/Conscious Creation

‘Joker’ gives us much to contemplate 

“Joker” (2019). Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Robert De Niro, Frances Conroy, Zazie Beetz, Brett Cullen, Shea Whigham, Bill Camp, Glenn Fleshler, Leigh Gill, Josh Pais, Douglas Hodge, Dante Pereira-Olson, Carrie Lauren Putrello, Sharon Washington, Hannah Gross, Brian Tyree Henry, Frank Wood, Carl Lundstedt, Michael Benz, Ben Warheit. Director: Todd Phillips. Screenplay: Todd Phillips and Scott Silver. Web site. Trailer. It’s a rare feat when a film covers so much ground that it gives us a lot to take in and assess. In doing so, such stories may well make us feel more than a little uncomfortable (and rightfully so) as they prompt us to take a hard look at what we’re experiencing and how it came about. They may even push [...]

2019-10-11T23:59:55+00:00 October 11th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Judy’ profiles a fighter in search of a comeback 

“Judy” (2019). Cast: Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell, Michael Gambon, Darci Shaw, Bella Ramsey, Lewin Lloyd, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Royce Pierreson, Richard Cordery, Andy Nyman, Daniel Corqueira, John Dagleish, Adrian Lukis, Tom Durant Pritchard, Gus Barry, Jodie McNee, Ed Stoppard. Director: Rupert Goold. Screenplay: Tom Edge. Play: Peter Quilter, End of the Rainbow. Web site. Trailer. Everybody loves someone trying to make a comeback, especially when it’s a beloved entertainer. Audiences appreciate the effort, particularly when the talent is genuine and heartfelt. But launching a personal renaissance can be challenging if it’s burdened by baggage from the past, a bittersweet saga detailed in the new, fact-based biopic, “Judy.” In winter 1968, singer-actress Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) had fallen [...]

2019-10-08T16:10:15+00:00 October 7th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Raise Hell’ profiles one writer’s pursuit for truth

“Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins” (2019). Cast: Molly Ivins. Interviews: Dan Rather, Rachel Maddow, Lou Dubose, Jim Hightower, Andy Ivins, Sara Ivins Maley, Carlton Carl, Dave “Moose” McNeely. Archives: George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Ann Richards, David Letterman, Morley Safer, John Henry Faulk. Director: Janice Engel. Screenplay: Janice Engel and Monique Zavistovski. Web site. Trailer. Getting the word out about what’s really going on can be quite a challenge, especially when those in the know may try to conceal the truth, soft-peddle its implications or spin it to their personal advantage. Overcoming that takes a writer-investigator who’s willing to dig deep and to keep from caving in to pressure to doctor the information to fulfill [...]

2019-09-25T08:54:07+00:00 September 25th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Puzzle’ seeks to assemble the pieces of our lives  

“Puzzle” (2018). Cast: Kelly Macdonald, David Denman, Irrfan Khan, Austin Abrams, Bubba Weiler, Liv Hewson, Audrie Neenan. Director: Marc Turtletaub. Screenplay: Polly Mann and Oren Moverman. Story Source: Natalia Smirnoff, “Rompecabezas” (“Puzzle”), 2009 Argentinian film. Web site. Trailer. Many of us look at our lives and see them as complete – only to discover not long thereafter that they’re not. Pieces may seem missing or out of place, realizations that we might view as frustrating, mystifying or even troubling. We could be tempted to ignore those shortcomings, hoping they’ll go away or resolve themselves on their own, but those “solutions” seldom work out as hoped for. It’s times like that when we must make a concerted effort to determine what’s [...]

2019-09-20T08:34:06+00:00 September 20th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Official Secrets’ extols the virtues of integrity

“Official Secrets” (2019). Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith, Matthew Goode, Rhys Ifan, Adam Bakri, Jeremy Northam, Conleth Hill, John Heffernan, Indira Varma, Niccy Lin, Monica Dolan, Shaun Dooley, Katherine Kelly, Hattie Morahan, Clive Francis, Kenneth Cranham, Tamsin Greig, Peter Guinness, Ray Panthaki, Raad Rawi. Archives: George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Colin Powell, Ari Fleischer, Peter Goldsmith. Director: Gavin Hood. Screenplay: Gregory Bernstein, Sara Bernstein and Gavin Hood. Book: Marcia Mitchell and Thomas Mitchell, The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War: Katharine Gun and the Secret Plot to Sanction the Iraq Invasion. Web site. Trailer. It's been said that one of the most valuable currencies we possess is our personal integrity. It’s a measure of who we are as [...]

2019-09-16T09:24:44+00:00 September 16th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Love, Antosha’ fondly applauds a life of creativity

“Love, Antosha” (2019). Cast: Anton Yelchin. Interviews: Irina Yelchin, Viktor Yelchin, Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, J.J. Abrams, Jennifer Lawrence, Jodie Foster, Kristen Stewart, Martin Landau, Jon Voight, Willem Dafoe, Bryce Dallas Howard, Frank Langella, Sofia Boutella, Mary Lester, Ian Cripps, Sophie Simpson, Nick Jones, Paul David, Nicolas Cage (narrator). Archive Footage: Anthony Hopkins, Larry David, David Duchovny, Mel Gibson, Karl Urban, Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig, Robert DeNiro, Felicity Jones, Robert Downey Jr., Jake Gyllenhaal, Peter Dinklage. Director: Garret Price. Web site. Trailer. When we look upon the works of artists of any stripe, we often gape in awe, admiring their output and wondering how they came up with their creations. We may even somewhat [...]

2019-09-12T10:10:05+00:00 September 10th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘One Child Nation’ exposes the consequences of ignorance

“One Child Nation” (2019). Cast: Nanfu Wang, Brian Stuy, Longlan Stuy, Tunde Wang, Peng Wang, Huaru Tuan, Zhihao Wang, Shuqin Jiang, Zaodi Wang, Zhimei Wang, Jiaoming Pang. Directors: Nanfu Wang and Zhang Lynn. Web site. Trailer. It’s all too easy to become so focused on what we want that we may fail to think things through. What’s more, the ante for this can get significantly upped when we examine the ramifications for taking no action. Now imagine what can happen when such a scenario unfolds on a national scale. Under such circumstances, there may be a tendency to act rashly, something that can have dire consequences, a situation detailed in the compelling new documentary, “One Child Nation.” Chinese-born filmmaker Nanfu [...]

2019-10-12T00:01:29+00:00 September 2nd, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Peanut Butter Falcon’ celebrates getting the most out of life

“The Peanut Butter Falcon” (2019). Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zack Gottsagen, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, Jon Bernthal, Yelawolf, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Mick Foley, Wayne DeHart, Bruce Henderson. Directors: Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz. Screenplay: Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz. Web site. Trailer. How many of us are living truly fulfilled lives? Do we approach our existence with all-out gusto and a willingness to pursue our dreams? Or are we restricted by rules, regulations, fears and regrets – many of our own making – that keep us from fulfilling our potential? Sometimes it takes breaking out of rigid, ingrained patterns of thought and behavior that prevent us from getting the most out of our time in [...]

2019-10-07T09:19:01+00:00 August 28th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Bernadette’ examines the compulsion to create

“Where’d You Go, Bernadette” (2019). Cast: Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Emma Nelson, Kristin Wiig, Laurence Fishburne, Judy Greer, Troian Bellisario, Zoe Chao, Megan Mullally, Steve Zahn, David Paymer, James Urbaniak, Kate Burton. Director: Richard Linklater. Screenplay: Richard Linklater, Holly Gent and Vince Palmo. Book: Maria Semple, Where’d You Go, Bernadette. Web site. Trailer. Some of us just have to create. The compulsion is so strong that we can’t ignore it, as if it’s an itch that must be scratched. And, if that need goes unfulfilled, it can drive us crazy – literally. So it is for an exceptionally talented woman on the brink in the offbeat new comedy-drama, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.” Bernadette Fox (Cate Blanchett) leads a rather unusual life. [...]

2019-09-25T08:55:05+00:00 August 26th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Tel Aviv on Fire’ seeks to burn through the nonsense of needless drama

“Tel Aviv on Fire” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Kais Nashif, Lubna Azabal. Yaniv Biton, Maisa Abd Elhadi, Nadim Sawalha, Salim Dau, Yousef “Joe” Sweid, Amer Hlehel, Laëtitia Eïdo, Ashraf Farah, Ula Tabari, Yaffa Levi. Director: Sameh Zoabi. Screenplay: Dan Kleinman and Sameh Zoabi. Web site. Trailer. We’ve all experienced situations where the drama meter unfortunately gets turned up way beyond manageable levels. We stand by in shock (and sometimes horror) as events spiral to a fever pitch on their way to careening out of control. In fact, all we need is a Greek chorus to drop in and fan the flames of the emerging spectacle. Woe, oh dreaded woe. But must we really head down that path? Perhaps there [...]

2019-09-20T08:34:45+00:00 August 23rd, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|