‘Eighth Grade’ plumbs the problem solving process

“Eighth Grade” (2018). Cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan, Daniel Zolghadri, Fred Hechinger, Imani Lewis, Luke Prael, Catherine Oliviere, Nora Mullins, Missy Yager, Greg Crowe, Natalie Carter. Director: Bo Burnham. Screenplay: Bo Burnham. Web site. Trailer. Try to think of a time in your life when you felt like you were perpetually confused. For some of us, that might come at almost any age. But, for those lacking the benefit of life experience, it most likely occurred at a time when we were still finding our way in the world – not when we were so young that we didn’t consciously think about such things but at a slightly later stage in our development when we earnestly [...]

2018-08-04T15:40:59+00:00 August 4th, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Sorry to Bother You’ wrestles with destiny, integrity

“Sorry to Bother You” (2018). Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Danny Glover, Armie Hammer, Kate Berlant, Michael X. Sommers, Steven Yeun, Robert Longstreet, Forest Whitaker, Indigo Jackson, Elaine Clark, Patton Oswalt (voice), David Cross (voice), Lily James (voice), Rosario Dawson (voice). Director: Boots Riley. Screenplay: Boots Riley. Web site. Trailer. What does it mean to be in charge of your own destiny? Do you have a handle on what you want and what you’ve created for yourself? Or have you been swept up with the current, unwittingly fulfilling others’ agendas, bringing you material success but prompting you to compromise your values and integrity? And, if so, how do you proceed? Those are some of [...]

2018-07-10T06:28:32+00:00 July 10th, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Boundaries’ explores the need for establishing healthy limits

“Boundaries” (2018). Cast: Vera Farmiga, Christopher Plummer, Lewis MacDougall, Christopher Lloyd, Kristen Schaal, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Fonda, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Dolly Wells, Chelah Horsdal, Ryan Robbins, Jill Teed, Sean Tyson, Halldor Bjarnason, Emily Holmes. Director: Shana Feste. Screenplay: Shana Feste. Web site. Trailer. When is enough enough? For some of us, the answer is obvious, and it marks the point where we put our foot down. But, for others, the line may not at all be clear; in fact, it could be essentially invisible, which can lead to all kinds of problems. Learning how to identify these demarcation points and subsequently implementing the requisite barriers can thus become a crucial life skill as a middle-aged mom struggling with the issue [...]

2018-08-11T01:44:03+00:00 July 3rd, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Hearts Beat Loud’ joyfully celebrates creativity, choice

“Hearts Beat Loud” (2018). Cast: Nick Offerman, Kiersey Clemons, Ted Danson, Blythe Danner, Toni Collette, Sasha Lane, Quincy Dunn-Baker. Director: Brett Haley. Screenplay: Brett Haley and Marc Basch. Web site. Trailer. Following our passion is something most of us dream about. But how many of us are able to see it through? Unfortunately, life often seems to get in the way. And sometimes we get in our own way, too. Clearing away the clutter, making a plan and working up the gumption to move forward all factor into the process, but how adept are we at these tasks? These are some of the challenges that a pair of would-be professional musicians face in the heartfelt new comedy-drama, “Hearts Beat Loud.” [...]

2018-07-10T06:29:30+00:00 June 21st, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Book Club’ celebrates second chances at love

“Book Club” (2018). Cast: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen, Andy Garcia, Craig T. Nelson, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, Alicia Silverstone, Katie Aselton, Wallace Shawn, Ed Begley Jr., Mircea Monroe, Joey Stromberg, Sabrina Friedman-Seitz. Director: Bill Holderman. Screenplay: Bill Holderman and Erin Simms. Web site. Trailer. As the years pass by, it can be easy to let our lives (and ourselves) slide. Those of us who have attained a certain age may unwittingly fall into the trap of believing that the best years are behind us, that the joys of our youth and young adulthood are no longer available or take too much effort to recapture. This is especially true when it comes to our love lives. But [...]

2018-06-26T15:38:00+00:00 June 10th, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘Tully’ nudges us to look at life’s choices

“Tully” (2018). Cast: Charlize Theron, Ron Livingston, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, Elaine Tan, Asher Miles Fallica, Lia Frankland, Gameela Wright, Joshua Pak. Director: Jason Reitman. Screenplay: Diablo Cody. Web site. Trailer. Have you ever felt so overburdened by your circumstances that you didn’t know which way to turn first? The workload is so great that you can barely keep up, yet everything has to get done, even when you don’t feel like doing it. Such conditions can be demoralizing, so much so that you stop taking proper care of yourself and even come to resent your own life. If you can appreciate that, you’ll be able to relate to the everyday routine of an overwhelmed mother of three watching her [...]

2018-06-07T22:54:37+00:00 May 21st, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Keep the Change’ looks at love in its own unique way

“Keep the Change” (2017 production, 2018 release). Cast: Brandon Polansky, Samantha Elisofon, Jessica Walter, Tibor Feldman, Will Deaver, Nicky Gottlieb, Gabe Rhodes, Dylan Rothbein, Dorsey Massey, Johnathan Tchaikovsky, Christina Brucato, Anna Suzuki, Sondra James. Director: Rachel Israel. Screenplay: Rachel Israel. Source material: “Keep the Change,” short film (2013). Web site. Trailer. It’s been said that love knows no bounds. But how widely are most of us willing to apply that notion? Does that include only the limited sorts of romantic circumstances with which we’re most familiar? Or are we capable of envisioning it on a broader scale, applying it to scenarios that aren’t neatly compartmentalized into tidy little boxes? For those who have special needs or who represent constituencies outside [...]

2018-05-20T02:38:59+00:00 March 31st, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|

‘The Death of Stalin’ skewers unrestrained ambition

“The Death of Stalin” (2017 production, 2018 release). Cast: Steve Buscemi, Jeffrey Tambor, Andrea Riseborough, Michael Palin, Simon Russell Beale, Adrian McLoughlin, Jason Isaacs, Paddy Considine, Olga Kurylenko, Dermot Crowley, Paul Whitehouse, Paul Chahidi, Rupert Friend, Tom Brooke, Karl Johnson, Diana Quick, Gerald Lepkowski. Director: Armando Iannucci. Writers: Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin and Peter Fellows. Original Screenplay: Fabien Nury. Comic Book Source Material: Fabien Nury and Thierry Robin, The Death of Stalin. Web site. Trailer. When opportunity knocks, it may be tempting to pursue it with all the gusto we can muster. The rewards awaiting us can be incalculable. But what if such a quest prompts us to engage in questionable, almost Machiavellian behavior? Is the prize still [...]

2018-05-13T01:44:51+00:00 March 30th, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|

‘The Party’ brings us face to face with our innate selves

“The Party” (2017 production, 2018 release). Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Bruno Ganz, Cherry Jones, Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall. Director: Sally Potter. Screenplay: Sally Potter. Web site. Trailer. Celebrations are supposed to be festive occasions, times for us to enjoy ourselves and recognize the accomplishments of others. They’re a good time to let our hair down, to open ourselves up to others and, one would hope, to have a good time. But sometimes we might expose our inner selves a little too much at these events, revealing more than we originally may have planned. So it is for the guests at the darkly satirical new comedy of ill manners, “The Party.” When Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas), a [...]

2018-03-31T00:46:33+00:00 March 9th, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, 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|