Film & TV

‘Still Alice,’ ‘Blackhat’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Alice Howland (Moore) is a  brilliant linguistics professor who has a warm and loving home life and a rewarding career where she is respected by students and colleagues. Then she begins forgetting things. At first, the problems are relatively minor. She loses track of where she’s going in a lecture. It’s an embarrassing moment, but little more. Then after getting lost while going for a jog around her college campus, she decides to seek medical help. 

‘Selma,’ ‘ Fifty Shades of Grey’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

King is portrayed brilliantly by David Oyelowo, a British actor who skillfully captures the nuances of King’s posture, voice and demeanor. Oyelowo’s work was rewarded with a best actor nomination for a Golden Globe, and his performance ranks among the best of 2014. Although the movie revolves around King – and thus Oyelowo –DuVernay assembled a fine supporting cast that includes Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King, Common as James Bevel, Oprah Winfrey as Annie Lee Cooper and Tom Wilkinson as Lyndon B. Johnson. 

Why ‘American Sniper’ Applauds the Soldier But Condemns the War

Annie Castellani

The film depicts the immense courage members of the US military possess, as well as the profound personal sacrifices they make in pursuit of what they believe to be a noble goal. And it gives voice to veterans dealing with PTSD and the broken homes they leave behind. At the same time, this intimate look at an American soldier in the midst of an unwinnable conflict – one who is singularly focused on protecting his brothers-in-arms to the detriment of everything sacred in his life – sends a cautionary message. 

‘The Gambler,’ ‘The Wedding Ringer’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

In “The Gambler,” Mark Wahlberg stars as Jim Bennett, a man who has never learned to quit while ahead. Despite being born into one of the wealthiest family’s in America, Jim’s gambling addiction has left him desperate, broke and hounded by low-life loan sharks. His problem is so severe that any cash he acquires is immediately lost to high-stakes wagers in blackjack and roulette.   

Chinese Film ‘King of Masks’ Focuses on Themes of Love, Tradition and Redemption

Gabriella Tutino

The film, set in 1930 Sichuan, follows a street performer who is versed in the Sichuan opera art of changing silk masks quickly; this skill earns him the name ‘The King of Masks.’ After one of his performances he is approached by another Sichuan opera artist, Master Liang, who is known for his transformations and stage-acting as a woman (his most popular role being The Living Bodhisattva). Master Liang asks the King to join his troupe.

‘He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not’ Features Audrey Tatou in an Intriguing Romantic Thriller

Sandra Bertrand

When it comes to games of the heart, the French are very deft players.  And that’s never been more the case than when Audrey Tautou, that wickedly charming screen gamin, walks into a flower shop and orders a rose for her beloved.  In Laetitia Colombani’s black comedy, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not, “a rose is not just a rose is not just a rose” in Gertrude Stein’s apt phrase, but a symbol of some very dark and dirty business of the heart ahead.

‘Taken 3,’ ‘Cake’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Liam Neeson made one of the most interesting career transitions in recent memory when he introduced the role of former government agent Bryan Mills in “Taken.” Before the film, Neeson was an actor best-known for solid dramatic work in pictures that include “Schindler’s List” and “Michael Collins.” But, as Mills, he became an action hero of the Dirty Harry variety, dispensing swift, brutal street justice to the sex-trafficking European thugs who abducted his daughter.

‘Population Boom’ Examines Consequences of Planet Overpopulation

Michael Verdirame

In his latest documentary, “Population Boom,” filmmaker Werner Boote examines the topic of the overpopulation of the planet in an attempt to discover if in fact the exponential growth of the total number of human beings on Earth over the last several hundred years is something to be concerned about, or if it is just a cover for a different, more pressing problem.  Throughout the film, Boote travels to diverse locations all over the world, from Africa to Asia to North America, interviewing many local citizens about their opinions on the world population.

‘Big Eyes,’ ‘The Babadook’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

The unlikely tale of Margaret and Walter Keane created one of the most interesting stirs in the history of contemporary art, and director Tim Burton does a fine job dramatizing their lives. It has been decades since the Keanes made a splash in the art world, so many viewers will come to their story fresh, but that does nothing to diminish the film. “Big Eyes” is loaded with universally accessible themes, including commentaries on narcissism, the power of mass production and the problems with a patriarchal society. 

‘A Most Violent Year,’ ‘The Immigrant’ Arrive on Home Video

Forrest Hartman

Set in 1981 New York, “A Most Violent Year” tells the story of a hard-working businessman determined to grow his heating-oil company despite intense competition and a crime spree highlighted by the hijacking of several of his trucks. Chandor paints Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac) as a decent man struggling to do the right thing in an industry overrun by corruption. 

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