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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review: The Draft and the Vietnam Generation

— by BEV QUESTAD — Here are a couple hypothetical questions for you. If this were 1968 and you were of draft age, would you volunteer to fight in Vietnam? If you were of conscription age today, would you volunteer to fight in Syria or any other country our President might send our army? [...]

Review: Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison

— by RON WILKINSON — “Solitary” by filmmaker Kristi Jacobson (“A Place at the Table”) is one of the most eerie and troubling films you will ever see. The prison itself is a nether world of locked boxes with almost no visual access. Each pod is a cacophony of yells and banging com[...]

Review: Road to the Well

— by RON WILKINSON — Frank (Laurence Fuller) is having a tough time finishing his PhD thesis. Things don’t get any better when he finds his boss screwing his girlfriend in the office break room. Nobody else in his workplace seems to think anything of it but Frank is bothered. He needs [...]

Review: A Month of Sundays

— by BEV QUESTAD — “A Month of Sundays” is a slo-mo blossom unfurling its developing petals into an eventual multi-layered, delicately shaded glorious bloom of uncommon beauty. Writer-director Matthew Saville has delivered this fragrant corsage set in a cinematic environment [...]

Review: Antarctica: Ice and Sky

— by RON WILKINSON — It is hard to imagine anyone not being thrilled to sit on an ice floe in the pristine Antarctic and have penguins file past you, casually diving into the ice-slushy water for an afternoon meal. Watching this movie, it is hard not to feel sad knowing that this kind of[...]

Review: The Daughter

— by BEV QUESTAD — Edvard Munch did not paint just one version of “The Scream.” He painted four. His essential Norwegian character cannot avert his eyes from life’s true circumstance and man’s grotesque nature within it. He chooses not to fabricate an illusion to help disguise th[...]

Review: Live by Night

— by RON WILKINSON — Ben Affleck gave this one a good shot. He directed the movie, wrote the screenplay (based on the novel by Dennis Lehane) and played the lead role. Two out of three is not bad, but as gangster Joe Coughlin, he is not James Caan’s Sonny Corleone. Nor is he trying [&h[...]

Review: Patriots Day

— by RON WILKINSON — You gotta love Mark Wahlberg as a bad boy cop. He reprises his role from “The Departed” with aplomb as sergeant Tommy Saunders of the Boston PD. He is on probation for some unstated breech of cop protocol, probably having to do with mouthing off, and has a bad kn[...]

Review: Cameraperson

— by RON WILKINSON — Kirsten Johnson’s mega-documentary “Cameraperson” was built by taking clips from the many spectacular documentaries she has filmed and rolling them into one. Even if most of the clips appear to be the least interesting parts of her past docs, there is a[...]

Review: Hidden Figures

— by RON WILKINSON — Emerging director Theodore Melfi’s “Hidden Figures” tells a wonderful story about three unknown women who supplied powerful parts of the NASA space race puzzle. In a screenplay co-written with Allison Schroeder and based on the New York Times bestse[...]

Review: SMART

— by BEV QUESTAD — If an animal is up a tree, down a sewer pipe, over a cliff, or stuck in ocean quicksand, who do you call? In LA, it is SMART, the Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team for Los Angeles Animal Services. I told myself, “Don’t watch it!” — sure this documentary[...]

Review: Elle

— by RON WILKINSON — Most mystery thrillers begin with a little mystery and build up the tension until the end when all is explained, to the amazement of the audience. In Isabelle Huppert’s films, the story starts with a little mystery and ends with an even bigger mystery at the end. P[...]

Review: The 24 Hour War

— by RON WILKINSON — Directors Nate Adams and Adam Carolla roll out the big guns for this gear head documentary about the toughest and highest stakes feud in auto racing history. The battlefield was Le Mans, a 24-hour race of speed, handling and endurance that has become legend. For thos[...]

Review: On The Map

— by BEV QUESTAD — When depressed in a dark hole with enemies lurking on all sides, what’s the best antidote? Distraction. Though she had been repeatedly attacked and even though her very existence was entangled in the frozen core of the Cold War conflict, Israel’s people were still [...]