Opening on a delightful confrontation between a fickle lawman and the film’s three main characters – all women of color – in Virginia’s Jim Crow era, the historical dramedy Hidden Figures comes out of the gate with a bang and offers an unapologetic glimpse at the tone of the story that will follow.
I love heist movies. I couldn’t care less about the big prizes, but there’s something exhilarating about seeing the layers of an onion peeled back, something thrilling about watching a mastermind play all the chess pieces that were there in front of you the whole time, something gratifying about witnessing a ragtag team surmount seemingly impossible odds.
May none of us ever know the pain and hopelessness that comes from becoming forever separated from our family. Losing a child, or becoming a lost child, seems to be one of the most unimaginably horrible things that could happen – but happen it did to Saroo Brierley and to his family.
Unless your heart is made of stone or you simply hate music, it’s more likely than not that you will leave the theater humming at least one of the unbelievably catchy tunes from Disney’s Moana, courtesy of Grammy-winning composer Mark Mancina, Somoan artist Opetaia Foa’i and the great Lin-Manuel Miranda, of Hamilton fame.
I went into A Family Affair cold, not knowing what to expect other than what was in the trailer. This movie, as it turns out, is essentially a portrait of a 95-year-old woman told by her 30-year-old grandson. But what differentiates this from any old home video is most certainly the filmmaker Tom Fassaert’s cinematography and at least one major secret that his grandmother is hiding.
If you didn’t catch Zootopia in theaters, now may be the time to pick up a copy of the movie on video. This great little underdog story about big dreams with important messages about prejudice is more than just a silly film that features animals wearing clothes.
The plot centers around Judy Hopps, a bunny who decides she wants to be a police officer in the big city, rather than stay at home and work for her family’s carrot business. As a “prey” animal, she isn’t taken too seriously, so when she’s given the opportunity to prove herself by solving a major missing-mammal case, she – er – hops on the opportunity.
One of the most fascinating Coast Guard rescues in history is told through the eyes of director Craig Gillespie in the Disney film The Finest Hours, now available on Blu-ray/Digital HD. Starring Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Eric Bana and Ben Foster, the movie centers around two men who helped to save the lives of 30+ men in an amazing story of resourcefulness, sacrifice and hope.
Always cautious to recognize that the real-life version of what we’re seeing on screen might have been drastically different from what is presented in the film, I can fully appreciate that King Cobra is filmmaker Justin Kelly’s dramatic interpretation of the real-life story of a young porn star who becomes caught in the middle of a deadly industry rivalry. That said, it is a movie full of interesting characters that is well told, well shot and unlike any other murder-mystery film I’ve seen.
Not a chess player myself, I was not sure whether I would like, much less understand, Magnus, a documentary about a chess prodigy who became the youngest grandmaster in the world at age 13; drew a tie with the world’s best chess player and 15-year reigning champ, Garry Kasparopv, also at age 13; and who became the world chess champion at the tender age of 22.
Mark Craig’s The Last Man on the Moon is the story of Eugene “Gene” Cernan, an American astronaut, who, among other things, reached the fastest speed ever attained in a manned vehicle (24,791 MPH) with two of his fellow astronauts, and he was the last person to walk on the surface of the moon.
The story about a put-upon princess who befriends and is later cared for by seven dwarfs after her evil royal stepmother attempts to kill her has captivated audiences around the world. Arguably Disney’s most important animated feature, its 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, is one of the latest classics to get the Blu-ray treatment for modern audiences. For those who don’t know, Snow White more or less launched the Disney empire and is credited for making Disney what it is today.
After the death of her mother, writer Cassie Cranston returns to the small town she grew up in (and was subsequently driven out of) to collect her inheritance money. The professional sex expert, who is harboring a major secret, hopes to get in and out of, ahem, Beaver’s Ridge quickly but finds herself being pulled back in by some of of her childhood acquaintances.
The Sundance Film Festival, held annually in Park City, Utah, and surrounding areas, is one of the first film festivals of the year and provides a preview of the year ahead in independent film.