Summer Night: Coming of Age in California

Summer Night is a coming-of-age story about finding love in a small Northern California town towards the last days of the summer. While the evening’s headliner is a concert at The Alamo, just about everyone is dealing with something going into the night.  On the one hand, we have Jameson (Ellar Coltrane) torn between Harmony (Victoria Justice) and Corin (Elena Kampouris).  Yeah, there’s certainly something going on here when Jameson isn’t completely over Corin.  I’m…

"Summer Night: Coming of Age in California"

My Days of Mercy: A Coming-Of-Age Love Story

My Days of Mercy is one of those coming-of-age love stories that happens to see love coming from the strangest of all places. Lucy Moro (Ellen Page) is an anti-death penalty activist traveling with her sister, Martha (Amy Seimetz), and younger brother, Benjamin (Charlie Shotwell).  While outside of a Kentucky penitentiary, Lucy meets attorney Mercy Bromage (Kate Mara) during a protest.  There is a strong bond between the two women even though they are on…

"My Days of Mercy: A Coming-Of-Age Love Story"

Independence Day Remains A Classic

Independence Day may be the typical Roland Emmerich disaster film but Will Smith, Bill Pullman, and Jeff Goldblum lift it up. “We will not go quietly into the night!” President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) declares.  Whitmore’s speech will go down in history as one of the greatest presidential speeches of all time.  All across the world, mankind must come together to find for survival.  As with any presidential speech, David Arnold’s score gives the film the…

"Independence Day Remains A Classic"

National Treasure: Book of Secrets ups the action

National Treasure: Book of Secrets suffers from the same problem that seems to plagues many sequels by offering more of the same. The film does manage to up the stakes and increase the action.  This time, the legacy of the Gates family is on the line.  But rather than keep it simple, the clues take Benjamin Gates (Nicholas Cage) and company overseas to Paris and London. The film’s prologue puts Thomas Gates on the scene…

"National Treasure: Book of Secrets ups the action"

National Treasure: A Fun Adventure 15 Years Later

National Treasure is still a fun adventure to be had some fifteen years after the adventure film was released in theaters in 2004. The film asks us to imagine a map being on the back of the Declaration of Independence.  It is a fun idea no matter how preposterous that the idea sounds.  But before we get to this point, a young Benjamin Franklin Gates must learn the Gates family history.  It turns out that…

"National Treasure: A Fun Adventure 15 Years Later"

Backbeat: Before The Beatles Got Big

Backbeat is set in the early years of The Beatles’ performing career while mostly focusing on the time spent in Hamburg. Stuart Sutcliffe (Stephen Dorff) would need to leave the band in order for the Beatles to really become the greatest rock band in history.  Sutcliffe would not be the last to leave the group.  No, that honor belongs to Pete Best (Scot Williams).  Best would leave by the end of 1960, having been replaced…

"Backbeat: Before The Beatles Got Big"

Spider-Man: Far From Home Starts A New Chapter

Spider-Man: Far From Home has the main responsibility of dealing with the after effects of Avengers: Endgame, including the Midtown High students. If you’ve seen trailers for the film, you have probably already shown a good part of what’s going on.  Regardless of that, there’s a certainly lot of film not seen in the trailers.  Let me warn you now: there’s a mid-credits scene and a post-credits scene.  Also: if you read nothing else before…

"Spider-Man: Far From Home Starts A New Chapter"

Maiden: An Inspiring True Story

Maiden tells the inspiring true story of skipper Tracy Edwards and the first female crew who made history by entering the Whitbread Round the World race. It comes as no surprise that the misogyny that Tracy Edwards and her crew dealt with in the late 1980s still exists today.  While the male competitors were asked the “sensible sports questions,” no reporters dared to ask the Maiden crew these questions.  Nobody gave them a chance.  As soon…

"Maiden: An Inspiring True Story"

Ophelia: Hamlet Fanfiction Is A Letdown

The Daisy Ridley-starring Ophelia is unfortunately a bit of a letdown in the most recent adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play. What the film does is tell the classic Hamlet story from Ophelia’s (Daisy Ridley) point of view in the Denmark-set film.  It’s an admirable attempt but I feel like there’s something missing.  In switching the point of view, the film falls quite short in that regard.  This is unfortunate because the premise had the potential…

"Ophelia: Hamlet Fanfiction Is A Letdown"

The Other Story Focuses On Secular, Religious

The Other Story is grounded through a father-daughter relationship but also touches on the struggles between Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and secular lifestyles. There are two major plots going in The Other Story.  One is the relationship between Anat Abadi (Joy Rieger) and Shachar Elkayam (Nathan Goshen).  The other deals with patients of Dr. Shlomo Abadi (Sasson Gabai), Rami (Maayan Bloom) and Sari (Avigail Harari).  While Shlomo brings in his son, Yonatan (Yuval Segal), to help these…

"The Other Story Focuses On Secular, Religious"