‘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|

‘Green Book’ applauds the power of collaboration, friendship

“Green Book” (2018). Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Moniscalco, Dimiter D. Marinov, Mike Hatton, Von Lewis, Hudson Galloway, Gavin Foley, Rodolfo Vallelonga, Louis Venere, Johnny Williams, Iqbal Theba, Tom Virtue, Dane Rhodes, Brian Stepanek, Ninja Devoe. Director: Peter Farrelly. Screenplay: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie and Peter Farrelly. Web site. Trailer. There’s nothing like a good friend. The value of associating with someone who cares deeply for you, and who has your back at times when it really counts, can’t be overestimated. And it can be especially satisfying when that friendship arises from an unexpected companion. So it is with a seemingly mismatched duo in the new, fact-based road trip buddy movie, “Green Book.” Tony “Lip” Vallelonga [...]

2019-01-06T06:42:48+00:00 December 3rd, 2018|Comedy, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Eighth Grade’ plumbs the problem solving process

“Eighth Grade” (2018). Cast: Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson, Jake Ryan, Daniel Zolghadri, Fred Hechinger, Imani Lewis, Luke Prael, Catherine Oliviere, Nora Mullins, Missy Yager, Greg Crowe, Natalie Carter. Director: Bo Burnham. Screenplay: Bo Burnham. Web site. Trailer. Try to think of a time in your life when you felt like you were perpetually confused. For some of us, that might come at almost any age. But, for those lacking the benefit of life experience, it most likely occurred at a time when we were still finding our way in the world – not when we were so young that we didn’t consciously think about such things but at a slightly later stage in our development when we earnestly [...]

2018-09-18T08:42:35+00:00 August 4th, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Sorry to Bother You’ wrestles with destiny, integrity

“Sorry to Bother You” (2018). Cast: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermaine Fowler, Omari Hardwick, Terry Crews, Danny Glover, Armie Hammer, Kate Berlant, Michael X. Sommers, Steven Yeun, Robert Longstreet, Forest Whitaker, Indigo Jackson, Elaine Clark, Patton Oswalt (voice), David Cross (voice), Lily James (voice), Rosario Dawson (voice). Director: Boots Riley. Screenplay: Boots Riley. Web site. Trailer. What does it mean to be in charge of your own destiny? Do you have a handle on what you want and what you’ve created for yourself? Or have you been swept up with the current, unwittingly fulfilling others’ agendas, bringing you material success but prompting you to compromise your values and integrity? And, if so, how do you proceed? Those are some of [...]

2018-08-20T12:15:16+00:00 July 10th, 2018|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|