/Featured Post

‘Harriet’ chronicles a historic fight for freedom

“Harriet” (2019). Cast: Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., Janelle Monáe, Joe Alwyn, Clarke Peters, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Omar J. Dorsey, Henry Hunter Hall, Tim Guinee, Zackary Momoh, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Jennifer Nettles, Deborah Ayorinde, Michael Marunde, Rakeem Laws, Tory Kittles. Director: Kasi Lemmons. Screenplay: Gregory Allen Howard and Kasi Lemmons. Story: Gregory Allen Howard. Web site. Trailer. The American dream of living a life of freedom is as old as the days of the Founding Fathers. Yet, for many years after the Revolution and the establishment of the new republic, one segment of society was always left out when it came to enjoying such self-evident blessings. The nation’s slave population languished in an unending cycle of forced servitude, unable to break [...]

2019-11-17T20:40:40+00:00 November 17th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Jojo Rabbit’ charts the challenges of growing up

“Jojo Rabbit” (2019). Cast: Roman Griffin Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Thomasin McKenzie, Taiki Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Stephen Merchant, Archie Yates. Director: Taiki Waititi. Screenplay: Taiki Waititi. Book: Christine Leunens, Caging Skies. Web site. Trailer. Growing up can be difficult enough as we seek to understand the complexities of the world around us. But, if we add to that a quest to grasp an emerging sense of self and the place we occupy in our existence, the task can become overwhelming. Where do we turn for guidance? Who can we trust? And what advice should we seriously consider? Those questions might seem obvious and fundamental, but that doesn’t make them any less daunting, especially for those who lack [...]

2019-11-13T07:54:40+00:00 November 13th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Parasite’ exposes the fallout of false intentions

“Parasite” (“Gisaengchung”) (2019). Cast: Kang-ho Song, Hye-jin Jang, So-dam Park, Woo-sik Choi, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo, Jung Ziso, Hyun-jun Jong, Jeong-eun Lee, Myeong-hoon Park, Seo-joon Park, Keun-rok Park. Director: Bong Joon-ho. Screenplay: Jin Won Hon and Bong Joon-ho. Web site. Trailer. When the have-nots stare down the ample resources of the haves, there’s almost always sure to be a degree of envy involved. “How is it that they’ve come to acquire what we haven’t?” they might legitimately ask. “Why can’t we have some of that?” Those questions have merit, too. But how far are the have-nots willing to go to get what they seek? That’s a crucial issue posed in the new social satire, “Parasite” (“Gisaengchung”). Times are tough for [...]

2019-11-08T15:57:51+00:00 November 8th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

Wrapping up the Chicago Film Festival

One of the great joys of reviewing movies is the opportunity to attend film festivals. They offer moviegoers a chance to see multiple offerings in myriad genres from countries all over the globe, featuring everything from little-known independent productions to Hollywood blockbusters. And so it is with my hometown event, the Chicago International Film Festival, which just recently completed its 55th edition. The Chicago festival just keeps getting better and better every year. I’ve attended many of the festivals over the past 40 years (I started attending when I was 2…), and I’ve seen vast improvements in programming and staging in that time, efforts that have truly made this a world class event. Over 12 days, I screened 15 films, [...]

2019-10-30T03:19:53+00:00 October 30th, 2019|Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘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|