Home / Tag Archives: 2017

Tag Archives: 2017

My Life as a Zucchini

I missed this film in 2017, which was nominated for a best animated film Oscar that year. Ikar, who likes to be called Zucchini, lives at home with his alcoholic mother. After an unfortunate accident, Zucchini ends up in an orphanage with other kids like him who were abandoned or orphaned by their parents or removed from their homes. This is such an adorable movie. The stop-motion animation is fantastic; those big heads on the kids’ bodies are so full of emotional expression. It is amazing how such a range of emotions can be captured in an animated format. There …

Read More »

Kingsmen: The Golden Circle

After his mansion is blown into smithereens and several Kingsmen are lost, Eggsy and Merlin end up in Kentucky to try to uncover who was responsible for the destruction. The film descends into goofy mayhem as they find themselves in the middle of whiskey country and confront a global threat instituted by Poppy, who has created a virus that leaves people paralyzed. The film seems to be a parody of itself; whereas the original Kingsman was fresh and moderately innovative, this one veers into silly comedy involving meat grinders and – yes, Elton John, who seems to be at Poppy’s …

Read More »

Logan

Hugh Jackman plays Logan in the year 2029. Most of the mutants are gone now, and Logan, Professor X, and Caliban are hiding in the desert. All of them are getting sick and losing their abilities to heal themselves. One day, a woman approaches Logan with a request to protect a young girl by taking her to North Dakota. Reluctantly, Logan agrees only at the insistence of Professor X. I did not watch the two other Wolverine films, so I am sure I have lost parts of the backstory; however, it turns out that the film stands on its own. …

Read More »

1945

(Hungarian, with English subtitles): World War II has ended on the continent. As residents of a tiny village in Hungary prepare for a wedding, two Orthodox Jewish men, father and son, enter town on the train with two boxes noted to contain perfumes. They begin their journey toward town. Their arrival forces the villagers to confront their history with the war. This is a really well-crafted film. It is shot in black and white, giving you the feeling of the era. The cinematography is interesting –there are wide panorama shots alternated with close-ups of the villagers that help tell their …

Read More »

Apostasy

Dan Kokotajlo, who was raised in the Jehovah’s Witness faith and left in his early 20’s, directs a very compelling story about Ivanna and her two daughters, Luisa and Alex. Ivanna is raising her daughters strictly in the Jehovah’s Witness faith (“the Truth”). Alex had a blood transfusion when she was an infant, and she has been apologizing for it ever since. Luisa is very vocal and begins to question the teaching of the elders. Two separate crises involving the daughters that hit the family challenge their faith. We found the movie to be equally fascinating and disturbing in its …

Read More »

The Breadwinner

Parvana is a young girl growing up in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule. Girls and women are expected to be fully covered at all times and not to be seen in public without a husband or close relative. One day, while they are on the street selling possessions to pay for food, her father makes one of the young Taliban soldiers angry, and the next day they arrest him and send him to prison. Parvana decides to cut her hair and pass as a boy to support her family and get her father out of prison. This film is exceptional; …

Read More »

You Were Never Really Here

You Were Never Really Here: Joaquin Phoenix is Joe, an emotionally and physically scarred man who makes his living finding missing girls. His latest assignment involves the teenage daughter of an elected official who has been seen in a prostitution house.  The film is a technical marvel. The director expertly moves from inside of Joe’s head, and his memories, to the present day and back; the flashback scenes are jarring and add to the depth of the damage done to Joe as a kid and as a war veteran. The script is 89 minutes, and there is not a single …

Read More »

Loveless

(Russia with English Subtitles): The story centers on two parents, Zhenya and Boris, who are divorced after what clearly was an extremely bitter separation. They both still live together formally, although each has taken on new relationships. In the middle is their 12-year-old son Alyosha, who one day goes missing. This is an expertly executed film. The acting from everyone is terrific. The two parents are about the most despicable, self-absorbed and “empty” people I have seen on screen; actors have to be excellent to be this bad. The boy who plays Alyosha is only in a few scenes, but …

Read More »

2018 Oscar Nominated Shorts (Animation)

What a fun lot of animated shorts! Four of them timed at 7 minutes or less, and one was 29 minutes, but each of them tells an interesting story using very different animation styles. Dear Basketball (USA; https://www.go90.com/videos/261MflWkD3N), voiced by Kobe Bryant, is his ode to a long and successful career in the sport that he loved. The animation is a series of pencil sketches and with splashes of purple and gold. Lou (USA/Pixar) tells the story of a schoolyard bully who turns a corner when he comes into contact with the creature from the lost and found box. Revolting …

Read More »

Columbus

The lives of two people, one the estranged son of a well-known architect, and the other a young woman who graduated from high school but hasn’t been able to move away from Columbus, intersect with the son’s father has a catastrophic medical condition that has left him in a coma. While I never quite felt the chemistry between the two, I did enjoy watching the slow development of their friendship and the ways they challenged each other. What is beautiful is the cinematography; nearly every frame is an expert photograph. The film captures the beauty in the mix of ultra-modern …

Read More »
Skip to toolbar