Chicago Film Festival: Ali’s Wedding

Although it means well, Ali’s Wedding is one of the weaker films selected for the two-week festival. Directed by Jeffrey Walker from a script he co-wrote with Osamah Sami, the film stars Sami, Helana Sawires, Don Hany, and Ryan Corr. The film is based on a true story and after watching the large majority of the film (it wasn’t offered as a screener link, only a P&I screening), it may have been for the best…

"Chicago Film Festival: Ali’s Wedding"

Only the Brave: A Heroic Firefighting Tale

Only the Brave tells the powerful and true story of the heroic Granite Mountain Hotshots. Directed by Joseph Kosinski from a screenplay written by Ken Nolan and Eric Warren Singer, the film stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges, James Badge Dale, with Taylor Kitsch and Jennifer Connelly. It was based on the GQ Article “No Exit” written by Sean Flynn.  Josh Hopkins makes a quick cameo in the film. When most of us would run away from a fire,…

"Only the Brave: A Heroic Firefighting Tale"

And Then There Was Eve was Worth the Wait

And Then There Was Eve is one of the rare films that places the spotlight on a transgender actress in a leading role. Much credit should to go to director Savannah Bloch, who co-wrote the screenplay with Colette Freedman, for being adamant that a trans woman was cast as Eve rather than following the Hollywood trend of casting cis males as trans woman. Rachel Crowl shines in her role as jazz pianist Eve.  It’s one of…

"And Then There Was Eve was Worth the Wait"

Meagan Keane talks editing product Adobe Premiere Pro

Meagan Keane, the Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe, took some time in early October to talk with Solzy at the Movies about Adobe’s newest product, Premiere Pro CC. Thanks for joining Solzy at the Movies. How are things treating you? Meagan Keane:  Post TiFF for me (and the Digital Video & Audio team at Adobe) was a whirlwind as we went straight into a huge feature reveal and our biggest international broadcast trade show…

"Meagan Keane talks editing product Adobe Premiere Pro"

Chicago Film Festival: Scaffolding

Scaffolding is one of four Israeli films to be shown during the Chicago International Film Festival. Written and directed by Matan Yair, the Israeli film stars Asher Lax, Ami Smolartchik, Jacob Cohen, and Keren Berger. Lax makes his professional and cinematic debut as an actor and takes home an Ophir Award nomination in the process. Asher (Lax) is a troublemaker and he’s always been this way in school.  Despite the rage and violence that Asher…

"Chicago Film Festival: Scaffolding"

Sidemen: Long Road to Glory profiles Three Bluesmen

Sidemen: Long Road To Glory celebrates the contributions that Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith and Hubert Sumlin made to the blues musical genre. Scott Rosenbaum came to direct Sidemen following the inclusion of the aforementioned musicians in a previous feature film of his, The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll.  They were cast because of the authenticity they added for the evolution of rock and roll through blues.  One thing led to another and…

"Sidemen: Long Road to Glory profiles Three Bluesmen"

Too Funny to Fail revisits The Dana Carvey Show

The newest Hulu documentary, Too Funny to Fail, revisits a short-lived 1996 ABC sketch comedy series, The Dana Carvey Show.  The sketch comedy series was truly ahead of its time. I was there at the beginning in 1996 for The Dana Carvey Show.  Carvey was fresh off the success of a run on Saturday Night Live and hit comedy Wayne’s World.  Why wouldn’t I have watched the show?  The Beatles sketches, fresh off of The…

"Too Funny to Fail revisits The Dana Carvey Show"

Chicago Film Festival: I, Tonya

The Tonya Harding biopic, I, Tonya, could bring Allison Janney an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role as the figure skater’s abusive mother. Directed by Craig Gillespie from a screenplay by Steven Rogers, the biopic stars Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Paul Walter Hauser, Julianne Nicholson, Caitlin Carver, Bojana Novakovic and Bobby Cannavale. Interspersed with documentary-style footage, the film gives off a humorous vibe as we revisit one of the biggest events…

"Chicago Film Festival: I, Tonya"

Breathe: An Emotionally Exhausting Film

Andy Serkis’ feature directorial debut, Breathe, is a film that is emotionally exhausting to watch and it is one that would have best been served as a documentary rather than what could easily be described as an expensive home movie. Serkis directs from a screenplay written by William Nicholson.  Breathe stars Andrew Garfield, Claire Foy, Tom Hollander, and Hugh Bonneville. The filmmakers were smart to focus on the love story in the film’s first few…

"Breathe: An Emotionally Exhausting Film"

Chicago Film Festival: Rogers Park

Depicting two biracial relationships, Rogers Park is one of many Chicago-set films to premiere during the 53rd Chicago International Film Festival. Directed by Kyle Henry from a screenplay written by Carlos Treviño, the Chicago-set film stars Antoine McKay, Sara Sevigny, Jonny Mars, and Christine Horn. Rogers Park is a family affair.  The film follows Zeke (McKay) and his wife, Grace (Sevigny), and Grace’s brother, Chris (Mars), and his partner, Deena (Horn).  Both couples are dealing with…

"Chicago Film Festival: Rogers Park"