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I was never a fan of Cinderella as a child; there was something about a grown version of Pollyanna that did not appeal to me. As an adult, I've come to appreciate the original Disney cartoon and the many upgrades to the story writers have produced over the years. So after the advancements of Ever After, Into The Woods, and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (both the 90s Brandy-starring and current Broadways versions), I was hoping that this new Cinderella, ... Read More
We all have those girls we're especially tight with. They're the ones we can always rely on to be there, to be honest and fair. That heartwarming motif is what I thought director Celine Sciamma ( Water Lillies, Tomboy ) would cast a fresh, new light upon in her french film Girlhood. To my disappointment that was not the case: Mareme ( actress Karidja Touré )  feels suffocated by her family setting, her lackluster grades, and the boys club ... Read More
To begin, she forgets the word “lexicon.” Renowned linguistics professor, wife, and mother of three grown children, Alice Howland (Julianne Moore) grapples with losing her words to the cruel chaos of Early-Onset Alzheimer’s. Still Alice, poised to be a brutal exposition, and an Oscar vehicle for Moore, is polished but forgettable. The Howland family dynamics remain superficial whether fault lies in the acting, script, or characters themselves. ... Read More
Don’t see St. Vincent for its complex characters. Though the cast is promising (Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd and Bill Murray, to name a few), the movie is altogether disappointing. There are definitely no strong female characters to speak of, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the overwhelming lack of any multi-dimensional character, regardless of gender. I do recognize and applaud the fact, however, that the actors do the best with what ... Read More
Given that The Skeleton Twins stars Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, and Luke Wilson, it’s easy to jump to the conclusion that the film must be a gut-busting comedy. But the first 10 minutes will prove you wrong — Wiig’s character Maggie is about to attempt suicide when she’s interrupted by a phone call from a Los Angeles hospital telling her that her twin brother Milo (Hader) has just survived his own suicide attempt. The siblings haven’t ... Read More

Movie Review: Lucy

BY Gwen Berumen in Movies

Luc Besson’s Lucy tells the tale of a young student (Scarlett Johansson) in Taipei who is at the wrong place at the wrong time. Lucy is forced to become a drug mule after a Taiwanese mob inserts a bag of drugs (CPH4) into her body for transportation. Soon after, however, the bag starts leaking the drug into her system and her brain begins functioning beyond the capabilities of an average human's brain.   The film rests on the myth that humans use only ... Read More
Redemption Trail is a story that unfolds slowly with a certain inevitability; set on a rural vineyard in Oakland, it doesn’t seem like the world exists outside the fences of the warm, summery fields. Whatever happens within this world is fated to happen. Written and directed by Britta Sjogren, the movie focuses on two women that force each other to face their demons while forgiving themselves in the process. Tess (Lisa Gay Hamilton) lives hermetically on her ... Read More
Aidan Bloom (Zach Braff), thirty-something struggling actor, father, and husband, never really made the jump into adulthood.  He spends his days auditioning for role after role, even though he hasn’t gotten a part since his role in the oft-mentioned ‘dandruff commercial’ of times past.  When Aidan’s father (Mandy Patinkin) reports that his cancer has metastasized and he’s running out of time, Aidan finds himself confronted ... Read More
Emoticon ;) might be the cutest movie title I've ever seen. It puts it all out there and let’s you know that this movie is going to be something different. The indie drama follows Elena (Livia De Paolis), a graduate student working on a thesis about “modern means of communication.” The plot examines her relationship with a much older man and the issues that can come up when dating a person very different from herself. She tries to hold ... Read More
There is no denying that food and health documentaries are big right now. The success of films like Food, Inc., Forks Over Knives, and Killer at Large have proven how science and nutrition can make it big at the box office. The market has been saturated. So why then would a heavy hitter like Katie Couric spearhead yet another one of these films? The answer is clearly there in the film. Fed Up is a passion project from a group of concerned women fearfully ... Read More
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