‘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 [...]

‘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 [...]

‘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 [...]

2019-05-26T21:55:27+00:00 April 23rd, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, 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|

‘Us’ forces us to take a look at ourselves

“Us” (2019). Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Madison Curry, Ashley Mckoy, Napiera Groves, Alan Frazier. Director: Jordan Peele. Screenplay: Jordan Peele. Web site. Trailer. Have you ever thought what it might be like to meet yourself? How we see ourselves can be an eye-opening experience, especially if what we observe doesn’t match our expectations. What we encounter could be significantly different from what we believe about our being, our attitudes and our behavior. But, on closer inspection, we may be surprised to see that it’s exactly who we are at our core, a scenario that gives us much to assess, some of [...]

2019-04-24T15:59:37+00:00 March 28th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi|

‘Smuggling Hendrix’ unleashes the call for freedom, harmony

“Smuggling Hendrix” (2018). Cast: Adam Bousdoukos, Fatih Al, Vicky Papadopoulou, Özgur Karadeniz, Georgia Constantinou, Toni Dimitriou, Marios Stylianou, Andreas Phylactou, Charlambos Charlambou, Pepper. Director: Marios Piperides. Screenplay: Marios Piperides. Web site. Trailer. What can we learn from our pets? Actually, quite a lot, as long as we’re paying attention. The trick, of course, is looking behind what they’re trying to show us, to see the real meaning behind their actions. But, if we do so, we might reap some tremendous benefits. So it is with a four-legged furry mentor in the charming new comedy, “Smuggling Hendrix.” On the divided Mediterranean island of Cyprus, where combative Greek and Turkish factions have been living under a somewhat uneasy truce for more than [...]

2019-04-23T10:16:06+00:00 March 25th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|

‘Celeste Garcia’ explores how to get what we really want

“The Extraordinary Journey of Celeste Garcia” (“El viaje extraordinario de Celeste García”) (2018). Cast: María Isabel Díaz, Omar Franco, Néstor Jiménez, Yerlín Pérez, Tamara Castellanos, Veronica Diaz, Roberto Espinosa, Reinier Díaz, Andrea Doimeadios, Beatriz Viña. Director: Arturo Infante. Screenplay: Arturo Infante. Web site. Trailer. Much of our life is spent just trying to figure out how it all works. This leaves us little time to devote to attaining what we really hope for out of it. And, even then, we may not get it right through many attempts at doing so. But, at some point, we just might hit upon the right formula, one that gives us the happiness and contentment we seek. Such an odyssey is the stuff of [...]

2019-03-25T12:20:14+00:00 March 3rd, 2019|Comedy, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi|

‘Pig’ asks, ‘What’s the price of popularity?’

“Pig” (“Khook”) (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Hassan Majooni, Leila Hatami, Leili Rashidi, Parinaz Izadyar, Siamak Ansari, Ainaz Azarhoush, Ali Bagheri, Mina Jafarzadeh, Ali Masaffa. Director: Mani Haghighi, Screenplay: Mani Haghighi. Web site. Trailer. What does it mean to be liked? That can be a loaded question, depending on the context. But, in an age of omnipresent social media (and the social ostracism that often accompanies it, which can take myriad forms, again depending on the context), that question can become even more precarious. And, on top of all that, our responses to those circumstances can be truly mind-boggling. These are just some of the issues faced by an insecure citizen in an insecure society in the offbeat new Iranian [...]

2019-03-20T09:24:13+00:00 February 28th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|

‘Isn’t It Romantic’ muses about the true nature of love

“Isn’t It Romantic” (2019). Cast: Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth, Adam Devine, Priyanka Chopra, Brandon Scott Jones, Betty Gilpin, Jennifer Saunders, Alexandra Kis, Ray Anthony Lewis, Zach Cherry, Sandy Honig, Dean Neistat. Director: Todd Strauss-Schulson. Screenplay: Erin Cardillo, Dana Fox and Katie Silberman. Story: Erin Cardillo. Web site. Trailer. What does it take to love someone? The answer may surprise you, as its origins actually stem from a source that might not be recognized at first glance. But making that realization is crucial if we ever hope to find that true love, an insight pursued in earnest in the delightful new romantic comedy parody, “Isn’t It Romantic.” When pudgy 12-year-old Aussie Natalie (Alexandra Kis) gawks at a screening of the 1990 [...]

2019-03-18T10:21:45+00:00 February 26th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews, Romance|

‘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 [...]

2019-02-26T23:58:37+00:00 February 4th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|