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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Review: The Changeover

— by RON WILKINSON — Timothy Spall is outstanding as a demon stealing youth in this devilish fantasy thriller. Unfortunately, his screen time is all too short and the remaining key members of the cast and crew do not pick up the slack. The good news is that this family movie can be enjoy[...]

Review: Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me

— by BEV QUESTAD — On March 24, 1962, I got my first crush. I was 12 years old. Dad had taken Mom and me to the Orpheum Theatre in Seattle to see a one-man show put on by the greatest entertainer on earth. His charisma and joy performing filled the very air and I […][...]

Review: Minding the Gap

— by BEV QUESTAD — “This device cures heartbreak” is written on the underside of a skateboard. How much that is true is one of the themes examined in Oscar-nominated “Minding the Gap,” an Oscar-nominated documentary about a group of skateboarders from a depressed side of town in [...]

Review: Donnybrook

— by RON WILKINSON — In a land of broken promises, the raw will to survive stands in stark relief. Desperate people do desperate things and the law that most of us have the privilege of following does not count for much. Such is the hardscrabble world of Jarhead Earl and his family. Set [...]

Review: Capernaum

— by BEV QUESTAD — “We’re insects, my friend. Parasites!” explains Zain’s father, the defendant in a trial for parental negligence. The plaintiff is his 12-year-old son who is suing both cruel parents for giving birth to him. Capernaum is a messy place of disregard where chaos an[...]

Review: Hale County This Morning, This Evening

— by BEV QUESTAD — Hale County is in Alabama. Sixty percent of the population is black and 40 percent is white. The median income for a family is about $31,000. About 27 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, which includes the folks featured in this documentary. Filmmak[...]

Review: Among Wolves

— by RON WILKINSON — A motorcycle gang of traumatized war veterans rides into town. They are acting out with bike acrobatics, looking tough as nails, taking no guff. Then they are listening to the nun at the local orphanage telling them what to do about the malfunctioning wiring. There a[...]

Review: High Flying Bird

— by RON WILKINSON — Professional sports have reached a point of almost religious sanctity, and dogma, all over the world. As expected, the money changing hands leads to corruption, major or minor, in almost every league. Director Steven Soderbergh fit right into this film, since the mod[...]

Review: Free Solo

— by BEV QUESTAD — El Capitan, Yosemite’s seemingly sheer gray façade, juts upward majestically reflecting the morning sunrise. Experienced rock climbers, with ropes, regard it as a dangerous challenge. So, Alex Honnold’s decision to try it without equipment or partner, in other wor[...]

Review: The Heiresses

— by RON WILKINSON — An aristocratic couple grows up with the freedom to live outside societal norms in traditional Paraguay. As their money runs out, they are forced to gradually reenter a stratum of society they thought they could leave behind. Caught in social and legal currents they [...]

Review: Buffalo Boys

— by RON WILKINSON — It is a bad day for Sultan Hamza, the noble warrior and wise leader of an indigenous population in 1800’s Java. Dutch Captain Van Trach (Reinout Bussemaker – possible Oscar nomination for best slavering, demented corporate colony lackey of 2019) finds the Sultan [...]

Review: Burning

— by RON WILKINSON — Three people form a modern love triangle echoed in the cold city streets of Seoul. The farm boy falls hopelessly in love with the girl from his home town, now compromised by the overwhelming modernity of the big city. The city boy has made it big but has somehow trad[...]

Review: Communion (aka Komunia)

— by BEV QUESTAD — Bits of bread are sacrificed into the woodstove because there is no more wood. Short-listed for the 91st Academy Awards Best Documentary, this intimate black-and-white observational documentary is set in Warsaw, Poland. Will this sleeper, abruptly surfacing from the Eu[...]

Review: Shirkers

— by BEV QUESTAD — “Shirkers” made it to the top five films nominated for Best Documentary by the Online Film Critic’s Society (OFCS). It’s about a film that never got made. It is a silly, waste-of-time movie that tells you absolutely nothing. The narrator says the word s[...]