‘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|

‘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|

‘Vice’ dissects the unbridled pursuit of power

“Vice” (2018). Cast: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell, Tyler Perry, Alison Pill, Jesse Plemons, Bill Camp, Eddie Marsan, Justin Kirk, LisaGay Hamilton, Don McManus, Lily Rabe, Matthew Jacobs, Kyle S. More, Kirk Bovill, Sam Massaro, John Hillner, William Goldman, Paul Yoo, Joseph Beck, Tony Graham, Alex Kingi, Terri Cavanaugh. Archive Footage: Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Barbara Walters, Tom Brokaw, Mike Pence, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jeff Sessions, Bill O’Reilly. Director: Adam McKay. Screenplay: Adam McKay. Web site. Trailer. Power makes much possible. It can be wielded to achieve tremendous, beneficial outcomes. It can also be mangled in contorted ways to fulfill self-serving ends. But, no matter how it’s employed, power comes with consequences of either a positive or [...]

2019-01-21T00:55:43+00:00 January 2nd, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘The Favourite’ tackles how to get (or not get) one’s way

“The Favourite” (2018). Cast: Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, Nicholas Hoult, James Smith, Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss. Director: Yorgos Lanthimos. Screenplay: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. Web site. Trailer. We all love to get our way. It’s fulfilling when we see our wishes come to fruition, often leaving us with a warm, satisfied glow inside. But how we get there can be challenging, especially if we find ourselves pushing too hard to see the desired result realized. So it is with a beleaguered monarch and her two closest but contentious advisors in the new period piece dark comedy, “The Favourite.” In 18th Century England, Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) rules – or attempts to rule – her empire in the [...]

2019-01-14T10:12:23+00:00 December 13th, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|