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February, 2016

Pedophile priests repent at secluded retreat

Movies: The critically-acclaimed Spotlight recently addressed the problem of pedophilia in the priesthood from the point of view of the victims. But if you’re looking for a take on the issue more sympathetic to the perpetrators, have I got a movie for you. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong (Unrated) Romantic comedy revolving around the love which blossoms between an Asian-American (Jamie Chung) visiting Hong Kong for the very first time and the white guy (Bryan Greenberg) giving her a tour of the city. With Sarah Lian, Jaeden Cheng and Richard Ng. Comment.

Father and warrior protect baby monster

Movies: Directed by Raman Hui (Shrek the Third), “Monster Hunt” was released across Asia last summer where it became the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time. The version I watched was dubbed into English, which served to turn the martial arts / comedy mash-up into a decidedly campy affair. Comment.

January, 2016

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 4th Man Out (Unrated) Out-of-the-closet dramedy, set in upstate New York, about a small-town auto mechanic (Evan Todd) who surprises his straight buddies by announcing he’s gay on his 24th birthday. With Parker Young, Chord Overstreet and Jon Gabrus. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Everybody’s Fine (Unrated) Bittersweet character study, set in Beijing, revolving around a recently-widowed retiree (Guoli Zhang) who is agonizing over his four children’s (He Chen, Chen Yao, Shawn Duo and Ye Qianyun) failure to return home for the family’s annual summer reunion. (In Mandarin with subtitles) Comment.

Playwright, pensioner forge unlikely friendship

Movies: “The Lady in the Van” Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Exposed (R for profanity, violence and rape) Supernatural thriller about an attractive Latina (Ana de Armas) who witnesses a miracle before being befriended by a cop (Keanu Reeves) investigating his partner’s mysterious death. With Big Daddy Kane, Mira Sorvino and Christopher McDonald. Comment.

A blackface variation of ‘Babe’ with street cred

Movies: In 1965, the federal government issued the historic Moynihan Report chronicling the collapse of “The Negro Family” which it blamed on a host of social woes afflicting inner-city African-American communities. A half-century later, blacks and whites still remain substantially separate and unequal. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Band of Robbers (Unrated) Present-day reimagining of Mark Twain’s classic tales with adult versions of Tom Sawyer (Adam Nee) and Huck Finn (Kyle Gallner) still searching for the buried treasure that eluded them in childhood. Comment.

Barriers can be broken

Movies: How many times have you had an incredible idea to only forget about it? Artists often jot down notes, create full scripts, or even songs to only forget about them while pursuing another venture. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Anomalisa (R for profanity, graphic sexuality and frontal nudity) Adult-oriented animated adventure about an author (David Thewlis) who is unable to connect with other people until he hits it off with a stranger (Jennifer Jason Leigh) he meets on a business trip. Additional voices supplied by Tom Noonan. Comment.

Michael Moore mounts faux invasion

Movies: Oscar-winner Michael Moore (for Bowling for Columbine) has been challenging the power structure ever since releasing Roger & Me way back in 1989. Comment.

Best of African Diaspora films

Movies: The African Diaspora International Film Festival (AIDFF) wrapped up its screenings of almost 60 films in mid-December but all is not lost for those who missed it. Nine films, the Best of AIDFF will screen Friday, Jan. 8 – Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016 in Manhattan. Comment.

December, 2015

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Anomalisa (R for profanity, graphic sexuality and frontal nudity) Adult-oriented animated adventure about an author (David Thewlis) who is unable to connect with other people until he hits it off with a stranger (Jennifer Jason Leigh) he meets on a business trip. Additional voices supplied by Tom Noonan. Comment.