Showing posts from 2017

Review: "Wonder Wheel" the Un-Wonderful (2 of 5 Stars)

By Christina Nicole, Staff Writer  The painfully neurotic Woody Allen is back in all his lackluster glory to tell another self-indulgent tale of love and woe peppered with little bits of dry humor. Wonder Wheel has all the classic makings of a Woody Allen film; it’s a period piece about a writer/aspiring writer, set in NY, with a narrator/character that breaks the fourth wall. It’s a self-indulgent film, oozing with exposition and lacking charm, wit, believability, and in some ways story. As with each film, Woody Allen chooses are surrogate to play him, and in Wonder Wheel , Justin Timberlake lacks the awkward nuance that encapsulates a fake Woody Allen in the 1950s. Timberlake is too beautiful to play Woody Allen, and not good enough as an actor to be believable as a person from that era. Timberlake plays the narrator, Mickey, an NYU grad student studying European Drama, i.e. an aspiring (play)writer. The film starts with Timberlake talking directly to the audience, setting the scene

#NeverForget, The Vibrant and Memorable Coco — Review (5 of 5 Stars)

By Christina Nicole, Senior Staff Editor Coco is magnificent and clearly the best animated film of the year. Pixar has created another masterpiece that entertains and tugs on the heart strings. It’s a rare gem. It’s culturally relevant and sensitive without the stigma of appropriation. The colors in Coco are intensely vibrant and they help breathe life into a film about following your dream, the importance of family, tradition and death. This hero’s journey is one of courage and determination. Perception isn’t always reality and someone’s irrational reaction to the pain of loss can have tremendous a effect on the generations to come. Miguel’s desire to be a musician is perpetually thwarted by his family, who has lived without music for nearly four generations. When Miguel is accidentally thrust into the Land of the Dead, he is tasked with the mission of convincing his ancestors that he his desire to be a musician is his true destiny. Miguel’s journey is wrought with the  highs, lows,

Roman J. Israel Esq. — Review (2 of 5 Stars)

by Christina Nicole Denzel Washington stars as the titular character in Roman J. Israel Esq. , about a legal savant, who appears to be on the Autism Spectrum, his convoluted relationship with the law, and taxing transitional period in his life. The film begins with Roman’s legal partner and the face the legal firm going into the hospital following a cardiac episode that leaves him comatose. Roman is then tasked with obtaining continuances for the firm’s open cases, a task that proves to be unnecessarily difficult. The film takes a bit too long to establish the extent of Roman’s character quirks. The set up isn’t even worth the “pay off”. Denzel’s acting is really good, because he has never appeared so uncouth. His character is like the sand in your bathing suit you can’t to get out: irritating. Colin Farrell does an okay job acting in this film, and so does Carmen Ejogo.  The chief complaint about Carmen is that her accent isn’t consistent throughout the film. The accent starts America

#GAfilm Review: A Bad Moms Christmas (3 of 5 Stars)

By Christina Nicole, Senior Writer It’s holiday time and the this year’s Christmas movies are here. A Bad Moms Christmas ushers in this year’s holiday season with some giggles. Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis and Kathryn Hahn reprise their roles from the original Bad Moms film in the holiday sequel. They were stressed, navigating the crowded malls, searching for the must-have gifts and trying to plan the perfect celebrations for their families; but that does not last.  Our favorite Bad Moms are #reclaimingtheirtime. They vow to enjoy the holidays as opposed to being overwhelmed by them. Of course the blissful relaxation of giving up on providing the perfect Christmas is short lived because the mothers of all three moms show up unannounced. We have an over-involved/clingy mom, an overbearing/critical mom, and a relative deadbeat mom; and for the most part, hilarity ensues when the mother-daughter duos interact. Christine Baranski is a devilish delight as Mila Kunis’s mom, but the whole film f

"Bad Blood: The Movie" — Review (3 of 5 Stars)

By Christina Nicole, Senior Staff Writer Bad Blood: The Movie is the feature film directorial debut of Atlanta native Tim Reis, who has previously directed music videos. The horror film explores the largely uncharted werefrog. “It’s like a werewolf, but a frog.” Tim Reis once explained. Tim wrote, directed and edited the film, which he mostly shot at his parents house. Bad Blood follows  what happens to college student Victoria Miller after she returns home to her mother, stepfather and stepbrother under some mysterious circumstances. The relationship between Victoria and her family is strained at best. She borrows her stepdad’s car without permission to meet some friends for a party. On their way to the party, Victoria and her friend encounter a creature that ruins their night and the foreseeable future. At the first encounter with the werefrog, like any horror film, the movie takes a turn for the ridiculous. Bad Blood: The Movie is not a bad movie, but it isn’t that great either.

THE UNNAMED WOMAN: A Study of the Mother of Samson

I spent the better part of two days getting this study  ready to publish.  I was just about at the end and was correcting a mistake, and something happened, I don't know what...and everything was deleted.  To say I was devastated would be an understatement. How could I possibly remember everything? Then it occurred to me, that is what Elohim does with our sins.  When we accept His Provision, the Lamb of God as our Savior, He deletes our sins as far as the East is from the West.  He remembers them no more.  How wonderful is that? We live in a world where there are no superlatives.  Everything and everybody is "awesome" or "incredible" or "unbelievable."  As a result, nothing is. The world falls all over itself, trying to be more outrageous, more shocking, more, more, more. The noise has also been amplified.  If you'll notice, every commercial, every talk show, morning show, even news shows have a background synthesized "music" that is

Rome International Film Festival Announces 2017 Opening & Closing Night Presentations

The 2017 Rome International Film Festival (RIFF) is pleased to announce Opening and Closing Night Presentations that will bookend the 14th annual festival, taking place November 9-12, 2017. To kick-off the fest, RIFF will showcase feature length documentary MANKILLER as the Opening Night Presentation on Thursday, November 9, 2017 at 7:00 PM at Rome’s historic DeSoto Theatre. From Director/Producer Valerie Red-Horse Mohl (NATURALLY NATIVE) and Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd (THE TERMINATOR, “The Walking Dead”), MANKILLER explores the legacy of the Cherokee Nation’s first woman Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller. The Opening Night film presentation and after-party is presented in partnership with the Chieftains Museum and Georgia Humanities Council and sponsored by Layer 3 Communications. A performance from Tommy Wildcat will precede the screening. On Sunday, November 12, 2017 at 6:30 PM, RIFF will conclude its 2017 festivities with CHARGED: THE EDUARDO GARCIA STORY. Directed by Phillip

Interview: Award-winning Atlanta Film Society Senior Filmmaker-in-Residence Brantly Jackson Watts

By Cameron McAllister I first encountered Brantly Jackson Watts at the sold out encore screening of her debut feature, “AKA Blondie,” at the 2012 Atlanta Film Festival. Brantly served as writer and producer for the film alongside her director/producer/ cinematographer husband, Jon Watts . It wasn’t until the 2012 Rome International Film Festival when I actually met Brantly. Since then, it has been a pleasure to see one of my good friends become one of the most prominent content creators in Atlanta’s independent film scene. After “AKA Blondie” enjoyed astounding success in Atlanta and a strong festival run, Brantly and Jon founded the Homespun Series, a recurring documentary short film series from local filmmakers and featuring local subjects. Brantly launched the series with a doc short of her own, “Golden Child,” before making the move into narrative work with “Birthday Cake.” A Southern Gothic short about a woman ‘celebrating’ the anniversary of her escape from an abusive relationshi

Salma Hayek, Holly Hunter, John Boyega Among 2017 SCAD Savannah Film Festival Honorees

By Cameron McAllister To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the SCAD Savannah Film Festival has decided to pull out all the stops. Taking place October 28 through November 4, the festival will honor special guests Salma Hayek, Holly Hunter, Patrick Stewart, Aaron Sorkin, Robert Pattinson and John Bodega. Salma Hayek Pinault  will accept the Outstanding Achievement in Cinema Award.  John Bodega  will receive the Vanguard Award. Georgia-born Academy Award-winner  Holly Hunter  will be presented with the Icon Award.  Robert Pattinson  will receive the Maverick Award. Writer and director  Aaron Sorkin  will accept the Outstanding Achievement in Directing Award, presumably for his directorial debut “Molly’s Game.”  Patrick Stewart will be presented with the Legends of Cinema Award. Additional honorees and programming announcements are still forthcoming. Tickets go on sale October 2nd. For more information, visit


I wanted to do something a little different for this study.  The last few weeks have seemed more tumultuous than ever. The whole word seems to be in turmoil, with issues of war and hatred to the weather and geographical upheaval.  Lives have been changed forever in these last few weeks.  It's easy to get caught up in worry and woe, and to look at what's happening around us instead of keeping our eyes on our Savior.  Let's remind ourselves and each other that we serve a sovereign God who loves us and gave His life for us. He is in control and He has appointed everything to play out according to His will and His purpose. As we see all these things happening, let us remember to look up. Our redemption draws near. I decided to post this piece called "My King" by Chuck Missler for our next study.  I have benefited greatly from Chuck's teachings.  There is a wealth of free material made available on his website   Every time I read this, I'm over

"I Do... Until I Don't" – Review (2.5 of 5 Stars)

by Ali Coad, Senior Editor At the crux of Lake Bell’s sophomore feature, ”I Do… Until I Don’t,” we have a question that recurs and plagues many indie-rom-com movies: is marriage some arcane, no-longer-relevant idea invented by the caveman or is a marriage something worthwhile that can actually endure because of, you know, love? The title of the film is slightly misleading in that, at the end of it, all of our characters, who in the opening scenes were wildly unhappy with themselves and their romantic partners, somehow, miraculously, walk away congenial and happy and holding hands. But let’s start at the beginning. Lake Bell. She’s got comedic chops, that’s something that few can deny; every film or show or clip in which she appears is made better and funnier simply in having her there. Her timing is impeccable, as is her delivery. Her directorial debut, “In A World” highlighted all the best parts of her as an actress and comedian, which is why my hopes where moon high for “I Do… Until

COLLATERAL DAMAGE: A Study of Hagar, Part 2

In the last study, we looked at Hagar and how her life was impacted by Abram and Sarai taking matters into their own hands instead of waiting on the Lord.  There are more dynamics to this story than can be addressed in two studies, but we will look at a few.  God had given a promise to Abram and Sarai that He would give them descendants.  But many years had passed since that initial promise, so Abram and Sarai decided they would help the Lord out.  How many times do we do this?  And the result is other people get hurt.  Sarai came up with the idea that she would give her slave girl to Abram to have a child by her.  Perhaps when Hagar conceived, that confirmed to Sarai her fear that she was the problem. But another dynamic of this story is that Hagar, in her flesh, despised Sarai after she became pregnant. When we find ourselves hurt by others, our tendency is to act in the flesh, to nurse our wounds, to feel sorry for ourselves.  Hagar found herself pregnant, in bondage, in seeming

COLLATERAL DAMAGE: A Study of Hagar, Part 1

Have you ever suffered collateral damage as the result of someone else taking things into their own hands instead of waiting on the Lord? Or maybe just the results of the fleshly behavior of someone else, or resentment or lack of forgiveness?  Or have you suffered because of a loved one's addiction or some other sin?  Maybe your own resentments and unwillingness to forgive have caused collateral damage in someone else life.  Sometimes in studying forgiveness, when people are encouraged to forgive, we hear things like, "You only hurt yourself when you don't forgive."  Or, "You are the one in chains when you hold on to unforgiveness and resentment."  But that's not really accurate.  Being at the receiving end of resentment and bitterness due to lack of forgiveness can be excruciating.  Sometimes it can feel as if a two ton boulder is suffocating the life out of you.  In a sense, a loved one's lack of forgiveness can place chains that can only be remo