Movie Review – The Ballad of Lefty Brown

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The Ballad of Lefty Brown (2017)
Written & Directed by Jared Moshe

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Lefty Brown is a simple-minded ranchhand whose glory days are far behind him. He’s about to bid farewell to his longtime friend, Ed Johnson who has been elected senator of Montana. However, tragedy strikes and Ed will never make it to D.C. Old friends Tom Harrah and Governor Jame Bierce arrive to comfort Ed’s widow while his affairs are put in order. Lefty takes off to hunt down the killers and is joined by Tom who is trying to bring the old man back home. Instead, they pick up a young kid enamored with the mythology of the West, and whom quickly learns the stories he has heard are not as fantastic and pretty as he thinks. A conspiracy is uncovered behind Ed’s murder that connects to his election as a senator and leaves Lefty as a suspect fighting to redeem his name and avenge his friend.

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Movie Review – Thelma

Thelma (2017)
Written by Eskil Vogt & Joachim Trier
Directed by Joachim Trier

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Thelma grew up in a fiercely sheltered and religious home. Now she’s eighteen and attending university, out on her own for the first time. Most of her days are spent trekking from class to class and then in her apartment alone, eating dinner. This changes when she meets Anja, a fellow student that has concerns for Thelma after witnessing one of her seizures. The women begin an intense friendship which suddenly takes a turn for the serious after some wishful thinking on the part of Thelma. Questions arise about what is causing Thelma’s headaches and seizures and what happened in her childhood home years prior. The revelation of these things will shake the foundation of this woman’s life forever.

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Movie Review – Woodshock

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Woodshock (2017)
Written & Directed by Laura & Kate Mulleavy

woodshock

Theresa is a troubled woman who is grieving the recent death of her terminally ill mother. She spends most of her days wandering around the small home in Northern California she has inherited. Her lumberjack boyfriend Nick pressures her to sell the place so they can leave and start over somewhere else, but Theresa just can’t. When she finally returns to her job working in a marijuana dispensary alongside her friend Keith, he notices she is withdrawn and unwillingly to start living again. A series of tragic circumstances lead to another death in Theresa’s life which finally pushes her to a breaking point. Through a hallucinatory exodus, she will come to a final realization about her life and relationships.

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Movie Review – A Ghost Story

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A Ghost Story (2017)
Written & Directed by David Lowrey

a ghost story

A man and woman live in a small house in rural Texas. There is an ongoing argument about whether they should move to a place with more opportunities or stay in this place. The woman wants to leave. The man wants to stay. Then he dies, his car t-boned by another vehicle. After she visits the hospital morgue and goes in tears, the man rises, still covered in the sheet and wanders back home. This is when he begins to haunt that small house. Time slows to a crawl; then it passes in torrents. The man eventually comes to see his time in this home from a new perspective and comes to a very final conclusion about not just his life, but all of ours.

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Movie Review – The Exception

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The Exception (2017)
Written by Simon Burke
Directed by David Leveaux

the exception

Captain Stefan Brandt, a member of Hitler’s Third Reich, is assigned to protect the exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II at his country home in the Netherlands. Once there he finds a former monarch who is hesitant to throw his support behind the Fuhrer. The Gestapo shows up to check out a rumored English spy among the villagers, and Brandt seems rather uninterested in this side hunt. Instead, he becomes enamored with Mieke, a young maid in the Kaiser’s staff. Things suddenly become even more complicated when word comes that SS Commander Heinrich Himmler is coming to secure the Kaiser’s loyalty. Brandt finds himself torn between his duty to Germany, his admiration of the Kaiser, and his love for Mieke.

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Movie Review – The Lovers

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The Lovers (2017)
Written & Directed by Azazel Jacobs

the lovers

Mary and Michael have been married for over a quarter of a century. Their marriage hasn’t gone up in a cloud of smoke, but it has fizzled to the point they both have secret affairs. Michael has told Lucy that after their son’s visit in the next week he will announce he is leaving his wife. At the same time, Mary has told Robert she will sit everyone down during their son’s visit and relay the new changes coming. However, Mary and Michael wake up in each other’s arms one morning. One thing leads to another, and they are suddenly having an affair with each other behind their lovers’ backs. When their son, Joel and his girlfriend arrive, things get even more complicated.

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Movie Review – First Reformed

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First Reformed (2017)
Written & Directed by Paul Schrader

first reformed

Reverend Ernst Toller is dying. He doesn’t know what is killing him yet, but he knows he only has a short time to live. He is the head of The First Reformed Church in upstate New York, which has become a tourist attraction because of its pre-Revolutionary construction and role in the Underground Railroad. The only thing keeping First Reformed afloat is the megachurch Abundant Life, headed by Pastor Jeffers. After a service, Toller is approached by Mary, a young pregnant woman who is worried about her husband, Michael. Michael is a radical environmentalist who is falling into darkness over what he sees is the inevitable destruction of the planet. Toller is spun into a crisis of faith after speaking with Michael, trying to grapple with the actions of the system that keeps his church operating and what is being done to God’s creation.

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