Big Fish & Begonia: An Animated Beauty

Big Fish & Begonia is a wonderfully animated film with stunning cinematic visuals coming not from Disney or Pixar but overseas in China. While Disney and Pixar tend to have a stronghold on the best animated films of the year, this tale may very well be one of the most beautiful films of the year.  It has the best of both worlds when it comes to animation–both hand-drawn and computer. At the start of the…

"Big Fish & Begonia: An Animated Beauty"

Rampage: Please Stop Destroying Chicago

Rampage is the latest in a series of blockbusters that threaten to destroy Chicago–this time with genetically modified animals. Here’s the basic background: CRISPR made the waves in 1993 by giving scientists a way to treat previously incurable diseases through a process known as genetic editing.  By 2016, U.S. Intelligence Community had determined that genetic editing was considered to be a “Weapon of Mass Destruction and Proliferation.” Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) is a primatologist working for…

"Rampage: Please Stop Destroying Chicago"

You Were Never Really Here: An Awards Contender

Led by a career-best performance from actor Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here shows that writer/director Lynne Ramsay is certainly here without a doubt. The performance from Phoenix is one that is so mesmerizing and captivating.  The performance is truly unforgettable.  His character has a remarkable back story.  A former US soldier, he became an FBI agent on a sex-trafficking task force before later becoming a man who devotes all of his time to…

"You Were Never Really Here: An Awards Contender"

Beirut: One of Jon Hamm’s Best To Date

Beirut dives into the complexities of what the U.S. Government is willing to do when it comes to saving the life of one of their own. Mason Skiles (Jon Hamm) is an American living in Beiruit in 1972.  However, there is more to the American diplomat than meats the eye.  One of his closest friends, Cal Riley (Mark Pellegrino), just happens to work as a CIA Agent.  When Skiles and his wife host a party,…

"Beirut: One of Jon Hamm’s Best To Date"

Lean on Pete: Charlie Plummer’s Breakout Role

Based on the novel by Willy Vlautin, film festival favorite Lean on Pete tells the poignant story of of a teenage boy and his strong connection to a horse. Charley Thompson (Charlie Plummer) hasn’t had an easy life living with his father Ray (Travis Fimmel).  Charley’s mom is out of the picture and looking for meaning in his life, he turns to the Portland Downs racetrack where he meets Del Montgomery (Steve Buscemi) and jockey Bonnie (Chloë Sevigny). …

"Lean on Pete: Charlie Plummer’s Breakout Role"

C2E2: Daphne and Velma: Life Before Scooby-Doo

Daphne and Velma is a film that brings a female friendship to the center while updating the Scooby-Doo universe for a new generation. Ridge Valley High School is populated by all sorts of state of the art technology created by Tobias Bloom (Brooks Forester).  Whether it’s phones, earbuds, or the Bloom Bracket, Bloom’s footprint is all over the school.  Similar to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Bloom out does himself every year.  The tech wiz even takes…

"C2E2: Daphne and Velma: Life Before Scooby-Doo"

SXSW 2018: Mary Neely talks Pink Trailer

During the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, multi-hyphenate Mary Neely sat down with Solzy at the Movies to discuss the short film, Pink Trailer, in addition to filmmaking influences. How much of a thrill is it to premiere Pink Trailer at SXSW? Mary Neely:  It’s so amazing.  It’s so cool.  It’s actually our North American premiere.  We had the world premiere in Iceland at the Reykjavik International Film Festival.  That was really cool but I was…

"SXSW 2018: Mary Neely talks Pink Trailer"

The Miracle Season: Heartbreaking and Devastating

The Miracle Season is the type of film that requires a box of Kleenex heading into the theaters.  It’s a film that falls under the categories of being both heartbreaking and devastating as director Sean McNamara tells the inspiring true story of the the Iowa City West High School volleyball team.  It’s a team that hand to find a way to channel their feelings following the tragic accident of star setter Caroline “Line” Found (Danika…

"The Miracle Season: Heartbreaking and Devastating"

Gemini: Lola Kirke is A Star

Aaron Katz’s Gemini is a film that should be seen as offering social commentary on media in the digital age. When Heather (Zoë Kravitz) decides she doesn’t want to work on an upcoming movie, her assistant, Jill (Lola Kirke), soon finds herself in hot water.  It’s not because of anything that Jill did.  In fact, it’s because of coming back to Heather’s home and finding a dead body on the ground.  It paves the way…

"Gemini: Lola Kirke is A Star"

A Quiet Place is quiet but scary

Don’t let the title fool you because A Quiet Place is a scary movie that is sure to induce flinching. Through Marco Beltrami’s score, the film is able to counteract the silence that comes from the cast.  It’s because of the silence that the score is very much a character in its own right.  While filmmakers were careful to stay silent during filmming so as to pick up the background noise, it’s the music that helps…

"A Quiet Place is quiet but scary"