Currently Browsing: FF2 Media

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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Inspiring ‘Chhapaak’ shows triumph of human spirit

Meghna Gulzar’s heartbreaking film centers on 19-year-old Malti (Deepika Padukone) in the aftermath of an acid attack as she deals with legal and personal ramifications of the trauma. Told with grit and grace, this shocking true story follows Malti on her road to recovery. (BKP: 4/5) Review by Vice President and Managing Editor Brigid K. […]

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‘The Woman Who Loves Giraffes’: a profile of famous zoologist and giraffe lover Anne Innis Dagg

The Woman Who Loves Giraffes, directed and written by Alison Reid, is a documentary about Anne Innis Dagg, one of the first zoologists to do extensive field research on a wild animal. Dagg fell in love with giraffes at a young age and contributed significantly to what we know about the animal today. However, being […]

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The ‘Advocate’ stars Lea Tsemel, a human rights lawyer and “angry, optimistic woman”

The Advocate is a documentary by Rachel Leah Jones that follows Isreali human rights lawyer Lea Tsemel’s life and career defending Palestinian clients. Focusing on the cases of 13 year old Ahmad and domestic violence victim Israa Jabis, The Advocate is a difficult and heart-wrenching watch reminding that there is always two sides to a […]

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IP MAN 4 – THE FINALE (2019): Review by FF2 Media

IP Man 4: The Finale is the final part in an epic part-fiction-part-biopic series centering around the famous martial arts instructor Ip Man. In this finale, Ip Man travels to San Francisco to catch up with former student Bruce Lee and find a school for his son to attend. In America, Ip Man is met […]

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‘The Invisible Life’: a tragedy of two separated sisters in a toxic patriarchy

The Invisible Life, based on the The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmão by Martha Batalha, is a Brazillian-German film directed by Karim Aïnouz and written with Inés Bortagaray and Murilo Hauser. The movie follows two sisters that are kept apart due to a lie told by their father, and their differing lives connected by persisting […]

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BLACK CHRISTMAS (2019): Review by FF2 Media

While some may critique its lack of subtlety, Sophia Takal’s Black Christmas is exactly the kind of energy we need going into the 2020 election cycle. Why subtweet Nazis with antifascist undertones when you can just have your characters roll up their sleeves and get the purge done themselves? (GPG: 4/5). Review by Contributing Editor […]

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Dazzling use of 3D brings avant garde dance alive in ‘Cunningham’

As a rule, 3D films have been a huge disappointment for me as a moviegoer. It seems only the big budget action films were in 3D. The movies cost more and often the result was new and interesting ways for the film to throw pointy-things at the viewer. The only exception for me was the […]

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Little Joe: A mind-controlling plant is the star of this arthouse surrealist film

*This review contains spoilers, so proceed with caution! Little Joe is a surrealist horror film directed and written by Jessica Hausner, co-written with Géraldine Bajard. Alice is a plant breeder specializing in genetic engineering, developing a new species to sell for her corporation. She illegally brings home a plant for her son, Joe, oblivious to the […]

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A MILLION LITTLE PIECES (2018): Review by FF2 Media

Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, A Million Little Pieces is a film adaptation of the esteemed, if a little infamous, memoir written by James Frey. The film centers around James, who goes to rehab for his addiction to alcohol and crack (among other things); an addiction that is both figuratively and literally killing him. A Million […]

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Freedom and friendship in ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’

In Celine Sciamma’s new film Portrait of a Lady on Fire, an 18th century French painter finds herself with a difficult task. Secrets and deceit change the relationship dynamic between two girls. (SYJ: rating 4 / 5)   Review by FF2 Media Intern Sophia Y. Jin   Set in 18th century Brittany, «Marianne» (Noemie Merlant) […]

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A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD (2019): Review by FF2 Media

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a truly “beautiful” film. Love, pain, a family working through their issues–it’s got it all. The film is centered around the beloved children’s show host Mister Rogers and a reporter assigned to write an article about why he is a hero. Director Marielle Heller managers to make the […]

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Stunning sequel ‘Frozen II’ will close out banner month for Disney

Directors Jennifer Lee (Walt Disney Animation’s first and only female director on an animated film) and Chris Buck take Elsa and Anna back to the big screen with Frozen II, a bigger, sometimes better sequel to the 2013 blockbuster – one that became the highest grossing animated film of all time in worldwide box office. […]

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Family and tradition unravel in ‘Hala’

In writer and director Minhal Baig’s new film Hala, a seventeen-year-old Muslim American teenager “Hala” (Geraldine Viswanathan) struggles to find a balance between her family and cultural values. (SYJ: 4/5)

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