Reviews: Limited Release

Nic Cage is in a ‘RAGE’

June 14th, 2014 4:00am EDT
Nicolas Cage is back to his famous tantrums and 'Cage-isms' in his new film, ‘RAGE’ (RLJ Entertainment) (originally known as ‘Tokarev’ but the name was changed); an action-suspense thriller about a reformed criminal (Paul McGuire); with a dark secret. He used to be a gangster who killed a man when he was 17 who he got into an altercation with years ago.

After Paul departs for a night out with his wife; (Rachel Nichols) and leaving the daughter in the house alone with two boys; Pete the detective (Danny Glover) tells Paul the bad news about his daughter missing. Paul recruits his old crew m...

Review: Unnerving 'Borgman' Is A Boogeyman We've Never Seen Before

June 6th, 2014 11:10am EDT
Review: Unnerving 'Borgman' Is A Boogeyman We've Never Seen Befo
Filmmakers resort to all sorts of tactics these days to creep out movie fans. From thick blood and gore to slow building flicks with a shocking payoff, there’s no shortage of product on the market eager to put audiences in a state of unease. That’s why the Dutch import "Borgman" is even more impressive – in its five-star accomplishment of being unnerving from start to finish it boldly uses none of the above.

As the film opens three men are seen amassing various weapons of sorts. All local townsmen, including one who’s a priest, the gents seem to be on a mission to destroy. Seems they’r...

Review: With Sinister 'The Sacrament' Ti West Transcends A Done-To-Death Genre

June 5th, 2014 11:15am EDT
Review: With Sinister 'The Sacrament' Ti West Transcends A Done-
I’ll admit it - I’m so sick of found footage flicks. What started as a clever and cheap device for filmmakers Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez back in 1999 for their breakout horror flick "The Blair Witch Project" (not the first of course, but certainly the most prolific!) has spawned so many subpar films that it’s all but exhausted every aspect of the first person camera movement. And yet with his uncanny ability to manipulate tone and pace effectively, "The House of the Devil" and "The Innkeepers" filmmaker Ti West manages with his latest film "The Sacrament" to transcend and actually ...

'Belle': Portrait Of A Good Film

May 9th, 2014 10:48am EDT
'Belle': Portrait Of A Good Film
If you love Jane Austen, 19th century novels, 'Downtown Abbey' or anything BBC, 'Belle' is for you. 'Belle' surrounds an actual 18th century bi-racial heiress who dealt with issues of class, courtship and race. Directed by British director Amma Asante ('Grange Hill'), written by Misan Sagay ('Their Eyes Were Watching God') and starring Oxford-born Gugu Mbatha-Raw ('Undercovers'), 'Belle' is an incredibly well-researched, witty, period appropriate British film.

Because I wrote my dissertation on Dido Elizabeth Belle, of course, I had to review this film. Between her childhood and adulthood,...

Nicolas Cage: Not Your Average 'Joe'

April 14th, 2014 3:30pm EDT
Nicolas Cage: Not Your Average 'Joe'
Academy Award winner, Nicolas Cage's new film, "Joe" (Lionsgate) opened in limited release at select theaters on April 11. It's now also available for download on ITunes, which is how I viewed the film on my IPad since it wasn't available at a theater near me.

"Joe" is an independent drama film directed and produced by filmmaker, David Gordon Green. It's based on the novel by Larry Brown. It has a very dark script about an ex-convict with a hot-headed temper named Joe Ransom (Nicolas Cage), who befriends a 15-year-old boy named Gary looking for work, played by the incredibly talented risi...

Review: 'S#x Acts'

December 12th, 2013 10:04am EST
S#x Acts film poster
S#x Acts  is the debut film by Israeli director Jonathan Gurfinkel.  The disturbingly, provocative film is about a gullible teenage girl who experiments with her sexuality in stages exploring her boundaries.  

Gili (Sivan Levy) switches schools and it becomes quite obvious why.  At the new school, she is on a mission to reform her reputation by hooking up with the most popular boys who coincidentally are wealthy.  There are gold diggers then there are social status diggers.  Her theme song should be Lady Gaga’s song “Do what you want”. She allows herself to be pimped out by the seemingly c...

An Interview With Tribeca's 'Zero Charisma's' Directors

October 11th, 2013 7:10am EDT
Zero Charisma
Tribeca’s Zero Charisma opens Friday, October 11, 2013 in select theaters and is available on VOD, iTunes, and other on demand platforms. The cast stars: Sam Eidson, Garrett Graham, Brock England, Anne Gee Byrd, Cyndi Williams. The film is directed by the brilliant duo of Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews (He also is the screenwriter ) who both shared with us what Zero Charisma is about.

What inspired Zero Charisma?

Katie Graham and Andrew Matthews:  We've always loved films with unorthodox (and perhaps unlikable) main characters, particularly ones who are obsessive and domineering, bu...

Review: Jennifer Hudson Shines in 'Winnie Mandela'

September 29th, 2013 3:30pm EDT
Jennifer Hudson
After a spectacular portrayal of Effie White in Dreamgirls, Jennifer Hudson stole our hearts as Carrie Bradshaw's assistant in Sex and the City: The Movie and showed her skills in The Secret Life of Bees. Hudson returns to the big screen with a strong, powerful performance as Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Winnie Mandela.

The film, directed by Darrell Roodt, rushes Winnie's transition as a young child growing up in a tribal village to an adult skipping town for better opportunities in Johannesburg, South Africa. Upon her arrival in the metropolis, the studious adult shows she's unique when s...

'Sparrows Dance' A Review

September 3rd, 2013 8:29pm EDT
Sparrows Dance poster
Sparrows Dance, a Tribeca film is written and directed by Noah Buschel.  Simply made but profoundly touching, capturing vulnerability unlike anything I’ve seen in film.  It stars Marin Ireland, who was nominated for the 2009 Tony Award for Best Performance for a Featured Actress in a play for Reasons to Be Pretty, and Paul Sparks who is a series regular on HBO’s hit, Boardwalk Empire.

This film is about a former actress who is stricken with stage fright which cripples her to the point of isolation.  She lives alone in New York City.  No cat, no dog, no fish...alone.  She also has no name. ...

'Springsteen & I' Review: A Must See For Boss Fans

July 22nd, 2013 11:10am EDT
Springsteen & I
I know specifically the moment when I became a Bruce Springsteen fan for life.

It wasn’t after I (illegally) downloaded so many of his live albums off of Napster when I was a college sophomore—don’t worry music industry, I’ve long since erased everything I took and now purchase all of my music legally or use Spotify, which I also pay for.

It wasn’t after my first live show, which I attended in Philadelphia in 2003. Nor the second live show, which I attended at the Meadowlands in 2009 or 2010.

It was about a year after 9/11 when The Rising album came out and I recall all the interviews Br...