Currently Browsing: Reviews: B-D

Shevaun Mizrahi’s debut film ‘Distant Constellation’ is a simple kind of sorrow

Shevaun Mizrahi’s debut film Distant Constellation is a nonlinear documentary that paints portraits of seniors living in a retirement facility as they go about their daily lives, while the neighborhood around them is being torn apart and redeveloped. (BV: 3.5/5)

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‘Border’, a mystical Scandinavian modern fantasy

Based on a short story in a collection of Swedish horror by John Ajvide Lindqvist with the screenplay written by Lindqvist, Isabella Eklöf and director Ali Abbasi, Border (or Gräns in the original Swedish) follows the tale of an unattractive, reclusive woman investigating a crime, in the process discovering who she really is and undergoing […]

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DOVLATOV (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Yulia Tupikina writes a story about one of the Soviet Union’s most popular writers in Dovlatov. The film is in Russian and spent impressive amounts of time and money on production design, so Dovlatov is probably about as close as you can get to how it looked and felt to live in the USSR. However, […]

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‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ a buzzy showcase for McCarthy

In a dramatic turn for Melissa McCarthy (not the first, but lauded as so), Can You Ever Forgive Me? tells the story of fledgling author Lee Israel and the illegal lengths she went to for extra cash and a sense of purpose. The Marielle Heller-directed drama based on Israel’s memoir of the same name is a no-makeup-Oscar-buzz-generator showcase for McCarthy, but its anti-hero protagonist isn’t much of a protagonist at all. (BKP: 3.5/5)

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New mysterious neighbor brings back memories of old secrets

Change in the Air is a quaint neighborhood drama directed by Dianne Dreyer and written by Audra Gorman. Rachel Brosnahan stars as a secretive lady who moves in to a community of retired elderlies. After an accident occurs, rumours spread about this new neighbor and the mysteries begin to unravel. (KIZJ: 3/5)

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CHARM CITY (2018): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: During three years of unparalleled violence in Baltimore, Charm City delivers an unexpectedly candid, observational portrait of those left on the front lines. Opens 10/19 in NYC. FF2 review coming soon!

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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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‘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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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 […]

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‘The Bookshop’ is aesthetically beautiful but unfortunately boring

In a small East Anglian town in 1959, Florence Green (Emily Mortimer) is determined to open a bookshop despite resistance from elite members of the town. Florence befriends the outcasts of the town in order to find solace amongst the opposition. Based on Penelope Fitzgerald’s renowned novel and directed by Isabel Coixet (known for features […]

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Alison McAlpine’s ‘Cielo’ reminds us to look up

From director Alison McAlpine, Cielo is a breathtaking documentary tribute to a simple beauty we take for granted – the night sky. (BKP: 4/5)

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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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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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‘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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‘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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Political doc ‘Dark Money’ a thrilling, sobering look at corruption

Director Kimberly Reed’s political thriller documentary pulls back the curtain on corrupt American politics, examining the illegal coordination between big-money corporations and elected government officials. By following investigative journalist John Adams through the state of Montana, Dark Money exposes the real-life consequences of political fraud and its threat to democracy. (4.5/5)

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‘The Devil’s Doorway’ leads priests to question sins and secrets

Aislinn Clarke directs and co-writes a chilling horror movie set inside a haunted house in Ireland. “The Devil’s Doorway” is presented through the eyes of two priests, sent by the Vatican, who conduct an investigation into a miraculous occurrence at the dwelling. But the excitement and skepticism of the pair soon turns into fear, as their search for the truth uncovers layer upon layer of unexplainable events. Getting more than what they bargained for, their assigned investigation reveals the dark and ugly secrets at this home for “fallen women”. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind’ gets personal

Through an expansive collection of archived videos, photos, and audio from the infamous comedian’s life, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (directed by Marina Zenovich) gives an intimate look into Williams’ life and legacy. Be prepared to laugh, cry, and binge all your favorite Robin Williams films after watching this. (4.5/5) If you are a […]

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‘Bleeding Steel’ is weighed down by bad jokes

Sometimes a movie is “so-bad-that-it’s-good,” but Bleeding Steel, weighed down by bad jokes and cheesy special effects, never reaches that threshold. (HM: 2/5) Review by FF2 Intern Hannah Mayo I hated Bleeding Steel just as much as I enjoyed it. A spoof of old sci-fi and action movies, writers Erica Xia-Hou and Siwei Cui and director […]

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Constructing Albert succeeds in aesthetic, fails with interiority

Constructing Albert (directed by Laura Collado and Jim Loomis) examines the current hardships and successes of Chef Albert Adrià and his multi-restaurant ownership, and features some of the most visually exquisite cuisine to hit the big screen. (DLH: 2.5/5) Review by FF2 Intern Dayna Hagewood While it is certainly a pleasure to see Adrià’s impressive food […]

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‘Dark River’ a modern take on the classic Greek tragedy

Directed by Clio Barnard and written by Clio Barnard, Lila Rawlings, and Rose Tremain, Dark River follows a young woman who returns to her home village in North Yorkshire after her estranged father’s death in order to claim the family farm. Low-key and minimalist in its production, Dark River is a beautifully tragic family drama […]

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‘Boundaries’ is an engaging but underwhelming father-daughter film

Despite some clever dialogue and interesting characters, Shana Feste’s Boundaries falls short of delivering anything more than your classic indie road trip movie. (EML: 3.5/5)

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BOOK CLUB (2018): Review by Katusha Jin

Erin Simms partners with Bill Holderman to co-write “Book Club”, a light-hearted film about the lives and loves of four lifelong friends. The film boasts an impressive cast, starring: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgen. Book Club is a comedic take on how the “Fifty Shades of Grey” book series pushes these Californian friends to not “stop living before [they] stop living”. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘Boom for Real’ transports you into the world of Basquiat

In Boom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat, director Sara Driver captures the raw creativity of the world renowned artist Jean-Michel Basquiat before his height of commercial success. Through interviews and period film footage, music, and pictures from the time, Driver paints a portrait of Basquiat pre-fame and before anyone was driven […]

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THE DESERT BRIDE (2017): Review by Brigid K. Presecky

Cecilia Atan and Valeria Pivato’s The Desert Bride (aka La Novia del Desierto) stars Paulina Garcia as an aging woman who journeys through Argentina and, through happenstance, finds meaning along the way. Although the film is only 78 minutes in length, the storytelling, cinematography and performances make a striking impact. (BKP: 4.5/5)

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DISOBEDIENCE (2017): Review by FF2 Media

From IMDb: A woman returns to her Orthodox Jewish community that shunned her for her attraction to a female childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality.

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DUCK BUTTER (2018): Review by Katusha Jin

Duck Butter is a romantic dramedy about two young women fed up of being inhibited by the dishonesty and misogyny of relationships around them. Starting the night as strangers, the two women plunge each other into the fast-forwarded deep end of a relationship by committing the entirety of twenty-four hours to exploring one another. But can expedited physical intimacy replace the emotional connections that are built over time and shared experiences? (KIZJ: 4/5)

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BLOCKERS (2018): Review by Elly Levenson

With non-stop laugh-out-loud humor and a truly authentic core, Blockers, written by Brian & Jim Kehoe and directed by the Pitch Perfect trilogy’s Kay Cannon, stands out as one of the funniest comedy blockbusters of the past few years.  (EML: 4/5)

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