Review: In My Room

In this quiet, sweet little German flick, ‘tis the end of humanity as we know it. Time and time again we’ve seen Hollywood emphasize, in many terrifying ways, just how something like this could come about: invading aliens, nuclear warfare, immense natural disasters… yet none of that (at least none seen in the context of this story at least) is seen here. Humanity just disappears; one could probably argue this film takes place in the same universe where Thanos’ snap severely depopulates the world (it would be nice to think about how this was how some human beings lived their lives in the 5 years it took for the Avengers to get their you-know-what together, but I digress). No Hollywood junk to be found here, just pure truths and insights which are inherent in all humans; which exist in both the context of the hectic day-to-day lives we all lead, and the fictional scenario presented here. Continue reading Review: In My Room

Review: “Motherless Brooklyn” (2019) Warner Bros. // Post Q & A: Edward Norton & Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Set in a tough but glamorous moment in time, “MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN” follows Lionel Essrog (Edward Norton) after the murder of his closest friend and colleague Frank Minna (Bruce Willis). Lionel is hellbent on unraveling the reason and discovering why Frank was killed and who is the killer. He finds himself on a paper trail across Brooklyn, never giving up on his plan. Being that Lionel is someone someone who also happens to suffer from Tourettes or Tertz Syndrome, and other verbal and motor tics, yet is endowed with perfect pitch of a memory that forgets nothing, makes him a true asset in the world of being part of Minna’s boys – the team of the Private Investigation office of Frank Minna. He is a character that has a lot of depth to get behind, and being one that needs a great performance in order to be authentic. And we are given that performance in spades, not only by Norton, but the fantastic entire ensemble cast of this film. Continue reading Review: “Motherless Brooklyn” (2019) Warner Bros. // Post Q & A: Edward Norton & Gugu Mbatha-Raw

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 34: The Miseducation of Cameron Post

To capture the essence of the LGBTQ+ community is becoming a more popular narrative in contemporary cinema. But to be able to evidence their struggles and hardships, whilst also attaining a light-hearted atmosphere, showing raw emotion, and enabling a true presentation of a situation that can be reflected into many of the audience’s daily lives, is what is lacking in many of these recent movies. Yet Desiree Akhavan presents all of this so effortlessly in her film “The Miseducation of Cameron Post”. Being part of the LGBTQ+ community herself enabled significant support for Akhavan when she directed this beautiful narrative which follows friendships, betrayals and the exploration of sexualities. Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 34: The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Retrospective Review- “Foxfire”: a Universal Coming-Of-Age Story

When “Foxfire” came out in 1996, I was only one-year-old. While watching it only a few months ago, it became clear that Annette Haywood-Carter’s drama exists in the dimension of exceptional productions. Those productions have a crucial influence on young women’s lives.

Meet Legs Sadovsky (Angelina Jolie). Nobody knows where she came from. Tomboy-ish looking, young woman is a mystery, especially to Maddy Wirtz (Hedy Burress). Maddy, a high school teenager, doesn’t even know that Legs will change her life forever. After hearing about the teacher’s sexual harassment, the mystery girl teaches Maddy, Rita (Jenny Lewis), Goldie (Jenny Shimizu), and Violet (Sarah Rosenberg) to stand up against abuse and fight for their rights as women. Continue reading Retrospective Review- “Foxfire”: a Universal Coming-Of-Age Story

Review: Here Comes Hell

A weekend in the country can be a nightmare, if the right combination of people are thrown together. Writer-director Jack McHenry and co-writer Alice Sidgwick have taken this thought and run with it for their feature debut “Here Comes Hell”: a horror-comedy of the same gore-fest breed as Sam Raimi’s “Evil Dead” films, with the action instead taking place in an English country estate in the 1930s rather than in a cabin in the woods.

The estate in question is Westwood Manor, recently acquired by the heir of a vast family fortune who has invited his friends to a dinner party at his new home. Naturally, post-dinner entertainment includes a seance – complete with an eccentric medium – which goes just as well as any cinematic encounter with the hereafter has done previously (with the exception of “Ghost”, of course). Continue reading Review: Here Comes Hell

Review: “Ford v Ferrari” (2019) 20th Century Fox

Biopics can be a hard sell at times. “FORD v FERRARI” is one of the latest true stories out of Hollywood that will be hitting the big screen, and here’s why this one deserves to be seen whether you are a racing fan or not, it absolutely deserves your attention.

In the mid-’60s, Ford and Ferrari fought it out for real at most brutal of all car races, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, a road race that lasts almost as long as this film. At a whopping 152 minutes, director James Mangold’s biopic is no quick win, but buckle up and sit back for the duration and you will be rewarded with a film that delivers great performances, a gripping tale of determination and courage, and some truly spectacular racing scenes (real or CGI? I couldn’t tell). Continue reading Review: “Ford v Ferrari” (2019) 20th Century Fox

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 35: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Year: 2017 Runtime: 108 minutes Director: Angela Robinson Writer: Angela Robinson Stars: Rebecca Hall, Luke Evans, Bella Heathcote By Jenni Holtz   All too often, biopics are dismissed, especially by younger audiences, for being boring or Oscar-bait-y. They tend to be successful with older moviegoers and award shows, but the response from younger viewers appears lackluster in comparison. “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” defies … Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry No. 35: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

Retrospective Review: 8 Women

François Ozon’s “8 Women” (2002) is a locked-house murder mystery whodunit with over the top caricatures who fling around accusations and burst into song. It’s ultra-theatrical and it’s brilliant.

Based on Robert Thomas’s 1958 play “Huit Femmes”, the film is set in the 1950s in a snow-bound French manor far from help. As the family gathers for Christmas the patriarch Marcel (Dominique Lamure) is found murdered. Of course nobody can contact the police or get out through the snow. The murderer is amongst them and they need to figure out which one of them it is. Continue reading Retrospective Review: 8 Women

Review: “Last Christmas” (2019) Universal

f Emilia Clarke was looking to step out and reinvent herself after eight years as Game of Thrones’ Daenerys Targaryen, then “LAST CHRISTMAS” would be that vehicle. Along with her character choice of Kate, a wayward and dysfunctional wanna-be actress in her 20’s, who spends her day working as an Elf selling year round Christmas monstrosities – well you couldn’t be further removed from the queen of dragons herself with this one.

Her boss, in what is sure to be London’s gaudiest Christmas store, conveniently goes by the moniker “Santa” (Michelle Yeoh), constantly admonishes Kate for her shortcoming, and there are many of them. As a matter of fact, Kate is simply just the worst. Her nights are devoted to getting plastered, trying to find one in the endless array of couches to crash on – and mornings, well mornings are spent trying to recall the who/what/where of the previous evening shenanigans. Continue reading Review: “Last Christmas” (2019) Universal

ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry 36: A Silent Voice

Seeing that Naoko Yamada’s “A Silent Voice” made our list for the Top 50 Films of the Decade was an absolute treat. Not only because it’s always nice to have some anime appreciation, but it’s also great because the film isn’t talked about as much as it should. Yamada’s adaptation of Yoshitoki Oima’s manga of the same name is easily one of my favorite anime films as it pulls no punches in delivering a timeless story about redemption, understanding others, and finding your voice. Continue reading ITOL Top 50 Films of the Decade, Entry 36: A Silent Voice