Year: 2018

‘Ben Is Back’ explores the quest for redemption

‘Ben Is Back’ explores the quest for redemption

“Ben Is Back” (2018). Cast: Julia Roberts, Lucas Hedges, Courtney B. Vance, Kathryn Newton, Tim Guinee, Michael Esper, Rachel Bay Jones, David Zaldivar, Kristin Griffith, Mia Fowler, Jakari Fraser, Alexandra Park, Jack Davidson, Jeff Auer, Henry Stram, Nigel the dog. Director: Peter Hedges. Screenplay: Peter Hedges. Web site. Trailer. The hell of drug addiction wears heavily on those afflicted by it. The physical and psychological effects alone can be devastating, but all of the other related effects – socially, economically and otherwise – can be just as destructive. And, when the impact on those close to an addict is added into the mix, the result can be just as catastrophic (and in virtually all of the same respects). But redemption is possible, difficult though it may be to achieve. So it is with a family dealing with such a crisis in the gripping and moving new drama, “Ben Is Back.” Nineteen-year-old Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges) wants to spend Christmas with his family, but there’s just one problem – he needs to get approval to visit them from the rehab program where he’s enrolled to treat his drug addiction. He’s made progress at getting better, but he’s only been in treatment ...
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This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “The Favourite” and “Ben Is Back,” as well as a holiday movie preview podcast, are all in the latest Movies with Meaning post on the web site of The Good Media Network, available by clicking here.                          ...
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Jolly Holidays at the Movies!

Jolly Holidays at the Movies!

Join host Frankie Picasso and me for the next edition of Movies with Meaning on The Good Media Network’s Frankiesense & More broadcast, today, December 13, at 1 pm ET. We’ll discuss a number of new movie releases, as well as preview some awards season contenders getting ready for release during the upcoming holidays. For the video version, tune in on Facebook Live by clicking here. And, for the audio only podcast edition, check out The Good Media Network’s home page by clicking here. Join us for a Santa’s bag full of fun movie chat! ...
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‘The Favourite’ tackles how to get (or not get) one’s way

‘The Favourite’ tackles how to get (or not get) one’s way

“The Favourite” (2018). Cast: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, James Smith, Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss. Director: Yorgos Lanthimos. Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. Web site. Trailer. We all love to get our way. It’s fulfilling when we see our wishes come to fruition, often leaving us with a warm, satisfied glow inside. But how we get there can be challenging, especially if we find ourselves pushing too hard to see the desired result realized. So it is with a beleaguered monarch and her two closest but contentious advisors in the new period piece dark comedy, “The Favourite.” In 18th Century England, Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) rules – or attempts to rule – her empire in the face of many public and personal challenges. Officially speaking, the capricious, tempestuous monarch is charged with overseeing the country’s war efforts against pesky continentals (most notably the French), although she’s often clueless as to the status of the conflict. She’s also responsible for figuring out how to pay for the military campaign, a quandary that frequently embroils her in the midst of an ongoing battle between opposing forces in Parliament pitting the ruling Tories, led by Lord Godolphin (James Smith), ...
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‘The Front Runner’ examines the perils of self-sabotage

‘The Front Runner’ examines the perils of self-sabotage

“The Front Runner” (2018). Cast: Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, Alfred Molina, Sara Paxton, Kaitlyn Dever, Mamoudou Athie, Steve Zissis, Mark O’Brien, Chris Coy, Molly Ephraim, Alex Karpovsky, Oliver Cooper, Ari Graynor, John Bedford Lloyd, Spencer Garrett, Bill Burr, Kevin Pollak, Nyasha Hatendi. Archive Footage: Walter Mondale, Tom Brokaw, Jane Pauley, Johnny Carson, Ted Koppel. Director: Jason Reitman. Screenplay: Matt Bai, Jay Caron and Jason Reitman. Book: Matt Bai, All the Truth Is Out. Web site. Trailer. Realizing our best intentions is a noble goal that many of us would like to see happen. Being able to be of service to others can be both uplifting and fulfilling. But, in carrying out such plans (particularly those that will thrust us into the public spotlight), we had better have our ducks in a row. Loose ends, unresolved issues and poorly conceived indiscretions can all serve to undermine our efforts and thwart us from reaching our objectives, lessons learned the hard way by a once-promising politician in the new historical drama, “The Front Runner.” Having been out of the White House since 1980, the Democratic Party was committed to recapturing the presidency in 1988. In the wake of candidate Walter Mondale’s ...
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This Week in Movies with Meaning

This Week in Movies with Meaning

Reviews of “Green Book,” “At Eternity’s Gate” and “The Front Runner,” as well as a radio show preview, are all in the latest Movies with Meaning post on the web site of The Good Media Network, available by clicking here ...
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