/Conscious Creation

‘Dark Phoenix’ probes the impact of underlying intents

“Dark Phoenix” (2019), Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, Sophie Turner, Jessica Chastain, Tye Sheridan, Alexandra Shipp, Evan Peters, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Scott Shepherd, Hannah Anderson, Summer Fontana, Ato Essandoh, Brian d’Arcy James. Director: Simon Kinberg. Screenplay: Simon Kinberg. Story: John Byrne, Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum, “The Dark Phoenix Saga.” Comic Book Source: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Web site. Trailer. When we converse with someone, we like to think we understand the meaning behind everything they’re saying. But are we truly grasping the beliefs, intents and motivations underlying their statements? And what about their actions and gestures – can we say the same about those, too? Sometimes we need to take a closer look to make [...]

‘American Empire’ takes a critical look at what has value

“The Fall of the American Empire” (“La chute de l’empire américain”) (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Alexandre Landry, Maripier Morin, Rémy Girard, Maxim Roy, Louis Morissette, Florence Longpré, Patrick Emmanuel Abellard, Pierre Curzi, Vincent Leclerc, Eddy King, Anoulith Sintharaphone, Ayana O’Shun, Kémy St-Eloy. Director: Denys Arcand. Screenplay: Denys Arcand. Web site. Trailer. We all have our priorities when it comes to determining what we believe has value. But what exactly are those determinations based on? Do they arise from rigorously scrutinized considerations, or do they stem from arbitrary, capricious, cursory examinations? Are they decided upon by consensus, or do they vary from one individual to another? And are they fixed or flexible, changeable as needs arise or forever rigid? Those [...]

‘Rocketman’ celebrates creativity unleashed

“Rocketman” (2019). Cast: Taron Egerton, Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard, Gemma Jones, Steven Mackintosh, Stephen Graham, Charlie Rowe, Tate Donovan, Matthew Illesley, Kit Connor, Tom Bennett, Sharmira Harrower, Ophelia Lovibond, Celinde Schoenmaker, Rachel Muldoon. Director: Dexter Fletcher. Screenplay: Lee Hall. Web site. Trailer. The creative spark within each of us longs to be released. But that typically doesn’t happen until we give it the catalyst it needs to free itself, something we generally don’t supply until we recognize exactly what’s required for that to happen. Sometimes it even calls for elements and influences that we might ordinarily think would be highly unlikely for achieving success. Nevertheless, when these components come together, they can truly work magnificent wonders, a [...]

2019-06-14T06:28:59+00:00 June 14th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘The World Before Your Feet’ explores fulfillment for its own sake

“The World Before Your Feet” (2018). Cast: Matt Green. Director: Jeremy Workman. Web site. Trailer. Mountaineer George Mallory became famous (although some would say infamous) for three little words he uttered to a New York Times reporter in 1923 when describing his multiple attempts to ascend Mt. Everest, the world’s highest peak – “Because it’s there.” It’s an expression that’s become virtually synonymous with embarking on a daunting endeavor simply for its own sake. Such undertakings are truly impressive, even if they’re not for everyone. Indeed, where would the spirit of human adventure be were it not for this kind of attitude? So it’s been for an intrepid urban hiker who undertook the challenge of walking all 8,000+ miles of [...]

‘The Tomorrow Man’ urges us to live in the moment

“The Tomorrow Man” (2019). Cast: John Lithgow, Blythe Danner, Derek Cecil, Katie Aselton, Sophie Thatcher, Eve Harlow, Wendy Makkena, Isabelle Boni, Naveen Havannavar, John Sindoni. Director: Noble Lincoln Jones. Screenplay: Noble Lincoln Jones. Web site. Trailer. There’s nothing wrong with looking ahead – unless, of course, it becomes so compulsive that it keeps us from enjoying (or perhaps even recognizing) what’s going on around us – the present moment in which we dwell. It’s somewhat akin to being more worried about taking a smart phone photo of a significant event than the event itself. Yet, as comical as that may sound, all too often our focus is misplaced, myopically cast on the erroneous priority. We can miss a lot by [...]

‘Ask Dr. Ruth’ lovingly profiles a sexual revolutionary

“Ask Dr. Ruth” (2019). Cast: Interviews: Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Miriam Westheimer, Joel Westheimer, Jonathan Capehart, Betty Elam. Archive Footage: Johnny Carson, Arsenio Hall, David Letterman, Joan Rivers, Diane Sawyer, Phil Donahue, Regis Philbin, Bo Jackson, Fred Westheimer, Helen Singer Kaplan. Director: Ryan White. Web site. Trailer. Were it not for sex, none of us would be here. Yet it’s amazing how, until comparatively recently, many of us have been reluctant or embarrassed to openly discuss something so fundamental to our nature and very being. No matter what the reason behind this, the hesitant among us long avoided the subject, almost pretending as if it somehow didn’t exist. But, given the magnitude of what’s involved in sexuality – on so many [...]

2019-06-19T09:18:16+00:00 May 26th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Meeting Gorbachev’ celebrates a pragmatic visionary

“Meeting Gorbachev” (2019). Cast: Interviews: Mikhail Gorbachev, Werner Herzog, Miklós Németh, George Shultz, James Baker, Lech Walesa, Horst Teltschik. Archive Footage: Raisa Gorbachev, Yuri Andropov, Leonid Brezhnev, Konstantin Chernenko, Vladimir Putin, Boris Yeltsin, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Kohl, Andrei Gromyko. Directors: Werner Herzog and Andre Singer. Screenplay: Werner Herzog. Web site. Trailer. It’s one thing to be ever-practical when it comes to conducting our affairs, but this approach may sometimes limit our options, outcomes and effectiveness. By contrast, we could adopt a truly visionary view, one that surpasses these shortcomings but that also may be difficult to fulfill due to a lack of pragmatism. So it’s quite something when we’re able to fuse both qualities, making [...]

2019-06-18T16:07:31+00:00 May 24th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Hail Satan?’ charts the quest for protecting personal freedoms

“Hail Satan?” (2019). Cast: Interview Footage: Lucien Greaves, Jex Blackmore, Malcolm Jarry, Michael Wiener, Jason Rapert. Archive Footage: Megyn Kelly. Director: Penny Lane. Web site. Trailer. Advocates for causes may sometimes be surprised where their support comes from. That’s particularly true when such unexpected backing is notably vocal and passionate. So it is for the champions of several high-profile, hot-button initiatives as seen in the snicker-filled new documentary, “Hail Satan?” Those behind such issues as separation of church and state, women’s reproductive rights, and same-sex marriage often face an uphill battle, especially in light of the zealous, well-organized efforts of right-wing religious fundamentalists. The proponents of these measures can use all of the encouragement they can muster. But who would [...]

2019-06-14T00:07:03+00:00 May 19th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘On Her Shoulders’ speaks for those without a voice

“On Her Shoulders” (2018). Cast: Nadia Murad, Murad Ismael, Amal Clooney, Borys Wrzesnewskj, Michelle Rempel, Barack Obama, Ki-moon Ban, Simone Monasebian, Ahmed Khudida Burjus. Director: Alexandria Bombach. Screenplay/Translation: Hishyar Abid, Nawaf Ashur, Deniz Ekici, Yousif Haskan and Shahnaz Osso. Web site. Trailer. For those without a voice, it’s often difficult to be heard. In those cases, it generally takes someone with the courage and resilience to step up and make the case for them, not the easiest of undertakings. But, when an advocate with the right qualities emerges, incredible results are possible. So it is with an unlikely envoy for a little-known aggrieved people as seen in the stirring documentary, “On Her Shoulders,” available on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and video [...]

2019-06-10T09:00:33+00:00 May 9th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Dogman’ unleashes one’s wont of personal power

“Dogman” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Marcello Fonte, Edoardo Pesce, Nunzia Schiano, Adamo Dionisi, Alida Baldari Calabria, Laura Pizzirani, Aniello Arena. Director: Matteo Garrone. Screenplay: Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone, Massimo Gaudioso, Marco Perfetti, Giulio Troli and Fratelli D’Innocenzo. Story: Ugo Chiti, Matteo Garrone and Massimo Gaudioso. Web site. Trailer. Few among us would deny the attraction we feel for a sense of personal power. It enables us to direct our destiny and shape the existence we want for ourselves. But it also comes with a temptation, one that can easily get out of hand if left unchecked. And it carries consequences, especially if we misuse it in our dealings with others or our community. It’s an issue that the residents [...]

2019-06-04T16:22:09+00:00 May 7th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|