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THIS IS EVERYTHING: GIGI GORGEOUS

Renowned documentarian Barbara Kopple teams up with Youtube star Gigi Gorgeous to bring Gigi’s gender transition to the screen. From her Youtube channel’s beginnings in makeup tutorial videos, we follow her through surgery and down runways as she seeks to find, and be, herself. (GPG: 3.5/5) Review by FF2 Contributor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto (with Two Cents […]

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TONI ERDMANN

As the glass ceiling remains stubbornly intact, personal boundaries shatter in this beautifully witty and deeply thoughtful film. Written and directed by Maren Ade, Toni Erdmann is a delightfully uncomfortable interpretation of the complications of an atypical father-daughter relationship. As one gag-comedy-loving father tries to connect with his corporate business-only daughter, pandemonium ensues as their […]

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THINGS TO COME

The daughter of her mother and the mother of her daughter, Nathalie examines herself anew at the cusp of middle age. What has she settled for? What would she change if she could? What does she want to do with the rest of her life? Profound meditation on the seasons of a woman’s life written and […]

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TICKLING GIANTS

Congratulations to the team behind NYC’s first Arab Cinema Week! The schedule featured FIVE films directed by women filmmakers & FF2 is proud to announce that we saw every single one!

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THEY WILL HAVE TO KILL US FIRST

When Islamic jihadists took control of Northern Mali in 2012, Malian musicians from Gao and Timbuktu were forced into exile. In They Will Have to Kill Us First, director Johanna Schwartz tells some of their stories, with reminiscences of life before they lost their freedom, details of their experiences during the rebellion, and celebrations of […]

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TRAPPED

Directed by Dawn Porter, Trapped is a powerful documentary that investigates the state legislature’s war on abortion clinics in Mississippi, Texas, Alabama and other US states. The film exposes the nature of the legislative war on these clinics and allows the audience to glimpse into what the individuals running the clinics go through. RAK: (4/5) […]

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THE TELLER AND THE TRUTH

The Teller and the Truth is a unique docudrama inspired by the real-life disappearance of Francis Wetherbee in Smithville, Texas. Combining narrative storytelling with the talking heads documentary style, the film explores many options as to the unknown fate of Wetherbee. What really happened to Francis? No one knows for sure, but screenwriters Patty Moynahan, […]

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TUMBLEDOWN

Written by Desiree Van Til and Sean Mewshaw, Tumbledown is a tale of letting go and finding love in the most unexpected of places. “Hannah”—wonderfully played by Rebecca Hall—is unable to move on from the loss of her late husband. But when a New York City writer comes into town, unbeknownst to them both, it is […]

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THE TAINTED VEIL

The Tainted Veil offers an in depth study into the history of the veil across cultures. But places much of its focus on the current debate surrounding the hijab in Muslim culture. Directors Nahla Al Fahad, Mazen al Khayrat and Ovidio Salazar deliver a thought-provoking film filled with interviews from people of many backgrounds, opinions, […]

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THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING

This Changes Everything is a well-intentioned documentary written by Naomi Klein that boasts an important message about the realities of climate change. Unfortunately, the film’s emotional execution is sadly lacking. (JEP: 3.5/5) Review by Contributing Editor Jessica E. Perry This Changes Everything was directed by Avi Lewis and written by Naomi Klein. The documentary is […]

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TALVAR

Murder mysteries can be an enjoyable watch, especially in Bollywood. Inspired by a true story, Talvar takes the audience on intense, suspenseful ride as they examine the murder case of a teenage girl and her boyfriend. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Director Meghna Gulzar based her Hindi “whodunnit” off of the infamous […]

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TEN THOUSAND SAINTS

Filmmakers Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini throw a lot of love–and an excellent cast–at Eleanor Henderson’s novel Ten Thousand Saints, but success eludes them. Unfortunately, their adaptation is a bit of a “paint by numbers” exercise that never manages to fully engage. (JLH: 3/5) Review by Managing Editor Jan Lisa Huttner (with additional two cents […]

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TRAINWRECK (BKP)

Writer Amy Schumer kicks off her movie debut with a bang, telling the hilariously relatable story about falling in love, caring for family and struggling to better yourself. In classic Judd Apatow form, the film is about 30 minutes too long; but what it lacks in structure, it makes up for in heart and humor. […]

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TRAINWRECK (JLH)

Comedienne Amy Schumer is feisty and adorable in her first staring role, but the film–which she wrote–was directed by Judd Apatow. And Apatow, as the reigning master of mainstream comedy, succeeds in softening all of Schumer’s edges. There are some laugh-out-loud moments, especially in the first half, but the long, slow slide into a predicable finale weighs the whole film […]

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TERMINATOR GENISYS

Ever wish you could go back in time and punch your past self in the face? Arnold Schwarzenegger gets to do just that in Terminator Genisys, a surprisingly entertaining continuation of the James Cameron classics. In a sea of reboots and sequels, screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier manage to capture the essence of the […]

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TESTAMENT OF YOUTH

Testament of Youth, based on a memoir of the same name, follows a strong young woman bound for Oxford, who abandons her studies to become a nurse in the First World War. The story is one of love and loss, and Alicia Vikander is absolutely stunning as “Vera Brittain.” Directed by James Kent. Screenplay by Juliette Towhidi. […]

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TREADING WATER

Review of Treading Water by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky “We all have our little quirks,” declares therapist “Catherine,” (Carrie-Anne Moss) “some are physical, some are psychological. And it is those quirks that make us unique.” Sweet comedy/drama Treading Water tells a classic love story with a modern day twist. Devoid of feuding families or […]

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TAKE CARE

Review of Take Care by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky Writer Liz Tuccillo’s new comedy starring Leslie Bibb and Thomas Sadoski tells a story about letting go or holding on to past loves. What had the potential to be a home-run romantic comedy ultimately ended up feeling lackluster and uninspired. A love/hate dependency theme is ever-present in […]

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THIS AIN’T NO MOUSE MUSIC

Fabulous doc about Chris Strachwitz–the founder of Arhoolie Records–and his passionate love for American Roots Music. Combines classic performance footage with great interviews plus snippets of youngsters bringing these old traditions to new generations. FYI, co-director Chris Simon is the widow of Les Blank (to whom film is dedicated) & this helps account for the […]

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TO BE TAKEI

To tell you the truth, I was never a fan of the original Star Trek series. I understood that Gene Roddenberry had done something fabulous with the melding of races and over time, I understood why some people thought it was wonderful. I never developed any warm feeling towards any of them (although it would […]

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TAMMY

Oh, my. Regular readers know I wasn’t a big fan of Bridesmaids, but I liked The Heat a whole lot. So in spite of the previews (which I saw again and again for weeks on end), I was hoping for the best. Alas Tammy is an embarrassing mess. It honestly breaks my heart to say […]

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TANZANIA: A JOURNEY WITHIN

What begins as a light, tourist trip to Beautiful East Africa (Dar es Salaam! Mount Kilimanjaro!) turns more serious when a sunny American named Kristen Kenney follows her African friend Venance Ndibalema home & discovers the realities of poverty & disease in his ancestral village. Director Sylvia Caminer jumps right in, so what we learn about Kristen […]

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THE RAPE OF EUROPA

Opens tomorrow in NYC. Review coming soon.

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TALES OF US

Opens tomorrow in NYC. Review coming soon.

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TWO LIVES

Opens today in NYC. Review coming soon.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT EMANUEL

Delicate psychological drama about loss & longing written & directed by Francesca Gregorini (based on a story she wrote with Sarah Thorp). One woman is unable to have children. One woman is the mother of an infant who died. One woman is the daughter of a woman who died giving birth to her. Can they find the […]

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TRICKED

Critically important topic of teenage prostitution in the USA is handled with maximum commitment but minimal skill. Co-directors John Keith Wasson & Jane Wells have a lot of great footage showing that vulnerable teens–mostly but not all girls–are lured into relationships with charismatic hustlers, then turned out on the street. But without focus, Wasson & […]

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TOUCHY FEELY

Allison Janney plays a “Reiki Master” who helps a sister (Rosemarie DeWitt) & brother (Josh Pais) appreciate the healing gift of touch. Despite excellent performances all around, this observant family dramedy written & directed by Lynn Shelton is somehow a bit too gentle & “spaced-out” to work as well as it should. The pain we […]

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THE TO DO LIST

7/30/13 Update: Listen to great interview with writer/director Maggie Carey on NPR! Kudos to writer/director Maggie Carey for creating a terrific first feature about a very brainy high school valedictorian (Aubrey Plaza) who wants to lose her virginity before heading off to college. With great respect for 3 interlocking circles (home, work & time with BFFs), there […]

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THREE WORLDS

Two worlds collide & a drunk-driving incident becomes the occasion for a trenchant analysis of contemporary French culture. Excellent acting by the three principals, but alas the third world (ironically here the upper middle class world of the witness who becomes a reluctant intermediary) is more assumed than depicted. Otherwise? Perfect! (JLH: 4.5/5) Click HERE […]

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