Year: 2019

‘Jojo Rabbit’ charts the challenges of growing up

‘Jojo Rabbit’ charts the challenges of growing up

“Jojo Rabbit” (2019). Cast: Roman Griffin Davis, Scarlett Johansson, Thomasin McKenzie, Taiki Waititi, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, Alfie Allen, Stephen Merchant, Archie Yates. Director: Taiki Waititi. Screenplay: Taiki Waititi. Book: Christine Leunens, Caging Skies. Web site. Trailer. Growing up can be difficult enough as we seek to understand the complexities of the world around us. But, if we add to that a quest to grasp an emerging sense of self and the place we occupy in our existence, the task can become overwhelming. Where do we turn for guidance? Who can we trust? And what advice should we seriously consider? Those questions might seem obvious and fundamental, but that doesn’t make them any less daunting, especially for those who lack direction on which way they should turn. So it is for an impressionable young man in the engaging and unusual new coming of age story, “Jojo Rabbit.” Young Johannes Betzler (Roman Griffin Davis) is having trouble fitting in. Growing up in Germany in the waning days of World War II, the likable but geeky 10-year-old is looking to find himself, a formidable challenge given the deteriorating conditions in the homeland and in his own personal circumstances. With his soldier father ...
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‘Parasite’ exposes the fallout of false intentions

‘Parasite’ exposes the fallout of false intentions

“Parasite” (“Gisaengchung”) (2019). Cast: Kang-ho Song, Hye-jin Jang, So-dam Park, Woo-sik Choi, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Jo, Jung Ziso, Hyun-jun Jong, Jeong-eun Lee, Myeong-hoon Park, Seo-joon Park, Keun-rok Park. Director: Bong Joon-ho. Screenplay: Jin Won Hon and Bong Joon-ho. Web site. Trailer. When the have-nots stare down the ample resources of the haves, there’s almost always sure to be a degree of envy involved. “How is it that they’ve come to acquire what we haven’t?” they might legitimately ask. “Why can’t we have some of that?” Those questions have merit, too. But how far are the have-nots willing to go to get what they seek? That’s a crucial issue posed in the new social satire, “Parasite” (“Gisaengchung”). Times are tough for the Kim family. With money and work hard to come by, the foursome struggles to survive in their cramped, rundown apartment. Family matriarch Chung-sook (Hye-jin Jang) seeks to earn money folding pizza boxes, a job at which she’s not especially suited, while her husband, Ki-taek (Kang-ho Song), a jack of all trades, will take anything he can get. Their son, Ki-woo (Woo-sik Choi), a former military man, can’t seem to find a position that matches his skills, while his sister, ...
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Check Out a Special Edition of The Cinema Scribe

Check Out a Special Edition of The Cinema Scribe

Tune in for the latest Cinema Scribe segment on Bring Me 2 Life Radio, Tuesday, November 5, at 2 pm ET, available by clicking here. And, if you don’t hear it live, catch it later on demand! ...
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Wrapping up the Chicago Film Festival

Wrapping up the Chicago Film Festival

One of the great joys of reviewing movies is the opportunity to attend film festivals. They offer moviegoers a chance to see multiple offerings in myriad genres from countries all over the globe, featuring everything from little-known independent productions to Hollywood blockbusters. And so it is with my hometown event, the Chicago International Film Festival, which just recently completed its 55th edition. The Chicago festival just keeps getting better and better every year. I’ve attended many of the festivals over the past 40 years (I started attending when I was 2…), and I’ve seen vast improvements in programming and staging in that time, efforts that have truly made this a world class event. Over 12 days, I screened 15 films, many of which were good to excellent. With that in mind, I offer my thoughts and impressions on the pictures I saw. My scores, which are based on the 1-5 rating scale used by festival attendees, appear at the end of each of my evaluations. Lengthier reviews of some of these releases will be featured in future blog entries. So sit back, relax and enjoy my journey through an inspired field of movies. And, if you should ever attend this ...
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Tune in for Movies with Meaning

Tune in for Movies with Meaning

Tune in for the latest Movies with Meaning segment on The Good Media Network’s Frankiesense & More broadcast on Facebook Live, Tuesday October 29 at 1:00 pm ET, by clicking here. Host Frankie Picasso and yours truly will discuss several new film releases, as well as highlights from the recent Chicago International Film Festival. And, if you don’t catch the show live, hear and watch it later on demand on Facebook or the web site of The Good Media Network, available by clicking here. You can also read more about the festival films by clicking here ...
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An Apology

An Apology

My apologies to those who were expecting to hear today’s Mission Unstoppable interview with filmmaker Assia Boundaoui about her new film, “The Feeling of Being Watched.” Due to an unexpected scheduling conflict, show host Frankie Picasso and yours truly were unable to bring this important broadcast to listeners today. We hope to reschedule for a new date in the future. Please stay tuned for details ...
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