Category Archives: Film

Film: Teen’s Afterlife in ‘My True Fairytale’

There is something that makes you pause about a movie called “My True Fairytale.” The oxymoron of the title is stretched even further when you learn it’s about a teen who “becomes a superhero and saves the world” and yet is “inspired by true events.” What’s true about Dmitry Gelfand’s first feature is that it […]

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The Limits of Low Budget ‘In Action’

Eric Silvera and Sean Kenealy have a nice rapport. Which is a good thing, since it’s just about the only quality they can offer in their feature debut “In Action.” Meant to be a kind of takeoff of action film tropes, it is ultimately hogtied by its extreme budgetary and casting restraints.  Almost as a […]

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Film: ‘Transference – A Love Story’

At a North London hospital, two nurses hook up. She’s a young and cheerful import from Norway, who is rattled by the sudden death of a patient. He’s an Italian who’s older and broody, his grizzled beard going grey. Full of mystery, he also rides a motorcycle. When she finally accepts a ride with him, […]

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Film: Teen Angst in ‘West Michigan’

Riley Warmoth and Chloe Ray Warmoth are a real brother and sister who grew up in Grand Haven, Mich. But for the purposes of his new film “West Michigan” that he wrote and directed, they play a fictional brother and sister, Charlie and Hannah, from the same town. He’s back from college; she’s finding her […]

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Film Review: When Banter Turns to Blather

Thomas Sodoski was always fun to see in series like “The Newsroom,” where he played something of a cynical cad who had to prove himself. He brought similar smarts to roles in four seasons of the sitcom “Life in Pieces” and as mayor in the Edie Falco cop show “Tommy.”  Usually content to be a […]

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Film Review: ‘This is Not a War Story’

The wall between narrative and documentary film may be permanently demolished in a season when Chloé Zhao’s “Nomadland” are already winning awards. While the grit of neorealism has been a part of film history for decades, presenting a story within a specific, very real world of non-actors and hearing their stark, unscripted voices brings a […]

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Film: ‘Donna: Stronger Than Pretty’

You can tell the title character of “Donna: Stronger Than Pretty” is making the wrong choice when she first lays eyes on Nick at the bar, fresh out of a restroom where he had obviously done cocaine. She falls for every corny line he gives her, embraces his ambition for opening a high end flooring […]

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Film: Fracturing the Brain for Science

Eric Schultz’s directorial debut, “Minor Premise,” is a nifty puzzle, a scientific thriller that doesn’t insult the intelligence with any superfluous corn, Instead, the scientific aspect is cranked way up. Sathya Sridharan portrays a driven neuroscientist on the verge of a breakthrough. Building on and hoping to complete research begun by his father, he applies […]

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Film: When a Documentary Goes Wrong

What if everyone could make a movie? When Zachary Capp got an unexpected inheritance following his grandfather’s death, he decided, fresh out of rehab for a gambling addiction, to turn his obsessions elsewhere: To make a film about something, anything.  He quit his lucrative nanny business and embarked on a documentary that turned into “The […]

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Film Review: ‘Effigy — Poison and the City’

In the early 19th century northern Germany, so many bodies were dying around the widow Gosche Gottfried, she earned a measure of sympathy. Men were also attracted to her even as they, too, began to drop or feel a little ill.  Nobody had a word for serial killing back then; instead they termed it “murderous […]

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