Currently Browsing: FF2 Media

Banana Split (2018) – Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

The slickly aesthetic and surprisingly heartfelt Banana Split is a stellar follow-up to writer, director, and actress Hannah Marks’s first feature After Everything. It has a lot to say about love, friendship, and coming of age, and comes in a snarky but bubblegum-pop package. (GPG: 5/5). Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto The summer before […]

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The story of the ‘Lost Girls’ is unveiled in an investigative mystery drama

Liz Garbus directs mystery drama Lost Girls based on real life stories surrounding the Long Island Serial Killer case. The Netflix production is a dark story of loss and biased investigations of multiple unsolved disappearances and murders. Academy Award nominee Amy Ryan stars as a determined mother whose mind is set on finding her mysteriously missing daughter. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘The Roads Not Taken’ is a marriage of intellect and emotion

In The Roads Not Taken, a daughter tries to find her father amid his dementia, while her father tries to find his own reality amid the many possible paths his life could have taken. The film is an Odyssey narrative playing out over multiple timelines, and from the perspective of the women in this Odysseus’s […]

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Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blache (2018): Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

Move over, Hugo! Pamela B. Greene’s new documentary on Alice Guy-Blache will give another parent of cinema the spotlight, after cimematic history has been dominated by the Lumiere brothers and Georges Melies for too long. Watch this film to see not only Guy-Blache but also the many Hollywood luminaries Green interviews about her. (GPG: 5/5) […]

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Refreshingly honest ‘Hooking Up’ is an atypical road trip rom-com

Brittany Snow and Sam Richardson star in the refreshing and unique romantic comedy Hooking Up, on digital and on demand March 20.  Darla (Snow) is a sex-crazed columnist for a fading magazine who has one last chance to prove her worth to her boss. When she meets Bailey (Richardson), a testicular cancer patient who has […]

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THE BANKER (2020): Review by FF2 Media

Co-writer Niceole R. Levy brings an intersectional femininst perspective to an already progressive story. The Banker brings up uncomfortable realities of race, gender, and class, by telling the story of two men who acted as Robin Hoods for many black Americans during the Jim Crow era. (GPG: 4/5). Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto If […]

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EXTRA ORDINARY (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Extra Ordinary, written by a team of writers including Maeve Higgins, is a story of exorcism and satanism with a comedic twist. The film is a parody on the typical ghost buster movie. (SYJ: ⅘)   Review written by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Jin Extra Ordinary opens with a piece of old documentary footage from […]

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Kelly Reichardt’s lovely story of friendship in “First Cow”

This movie is about friendship, but also xenophobia, class warfare, and the necessity of cooperation for survival. And this complexity makes the movie feel expansive, and leaves me thinking about it days after seeing it. (AEL: 4.5/5)

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GO BACK TO CHINA (2019): Review by FF2 Media

When spoiled rich girl Sasha Li blows through most of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business. Go Back to China opens 3/6. FF2 review coming soon!

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“A Fine Line” explores the difficulties female chefs face in a male-dominated industry

In her first documentary and film, director Joanna James explores the struggles of top female chefs and restaurant owners to gain recognition in an industry ruled by men. At the same time, she tells the story of her own mother, chef and restaurant owner Valerie James, and her life of hard work and perseverance. (RMM: […]

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Our beloved ‘Emma.’–the witty, and self-indulging matchmaker–is back in town

Autumn de Wilde directs her debut feature film Emma., in collaboration with writer Eleanor Catton. Anna Taylor-Joy stars as the playful, witty young heroine in this adaptation of the well-known Jane Austen classic of the same name. Believing she has a talent for matchmaking, Emma takes on the responsibility of navigating the complex relationships of the town. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘The Last Thing He Wanted’ lost in adaptation from book to screen

Anne Hathaway stars in the complicated, cluttered Netflix Original The Last Thing He Wanted from writer/director Dee Rees. Despite its aesthetically artistic lens, this adaptation from Joan Didion’s 1996 novel of the same name doesn’t quite translate to the screen. (BKP: 3.5/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. Presecky With a talented […]

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PREMATURE (2019): Review by FF2 Media

Premature, written by Zora Howard and Rashaad Ernesto Green, is an incredible coming of age film. Seventeen-year-old “Ayanna” (Zora Howard) is a poet from Harlem with big plans to go to a fancy school in the fall. After unexpectedly falling in love with “Isiah” (Joshua Boone), Ayanna is forced to grow up fast as adulthood […]

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RIDE YOUR WAVE (2019): Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

A sad tale of delusion with a perky animated style, Ride Your Wave is a romantic tragedy about surfing. Only anime, and screenwriter Reiko Yoshida, could have created such a thing. The film is a well-structured cautionary tale about grief, with a surprising amount of depth for its short length. (GPG: 4/5) Review by Contributing […]

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“Vitalina Varela” forms an extraordinary picture of grief

Vitalina Varela tells the story of a woman who arrives in Lisbon after the death of her husband, and subsequently tries to disentangle the history of his life there without her. (AEL: 4/5)

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BUFFALOED (2019): Review by FF2 Media

In Buffaloed, directed by Tanya Wexler, “Peg Dahl” (Zoey Deutch) is the female Wolf of Wall Street. Except instead of taking from the rich via hedge funds, she is collecting debt from the poor. (CPG 2/5)  Peg has always been obsessed with money. Growing up extremely poor and, after losing her dad, watching her mom […]

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‘Fantasy Island’ Reimagines the 1970’s TV Series

 Fantasy Island is a horror twist on the hit 1970’s TV show. While this is a creative and intriguing concept, the film didn’t quite manage to streamline itself into a properly horrific piece of cinema, as its new genre had promised (JRL: 2 / 5) Review by FF2 Media Intern Julia Lasker As the film […]

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Olympic Dreams (2020): Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto

While the age difference is a bit of an eyebrow-raiser, this Nick Kroll fronted rom-com set at the 2018 Olympics gives us a meditative spin on the genre. Writer and actress Alexi Pappas gives us a painfully believable performance of a stressed-out millennial still figuring herself out. (GPG: 3/5). Review by Contributing Editor Giorgi Plys-Garzotto […]

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Neeson, Manville elevate gut-wrenching cancer story ‘Ordinary Love’

Liam Neeson and Lesley Manville star in this gut-wrenching story of resilience. When Joan is diagnosed with breast cancer, she relies on the support of her husband to get through the year-long journey of scans, surgeries and chemotherapy. While the straightforward drama is overly bleak at times, lacking a plot point or two to keep […]

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‘The Photograph’ brings back memories

In writer and director Stella Meghie’s new film, The Photograph, she tells two intertwining love stories from the past and present. When New York-based photographer “Christina Eames” (Chante Adams) passes, her daughter is led to the discovery of her mother’s past life in the small town of Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana. (SYJ: 3/5) Review […]

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YOU GO TO MY HEAD (2017): Review by FF2 Media

Following a mysterious car accident in the desert, Dafne suffers from post-traumatic amnesia. Jake, the first person she sees when she regains consciousness, tells her he’s her husband. You Go to My Head opens 2/14. FF2 review coming soon!

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‘Birds of Prey’ a rollercoaster ride of colorful action-packed adventure

Director Cathy Yan collaborates with writer Christina Hodson on action-packed adventure superhero feature “Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn)”. This is a psychotic catharsis on a rollercoaster of glitter and violent fun. Margot Robbie stars as the kooky Harley Quinn and is accompanied by a notable female cast including Rosie Perez, Jurnee Smollet-Bell, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and newcomer Cassandra Cain. (KIZJ: 4/5)

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‘The Lodge’ pays homage to horror film past

Pulling from horror/thriller classics, The Lodge tells the story of two children and their soon-to-be stepmother snowbound in a house with mysterious ongoings and looming spirits. Directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala make an aesthetically memorable film with an impressive cast, yet the thrills are few and far between. (3/5) Review by Vice President and […]

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‘The Assistant’ takes women seriously in a #MeToo world

In director and writer Kitty Green’s new film The Assistant, Julia Garner plays an overworked, under-appreciated assistant. Many people have recently come forward in the #metoo movement about their experiences in the film industry. The chance of a lifetime can often come with too high a price to pay. (SYJ: 4 / 5) Review written […]

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‘Gul Makai’ tells Malala’s story

Written by Bhaswati Chakrabarty, Gul Makai is a fictionalized depiction of the events leading up to the shooting of Malala Yousafzai. Gul Makai doesn’t quite manage to do the worthwhile film subject justice (JRL: 2/5). Review by FF2 Intern Julia Lasker From the onset, Gul Makai paints a disturbing portrait of Pakistan as it’s overtaken […]

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Lively and Law the only redeeming aspects of ‘The Rhythm Section’

The Rhythm Section, directed by Reed Morano, was sadly off beat. “Stephanie Patrick” (Blake Lively) loses her mother, father, brother, and sister all at once in a terrible plane crash. When a reporter, “Proctor” (Raza Jaffrey) tells her that the “crash” was actually a planned terrorist attack, Stephanie decides to get revenge by any means […]

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Lana Wilson’s Taylor Swift doc feels like home, somehow

Director Lana Wilson builds a mosaic-like documentary around Taylor Swift and her 15-year journey of navigating intense spotlight and scrutiny. Juxtaposing footage from her sold-out stadium concerts to intimate, close-up conversations about her eating disorder, Miss Americana allows people into the world of a poetic singer/songwriter who, at 29, found her true voice. (BKP: 5/5) […]

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THE TRAITOR (2019): Review by FF2 Media

The real life of Tommaso Buscetta the so called “boss of the two worlds,” first mafia informant in Sicily 1980s. The Traitor opens 1/31. FF2 review coming soon.

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INTRIGO – DEATH OF AN AUTHOR (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Intrigo: Death of an Author confuses the viewer both with its plot and with the mere fact of its having been made in the first place. Writer Birgitta Bongenhielm really has some explaining to do on this one, or maybe that should fall to Hakan Nesser, the author of the original novel. (GPG: 1/5) Review […]

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AFTERWARD (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Bringing up issues of inter-generational trauma, nationalism, and the psychology of empire, Afterward is director Ofra Bloch’s journey toward understanding of herself and others. Anyone who has ever looked at the world (both past and present) and asked why and how people are capable of such acts of horror will be entranced by this psychodynamic […]

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