Monthly Archives: April, 2016

"Packed in a Trunk" Is an Artistic Discovery

April 26th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “"Packed in a Trunk" Is an Artistic Discovery”

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“Packed in a Trunk: The Lost Art of Edith Lake,” is  the newest film from Michelle Boyaner which takes us on a journey across the country to discover a buried treasure.  A gifted artist, yet relatively unknown to most, Edith Lake Wilkinson, whose crPackedInATrunk_009eations have been packed away for decades, finally resurface thanks to Jane Anderson, Wilkinson’s great-niece.   Not only is the art re-discovered, but the story behind the artist is finally told.  Anderson, an Emmy Award-winning writer and director, has an inexplicable connection with her Great Aunt Edith, but she had passed away long ago.  This connection, however, haunts her, pushing her to find out more about Wilkinson.  Does this sound like a ‘Tales from the Crypt’ story?  Well, in a way it is— in a very uplifting and upbeat sort of way.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE
Anderson, not only a gifted writer, is also an artist whose similarities with Wilkinson in painting style as well as personality are uncanny.   As we travel with Anderson, we see even more similarities and witness the connection between the two growing deeper.  Without giving away too much from this amazingly moving documentary, we find that  Wilkinson was institutionalized due to the fact that she had a close female “companion” named Fannie.  In the early to mid 1900’s,  this was not an acceptable form of love and her family saw to it that she ceased not only living with Fannie, but also communicating with her.  As would happen with anyone, Wilkinson’s creativity also ceased and with this, decades of paintings would no longer occur.  It’s a story of greed, jealou5X7_Sally_Tess_Jane_1914sy, and intolerance within a family and a community.  But Anderson, through dedicated research

 

5X7_jane+jim+bakker+color+palatte and persistence, finds a way to return her great aunt’s treasures to their home in Provincetown where Wilkinson’s talents were embraced and her lifestyle was not judged.
The filming of this story is what makes “Packed in a Trunk” even more intriguing.  We, the viewer, through interviews and accompanying Anderson on her quest, feel a part of this discovery.  We have empathy for Anderson as she discovers the creative life of her aunt cut short.  We feel the injustices of a time period long gone.  And we cheer as the story comes to its rightful end.  Oh, and there are a few goosebumps when Anderson and her filming crew hit a dead end and need more information which is obtained by a spiritualist.

“Packed in a Trunk” is an enlightening and beautiful documentary revealing an important part of not only art history, but women influencing the course of art.  There is a feeling of intimacy with Wilkinson as we begin to see her as a person and understand who she was and what her paintings meant.  Admiration and appreciation for both Wilkinson and Anderson is at the forefront of this journey of discovery.  Had it not been for this inexplicable connection between them, the world would never have known that Wilkinson was truly a key player in the art world.  And thanks to the both Anderson and the filmmaker’s strength, intuition, and determination, that part of history will now be known.  American art history will forever be changed by this uplifting documentary of discovery.   It’s a hidden gem that will continue to shine more brightly throughout the years.

Beginning April 26, 2016, you can see “Packed in a Trunk” on demand through digital platforms such as iTunes and WolfeOnDemand.com as well as many other sites.

Wolfe Video On Demand

 

 

"Don't Think Twice" and go see this film! by Pamela Powell

April 21st, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “"Don't Think Twice" and go see this film! by Pamela Powell”
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DON’T THINK TWICE

“Don’t Think Twice” was a part of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and RHR was invited to be a part of the red carpet interviews!  Mike Birbiglia, Keegan-Michael Key, Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher, Sondra James, and Ira Glass shared with me their thoughts on the film, independent films, and the Chicago connection!

Mike Birbiglia LOVES Chicago and “this is a Chicago film!”  WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

FullSizeRender 2Keegan-Michael Key talks all things indie!  Watch the interview  HERE  as he talks about “Don’t Think Twice” and “Welcome to Happiness!”

To watch all of the talent associated with this film AND to hear the new hit single, “Miles Doesn’t Know His Own Butt Strength,” go HERE ON YOUTUBE

"Bugs" A Delicious Documentary by Pamela Powell

April 20th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “"Bugs" A Delicious Documentary by Pamela Powell”

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Well, Jiminy Cricket!  I never thought I’d take a bite of food that could bite me back!  The new documentary “Bugs” by Andreas Johnsen, explores the burgeoning business of baking bugs.  Johnsen explains that with an exponentially growing population and the repercussions of climate change, humans are looking at getting back to their roots, or maybe inside their roots, to find alternative protein sources.  With thousands of types of edible insects, the menu has more variety than a Greek Diner for dinner.  The film explores the research and brains behind this subject and how it is expanding globally.  Traveling the world to see what insectual dietary delights await with Head Chef Ben Reade and Roberto Flore, and Lead Food Researcher Josh Evans from the Nordic Food Lab in Denmark, we get a taste for what our future may hold.

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TACOS MADE WITH BEE LARVAE

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Worms: a snack with crunch

BUGS educates its viewers about the effects of global warming on our resources, namely protein coming from animals.  As our population grows, the ability to find sustainable protein sources decreases.  Capitalizing on the production and consumption of insects seems a rather off-putting topic, but in many cultures, this has been and continues to be a delicacy.  The film likens the concept to sushi in the United States just 20 years ago.  Now we can find it at a local 7-11 and grocery stores.  Creating delectable dishes is of utmost importance to the chefs at Nordic Food Lab because let’s face it, if it doesn’t taste good, no one will eat it.  Through creativity and a keen palate, these chefs have found a way to turn bee larvae and grasshoppers into not only palatable dishes, but extraordinarily tasty ones.

Filmmaker Andreas Johnsen’s vision brings the viewer all the necessary information to understand the need for insect consumption.  He also balances the film with questions to ponder, especially for vegetarians and environmentalists.  Beautifully filmed as these dedicated researchers travel the world, we learn about the benefits and the history of insect in our world.   It’s a thought-provoking film that just may have you thinking twice before you fish out that fruit fly in your glass of wine!

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Filmmaker Andreas Johnsen, Pamela Powell, and Chef Roberto Flores

 

"Poor Boy" An Evocative Experience by Pamela Powell

April 20th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “"Poor Boy" An Evocative Experience by Pamela Powell”

 

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“Poor Boy” premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.  It’s a tale of two brothers, attempting to make it rich by less than noble means in a remote corner of America, unknown (thankfully) to most of us.  “Poor Boy” is a visceral experience  incorporating dream-like elements contrasted by razor-sharp reality revealing a gritty look at this unfamiliar world.

Samson (Dov Tiefenbach) and Romeo (Lou Taylor Pucci) have everything working against them.  They are highly uneducated which is quite evident by their bizarre thought processes and use of language.  The two siblings, polar opposites, have what appears to be more of a symbiotic relationship creating a captivating look at their lives.   Having been abandoned by their father (Michael Shannon) at an earlier age, the two have somehow survived with little to no guidance, depending solely upon one another.   The characters that enter into their lives are equally stunning with unexpected consequences.

“Poor Boy” is an unusual film experience that expresses the power of love between two brothers.  It’s vivid and shockingly graphic as it uncovers the underlying issues within each brother.  The film comes full circle to allow the viewer to understand the unique and initially bewildering scenes giving a sense of satisfaction.  You’ll find that the film and its meaning lingers long after the final credits roll.

Check back for a full review of this film as well as an interview with the stars, Dov Tiefenbach, Lou Taylor Pucci, Amy Ferguson, and the writer/director Robert Scott Wildes.

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"Love Thy Nature" Gives Us Hope by Pamela Powell

April 20th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “"Love Thy Nature" Gives Us Hope by Pamela Powell”

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LOVE THY NATURE

Written and Directed by  Sylvie Rokab

Earth Day is April 22nd, a day to celebrate nature and the environment.  It’s quite evident that we really should be celebrating Earth Day every day.  Our environment is rapidly changing to the detriment of other species and to humans as well.   In our relatively short period of time on this planet, we have caused grave destruction.  Where do we go from here?  Is it all doom and gloom ahead for us?  “Love Thy Nature” addresses the use of “biomimicry” and our own personal connection with nature to help us move forward in healing the planet.

liam Climate change is real.  There’s no argument about that concept anymore, thankfully.  Documentaries addressing this topic typically leave you wanting to curl up in a fetal position, the information is so horrifically overwhelming.   “Love Thy Nature,” is different.  Narrated by Liam Neeson, this film gives us more than knowledge, it gives us hope.  And with hope, we may just give our children and grandchildren a better world.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

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“Love Thy Nature” is a stunning cinematic display of the beauty surrounding us.  Traveling  the world, diving into oceans, traipsing through forests, jungles, and open plains, this film reminds us of the wonders of nature.  While experts from NASA explain our evolutionary wall and leading scientists share their knowledge of DNA and the world’s 38 million year time line, they all give us one thing to do in order to possibly change the detrimental path of destruction:  reconnect with nature.  It’s just that simple.

The film reminds us of our interdependency love6with nature punctuating this with mind-boggling statistics.  There is also a refreshing coordination of philosophies between science and religion.  The two can be integrated as Duane Elgin, MA,

love5quotes the book of Genesis and man’s dominionship needing to evolve into stewardship to protect our environment.  We also hear from Dayna Baumeister, co-founder of The Biomimicry Institute, and Brian Swimme, author of “The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos” and “The Universe is a Green Dragon” allowing us to learn about cutting edge technology and insight into the history of our universe.

Our reconnection with our natural lovethy3surroundings is one way to increase our awareness of the importance of nature.  Thankfully, there are many organizations that have been taking the reigns in driving us along a better path, creating positive change.  One of those groups is TreePeople, founded by Andy Lipkis 40 years ago.  This organization continues to inspire volunteers in the L.A. area, planting more than 2 million trees.  There is hope.

Hope is vital and “Love Thy Nature” gives us a reviving dose of it.  Utilizing creative graphics, intelligent and interesting interviews with scientists that are relatable and understandable as well as coating our visual field with simply spectacular images of this one and only Earth, everything is put into perspective.

love7Reconnect with nature in “Love Thy Nature.”  All is not lost if we want to make a difference.  This is a unique documentary in that it gives us the hope we need to go out and make a difference.

“Love Thy Nature” will have its theatrical run in New York and Los Angeles and will also tour the country as a part of a special screening series.  Teaming up with The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations, “Love Thy Nature” will be available for special screenings as well.  For more information, go to www.lovethynature.com

 

To listen to the filmmaker, Sylvie Rokab go to www.archive.orgsylvie

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 2016 NEWS by Pamela Powell

April 18th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL 2016 NEWS by Pamela Powell”

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It’s been crazy here in NYC, to say the least, and I’m remiss to say that I’m behind with reviews.  However, I’ve been eating bugs (yes, on purpose) and drinking well at quaint sidewalk cafes that reminded my new friends Carol and Cookie of France…I do prioritize appropriately.

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For up to the moment info, go to my facebook page, www.facebook.com/reelhonestreviews

"Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four" True Justice Awaits by Pamela Powell

April 16th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “"Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four" True Justice Awaits by Pamela Powell”

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1994.  22 have passed since that year.  To many of us, 1994 holds no special place, but to 4 San Antonio women, it was the year their lives took a drastic wrong turn.  They were tried, sentenced, and spent years behind bars for a crime they did not commit.  As we see on television and in the movies, prisons are full of inmates vowing their innocence, but in this  case, filmmaker Deborah S. Esquenazi uncovers the details behind the case to reveal a virtual witch hunt, proving beyond a reasonable doubt, the innocence of these young women.  Their true crime was their lifestyle.  In an era that being gay or lesbian was unexceptable, the legal system and its constituents appeared to take out its moral judgments upon 4 lesbians—their rationale reminiscent of the witch hunts of centuries ago.

Four women were accused of sexually assaulting two young girls, the nieces of one of the women.  The film delves into intricate details about the case using interviews with the professionals who testified, the family members, and the then imprisoned women.  It seems rather simple to connect the dots and use common sense in order to determine the validity of the accusations, but 22 years ago, this was not the case.  In that time, current psychological studies pointed to the waning of the diagnoses of “Satanic Ritual Abuse Panic.”  Medical professionals used a checklist of criterion to “solidly” depict this abusive behavior.  Along with a better understanding of medicine and psychology today, it is clear that the nieces  had made up the story.  The film captures the motivation behind their tall tale that negatively impacted not only these four women, but their families.

WATCH THE INTERVIEW HERE

The film truly highlights the outrageous  and total disregard for all things legal.  From the moment these women were arrested, put on trial, and sentenced, the obvious legal errors would make any “Law & Order” fan cringe.  I can only imagine what an actual lawyer watching the film would think.

Hearing the women describe what happened, all with their own unique backgrounds, is absolutely heartbreaking.  The fear is place in your own mind, “That could be me or my daughter or someone I know.”  It could have happened to anyone.

“Southwest of Salem” is a film that cuts you at your very core, unable to truly understand this judgement and the consequences upon four giving and caring women.  It also raises important questions about our legal system, our preconceived notions, and our ability to recognize errors and make them right.  As these women are now out of prison, they have yet to be exonerated of  their crimes.  This, in and of itself, is another seemingly ridiculous outcome of an inability to accept an incorrect judgment and make it right. Would this have happened in the Deep South in the year 2016?  One would hope not, but can we be guaranteed?  If these women had come from a more affluent area and families, would this have happened?  And a final question, would  this have happened if they weren’t lesbians? There is no way to turn back the hands of time and give these women back the years they have lost, but we can push forward and make things better for the future.

This is a documentary that educates and enlightens.  It’s a film that can make a difference.  If you’re in NYC, make the time to be enlightened.

Go to www.tribecafilm.com

Check back soon for an interview with these brave women.

"Perfect Strangers" Are Closer Than You Think by Pamela Powell

April 15th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “"Perfect Strangers" Are Closer Than You Think by Pamela Powell”

 

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Tribeca Film Festival hosts both domestic and foreign films, giving a global outlook on the film industry.

Watch Paolo Genovese talk about his film here

Tonight, the Italian psychological thriller, “Perfect Strangers (Perfetti Sconosciuti)” premiered, posing life-altering decisions from one simple question:  “Would you openly share your cell phone?”

 

At a dinner party one evening, 3 couples and one single, all long-time friends, challenge one another to set their “little black boxes” on the dinner table, publicly answering and reading any information that arises.  The hesitancy  is obvious as the phones, one by one, are set upon the table.  The texts begin, the ring tones become identifiable, and you cringe as the brutal consequences of honesty take their toll.

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“Perfect Strangers” is a compelling look at honesty and how technology has become a part of our lives.  Each of the couples are at different stages in their lives, creating various realistic scenarios with which the impact of their secret lives creates a heavy blow.  The total lunar eclipse artistically parallels the narrative arc of the story.

To think that this could be a harrowing and intense, yet at times comically humorous film, seems out of the question, but it is a very accurate description.  From the beginning,  the scenarios are well-crafted in order to create intrigue and suspense.  It’s a delightful mind-game that you can easily envision happening in your own circle of friends.  But just to make this outstanding film even better, the ending is one that there is no possible way to predict.  As the credits rolled, I wanted to clap…but this was a press screening so that just wouldn’t be acceptable.  So now I will applaud the superior intellect and storytelling abilities of the writers and directors of “Perfect Strangers.”

4 STARS!

If you’re in NYC, be sure to check out this brilliant work of art and life.  For more information go to www.tribecafilm.com

Watch for the link to to interview with the filmmaker, Paolo Genovese!

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Paolo Genovese at Tribeca Film Festival

"Mother" is no ordinary crime thriller by Pamela Powell

April 14th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “"Mother" is no ordinary crime thriller by Pamela Powell”

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Filmmakers from the Estonian crime thriller, “Mother,” joined me to talk about the premiere tonight at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival!

Watch it here!

Female-centric films are a focal point this year at the Tribeca Film Festival and “Mother” fits in perfectly to be a part of this category.  Not only is the lead and main subject female, the film is also written, directed, and produced by women.

Elsa and her husband live in a small town in Estonia where everyone knows everyone—and everyone’s business.  It’s quaint, yet there an undertone that we immediately feel that this is just a superficial feeling.  What actually happens behind closed doors is an entirely different story and that’s where “Mother” becomes one of the most sublimely subtle crime thrillers of recent years.

Being a mother, if we are honest with ourselves, can be an overwhelming responsibility no matter your child’s age.  Couple that with the devastation of having your adult son being shot and in a vegetative coma and you are the sole caregiver creates a situation that is completely unfathomable.   No matter how much you love your child, being charged with the daily tasks and the constant reminder of the loss of independence, hopes, and dreams he had is more than most could take.  Elsa must shut those emotions down, bury them deep within herself, in order to function on a daily basis.   This stoic woman, trapped in a loveless marriage, reveals that there is more to her than initially meets the eye.

The story is intensely gripping as there is the search for her son’s shooter.  The darkness that shadows every scene is palpable, even on a bright, sunny day where the garden is perfectly kept and the house is spotless.  The tension and resentment between Elsa and her husband seeps into every part of Elsa’s life, including her affair.  Within all of this drama comes some very wry humor as we meet the bumbling detective and we watch Elsa’s reaction to the various visitors who come to see her son.  We have both sympathy and empathy for Elsa and seeing the sixth sense she has about people and their motives can be seen quite subtly with Elsa’s barely perceptible, yet dramatic expressions.

“Mother” delves deeply into the human psyche and the differences among women and their needs and wants.  Elsa is complicated, but in a very familiar way.  The honest portrayal of a woman who sacrifices her hopes and dreams early in life eliciting resentment, creates an element of reality in “Mother.”  The film also captures a generation where marriages stay together, even if they are not happy ones.

It’s wonderfully refreshing to see such a strong female lead portrayed with the grace and deft acting skills of Tiina Malberg.  Of equal importance in “Mother” is the portrayal of men who have few lines, and their characterizations are what you might typically see for female supporting roles.

“Mother” is a powerful film with its writing, style, and most of all the performance by Malberg.  Beautifully filmed, this captivating story will intrigue you, bring you into the story to try to solve the mystery, and then blow you away with the ending.  Well done!

If you’re in NYC, be sure to check out this film at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Go to www.tribecafilm.com

"The Bomb" Closing Night Film Event at Tribeca Film Festival by Pamela Powell

April 12th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “"The Bomb" Closing Night Film Event at Tribeca Film Festival by Pamela Powell”

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Tribeca Film Festival welcomes “the bomb” as the closing night multimedia event, immersing its participants in the sights and sounds of the realities of nuclear war.  Images both beautiful and disturbing will be projected onto 360 degree screens while a live performance by The Acid accompanies and augments this powerful and  visceral experience.  The premiere, never before seen in this capacity even by its creators, will take place at Gotham Hall on April 23 and 24 at 7pm and 10 pm.  For tickets go to tribecafilm.com/filmguide/bomb2016

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Smriti Keshari

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Eric Schlosser

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smriti Keshari (“Food Chains”), Eric Schlosser (“Fast Food Nation” and “Command and Control”) and Kevin Ford joined me earlier last week to discuss the importance of making this film and what audience members can expect.  Their knowledge and passion about a seldom talked about topic is truly eye-opening, but of equal importance is their determination to bring this subject to the public using cutting edge technology.  To listen to the interview in its entirety go to www.archive.org

To learn more about this film experience, go to www.thebombnow.com

RHR's Top Tribeca 2016 Picks by Pamela Powell

April 11th, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “RHR's Top Tribeca 2016 Picks by Pamela Powell”

 

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The 15th annual Tribeca Film Festival is just around the corner with not only films, but events, panel discussions, and a virtual reality exposition that promises to blow your mind! World premieres, feature films, documentaries, and short films with new and star-studded casts will invade this quaint and generally quiet neighborhood for 12 short days.  Red carpet arrivals with swooning fans eager to grab a glimpse or a photo or even an autograph of high-profile stars line the streets outside  the several theater locations.  With over 100 films, how do you choose the right films to see?  Well, you read the rest of RHR’s predictions, that’s what you do!

If documentthebomb_logo_image_landscapearies are your style, and even if they aren’t, you really need to consider seeing one of these many films:

THE BOMB:  Tribeca has chosen this unsettling and groundbreaking film experience as their closing night event.  Imagine the devastation of a nuclear explosion.  How possible is this experience?  The 360 degree floor to ceiling screens surround the viewers as a live musical performance by The Acid accompanies this multimedia extravaganza.

BETTING ON ZERO:  Wall Street seems to be the continuous topic after the housing crisis just less than a decade ago.  The allegations by hedge fund king Bill Ackman  exposes Herbalife’s creator as a pyramid scheme while this company accuses Ackman of attempting to manipulate the market.  This “docudrama” combines greed and competition at its most base level for some rather high intensity outcomes.

BUGS:  Mmmmm, delicious!  Yes, you read that correctly.  In our ever-changing world where sustainable protein sources look to have a desperate future, Chef Ben Reade and Researcher Josh Evans look into using big, juicy, protein filled bugs to quench our meaty thirst.  You may never look at a fruit fly in your glass of wine the same again!

PISTOL SHRIMPS:  Aubry Plaza is one tough competitor in this documentary about camaraderie and competition at the rec level.  The stakes are high no matter what level you play!

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LIFE, ANIMATED

SOUTHWEST OF SALEM: THE STORY OF THE SAN ANTONIO FOUR:  It’s not Salem, MA with the witch hunts, but it might as well be.  Four women, tried and convicted of the most heinous crime involving children, reveal the details of the night in question as the Innocence Project attempts to help on their behalf.

LIFE, ANIMATED::  This film brings us inside the world of autism through Owen Suskind, a young adult diagnosed with Autism at the age of 3. Thanks to his obsession with Disney animated features, he lifts that fog of communication with others and relates more effectively using lessons and phrases from these films.  Heartwarming and informative.

Additional documentaries include:  COMMAND AND CONTROL, DO NOT RESIST, FIRST MONDAY IN MAY, THE HAPPY FILM, THE LAST LAUGH, OBIT, PRISON DOGS, ROBERT KLEIN STILL CAN’T STOP HIS LEG, and TICKLING GIANTS

The choices continue with the feature films appealing to young and old, mothers and fathers, daughters and sons, those who love dramas and comedies, and even sports fans.  Top picks on RHR’s list include:

ADULT LIFE SKILLS:  A daughter living in her mother’s shed finds humor in relationships and the need to grow up.

ALL WE HAD:  Katie Holmes’ directorial debut creates a mother-daughter entanglement as the two attempt to keep it together despite their apparent bad luck.

ALWAYS SHINE: As an avid hiker and camper, ALWAYS SHINE piqued my interest as two friends allow their true colors to show while in the heart of the backcountry.

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THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA

DEAN:  Demetri Martin is known for his stand up comedy and writing and puts it to the test with Kevin Kline as his father who is trying to sell the family home following his mother’s death.  Only Martin could make death and the loss of childhood memories funny!

THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA:  Jason Sudeikis and Jessica Biel star in this drama about love, life and tragedy with the help of a street-wise teen.

DON’T THINK TWICE:  Mike Birbiglia, a favorite of RHR from “Sleepwalk with Me,” has another feature film that promises to capture the same humor in the NY improv comedy world.

ELVIS & NIXON:  RHR is Chicago-based so naturally Michael Shannon will be a draw to any film.  With his many films here at Tribeca this year, ELVIS & NIXON is quite intriguing as Shannon plays Elvis.  Need I say more?

HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE:  A troubled teen orphan is dropped off with his new family, but as an unexpected tragic event occurs, he finds himself mismatched with his curmudgeon of a foster father on an adventure through the Bush Country of New Zealand. It’s humorous, fun, and lighthearted, yet touching in all the right places making this simply “majestical.”

THE MEDDLER:  Moms.  We’re all alike.  And Susan Sarandon appears to embody a doting mother who attempts to cope with loss.

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THE MEDDLER

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOTHER:  This dark comedy looks at a mother’s responsibility after her son has been suspiciously shot, leaving him comatose.  This mystery attempts to be solved by the “Barney Fife” of Estonia.

But wait!  There’s more!  Additional films in this category include:   COURTED, CUSTODY, DETOUR, DREAMLAND, EQUALS, THE FAMILY FANG, THE FIXER, FEAR INC., FOLK HERO & FUNNY GUY, HIGH-RISE, A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING, HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM, THE HUMAN THING, LAVENDER, LITTLE BOXES, THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY, THE MULBERRY BUSH, MY BLIND BROTHER, NERDLAND, PERFECT STRANGERS, THE PHENOM, POOR BOY, THE TENTH MAN, THE TICKET, WOLVES, YOU CAN GO, YOUTH IN OREGON

For those of you (ok, us) whose attention spans are shorter than most, we have the “Shorts” programs.  Many of these films go on to be developed into full-length feature films, but it’s still fun to see what can be conveyed in 5-15 minutes!  That’s my cup of tea!  Here are the shorts on my long list:

CALIFORNIA DREAMING:  SUPER SEX:  Ed Asner and Kevin Nealon star in this 7 minute film about  buying  “dad” the perfect gift.  All he wants is to be loved.  THE CHAUFFEUR: Donald lives in L.A.  He wants to be an artist, an actor, a musician, so he’s a chauffeur.

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SHOK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS SHOK:  This “shocking” walk down memory lane depicts two young boys dealing with the horrors of war and genocide. “Shok” is an emotionally loaded yet beautifully artistic film that creates a truly disturbing reality.

LEARNING CURVE: GAME NIGHT:  A lonely taxi driver stops at an abandoned football field as he looks back on his life.

NEW YORK NOW:  THE MULBERRY BUSH  and CURMUDGEONS

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SUPER SEX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WARPED SPEED:  CURVE, THE TUNNEL, FUTURE BOYFRIEND, and REALITY +

It’s impossible to see everything on this list, although I will try my very best.  For more information about these films and everything Tribeca including the VR and panel discussions as well as Table Talks and so much more, go to www.tribecafilm.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember reviewed by Pamela Powell

April 2nd, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Remember reviewed by Pamela Powell”

Review coming…

In the meantime, this is a recommended film starring Christopher Plummer in a role that will shock you!  Brilliant acting, writing, and directing with a story-line that will leave breathless.

THE CLAN reviewed by Pamela Powell

April 2nd, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “THE CLAN reviewed by Pamela Powell”

Review coming….

If you enjoy films based on reality that are chilling with great acting, go see this film!  It’s violent and disturbing, so beware.

"Cut to the Chase" Weaver's Southern Film Noir by Pamela Powell

April 1st, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “"Cut to the Chase" Weaver's Southern Film Noir by Pamela Powell”

 

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Blayne Weaver’s newest full length feature film, “Cut to the Chase” will be a part of the impressive line up at the Phoenix Film Festival in April.  The film is reminiscent of a film noir style of movie-making complete with an unsolved murder mystery, vengeance, and some humorously snarky dialogue.  There’s plenty of action, violence, and intrigue to get your heart racing and keep you rooting for this flippant failure that you grow to love.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 10.33.23 AMMax Chase (Weaver) is “a compulsive loser,” always making the wrong decision, but always finding a bit of luck to get himself out of sticky situations.  One bit of luck is his polar opposite sister, Isobel (Erin Cahill), an attorney whose skills help bail Chase out over and over again.  But when Isobel goes missing under very suspicious conditions, Chase’s loyalty and love of his sister will not allow him to stop until he finds her or her murderer—if she is deScreen Shot 2016-04-01 at 10.32.42 AMad.  Chase, running from “The Man” and his goons over gambling debts, is in way over his head, but perhaps with a little luck, he’ll come out of this alive.

“Cut to the Chase” is a multilayered story that peels back just enough of one layer to get a glimpse into the next.  It’s a puzzle of sorts as you, along with Chase, attempt to see how all the pieces fit together.  Corruption on every level enters into the equation which creates a wonderfully dizzying array of characters.  You question who the bad guys are and who can you truly trust.   Interspersing lighthearted humor keeps the story well-balanced—characters interacting and chatting about an upcoming high school reunion one moment, knowing that the next moment there will be some blood shed.  Weaver’s ability to create a likable looser in Chase comes from combining well-honed acting skills with intuitive writing.

The cinematography shines in this film as it utilizes shadows, lighting, and a smokey atmosphere to capture this mysteriously dangerous story.  Well-tScreen Shot 2016-04-01 at 10.32.25 AMimed close ups and wide angle shots elicit just the right emotions to support the situations.  The  musical score brings an even greater sense of balance to the overall feel of the film.

The cast of “bad guys” couldn’t be any better with Lance Henriksen as “The Man” and Patrick Day as “the enforcer.”  Immediate intimidation is elicited from Henriksen and Day, Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 10.32.56 AMbut there’s a brilliant flicker beneath Day’s character that shows us he’s not such a tough guy after all.  Again, the lighthearted conversations about everyday topics like a toothache, are delivered with a sense of reality, allowing us to like this bad guy.  Cahill’s performance is genuine.  She’s the perfect fit as Chase’s sister.  Her kindness and concern for others exudes, but never too much.  The subtleties we see create a character that we want Chase to save.

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“Cut to the Chase” is a high action thriller with   captivating story-lines and some surprisingly lighthearted comedy.  This throw-back type of film reminds us how fun a complex cat and mouse game can.  With wonderful special effects, make-up, and well-choreographed fight scenes, the film will entertain you from start to finish.

To see this film at the Phoenix Film Festival, go to phoenixfilmfestival.com

 

 

"Midnight Special" Is an Extraordinary Thriller by Pamela Powell

April 1st, 2016 Posted by Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “"Midnight Special" Is an Extraordinary Thriller by Pamela Powell”

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“Midnight Special” is the newest science fiction thriller from Jeff Nichols who is known for “Take Shelter” (2011) and “Mud” (2012).  Michael Shannon, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, and Adam Driver star in “Midnight Special” where we witness a cat and mouse game of life.  Where this “mouse” takes us is beyond anyone’s guess, but true to Nichols’ reputation, we only know when he wants us to.

WATCH THE TRAILER HERE

There is nothing ordinary in “Midnight Special.”  In fact, you know something isn’t at all ordinary from the moment we see Roy (Shannon) and Lucas (Edgerton), apparent kidnappers, interact with their victim; an odd little boy named Alton.  These dangerous men suddenly become sweet and loving, fatherly, if you will, when interacting with Alton who is under a blanket with headphones and a flashlight reading comic books.  On the run from the police and leaders from a religious compound where Alton had lived, it is immediately obvious that little Alton’s life is regarded as much more valuable than others.  But why?  They must out run those that are chasing them to get to a predetermined place by a certain time.  Again, but why?  The questions are innumerable, but the answers are few which is exactly what makes this movie so much fun.  The tension isn’t all mentally induced as there are a few high intensity car chases, shots fired, and a crash or two.  And to round it out, there are also relationship dramas between friends and a loved one.MIDNIGHT SPECIAL

 

Nichols is known for writing screenplays with a significant amount of mystery and intrigue and this, from my seat in the theater, is one of his best.  With a familiar feel of a Stephen King novel, Nichols weaves together a beautiful and sometimes confusing tapestry of truth and assumptions.  The pieces of information are given to us bit by bit, not always in order, and not always to lead us down the right path of thought. How we process this information is solely our own responsibility.  Your mind is constantly trying to make sense of what you know, but your own belief system may surprisingly override common sense.

Jaeden Lieberher who you might readamcognize from “St. Vincent,” creates as unusual character as Alton.  Lieberher exhibits a calmness and sense of omniscience that only leaders could have while still maintaining a child-like personality.  He portrays an odd child who suffers from difficulty being in sunlight and hearing noises differently.  This child is complex beyond understanding and Lieberher confidently performs as a seasoned veteran.

Shannon and Nichols have worked together in the past and it’s obviously a harmonious relationship given Shannon’s performances.  He finds subtle nuances in his delivery of  lines  with extraordinary emotional intensity behind every thoughtful word, pause, and exhalation.  Edgerton (“The Gift” 2015 and “Black Mass” 2015) shows us that he is capable of portraying any character with deft skill.   Dunst’s down-to-earth persona shines through as a mom and Adam Driver is aptly cast as an NSA specialist.  You easily forget that he was most recently in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” as “Kylo Ren.”

 

 

“Midnight Special” is a tension-filled and thought-provoking mystery thriller that keeps you guessing until the very end.  Determining the motives behind a kidnapping, trying to solve the puzzle of the identity of an odd little boy, and sifting through the information  while you witness the “mouse” attempting to stay a half-step ahead of all the “cats,” is much like riding a roller coaster.  It’s exciting and unexpected, and most of all, great fun to watch.

 

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