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 – 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When she finally returns to her job working in a marijuana dispensary alongside her friend Keith, he notices she is withdrawn and unwillingly to start living again.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 – Menashe

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Menashe (2017)
Written by Alex Lipschultz, Musa Syeed, & Joshua Z Weinstein
Directed by Joshua Z. Weinstein

menashe

Menashe is a widowed Hasidic man whose young son is living with Menashe’s in-laws until the man can remarry. He works a dead-end job at a grocery store with a manager who cuts him no slack. Menashe was never delighted with his arranged marriage, though he misses his wife and loves his son. He attempts to take his son back, but this unravels into a conflict with his brother in law Eizik. Their rabbi decides that Menashe will keep the boy for the week leading up to his late wife’s one-year memorial. Menashe struggles with being the father his community doubts he can be and maintaining his sense of individuality within his tight-knit cultural group. Every day feels like a loss of his self to make others around him happy.

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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 – Trespass Against Us

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Trespass Against Us (2016)
Written by Alastair Siddons
Directed by Adam Smith

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Chad Cutler is part of a caravan community in the English West Country. This collection of people living on the fringes of society is overseen by Chad’s domineering father Colby who has refused his son’s urges to move his family away from this rural waste. Instead, Colby recruits Chad into breaking into and robbing a prominent local politician’s house. Chad is a skilled driver, and so he manages to evade the police who know the culprits but don’t have the proof to apprehend them. Tensions increase between father and son as attention is drawn to their caravan and Chad’s wife plans to leave with the children.

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