‘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 [...]

2018-12-09T21:23:07+00:00 December 9th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘At Eternity’s Gate’ muses on the call to create

“At Eternity’s Gate” (2018). Cast: Willem Dafoe, Rupert Friend, Oscar Isaac, Mads Mikkelsen, Mathieu Amalric, Stella Schnabel, Vladimir Consigny, Emmanuelle Seigner, Lolita Chammah, Niels Arestrup, Anne Consigny, Amira Casar. Director: Julian Schnabel. Screenplay: Jean-Claude Carrière, Louise Kugelberg and Julian Schnabel. Web site. Trailer. The power of creation is truly magnificent. Seeing intangible concepts materialize into tangible manifestations is a miraculous sight to behold. And it’s especially impressive when we consider the infinite range of possibilities that can be made real. However, for those of us who bring such outcomes into being, appreciating the range of what we can create can be overwhelming, perhaps even more than we can realistically handle. Getting a grip on such boundless possibilities could prove maddening, [...]

2018-12-06T15:43:21+00:00 December 6th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Green Book’ applauds the power of collaboration, friendship

“Green Book” (2018). Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Moniscalco, Dimiter D. Marinov, Mike Hatton, Von Lewis, Hudson Galloway, Gavin Foley, Rodolfo Vallelonga, Louis Venere, Johnny Williams, Iqbal Theba, Tom Virtue, Dane Rhodes, Brian Stepanek, Ninja Devoe. Director: Peter Farrelly. Screenplay: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie and Peter Farrelly. Web site. Trailer. There’s nothing like a good friend. The value of associating with someone who cares deeply for you, and who has your back at times when it really counts, can’t be overestimated. And it can be especially satisfying when that friendship arises from an unexpected companion. So it is with a seemingly mismatched duo in the new, fact-based road trip buddy movie, “Green Book.” Tony “Lip” Vallelonga [...]

2018-12-06T15:44:27+00:00 December 3rd, 2018|Comedy, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘A Private War’ wrestles with belief conflicts

“A Private War” (2018). Cast: Rosamind Pike, Jamie Dornan, Stanley Tucci, Tom Hollander, Faye Marsay, Greg Wise, Corey Johnson, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Alexandra Moen, Fady Elsayed, Raad Rawi, Amanda Drew, Jérémie Lahuerte. Director: Matthew Heineman. Screenplay: Arash Amel. Story Source: Marie Brenner, “Marie Colvin’s Private War,” Vanity Fair magazine. Web site. Trailer. Getting at the truth under trying circumstances can be challenging, to say the least. But imagine what that undertaking might be like with the added dangers of bullets whizzing overhead and unseen land mines potentially lurking in the path of our every step. Such a pursuit takes someone genuinely committed and eminently earnest about arduous tasks like these, the kind of individual profiled in the gripping new biopic, “A [...]

2018-11-28T16:18:45+00:00 November 28th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Boy Erased’ inspires awakening to the truth

“Boy Erased” (2018). Cast: Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe, Joel Edgerton, Madelyn Cline, Victor McCay, David Joseph Craig, Troye Sivan, Jesse LaTourette, Théodore Pellerin, Flea, Joe Alwyn, Britton Sear, Cherry Jones, Xavier Dolan, Drew Scheid. Director: Joel Edgerton. Screenplay: Joel Edgerton. Book: Garrard Conley, Boy Erased. Web site. Trailer. What are we to do when the reality of our self doesn’t match the image we hold – or that we believe we’re supposed to hold – of it? The frustration such circumstances engender can be maddening, perhaps threatening our prevailing worldview and causing us considerable anguish. That’s especially true when we’re pressured by others to conform to certain standards of behavior and outlooks on life that we know don’t [...]

2018-12-02T01:54:52+00:00 November 24th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, 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 [...]

2018-12-13T00:30:09+00:00 November 20th, 2018|Drama, 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 [...]

2018-12-09T21:24:13+00:00 November 13th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, 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 [...]

2018-12-06T00:28:34+00:00 November 12th, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, 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 [...]

2018-12-03T08:13:25+00:00 October 31st, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, 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 [...]

2018-11-28T16:05:36+00:00 October 27th, 2018|Drama, Movie Reviews|