Support the Girls: Regina Hall Lifts Up Film

Support the Girls is a surprisingly relevant film with an exceptionally strong performance from Regina Hall. Lisa (Regina Hall) is the general manager of Double Whammies.  Double Whammies labeled as a “sports bar with curves.”  With the first glance of their skimpy uniforms, it’s only natural to assume that the sports bar is a stand-in for Hooters but it’s so much more.  In spite of the clientele and everything, Lisa loves working there.  She takes…

"Support the Girls: Regina Hall Lifts Up Film"

Fantasia 2018: Number 37 (Nommer 37)

The comparisons to Rear Window are there but writer-director Nosipho Dumisa makes Number 37 her own. Randal Hendricks (Irshaad Ally) just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.  He found himself in a wheelchair after a deal went terribly wrong.  While he’s stuck in his Cape Town apartment, this film is not the Alfred Hitchcock classic.  While it is an homage, the plot is tremendously different and you don’t have the legendary…

"Fantasia 2018: Number 37 (Nommer 37)"

Eighth Grade captures Spirit, Awkwardness

Eighth Grade is a film that perfectly captures the spirit and awkwardness of being a student in the final year of middle school. Kayla Day (Elsie Fisher) may be close to starting high school but before doing so, she must survive the end of eighth grade.  It’s not easy for the smartphone-obsessed teenager.  Even though she has a YouTube channel where she offers advice to others, she’s not the perfect person when it comes to applying…

"Eighth Grade captures Spirit, Awkwardness"

Boundaries: A Pot-Dealing Family Road Trip

Boundaries isn’t the typical family road trip as this one involves rescue animals and drug deals. “Don’t Pick Up!” This is what Laura (Vera Farmiga) has opted to label the name on her phone for her father, Jack (Christopher Plummer).  It’s the type of relationship that the two of them have.  Or lack thereof if you will.  It’s a relationship that Laura opens up with to her therapist at the beginning of the film.  Laura…

"Boundaries: A Pot-Dealing Family Road Trip"

Damsel: A Wholly Original Western

A wholly original film with a twist you never see coming, Damsel is a hysterical western from the minds of David Zellner and Nathan Zellner. Samuel Alabaster (Robert Pattinson) has tracked down the location of the woman he plans to marry, Penelope (Mia Wasikowska).  As he sets through in his journey, he hires Parson Henry (David Zellner) to officiate the wedding when he finds his future bride in addition to a gift, a miniature horse called Butterscotch.  Samuel…

"Damsel: A Wholly Original Western"

Frameline 2018: Wild Nights with Emily

Wild Nights with Emily offers a look at poet Emily Dickinson with an approach that only writer/director Madeline Olnek can tell. Through her role in Other People and the Sundance-premiering Private Life, Saturday Night Live alumnus Molly Shannon has proven to have a wider range as an actress.  Her role as Emily Dickinson proves to be no different in what may very well be one of the best lesbian comedies in years. Through Olnek’s script,…

"Frameline 2018: Wild Nights with Emily"

Frameline 2018: 1985

Filmed in black-and-white 16mm film, 1985 is an incredibly moving film from writer-director Yen Tan. After his boyfriend dies of AIDS, Adrian (Cory Michael Smith) leaves New York for his hometown in Texas during the holidays to visit with his family.  He’s in the closet, which isn’t a surprise given the 1980s setting.  At the time when the AIDS crisis was growing, anyone would be scared to come out to their family!  By visiting with…

"Frameline 2018: 1985"

American Animals: A Crazy True-Crime Story

American Animals uses a narrative/documentary hybrid approach in telling the absurd but true story of the Transylvania University library heist. Flashback to the fall of 2003 if you will.  Spencer Reinhard (Barry Keoghan) is touring the Special Collections archive at the Transylvania University library.  The freshman finds himself intrigued and fascinated by the artwork of John James Audubon.  Admiring the artwork, Spencer starts to get these absurd idea to steal the rare collection.  He manages to…

"American Animals: A Crazy True-Crime Story"

Hearts Beat Loud: A Musical Masterpiece

In Hearts Beat Loud, director Brett Haley has managed to do it again. This time, Haley, who pens the script with Marc Basch, goes musical and offers up a touching story about a father and daughter starring Nick Offerman and Kiersey Clemons. Hearts Beat Loud may just be Haley’s best film ever–a musical masterpiece. There’s something about a Haley film that takes a side player from a previous film and they end up delivering one of their…

"Hearts Beat Loud: A Musical Masterpiece"

Upgrade: An Homage to 1980s Sci-Fi Thrillers

Upgrade is a film that, like James Cameron’s The Terminator before it, shows that humankind is perhaps a bit too dependent on technology. There may be elements of violence but Upgrade isn’t the all-out horror type of film that we’ve come to expect from writer/director Leigh Whannell.  There may be some bloody elements given Grey Trace’s (Logan Marshall-Green) new abilities that come from having an upgrade on his body.  This is a film that’s full of…

"Upgrade: An Homage to 1980s Sci-Fi Thrillers"