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Tag: sundance

What to Watch: June 2022 Streaming Preview
Features, Film

What to Watch: June 2022 Streaming Preview

If you’re looking for something new on streaming in June, we’ve got you covered. Maybe you want to sit down with a brand new release to rent on VOD? If you’d rather check out something that has just hit a service you already subscribe to, we’ve got you covered there too. Check out some of our picks for what you should add to your watchlist! What are you most excited to see? Newly Available on VOD Father Stu (May 30)Petite Maman (June 7)The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Buy on June 7, rent on June 21)Everything Everywhere All At Once (June 7) Wyrm (June 10)Fiddler's Journey to the Big Screen (June 14)After Yang (June 21) Hit The Road (June 21)Flux Gourmet (June 24) https://youtu.be/oHraElR_v60 AMC+ White Elephant - This day & date theatrical release about an...
Catch Up With ‘Flee’ Before the Academy Awards (Review)
Features, Film, Reviews

Catch Up With ‘Flee’ Before the Academy Awards (Review)

Danish drama 'Flee' is one of the most unique nominees at this year's Academy Awards. It earned a nomination for Best International Feature Film, but also made history for its inclusion in the categories for Best Animated Feature and Best Documentary Feature. The film, which world premiered at Sundance last year, introduces us to a man in Denmark who finally breaks his silence on being a child refugee. Director Jonas Poher Rasmussen tells the intensely personal story of one his best friends from high school. We're introduced to him as Amin Nawabi, but that's a pseudonym. Combined with the animation, it allows Amin to tell his story, but remain protected. Born in Kabul, Amin's family was torn apart after their father was arrested and the country was torn apart by war. I...
Sundance Hit ‘Mass’ is a Tragic Tale of Loss (Review)
Features, Film, Reviews

Sundance Hit ‘Mass’ is a Tragic Tale of Loss (Review)

For most of us, it's hard to imagine the pain that would come from the loss of a child. I don't know how many people ever would also stop to think about the pain for those whose children take the lives of other kids. That's at the heart of the directorial debut feature film from actor Fran Kranz. In 'Mass,' two sets of parents entangled in a lawsuit meet up for a private conversation in a neutral zone. In a utility room at a church where none of them attend, the four adults finally sit down face to face with each other. Martha Plimpton and Jason Isaacs star as Gail and Jay. They lost their teenage son in a school shooting. Ann Dowd and Reed Birney star as Richard and Linda. Their son, who was also a student at the same school, pulled the trigger. As they all sit do...
The 10 Best Films of 2021
Features, Film, Reviews

The 10 Best Films of 2021

For as long as I have been breathing, there have been people complaining that it was not a good year for film. In the wake of a global pandemic and with the methods that most people use to consume movies changing all the time, there feels like there has been more of that than usual. There is an awful lot of Chicken-littleing across the internet, especially on 'Film Twitter.' One thing is certain: COVID accelerated the ever-shortening theatrical window. Not only do we see a lot more 'day and date' releases available to rent on video on demand or streaming providers, but even moderately successful titles have foregone a staggered theatrical release in favor of premium VOD rental access after 17 days of release. It will be hard to put that genie back in the bottle and, one might argue...
“Passing” Elegantly Examines Friendship and Race in 1920’s New York (Review)
Film, Reviews

“Passing” Elegantly Examines Friendship and Race in 1920’s New York (Review)

Shortly after premiering at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the directorial debut of actor Rebecca Hall ("The Night House") was acquired for release by Netflix in a worldwide deal. Based on the groundbreaking 1929 novel of the same name by Nella Larsen, "Passing" tells the story of two childhood friends who run into each other as adults, intersecting with each other again at very different places in their lives. https://youtu.be/mPlr-E_xKlU Tessa Thompson stars as Irene, a woman living in Harlem with her husband Brian (André Holland) and their two children. With Brian working as a doctor, they live comfortably enough for Irene to spend her time charitably. While stopping for a drink on a blisteringly hot summer day, she runs into Clare (Ruth Negga) in a hotel bar. The...
Sundance Hit “CODA” Comes Home (Review)
Film, Reviews

Sundance Hit “CODA” Comes Home (Review)

Loosely based on a 2014 French Film called "La Famille Bélier," the second feature film from director Sian Heder introduces us to a family in Gloucester, Massachusetts where a teenage girl named Ruby (Emilia Jones) is the only member of her family who isn't deaf. In classical music, a coda is the part of the composition that ends the piece or movement. Here, it stands as an acronym for "child of deaf adults" although it does double duty musically in the story as well. Ruby has grown up in her family's fishing company, working alongside her father and brother on the boat and helping her mother with the administrative side of things. She is not only well versed in the business, but also acts as a de facto interpreter for them in situations where they have to deal with others who don...
Be Reborn With ‘Nine Days’ (Review)
Film, Reviews

Be Reborn With ‘Nine Days’ (Review)

In a house planted seemingly in the middle of nowhere, Will (Winston Duke, "Black Panther") leads a mostly solitary existence. For the majority of each day, he faces a wall of televisions and VCRs watching life through the eyes of others. He takes extensive notes, recording key moments and tucking memories into filing cabinets. Will's job, as it were, is to interview unborn souls to determine if they're worthy of life on Earth. Presumably he is one of many tasked with this work, although we only meet a few others like him. He is quick to point out that he once was a human and so he knows what to look for. Unexpectedly, the point of view on one of his sets goes dark. He tragically loses a soul in an accident who was very meaningful to him. Replacing her won't be an easy task. T...
Sundance Hit ‘How It Ends’ Brings The Apocalypse Home (Review)
Film, Reviews

Sundance Hit ‘How It Ends’ Brings The Apocalypse Home (Review)

When the end credits began to roll on its brisk 82-minute running time, I said to my partner how much I enjoyed "How It Ends" and that it reminded me of the glory days of American independent film in the 90s. He laughed and noted that the whole time he was thinking about Richard Linklater's 1990 classic, "Slacker." There is a shared cinematic universe between the two - both features offer a meandering "day in the life" scenario giving the viewer a series of characters who float in and out of the film and give us a handful of perfect moments. While "Slacker" showed us a random day in late 1980s Austin, Texas, this literal doomsday comedy has us on the streets of Los Angeles in the 24 hours before a giant meteor makes contact with Earth and kills us all. Zoe Lister-Jones and her h...
Young Poets Shine in “Summertime” (Review)
Art, Film, Reviews

Young Poets Shine in “Summertime” (Review)

In the spring of 2019, Carlos López Estrada ("Blindspotting") attended a poetry showcase hosted by a Los Angeles-based non-profit organization called Get Lit: Words Ignite. He was so inspired by the young poets who performed that he rounded up all of them and worked with some of his closest filmmaking friends to put to a project together that would incorporate their words into a functional feature film to serve as a love letter to the city. The end result effortlessly manages to merge spoken word poetry with occasionally bombastic musical numbers featuring a host of intersecting characters into a cohesive timeline over the course of one summer day. I can't say enough good things about these performances, all from high school poets who were not professional actors. You would ne...
Take a Wild “First Date” This Holiday Weekend (Review)
Film, Reviews

Take a Wild “First Date” This Holiday Weekend (Review)

A debut film can often act as a calling card in the industry. Even if it doesn't find a huge audience, the right buzz can earn enough of a following to become a cult classic and lay the groundwork for bigger things. That, in a nutshell, is exactly what I anticipate will happen for Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp, who wrote and directed "First Date," an incredibly fun and totally bonkers movie that premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. https://youtu.be/EDNarSyQEcc Tyson Brown plays Mike, a shy high-schooler who has had a crush on a girl at school named Kelsey (Shelby Duclos) for a long time and finally decides to work up the nerve to ask her out. The only problem? He doesn't have a car. All he needs to do is get a decent ride and pick her up for a date. If i...