Score: A Film Music Documentary, directed by Matt Schrader, played to 60 people on Saturday morning at the Music Box Theater in Chicago. When I screened the movie on Friday afternoon, it immediately jumped to the top of my shortlist for best documentary film in 2017. Financed in part through a Kickstarter campaign, the documentary is amazing but it could be so much more. It’s only 93 minutes but with a better budget, it could…"CCFF: Score: A Film Music Documentary amazes"
The Guardians of the Galaxy have returned in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a sequel that provides just as much action and fun as the first movie. The soundtrack for the sequel is provided by Awesome Mixtape #2. This is the last gift that Meredith Quill (Laura Haddock) gave to her son, Peter (Chris Pratt), prior to dying in the first movie. For Peter Quill, he has never known who his father is. Lo…"Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is Awesome and So Much Fun"
The Power Rangers are back on the big screen for the third time after the television series debuted on August 28, 1993. With its release, we see the first blockbuster film to feature both LGBTQ and autistic superheroes. Dean Israelite directs the franchise’s third film from a screenplay written by John Gatins, based on a story written by Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless and Michele Mulroney & Kieran Mulroney. The cast features Dacre Montgomery, Naomi…"Power Rangers Reboot, Offer Diversity in Casting"
Our childhood comes back to the big screen with the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. The retelling stays true to the animated classic but fills in the plot holes that they were unable to do with the animated film. If it were up to me, Beauty and the Beast would also get a Best Picture nomination. Directed by Bill Condon from a screenplay written by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos, the star-studded cast…"Beauty and the Beast: Disney Does It Again"
Kong: Skull Island takes us back to the Vietnam War era to reboot everyone’s favorite gigantic primate. It may not match the original classic but the fast-paced story holds its own. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts (The Kings of Summer) from a screenplay written by Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly with the story by John Gatins, it’s not a movie that makes us wait a while for King Kong in the same way…"Kong: Skull Island reboots King Kong in great fashion"
It’s one last time for Hugh Jackman as Logan’s story comes to an end in Logan, the newest installment of the X-Men franchise. Inspired by Old Man Logan, this film is very grounded and it’s not the typical superhero action film. It’s a powerful film and one really doesn’t need to see the prior films going into it as it’s a standalone pic in which one really doesn’t need to have seen the previous X-Men…"Logan: One Last Time for Wolverine"
Everything is awesome-er in this Batman-themed spin-off to The Lego Movie. Will Arnett reprises his role as Batman in this family-friendly sequel that puts Batman v Superman to task. Depending on what animated fare is being offered by Disney and Pixar this year, this one is a sure contender for Best Animated Feature. Whereas the first film was brighter, the filmmakers do a good job at depicting Batman’s classic environment. Chris McKay directs from a…"The Lego Batman Movie: Everything is Awesome-er"
What’s so funny about the Holocaust? Nothing is really funny about it but director Ferne Pearlstein explores whether or not the Holocaust should be off-limits for comedy. If it’s off-limits what becomes of other controversial topics? What is considered to be too taboo for comedy? How soon is too soon to be talking about 9/11? In her interviews with survivors, we learn that those in the concentration camps turned to humor as a survival technique…"The Last Laugh: What’s So Funny About the Holocaust?"
Written and directed by Mike Mills, the semi-autobiographical film is set in 1979 and stars Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann, and Billy Crudup. Bening has drawn acclaim for her role and rightly so. 20th Century Women provides her with an opportunity to lead a film. With such a strong crowd of women in leading roles in 2016, Bening just missed out on an Academy Award nomination. Just as Bening was worthy…"20th Century Women: Annette Bening shines in Mike Mills’ new film"
Patriots Day takes us behind the scenes of the week that followed the Boston bombing in April 2013. Directed by Peter Berg, Mark Wahlberg stars as a Boston Police officer who was one of the first to respond to the attack at the Boston Marathon finish line. Wahlberg is joined by Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, J.K. Simmons, and Michelle Monaghan. The screenplay was penned by Berg & Matt Cook and Joshua Zetumer and was based…"Patriots Day: Thriller revisits Boston bombing"