Irena’s Vow brings the Broadway play of the same name and the story of Irena Gut Opdyke, a Righteous Among the Nations, to the big screen. Antisemitism is at its worst levels in decades. All you need to do is take a look on social media, especially Twitter, where there are calls to ban the ADL. Worst of all is that the call is coming from the contemporary version of Henry Ford, Elon Musk. Irena…"Irena’s Vow – Toronto 2023"
A cheerleader gets an opportunity to cheer for an All-Star cheer squad in Backspot but it doesn’t come without anxiety and such. Riley (Devery Jacobs) is a mid-level cheerleader for the Cheer Fuzion All-Stars, where she’s the backspot. When learning that she has an opportunity to cheer for the Thunderhawks, Riley screws up her first chance. Even though she probably shouldn’t get a second chance, she decides to do it again and nails the landing.…"Backspot – Toronto 2023"
Eric LaRue has its roots in Brett Neveu’s 2002 stage play but the film adaptation being timely and relevant speaks to the current climate. I know what you’re thinking–Mass just premiered a few years ago in theaters. It’s an unfortunate side effect of school shootings still taking place. Or any mass shooting in general. Where Mass focuses on grieving parents meeting to discuss their sons, Eric LaRue focuses on the mother–Janice LaRue (Judy Greer)–of the…"Eric LaRue – Tribeca 2023"
Solzy at the Movies is back with the 2023 Tribeca Festival short film roundup, which consists of a number of shorts playing the fest. The one film on my list after they announced the short films that I did not get to watch was Harry Holland’s Last Call, which stars Tom Holland. Pre-fest screeners were not available when I inquired in late May nor is the film among the short films available through Tribeca at…"Short Film Roundup – Tribeca 2023"
David Duchovny writes, directs, and stars in the adaptation of his novel, Bucky F*cking Dent, about a father dying of cancer in 1978. The film is more of a baseball-adjacent movie than being an outright baseball movie. It’s probably unlikely to become one of the films airing on MLB Network’s regular rotation. That’s not to say anything about the quality of the film but again, it’s more baseball-adjacent in its storytelling. There’s enough heart at…"Bucky F*cking Dent – Tribeca 2023"
A grieving children’s book author turns to the dark web and orders a self-help book in The Secret Art of Human Flight. The film was one of two Vanishing Angle productions to premiere at Tribeca. It’s a film that is very high-concept in nature with an ending that I’m still thinking about. The ending is one of the big reasons why my review did not go up immediately after watching. Days after watching the film,…"The Secret Art of Human Flight – Tribeca 2023"
Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater adapt Chuck Klosterman’s Reagan-era 1980s dark comedy, Downtown Owl, for the screen. The film, like Klosterman’s novel, takes place in a fictional North Dakota town. Funny enough, the Minneapolis area stands in for North Dakota in the adaptation. Anyway, the film takes place in 1984 just as a blizzard is about to hit the area. English teacher Julia Rabia (Lily Rabe) is one of Owl’s newest residents, having moved from…"Downtown Owl – Tribeca 2023"
The Line is the one movie that fraternity and sorority houses will probably not want anyone to watch but it’s a conversation starter. It’s not uncommon for a film to be a conversation starter and Ethan Berger does exactly this with his feature narrative debut. To say that frat houses will not want this film out there is not an understatement. And yet, it is impossible to discuss this film without touching on the history…"The Line – Tribeca 2023"
Kiss the Future is a documentary that focuses in part on the music scene in Sarajevo, U2’s activism, and the post-war U2 concert. I can’t argue with the Tribeca Festival for selecting Kiss the Future as its opening night selection. The opportunity to have the likes of Bono and The Edge walking the red carpet is a no-brainer. It certainly doesn’t hurt that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are producers. However, I went into the…"Kiss the Future – Tribeca 2023"
The League is a worthy addition to the canon of baseball documentaries with its focus on the history of the Negro Leagues. Tribeca had a trio of baseball movies this year. Two of them were documentaries–both touch on Bill Veeck signing Larry Doby in Cleveland and breaking the AL color barrier. While I easily recommend both documentaries, The League is probably the more important of the two just because of what it brings to the…"The League – Tribeca 2023"