Becoming ourselves is often a challenging process. We may have difficulty feeling our way through a cloudy morass of ideas and suggestions, and we might be unsure how to separate the good from the bad. This can be particularly daunting when we’re young, bombarded by others who think they know what’s best for us, leading to confusion and uncertainty
“The Neutral Ground” (2021). Cast: CJ Hunt (narrator and interviewer), Mitch Landrieu, Jason Williams, Christy Coleman, Michael “Quess” Moore, Malcolm Suber, Angela Kinlaw, Thomas Taylor, Karen Cox, Ashley Rogers, Dr. Ibrahima Seck, Abdul Aziz, Luther Gray, Freddi Evans, Dread Scott, Mr. Hunt, Darcy McKinnon. Archive Footage: Pierre McGraw, Donald Trump, David Duke. Director: CJ Hunt. Web site. Trailer. Movie. When the truth remains hidden, it’s difficult to move forward and make progress in resolving thorny social issues. But, when it’s intentionally buried under a barrage of myths and lies designed to purposely obscure it, that makes the effort considerably more daunting. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, though, as chronicled in the satirical and emotionally charged new documentary, “The Neutral Ground.” [...]
With the 2021 American Film Institute Documentary Film Festival (AFI DOCS) now in the books, it’s time to sum up the 12 offerings that I screened, some of which will be released in theaters, online and on television on the very near future. A number of excellent films are coming out of this festival, and I encourage viewers to catch them when available.
With another year coming to a close, it’s time for my annual review of the best – and worst – in cinema of the past 12 months. And what a generally disappointing year it was. Truly great films were few and far between, with only a handful earning the status of being genuinely outstanding. Some offerings were commendable, and many were adequate, but quite a few were sorely lacking. In fact, in compiling my list, I had far less trouble coming up with my Bottom 10 than I did with those at the top, something that speaks volumes about the quality of 2019’s offerings. This is something that’s reflected in this year’s field of Oscar nominees as well, a subject [...]
“Bombshell” (2019). Cast: Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow, Allison Janney, Malcolm McDowell, Kate McKinnon, Connie Britton, Mark Duplass, Mark Moses, Ben Lawson, Josh Lawson, Alanna Ubach, Kevin Dorff, Anne Ramsay, Jennifer Morrison, Liv Hewson, Rob Delaney, Amy Landecker, Nazanin Boniadi, Richard Kind, Holland Taylor. Archives: Donald Trump. Director: Jay Roach. Screenplay: Charles Randolph. Web site. Trailer. When patently unfair circumstances arise, many of us have a natural tendency to want to make them known, exposing the perpetrators for their misdeeds. But, when extenuating conditions – particularly those that could significantly impact us personally – intrude upon our willingness to step forward, we may find ourselves putting on the brakes when we don’t want to. Resolving such quandaries can [...]
“The Report” (2019). Cast: Adam Driver, Annette Bening, Corey Stoll, Jon Hamm, Maura Tierney, Michael C. Hall, Tim Blake Nelson, Linda Powell, Victor Slezak, Scott Shepherd, John Rothman, Ted Levine, Douglas Hodge, T. Ryder Smith, Fajer Kaisi, Zuhdi Boueri, Ratnesh Dubey, Carlos Gómez, Pun Bandhu, Joanne Tucker, Ian Blackman, Damian Fumusa, Joseph Siravo, Jennifer Morrison, Alexander Chaplin, Evander Duck Jr., Matthew Rhys. Archive Footage: Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John McCain, John Kerry. Director: Scott Z. Burns. Screenplay: Scott Z. Burns. Story: Katherine Eban, “Rohrschach and Awe,” Vanity Fair magazine, July 2007 (uncredited). Web site. Trailer. Exposing a painful truth is never easy. That’s especially the case when those who have much to lose hinder the process by nefariously [...]
“A Wrinkle in Time” (2018). Cast: Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Chris Pine, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Zach Galifinakis, Michael Peña, André Holland, Rowa Blanchard, David Oyelowo, Daniel MacPherson, Conrad Roberts, Yvette Cason, Will McCormack, Bellamy Young, Lyric Wilson. Director: Ava DuVernay. Screenplay: Jennifer Lee and Jeff Stockwell. Book: Madeleine L’Engle, A Wrinkle in Time. Web site. Trailer. Life’s challenges sometimes appear daunting, especially to those of us still growing into our maturity. We may see life as unfair and insurmountable, conditions that lead to frustration and behaviors that ultimately don’t adequately prepare us for what lies ahead. But this doesn’t mean we should just roll over in the face of these circumstances; we can [...]