‘On Her Shoulders’ speaks for those without a voice

‘On Her Shoulders’ speaks for those without a voice

“On Her Shoulders” (2018). Cast: Nadia Murad, Murad Ismael, Amal Clooney, Borys Wrzesnewskj, Michelle Rempel, Barack Obama, Ki-moon Ban, Simone Monasebian, Ahmed Khudida Burjus. Director: Alexandria Bombach. Screenplay/Translation: Hishyar Abid, Nawaf Ashur, Deniz Ekici, Yousif Haskan and Shahnaz Osso. Web site. Trailer.

For those without a voice, it’s often difficult to be heard. In those cases, it generally takes someone with the courage and resilience to step up and make the case for them, not the easiest of undertakings. But, when an advocate with the right qualities emerges, incredible results are possible. So it is with an unlikely envoy for a little-known aggrieved people as seen in the stirring documentary, “On Her Shoulders,” available on DVD, Blu-ray Disc and video on demand. (more…)

‘Diane’ examines the life unexamined

‘Diane’ examines the life unexamined

“Diane” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Mary Kay Place, Jake Lacy, Estelle Parsons, Andrea Martin, Deirdre O’Connell, Glynnis O’Connor, Joyce Van Patten, Kerry Flanagan, Phyllis Somerville, Celia Keenan-Bolger, Ray Iannicelli, Marcia Haufrecht, Gabriella Rhodeen, Charles Weldon, Mary Fuller. Director: Kent Jones. Screenplay: Kent Jones. Web site. Trailer.

How often do we take stock of our lives? In many cases, we don’t even ask the question, let alone engage in the act of doing so. But, if our lives seem empty or missing something, we might consider evaluating who we are, what we’re doing and where we’re headed while we still have time to do something about it. The process may be difficult, even painful, but the solution may involve something as simple as just changing our outlook. So it is with an unstoppable caregiver in the thoughtful, profound new character study, “Diane.”
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‘The Best of Enemies’ chronicles the cause of change

‘The Best of Enemies’ chronicles the cause of change

“The Best of Enemies” (2019). Cast: Taraji P. Henson, Sam Rockwell, Babou Ceesay, Nick Searcy, Wes Bentley, Anne Heche, Bruce McGill, John Gallagher Jr., Nicholas Logan, Gilbert Glenn Brown, Caitlin Mehner, Mckenzie Applegate, Nadej Bailey, Kevin Iannucci, Charles A. Black, Dolan Wilson, Tim Ware, Ned Vaughn. Director: Robin Bissell. Screenplay: Robin Bissell. Book: Osha Gray Davidson, The Best of Enemies: Race and Redemption in the New South. Web site. Trailer.

Many of us dislike change, but sometimes it’s positively essential, no matter how much we may dread it. However, if we approach it with an open mind, a willingness to examine why we resist it and a spirit of cooperation to see the process through, making alterations and adjustments need not be as daunting as we believe it to be. Such was the case for a group of seemingly immovable citizens who wrestled with this question in the inspiring new fact-based drama, “The Best of Enemies.” (more…)

‘Amazing Grace’ celebrates a legendary talent

‘Amazing Grace’ celebrates a legendary talent

“Amazing Grace” (1972 production, 2019 release). Cast: Aretha Franklin, Rev. James Cleveland, Alexander Hamilton, the Southern California Community Choir, Cornell Dupree, Kenny Luper, Poncho Morales, Bernard Purnie, Chuck Rainey, Rev C.L. Franklin, Sydney Pollack, Clara Ward, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts. Directors:  Alan Elliott and Sydney Pollack. Web site. Trailer.

Some things are worth waiting for until the time is right. In some cases, that may mean waiting for a very long time. But, when the wait involves seeing a legendary artist at the peak of her career, it’s possible to overlook the delay. So it is with the long-awaited release of the historic performance piece, “Amazing Grace.” (more…)

‘Styx’ tackles morality on the high seas

‘Styx’ tackles morality on the high seas

“Styx” (2018 production, 2019 release). Cast: Susanne Wolff, Gedion Odour Wekesa, Felicity Babao (voice), Alexander Beyer (voice). Director: Wolfgang Fischer. Screenplay: Wolfgang Fischer and Ika Künzel. Web site. Trailer.

When confronted with difficult situations, most of us probably do our level best to do the right thing. Were we to do otherwise, we’d likely have trouble living with ourselves, so earnestly taking steps to accommodate the circumstances often comes naturally, almost like a knee-jerk reaction. But what do we do when we’re faced with something particularly troubling, a scenario in which we’re up against seemingly impossible odds? Such circumstances push us to take a hard look at ourselves to see just how far we’ll go, a conundrum faced by a woman with her back against the wall in the new high seas drama, “Styx.” (more…)

‘Captain Marvel’ celebrates coming into our own

‘Captain Marvel’ celebrates coming into our own

“Captain Marvel” (2019). Cast: Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Jude Law, Annette Bening, Lashana Lynch, Clark Gregg, Gemma Chan, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Akira Akbar, Azari Akbar, Kenneth Mitchell, Mckenna Grace, London Fuller, Reggie/Gonzo/Archie/Rizzo. Directors: Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. Screenplay: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet. Story: Nicole Perlman, Meg LeFauve, Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck and Geneva Robertson-Dworet. Web site. Trailer.

Many of us have likely had experiences where we walk around in a fog wondering who we really are. Whether it’s determining the nature of our calling or the scope of our talents or some other consideration, from time to time we’ve all gone through episodes like this where we feel we’re lost and unable to find our way. There may be clues to help point the way, but they may be vague, fragmented or seemingly unrelated to one another, offering little assistance and perhaps confusing matters even more. Our best hope in situations like this is that a clear path will reveal itself to set us on our way, enabling us to become who we were meant to be. Such is the case with a hero in training seeking to discover herself and live up to her full potential, the central thrust of the thrilling new action-adventure saga, “Captain Marvel.” (more…)

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