Movie Review – While We’re Young

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While We’re Young (2015)
Written & Directed by Noam Baumbach

while we're young

Josh is documentary filmmaker stuck on the same project for the last ten years. His wife, Cornelia, is a producer whom he won’t work with, and his father in law is a famous documentarian whom he also won’t work with. During a lecture at a college where Josh works, he meets Jamie and Darby, a young couple who are full of the sense of life he is missing. Josh and Cornelia become fast friends with the couple and learn Jamie is also a filmmaker seeking out an excellent topic for his own documentary. Josh finally breaks his taboo of never collaborating and decides to help Jamie out with a Facebook-centered doc idea he has. As the two couples become more closely intertwined more tension bubbles to the surface until Josh’s personal life begins to crumble around himself.

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Movie Review – A Most Violent Year

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A Most Violent Year (2014)
Written & Directed by J.C. Chandor

most violent year

In 1981 New York, Abel Morales has brought his heating oil company to the verge of dominating the city’s market. He is in the midst of acquiring property from Hasidic businessmen when a series of truck robberies put his future into jeopardy. Abel is convinced that his rivals in the oil business are behind these hijackings. His wife, Anna, is upset that he seems frozen to take action and that is endangering their family and the company. At the same time, the city’s Assistant D.A. has been conducting an investigation on possible illegal practices in the industry and is filing charges against Abel’s company for possible price fixing and tax evasion. Despite all of these pressures, Abel is determined to follow a virtuous path but how long can he hold on to this?

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TV Review – Atlanta: Robbin’ Season

Atlanta: Robbin’ Season (2018, FX)
Written by Donald Glover, Jamal Olori, Ibra Ake, Taofik Kolade, Stephen Glover, Taofik Kolade, and Stefani Robinson
Directed by Hiro Murai, Amy Seimetz, and Donald Glover

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There are shows I forget are amazing because the delay between seasons can be so long and so many other shows and films fill up my brain in between. Louie was one of those shows, The Leftovers was another. Atlanta is the current show that I fail to remember the greatness of. I wasn’t hyper-excited for season two because the first season felt like a distant memory, excellent but hazy. I have to say I enjoyed this second run of episodes immensely, even more so than its first season. Creator and showrunner Donald Glover isn’t even working at the height of his game in my opinion, he’s on the path to getting there, which is exciting because I expect something even better than what we have seen to date. We also shouldn’t ignore director Hiro Murai who set the plate so to speak of how Atlanta looks and feels. The aesthetic of the show feels so dreamlike, hazy blues filtered over the screen. When characters are outside it often has an early morning, dew-drenched misty quality, reminding me of nights where you stay up late and greet the morning. Glover cited Twin Peaks as an influence in the feel of the show, and I would agree that in its best episodes Atlanta finds that particular style.

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Movie Review – Loveless

Loveless (2017)
Written by Oleg Negin & Andrey Zvyagintsev
Directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev

loveless

Zhenya and Boris are in the final days of their acidic and hateful marriage. When they are forced to be around each other in their Moscow apartment, they fill the bitter silence with mouthfuls of venom spewed at each other. One thing that is agreed upon is that their twelve-year-old son Alyosha is going to be sent to a “boarding school” that will primarily act as an orphanage. Zhenya wants to move on with to her new life with an older, wealthy and established man while Boris has already gotten his twenty-something girlfriend pregnant. Alyosha is destined to be forgotten. One morning, Zhenya discovers that their son hasn’t been to school in two days and appears to have not been in the apartment during that time either. They realize he is missing and contact authorities. The subsequent search forces these two hate-filled people to spend hours together, but don’t expect a reconciliation.

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Movie Review – Suburbicon

Suburbicon (2017)
Written by Joel & Ethan Coen
Directed by George Clooney

suburbicon

It’s 1959 in the city of Suburbicon, USA, and the first black family has moved in. This event is causing quite the stir, and the “well-meaning” people of the town just don’t that black people are ready to live in their neighborhood yet. When The Mayers don’t seem to get the message the citizenry begin to escalate matters. Meanwhile, the next block over Nicky Lodge’s life is turned upside down when two strange men barge into the house in the middle of the night. They end up killing Nicky’s mother leaving his father, Gardner, a widow. Thankfully, Nicky’s aunt and his late mother’s sister Margaret is there to help.

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Movie Review – Seven Days in May

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Seven Days in May (1964)
Written by Rod Serling
Directed by John Frankenheimer

seven days in may

U.S. President Jordan Lyman has signed a nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviet Union which has led to the American public beginning to question if he should resign. Meanwhile, US Marine Colonel Casey works in the Pentagon and comes across evidence that the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by Air Force General Scott, are plotting a coup d’etat to remove Lyman. The overthrow of the government will be staged a military emergency exercise, but involve Scott commandeering the airwaves to announce Lyman being forced out of office. Casey has only a week to work with the President and find solid proof to show the American people. But at every turn, Scott and his people are there to stop them.

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Movie Review – The Manchurian Candidate

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The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Written by George Axelrod
Directed by John Frankenheimer

the manchurian candidate

A platoon of U.S. soldiers fighting in Korea is abducted by Soviets and taken across the border into China. Then months later they are returning to the States with Sgt. Raymond Shaw receiving the Medal of Honor for bravery under fire. However, the surviving members of his platoon are having strange nightmares of sitting among a ladies auxiliary meeting on flowers. The commanding officer, Captain Marco believes these dreams hide a secret about what really happened in Korea and truth behind Shaw’s heroism. Meanwhile, Shaw is pulled into the political ambitions of his mother, Eleanor and his stepfather, Senator Iselin. Shaw is also receiving strange phone calls that trigger weird behaviors. This rabbit hole will pull Marco and Shaw to ending neither of them can avoid.

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