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March, 2017

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Aftermath (R for one scene containing graphic violence) Fact-based docudrama about a grief-stricken vigilante (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who seeks to take revenge on the air traffic controller (Scoot McNairy) whose mistake led to the crash which claimed the lives of his wife and daughter. Supporting cast includes Maggie Grace, Kevin Zegers and Hannah Ware. Comment

The abbreviated life of legendary Jazz great

Movies: Legendary jazz great Lee Morgan (1938-1972) was born and raised in Philadelphia where he received his first trumpet as a gift from his sister on his 13th birthday. He soon became a protege of Clifford Brown who would die in a car accident at the tender age of 25. Comment

Microscopic Martian matter morphs into monster

Movies: In recent years, Hollywood has started serving up some outer space adventures, a la “The Martian” (2015) and “The Space between Us” (2017), suggesting that the Red Planet is basically a benign environment free of any hostile creatures. But just when we thought it was safe to visit Mars again, along comes Life, a cautionary horror flick unleashing a terrifying alien force aboard an international space station. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: American Anarchist (Unrated) Hippie Era documentary catching up with controversial cult figure William Powell, the now regretful author of the anti-establishment manifesto, “The Anarchist’s Cookbook.” Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: All Nighter (R for sexuality, brief nudity, drug use and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about a hard-boiled businessman (J.K. Simmons) who grudgingly joins forces with his missing daughter’s (Analeigh Tipton) slacker ex-boyfriend (Emile Hirsch) after she mysteriously disappears. With Taran Killam, Shannon Woodward and Kristen Schaal. Comment

Revisiting President Obama’s defining moments

Movies: How many immortal speeches have been delivered by U.S. presidents and other American icons? Lincoln’s “Four score and seven years ago” Gettysburg Address, FDR’s “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” Eisenhower’s beware of the “Military-Industrial Complex” farewell address, JFK’s “Ask not what your country can do for you” inaugural address, Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and Reagan’s “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall,” are among the handful which have stood the test of time. Comment

Register for Timehri Film Festival

Movies: Registration is now open for the 2nd Annual Timehri Film Festival (TFF) that will be held from May 31 to June 4, in Georgetown, Guyana. The deadline for submission for film consideration is April 15, according to organizers of the film festival, who want to ensure there is ample opportunity for film viewing. Comment

The doc ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ draws crowds

Movies: Oscar nominated documentary I Am Not Your Negro, a film about iconic American writer James Baldwin, author of at least 20 books —novels, plays, essays and poetry, opened to packed movie theaters in February and is still drawing crowds. Comment

Deceased teen gets chance to relive last day repeatedly

Movies: Samantha “Sam” Kingston (Zoey Deutch) was a spoiled-rotten brat the night she perished in a tragic car crash. First of all, she and her little sister Izzy (Erica Tremblay) were lucky enough to be raised in the lap of luxury by a couple of loving parents (Jennifer Beals and Nicholas Lea). Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Actor Martinez (Unrated) Quirky mockumentary, set in Denver, highlighting the futile attempt of aspiring actor / computer repairman Arthur Martinez to kickstart his fledgling showbiz career. With Mike Ott, Cory Zacharia and Nathan Silver. Comment

‘Moonlight’ wins Best Picture at Oscars

Movies: The Academy Awards ended on a sour note when Faye Dunaway announced that favorite La La Land had won the Oscar for Best Picture. Trouble is, she and co-presenter Warren Beatty had been handed the wrong envelope. Comment

February, 2017

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Burlesque: The Heart of the Glittter Tribe (Unrated) Revealing documentary showcasing the resurgence in popularity of striptease in Portland, Oregon. With Babs Jamboree, Angelique Devil and Zora von Pavonine. Comment

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Women’s History Month highlights might & fortitude

Movies: The fact thousands of women converged on Washington D.C. on Jan. 21 to protest the inauguration of the 45th US president and that — from Antarctica to Zimbabwe like-minded women exhibited solidarity mirroring similar disdain for his election — a conclusion could be drawn that the date could be designated Women’s History Day. Comment

Documentary on Maya Angelo airing on PBS

Movies: Dr. Maya Angelo with her rich resonating presence delivered her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” (1993) at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration, making her the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961. Comment

Temperamental teacher challenges nerdy colleague

Movies: Do you remember how, when you were growing up, if a couple of classmates came to blows on the schoolyard, they would be quickly separated to the suggestion that they settle their differences off campus at the end of the day? Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Bitter Harvest (R for violence and disturbing images) Fact-based drama, set in the Ukraine in the early thirties, revolving Bitter Harvest (R for violence and disturbing images) Fact-based drama, set in the Ukraine in the early thirties, revolving around the efforts of a young artist (Max Irons) to save his childhood sweetheart (Samantha Barks) from the state-sanctioned famine orchestrated by Stalin (Gary Oliver) that would claim millions of lives. With Terence Stamp, Barry Pepper and Lucy Brown. Comment

Keanu Reeves returns as vengeful assassin

Movies: When we first met John Wick (Keanu Reeves), he went on a bloody killing spree in the wake of losing the love of his life (Bridget Moynahan). And at the end of that revenge-fueled splatterfest we saw the wounded assassin walk off into the sunset with a puppy he just rescued from the dog pound. Comment

It’s The Caped Crusader vs. The Joker

Movies: Not since the campy TV-sitcom back in the Sixties has Batman been so successfully lampooned. Now, the much-beloved superhero again proves perfect fodder for parody in a madcap, animated adventure with a terribly-short attention span. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Adventure Club (Unrated) Sci-fi fantasy about a trio of 10-year-old BFFs (Dalila Bella, Jakob Davies and Sam Ashe Arnold) who end up on the run from several shady characters after finding an ancient artifact capable of granting wishes. Cast includes Kim Coates, Gabrielle Miller and Robin Dunne. Comment

January, 2017

Vin Diesel stars in high-octane thriller

Movies: When it was released back in 2002, xXx grossed over a quarter-billion dollars worldwide in theaters alone. The visually-captivating espionage adventure starring Vin Diesel was reminiscent of James Bond, except it featured a hunkier hero and more spectacular stunts and special effects. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: American Violence (Unrated) Psychological thriller revolving around a shrink (Denise Richards) hired to determine whether or not an inmate (Kaiwi Lyman-Mersereau) on Death Row deserves a stay of execution. With Columbus Short, Bruce Dern and Michael Pare. Comment

Adoptee tracks down birth-mom in bittersweet biopic

Movies: Saroo (Dev Patel) had the misfortune of being born into poverty in India’s Khandwa district. He lived there with his single-mom, Kamla (Priyanka Bose), along with his big brother, Guddu (Abhishek Bharate), and younger sister, Shekila (Khushi Solanki). Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Behemoth (Unrated) Eco-documentary illustrating the devastating toll exacted by mining on China’s population and landscape. (In Mandarin with subtitles) The Daughter (Unrated) Adaptation of “The Wild Duck,” Henrik Ibsen’s classic play revolving around a man (Paul Schneider) who uncovers a dark family secret when he returns home to attend his father’s (Geoffrey Rush) wedding. Featuring Nicholas Hope, Sam Neill and Ewen Leslie. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Detour (R for nudity, sexuality, graphic violence, drug use and pervasive profanity) Revenge thriller revolving around a naive law student (Tye Sheridan) who hires a hitman (Emory Cohen) to kill the scheming stepfather (Stephen Moyer) responsible for the car accident that left his mother in a coma. With Bel Powley, John Lynch and Gbenga Akinnagbe. Comment

Portuguese priests search for missionary mentor

Movies: Portuguese traders first landed in Japan in 1543, followed soon thereafter by Francis Xavier and other Jesuits. So many locals started converting to Christianity that, less than a decade later, the emperor issued an edict banning Catholicism and ordering the expulsion of all missionaries. Comment

Peripatetic bus driver personifies poetry in motion

Movies: Paterson (Adam Driver) is stuck in a rut. By day, the municipal bus driver repeatedly negotiates his way around a boring route around the New Jersey city which shares his name. Comment

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 100 Streets (Unrated) Ensemble drama chronicling the lives of a retired rugby player (Idris Elba), a drug dealer (Franz Drameh) and a struggling actor (Ken Stott) whose paths serendipitously cross. Cast includes Gemma Arterton, Ryan Gage and Tom Cullen. Comment

Beleaguered boy befriended by tree

Movies: Conor O’Malley (Lewis MacDougall) is understandably miserable. First of all, the 12-year-old divorced mom (Felicity Jones) is terminally ill. Second, they’re both estranged from his father (Toby Kebbell) who has long since started another family over in America. Comment

Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun

Movies: Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race & America (Unrated) Racial harmony documentary about a black musician’s efforts to befriend Ku Klux Klansmen. Comment