/Movie Reviews

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ celebrates living life on one’s own terms

“Bohemian Rhapsody” (2018). Cast: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Aidan Gillen, Allen Leech, Tom Hollander, Mike Myers, Aaron McCusker, Ace Bhatti. Maneka Das, Priya Blackburn, Dermot Murphy, Neil Fox-Roberts. Director: Bryan Singer. Screenplay: Anthony McCarten. Story: Anthony McCarten and Peter Morgan. Web site. Trailer. So often in life, we end up settling, taking jobs we merely tolerate, getting into relationships that are less than satisfying, and sacrificing our creative visions for purposes of practicality, convenience or commercialization. How unfulfilling those experiences generally prove to be. But need things be that way? Can we live our lives on our terms, attaining the gratification we crave? Maybe it just takes a little inspiration to put us on [...]

2018-11-20T10:30:09+00:00 November 20th, 2018|Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Viper Club’ probes the depths of truth, compassion

“Viper Club” (2018). Cast: Susan Sarandon, Matt Bomer, Edie Falco, Lola Kirke, Julian Morris, Sheila Vand, Adepero Oduye, Amir Malaklou, Damian Young, Patrick Breen, Jerome Charvet, Mattea Conforti, Kristin Villanueva, Jack McCarthy. Director: Maryam Keshavarz. Screenplay: Maryam Keshavarz and Jonathan Mastro. Web site. Trailer. Getting at the truth isn’t always easy. It may be obscured by camouflage, and accessing it may be difficult because of roadblocks or obstacles. And yet, once that elusive truth is found, it could potentially be so painful that one might wish it had stayed concealed. However, for those who are committed to seeing it being told, it takes certain skills, most notably in the areas of tact, compassion and forthrightness, to convey the information, especially [...]

2018-11-13T18:30:33+00:00 November 13th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Border’ helps us discover what separates and divides us

“Border” (“Gräns”) (2018). Cast: Eva Melander, Eero Milonoff, Jörgen Thorsson, Ann Patrén, Sten Ljunggren, Tomas Åhnstand, Josefin Neldén, Kjeli Wilhemsen, Rakel Wärmländer, Andres Kundler, Matti Boustedt, Henrik Johansson. Director: Ali Abbasi. Screenplay: Ali Abbasi, Isabella Eklöf and John Ajvide Lindqvist. Short Story: John Ajvide Lindqvist, “Gräns.” Web site. Trailer. Coming to terms with who we are is sometimes a difficult process. If we’re significantly unlike those around us, we may feel uncomfortable about our differences and seek to fit in as best we can, hoping that our distinctions are downplayed or go unnoticed. But how long can we keep a lid on a pot like that, especially when the contents begin to boil? In fact, should we even try to [...]

2018-11-12T23:47:26+00:00 November 12th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews, Romance, Sci-Fi|

‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ examines creativity gone awry

“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (2018). Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Jane Curtin, Dolly Wells, Ben Falcone, Christian Navarro, Stephen Spinella, Gregory Korostishevsky, Anna Deavere Smith, Pun Bandu, Erik LaRay Harvey, Brandon Scott Jones, Marc Evan Jackson, Sandy Rosenberg, Towne the cat. Director: Marielle Heller. Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty. Book: Lee Israel, Can You Ever Forgive Me? Web site. Trailer. Creativity is a wonderful thing. It gives us great satisfaction, and it can lead to the production of marvelous conceptions made manifest. It offers boundless opportunities for exploration and expression, adding constantly to the richness of human experience. But is it always benevolent and uplifting, or can it be contorted into questionable forms that get out of [...]

2018-10-31T13:12:40+00:00 October 31st, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Beautiful Boy’ plumbs the depths of parental love

“Beautiful Boy” (2018). Cast: Steve Carell, Timothée Chalamet, Maura Tierney, Amy Ryan, Kaitlyn Dever, Timothy Hutton, Oakley Bull, Christian Convery, Andre Royo, Stefanie Scott, Kue Lawrence, Zachary Rifkin, Jack Dylan Grazer. Director: Felix Van Groeningen. Screenplay: Luke Davies and Felix Van Groeningen. Books: David Sheff, Beautiful Boy, and Nic Sheff, Tweak. Web site. Trailer. How far should parents go in looking after their children? Some would say that there are no limits on this question, that mothers and fathers should be willing to do whatever it takes to attend to their kids. But is that really true? And what happens when those children are on the verge of becoming adults themselves – do the same rules apply as when they’re [...]

2018-10-27T20:14:12+00:00 October 27th, 2018|Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘The Old Man & the Gun’ celebrates life, vitality

“The Old Man & the Gun” (2018). Cast: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Tika Sumpter, Ari Elizabeth Johnson, Teagan Johnson, Gene Jones, John David Washington, Elisabeth Moss, Keith Carradine, Robert Longstreet. Director: David Lowery. Screenplay: David Lowery. Story Source: David Grann, “The Old Man and the Gun,” New Yorker magazine. Web site. Trailer. What gives us personal satisfaction? That’s something many of us chase down throughout our lives, and some of us are fortunate enough to find it. But is this a quest we should pursue at any cost, especially if the goals are dubious? That’s a question posed in the new, fact-based biopic, “The Old Man & the Gun.” Septuagenarian Forrest Tucker (not the [...]

2018-10-26T10:22:59+00:00 October 26th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

Wrapping Up the Chicago Film Festival

With the 54th annual Chicago International Film Festival now complete, here’s my take on what I screened and what I thought about the releases in question. “An Acceptable Loss” (USA) This edge-of-your-seat political thriller unfolds gradually and with steadily increasing intensity, leading up to a climax that will leave viewers breathless, an approach not unlike that used by director Roman Polanski in such films as “Chinatown” (1974) and “The Ghost Writer” (2010). The picture follows former National Security Advisor Libby Lamm (Tika Sumpter) after she leaves government to become a university lecturer, a position for which she receives a less-than-hospitable welcome. It’s a circumstance that naturally begs the question, “Why?” Viewers come to discover the reasons as her story plays [...]

2018-11-20T10:11:53+00:00 October 23rd, 2018|Movie Reviews|

‘Love, Gilda’ salutes a comedic genius

“Love, Gilda” (2018). Cast: Interviews: Chevy Chase, Laraine Newman, Martin Short, Paul Shaffer, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Amy Poehler, Melissa McCarthy, Lorne Michaels, Anne Beatts, Alan Zweibel, Michael Radner, Judy Levy.  Archive Footage: Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Gene Wilder, Steve Martin, Lily Tomlin, Buck Henry, Garry Shandling, G.E. Smith, Tom Schiller. Director: Lisa D’Apolito. Web site. Trailer. It’s been said that the ability to make others laugh is one of the greatest gifts anyone can possess. Laughter lifts spirits, brings joy and, as the old adage contends, serves as the best medicine. That’s something a beloved, gifted comedienne successfully discovered for herself – on all of those fronts – as fittingly and [...]

2018-11-13T18:15:16+00:00 October 7th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|