Sundance Reel

Friday Film Review--"Uncut Gems"

Jan 17, 2020

Comedian Adam Sandler takes a dark, dramatic turn in the new crime thriller “Uncut Gems.”    Linda Jager is here with this week’s Friday Film Review.

Adam Sandler is almost unrecognizable in the new crime thriller "Uncut Gems". Dressed in flashy designer shirts and an outfitted with an impressive set of false teeth, Sandler plays Howard Ratner – a jewelry dealer, philanderer, avid basketball fan and compulsive gambler.

Friday Film Review--"Little Women"

Jan 3, 2020

Mark Harrington has this week’s Friday Film Review.    His message is that yet another film version of a beloved literary classic—in this case, “Little Women”—can still resonate with a new audience

Friday Film Review-"Bombshell"

Dec 27, 2019

 

The story behind the decades of sexual harassment at Fox News debuts in theaters with the new movie "Bombshell."    Linda Jager shares her thoughts for the Friday Film Review.

The success and scandal of Fox News isn’t a new story, but given time and space from the 2016 sexual harassment incidents that plagued the network, the topic is now fodder for several books, a television series, and now the big screen.

“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” is out in theaters.    And Rick Brough tries to make sense of it for the Friday Film Review.

Let’s face it, the people behind “The Rise of Skywalker” have some nearly impossible challenges.

How do you wrap up a story after nine movies?  Or—find the balance in a universe that gave us both Yoda and Jar Jar Binks?   Or-- bid a respectful farewell to a beloved character, when the actress playing her died three years ago?   

Worst of all, how do you repair the plotholes left by “The Last Jedi” and its creator, Rian Johnson?

Tom Hanks plays Mister Rogers in "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.".  It was a powerful feeling for him to shoot at the original WQED studio in Pittsburgh. Hanks said, “When you put on that red sweater and blue shoes you might as well be putting on Batman's cape and cowl.” Barbara Bretz has the Friday Film Review.

Libby Wadman, with the Friday Film Review, reports on a new movie that she says is “murderously good fun.”

Director and screenwriter Rian Johnson, known for "Brick" and his writing for the TV show "Breaking Bad", has returned with a fun mystery, "Knives Out"

Knives Out

Dec 15, 2019

Libby Wadman is here with the Friday Film Review.   She’s reporting on a new movie that she says is “murderously good fun.”

Director and screenwriter Rian Johnson, known for Brick and his writing for the TV show Breaking Bad, has returned with a fun mystery, Knives Out.

Friday Film Review--"Harriet"

Nov 24, 2019

Wendy Gourley has this week’s Friday Film Review, and says that “Harriet” is a beautiful and remarkable film biography.

From the first captivating frames of brewing skies and rolling mist, we see this will be a stormy story of things hidden and revealed. And what is revealed at the heart of this story is a woman’s fierce determination to be free or die. Harriet tells the story of Harriet Tubman, a slave woman who walked 100 miles to her own freedom, and then went back for others, becoming one of the most successful conductors on the Underground Railroad.

Libby Wadman, with this week’s Friday Film Review, looked at the new movie, “Midway.”   She says that it’s still possible to do a World War II epic right.

Fans of “Independence Day” will be happy to know that director Roland Emmerich is back with a new look at the battle of Midway in the film “Midway”.  This rendition, written by Wes Tooke, a Navy veteran, has nothing to do with the 1976 film of the same name, or any others, except that it depicts the battle of Midway early on in World War II.

A new film, “Jojo Rabbit”, hasn’t attracted much attention.  But it should.   Rick Brough has the lowdown, with this week’s Friday Film Review.

The story here you could almost expect to see in an Afterschool Special.

In the waning days of World War II, with Germany on the brink of defeat, scrawny, hapless 10-year-old Jojo Betzler strives to be a perfect little specimen of the Hitler Youth.    But when he finds that his mother has hidden a Jewish teenager in their attic, Jojo finds his whole worldview is challenged, and ultimately transformed.

Angelina Jolie returns for another outing as the legendary Walt Disney character Maleficent. The new film raises the question, is she a clasic villainess or a misunderstood stepmom?

This week’s film is Maleficent-Mistress of Evil, starring Angelina Jolie, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Elle Fanning.   

"Judy" is a bio-pic that follows the legendary Judy Garland through the last few months of her life interwoven with flashbacks to her youth at the MGM studios. In a telling opening moment, Judy is staring at a wall while the studio head, Louis B. Mayer asks her, “What do you see beyond this wall?” He then describes a world beyond full of girls—who he constantly reminds Judy are prettier and thinner than her—but who are doomed to live mundane lives. Judy, on the other hand, is destined to be set apart and is tasked with the job to give all those ordinary people dreams.

“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.

Downton Abbey is back, this time on the big screen.

To the relief of many fans, who have been suffering withdrawal for the last 3 years, Downton Abbey is back! This time, however, as a big screen production rather than a television series.

The new science-fiction film “Ad Astra” is spectacular and looks awesome. It’s also about moody astronauts in space.

In the Star Trek universe, you recall, the mission was always “to boldly go where no one has gone before.”

In James Gray’s film “Ad Astra”, the characters act like they want to believe that. But this is a different universe.

Brad Pitt stars as astronaut Roy McBride, who is famously cool and steady amid the hazards of space. Early in the movie, he survives a disaster at a satellite station that would have Capt. Kirk calling for his brown pants.

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