The Film Gang

Ida

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Listen to the review by Dennis Morton above, or read it below.

 

Ida, as we say in English, (the name is pronounced eeda in Polish) is a film that could as well be called Ida & Wanda, or so it seems to me.

I’ve watched Ida four times and each time I’ve been more touched, more moved. But I’m also convinced that it’s as much a portrait of Ida’s aunt, Wanda, as it is of Ida.

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Fed Up

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Listen to the review by Dennis Morton above, or read it below.

For well over two decades I was in the natural foods business, so when I learned of the new documentary called Fed Up, I knew I’d watch it. And let me say, up front, that while much of the content is extremely disturbing – this is a vitally important film. I recommend it to everyone. I’ve misplaced my magic wand, but if it were handy, I’d require everyone to watch it.

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Chef

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Listen to the review by David H. Anthony above, or read it below.
 

 
The work of Jon Favreau has already made an impact on American popular film. He has been executive producer for the Iron Man franchise as well as for The Avengers and the quirky Cowboys and Aliens. Chef, his latest endeavor, is distinct from its predecessors; while categorized as a comedy it nonetheless addresses several very serious matters, the most central of which revolve around parenting, more specifically fathering.

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Belle

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Listen to the review by Dennis Morton above, or read it below.

Race, bigotry, class, slavery, miscegenation, women as property …. these are a handful of the issues that the film Belle grapples with while disguised as what some are calling ‘a costume drama’.

The film opens in 1769 as John Lindsay, an officer in the British Royal Navy, arrives at an unnamed site to claim his daughter. Her mother, a former West Indian slave, and Lindsay’s lover, has recently died.

Lindsay’s intention is to convince his uncle, Lord Mansfield, who also happens to be the Chief Justice of Britain’s highest court, to care for his daughter while he, Lindsay, is away at sea.

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The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden

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Listen to the review by Dennis Morton above, or read it below.

Review by Dennis Morton:

Usually, the first thing that comes to mind when I see or hear the word Galapagos is Charles Darwin. But The Galapagos Affair, a very clever and imaginative documentary
put together by Dayna Goldfine and Dan Geller may change that.

The film opens with these words:
“As I think back on it all, I see the way in which life can make a poor end of fine and admirable beginnings. Five years ago we came to make an Eden on these shores, and had things gone as we hoped I truly believe we’d have remained here happily – dying peacefully in old age.”

These words were written by Dore Strauch. Cate Blanchett, the great Australian actress, lends her voice to Dore’s writing. Not just Dore’s words, but Blanchett’s recitation have already let us know that we’re in for more than a run-of-the-mill documentary.

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Blue Ruin

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Listen to the review by David H. Anthony above, or read it below.

Blue Ruin is a film by Jeremy Saulnier.

Blue Ruin follows a classic formula. It is billed as a revenge saga. A thriller, viewers get almost no transition time. Within moments we are plunged into a world of few words; sight and sound narrow as an unnamed bearded protagonist must confront news of the imminent release of a convicted double murderer whose case we learn dates from 1993. The action takes the form of stalking as the hirsute antihero stealthily closes in on his nemesis. Retribution proves swift and sanguinary. Having avenged himself, the protagonist steals the murderer’s sedan, finding a passenger inside. Stopping, the two men briefly converse, beginning with this terse exchange:

Query: Did you hurt Wade?
Reply: Yeah, Wade hurt my parents.

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13 Sins

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In a recent conversation with a friend, I mentioned that I’d just watched 13 Sins. I gave him a rundown of the movie, and he said – sounds a lot like The Magic Christian.
So, I looked up a précis of The Magic Christian, which was released in 1969, and sure enough, the over arching theme seems to be similar.

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Finding Vivian Maier

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http://www.vivianmaier.com/

Finding Vivian Maier – a film by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

At one time or another many of us may ask ourselves if we possess hidden talents. But what about those who deliberately choose to hide their gifts? In 2009, at a Chicago auction house seeking material for a book, photographer John Maloof serendipitously came upon just such an unacknowledged, purposefully obscure talent, an ostensibly forgettable, recently deceased nanny named Vivian Maier, who left behind a horde of photographs, negatives and motion picture film that convinced him to investigate who she was.

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Bad Words

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The Lunch Box

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Listen to the review above, by David H. Anthony

 

A film by Ritesh Batra

Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay is a bustling urban metropolis, yet one whose past casts shadows on its present. This is the setting for The Lunchbox or Dabba, a 2013 film by Ritesh Batra. The Lunchbox pivots around a mistaken delivery of a lunchbox ordered through a food service to a senior accountant, Saajan Fernandes, who is approaching an imminent retirement. The food has been prepared by Ila, a housewife, for her spouse, Rajeev. The error provides the impetus for a curious culinary connection between Fernandes and Ila, the whimsical plot around which

The Lunchbox revolves.

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