/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 [...]

‘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 [...]

‘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 [...]

‘Searching’ distinguishes what we know from what we think we know

“Searching” (2018). Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing, Sara Sohn, Michelle La, Joseph Lee, Alex Jayne Go, Megan Liu, Kya Dawn Lau, Ric Sarabia. Director: Aneesh Chaganty, Screenplay: Aneesh Chaganty and Sev Ohanian. Web site. Trailer. We can take comfort in knowing that certain aspects of our life are exactly as they seem to be. Or can we? Are we getting a clear, accurate picture of the people, places and things that make up our existence? Or are we falling prey to what we’d like to think we know about such elements of our reality? The result can be eye-opening – and disillusioning – as an anguished parent discovers for himself in the sizzling thriller, “Searching,” now available on DVD, Blu-ray [...]

2019-04-24T15:58:58+00:00 April 24th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘The Trouble with You’ asks, ‘how far must we go to make amends?’

“The Trouble with You” (“En liberté!”) (2018). Cast: Adèle Haenel, Pio Marmaï, Audrey Tautou, Vincent Elbaz, Damien Bonnard, Hocine Choutri, Octave Bossuet. Director: Pierre Salvadori. Screenplay: Benjamin Charbit, Benoît Graffin and Pierre Salvadori. Web site. Trailer. How far are we willing to go to make amends? To be sure, many of us justifiably feel compelled to right our wrongs, often with good reason. But, when it comes to compensating for the misdeeds of others for whom we feel responsible, how long must we leave ourselves on the hook, if at all? That’s a conundrum faced by a noble public servant with good intentions – and not always the best results – in the wacky new French farce, “The Trouble with [...]

2019-04-25T15:53:23+00:00 April 23rd, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Diane’ examines the life unexamined

“Diane” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Mary Kay Place, Jake Lacy, Estelle Parsons, Andrea Martin, Deirdre O’Connell, Glynnis O’Connor, Joyce Van Patten, Kerry Flanagan, Phyllis Somerville, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Ray Iannicelli, Marcia Haufrecht, Gabriella Rhodeen, Charles Weldon, Mary Fuller. Director: Kent Jones. Screenplay: Kent Jones. Web site. Trailer. How often do we take stock of our lives? In many cases, we don’t even ask the question, let alone engage in the act of doing so. But, if our lives seem empty or missing something, we might consider evaluating who we are, what we’re doing and where we’re headed while we still have time to do something about it. The process may be difficult, even painful, but the solution may involve something [...]

2019-04-21T17:29:52+00:00 April 21st, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘The Best of Enemies’ chronicles the cause of change

“The Best of Enemies” (2019). Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell, Babou Ceesay, Nick Searcy, Wes Bentley, Anne Heche, Bruce McGill, John Gallagher Jr., Nicholas Logan, Gilbert Glenn Brown, Caitlin Mehner, Mckenzie Applegate, Nadej Bailey, Kevin Iannucci, Charles A. Black, Dolan Wilson, Tim Ware, Ned Vaughn. Director: Robin Bissell. Screenplay: Robin Bissell. Book: Osha Gray Davidson, The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South. Web site. Trailer. Many of us dislike change, but sometimes it’s positively essential, no matter how much we may dread it. However, if we approach it with an open mind, a willingness to examine why we resist it and a spirit of cooperation to see the process through, making alterations and adjustments need [...]

2019-05-19T22:02:00+00:00 April 16th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Neurotic Quest for Serenity’ chronicles the search for peace of mind, personal power

“Neurotic Quest for Serenity” (“Transfornada Obsessiva Compulsiva”) (2018). Cast: Tatá Werneck, Vera Holtz, Bruno Gagliasso, Luis Lobianco, Daniel Furlan, Pedro Wagner, Mário Gomes, Patricya Travassos, Ingríd Guimarães, Luciana Paes. Directors: Paulinho Caruso and Teodoro Poppovic. Screenplay: Paulinho Caruso and Teodoro Poppovic, with Pedro Aguilera, Tatá Werneck, Mauricio Bouzon and Tainá Muhringer. Source Collaborators: Daniel Duncan, Gustavo Suzuki and Hell Ravani. Web site. Trailer. Peace of mind can be elusive, especially when we feel overwhelmed by everything happening around us – or to us. As the pressure mounts, we may begin to feel ourselves fraying at the edges as the stress creeps deeper and deeper into our being. And we can only tolerate these circumstances for so long before they finally [...]

2019-05-09T07:21:38+00:00 April 3rd, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|

‘Little Gandhi’ inspires the visionary in each of us

“Little Gandhi” (2016). Cast: Interview Footage: Robert Ford, Najlaa Alsheikh, Osama Abu Zayd, Motaz Morad, Ghiath Shurbaji, Muhammad Shihadeh, Shafeek Abdulaziz, Muhanad Abu Alzen, Rana, Hassan Abo-Kinan, Mohammed Namous, Radwan Ziadeh, Ahmad Shurbaji. Archive Footage: John Kerry, David Cameron, Ghiath Matar, Yahya Shurbaji. Director: Sam Kadi. Screenplay: Sam Kadi. Web site. Trailer. It’s been said that one catches more flies with honey than with dung. While that may be true in many circumstances, it can be a tricky practice in political circles. If nothing else, though, it can make a statement, regardless of whether its objectives are met. So it was with an unconventional but fearless nonviolent activist fighting for change in his beleaguered homeland, the subject of the compelling [...]

2019-05-07T09:11:45+00:00 April 1st, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|