An artificial intelligence becomes self-aware in the HBO Max comedy, Superintelligence, launching this week on Thanksgiving day. The gist of the film is that Superintelligence (James Corden) studies average Earth human Carol Peters (Melissa McCarthy) and the fate of humanity rests on her shoulders. It’s not unlike Abraham arguing with G-d when it comes to trying to save the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. If you remember the Book of Genesis, Abraham had to plead…"Superintelligence: A New A.I. Comedy"
The new live-action adaptation of Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty arrives on Disney+ over fifty years after the studio released a LP adaptation. Disney finally did it. Until this year, the studio was never successful in making either an animated or live-action film. From what I can tell, this is the sixth adaption–the first since Alan Cumming voiced the horse in 1994. Unlike previous adaptations, Ashley Avis puts a contemporary twist on her take. Her take…"Black Beauty: Disney Finally Makes Their Film"
Hillbilly Elegy launches on Netflix this fall as an awards contender for Amy Adams and Glenn Close but their performances cannot save the film. I’m a Kentucky native so naturally, I like that there were scenes set in Jackson, Kentucky. Having a film directed by Ron Howard and starring Amy Adams and Glenn Close is enough to pique my interest. But there needs to be more here in order to elevate the film and take…"Hillbilly Elegy: Oscar Bait Falls Short"
Holocaust survivor and philanthropist George Soros is profiled in the new documentary, Soros, from filmmaker Jesse Dylan. Two decades ago, Michael Kaufman wrote what is currently the definitive biography of Soros. Dylan gets the necessary access needed to make a Soros documentary for the screen. This is also one of those films that plays better while watching at home rather than the big screen. Telluride audiences certainly benefited from getting to experience the documentary inside…"Soros: Philanthropist George Soros Gets A Doc"
Happiest Season, featuring a star-studded cast, is the first major LGBTQ studio romantic comedy to be set during the holiday season. There are not that many LGBTQ studio comedies let alone many films set during the holidays. Jenna Laurenzo’s Thanksgiving-set Lez Bomb is among the few films out there. All you have to do is change the holiday but the gist of the film basically remains the same. Kid brings girlfriend home for the holiday…"Happiest Season: A LGBTQ Holiday Rom-Com"
9-11 Kids explores both race and class in profiling the lives of the children sitting in class when President George W. Bush learned of 9/11. Everyone remembers where they were on the morning of September 11th. For one group of people, the morning is particularly memorable. This is because then-President George W. Bush was visiting Emma E. Booker Elementary School. All of us have seen the photo where Bush’s chief of staff, Andy Card, whispers…"DOC NYC 2020: 9-11 Kids"
One year shy of its 75th anniversary, Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life arrives on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray with a beautiful steelbook cover. To be fair, this is not the first 4K UHD release for the classic film. It was previously released last year on 4K UHD. The difference between the two versions is that this one includes a mini-poster and a steelbook cover. The remastered and restored Black & White version is on…"It’s a Wonderful Life Arrives Gets 4K Ultra HD Steelbook"
Truth to Power: Barbara Lee Speaks for Me is a powerful and inspiring biography of the highest-ranking Black woman in Congress. Only one person voted against the 2001 authorization for military force. That person is longtime Rep. Barbara Lee. While she is the only one to go through with her feelings on the vote, other colleagues regret not joining her. A number of colleagues are interviewed about this including Lynne Woolsey (D-CA, James Clyburn (D-SC),…"DOC NYC 2020: Truth to Power"
‘Til Kingdom Come is a documentary that shows why evangelicals and right-wing Israelis have gotten in bed with each other. This documentary may be short but it puts the spotlight on rural communities in Kentucky among others. If it makes you uncomfortable, then the film is doing its job. There are a number of Orthodox Jews in America and Israel that welcome evangelical support for Israel. The thing is that evangelicals are not supporting Israel…"DOC NYC 2020: ‘Til Kingdom Come"
The Meaning of Hitler is not a conventional film by any means but it is effective in getting its point across about understanding the past. There has been a rise of white nationalism and anti-Semitism in the past few years. It is not just limited to Europe but we are also seeing it in the United States. Filmmaking team Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker seek to understand what is happening now by exploring the past. …"DOC NYC 2020: The Meaning of Hitler"