’s Last Weekend reflects the importance of being young and not knowing what to do. Set around the impending death of their family dog, Stella, two brothers learn that they have mistakenly fallen for the same girl and discover that nothing in life is as easy it seems. (KAC: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine […]

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18Oct05: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Eight films either written &/or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theatres this week: Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow Bill Coors: The Will to Live The Hate U Give Living In the Future’s Past Moynihan Private Life Trouble Venom Four of these films — […]

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‘Above and Beyond’ is a love letter to NASA

Directed by Rory Kennedy, Above and Beyond showcases NASA’s 60-year history. It documents NASA’s many important milestones and mystifying discoveries, then brings it all back to our own planet that we must now save. Above and Beyond is not only a beautiful exposé’ of our universe, but an invigorating push to restore the Earth. (JRL: […]

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‘Bill Coors – The Will to Live’ inspires positivity

Kerry David co-writes and directs a multi-award winning documentary Bill Coors: The Will to Live. Bill Coors, or William Kistler “Bill” Coors, shares an incredibly detailed history of his life. Although he is known as a giant of the brewing industry, this film delves into the intricacies of his home life as well as his mental […]

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‘The Hate U Give’ a moving force of nature on the humanity that lies beneath political controversy

When 16-year-old “Starr Carter” (Amandla Stenberg) witnesses the unjust, fatal shooting of her friend at the hands of a police officer, her life is changed forever. Already caught between the worlds of her mostly black neighborhood and her mostly white prep school, Starr must overcome the pressures around her to find her own voice. Based […]

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Living in the Future’s Past fails to make an impact

Living in the Future’s Past attempts to document our past, present, and future state of affairs environmentally, philosophically, economically, scientifically, and even politically. Directed by Susan Kucera and narrated by Jeff Bridges, the film ultimately tackles too much in an hour and a half and falls short of becoming the kind of tight and timely […]

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MOYNIHAN (2018): Review by Katharine Cutler

Moynihan is a film that dares to recount the almost 40-year career of politician Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Unfortunately, the film bites off more than it can chew and gives too little a view of the history that makes it special. (KAC: 2/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler Directed by Toby Perl Freilich and Joseph […]

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Giamatti and Hahn a sad, perfect duo in Netflix dramedy ‘Private Life’

Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn bring their best to Tamara Jenkins’ Netflix dramedy, Private Life. Telling the story of two 40-something artists struggling with fertility, they enlist the help of their gung-ho step-niece in the hopes that her donation egg will start their family. (BKP: 4.5/5)

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‘Trouble’ lacks cohesion but has lots of heart

Written and directed by Theresa Rebeck, Trouble is a heartfelt comedy about a brother and sister in a heated feud over property rights. (JRL: 3/5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Julia Lasker Maggie (Anjelica Huston) lives on a large plot of land in Vermont, spending her days gardening and taking in the view from her front porch. […]

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San Francisco journalist takes on alien: ‘Venom’

Kelly Marcel co-writes superhero flick Venom with Jeff Pinkner and Scott Rosenberg. Directed by Ruben Fleischer, the film hails actors Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, and Riz Ahmed. A troubled journalist’s life becomes entangled with a parasite-like alien, “Venom”. The two must act as one, as they take on a dangerous organization threatening the lives of […]

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‘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 […]

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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)

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‘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 […]

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‘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 […]

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‘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 […]

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‘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. […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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‘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 […]

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‘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)

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