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April, 2014

H.S. grad seeks bonding time with long-estranged dad

Movies: Although Freddy Klein (Devon Bostick) is about to finish high school, he still hasn’t decided whether to attend college in the fall. That’s because he’s considering taking a job as a salesman on his father’s (Christopher Meloni) used car lot. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 13 Sins (R for violence, profanity and bloody images) Remake of Game of Death (2006), a horror flick revolving around a down on his luck salesman (Mark Webber) manipulated to perform a series of increasingly sinister tasks for a promised prize of $6.2 million. With Devon Graye, Rutina Wesley and Ron Perlman. Comment.

March, 2014

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 10 Rules for Sleeping Around (R for crude humor, sexuality, nudity, profanity and drug use) Screwball comedy revolving around the attempt by an adventurous couple (Jesse Bradford and Virginia Williams) in an open marriage to keep their sex life fresh and exciting long past the honeymoon. Supporting cast includes Chris Marquette, Bill Bellamy, Michael McKean and Wendi McLendon-Covey. Comment.

Alcoholic air marshal tested in transatlantic thriller

Movies: Bill Marks’ (Liam Neeson) life went into a tailspin after his young daughter lost her battle with childhood leukemia. The inconsolable police officer has since sought solace in a bottle of alcohol, an addiction which cost him his marriage and career. Comment.

Biopic chronicles career of Asian-American activist

Movies: Born on June 27, 1915, Grace Lee was raised in New York by modest immigrant parents from a humble Chinese background. Her mother couldn’t read or write English, although her business-minded father did save up enough cash by 1924 to open up his own restaurant, Chin Lee’s, on Broadway. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Boys of Abu Ghraib (R for torture, violence, sexuality and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies drama about an American soldier (Luke Moran) stationed in Iraq who befriends a wrongly-accused, prison detainee (Omid Abtahi). With Sean Astin, Sara Paxton and John Heard. Comment.

CAFA Film Nights, Guyanese edition

Movies: A trip to Guyana on assignment as a private investigator led New Yorker Margaret Clemons to the country’s culture of violence, and the youth she would later inspire to tell their tale through photography in “Rebecca’s Story,” a short film which premiered to rave reviews at the recent CAFA Film Nights, Guyanese edition, in Brooklyn. Comment.

Bride-to-be gets cold feet in cross-cultural comedy

Movies: Shirin (Nazanin Boniadi) has never really found the courage to pursue her own dreams. For example, after graduating from college and law school, instead of going into practice, she moved back home and began writing book reviews for BH Style, a magazine owned by her domineering mother (Anita Khalatbari). The deferential daughter knows her problems stem from living under the same roof as her very traditional Iranian-American parents. Furthermore, they’re members of a tight-knit community located in a section of L.A. known as Tehrangeles. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 50 to 1 (PG-13 for suggestive material and a bar fight) Fact-based drama chronicling the road trip from New Mexico to Kentucky undertaken by a posse of cowboys when their crooked-footed horse miraculously qualifies for the Derby. Starring Skeet Ulrich; William Devane and Christian Kane. Comment.

Higher body-count sequel trumps the original

Movies: The bloody epic 300 (2007) chronicled the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 B.C. when a badly outnumbered band of 300 soldiers were sent on a suicide mission to defend Sparta against a horde of over 100,000 Persian invaders. Based on Frank Miller’s graphic novel of the same name, that minimalist, monochromatic adventure was shot almost entirely against blue screens on assorted soundstages. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: The Anonymous People (Unrated) 12-Step documentary encouraging the 23 million American substance abuserss to think of themselves as in recovery rather than as addicts. With commentary by Kristen Johnston; Laurie Dhue and Patrick Kennedy. Comment.

Caribbean roots revealed in ‘12 Years A Slave’

Movies: At this year’s Academy Awards another envelope opened to reveal a historic Caribbean achievement. With presentation of a gold, Oscar statuette to Steve McQueen for directing the Best Picture – “12 Years a Slave” – the region won kudos for nurturing the very, first Black to win the coveted award. Comment.

‘12 Years a Slave’ lands Best Picture

Movies: “12 Years a Slave” walked away with big prize, Best Picture at the 86th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday. The historical drama was directed by Steve McQueen and also netted accolades in the Supporting Actress (Lupita Nyong’o) and Adapted Screenplay (John Ridley) categories. Dallas Buyers Club also won a trio of Oscars, although Gravity landed the most overall, at seven. Comment.

February, 2014

Courier delivers package for crime boss

Movies: “The Bag Man” Comment.

Rapper & T&T native Nicki to make movie debut

Music: Trinidad-born star Nicki Minaj plans to make 2014 another boom year for her career. After ending last year as one of the judges on television’s popular, music reality show “American Idol” the rapper, song-writer and exaggerated dresser has added a number of music projects and a major film deal to make this year a banner year that will introduce her to wide-screen audiences. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Almost Human (Unrated) Sci-fi horror flick about a guy (Josh Ethier) who disappears in a flash of bright light only to return to town just as mysteriously two years later, right before the start of a string of grisly murders. With Graham Skipper, Vanessa Leigh and Susan T. Travers. Comment.

‘Hate Crimes in the Heartland’

Movies: “Hate Crimes in the Heartland” a film by Rachel Lyon and co-produced by Pi-Isis Ankhra had it’s New York premiere on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at Aaron Davis Hall, City College of New York. Comment.

Kevin Hart in raunchy remake of romantic romp

Movies: “About Last Night” Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Almost Human (Unrated) Sci-fi horror flick about a guy (Josh Ethier) who disappears in a flash of bright light only to return to town just as mysteriously two years later right before the start of a string of grisly murders. With Graham Skipper, Vanessa Leigh and Susan T. Travers. Comment.

‘Inside Buffalo’ at Museum of the Moving Image

Movies: During World War II, the 92nd Buffalo Division, a segregated African American combat unit known as “The Buffalo Soldiers” fought a double battle, one against the Nazis in Italy, and one of racial discrimination, which was official United States policy. Though fighting and dying for the United States, they were ill treated by their country and their fellow American soldiers. Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Adult World (R for sexuality and drug use) Romantic comedy about a recent college grad and aspiring poet (Emma Roberts) who reluctantly takes a job at a porno shop until an English professor (John Cusack) she admires offers her a position as his assistant. With Armando Riesco, Shannon Woodward and Chris Riggi. Comment.

‘The New Black’ in out-of-the-closet documentary

Movies: “The New Black” Comment.

Guyanese flicks For Caribbean Film Academy Series

Movies: The Caribbean Film Academy, a non-profit founded by Guyanese-born Romola O. Lucas and American, Justen Blaize, who grew up in Grenada, will host a CaFA Film Nights - Guyanese Edition, at its 570 Fulton St. Brooklyn cinema on Friday, Feb. 21, at 7:00 p.m. Comment.

Crooked judges imprison minors for kickbacks

Movies: Anybody who needs a new reason to hate lawyers ought to check out this shocking documentary chronicling a pay-to-play scheme whereby a couple of crooked judges, Michael Conahan and Mark Ciavarella, enriched themselves at the expense of adolescents unlucky enough to be arrested in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. The evil pair’s plan involved first condemning the existing juvenile detention center owned by the county. Comments (1).

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 7 Boxes (Unrated) Paraguayan action thriller about a 17-year-old pushcart porter (Celso Franco) who inadvertently becomes an accessory to a crime after agreeing to deliver some suspicious packages for a quick $100. With Lali Gonzalez, Victor Sosa and Nico Garcia. (In Spanish and Guarani with subtitles) Comment.

January, 2014

Jaded playboy rethinks his womanizing ways

Movies: Dean (Skylar Austin) lives in L.A. with three buddies in a warehouse converted into a windowless loft they call “The Cave.” The appellation is apropos since these twenty-something slackers behave like cavemen, spending most of their free time at local haunts bars trying to lure women back to their bachelors’ lair for wanton liaisons with no strings attached. Comment.

Mark Wahlberg stars in ‘Lone Survivor’

Movies: “Lone Survivor” Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: 12 O’Clock Boys (Unrated) Crime does pay documentary profiling a biker gang of troubled teens inexplicably given free rein by the police to terrorize the citizens of Baltimore. Comment.

Ex-con opens chess club for at-risk kids

Movies: Eugene Brown (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) was so worried about returning to his neighborhood in inner-city Washington, DC after serving 17 years for bank robbery that he shared his concern with his cellmate Searcy (Dennis Haysbert). The wise, old elder responded by making an analogy between life and the game of chess amounting to the simple suggestion “Take care of the king.” Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Aatsinki: The Story of Arctic Cowboys (Unrated) Lapland documentary chronicling a year-in-the-life of a family of reindeer herders. (In Finnish with subtitles) Comment.

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: Big Bad Wolves (Unrated) Israeli crime thriller about a suspected serial killer (Rotem Keinan) who finds himself being trailed by the revenge-minded father (Tzahi Grad) of his last victim and by a rogue cop (Lior Ashkenazi) willing to take the law into his own hands. Support cast includes Menashe Noy, Dvir Benedek and Kais Nashif. (In Hebrew with subtitles) Comments (1).

Independent & Foreign Films

Movies: The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box (PG for violence, adventure, peril and brief smoking) Fantasy adventure about an intrepid teenager (Aneurin Barnard) who follows clues on a perilous trek inside a hidden realm after the members of his family mysteriously disappear. With Ioan Gruffudd, Michael Sheen, Sam Neill, Lena Headey and Keeley Hawes. Comments (1).
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