/Movie Reviews

‘A Fantastic Woman’ sets powerful examples of courage, compassion

“A Fantastic Woman” (“Una mujer fantástica”) (2017). Cast: Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco, Aline Küppenheim, Nicolás Saavedra, Amparo Noguera, Trinidad Gonzáez, Néstor Cantillana, Sergio Hernández. Director: Sebastián Lelio. Screenplay: Sebastián Lelio and Gonzalo Maza. Web site. Trailer. Saying goodbye is never easy. The pain and sorrow can be a lot to bear, even under the “best” of circumstances. But, when the situation becomes burdened by considerations that have no business intruding upon such a difficult process, the result can be unendurable. Such are the conditions addressed in the compelling new Chilean drama, “A Fantastic Woman” (“Una mujer fantástica”). Businessman Orlando Onetto (Francisco Reyes) leads what appears to be a fairly comfortable life in Santiago. The 57-year-old runs a successful [...]

2018-02-25T23:15:58+00:00 February 25th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘Bombshell’ dissects the sometimes-puzzling nature of beliefs and outcomes

“Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story” (2017). Cast: Interviews: Hedy Lamarr, Fleming Meeks, Anthony Loder, Denise Loder-DeLuca, Lodi Loder, Peter Bogdanovich, Mel Brooks, Robert Osborne, Jennifer Hom, Diane Kruger, Michael Tilson Thomas, Jeanine Basinger. Archive Footage: Merv Griffin, Howard Hughes, John F. Kennedy, Clark Gable, Victor Mature, George Antheil. Director: Alexandra Dean. Screenplay: Alexandra Dean. Web site. Trailer. To be blessed with great beauty is truly miraculous. To be gifted with a great mind is genuinely extraordinary. But to be the beneficiary of both is a dream beyond measure – or at least that’s what most of us probably believe. As it turns out, though, that belief may not be as true as we might think, a conundrum brought to light [...]

2018-02-07T21:37:16+00:00 February 7th, 2018|Documentary, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Film Stars’ probes the depth and truth of love

“Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” (2017). Cast: Annette Bening, Jamie Bell, Julie Walters, Vanessa Redgrave, Kenneth Cranham, Stephen Graham, Frances Barber, Leanne Best. Director: Paul McGuigan. Screenplay: Matt Greenhalgh. Book: Peter Turner, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. Web site. Trailer. Falling in love is undoubtedly one of the greatest joys of life. The passion, fulfillment and bliss that come from it are indescribable and beyond compare. Unfortunately, when it goes wrong or becomes burdened by extenuating circumstances, it can have a debilitating, painful downside. Those ups and downs are the subject matter of the new, fact-based romance, “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool.” Fading film star Gloria Grahame (Annette Bening) takes to the stage to prop up [...]

2018-01-31T09:36:50+00:00 January 31st, 2018|Conscious Creation, Featured Post, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘Molly’s Game’ wrestles with what drives our motivations

“Molly’s Game” (2017). Cast: Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner, Michael Cera, Jeremy Strong, Chris O’Dowd, J.C. MacKenzie, Brian d’Arcy James, Bill Camp, Graham Greene, Claire Rankin, Samantha Isler, Piper Howell. Director: Aaron Sorkin. Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin. Book: Molly Bloom, Molly’s Game: From Hollywood's Elite to Wall Street's Billionaire Boys Club, My High-Stakes Adventure in the World of Underground Poker. Web site. Trailer. The motivations that drive our actions are usually clear, but sometimes they may stubbornly elude us, so much so that, after a while, we might not wonder (or even care) what they are. This often happens when we get caught up in circumstances in which we lose sight of how we got there and don’t know how [...]

2018-02-25T23:15:30+00:00 January 30th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘The Post’ examines what it takes to do the right thing

“The Post” (2017). Cast: Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Sarah Paulson, Bob Odenkirk, Tracy Letts, Bradley Whitford, Bruce Greenwood, Matthew Rhys, Alison Brie, Carrie Coon, Jesse Plemons, Michael Stuhlbarg, Justin Swain, Curzon Dobell. Director: Steven Spielberg. Screenplay: Liz Hannah and Josh Singer. Web site. Trailer. When faced with hard choices, we may not know which way to turn. That’s especially true when all of our options appear problematic. Deciding which of the seemingly troublesome outcomes will prove least onerous can try our patience and test our resolve. At the same time, though, such scenarios can sharpen our scrutiny skills, especially when it comes to drawing upon our intuition and integrity to arrive at an amenable solution. So it was for a [...]

2018-02-23T19:26:22+00:00 January 29th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘I, Tonya’ reveals the dual-edged sword of ambition

“I, Tonya” (2017). Cast: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Paul Walter Hauser, Bobby Cannavale, Julianne Nicholson, Bojana Novakovic, Caitlin Carver, Mckenna Grace, Jason Davis, Ricky Russert, Anthony Reynolds, Lynne Ashe, Dan Triandiflou, Jan Harrelson, Luray Cooper, Maizie Smith. Director: Craig Gillespie. Screenplay: Steven Rogers. Web site. Trailer. Being the best at what we do is something to which many of us aspire. With great heart, tremendous determination, a plucky attitude and our own brand of innovation, we forge ahead as we strive to surmount that pinnacle of success. But is it possible for those efforts to be excessive or get out of hand? Under conditions like that, our aims may become skewed, perhaps even turning counterproductive, no matter how [...]

2018-01-31T09:15:55+00:00 January 3rd, 2018|Comedy, Movie Reviews|

‘Darkest Hour’ inspires us to rise to our own greatness

“Darkest Hour” (2017). Cast: Gary Oldman, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn, Stephen Dillane, Samuel West, Lily James, Ronald Pickup. Director: Joe Wright. Screenplay: Anthony McCarten. Web site. Trailer. Sometimes it takes having our backs against the wall to realize the greatness of which we’re truly capable. Getting there may seem like a dire process, and we may be ready to break down or give it all up if hope appears lost. Such dark night of the soul moments test us to the limit but also show us exactly what we’re made of, a scenario pointedly depicted in the new, fact-based historical drama, “Darkest Hour.” At the outset of World War II, the British government sought to minimize its involvement and [...]

2018-01-30T11:51:31+00:00 December 29th, 2017|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘The Disaster Artist’ skillfully unmasks hidden truths

“The Disaster Artist” (2017). Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Ari Graynor, Alison Brie, Jacki Weaver, Paul Scheer, Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, June Diane Raphael, Megan Mullally, Sharon Stone, Bob Odenkirk, Melanie Griffith, Bryan Cranston, Jason Mantzoukas, Andrew Santino, Charlyne Yi, Kelly Oxford, Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero, Judd Apatow, Kevin Smith, Keegan Michael Key, Danny McBride, J.J. Abrams, Zach Braff. Director: James Franco. Screenplay: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. Book: Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell, The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. Web site. Trailer. Most artists would agree that they seek to garner acclaim by producing quality work, creations applauded for their many noteworthy attributes. But sometimes artists achieve notoriety [...]

2018-01-29T09:27:37+00:00 December 22nd, 2017|Comedy, Movie Reviews|

‘The Last Jedi’ tackles life’s lessons, striking a balance and finding our way

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017). Cast: Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Laura Dern, Benicio del Toro, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwendoline Christie, Kelly Marie Tran, Frank Oz (voice), Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotama, Jimmy Vee, Justin Theroux, Tim Rose, Tom Kane (voice). Director: Rian Johnson. Screenplay; Rian Johnson. Source Material: George Lucas, “Star Wars.” Web site. Trailer. Finding our place in the world. Tapping into our source of personal power. Learning how to balance strength and vulnerability, power and temperance, and when to charge and when to retreat. All of the foregoing are noble pursuits aimed at helping is get through life and its challenges, be it in both everyday matters [...]

2018-01-14T18:39:00+00:00 December 20th, 2017|Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi|

‘The Shape of Water’ floats new possibilities for consideration

“The Shape of Water” (2017). Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones, Nick Searcy, Stewart Arnott, Nigel Bennett, Lauren Lee Smith, Martin Roach, Allegra Fulton, John Kapelos, Morgan Kelly, Marvin Kaye, Wendy Lyon. Director: Guillermo del Toro. Screenplay: Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor. Story: Guillermo del Toro. Web site. Trailer. We all think we know what it means to fall in love, but do we really? Sometimes the reality differs markedly from what we expect, perhaps taking us in some highly unconventional directions. But, when we find that true love, no matter what form it takes, we’re generally willing to do whatever it takes to nurture and protect it, regardless of what we’re up against. Such [...]

2018-01-03T10:31:19+00:00 December 12th, 2017|Movie Reviews, Romance, Sci-Fi|