Film & TV

‘Film Fest’ Is a Solid Satire of the Indie Movie Scene

Ulises Duenas

The biggest laughs and most interesting moments come one after another towards the end of Film Fest. Film Fest shows that making a movie is just the tip of the iceberg for filmmakers and how crazy and seedy the marketing side of the industry can be even at the lower levels of the industry. It also shows the heart of the indie movie scene and how filmmakers will struggle through all the nonsense to see their vision realized.

A Bold, No-Holds-Barred Look at Sophia Loren’s Family Entanglements

Barbara Noe Kennedy

What’s lesser known is that Sophia’s younger sister, Maria Scicolone, also had beauty and talent. She sang with Frank Sinatra, who asked her to audition for one of his albums with the promise of a sparkling career. In stepped the green-eyed monster of a mother who, evolving into a state of jealousy over Sophia’s success that should have been hers, forced her to turn down the opportunity.

‘Black Widow’ Pays Homage to Female Empowerment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Forrest Hartman

The story doesn’t revolve around potential Armageddon (refreshing since most comic book movies have world-ending stakes these days), and we don’t get cameos from other Avengers. We also don’t get the immense creativity seen in the recent MCU TV series WandaVision, which – by the way – was also a better nod to female empowerment than Captain Marvel. But we do get an enjoyable picture that moves like lightning.

Studios Should Respect Filmmakers’ Vision and Not Restrict Their Artistic Efforts

Garrett Hartman

Some have blamed Whedon for the failure of the original film. However, many of the fixes to the film's biggest issues come in the form of the two hours of additional footage. It seems unlikely that Warner Bros. would have approved sending out a four-hour film regardless of which director was behind it. The problem with Justice League was never Whedon or Snyder; the problem was with Warner Bros. itself. 

Rita Moreno Documentary Shows the Story of a Living Legend

Ulises Duenas

After the cheerful opening it’s not long before the documentary delves into the pain and suffering Moreno felt in her early career. Being typecast as a Native or Polynesian girl despite being Puerto Rican, abused by the Hollywood system, and never having the freedom to just be herself. The documentary does a great job of making you empathize with Moreno and because of that, you feel elated when she talks about how her life and career eventually turned around dramatically.

‘In the Heights’ Is the First Great Film of 2021

Forrest Hartman

It also helps that the picture is a musical. When Chu isn’t moving his cast from one beautifully dressed location to another, he is guiding it through some of the most eyepopping musical numbers to hit the screen in years. The splashy (literally) presentation of the tune “96,000” uses Highbridge Pool to great creative effect, with water becoming part of the choreography. This number is so intense that one might draw comparisons to the beautiful traffic jam dance sequence in La La Land

‘Dark Divide’ Tells the Compelling Story of a Researcher in Search of Inner Peace

Ulises Duenas

Overall, the pacing of the movie is pretty slow. However, there are scenes in the last part of the movie that make whole experience worth it. It’s those scenes that show Cross’s range as an actor and drive home the meaning of the film. The story is even more interesting when you consider that it all actually happened to the real-life Robert Pyle. Even though it’s a slow burn, I would still recommend The Dark Divide.

Disney Plus Delivers a Hit With ‘Loki’

Garrett Hartman

Wilson’s performance is particularly great as a foil and supporting character to Hiddleston’s Loki, serving as a good comic comparison between his bureaucratic detective Mobius and the egotistical God-turned-prisoner Loki. However, his performance also shows Mobius as his own complex character. Mobius isn’t simply a narrative prop to highlight Loki, but a sharp-witted detective with his own complex motivations and ideology.

African Diaspora Filmmakers Break the Cinematic Glass Ceiling

Sandra Bertrand

It’s worth mentioning some of the historical accounts given, which comprise the heartbeat of the film.  There was no doubt that early oppression from 1501 to 1865 was by design, with slaves reduced to generational property and 4-year-old children working alongside their elders in the fields. The figures are staggering with slave labor worth 3.5 billion, more than railroad and manufacturing profits combined.

‘Cruella’ Doesn’t Deliver the Evil Villain We Have Come to Hate

Forrest Hartman

Stone and Thompson are great talents when they have solid material to work with, but Cruella never finds sound footing. The allure of a classic-villain backstory is – presumably – to show fans how the person they’ve despised for all these years became so despicable. Questions abound. Were they born the epitome of evil, like Damien in The Omen, or were they overcome by all-consuming power, like young Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise? The answers to such questions are often ridiculously satisfying. The problem, of course, is that they can also be frustrating, especially when -- as happens in Cruella -- the filmmakers don’t pay proper homage to story canon.  

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