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Showing posts from January, 2016

"Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong" Review (****)

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Brian Greenberg and Jamie Chung star in “Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong.” Last week I attended the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival for the very first time, catching a screening of first-time writer/director Emily Ting’s “Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong” as a part of Access Night . Starring real-life couple Jamie Chung and Bryan Greenberg, Ting’s walk-and-talk romantic comedy shines under the brightly-lit streets of nighttime Hong Kong. Unfortunately, the film occasionally falls victim to Hollywood’s many romantic comedy tropes. The city as the third character? Check. Flirtatious meet-cute? Double check. However, the film is able to differentiate itself from being just another ‘rom-com’ thanks largely in part to Ting’s unique perspective paired with Chung and Greenberg’s natural flow on screen. A one-night chance encounter between American expat Josh (Greenberg) and LA-based toy designer Ruby (Chung) leads to an evening stroll through the lively streets of Hong Kong. Josh and Ruby’s initial

#GAfilm Review: "The 5th Wave" (**)

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Editor’s note: I’m happy to introduce a new contributor! Jamie Traner’s perspective on films is every bit as unique as she is. I know readers will enjoy her articles, and what a better way to start than with a #GAfilm! -CM Chloe Grace Moretz stars in “The 5th Wave.” Released last weekend, “The 5th Wave” stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson and Liev Schreiber. Filmed in Georgia, including some lovely scenery from the Macon area, “The 5th Wave” is based on the novel of the same name by Rick Yancey. The story revolves around a post-apocalyptic world run by alien-type beings known as ‘Others.’ The Earth has been attacked in the titled ‘waves’—1. a signal sent to short all electronics, 2. earthquakes and global tidal waves, 3. Avian flu, 4. the ‘Others’ inhabit human hosts and 5. an impending, unknown plan to eliminate the remaining humans. The film starts strong with a good pace and an independent female lead (Moretz). Her mission is quickly presented—she must save her brother from the

#GAfilm Floods January Box Office

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Ice Cube and Kevin Hart return to star in the Georgia-lensed “Ride Along 2.” #GAfilm has flooded the January box office. Two Georgia productions, “Dirty Grandpa” and “The Fifth Wave” made their debut this past weekend, opening in the fourth and sixth positions respectively. They join Atlanta-filmed “Ride Along 2,” which dropped to third place behind “The Revenant” and the record-breaking “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” after its #1 debut the weekend prior. From downtown Atlanta to Tybee Island, filming for these three #GAfilm productions have taken place all throughout our Camera Ready state . Find out their specific filming locations below and stay tuned to the end for a list of upcoming #GAfilm releases! Ride Along 2 Fresh out of the police academy, rookie cop Ben Barber (Hart) accompanies veteran detective and future brother-in-law James Payton (Ice Cube) to Miami to track down a local drug lord. The cop-comedy also stars Olivia Munn, Ken Jeong and Benjamin Bratt. Filming Locations:

Atom Egoyan's "Remember" Opens Up 16th Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (***½)

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Christopher Plummer stars in “Remember.” Kicking off this year’s much anticipated Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, “Remember” stars Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer as an elderly Holocaust survivor who embarks on a journey for revenge. Plummer plays Zev Gutman, a Jewish man who has just lost his wife to cancer and can’t seem to remember who or where he is for more than a few hours at a time. Zev is sent on a mission by a friend of his at the nursing home to find and kill a man who murdered both of their families in Auschwitz during WWII. While the premise lends itself perfectly to the use of flashbacks, director Atom Egoyan never strays from the present. The story moves swiftly and eventually reveals itself to be more than meets the eye. The first half of the film is very much focused on the mystery surrounding the situation and Zev’s inability to stay self-sufficient while the second is more focused and direct. It’s rather slow-moving but doesn’t lack suspense. I found myself anx

What to See at the 2016 Atlanta Jewish Film Festival

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The largest Jewish film festival in the world returns for its Sweet Sixteen. Here is a list of titles for you to check out during the 23-day event. We love that each new year of the Georgia film festival circuit kicks off with the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. The city’s most widely attended film event stretches out over three weeks at eight different venues across Midtown Atlanta, Buckhead, Alpharetta, Marietta, Vinings and Sandy Springs. No film festival in the state packs the house as consistently as AJFF and we are looking forward to joining in the opening night ceremonies on Tuesday, January 26 at the Cobb Energy Centre. This year’s lineup is as strong as ever, with films pouring in from all over the world and covering all sorts of thematic ground. Whether you want academic documentaries, Israeli award-winners, Japanese biopics, romantic comedies, musicals or whatever else you can think of—AJFF ’16 has it. We’ve compiled a long list of films you must see this year! See our picks a

"Mad Max: Fury Road" Named Best Picture of the Year by Georgia Film Critics Association

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George Miller’s blockbuster wins four total; “Inside Out” wins two, while “Ant-Man” receives Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema. The  Georgia Film Critics Association  have announced the winners of their 2015 Awards slate. In their 5th year, they have named “Mad Max: Fury Road” the year’s best film, taking home Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design. The haul of four awards is the second highest in the GAFCA’s history, second only to the six awards that “The Tree of Life” won in 2011. “Inside Out” was another big winner, taking home Best Animated Film and Best Original Screenplay for Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley. Alicia Vikander also took home two awards, Best Supporting Actress for “Ex Machina” and the Breakthrough Award. Jessica Chastain won the same two awards back in 2011. Also the Breakthrough Award winner in 2013, Brie Larson won Best Actress for “Room.” Leonardo DiCaprio won Best Actor for “The Revenant” and Sylvest

"Carol" Review (****)

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Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett star in “Carol.” Directed by Todd Haynes (“Far From Heaven,” “I’m Not There”), “Carol” tells the story of a young shop girl in the 1950s who falls in love with an older, married woman. The film is based on the novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith. Haynes navigates this forbidden love story gracefully and gorgeously while infusing some of the best cinematography and set design of 2015. We are introduced at the beginning to Therese Belivet—played by Rooney Mara—who works as a sales clerk in a department store. Therese is very much a ‘yes’ girl. She answers to ‘Employee 1593’ and doesn’t hesitate to put on her name tag and management-provided Santa hat when she steps behind the counter. She’s quiet and isn’t really sure what she wants out of life. She lives alone and has a boyfriend who seems way more interested in her than she is in him. Mara’s vulnerability keeps the character from ever seeming cold. We don’t see Therese particularly interested i

Georgia Film Critics Association Announces 2015 Nominees

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“Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Sicario” lead the pack; “Ex Machina,” “Room,” “Spotlight” land multiple nominations. The Georgia Film Critics Association turns 5-years-old this year and has released the nominees for the last year in film. “Mad Max: Fury Road” leads the pack with 7 nominations. “Sicario” landed 6, with “Spotlight” and “Room” each getting 5. “Carol,” “Ex Machina” and “The Martian” all earned 4 nominations. Some surprises include “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” landing a sole nomination for Best Picture, “The End of the Tour” being honored for Jason Segel and Adapted Screenplay, director Ryan Coogler landing a Best Director nod without “Creed” getting nominated for Best Picture and Rose Byrne showing up in the Best Supporting Actress race for “Spy.” Documentary nominee “The Look of Silence” was also nominated for Best Foreign Film. A voting tie results in the GAFCA’s first ever list of 7 nominees for Best Actress. Steven Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies” earned 3 nominations, as