The Sundance Reel

“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.

Add another film to the rock idol genre with the new release of “Blinded by the Light”, a film that plays homage to The Boss through the eyes of a die-hard fan.

I’ve seen my fair share of rock-inspired films recently, including the biopics of Freddie Mercury in “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Elton John in “Rocketman”, and the Beatles fan narrative “Yesterday”.

There’s no arguing that the list of rockers ripe for a film profile is long, and it’s not surprising that a film about an avid Bruce Springsteen fan has rounded out this year’s trend.

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.

The new film, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” doesn’t get a thumbs down but it’s not the best outing for an indie director who was discovered at Sundance.

Well known independent film director and screenwriter, Richard Linklater, has returned to the big screen with the comedy drama, “Where’d You Go, Bernadette”, based on the 2012 book of the same name by Maria Semple.

A standout at Sundance 2019, "The Farewell" is a dramedy that’s based on an actual lie.

Family dynamics and the dichotomy of Asian-American culture are at the centerpiece of filmmaker Lulu Wang’s comedy/drama “The Farewell”. The film, which premiered this year at Sundance and was based on as Wang calls it “an actual lie” was really a true story that originally aired on This American Life.

The new flick “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” shows off a variety of monsters—some are creepy, some are disgusting, and some may just have you exclaiming, as one character does, “You are @#+% me!”

It is Halloween of 1968, in Mill Valley, Pennsylvania, an industrial town that has known better days. And a group of high schoolers dare to venture into the old haunted Bellows mansion. There are three misfits, the sister of one of the teens, and the class bully.

Quentin Tarantino’s new film is out. It’s too long, but can it be saved by the ghost of Sharon Tate, and the sight of Brad Pitt taking his shirt off?

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.

The latest Spider-Man movie is being examined by a person who admits she’s mostly a stranger in the Marvel Universe.

Here I am, once again reviewing a movie in a genre I don’t know much about. “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is the latest installment from Marvel Studios and I have only seen a few Avenger movies. But perhaps this makes me the perfect lab rat to test whether this movie is strong enough to stand on its own or if it’s full of weak storytelling that has to lean on the whole franchise for support.

A new Spider-Man film is out, and though there have been a handful of films featuring the web-slinging superhero--even played by a few different actors--you don't need to have seen every one of them to understand the latest iteration. You may, however, have to have watched a dozen other Marvel films to know what's going on. Casual superhero movie watcher Wendy Gourley and Marvel Cinematic Universe enthusiast Emily Means discuss Spider-Man: Far From Home.

The new live action “Aladdin” has just enough magic to make it fun.

Guy Ritchie, usually known for his British gangster movies, has branched out with a movie unlike any of his others. With “Aladdin”, a live action remake of the animated Disney film of 1992, Ritchie has directed not only his first musical, but his first Disney film. He also co-wrote the screenplay with John August.

Imagine there's no--Fab Four. That's the premise of a new film that blends classic rock and the Twighlight Zone.

Have you noticed a trend in rock-genre movies lately? Starting with the Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody”, followed by the Elton John extravaganza – “Rocketman”, and now “Yesterday” – a romantic comedy/fantasy based on the Beatles songbook.

After 24 years, the saga of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear is coming to an end—apparently—with Toy Story 4.

It’s remarkable when a sequel is well-done and entertaining—even more so when it comes many years after the original film and it’s the fourth film in the franchise.

In “Toy Story 4” Pixar is continuing the fun and the adventures. But more to the point, they are still aware of the pathos behind the whole computer-animated world here—the idea that the toys yearn to be played with, to be loved—lest they fade away, forgotten and forsaken, like Puff the Magic Dragon.

Friday Film Review - "The Secret Life Of Pets 2"

Jun 21, 2019

This week’s film is “The Secret Life of Pets 2”, the sequel of the 2016 animated peek at what pets do when their owners take off for the day.  The first film was surprisingly good, bouncing back and forth between owner and pet perspective.  In this round, the ever-versatile comedian Patton Oswalt replaces embattled Louis C. K.

“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.