Sunday, May 15, 2016

Frank and Cindy

At first I thought Frank and Cindy was just a dysfunctional family rant, but as the film progressed it became more about the individuals and what they were looking for in life. The music is great, this is a solid rental.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Family Fang

I ran into Nicole Kidman in NYC the morning after the premiere of The Family Fang at Tribeca Film Festival. She was sweet and relaxed going to lunch with her family. I said, "I love your work" and she smiled back and said thank you. I'm glad that I had not seen the film yet, because I would have gushed more. The story of a family parented by parents who use their children in performances pieces in the name of art hit me in all the right places. Directed by and staring Jason Bateman, with Kidman as his sibling, they deal with their parents as adults. Secrets are revealed, feelings are explored and decisions are made. The less you know going into this film the better. The writing, directing and acting are great. I really liked this film.

Where to Invade Next

Michael Moore tends to be a blow-hard, but in the documentary Where to Invade Next, his queries into the laws and practices in other countries makes you think. There are a lot of things that other countries do better than the US, but as I watched I realized that that's easier in a small country. This film was OK.

Friday, May 13, 2016


Turkish social norms abound when five orphaned sisters coming of age in the film Mustang. From schools, to behavior, to marriage these teens battle not only the strict rules of their culture, but their own desires and goals. Well acted and beautifully shot, it is easy to see why this film was nominated for an Oscar. The ending was very poignant. Well done.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

We Are Still Here

Watching the extras on the DVD I agree that "classic haunted house film in a modern style" describes We Are Still Here well. A grieving couple who have lost their son, move into an old house in a rural town. Terror ensues. The tone and effects are good. I liked this more than I expected to.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Janis: Little Girl Blue

Janis Joplin was a force in the music world. She passed away just as I was entering high school. In the documentary Janis: Little Girl Blue I learn about her life and her story. The archive footage is impressive considering the times and technology. An important force in music history with a tragic ending. Good documentary.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

Get on Up

I like James Brown music OK, but stories of his explosive behavior and abusive behavior toward women was always a turn off for me. The biopic Get on Up gives the background of his behavior moving back and forth from his childhood to his rise to fame and success. All of his struggles laid out to see. A much better film than I expected. The performances are great.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Special Correspondents

I couldn't work the film Special Correspondents into my schedule at Tribeca Film Festival, so was thrilled when it popped up on Netflix instant this week. This is the third TFF film I've seen since coming home. Two journalists are supposed to go to Ecuador to cover the situation and things go awry. There are lies, there are compromises, there are well intended missteps, there are egos, there are laughs. Funny stuff, I enjoyed this one.

Green Room

A simple punk rock gig goes south quickly in Green Room There are quick-thinking musicians and ruthless Nazis. They did not spare the blood, this is a good cat-and-mouse thriller. Well done.