Hidden Figures, which had a two theater Christmas release for awards consideration, opens wide this weekend and it is a remarkable film.
The story of three African American women who made major contributions to the space race while working for NASA in 1961, it is a story of glorious achievement against a background of casual racism and sexism.
Silence is the story of resilience in the face of persecution. Based on true events, director Martin Scorsese’s latest epic chronicles the tale of two Portuguese Catholic Jesuit priests, Sebastião Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Francisco Garrpe (Adam Driver), as they travel to Japan in the 17th century. There, the two men of God hope to find their long lost mentor, Father Cristóvão Ferreira (Liam Neeson), and continue his work of spreading Christian to the country’s inhabitants. Continue reading Silence Speaks Volumes About Faith and Culture→
Despite low income and not being on every distributor’s critics list, I still saw one helluva lot of movies in 2016. A few were awful, a few were brilliant and most were somewhere in the middle.
Fifteen were the absolute best I saw and slightly more than a handful more hovered on the edges of brilliant. Bear in mind that these selections are based on a combination of how much I was entertained and how much I was persuaded to think. The best films are the ones that get one involved and these certainly did that for me.
Manchester by the Sea is the story of Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), a man who has experienced loss in a nearly unimaginable way. At the film’s opening, Lee is living in Boston working as a maintenance man for several apartment complexes where he is mostly unappreciated. His is a solitary life, typically avoiding human contact and interaction as much as possible. One routine day, Lee receives a call he appears to be both expecting and dreading—his brother, a man he loved, has passed. Continue reading Manchester by the Sea Explores the Tumultuous Tides of Grief→
La La Land is a strange beast – influenced equally by Hollywood musicals like Singing in the Rain (to which there is a fun reference) and Jacques Demy’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg – that is something more than mere colorful fun.
Damien Chazelle’s second film is the story of two struggling artists – jazz pianist Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) and wannabe actor Mia (Emma Stone) – who don’t exactly meet cute, then do before going on to have a very real relationship (cleverly camouflaged as piece of fluff musical).
August Wilson’s play Fences is a timeless – and therefore timely – story about an African American man dealing with race relations, marriage, fatherhood and a past that was never quite what he wanted it to be.
The story of Saroo Brierley is one of epic proportions to the point that if it were fiction it might be hard to believe.
How an Indian child of five could fall asleep on a decommissioned train in Ganesh Talai in the Khandwr Province of India and wind up in Calcutta, in Bengali Province and then survive for two years on the streets before being placed in an orphanage and being adopted by an Australian couple… Well, it’s like something out of an international soap opera – only it’s true.
The latest animated tale from Illumination is a ‘let’s put on a show’ story that weaves over 75 songs – most well-known – into the story of Buster Moon’s last gasp attempt to save his run down theater.
With a sparkling voice cast (everyone performs their characters’ songs) and a heaping helping of wit and charm, Sing is unexpectedly great fun.
Callum Lynch wakes up the morning after his execution to discover he’s the essential part of a plan to travel back in through – through an ancestor’s memories – to locate the Apple of Eden for the contemporary Templars. In doing so, he learns that that ancestor was an assassin, tasked with keeping the Apple out of the Templars’ hands at all costs.
Assassin’s Creed is a jumbled mess of a movie that ties to achieve a mystical conclusion via a quasi-scientific means – and fails spectacularly.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is the adaptation of the popular young adult novel by Ransom Riggs which chronicles the tales of people, particularly youngsters, with extraordinary abilities. Such gifts might include the ability to control air, water, time, or even reanimate the dead or lifeless. When Jake (Asa Butterfield) discovers this hidden world of remarkable individuals, his life changes forever.
Passengers is a lovely film if all you’re looking for is pretty pictures of pretty people on a beautiful starship.
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt find themselves awakened from suspended animation thirty years into a 120-year voyage from Earth to a new colony on Homestead II. Their meeting isn’t particularly cute – it’s kind of creepy – but since they’re stuck there…