Wednesday, July 13, 2016
The story of young man from England and his dream to be an Olympic ski jumper is told in Eddie the Eagle. Though not the best athlete, he is driven and optimistic. He is oppressed and taunted by the Olympic authorities and athletes and encouraged by his coach and family. A feel-good story with a heart and great performances. Good rental.
Saturday, July 09, 2016
Yo-Yo Ma has been on my radar for decades. Mot only for his music, but for his personality and activism. In the documentary The Music of Strangers we see his journey in these worlds. He approaches music as a window to different cultures with the creation of The Silk Road Ensemble. We are taken on journeys to the musicians' countries and are shown how the culture of their roots affects their music. A diverse group making beautiful music with so much joy. The audience I saw it with sat through the credits to enjoy the music, and applauded at the end. Wonderful music, wonderful stories, wonderful film.
Friday, July 08, 2016
Not everyone remebers events in the same way. In The Adderall Diaries a young man writes a book recounting his childhood as he remembers it. His father and family remember it very differently. There is struggle, there are drugs, there is sex. The editing in this film is interesting and jarring. The performances are intense and the story well told. I liked this film.
Serious themes are tackled in the animated film Zootopia. Bigotry, bullying, stereotypes, loyalty, friendship, hard work, family and tolerance. There are some intense scenes involving crime which concerns me for little ones. The animation is vibrant, and there are a lot of openings for discussion of important topics for parents. There are many light moments too, but there are a lot of life lessons among the laughs. Good film.
Thursday, July 07, 2016
The cast of Hail, Caesar! is a Hollywood Who's Who list. The story of a studio star who is kidnapped and held for ransom is silly and raucous. The characters are caricatures. I loved the musical numbers, especially No Dames with a surprisingly dynamic performance from Channing Tatum. Fun film.
Sunday, July 03, 2016
I had heard of the bassist Jaco on WTF and was happy to see this documentary about Jaco Pastorius on Netflix Instant. His short life was full of innovative music and volitile behavior. The latter did him in. His music was brilliant, what a talent. Another wonderful music documentary.
Thursday, June 30, 2016
The old west was a hostile environment and in Jane Got a Gun we see a magnification of how tough people had to be. When Jane needs help for her husband, she turns to a past lover and a gun to fight off the gansterish men attacking them. This is a dark, gritty film that was a decent rental.
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
It is good that reminders of racism and discrimination live on in film. In the film Race themes of hard work and talent overcome these issues. We need to be reminded of these historic behaviors so that the awful ones will not be repeated and the redemptive ones are our role models. Great story, good film.