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‘Indiana Jones’ dials up his destiny one last time

All things eventually come to an end, whether we’re ready for it or not. We may not like what we see, either, especially if we’re troubled by what’s on the horizon. We might even feel like there’s more that we could or should have done to forestall what’s unfolding while we had the chance, opportunities that slipped through our fingers and are unlikely to come again. But sometimes destiny has a way of intervening, giving us another unexpected shot at realizing our aspirations and perhaps even making a meaningful difference.

‘Framing Agnes’ recounts an alternative community’s history

All too often, we think we know an individual or community when, in fact, we don’t understand them well or at all. There could be various reasons for this – a lack of information volunteered by the subjects in question, preconceived notions on our part, widely circulated commonly held misconceptions, or even so-called, generally accepted urban legends. It’s unfortunate when these developments occur, because they frequently present us with an inaccurate, misleading perception. That makes setting the record straight a prime consideration.

2023-05-19T12:34:40+00:00April 14th, 2023|Conscious Creation, Documentary, LGBTQ+, Movie Reviews|

‘Bacurau’ showcases the virtues of standing one’s ground

“Bacurau” (“Nighthawk”) (2019 production, 2020 release). Cast: Bárbara Colen, Thomas Aquino, Silvero Pereira, Sônia Braga, Udo Kier, Thardelly Lima, Rubens Santos, Wilson Rabelo, Carlos Francisco, Luciana Souza, Márcio Fecher, Jr. Black, Val Junior, Lia de Itamaracá, Karine Teles, Antonio Saboia, Jamila Fecury, Jonny Mars, Alli Willow, James Turpin, Julia Marie Peterson, Brian Townes, Charles Hodges, Chris Doubek, Buda Lira, Fabiola Líper. Director: Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonça Filho. Screenplay: Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles. Web site. Trailer. The impact of bullies has gained wider recognition in recent years. In most instances, this increased attention has focused on the detriment to individuals, but it can just as readily affect groups and entire communities, even if these situations don’t garner the same [...]

‘Balloon’ charts the flight to personal freedom

“Balloon” (“Ballon”) (2018 production, 2020 release). Cast: Friedrich Mücke, Karoline Schuch, David Kross, Alicia von Rittberg, Thomas Kretschmann, Jonas Holdenrieder, Tilman Döbler, Ronald Kukulies, Emily Kische, Antje Traue, Till Patz, Ben Teichmann, Elisabeth Wasserscheid, Peter Prager, Nadja Engel. Director: Michael Bully Herbig. Screenplay: Kit Hopkins, Thilo Röscheisen and Michael Bully Herbig. Web site. Trailer. It’s difficult to stifle our natural tendency to be ourselves, free of the restrictions that limit our personal growth and development. However, efforts to realize the potential behind that can be thwarted when hindrances are intentionally placed before us, keeping us from moving forward. That can become particularly frustrating and burdensome when we allow it to happen, further slowing our progress and perhaps eventually leading to discouragement. [...]

2020-05-05T11:22:54+00:00March 12th, 2020|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Raise Hell’ profiles one writer’s pursuit for truth

“Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins” (2019). Cast: Molly Ivins. Interviews: Dan Rather, Rachel Maddow, Lou Dubose, Jim Hightower, Andy Ivins, Sara Ivins Maley, Carlton Carl, Dave “Moose” McNeely. Archives: George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush, Ann Richards, David Letterman, Morley Safer, John Henry Faulk. Director: Janice Engel. Screenplay: Janice Engel and Monique Zavistovski. Web site. Trailer. Getting the word out about what’s really going on can be quite a challenge, especially when those in the know may try to conceal the truth, soft-peddle its implications or spin it to their personal advantage. Overcoming that takes a writer-investigator who’s willing to dig deep and to keep from caving in to pressure to doctor the information to fulfill [...]

2019-11-17T20:41:34+00:00September 25th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Documentary, Movie Reviews|

‘Pig’ asks, ‘What’s the price of popularity?’

“Pig” (“Khook”) (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Hassan Majooni, Leila Hatami, Leili Rashidi, Parinaz Izadyar, Siamak Ansari, Ainaz Azarhoush, Ali Bagheri, Mina Jafarzadeh, Ali Masaffa. Director: Mani Haghighi, Screenplay: Mani Haghighi. Web site. Trailer. What does it mean to be liked? That can be a loaded question, depending on the context. But, in an age of omnipresent social media (and the social ostracism that often accompanies it, which can take myriad forms, again depending on the context), that question can become even more precarious. And, on top of all that, our responses to those circumstances can be truly mind-boggling. These are just some of the issues faced by an insecure citizen in an insecure society in the offbeat new Iranian [...]

2019-03-20T09:24:13+00:00February 28th, 2019|Comedy, Conscious Creation, Movie Reviews|

‘Destroyer’ makes the case for making amends

‟Destroyerˮ (2018). Cast: Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Bradley Whitford, Sebastian Stan, James Jordan, Zach Villa, Scoot McNairy, Beau Knapp, Jade Pettyjohn, Toby Huss, Shamier Anderson. Director: Karyn Kusama. Screenplay: Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Web site. Trailer. The school of life can hand us some pretty tough lessons. If we fail in our efforts, we may come away from such experiences dejected. Those feelings can be particularly difficult to bear if we’re aware that our failings stem from wrongdoings that we might have (or should have) avoided, incidents that leave us wearing a badge of shame. And rectifying those missteps may prove quite the challenge as a downtrodden law enforcement professional discovers for herself in the gripping new [...]

2019-02-28T12:02:54+00:00February 4th, 2019|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|

‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ examines creativity gone awry

“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (2018). Cast: Melissa McCarthy, Richard E. Grant, Jane Curtin, Dolly Wells, Ben Falcone, Christian Navarro, Stephen Spinella, Gregory Korostishevsky, Anna Deavere Smith, Pun Bandu, Erik LaRay Harvey, Brandon Scott Jones, Marc Evan Jackson, Sandy Rosenberg, Towne the cat. Director: Marielle Heller. Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty. Book: Lee Israel, Can You Ever Forgive Me? Web site. Trailer. Creativity is a wonderful thing. It gives us great satisfaction, and it can lead to the production of marvelous conceptions made manifest. It offers boundless opportunities for exploration and expression, adding constantly to the richness of human experience. But is it always benevolent and uplifting, or can it be contorted into questionable forms that get out of [...]

2018-12-03T08:13:25+00:00October 31st, 2018|Conscious Creation, Drama, Movie Reviews|
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