Category: New Releases

Emma: Comedic matters of the heart

Smaller films – like independent features or period dramas – usually require word of mouth to jump start their box office success and get in front of as many eyes as possible. Autumn de Wilde made her feature directorial debut in February with a modest period comedy that was about to take off commercially after early critical success. Then the novel coronavirus pandemic forced … Read More Emma: Comedic matters of the heart

Extraction: Violence in the melodrama

Sam Hargrave’s directorial debut couldn’t have gone much better. The former stunt coordinator and second unit director landed Thor himself, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth to play the film’s lead with a script written by “Avengers: Endgame” co-director Joe Russo. Within its first month, over 90 million people have seen Hargrave’s “Extraction” and a sequel to the Netflix original action thriller has already been greenlit … Read More Extraction: Violence in the melodrama

Arkansas: One too many slashes

When actors make the transition from being in front of the camera to behind it in the director’s chair, the quality of their work can vary greatly depending on not just their talent in a new role on a film set. First time directors may lean on key assistants or department heads to help shape their vision or these actors may want to direct … Read More Arkansas: One too many slashes

Bad Education: Keeping up appearances

To understand what kind of a film “Bad Education” seeks to be, it’s important to first be introduced to the values of the world director Cory Finley and screenwriter Mike Makowsky bring audiences into. Set in an affluent Long Island community, Roslyn School District Superintendent Frank Tassone aims to make his district number one in America (they’re number four) and the school board president … Read More Bad Education: Keeping up appearances

Blow The Man Down: The secrets women will keep

Grizzled fishermen singing old sea shanties is an unexpected, yet perfect way to set the mood for a fresh independent dark comedic noir mystery film from Amazon Studios. A feature debut for the writing/directing team of Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy, “Blow The Man Down” is a striking, exceptionally crafted work of art that pulls in some of the best elements of “Fargo,” … Read More Blow The Man Down: The secrets women will keep

Jump Shot: More than a simple act

At uncertain times like these, inspirational films can be a salve and reprieve from the outside world and a reminder of wholesome goodness. Sports movies in particular are a frequent source for these moments of positivity, with themes of underdogs overcoming the odds or unlikely teammates rallying together for a common cause. A new documentary – which won the prestigious Audience Award at the … Read More Jump Shot: More than a simple act

Onward: Movie watching heading ‘homeward’

One month ago, the latest film from Disney’s Pixar Studios opened in over 4,300 theaters nationwide and grossed more than $39 million in its opening weekend. With the hopefully short-term decimation of the movie theater experience thanks to the novel coronavirus, “Onward” has gone from the biggest box office hit of March to just one of countless new films available on a streaming service … Read More Onward: Movie watching heading ‘homeward’

Uncorked: Fathers and sons

Over the last several years, major film directors have made their way to the small screen, making limited series in search of creative freedom and risk-taking with the help of content hungry streaming services. Slowly but surely, this trend is starting to pay dividends for movie lovers as young, talented television writers and creators are making their way to feature films. Prentice Penny, show … Read More Uncorked: Fathers and sons

The Banker: Timing is everything

If “The Banker” had come out when it was supposed to, director George Nolfi’s film would have been the talk of the town. A spiritual successor to the Academy Award winning “Green Book,” it was a film with a lot going for it: a pair of talented African American actors including Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson, a well-crafted screenplay based on true events and … Read More The Banker: Timing is everything

Spenser Confidential: Last man standing

It started with unflappable British spy James Bond heading for the hills as “No Time To Die” moved from a mid-April release to late November. Within the last week, film studios have been shelving their biggest upcoming releases with Disney’s “Mulan” postponed indefinitely and Universal’s ninth “Fast and the Furious” film pushed to 2021 amid growing concerns for public safety due to the coronavirus … Read More Spenser Confidential: Last man standing

The Way Back: Acting for revitalization

Famous celebrity, actor, and Oscar-winning writer/director Ben Affleck has spent the past several years confronting his personal demons both on and off screen. His work in David Fincher’s 2014 mystery thriller “Gone Girl” was a treatise on the cult of celebrity status – and largely unbeknownst to Affleck during filming – an intentional bit of casting that put audiences at odds with his character … Read More The Way Back: Acting for revitalization

Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Subtlety in romance

Desire is all about delay. The anticipation, the angst, the longing all cascading towards a moment of passion. It’s a difficult trick to pull off in the world of cinema, but Céline Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” builds from embers into a raging inferno of emotion in one of the best romance films in ten years. The French filmmaker progresses from a … Read More Portrait of a Lady on Fire: Subtlety in romance