Barb Bretz

Film & Book Reviewer

Friday Film Reviewer & Monthly Book Reviewer

In this segment of The Sundance Reel, Director Arthur Jones and Producer Giorgio Angelini talk about the origin of Pepe the Frog and their film Feels Good Man.

Shalini Kantayya, Director of Coded Bias, a film about the problems with artificial  intelligence and algorithms, talks to Leslie Thatcher and Barbara Bretz on The Sundance Reel

In this segment of The Sundance Reel,  Director Alison Elwood discusses her film, The Go-Go's a Documentary Premieres film in the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. 

In this segment of The Sundance Reel Directors Amanda McBaine and Jessie Moss talk about their film, Boys State U.S. Documentary Competition entry in the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. 

In this segment of The Sundance Reel, Leslie Thatcher and Barbara Bretz talk to the director of Whirlybird, Matt Yoka, U.S. Documentary Competition entry in the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. 

In this segment of The Sundance Reel, Director Eliza Hittman discusses her film Never Rarely Sometimes Always. U.S. Dramatic Competion entry in the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. 

Fans of author Erin Morgenstern who fell in love with her debut novel The Night Circus in 2011, have been eagerly awaiting a second novel. The Starless Sea was published in November 2019. Here, with a plug for both, is Barb Bretz with this month’s book review.

Is the transition of  "CATS" the Broadway stage play to the silver screen really a "cat-tastrophe?”  Here's Barb Bretz with this week’s  Friday Film Review.

My goal in reviewing a film is to entice you to see it so I try to pick something I enjoyed. "CATS" the Broadway musical, was fun, the trailer intrigued me and I looked forward to the film. However, after the December 20th release, critic attacks were immediate and intense. Evidently Universal has even pulled it from Oscar consideration.

Tis the season for another fabulous film review panel. Rick Brough, Katy Wang, Barbra Bretz and Libby Wadman talk about the films expected for the upcoming 2020 Sundance Film Festival. The film panelists weigh in on the movies that are being considered Oscar contenders and discuss a few of the the upcoming Christmas blockbusters.

“The Peanut Butter Falcon”, a bitter-sweet buddy comedy, won the Audience Award at South By Southwest this year.

“The Peanut Butter Falcon”, with its Bluegrass soundtrack is set in the Outer Banks, which adds an eerie mystique. The film contains too much redneck violence to be called charming yet watching the dynamics between the actors I saw something magical take place.

Rather than tell you the story, which you'll love...I'm focusing on the making of the film and the diverse and interesting cast.

Jodi Picoult's last nine novels all debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list.  Here's Barb Bretz with a review of her latest book, A Spark of Light.

Jodi Picoult wraps a story around controversial social issues and develops empathetic characters to hash out the problems and solutions. She's addressed powerful topics before but in her 24th novel she pushes the hottest button of all: Abortion - with a CAPITAL “A”. How do we balance the rights of a pregnant woman with the rights of the unborn they carry?

“Brittney Runs A Marathon”, a breakout Indie film of 2019, won the Audience Award in the US Dramatic competition at Sundance Film Festival.

I gave “Brittney Runs A Marathon” 5 stars in my Sundancer Newsletter review because it is my absolute favorite type of Sundance film; I laughed, teared up, flat-out cried, laughed some more and left smiling.

The documentary “Maiden” premiered at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival and was a 2019 Sundance Film Festival favorite in the SPOTLIGHT category.

This documentary was my absolute favorite of the entire Sundance Film Festival. It is a fantastic story so well told, well-filmed and well-edited that anyone viewing it regardless if they have an interest in yachting will be drawn into the competition the suspense the risk and the result.

Based on a classic 1964 Australian children's book of the same name “Storm Boy” will be adored by every member of the family.

Other than crying over “Old Yeller” when I was a kid, I don't get overly emotional at animal films. Never in a million years would I have guessed I'd sob multiple times through 'a boy and his pelican' story. Watch “Storm Boy” and you'll know what I mean.

Set in Australia, this little film has it all gorgeous scenery, a charming child, family drama, wild animals, scary local rednecks, gunfire, passion about the environment and a happy ending.

“Late Night” sold for record breaking big bucks after its premiere at Sundance 2019.

Although I wouldn't place “Late Night” in the “Chick-flic” genre this film hits the trifecta with talented women. Director Nisha Ganantra teams up with Mindy Kaling who wrote the screenplay and co-stars with Emma Thompson.

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