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Movie Reviews

TIFF 2021 Encounter AWFJ.org Review

An alien threat leads decorated soldier Malik (Riz Ahmed) to kidnap his sons Jay (Lucian-River Chauhan) and Bobby (Aditya Geddada) and take them across the Southwest desert highways in Encounter, the latest genre-bender by English director Michael Pearce. The film, which is also co-written by Pearce, affirms him as a talent with vision, showing he has …

Movie Reviews

TIFF 2021 Night Raiders Review

The first words uttered in voiceover in Canadian Cree and Metis writer/director Danis Goulet’s feature debut, Night Raiders, are “We knew they would come for us like they always have before.” Though rooted in dystopian storytelling that recalls some darker recent YA literature, the film is actually right out of the nightmares and collective memories of …

Movie Reviews

TIFF 2021: Violet AWFJ.org Review

What’s the worst that can happen? That’s not a question the voices inside your head will likely answer, because doing so might end the self criticism, judgment, and worry that play like a tape loop in your brain. That isn’t something studio executive Violet Calder (Olivia Munn) has figured out in the film Violet, from actor …

Movie Reviews

Jungle Cruise AWFJ.org Review

Whoever pitched Disney’s new feature Jungle Cruise must have been a master of hyperbole. “It’s The Mummy meets Pirates of the Caribbean meets African Queen, but imagine Katherine Hepburn as a younger, smokin’ yet independent English hottie, and add the highest paid actor in the world.” If there were ever a final argument for ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’, Jungle Cruise would be …

Movie Reviews

For Madmen Only AWFJ.org Review

Dave Thomas called comedian Del Close “a delicate basket of eggs ready to break at any moment”. Close wore a t-shirt that read ‘terror is freedom.’ He smelled of body odor, berated his students, and routinely disappeared without warning for days at a time. He was also, by nearly all accounts, a genius. One thing …

Movie Reviews

Cousins AWFJ.org Review

If there was ever a film for film fans who celebrate indigenous voices across the world to watch and amplify, the new intergenerational narrative Cousins, out of New Zealand, is it. It is the 4th title of 2021 being brought to cinemas through Ava DuVernay’s indie film distribution and resource collective ARRAY, which does more than …

Movie Reviews

Best Summer Ever SXSW AWFJ.org review

Imagine some truly optimistic folks just deciding to make a movie musical that has a message of love and inclusion with a cast and crew of people with and without disabilities. Now imagine someone giving them the money and the end result is a weird and delightful tossed screen-salad of Crip Camp and High School Musical, …

Movie Reviews

Tenet AWFJ.org review

Fans of writer/director Christopher Nolan are not strangers to bent time, trippy constructs in physics, or highbrow filmmaking. Being a fan myself, I’ve loved all the elements we’ve grown to expect and enjoy in Nolan movies, beginning with Momento, and reaching its zenith with Interstellar. His new release Tenet has all those, and for a film that, as always …

Movie Reviews

Howard AWFJ.org Review

Fans of Disney as well as those interested in American history will be fascinated by writer/director/producer Don Hahn’s documentary Howard, now streaming on Disney+. They will also experience a host of emotions spanning from heartbreak to joy in the process. A love letter to the complicated, driven, inspired playwright and lyricist Howard Ashman, Howard is an intimate portrait …

Movie Reviews

Miss Juneteenth AWFJ.org Review

There are many who won’t recognize the lead actress in writer/director Channing Godfrey Peoples’ first feature Miss Juneteenth. Nicole Beharie is another of the highly-talented, woefully underutilized Black actors that deserve far more recognition and far wider casting options. Though you may not know her award-winning turn in 2008’s American Violet, a fictionalized account of the civil …