Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Alive and Kicking

The documentary Alive and Kicking is a testimonial to the sheer joy of swing dancing. The dance, the people and the community all have a positive vibe. The longevity of the dance form and the people who thrive in it is inspiring. This is a great rental.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

In the Heat of the Night

A murder mystery in a Mississippi town gets help from a visiting detective. In the Heat of the Night brings that help in the form of Virgil Tibbs. The dramatic angle? He is a black man in the south in the 60s. This does not bode well with the locals, but the way he holds his ground is impressive. Sidney Poitier is dynamic and strong in this performance. Not only is the story well done, but I liked the way this film was shot. It has an interesting look. Worthy of all the Oscars it won, this is a wonderful film.

The Phenom

Success in sports can mess with your head. Family can mess with your head. In The Phenom we see a star pitcher deal with his success as he comes out of high school. His father is abusive and his mother permissive. He is a head case and sees a therapist because his game is slipping. There's a lot of talking while we watch this young man struggle. The performances are good, but it's a sad story.

Get Me Roger Stone

I find Donald Trump to be a disturbing individual. In the documentary Get Me Roger Stone I learn about more vile people that support him. Money hungry. Power hungry. The long history of the ugly side of politics is interesting. No surprises, just sad.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Louder Than Bombs

Grief is interpreted differently by people. Memories of traumatic situations can be different. The film Louder Than Bombs explores the different memories and grief of a family who loses their mother. Complex feelings make a strong drama in a film with interesting structure. Serious film. Strong rental.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Their Finest

In WW II a source of news from the war were propaganda films in movie houses. In Their Finest, we meet the people who put together films to inform and keep morale up. They set out to tell a specific story and we get a good process story. The writers and actors are ambitious and serious. An interesting look at this piece of history. Good rental.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

Norman is an awkward man who thinks he is more important than he is. In his delusion he makes questionable decisions and approaches people who neither want nor need him around. The performances are excellent, but the story is not that interesting. An OK rental.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Table 19

We're all familiar with the Table 19 at a wedding. That awkward mix of people who they didn't think would come to the wedding but did. They don't know each other, nor do they have much in common. In this movie, one of the people seated at Table 19 was supposed to be the maid of honor. We learn why she is not as the relationships develop between the other members at the table. This film is marketed as a comedy, but it is more of a drama. Though there is plenty to work with here, it is not very well written and a lot of scenes fall flat. The cast is good, this is just an OK rental.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

The Big Sick

There can be romance in a couple. There can also be romance in a family. The love is different, but the love is intense in both relationships. In The Big Sick we see both forms of romance under the intense circumstance of a health crisis. This film is so well written, skillfully acted and structured effectively. What a breath of fresh air. Spend time with these characters, you won't be sorry.

Friday, July 07, 2017

A United Kingdom

Interracial marriage has always been a target of scorn. In A United Kingdom the story of the King of Botswana marries a white woman and is  literally banished. The politics play out in a interesting fashion. A true story of love, devotion and standards makes for an interesting film.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

The Zookeeper's Wife

The horrors of WW II Poland come to the screen in The Zookeeper's Wife. A couple who run a zoo in Warsaw hide Jewish families from the Nazis in the animal's cages. The peril to both the animals and humans was harrowing. There was a lot of hope and heart in this film. A good rental.

Monday, July 03, 2017


In the tone of The Host, the film Okja goes down a sci-fi rabbit hole. Genetic mutation has created super-pigs yet Okja is a pet. The purpose of the mutation is for food, so escape is in the works by animal advocates. There is conflict, corporate greed and love. This is a creative endeavor and an interesting film.

The Beguiled

The beginning of The Beguiled is slow and dreamy. So much so, I nodded off a few times. The story of a wounded Union soldier being cared for by a group of girls at a boarding school slowly becomes creepy and menacing. The acting is good, this film is beautifully shot. The story is super simple and brutal when all is said and done. Interesting film.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Baby Driver

After seeing Baby Driver, I feel that I have seen a violent crime ballet. Beautiful, musical and perfectly choreographed. Who knew such a thing exists? The chases and gun fights are brutal, yet poetic. The pace is enthralling with a sense of humor. Baby is a talented driver who is working off a debt to a crime boss. Each character is developed in a skillful and delightful way. The performances are on point. The action is set to music which makes this such a delight. It also made me long for my old iPod. One of my favorite films so far this year.