Friday, September 1, 2017
My View: Crown Heights (2017) R When Colin Warner (Lakeith Stanfield) is wrongfully convicted of murder, his best friend, Carl King (Nnamdi Asomugha), devotes his life to proving that Colin is innocent. Though slow at times, the performance of the two leads, Stanfield and Asomugha, are riveting and insightful. This is a film that will make you angry, at times, due to the injustice of putting an innocent man behind bars with no chance of being released. Stanfield is instantly likable on the screen and does an exceptional job of showing his character's anguish and torment. Asomugha is even better as CK, a man who sacrifices everything to get his best friend out of jail. Crown Heights is a powerful film that audiences need to see because it will make you think about the justice system in this country. My Rating: Full Price
Indiefest: City of Ghosts (2017) R A documentary about the efforts of ‘Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently’ movement showing a group of activists who banded together to show how their homeland was taken over by ISIS in 2014. The unbelievable story of a group of courageous men and women who hate what has happened to their country and want the world to know about it. The film is as tense as a fictional spy caper because the activists are on the ISIS hit list. The film gets inside why these men are willing to risk their lives for their country and their families. It’s a brilliant and suspenseful film about heroic men. My Rating: Full Price
Indiefest: I Do…Until I Don’t (2017) R Three couples are the subject of a documentary on marriage. The question is, will any of the couples survive the making of the film? I Do…Until I Don’t is an uninspired mess of a film that rarely is funny and mostly dull and tame. Instead of originality, we get a film that seems to use every plot device of a bad TV comedy from the 80s to try and find laughter. The cast is outstanding with Ed Helms, Mary SteenburgenI, Paul Reiser, Amber Heard, Ed Helms, Dolly Wells, and Wyatt Cenac filling out the cast. I just wish the script had lived up to the quality of the cast. I love Lake Bell as an actress and look forward to her next film that she decides to write and direct, but I hope I never have to see this film again. My Rating: Cable
Indiefest: The Fencer (2015) Endel (Mart Avandi) is a man with a past that he would like the world to forget. He starts teaching fencing to a group of children, and they want to participate in a national fencing tournament that could endanger Endel. This is a rag-to-riches story about a man who risks everything for his students. He takes children who have never fenced and molds them into a winning fencing team. Avandi is riveting as the world weary Endel, a man who just wants to live his life but is forced to go into hiding in 1950s Soviet Union. Avandi makes the part come alive, and he has great chemistry with the kids whom his character is teaching. I love the fact that the film is based on a true story and that the fencing club he founded is still around. This is a bewitching movie that the whole family can enjoy. My Rating: Full Price
Forgotten Film: Jack & Sarah (1995) PG A recent British widower (Richard E. Grant) hires a nanny (Samantha Mathis) for his newborn child. The reason to watch this film is Richard E. Grant, as he makes you root for a very unlikable character. He and Samantha Mathis have great chemistry, and, while predictable, it’s a movie that you can watch over and over again. My Rating: Full Price
Weird Credits: From the credits of Crown Heights: Art Truck Drivers
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Victoria and Abdul (2017) Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) strikes up an unlikely friendship with a young Indian clerk named, Abdul (Michael Gambon). I’ll see anything that has Oscar winner Judi Dench.
Until Next Time!