Showing posts from 2019

ink Wall is a love story... but not the kind that leaves you warm and settled, Review 3.5 stars

by Ali Coad ink Wall is a love story… but not the kind that leaves you warm and settled, and quickly and seamlessly leaves your consciousness. This is the kind of love story that makes you restless and melancholic and thoughtful for days that follow. Tom Cullen has created quite a little film with Pink Wall . It’s the story of Jenna (Tatiana Maslany) and Leon (Jay Duplass) and how over the course of six years (and six scenes) they fall into love and then slowly out of it. The movement of the camera, the close-ups, and the slightly muted color palate of the film all work together to create an atmosphere of vulnerability and intimacy. The acting is the best part of this film. Tatiana Maslany ( Orphan Black ) as Jenna is unforgettable. Her on-screen presence is so poignant and bold that she very nearly overwhelms the camera. She’s so good that you don’t want to look away but you’re almost afraid to watch. And Jay Duplass ( Transparent ) as Leon is the perfect partner for her. He’s fearfu

Review of Booksmart (5 of 5 Stars)

By Ali Coad I can hardly remember a movie I’ve enjoyed more. Booksmart is 104 minutes of heartwarming friendship, of playfulness, of strength, of jokes that land quickly and with a resounding punch. Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut doesn’t level with other high-school, coming-of-age dramadies, but rises above it. All those predictable stereotypes and tropes often prescribed to that genre do not apply to Booksmart. Above all, and perhaps best of all, this film is an ode to the revolution and power of female friendship. The story begins and ends with Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever). These two remain at the pink, tender heart of the film, and their sparkplug chemistry makes the story an easy investment; you want to see how they manage to eventually (hopefully) overcome whatever problems arise. These are women I want to know, want to befriend, want to grow with. After Molly, valedictorian and class president, discovers that the seriousness and focus that school was all for

GOLD, SILVER, PRECIOUS STONES: A study of the Judgement Seat of Christ

Judgement day. Do you think about it much? We all have a judgement day coming. There are actually two judgement seats spoken of in the Bible. One is the Judgement Seat of Christ where believers will stand before the Lord Jesus and give an account of what we did with our lives. The second is the Great White Throne Judgement for those who rejected the finished work of Christ to pay for their sins. I’m so very grateful that I get to stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ, knowing that He paid the price for the penalty of my sins and I don’t have to. Because of His finished work on the cross, my sins have been forgiven and removed as far as the East is from the West. However, I still find it very sobering to know I will have to stand before my Lord and Savior and give an account of what I did with my life — how I built on the foundation that was laid down in my life when I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. I will using the New King James Version and the Blue Letter Bi

To Dust - Review - 3 of 5 Stars

Christina Nicole “Ashes to ashes and dust to dust.” Losing a loved one is difficult, and everyone processes grief in their own way. To Dust is about the obsessive way the orthodox canter, Shmuel grieves his wife. The film is beautifully written. To Dust is steeped in religion, but dripping with science. Writer-director, Shawn Snyder, stated he wrote the film to cope with losing his mother.   The emotions are as real as the curiosity that surrounds Shmuel’s grief-fueled scientific quest. Géza Röhrig is absolutely wonderful at Shmuel. His love for his wife and the grief he experiences emanates from the screen. Shmuel’s earnestly wants to know that will happen to his wife’s body, because as long as her body is still a body, and not yet returned to dust, her soul is tormented, stuck. He wants to know that she is completely at peace. On his quest to uncover how the human body decays, he meets and befriends a reluctant biology professor, Albert (Matthew Broderick), who assists on this scient

Review - Leona (5 of 5 Stars)

by Christina Nicole Every so often a film comes along that is exactly what you needed see for that particular time in your life, and I had the distinct pleasure of that clandestine filmic experience when watching Leona. Leona tells the story of Ariela, a Syrian-Jewish muralist from Mexico City and her search for love and understanding. All of her friends are getting married and having children, but Ariela is drowning out the noise of convention with her headphones while painting. Along the way, she meets Ivan, a goy and they fall in love. The film’s muted tones and shadowy scenes add a layer of conservative intimacy. The cinematography is both cold and warm in a way that really speaks to the rest of the film. The Syrian-Jewish community is   very closed off from the rest of society, but extremely warm and loving within the community. The love between Ivan and Ariela evokes poetry; it is reminiscent of Neruda’s sonnet 17, “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,/in secret, be

What Men Want, Review 3.5 Stars

By Christina Nicole What Men Want is a reimagining of the 2000 film What Women Want starring Mel Gibson.   Set around the NBA draft, Taraji P. Henson is great as the extremely successful, personally detached, business driven sports agent, like Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, but in a man’s world, so she gets less respect.   out to prove her worth and get the promotion she deserves.   What Men Want is Taraji’s departure from the heavily dramatic roles we’ve come to expect from her and gives her the opportunity to carry a comedy. She does a pretty good job. She gets some help from Tracy Morgan, who is just a goof, but this is Taraji’s movie. She is in control, and she looks great doing it. Taraji credits twitter with helping her get the role; “Most people didn’t recognize my funny until twitter.” With What Men Want, Taraji shows that she is a well-rounded actress who can bring laughs, tears or strike fear in her audience. The story we see in What Men Want is one we’ve seen bef

'Then Came You', Review 3.5 Stars

Then Came You (***1/2) “Then Came You,” directed by Peter Hutchings, is a small-town story with a big-swinging punch. Skye (Maisie Williams of “Game of Thrones”), a spirited teenager with terminal cancer, eagerly befriends Calvin (Asa Butterfield of “Sex Education” and “Hugo”), a soft-spoken nineteen-year-old stewing in the aftermath of a childhood tragedy. He’s failed out of college and deeply afraid of the world and all its lurking dangers. A heartfelt friendship ensues, one that proves to be the steady and unrelenting pulse of “Then Came You.” It’s difficult to say whether the titular “you” is in reference to Skye or to Calvin, as both characters, upon meeting, are desperate for friendship, for connection, for some sort of touchstone in a world that has despite their young ages proven to be more bad than good. Skye, nearing the end of her all too short life, overwhelms Calvin with her unapologetic attitude. She demands to take up space in a world while she still has time to do so, a