Category Archives: Film

Movie Review: Surprise Party Gone Wrong

Here’s a terrible idea: To guarantee that a reluctant brother appear at a surprise party, have him kidnapped and taken there. It could be the plot to some rambunctious comedy caper. But in Seth McTigue’s debut feature “Take the Night” it’s the basis of a dark thriller. The brothers in question are heirs to a […]

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Movie Review: Tyler Savage’s ‘Stalker’

The pandemic was bad enough for ride share companies and their independent gig workers who saw work dry up. Even as things get back to normal, business might be affected by a movie like “Stalker” (Hulu, streaming). If you’ve ever felt a little weird about the drivers for Lyft and Uber who are a little […]

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Film: Baseball’s Intimidating Strike King

If anybody in the last half century of baseball deserves a bio film, it’s Nolan Ryan, the hard throwing Texan pitcher, who racked up dozens of records in a 27 year career, including seven perfect games, and 5,714 career strikeouts — which is more than 800 more than the next person. That the taciturn Hall […]

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Film Review: ‘Beneath the Banyan Tree’

It’s a heady time for Asian filmmaking, from the Oscar for Japan’s “Drive My Car” to the recent premiere of the Korean-American streaming series “Pachinko.” Fitting well among them is “Beneath the Banyan Tree,” the first feature from screenwriter and Chinese-American director Nani Le Yang. Like last year’s “Minari,” “Beneath the Banyan Tree” is about […]

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Film Review: ‘Not to Forget’ Forgettable

Alzheimer’s is a deadly disease and a scourge, affecting more than 6 million Americans alone. It’s also challenging to depict in film, though there have been notable performances from Julia Christie in the 2007 “Away from Her,” Julianne Moore in 2014’s “Still Alice,” Gena Rowlands in the 2004 “The Notebook,” Judi Dench as “Iris,” Gena […]

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Film: Blissfully Lolling in ‘Lotawana’

When it came to making “Lotawana,” his first feature film, Trevor Hawkins had a lot of experience on which to draw. He had been an Emmy-award winning nature photography whose “Heartland Bowhunter” raised the level of TV hunting shows, but he had also worked for National Geographic, Smithsonian, a load of corporate clients and the […]

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Film: Trapped in the Thriller ‘Outlier’

When the pandemic first hit, L.A. filmmaker Nate Strayer went back to Michigan to lock down with family. As COVID continued, he decided to make a film there. He flew out a cinematographer (Isabel C. Machado, also a producer), hired a couple of local Grand Rapids actors — one of them his sister — making […]

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Film Review: ‘Single Mother By Choice’

When stars become pregnant during production, Hollywood’s usual procedure is to hide the bump, as they did when Gal Gadot, who may benefit from items like maternity belts, returned to do some “Wonder Woman” reshoots while five months along. Sometimes the pregnancy is written into the script, as when Julia Roberts did “Ocean’s Eleven” or […]

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Film Review: Circumnavigating for Survival

When navigating a return to civilian life after being in the Navy proved rocky for one veteran Taylor Grieger, he dedicated himself to a mother mission: sailing down fo the treacherous waters of Cape Horn,. Inviting an old pal from his high school swimming team in Texas, Stephen O’Shea was a good choice. He had […]

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Selling Trophy Hunting as Conservation

There’s some beautiful footage of East Africa in the documentary film “Killing the Shepherd” about a struggling rural village in Zambia whose lives, we are told, is threatened by poachers who have decimated the region’s wildlife. But soon enough, the hour long film shows its cards and makes its case: The only way to save […]

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