Sunday, July 29, 2018


The reality of race and police violence is portrayed in Blindspotting. From situations to incarceration to rehabilitation to reality. The story follows a young man with three days left in his probation period. We do not know why he was incarcerated at the beginning of the film. As the characters are established and we work into the present, the past is revealed bit by bit. The film unfolds in layers and everything we have learned in the film up to the climax is powerful and important to the impact of the story. There is a bit of comic relief in the dialogue at times. The writing, acting and structure are outstanding. This is one of my favorite films so far this year.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Leave No Trace

In Leave No Trace a father and his daughter are living off the grid in a public park. When they are discovered, social services gets involved. The daughter finds a world she's never known that has new comforts. The father finds a world he rejected and hates. The way they deal is interesting and heartening. There is a lot of thought and compassion in this story. The acting, writing and shooting are outstanding. I really liked this film.


Enduring friendships make good drama. In Julia we see two women as friends and then activists and then allies. The bond they has makes them take risks for each other that are impressive. The performances in this film are outstanding and I love the way it was shot. Well done.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Days of Heaven

An act of deceit is a survival technique in the film Days of Heaven. Lovers pose as brother and sister so the woman can marry a wealthy man who is dying. They enjoy the farmer's lifestyle until they are exposed. The story plays out in a way I did not expect. This film is gorgeous and they music is haunting. Excellent rental I wish I had seen in the theater. Beautiful.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Poetic Justice

A relationship film like Poetic Justice is interesting. Justice meets a young man and she is not having any of his bravado-style flirting. She is attracted to him, but insists on being treated with respect. They argue, they fight and in the mix is another couple who are their friends. This is a great story, te acting is great, the music fits well. There is a scene at a family reunion that is just delightful. This film ends with an interesting fight scene and a resolution that makes sense for the journey we have watched. An excellent film.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Drugstore Cowboy

The battle of addiction is explored in Drugstore Cowboy.A group of young people figure out how to steal from pharmacies to fuel their addictions. Some are better at it than others. The acting, writing and structure of this film is very good, though the subject is dark. Well done.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Three Identical Strangers

In the documentary Three Identical Strangers we meet three men who were adopted by three different families when they were born. At 19 years old they discovered each other. The result of this discovery is a compelling, yet troubling story. The tone of the film goes from celebratory to disturbing. This film gives you a lot to think about.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Sorry to Bother You

Ambition and survival are themes in the creative film Sorry to Bother You. A young man works at a call center selling encyclopedias over the phone. He strives to be successful within the company, but what he finds in that success is not what he expected. The less you know going into this film, the better. There are some very clever staging devices and the acting is great. There is one place the film goes that I did not totally buy, but still very creative. Good film.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Lean on Pete

The film Lean on Pete is a dark look at a boy's search for family. As his disintegrates, he goes in search of the last family member that he knows of. He takes a horse, Pete, with him. The events along the way are very dark and tragic. Jarring. It is a lot to watch a young person handle. He is resourceful, creative and desperate. Driven to find that last chance he has to find home. This is an excellent drama, but a very sad story.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

I Feel Pretty

Self esteem gets a close look in the movie I Feel Pretty. The subjective nature of beauty is explored with a sense of humor. Two events cause a young woman to become overly confident. I wish they had used just one. It muddles the plot and discounts the character a bit. The first half of this film is quite good and very charming. The third act falls apart in a big way. This movie is OK as rental, I would suggest going in with low expectations.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Please Stand By

In a story of perseverance, the film Please Stand By is an uplifting tale. A young woman with autism writes a Star Trek screenplay for a contest. We watch her write it and then, in compliance with the rules of the contest, get the script to where it needs to be. It is a road trip story with enough missteps to add an air of adventure and struggle. The main character is very resourceful. The end is very satisfying. I really liked this film.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Waiting to Exhale

After seeing the documentary Whitney, I realized that I did not know much about Whitney Houston's acting carreer, so I rented Waiting to Exhale. The stories of a group of friends play out. Houston's performance is subdued and deliberate. Again, her talent is evident. I could not relate to all of the relationships, but this is a solid rental.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Girl Walks into a Bar

In the film A Girl Walks into a Bar a mystery plays out in 10 different bars in LA. There is mystery and intrigue in this thriller. A true homage to noir cinema.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Paris is Burning

To understand drag culture better, I watched the film Paris is Burning. This documentary is a fascinating look at the creativity and passion that goes into the art form. I also learn what "vogue" really means. Excellent film.

Saturday, July 07, 2018


The documentary Whitney brings back memories. Her music was the soundtrack of my young adult life. Her talent and success was astounding, which made her fall so very tragic. The story of the rise of her career is nostalgic and exciting. The story of her addictions and end of life left me so sad. This is an excellent documentary.

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Incredibles 2

In Incredibles 2 we are back with the Parrs. Elastigirl is in the position of saving the world and she does it with panache. The action is good. The story is good, though a few of the story-lines could have been fleshed out more. The dialogue is often funny. The animation is outstanding. I liked this continuing story of my favorite family of super heroes. I enjoyed this more than I expected to.

A Wrinkle in Time

For a step into fantasy A Wrinkle in Time is a good effort. The film is visually gorgeous and the young actors are excellent. The Mrs. characters are a bit distracting as they are played by some of the most famous women in Hollywood. I had trouble seeing them as their characters. Overall a good effort in adapting this beloved book.

Tuesday, July 03, 2018


Prom night brings out the antics of a group of high school friends. Sex, booze and making memories are all on the list. The parents' access to their electronic conversations sets the tone for Blockers to be an entertaining ride. There are some very funny situations and some very sweet situations. I thought I would be annoyed by the parents, but all in all they were funny, even if they were a little over the top. This was a fun rental.

Sunday, July 01, 2018


A girl's trip on tenuous footing is the base for Ibiza. Mixing business with pleasure becomes problematic in this dark comedy. The most saving grace is the cast. They are charming and talented, but the story is weak and a bit disappointing.