Julia Lasker 33 posts

Currently Browsing: Julia Lasker

‘Midnight Traveler’ Goes the Distance

Written by Emelie Mahdavian and directed and recorded by the film’s subjects themselves, Midnight Traveler is a beautiful documentary about a family who must leave their home in Afghanistan to flee the Taliban. They film the whole journey on their smartphones, creating an incredibly intimate and honest portrayal of life for refugees. (JRL: 4.5/5)  Review […]

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19September13: 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 theaters this week: Another Day of Life Cracked Up  Hustlers  Monos Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements Of these five, so far I’ve seen [#]. [#] — [insert films] — are docs. [#] — [insert […]

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Not livin’ for ‘The Weekend’

Written and directed by Stella Meghie, The Weekend is a rom-com about a young woman who begrudgingly goes on a weekend getaway with her ex and his new girlfriend. The film is funny and features a strong leading lady, but doesn’t have much merit beyond that (JRL: 2/5) Review by FF2 Intern Julia Lasker At […]

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‘Satanic Panic’ is fun, freaky and (surprisingly) feminist

Chelsea Stardust’s directorial debut, Satanic Panic is a wild, gory, over-the-top horror film. Though it’s qualities aren’t meaningful character arcs or perfect plot progression, it will be fun for those who like gore (JRL: 3/5)  Review by FF2 Media Intern Julia Lasker Sam (Hayley Griffith) has a new job as a pizza delivery girl. On […]

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JAWLINE (2019): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: The film follows 16-year-old Austyn Tester, a rising star in the live-broadcast ecosystem who built his following on wide-eyed optimism and teen girl lust, as he tries to escape a dead-end life in rural Tennessee. Jawline opens 8/23. FF2 review coming soon!

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EUPHORIA (2017): Review by FF2 Media

Euphoria, written and directed by Lisa Langseth, is about two sisters escaping to a mysterious and seemingly idyllic retreat—which turns out to be a place for people to spend the last days of their lives because one of the sisters, Emilie, is soon to lose her battle with cancer. The concept and cinematography of the […]

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‘Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes’ certainly goes above and beyond

Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, directed by Sophie Huber, showcases the history of Blue Note Records, home of many groundbreaking jazz musicians like Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Thelonious Monk. Filled with clips and photos of the artists at work and underscored by their electrifying music, this film is a worthy tribute to the iconic […]

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‘Always Be My Maybe’ is barely deeper than its title

Directed by Nahnatchka Khan and written by Michael Golamco and co-stars Randall Park and Ali Wong, Always Be My Maybe is a classic romantic comedy minus some of the problematic bits that have been historically featured in this genre. It has all of the satisfying elements of a rom-com, but doesn’t go deeper than that. […]

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‘A Dog’s Journey’ is sweet but overly heartbreaking

Directed by Gail Mancuso, A Dog’s Journey is the sequel to A Dog’s Purpose, a hit feature in 2017. Part 2 continues the story of Bailey, a dog who reincarnates as many different breeds to save a girl’s lost soul. While the film has a heartwarming conclusion, it gets there through a series of tragic […]

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‘The Silence of Others’ brings justice to victims of the Spanish Civil War

Directed by Emmy-winning filmmakers Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar, ‘The Silence of Others’ is an exposé of the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War and Franco’s dictatorship following it. The film follows a lawsuit against the Amnesty Act in 1977, which essentially enforced a national “forgetting” of the crimes against humanity committed under Franco’s rule. […]

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JT LeRoy (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A young woman named Savannah Knoop spends six years pretending to be the celebrated author JT LeRoy, the made-up literary persona of her sister-in-law. JT LeRoy opens 4/26. FF2 review coming soon!

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‘Family’ is hilarious and heartwarming

Written and directed by Laura Steinel, ‘Family’ is a charming comedy about a workaholic who learns to love when she has to take care of her quirky niece. The film is quick-witted, heartwarming and definitely worth watching. (JRL: 4.5/5)

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‘Mia and the White Lion’ Fights Animal Poaching Alongside its Protagonists

Written by Prune de Maistre and William Davies, Mia and the White Lion is the story of a girl who forms a lifelong bond with a beautiful white lion and then must fight to save him from the evils of animal poaching. Mia and the White Lion is not only an engaging narrative about a […]

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Alcohol abuse takes its toll in compelling drama ‘I’m Not Here’

Written and directed by Michelle Schumacher, I’m Not Here is a film about an old man reflecting on his past, working through trauma and learning to find peace with his life’s biggest regret through vivid flashbacks of an earlier time. Though it has issues with the substance of its narrative, I’m Not Here demonstrates real talent […]

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Thoughtful satire ‘Isn’t It Romantic’ is a guaranteed laugh

Written by Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox and Katie Silberman, Isn’t It Romantic is a satire about an Australian architect who is knocked out and wakes up in her own romantic comedy. Though its purpose in satirizing the genre of rom-coms is somewhat unclear, the satirical recreation of wildly unrealistic rom-com tropes is pretty much guaranteed […]

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‘Untogether’ is a fresh take on romance from first-time director Emma Forrest

Created by first-time writer and director Emma Forrest, ‘Untogether’ is about two sisters navigating their uncertain identities, troubled pasts, and imperfect relationships with men who are grappling with the same things. Though it lacks substance and cohesion at points, ‘Untogether’ is certainly a fresh take on romance. (JRL: 3/5) ‘Untogether’ opens with a one-night stand […]

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‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa’ turns the boy-meets-girl trope on its head

Directed by Shelly Chopra Dhar, ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa’ is a groundbreaking Bollywood film about a failing writer who meets a beautiful girl with a big secret. ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa’ is colorful and entertaining, while at the same time never forgetting the seriousness of the issues it deals with. (JRL: […]

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‘Mary Queen of Scots’ is a fiery drama about love, war and feminine power

Directed by Josie Rourke, Mary Queen of Scots is a historical drama about Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, and Elizabeth I, Queen of England, and their fiery rivalry for the throne. Though the plot unfolds a bit too quickly and important details seem rushed, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie positively shine as the queens, and […]

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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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‘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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‘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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In ‘The Long Shadow’, Frances Causey Attempts to Right the Wrongs of her Slave-Owning Ancestors

Written and directed by Frances Causey, The Long Shadow traces the repercussions of America’s “original sin”: slavery. In the film, Causey explores the lesser-known stories and details of the country’s racial history, demonstrating how slavery has cast a “long shadow” over the whole matter. The Long Shadow provides valuable information and a fairly comprehensive review […]

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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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‘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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‘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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‘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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‘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)

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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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‘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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Dystopian ‘Hover’ taps into our fears about artificial intelligence

Written by and starring Cleopatra Coleman, Hover is a dystopian film set in the near future. Despite flaws in the plot and technical execution, Hover taps into the fears that are ruminating in the back of our minds as technology advances more and more. (JRL: 2.5/5)

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