Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer Directed by: Joseph Cedar Starring: Stars: Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Dan Stevens, Josh Charles and Steve Buscemi Rated: R Run Time: 1h 57min Genre: Drama, Thriller By: Shari K. Green 4 out of 5 Frames Norman is […]
SHOOTING STARTS ON “A STAR IS BORN,” STARRING BRADLEY COOPER AND STEFANI GERMANOTTA (LADY GAGA) Film Marks Cooper’s Directorial Debut BURBANK, CA – Filming begins today on Warner Bros. Pictures’ reimagining of the musical “A Star is Born,” starring Bradley Cooper and introducing Stefani Germanotta, known across the globe as Oscar-nominated music superstar […]
Tommy’s Honour Directed by: Jason Connery Starring: Peter Mullan, Jack Lowden, Ophelia Lovibond, and Sam Neill Rated: PG Run Time: 1h 57min Genre: Drama, Sport 3 1/2 Frames out of 5 By: Shari K. Green Director Jason Connery, son of actor Sean Connery, is usually in front of the camera. Appearing in over […]
Annapurna Pictures has released the first trailer for the upcoming thriller DETROIT. From the Academy Award-winning director of THE HURT LOCKER and ZERO DARK THIRTY, DETROIT tells the gripping story of one of the darkest moments during the civil unrest that rocked Detroit in the summer of ‘67. Director: Kathryn Bigelow Writer: Mark Boal Producers: […]
IFC Films is excited to announce the May release of CHUCK starring Liev Scheiber and Naomi Watts. He was the pride of Bayonne, New Jersey, a man who went fifteen rounds in the ring with Muhammad Ali, and the real-life inspiration for Rocky Balboa. But before all that, Chuck Wepner (Liev Schreiber) was a liquor […]
In the Town of Derry, the local kids are disappearing one by one, leaving behind torn body parts/remains. In a place known as ‘The Barrens’, a group of seven kids are united by their horrifying and strange encounters with a clown called Pennywise.
Directed by: Andrés Muschietti
Starring: Bill Skarsgård, Finn Wolfhard and Javier Botet
New Line released the trailer for the Andres Muschietti-directed horror film in English along with 30 localized versions starting at 9AM Wednesday. Of the trailer’s 197M global views, more than 81M views and over 1.8M shares on the U.S. Facebook instance alone. Within hours after dropping, the It trailer became a viral sensation, trending across Facebook, Twitter and rising to the top of the Reddit Homepage with 30K-plus up votes in four hours. The video quickly rose to the No. 1 position on YouTube’s trending videos and remained there throughout the day.
The trailer helped It trend globally on Twitter with trends for It, It Movie, Pennywise and the Red Balloon Emoji all appearing.
It is based on the 1986 novel by King, and follows seven children who are terrorized by the eponymous being, who exploits the fears and phobias of its victims in order to disguise itself while hunting its prey. It generally appears as a clown in order to lure young children.
From Focus Features comes THE BOOK OF HENRY, in select cities June 16th, 2017
Sometimes things are not always what they seem, especially in the small suburban town where the Carpenter family lives. Single suburban mother Susan Carpenter (Naomi Watts) works as a waitress at a diner, alongside feisty family friend Sheila (Sarah Silverman). Her younger son Peter (Jacob Tremblay) is a playful 8-year-old. Taking care of everyone and everything in his own unique way is Susan’s older son Henry (Jaeden Lieberher), age 11. Protector to his adoring younger brother and tireless supporter of his often self-doubting mother – and, through investments, of the family as a whole – Henry blazes through the days like a comet. Susan discovers that the family next door, which includes Henry’s kind classmate Christina (Maddie Ziegler), has a dangerous secret – and that Henry has devised a surprising plan to help. As his brainstormed rescue plan for Christina takes shape in thrilling ways, Susan finds herself at the center of it.
Director: Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World, Safety Not Guaranteed)
Writer: Gregg Hurwitz (Orphan X)
Cast: Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Silverman, Lee Pace, Maddie Ziegler, and Dean Norris
RAW Directed by: Julia Ducournau Starring: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf and Rabah Nait Oufella Rated: R Run Time: 1h 39min Genre: Drama, Horror 4 Frames out of 5 By: Shari K. Green Subtitled In a word, Raw is… raw. A movie about cannibalism might frighten you away but keep reading before […]
Car Dogs Directed by: Adam Collis Starring: Octavia Spencer, George Lopez, Patrick J. Adams, Nia Vardalos, Chris Mulkey, Alessandra Torresani, Josh Hopkins and Wendy Crawford Rated: R Run Time: 1H, 44mins Genre: Comedy, Drama 3 Frames out of 5 By Shari K. Green Most of us have been through buying a car, […]
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Lars Eidinger, Sigrid Bouaziz and Nora von Waldstätten
Run Time: 1h 45min
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller
4 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
With the roles she’s choosing, Kristen Steward has been redefining herself, and this part was a wise decision made by both she and director Olivier Assayas (Clouds of Sils Maria.) Having worked with her in the past he knew that when he needed an actress to pull off the look of someone pained and tormented and to also be engaging that Stewart was the best choice. She was his supporting character is Clouds but this time she carries the entire film as Maureen. The film is a bit hard to follow at first but give it time.
You’re in the hands of a filmmaker who doesn’t want to reveal anything too soon. Pacing and all things becoming revealed in due time are critically important.
At first, it’s hard to distinguish what exactly is going on with Maureen. She’s dark and distant but at the twenty-eight-minute mark, you learn that her twin brother had died of the heart defect they both have. Not only is she sad, she’s lonely and fears for her own health. When this comes to light it explains the very beginning of the film where she quietly walks through a dark house looking to make contact with a spirit.
She’s a young American woman working in Paris as a personal shopper for a celebrity during the day but at night she’s a brooding sister waiting for her brother who, before he passed away, promised he’d make contact with her after his death. They had a pact that whoever died first, the other would reach out from the other side and give them a sign. She goes to the house she once shared with her brother and hopes to see a manifestation or feel something encouraging so that maybe she can move on with the rest of her life but it doesn’t happen so fast.
The audience is on a psychological journey with someone who may very well be better off in treatment but the way the film is rolled out; you don’t pick up on that too soon. There’s a certain strain put on you to understand Maureen because she seems so fragile but at the same time you’re getting frustrated at some of the decisions she’s making. Like when she receives text messages from a stranger and she begins to engage. What so good about this, outside of the overall tone, is it keeps you wondering, is it her brother or is it no one? Is this happening or is it in her head? With precision, Assayas does an incredible job of leading you into the trap you don’t see coming. He uses sound and music as he takes you on this trip where you’re on the edge of your seat for the entire ride, but he doesn’t really end up showing you much of anything. It’s a refreshing take on the subject and it’s a beautiful piece of art.
Personal Shopper can be creepy at times and those moments are done with a special technique. She becomes more upset, desperate and even frantic. The more she does, the more engaged with her character you become. Maureen, the personal shopper and the girl looking for a spirit, seem to be in two different movies. Kristen Stewart is so good that these two different entities become one in the end. She makes what Personal Shopper is, so special. She keeps you vested with slight changes to her character and Assayas uses everything in his power to keep from exposing the tortured young soul too soon without losing you in the meantime. Personal Shopper is gripping and intense and a movie I’d have to recommend you see as soon as you can.
Starring: Anna Kendrick, Craig Robinson, June Squibb, Lisa Kudrow, Stephen Merchant, Tony Revolori, Wyatt Russell and Amanda Crew
2 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
If you’ve ever found yourself as the party guest who has been invited to the party but can’t be super involved due to the placement of your table, then you’ll understand why this movie was made. It was made for all the odd men out who have watched all of the festivities from afar. So far away in some cases that you can barely even say you were there! You were practically scuttled off into another room or the hallway, at least this is how you begin to feel. If you have ever sat and scanned the table in which you’re seated and noticed you’re at a table full of strangers rather than with those who invited you, and your tablemates seem not to fit in with the other guests, you need to do one thing… examine why you’re at that table, too. Consider this movie a wake-up call if you’ve ignored this happening to you, especially if it has happened more than once.
Writers Mark and Jay Duplass have either been there or have put people there; waaay back there at Table 19 because they certainly hit the nail on the head as to how a guest would feel when realizing they’ve been relegated to the outskirts of a given gala or celebration. They did a good job writing a script that empowers anyone who has felt shunned in this manner. At a lost, distant table, one can find hope, friendship and maybe love, if they just open their minds to it. I liked how it championed for those who should have checked no on their RSVP, but the movie goes out of its way to make a few characters likable that just aren’t.
It starts off well, revealing Eloise’s’ (Kendrick) reason for being at the bad table. She’s the ex-girlfriend of the bride’s brother, Teddy (Russell), and now ex-maid of honor. One by one, explanations for the other characters at the table are established. They’re even accompanied by flashbacks. We have some witty banter which at times, especially when dispatched by Walter (Stephen Merchant), have you laughing and at other times has you feeling sorry for this group of misfits, which isn’t good when you made your way to the theatre, promised a comedy, and are having a hard time finding a reason to chuckle. It is labeled on IMDB as a comedy, drama but who are we kidding?! Duplass writing for this cast?! I’ll not highlight that too soon. Back to the characters.
Jo (Squibb) is a sweet old woman who all but raised the bride and is being treated horribly by her today. Rezno (Revolori) is an incredibly obnoxious and extremely unfunny virgin who figures, along with his mother, this is where he can land a drunken, foolish young woman to be his first. Drunk and foolish is what she’d have to be because no one in their right mind would be into this awkward nightmare of a character. Rezno was simply too far out to be believable and I thought the film would have been so much better had he not been a part of the story. Kudrow and Robinson are Bina and Jerry, a couple who has been married for years and are falling out of love. Though at a wedding, they don’t find it an issue at all to air their differences in front of everyone.
I liked some of what was going on. I can’t say that if you enjoy a character driven story that you shouldn’t watch this one but there is a lot wrong with Table 19. It, at times, shows real promise. The characters grow and you’re genuinely happy about that. I was having fun watching these flakes get to know each other and also wanting to help one another through the vexing situation they realize they’re all in but at times I actually found myself looking around the theatre to make sure I knew the location of the emergency exit. It was all over the place with what kind of movie it wanted to be.
I think had the writers focused on one genre, director Jeffrey Blitz (The Office and Parks and Recreation) would have had a much better script to work with. Choosing drama over comedy then switching back and… my head is spinning!! It got a little frustrating. Sure there’s comedy in misery but it was anguishing watching how miserable some of these poor things are. For Squibb, Robinson and Merchant, I’d say watch this when it hits cable. It isn’t a terrible waste of your time. But be sure you’re in the mood for a comedy, I mean, be sure you’re in the mood for a drama… well, you get the drift. When you don’t know what you want to see, seat yourself at Table 19. Sometimes that’s where you just find yourself being put but maybe you won’t mind being there.
Starring: Zoey Deutch, Halston Sage, Logan Miller, Kian Lawley, Elena Kampouris, Cynthy Wu, Medalion Rahimi, Diego Boneta and Jennifer Beals
Run Time: 1h 39min
Genre: Drama, Mystery
3 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was the king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth). He was punished for his self-aggrandizing craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him, repeating this action for eternity. Through the classical influence on modern culture, tasks that are both laborious and futile are therefore described as Sisyphean. Why is this English lesson pertinent to this review? It’s not but it’ll help you better understand why it’s used in the movie and will help you grasp the intent behind the yarn.
Before I Fall starts with a voice of a young woman, Sam (Deutch), explaining that, ‘people may have a lifetime of days to waste but…’ and then throws some wisdom out that anyone only truly has today and warns that wasting time isn’t how one should see any moment they’re in. I try not watching the trailers of, or read too much about, movies before I screen them for review so that I don’t have any preconceived notions of what I’m about to see but it was obvious very quickly that I was in for the teenage dramatic version of Ground Hogs Day with this one. That being the case and not minding the idea, I got comfy and watched the story unfold.
Alarm clock belonging to Sam goes off and we meet Sam. Sam loves her friends Lindsay (Sage), Ally (Wu) and Elody (Rahimi). She is always with them and them her. They’re rich, spoiled and have no respect for anyone, including one another, but outside of sleeping, they’re pretty inseparable. Like any group, there is a pecking order and though rather high in position, Sam isn’t at the top. That honor goes to Lindsay who is anything but a likable person. She’s mean-spirited, loves to watch people squirm as she puts them in their place and enjoys gossiping behind their backs the moment they turn around. Unaware it happens to them, the pack ignores yet allows Lindsay to say and do as she pleases, as long as she’s nice to them. As she does every morning, Lindsay picks Sam and the others up one by one and off to school they go. However, this day is special; it’s different. It’s Cupid’s Day and they can’t wait to see who receives the most roses throughout the day as this determines who is the most popular.
They go through their day as they usually do, being petty to parents and being mean to students. Sam gets an invite to a party being thrown by her old friend, and the films nice guy, Kent (Miller) and the girls decide to attend. At the party, Sam plans to lose her virginity to her boyfriend, Rob. While there, however, she watches Rob get horribly drunk and act like a fool and decides not to go through with it. Before leaving, the foursome drinks, do their usual teasing of a favorite victim named Juliet (Kampouris) and get in the car and go home. An accident occurs and then; cut to alarm clock… and the day starts over. Knowing the things that had happened throughout the day, you see where this is leading. Sam isn’t Lindsay. She isn’t mean at her core. She’s more of an obliging witness where she may play a hand on occasion but would rather not. If she isn’t dreaming, can she change things about her life?
The movie continues in this fashion for the rest of it. Sam learns a little each time she wakes up to the same ugly day that awaits her. Is she in hell? Can she do the right thing and be redeemed? Eventually, you notice one situation that she hasn’t necessarily made a big effort at correcting. A slight attempt at a stand but not the true attack it needs. Why? Could be because she’d see where she was at fault for having created it in the first place. Well, why is she on this day to begin with? By the end of the film, she gets it but is it too late? Are the answers in the actions she herself has made or in those of other people? Will she now pay a price for not being a virtuous soul? Will she have to sacrifice something herself to correct the course she’s now on?
I like that you don’t know these answers and that’s why I enjoyed the movie. I would hate to categorize it as a chick flick but I think I have to. The length of time spent with the teenage girls in the car, listening to music, hating on people and talking about boys makes it abundantly clear that the film wasn’t made for adult males. The audience it was made for, the teenagers will absolutely love it. Zoey Deutch is a good choice to play the sweet-faced martyr and Halston Sage does a good job of reminding us what we hated about high school more than even the homework. If you’re a fan of dramas packed with mystery and wouldn’t mind the Mean Girls vibe, check out Before I Fall and look for all of the answers to the questions above. Is she dead? You tell me.
First there was an opportunity……then there was a betrayal. Twenty years have gone by.
Much has changed but just as much remains the same. Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he can ever call home.
They are waiting for him: Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle).
Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance.
SYNOPSIS: Empires fall, love survives. When Michael (Oscar Isaac), a brilliant medical student, meets Ana (Charlotte Le Bon), their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between Michael and Ana’s boyfriend Chris (Christian Bale), a famous American photojournalist dedicated to exposing political truth. As the Ottoman Empire crumbles into war-torn […]
WHAT: GHOST IN THE SHELL: AN IMAX FIRST LOOK FAN EVENT In anticipation of the upcoming film “GHOST IN THE SHELL,” Paramount Pictures, Dreamworks Pictures and IMAX present a one-night-only event featuring an exclusive first look at stunning film footage exclusively in IMAX® theatres across 14 North American cities with select international markets and […]
A United Kingdom the true story of the forbidden love of King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London, which caused an international uproar when they decided to marry in the late 1940s just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa. It was a decision that altered the course of African history.
Directed by: Amma Asante
Starring: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jack Davenport, Terry Pheto, Abena Ayivor and Tom Felton
Run Time: 1h 51min
Genre: Biography, Drama, Romance
3 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
Your first thought upon walking out of A United Kingdom very well may be one of bewilderment at the story itself. Not that it could happen, of course, (look at today’s headlines, this type of forbidden love is still happening) but that a King was questioned and almost denied his wish. Anyway, you might next have the inclination to Google this to learn more about these individuals. It could also be, as it was mine, to gather all of the performances of David Oyelowo to date and, find out what he’s up to next so that you can see all of this man’s work.
Not to disparage the other performances in the production but he delivered the story of a man choosing love over country beautifully. He never waivered in his ability to sell us on the saga that deep within him, he believed the people of his county would, in due time, not require him to make that sacrifice and did so with the strength and compassion you rarely see with such balance.
It would be impossible not to be impressed with this entire cast and it would be nearly pointless to try and look beyond director Amma Asante’s (Belle) achievements with the film. She does an exceptional job with this labored piece and with only five directing credits under her belt, quite a feat, she handles the very difficult true life events like a master.
A United Kingdom was a hefty project to take on. It’s about Seretse Khama (Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Pike) and the political climate of their countries at the time they met in the 1940’s. He’s heir to the kingdom of Botswana and she’s a white woman from London and despite what their families feel about their union, they insist on being together and will be, even though they’ll be under great scrutiny. Her father has disowned her for being with a black man and his people, especially members of his own family, would prefer their leader be with his own kind. Not considering others feelings and only listening to their hearts, they marry and move to South Africa where, unfortunately for all, apartheid is starting to grow. Their union becomes widely known and a topic of great discussion. Ruth is a likable person and does her best to be friendly, learn the language and fit in as his family members do their best to make her want to leave. Oyelowo is outstanding when he addresses his tribe with a moving speech and speaks of Ruth with tears in his eyes, asking to see who would truly deny him his love. It’s a stirring confrontation and a memorable scene.
What ultimately doesn’t really work, but may have been better with a seasoned director, is the setup. This story is a pure and true love so strong that this couple defies all rules, family and country to be with one another should have had you cheering their achievements. However, as it’s told, you don’t really care. The reason for this is that we meet Ruth and Khama when they first meet and almost immediately they’re in love and getting married. There isn’t time for you to feel for these people or for the plight in which they find themselves. Asante does a wonderful job of keeping the rest of the story flowing, especially the focus on the British government wanting the diamonds and minerals on his land, but sadly, missing this crucial step of giving the audience time to identifying with what the couple is going through or to feel compassion for them, hurts her very efforts. It’s the single most important goal before telling the rest of the narrative for it to have worked as a well-structured and cohesive piece. It is a good drama about pressures put on them both and his overcoming his uncle asking him to renounce his birthright to the throne for marrying a white woman, but it isn’t as romantic as it claims to be. Keep in mind it is a true story… life doesn’t always come out as we plan.
I do recommend A United Kingdom but I’d say wait for VOD or DVD instead of paying to see this at the theatre.
DEAN In Select Theaters June 2, 2017 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, The Founders Award For Best Narrative Feature Written & Directed By: Demetri Martin Cast: Demetri Martin, Kevin Kline, Gillian Jacobs, Mary Steenburgen, Reid Scott, Rory Scovel, Christine Woods, Ginger Gonzaga, Peter Scolari, Briga Heelan Producers: Giles Andrew, Demetri Martin, Elliot Watson, Jessica Latham, Charles […]
*Papa (Octavia Spencer) and Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington) in THE SHACK. Based on the New York Times best-selling novel, The Shack takes us on a father’s uplifting spiritual journey. After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips [Sam Worthington] spirals into a deep depression causing him to question his innermost beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, […]