Currently Browsing: 2018

‘Hot to Trot’ a beautiful depiction of the alternative world of queer ballroom dancing

Directed by Gail Freedman, Hot to Trot is a beautifully-made documentary that depicts the alternative world of queer ballroom dancing through the lens of three dance couples. (FEA 4.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Farah Elattar Hot to Trot is a feature length documentary that follows two couples for around four years as they go to […]

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‘The Oslo Diaries’ reveal disturbing secrets

Director Mor Loushy’s new documentary The Oslo Diaries explicitly describes the horrific happenings of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Using real footage as described in excerpts of true diary entries, The Oslo Diaries brings to attention the severity of the never-ending conflict between two nations. (SYJ: 3.5/5)

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‘Breaking & Exiting’ fails to surpass romantic comedy tropes

Breaking & Exiting (directed by Peter Facinelli and written by leading lady Jordan Hinson) is a saturated romantic comedy about a relationship that blossoms after a suave house thief interrupts a suicide attempt. (DLH: 2.5/5)

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Asian cast dazzles the screen in lovable rom-com ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

Crazy Rich Asians is a romantic comedy based on the 2013 novel by Kevin Kwan. Adele Lim and Peter Chiarelli co-write the screenplay, and collaborate with director Jon M. Chu for this long-awaited screen adaptation. Constance Wu stars as Rachel, a young professor of economics, who follows her boyfriend, “Nick Young” (Henry Golding), to Singapore for his best friend’s wedding. Nick is eager to introduce his girlfriend to his family, but throws Rachel into the deep end when he fails to mention his family’s wealth and reputation. (KIZJ: 5/5)

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‘Juliet, Naked’ carries through on a winning premise

Thanks to the filmmakers’ handle on the romantic comedy genre, Juliet, Naked is highly watchable, a fun take on a winning premise. (AEL: 3.5/5)

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‘Mile 22’ is just another American spy movie

An elite CIA task force is entrusted with the delivery of a high-priority asset to an extraction point 22 miles from home base while being chased by terrorists. Writers Lea Carpenter and Graham Roland and director Peter Berg add another unoriginal, action-packed spy movie into the collection. (RMM: 2/5) Review by FF2 Associate Roza M. […]

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‘The Ranger’ scares us with a bang

With two nominations, Director Jenn Wexler creates an atmosphere that keeps the audience on edge from start to end in The Ranger. Playing against the rules and hiding from the cops, teenagers find themselves in a secluded cabin in the mountains. Things only get worse when they enter the woods. (SYJ: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern […]

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‘The Wife’ is an intricate study of marriage

Björn Runge’s The Wife is a superb study character study, saturated in excellent performances and beautiful filmmaking. Feminist at the core, it evolves to a complex and deeply satisfying commentary on marriage, family, art and career. (HRM: 5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Hannah Mayo “Joan” (Glenn Close) and “Joe” (Jonathan Price) Castleman have been married […]

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‘A Whale of a Tale’ Explores the Controversial Whaling Industry of Taiji, Japan

Directed by Megumi Sasaki, ‘A Whale of a Tale’ follows an American journalist as he explores the traditions and culture of the whaling industry in Taiji, Japan, a town that has become a site for protest and debate due to its whaling,which American activists have deemed inhumane. (JRL: 4/5) ‘A Whale of a Tale’ Explores […]

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18Aug10: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Four films either written &/or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theatres this week: Dog Days Madeline’s Madeline Skate Kitchen The Swan All of these films are narrative features (no docs) and of these four, so far I seen three: Madeline’s Madeline, Skate Kitchen & The Swan. […]

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Dog Days isn’t much to bark about

Dog Days falls prey to its own multi-protagonist structure with poor character development, hanging storylines, and flimsy inter-story connectivity. But hey, at least there are some cute dogs! 

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MADELINE’S MADELINE (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Madeline’s Madeline is Josephine Decker’s electric new coming of age film that contemplates the ethics of exploitation in performative work. From the first shot the viewer is informed that everything is a metaphor inside the teenage star’s mind, allowing the viewer to take a revelatory journey into the blurred reality of the film. (HRM: 4/5) […]

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‘Skate Kitchen’ fails to do female skateboarders justice

Skate Kitchen (written and directed by Crystal Moselle) follows a close-knit New York City female skateboarding clique and follows them through their lives of tricks, drama, and freedom, using mostly non-actors. While Skate Kitchen‘s premise and back-story are indeed valid and promising, the portrait ultimately falls short of successfully capturing these powerful women’s stories. (DLH: 2.5/5) Read FF2 […]

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‘The Swan’ reveals life as it is

Ása Helga Hjörleifsdótirr writes and directs her debut featureThe Swan. Based on a novel by Guðbergur Bergsson, the movie has won 3 awards and has been nominated for 8. The serene, yet haunting, coming-of-age film shows how a child comes to the realization that life is not as simple as it seems. (SYJ: 4/5)

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18Aug03: 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: Christopher Robin The Darkest Minds Never Goin’ Back Nico, 1988 Night Comes On Milla The Miseducation of Cameron Post The Spy Who Dumped Me All eight of these films are narrative features […]

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‘Christopher Robin’ delightfully revives the world of Winnie the Pooh

Filled with all of the same love, kindness and charm of the books that inspired it, Christopher Robin is an absolute delight. (JRL: 5/5)

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A children’s world in ‘The Darkest Minds’

The Darkest Minds is light-hearted and intended for younger audiences, and it is enjoyable, but it misses potentially deeper tonalities. (FEA: 3.5/5)

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‘Never Goin’ Back’ hilariously and astutely captures female friendship

Never Goin’ Back (written and directed by Augustine Frizzell) is an intense journey through diner work, accidental drugs, multiple robberies, and the remarkable friendship between two young girls struggling to make it to the beach for a weekend off. (DLH: 4/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood While the underlying circumstances of Never Goin’ Back are surely […]

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An unusually natural biopic, Nico, 1988 explores how the past defines us

Nico, 1988 follows the eponymous artist’s last year of life as she tours through Europe, and reveals the characters and events that framed her final days. Director Susanna Nicchiarelli strays away from factual information about Nico’s life, and instead explores the relationships and emotions that remained with her till the end. Whether or not you […]

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‘Night Comes On’ provides a distinctly female perspective on sisterhood and revenge

There’s a quiet confidence and a profoundly female perspective to Jordana Spiro’s Night Comes On that sucks the audience into the raw, emotional exploration of a broken family, revenge, and sisterhood. (EML: 4/5)

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‘Milla’ is a visually striking, languidly paced portrait of life, loss, and endurance

A young, reckless couple makes a home out of an abandoned house by the sea as they await their first child. Valérie Massadian’s Milla languidly follows its characters through their everyday tasks, offering an unassuming yet honest portrait of life and loss. (RMM: 4/5) Review by FF2 Associate Roza M. Melkumyan Inside the backseat of […]

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‘The Miseducation of Cameron Post’ is a lesson in acceptance

Desiree Akhavan’s direction of a Sundance Film Festival winner, “The Miseducation of Cameron Post”, shows confused teenagers, forbidden romances, and praising the Lord. The movie showcases another ploy to try and ‘cure’ homosexuality. The film is based on Emily M. Danforth’s novel of the same name. Its story explores the misinformation given to teenagers that being gay is a sin. (SYJ: 3.5/5)

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‘The Spy Who Dumped Me’ cleverly mocks human behavior

Director Susanna Fogel’s buddy comedy The Spy Who Dumped Me is made for viewers who are in on the joke, understanding that ordinary human behavior can be funnier than any pratt fall or bodily malfunction. Tom Cruise’s latest Mission Impossible may be a better fit for serious fans of the spy-action genre, but for anyone in desperate search of a laugh, leave it to Kate McKinnon. (4/5)

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18July27: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Five films either written &/or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theatres this week: 93Queen The Bleeding Edge Good Manners Puzzle The Row Of these five, so far I seen three. Two — 93Queen and The Bleeding Edge — are docs. One — Puzzle — is a narrative feature. […]

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Women take care of women in ’93Queen’

93QUEEN is the empowering story of Rachel “Ruchie” Freier and the efforts of her team of powerful women to go against the deeply ingrained gender roles of the Hasidic Jewish community and create the first all-female volunteer ambulance corps in NYC. In what documentarian Paula Eiselt calls “a Hasidic variation of the Me Too movement,” […]

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‘The Bleeding Edge’ is unafraid, unforgiving, and absolutely unbelievable

In their eye-opening documentary, The Bleeding Edge, critically acclaimed writer/director Kirby Dick and co-writer Amy Ziering shed an important light on America’s corrupt medical industry and the loopholes the FDA will find in order to comply with industry interests. (MTP: 5/5)

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‘Good Manners’ is a monster mashup of genre

Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra’s Good Manners is a boldly metaphoric horror movie hybrid with monsters, musical numbers and a lesbian love affair. While the “normalcy” of the first act would have been story enough to captivate viewers, the spooky supernatural weighs heavily on the scale of bizarre. (3/5)

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A depiction of the delicacy of everyday life in ‘Puzzle’

Directed by Marc Turtletaub and co-written by Oren Moverman and Polly Mann, Puzzle Pis a captivating, delicate film about a housewife and mother who, taken for granted in her home, finds her passion and her calling in solving jigsaw puzzles that take her beyond her house and neighborhood. (FEA 4.5/5)

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‘The Row’—a sorority horror with a detective father and a serial killer

Sorority sisters, a serial killer, and a hidden past—Sarah Scougal writes a new addition to the traditional sorority horror genre. Directed by Matty Beckerman, “The Row” stars Lala Kent as a newly initiated sorority girl, and Randy Couture as the father-detective. With a killer loose on the college campus, members of a sorority club find themselves victims to a series of violent murders. (KIZJ: 2.5/5)

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18July20: The FF2 Week in Review by Jan Lisa Huttner

From Jan Lisa Huttner (Editor-in-Chief of FF2 Media) Six films either written &/or directed by women filmmakers opened in Manhattan theatres this week: Far From the Tree Generation Wealth Love & Bananas Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms Pin Cushion The Rise of Eve Of these six films, I have seen three to date: Generation Wealth, […]

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