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Reviews

Soul Review | An Unpopular Opinion

Soul Review | An Unpopular Opinion

Soul thrives in it’s diversity and in the music of Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross, which elevates the heart of the film along with the jazz compositions of Jon Baptiste… and if that was all it took to make a great film I would be exclaiming that Pixar has done it yet again, but it is not and THEY have not because these can’t save what bad writing has ruined. Tina Fey & Jamie Foxx in Soul(2020) In Soul a musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back…
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Promising Young Woman Review | A Kick in the Balls

Promising Young Woman Review | A Kick in the Balls

Divisive and necessary, Promising Young Woman is a rollercoaster ride full of humor, jaw dropping moments and a twist that still has me traumatized days later. A message that absolutely needs to be told but one that will surely be attacked by toxic masculinity and machismo as the film does not try to soften the blow it deals to the male ego. The message: all men are a problem. Carey Mulligan stars as "Cassandra" in director Emerald Fennell’s PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN, a Focus Features release. Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features Traumatized by an event from her past, Cassandra dropped out…
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Small Axe: Education Review

Small Axe: Education Review

A heartbreaking tale about injustice and systemic racism in its most insidious form-- that form which affects the youth and tries to sweeten the bitter taste of oppression by disguising it as a “good deed”. Kenyah Sandy as Kingsley Smith (left) and Nigel Boyle as Mr. Hamley (right) in "Education." Photo Credit: Will Robson-Scott / Amazon Prime Video. Kingsley is a 12 year old boy with dreams of being an astronaut who gets sent to a "special school" after being disruptive in class. This school, they say, is more suited to his needs. Kingsley soon learns that this new school…
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The Wilds Review | An Ode to the Strength, Resourcefulness, and Tenacity of Women

The Wilds Review | An Ode to the Strength, Resourcefulness, and Tenacity of Women

The Wilds is so much more than a story about the modern-day young woman at their worst struggling to survive… It’s an ode to the strength, resourcefulness, and tenacity of women who are thrust into a trial by fire that will, likely, reveal that their biggest threat isn’t the impending doom facing them on the desolate island where they lay stranded, but rather the everyday pressure waiting for them back home. Pictured (L-R): Jenna Clause (Martha Blackburn), Shannon Berry (Dot Campbell), Mia Healey (Shelby Goodkind), Reign Edwards (Rachel Reid), Sophia Ali (Fatin Jadmani), Sarah Pidgeon (Leah Rilke) A group of…
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Small Axe: Alex Wheatle Review

Small Axe: Alex Wheatle Review

Alex Wheatle is a heartfelt tale that will frustrate you to your core because it is, undeniably, incomplete. A true story depicting the life of award winning writer Alex Wheatle, from his childhood through his formative years as a young adult trying to find his way in Brixton. Sheyi Cole as Alex Wheatle (center, black leather jacket) in "Alex Wheatle." Photo Credit: Will Robson-Scott / Amazon Prime Video. Listen, I love what Steve McQueen has achieved by making the Small Axe series. Five stories, all true or inspired by such, about the struggles of the black West Indie community in…
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Half Brothers Review | A Fun Tale Muddled by Waring Tones

Half Brothers Review | A Fun Tale Muddled by Waring Tones

Half Brothers is a fun take on the road trip narrative that simultaneously tackles some very serious issues plaguing immigrants in the U.S. today. This fact, unfortunately, muddles the tone of the film and causes it to bounce back and forth between absurdist humor and a heartbreaking social injustice drama rather than living in a happy middle ground. I found myself both amused and emotionally rocked by it but neither ever felt like they belonged in the same film, though I’m sure they could. Luis Gerardo Mendez (left) stars as "Renato" and Connor Del Rio (right) stars as "Asher" in…
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I Am Greta Review | A Message That Transcends Its Rating

I Am Greta Review | A Message That Transcends Its Rating

“My name is Greta Thunberg and I want you to panic…” Powerful words that resonate in my mind as so many of hers do. More than a documentary, I Am Greta is a warning against inaction that just so happens to be wrapped in a passionate, brave, and wise teenage package. I AM GRETA -- The story of Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who, at 16, is leading the global school strike for action on climate change. Greta Thunberg, shown. (Photo By: Courtesy of Hulu) The best thing about this doc by filmmaker Nathan Grossman is that it grants us…
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Alex Rider Review | IMDb TV’s Original Double-Oh-Jack Reacher-Esque Y.A. Spy Drama

Alex Rider Review | IMDb TV’s Original Double-Oh-Jack Reacher-Esque Y.A. Spy Drama

Serving as this youth’s 007, Alex Rider is an engaging series that takes itself very seriously and has a whole lot of fun doing it! Otto Farrant in Alex Rider Alex Rider is a teenager who suspects there is more to his uncle Ian’s death that meets the eye. While looking into it he discovers Ian was an MI6 agent who was getting dangerously close to uncovering something sinister surrounding an extremely private school for troubled youth. Not wanting to let things rest, Alex forces MI6 to use him in infiltrating the school and finding the people responsible for his…
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Film Fest 919 Review | Farewell Amor | A Film that prompts a search for beginnings

Film Fest 919 Review | Farewell Amor | A Film that prompts a search for beginnings

Jayme Lawson, Zainab Jah and Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine Warmth and heartfelt emotions in Ekwa Msangi's Farewell Amor, a film consists of three well-made chapters filled with many quiet conversations between a newly reunited family of three as this Angolan family was separated for 17 years. Though they tried to keep in touch, everyone has changed.  Silvia is calm and distant,  Esther is now very religious, & the patriarch Walter, a taxi driver who paved the way to New York City so long ago, has his own secrets after spending so much time away from his family.  Msangi has a…
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FilmFest 919 Reviews | Part 1

FilmFest 919 Reviews | Part 1

In a year where everyone else is figuring out how to make things happen virtually FilmFest919 says “Ain’t nobody got time for that”! North Carolina, being one of the most stringent states when it comes to COVID-19 protocols, caused the folks at 919 to approach things differently than they have in the past. Now I know all film festivals have had to deal with the nightmare that is this pandemic, we've been covering some of them, but unlike CIFF and NYFF, who are on their 56th & 58th iteration respectively, FF919 has only been on the scene for three years.…
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