Gloria Steinem is one of the most influential figures of the feminist movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Her story deserves big-screen treatment and is ripe for cinematic exploration. However in Julie Taymor's "The Glorias," style gets in the way of substance, and the audience is given the story of Gloria Steinem without the film ever quite capturing her spirit.
People can't seem to get enough of video games. And with their massive popularity has come a slew of documentaries on what is a fairly recent industry: The Video Game Industry. There was the 2014 documentary "Video Games: The Movie," the 2017 doc "Easy to Learn, Hard to Master: The Fate of Atari" and just recently, the Netflix docu-series "High Score." It's now time for CBS All Access to throw their hat in the ring with "Console Wars" - their first original documentary film - that focuses in specifically on the rivalry between Sega and Nintendo that played out in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s.
The new Netflix drama "The Boys in the Band" might feel more like a stage play...that's because it basically is. With the entire cast of the Broadway revival reprising their roles on the big screen, "The Boys in the Band" stands as an engaging snapshot of the American homosexual experience.
"Kajillionaire" is the sort of quirky dramedy you'd expect to find coming out of a film festival...it did in fact have its premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival back in January. There are some delicious performances, and Evan Rachel Wood is simply a powerhouse, but the film ekes by without ever really making an impact.
Millie Bobby Brown owes a great deal to Netflix, and vice versa. As the break-out star of the hit "Stranger Things," the sixteen-year-old actress is now branching out into feature films...and as the young, adventurous "Enola Holmes," she might have just landed smack-dab in the middle of what could be a very popular movie franchise-in-the-making for the streaming service that helped catapult her career.
A terminally ill mother (Susan Sarandon) unites her family together for one last weekend before her planned (illegal) assisted suicide. That's not exactly your "feel good" plot of the year and maybe on its surface, too much of a downer to want to tackle in the year that is 2020. But in "Blackbird," there is a tremendous ensemble doing what they can, trapped in a story that feels dead on arrival.
It's a horror film, no doubt. The worst, most effective form of horror, in that it doesn't feature bogeymen or faceless, raging killers. The monsters in "Antebellum" are real. Disappointingly for a film tackling such important, timely issues such as racial inequality and injustice, its gimmicks undercut its efforts, leaving the viewers to pick up the messy, disconnected pieces where they fall. By the end, you realize the puzzle wasn't even worth putting together, and that the filmmakers - while well-intentioned - don't seem to know the most effective way to handle the material.
There is lots of buzz surrounding the new Netflix documentary, "The Social Dilemma," but there are actually several additional documentaries - four in particular - worth seeking out on streaming...all of which are currently available or will be available in the coming week.
Here's our reviews of all of them, and when/where you can locate them:
Review: 'The Celiac Project' shines a much-needed light on the often misunderstood ailment of Celiac Disease
Celiac Disease - you may be surprised to find out - is not an "allergy" or a "sensitivity" to gluten. It is, in fact, an auto-immune disease, in which the body attacks the protein "gluten" (found in wheat, barley and rye) once it enters the digestive system.
The beauty of the new documentary "The Celiac Project," is that it is not a chalkboard lecture. Instead, filmmaker Michael Frolichstein dives into his own Celiac diagnosis, and the diagnosis of one of his young nephews, giving the audience a personalized Celiac story that is far more effective than what someone can ascertain about the Disease from a blog post or textbook.
"The Broken Hearts Gallery" is sticking to its guns and will be hitting theaters - not streaming - when it is released on September 11th. Because of that, this Selena Gomez-produced romantic-comedy is really one of the first comedic films aimed at this audience to hit the big-screen all year...and despite thinking that it was a contrived, mostly unfunny mess of a movie...I have a feeling that the target-aged audience might strongly disagree with my assessment.
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