Review: “Bruised”

Year: 2020 Runtime: 129 minutes Director: Halle Berry Writer: Michelle Rosenfarb Actors: Halle Berry, Sheila Atim, Adriane Lenox, Adan Canto, Danny Boyd Jr. By Valerie Kalfrin Halle Berry has often been a fighter. She leaped from TV shows to feature films after she persuaded director Spike Lee that she had the grit to play a crack addict in 1991’s “Jungle Fever.” As an executive producer … Continue reading Review: “Bruised”

In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 24. The Muppets Christmas Carol

By Joan Amenn There are few stories so inextricably linked to the holidays than Charles Dickens’ tale of one man’s redemption of his many faults just in time to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas. That it was a ghost story and genuinely creepy in some chapters didn’t disturb the Victorians a bit. Dickens developed a one man show of reading his “Carol” aloud to … Continue reading In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 24. The Muppets Christmas Carol

In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 23. Miracle on 34th Street

By Joan Amenn There is something about New York City at Christmas. Skating at Rockefeller Center under the huge Christmas tree, hot pretzels sold on the street corners to keep your hands warm and of course, the stores decorated for the holidays. Not too long ago there were a lot more department stores, each vying for the most exquisite window designs with the most complicated … Continue reading In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 23. Miracle on 34th Street

In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 22. Meet Me in St. Louis

By Morgan Roberts “Meet Me in St. Louis” (1944) is not strictly a Christmas film, but it does leave an everlasting imprint on the holiday. “Meet Me in St. Louis” has always been a Christmas Eve staple in my household.  We very much live our own version of “The Family Stone.”  The film holds so much nostalgia.  It does not hurt that the absolutely divine … Continue reading In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 22. Meet Me in St. Louis

Review: The Lost Daughter

Year: 2021 Runtime: 124 minutes Writer/Director: Maggie Gyllenhaal Actors: Olivia Colman, Dakota Johnson, Jessie Buckley, Ed Harris, Peter Sarsgaard, Paul Mescal By Nicole Ackman A fair number of actors make the jump to the director’s chair and there are certainly skills they have that contribute to being a talented director, not the least of which is a strong understanding of how to work with actors. … Continue reading Review: The Lost Daughter

In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 21. “A Very GLOW Christmas”

By Morgan Roberts Wrestling and “A Christmas Carol.” Is there a more perfe​​ct combination?  That is what “GLOW” chose to do for what ended up being their series finale. In “A Very GLOW Christmas” directed by the wonderful Lynn Shelton, we saw some of our beloved characters tackling (and sleeper holding and turnbuckle face smashing) Dickens’ classic tale.  Over three seasons, the cast of characters … Continue reading In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 21. “A Very GLOW Christmas”

Retrospective: The Fellowship of the Ring 20th Anniversary

By Joan Amenn “A wizard is never late… nor is he early. He arrives precisely when he means to.” -Gandalf the Grey The twentieth anniversary of “The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001) arrives this weekend, precisely on time for its fans to start their annual viewing marathon of the trilogy as a whole. Evaluated on its own merits, “Fellowship” is a breathtaking achievement although at … Continue reading Retrospective: The Fellowship of the Ring 20th Anniversary

In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 18. Rare Exports

By Joan Amenn Do you like your holiday entertainment a little on the dark side? Maybe you’re just tired of the same old sickly sweet films year after year? Well, we have the antidote to all that and you better watch out, better not cry because “Rare Exports” (2010) is going to blow your mind with its take on the origin of Santa Claus. A … Continue reading In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 18. Rare Exports

In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 16. Lethal Weapon

By Joan Amenn Turns out there is more than one film that references Christmas with guns, explosions, mayhem and world weary but good-hearted cops. No not THAT one, we’re talking about “Lethal Weapon” (1987). The first of a very profitable series directed by Richard Donner, which is strangely also the name of one of Santa’s reindeer, “Lethal Weapon” certainly doesn’t skimp on its action scenes. … Continue reading In Their Own League Advent Calendar: 16. Lethal Weapon