Currently Browsing: Reviews: X-Z
Ximei (2019), directed and written by Andy Cohen with Gayle Ross, is a documentary about Ximei Liu, a human rights activist focused on equal rights for AIDS patients. Ximei contracted the disease due to China’s “black blood economy”, and fights against state-inflicted discrimination of a disease the government gave to her in the first place. […]
Written by and starring Madelyn Deutch, The Year of Spectacular Men is a heartfelt comedy for anyone who feels stuck at the beginning. Having just surpassed the one-year mark since my own college graduation, watching it felt like a lifeline of sorts – that someone not only understands this fledgling feeling, but can see the […]
Directed by Jyoti Singh and Vick Krishna (based on the screenplay by Gauri Singh and Poonam Basu), Yadvi – The Dignified Princess is a beautiful, minimalistic independent Indian film that tells the story of a woman whose courageous attitude kept her alive through the catastrophes that struck her on both a personal and political level. (FEA […]
In Lucrecia Martel’s film, Zama, based on the novel by Antonio Di Benedetto written in 1956, a Spanish officer of the 18th Century is stuck in Asunción (now Paraguay). Through a non-linear plot structure, Martel tells the story of Don Diego de Zama as he awaits his transfer to Buenos Aires and the obstacles he […]
Adapted for the screen and directed by Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here is an exploration of the mind of a man who kills sex traffickers for a living. But without a meaningful narrative, the film becomes monotonous mess even with bullets flying across the screen. (KAC: 2/5) Review by FF2 Intern Katharine Cutler […]
Written by Geling Yan, Youth follows the complicated, deeply intertwined stories of an arte troupe in Maoist China’s People’s Liberation Army. The film begins with a young woman’s acceptance into the troupe, which takes the viewer on her journey, and immerses them into quotidian life in the Chinese military. (FEA: 5/5).
The Zookeeper’s Wife, adapted from Diane Ackerman’s novel of the same name, is directed by Niki Caro and written for the screen by Angela Workman. The film tells of the Zabinski family, the keepers of the Warsaw Zoo, and how they saved hundreds of Jews during the German invasion of Poland by hiding them on […]
The Young Messiah, based off of Anne Rice’s novel “Christ The Lord: Out Of Egypt,” has already stirred controversy from many Christian and Catholic moviegoers. Why would someone fictionalize the story of a young Jesus when there are only select few Bible stories written about Him? Despite all the hullabaloo, the Messiah film only suffers […]
Disney Animation has done it again, breaking records with their new release Zootopia. The film tells the story of one young rabbit, “Judy Hopps” (Ginnifer Goodwin) who is determined to prove herself as the first bunny on the ZPD police force. And when someone begins to target and kidnap predators, Judy just may have her […]
Three kids who share the same 5th grade classroom have portentous coming-of-age adventures vaguely connected to the growing presence of mountain lions on the outskirts of their upscale suburban community. OK, I get it: Boys will be boys… And filmmaker Gabrielle Demeestere–who both wrote and directed a screenplay based on stories by James Franco–doesn’t need permission from […]
Zipper is a tense, riveting film about “male privilege.” Patrick Wilson plays a prosecutor who has risen to the top of his local queue and is now under consideration for high political office. But when a new witness in an ongoing investigation offers him a peek into the world of high-priced “escorts,” his well-ordered world […]
Director Laura Nix, with director-stars Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno, document the comedic, tiresome journey of their fight for climate change. Known for their pranks and impersonations, Bichlbaum and Bonanno take an enjoyably different and rebellious approach to protesting. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Associate Editor Brigid K. Presecky The film opens with a protest against […]
Two young women are assigned to the HR Dept at a remote military outpost. Yes, they are soldiers in the mighty Israeli army, but they spend most of their time pushing paper and playing computer games. Hilarious consequences ensue… By the time Zohar (Dana Ivgy) & Daffi (Nelly Tagar)—armed with staple guns—had their final shoot-out, I was laughing […]
3-Hankie Weepie earns them by dealing honestly with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Excellent performances by Hilary Swank as the “perfect” woman stricken by a catastrophic diagnosis and Emmy Rossum as the rebellious college student who becomes her caregiver (and then grows to become more). Could have been awful, so kudos to director George C. Wolfe plus […]
Although the filmmakers do a great job of keeping the tone light and the lead actress (Carla Juri) is extremely charismatic, the surface of this startling German coming-of-age film is gross and the core is filled with incredible pain. Bottom Line: Difficult to actually watch but rewards those who do. (JLH: 4/5) Click HERE for […]
“Scott” (Sam Eidson) is as uncharismatic as can be. Lacking the ability to change, he decides to live in defiance rather than denial, terrorizing the other hapless Geeks who assemble at his grandmother’s house to play a weekly fantasy game. Like looking under a rock or watching Ernest Borgnine–who won an Oscar as MARTY (1955)–but […]
Three years ago, Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman to receive a “Best Director” Oscar. Now she stands poised to do it again with her new film Zero Dark Thirty. But even if she doesn’t win, Bigelow will almost certainly achieve the one “Personal Best” that has so far eluded her grasp, Zero Dark Thirty […]
Who I Am Now is a 54 minute documentary directed by Sivan Arbel. The film follows beloved singer Chava Alberstein as she prepares for her first Israeli concert after years of international touring and headlining events all around the world. Often thought of as the voice of Israel itself, Alberstein has been performing and writing […]
Beautiful people travel on a special road through life, but in their fascinating new film Young Adult, director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody show us what happens when doors start closing on someone who has always glided through them. When the film opens, beautiful Mavis Gary (Charlize Theron), now in her late 30s, is […]
Tillie Edelstein was the creator of “Molly Goldberg,” one of the most beloved matriarchs in the history of American popular culture. Reinventing herself as “Gertrude Berg,” Tillie won an Emmy and a Tony, sold a cookbook and an autobiography, and ended her professional life as one of television’s best-paid variety show guests. Award-winning director Aviva […]
She (Allen) is wealthy, successful, & married. He (Abkarian) is a refugee with limited economic or social resources. Magnetic energy pulls them together until mundane realities force them apart. Can they find their way back from “No” to “Yes”? Poetic and beautifully filmed, with a wonderful soundtrack & mesmerizing acting. More on YES.
Love her or hate her, it’s time to acknowledge Barbra Streisand’s YENTL as a triumph of personal film-making. Why doesn’t Mandy Patinkin sing? Because all the songs are soliloquies – a passionate inner voice yearning for self-expression. Message to Barbra: The Academy gave even less to Hitchcock’s VERTIGO, but history speaks. More on YENTL.