/Movie Reviews

‘Gavagai’ thoughtfully examines life’s big issues

“Gavagai” (2016 production, 2018 release). Cast: Andreas Lust, Mikkel Gaup, Anni-Kristiina Juuso. Director: Rob Tregenza. Screenplay: Kirk Kjeldsen and Rob Tregenza. Web site. Trailer. The road of life is full of twists and turns, many of them unexpected. How we address them is crucial, for they help to shape the individuals we become, which, in turn, further shape the lives we continue to experience. But, in the midst of the hubbub of everyday existence, sometimes we lose sight of this, thereby drawing attention to the need to consider what we hope will come out of life’s challenges. Such is the experience of a pair of unlikely traveling companions in the meditative new release, “Gavagai.” Affluent German businessman Carsten Neuer (Andreas [...]

2019-02-11T11:42:06+00:00 February 11th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Destroyer’ makes the case for making amends

‟Destroyerˮ (2018). Cast: Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Bradley Whitford, Sebastian Stan, James Jordan, Zach Villa, Scoot McNairy, Beau Knapp, Jade Pettyjohn, Toby Huss, Shamier Anderson. Director: Karyn Kusama. Screenplay: Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Web site. Trailer. The school of life can hand us some pretty tough lessons. If we fail in our efforts, we may come away from such experiences dejected. Those feelings can be particularly difficult to bear if we’re aware that our failings stem from wrongdoings that we might have (or should have) avoided, incidents that leave us wearing a badge of shame. And rectifying those missteps may prove quite the challenge as a downtrodden law enforcement professional discovers for herself in the gripping new [...]

2019-02-04T09:26:08+00:00 February 4th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Stan & Ollie’ celebrates persistence, reinvention

‟Stan & Ollie“ (2018). Cast: John C. Reilly, Steve Coogan, Shirley Henderson, Nina Arianda, Danny Huston, Rufus Jones, Susy Kane, Richard Cant. Director: Jon S. Baird. Screenplay: Jeff Pope. Book: A.J. Marriot, Laurel and Hardy: The British Tours. Web site. Trailer. It’s hard to keep a good man – or a good team – down. Those who are determined to carry forward with their plans, no matter what they may be, are usually difficult to contain. And, when you add the power of a collaborative effort to the mix, the ability to hold them back may be nearly impossible. So it was for a comedy duo seeking to revive their career in their waning days as seen in the entertaining [...]

2019-02-04T07:36:12+00:00 February 4th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews|

‘Cold War’ charts the rocky road to peace of mind

‟Cold War” (“Zimna wojna”) (2018). Cast: Joanna Kulig, Tomasz Kot, Borys Szyc, Agata Kulesza, Cédric Kahn, Jeanne Balibar, Adam Woronowicz. Director: Pawel Pawlikowski. Screenplay: Pawel Pawlikowski, Janusz Glowacki and Piotr Barkowski. Story: Pawel Pawlikowski. Web site. Trailer. Even when we get all the breaks, sometimes life just doesn’t satisfy us. We pursue the opportunities that present themselves, but somehow they inevitably fail to live up to their billing (and our expectations), leaving us feeling unfulfilled. And, if this pattern continues unabated, at some point, we may grow despondent, perhaps engaging in various forms of unproductive or even self-destructive behavior. So it is for an entertainer who has a chance to have it made and ends up sabotaging herself at every [...]

2019-02-01T14:22:43+00:00 February 1st, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Featured Post, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘Capernaum’ chronicles the creative struggle to survive

‟Capernaumˮ (“Chaosˮ) (2018). Cast: Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole, Kawsar Al Haddad, Fadi Kamel Yousef, Haita ‟Cedra“ Izzam, Alaa Chouchnieh, Nadine Labaki, Elias Khoury, Nour El Hosseini, Joseph Jombazian, Farah Hasno, Joe Maalouf, Tamer Ibrahim. Director: Nadine Labaki. Screenplay: Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojelly, Michelle Keserwany, Georges Khabbaz and Khalid Mouzana. Web site. Trailer. Survival can be a challenging proposition. The more difficult the circumstances, the harder it can be to get out from under. However, the more we can call upon our powers of creativity to come up with innovative solutions, the better our chances of succeeding – which can be critical when we have our very existence on the line. So it is for a young [...]

2019-02-11T11:43:17+00:00 January 23rd, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘An Acceptable Loss’ grapples with responsibility, redemption

“An Acceptable Loss” (2019). Cast: Tika Sumpter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Tavassoli, Jeff Hephner, Deanna Dunagan, Alex Weisman, Ali Burch, Clarke Peters, Rex Linn, David Eigenberg, Carmen Roma, Tim Hopper. Director: Joe Chappelle. Screenplay: Joe Chappelle. Web site. Trailer. In an age when it’s become all too easy to abandon responsibility, especially among those in positions of authority, it’s refreshing to see those who are willing to own up to their mistakes and even seek to redeem themselves for their oversights and misdeeds. But even those who genuinely attempt to make up for these shortcomings may face a difficult time of it and through no fault of their own. So what is one to do under such circumstances? That’s one [...]

2019-02-07T09:01:41+00:00 January 21st, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘On the Basis of Sex’ levels the playing field

‟On the Basis of Sexˮ (2018). Cast: Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux, Sam Waterston, Kathy Bates, Cailee Spaeny, Jack Reynor, Stephen Root, Chris Mulkey, Gary Werntz, Francis Xavier McCarthy, Ben Carlson, Angela Galuppo, Callum Shoniker, Holly Gauthier-Frankel, Moira Wylie, Lily Mitchell, Violet Mitchell. Director: Mimi Leder. Screenplay: Daniel Stiepelman. Web site. Trailer. Patently unfair circumstances ultimately hurt everyone. Allowing the perpetuation of double standards harms those who are innately disadvantaged, but the damage seldom stops there; at some point, those who seemingly benefit from those arrangements can ironically be undone by them, their advantages wiped out by a fate that they likely view with incredulity as some kind of weird, unfathomable joke. Which is why everyone is better off [...]

2019-02-04T09:26:43+00:00 January 20th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Shoplifters’ redefines the nature of family

‟Shopliftersˮ (‟Manbiki kazokuˮ) (2018). Cast: Lily Franky, Sakura Andô, Maya Matsuoka, Jyo Kairi, Miya Sasaki, Kirin Kiki. Director: Hirokazu Koreada. Screenplay: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Story: Hirokazu Kore-eda. Web site. Trailer. What makes a family? Some would say it’s strictly a matter of blood relations. Others would contend that it’s based on emotional bonds, the kind that form through birth, adoption or matrimony. But others still might claim that such considerations are irrelevant, that being a family stems from other less common and less tangible but nevertheless significant connections, ties that keep everyone together for everyone’s benefit. These are questions raised and explored in the unusual new Japanese comedy-drama, “Shoplifters” (‟Manbiki kazokuˮ). Making ends meet in modern-day Tokyo can be difficult, as [...]

2019-02-04T07:24:43+00:00 January 14th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Mary Poppins’ affirms the power of magic

“Mary Poppins Returns” (2018). Cast: Emily Blunt, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer, Colin Firth, Julie Walters, Meryl Streep, Dick Van Dyke, Angela Lansbury, David Warner, Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, Joel Dawson, Jeremy Swift, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Jim Norton, Noma Dumezweni, Tarik Frimpong, Suda Bhuchar, Steve Nicolson, Christian Dixon, Chris O’Dowd (voice), Edward Hibbert (voice). Director: Rob Marshall. Screenplay: David Magee. Story: David Magee, Rob Marshall and John DeLuca. Source Material: P.L. Travers. Web site. Trailer. Children frequently delight in the power of magic. They appreciate the wonder it engenders, and they often look on in wide-eyed awe at what it can produce. But, somewhere along the line, many of us lose that sense of amazement as we age, believing that [...]

2019-02-01T09:50:55+00:00 January 11th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|