Barb Bretz

Film & Book Reviewer

Friday Film Reviewer & Monthly Book Reviewer

You could say that Us Against You is a sports story about a hockey town and its team and you wouldn't be wrong, but it is about so much more.

Since his debut novel A Man Called Ove, written and published in 2014, Fredrik Backman cranked out one a year -   the last two being Beartown and Us Against You.

In Rebel Wilson's latest film “Isn’t It Romantic”, a young woman, cynical about love and romance is trapped inside a beautiful, parallel universe of exactly those two things.

After an intensive 10 days of Sundance Film Festival followed by binge watching Oscar nominations, I was ready to kick back and be entertained by a light-hearted, colorful, slightly silly, rom-com. “Isn’t It Romantic” did the trick.

Determined to leave a home, more dysfunctional than she even realizes, and get a formal eduction is the mission on which Tara Westover embarks. Here's this month's book review of Educated by Tara Westover.

On the October New York Times Bestseller list, two memoirs made the top 10; In Pieces by Sally Field, age 72 and Educated; a Memoir by Tara Westover, age 31.

One might doubt a person could accumulate enough interesting life experiences in 30 years to compile a memoir. In this case, one would be wrong.

KPCW Film Roundtable - February 9, 2019

Feb 9, 2019
Monika Guendner/KPCW

KPCW's Rick Brough is joined by the self-named Flick Chicks, Barb Bretz, Katy Wang and Jill Orschel, to discuss this year's films in the Sundance Film Festival.

Is there an 'upside' to life for a quadriplegic who needs assistance with nearly every facet of his daily life and a rudderless, young felon, estranged from his wife and son? Apparently, there is. 

Director Neil Burger's “The Upside”, released in January, is actually the second remake of the original 2011 French film THE INTOUCHABLES which was based on a true story.

The Sundance Reel - January 31, 2019 Pahoke

Jan 31, 2019

On Today's #TheSundanceReel, directors Ivete Lucas and Patric Bresnan talk about thier fim, Pahokee, one of  16 films in the U.S. documentary competition.

On Today's #TheSundanceReel, Director Jacqueline Olive talks about her film, Always in Season.

On Today's #TheSundanceReel, director Stieg Larsson talks about his documentary, The Man Who Played With Fire.

On Today's #TheSundanceReel, Leslie and guest co-host Barb Bretz speak with Director Petra Costa and Producer Joanna Natasegara of The Edge of Democracy.

On Today's #TheSundanceReel Director Ben Berman discusses his film,  the Amazing Jonathan. He  discusses what’s been described as the “most bizarre” film in this year’s lineup.   

On today's #TheSundanceReel Director of the film,  AJ Eaton, talks about the making of his documentary, David Crosby: Remember My Name.

The Director of Ask Dr. Ruth, Ryan White, talks about his film chronicling the life of America’s most famous sex therapist.

On today’s #TheSundanceReel, Directors Jennifer Baichwal, Ed Burtynsky, and Nicholas de Pencier talk about Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, in the Spotlight category. 

Six years after "Wreck it Ralph" Disney has released a sequel. Barb Bretz has your Friday Film Review.

I’ve been eager to see Disney films in the past but “Ralph Breaks the Internet” was not at the top of my must-see list or even on my list but Ava and Ella, my 8 and 12-year-old companions selected it. (Ella has this thing about seeing Christmas movies before Thanksgiving which eliminated my first choice of "The Nutckracker and the Four Realms."

If you enjoyed the story told by the book and film Hidden Figures, put this book on your reading list. The Woman Who Smashed Codes tells the very true story of Elizebeth Smith Friedman, who along with her husband William..... were the greatest code-breaking team ever.

I love historical fiction but in this case The Woman Who Smashed Codes  is historical but very, very factual.