FLICKS: FLIFF’S grand finale, featuring Karen Allen

Posted on 16 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

After You’re Gone is an appropriate title for the closing night film of the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) because the 32nd annual event will soon be a mere memory. From the Russian Federation, After You’re Gone features the story of a ballet dancer with a bad back who tries to understand the end of his career. Writer/director Anna Matison will be in attendance with a wrap-up party at Bailey Hall [at Broward College in Davie] featuring grilled wings, pizza and paninis.

Paninis and pasta sounds like appropriate food for the much-anticipated TOGA Party at the Villa Di Palma. FLIFF Executive Board Member Steve Savor is presenting live entertainment featuring Otis Day & The Knights from the 1978 classic comedy Animal House, starring the late John Belushi, the late John Vernon, Kevin Bacon, Peter Riegert and Karen Allen, who is in town to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Best known for her blockbuster body of work from the 1980s, Karen Allen is truly a renaissance woman. Besides owning her own fiber arts business in Barrington, Massachusetts, Allen teaches Yoga and acting. Born in southern Illinois and raised in Washington D.C., Karen was a camp counselor for special needs children during her teens. A natural writer, Allen was bitten by the acting bug after seeing a tour of the Polish Laboratory Theater in 1972. As an actress, Allen [perhaps best known for her role in Indiana Jones films] balanced her acting career between film and theater.

In theater, she found diversity of roles in classics written by William Shakespeare, August Strindberg and Tennessee Williams. Besides Patty Duke, Allen has portrayed both Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan in stage productions of Monday After the Miracle and The Miracle Worker, respectively. In the past eight years, Allen has directed theater productions in the Berkshires.

This Saturday evening, at 6:30 p.m., Allen’s cinematic directorial debut will be screened at the Savor Cinema before the TOGA party. Based on a short story by Carson McCullers, A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud is a quiet story about an old man who meets a boy at a roadside cafe. Usually published as part of Carson McCuller’s novella Ballad of the Sad Cafe, A Tree. A Rock. A Cloud. was a story Allen wanted to visualize since reading it in her early 20s.

While they never worked together, both Burt Reynolds [who received his Lifetime Achievement Award opening night of FLIFF] and Karen Allen have much in common.

Besides successful acting careers on the big screen, both have made a point of passing on their knowledge to the next generation. The Burt Reynolds Institute for Film & Theater, located in Jupiter, has been in existence for 40 years. Karen Allen is a Lifetime Member of the Actor’s Studio and is on the board of the Berkshire International Film Festival.

Given their participation at this year’s edition of FLIFF, both of their appearances have raised the cultural standards of our local community. Tickets & info: www.FLIFF.com

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FLICKS: Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival

Posted on 09 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

With genuine emotion, Florida history and the traditional glamour that goes along with it, this edition of Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF2017) is shaping up to be one of the best ever. The regular venues, Savor Cinema & Cinema Paradiso Hollywood, are hosting unique themed parties that are supporting the international flavor of the film being screened. Yet, it will be the opening night gala at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel that will be talked about for many years to come.

Executive Producer Stevie Salas’ Rumble: The Indians who Rocked the World delivered. This intriguing documentary provided an entertaining history about the roots of the Blues and the birth of rock ‘n roll overturning much mainstream education taught in public schools and academic institutions.

Salas had played guitar for the Rod Stewart Tour, which became the first concert at Joe Robbie Stadium on July 3, 1988.

While posing on the red carpet with actor Graham Greene [who showed off his Lifetime Achievement Award], Burt Reynolds and Chris Osceola, Salas acknowledged the moment, saying, “I performed with Rod Stewart in the first concert in the stadium. Now, the Hard Rock owns the stadium!”

With a chorus of reporters humming “Hail to the Chief,” Burt Reynolds arrived on the Red Carpet in an oversized golf cart, referred to as a “mini TransAm.” It was a fun and light moment as the gregarious Reynolds posed with the “Rumble” crew, students from his acting school in Jupiter, and cast & crew from Dog Years, the opening night film, including Nikki Blonsky (known best from Hairspray) and local actors Todd Vittum and Amy Hoerler.

It was after the screening of his film Dog Years, when a weepy Burt Reynolds took center stage to accept his second Lifetime Achievement Award. The silence was deafening as Mr. Reynolds apologized for mistakes in his life. He talked about working with great people through the years and how many of them are no longer around. He talked about Heaven and Hell, Florida State University and his childhood friend who ended up dying in Vietnam. You can find Burt’s speech on the Cinema Dave YouTube Channel – www.youtube.com/cinemadave. For all the facets of fame and fortune, Burt stressed the importance of family, friends and coming home to Florida.

Burt’s message that had an impact on Blanche Baker, whose mom, Carroll, was the recipient of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award. Blanche was in town to support a short film she directed, STREETWRITE, a 24-minute musical about free speech that encompasses all forms of Broadway musicals, operetta, rock, contemporary and hip-hop.

Baker utilized the students at New York Film Academy, where she teaches.

There will be more fun this Veterans Day weekend when writer/director Ken Webb’s comedy, Serious Laundry, screens at the Sunrise Civic Center as the featured centerpiece film. ArtServe President & CEO Jaye Abbate and I will introduce the documentary, Cries From Syria this Friday, Nov. 10 at 6:15 p.m. (location TBA), which may be one of the most important films released in 2017. For schedule and showtimes for all FLIFF films, visit www.fliff.com.

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Thor: Ragnarok & FLIFF open

Posted on 02 November 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

With lightening and Led Zeppelin, Thor: Ragnarok opens this weekend with full sound and fury. As part of the Marvel Comics universe, Thor 3 feels more like the levity of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie than the character seriousness of an Iron Man, Spider-Man or Captain America movie. With the inclusion of the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and Cate Blanchett as the villainous sister Hela, Thor Ragnarok is a critic proof movie that will be on the big screen through New Year’s Day.

While sticking around for only three more weeks, The 2017 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF) kicks into high gear this weekend with the annual Opening Night Party at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe, which features Burt Reynolds and Graham Greene receiving their Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Graham Greene first came to fame with his Oscar nomination for Dances with Wolves. He has worked steadily as an ensemble player in big budgeted films like Die Hard with a Vengence, The Green Mile and The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Recently seen in the Western-Noir drama Wind River, Greene is a festival favorite and was seen in George Hickenlooper’s last movie about South Florida Casino gambling, Casino Jack, which debuted at the 2010 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival.

Greene is expected to attend Rumble: The Indians who Rocked the World, along with Executive Producer Stevie Salas, a guitarist who wanted to share the contributions of Native Americans to rock ‘n’ roll. This documentary is presented on the big screen at the Seminole Hard Rock this Friday at 5 p.m.

Documentaries will be the strong suit of FLIFF this year and variety is the spice. Echoes will be screened at the Savor Cinema this Saturday and Cinema Paradiso Hollywood on Monday with musicians Nell Byrne & Ryan Kelly (from Celtic Thunder) in attendance. Essentially a small concert to promote their new album release, titled Echoes, this documentary features beautiful folk music and awe-inspiring visuals of Ireland.

The majority of the documentaries cover a variety of topics from fashion merchandising (Larger than life: The Kevyn Acoin Story) to forgotten mass genocide (Intent to Destroy). Both documentaries are slickly produced and will hold a viewers interest.

Cries from Syria represents documentary in its purest form. The visuals are horrible, featuring dead babies on the shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea. Told in English translation, mangled and deformed children describe the horrors of Isis on their Syrian homeland. This film fills in the bloody details of the Syrian Civil War that has taken on international proportions since 2011.

This film is a call for action, and the president listened… Having seen the slaughter of children from chemical weapons, President Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles last April in retaliation. It is appropriate that Cries from Syria screens Nov. 10, 2017 the first day of Veteran’s Day Weekend.

 

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FLICKS: Frankenstein at the library? FLIFF begins & Aida’s Secrets opens

Posted on 26 October 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

The Ghost of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein will manifest this 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the Deerfield Beach Percy White Library. Besides screening a Lon Chaney monster movie (title withheld due to licensing agreements), this program will discuss Shelly’s influence on popular culture. The program will also present a video about Kenneth Strickfaden, a pioneer in steam technology.

Written by Mary W. Shelley in the early 19th Century, Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus contained elements of horror fiction, but the story was influenced by Greek mythology about creation. Through the creator’s neglect and irresponsibility, the creation causes chaos upon the status quo. Every generation has their own Frankenstein creation that becomes a monster.

During the 1930s, Boris Karloff became a household name when he portrayed the monster in a trilogy of Frankenstein movies. The Karloff Frankenstein movies were heavily influenced by European Gothic sensibilities. When Karloff stopped playing the monster at age 51, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi and Glenn Strange portrayed the character in the 1940s. Given the events of World War II, the monster was portrayed as a mindless lumbering brute to reflect Nazi aggression.

In the 1950s, Karloff portrayed the creator in Frankenstein 1970, which featured a sappy metaphor about nuclear energy and weapons.

Those who dare to enter the auditorium at Deerfield Beach Percy White Library this Saturday afternoon will see the Frankenstein monster from a variety of perspectives. Besides other surprises, the first 25 people in attendance will receive the catalog for the 2017 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF).

Speaking of FLIFF, this week’s screenings at Savor Cinema and Hollywood Paradiso will honor the 30th anniversary of the European Film Festival Awards. Many of these films made their American debut through FLIFF. Among the classic titles returning to the Broward County screens: The Full Monty, Life is Beautiful and Amelie. This week’s screenings also include the winners of the made-in-Florida competition, featuring the Lifetime Movie Channel favorite Girlfriend Killer, starring Barbie Castro.

Thor Ragnarok will be getting the most marketing buzz next week; but, this Marvel flick will be on the big screen through New Year’s Day, whereas the Opening Night Party at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel only happens once a year. So plan accordingly. For ticket information and info. on all the events, contact 954-525 FILM or visit www.fliff.com.

Aida’s Secrets opens tomorrow. This documentary deals with Post Holocaust Europe and the long term effects on families and children. Aida’s secrets are two sons who never met, who form an instant bond. One son is blind, but, like a dogged detective, he is driven to uncover the mystery of this family separation.

Have a safe and Happy Halloween. Trick or Treat!

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FLICKS: Harvey Weinstein, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women & FLIFF news

Posted on 19 October 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

It has been 26 years since Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. It was riveting television, but Hill’s claims were proven not convincing through a lack of proof. Even though Clarence Thomas became a Supreme Court Justice, responsible employers mandated “Sexual Harassment Training” for their employers in the workplace. Apparently Harvey Weinstein did not attend this training in over two decades.

As disgusting as Weinstein’s behavior is, perhaps more abhorrent is the Hollywood’s elite being so complicit. Granted Weinstein produced some groundbreaking and award-winning movies (Shakespeare in Love, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Fahrenheit 911, all of Quentin Tarantino’s flicks) and actors/actresses need the work. It is the hypocrisy of morality that has truly struck a nerve in the American heartland. This latest scandal is a reminder that one must look beyond the headline of any news story, for objective journalism died when Walter Cronkite was forced to retire 36 years ago.

A look behind the scenes is what Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is all about. It is an historical drama about the first half of the 20th Century, though the Marston family has disavowed any involvement to the plot. Much like Ed Wood and Finding Neverland, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women is a story about the creation of one’s imagination.

Psychology professor and inventor of the lie detector machine, Professor William Moulton (Luke Evans) and his wife, Elizabeth (Rebecca Hall) were renowned for his development of the DiSC Theory, which explained the behavior pattern of dominant and passive individuals. While hiring a teacher’s assistant, Olive Byrne (Bella Heathcoate), the Moulton family invites a new individual who submits to their academic ideals. The relationship between employee and employer crosses academic lines and the Moultons are expelled from academia.

Given that this firing occurred during the Roosevelt Administration, the Great Depression and the war years pay their toll of these former academic aristocrats. Elizabeth is forced to take a job as a secretary, Olive becomes a housewife and William becomes the jack of all trades. While passing a store and seeing a corset in the shop window, William has an inkling of an idea about a new comic book creation based on Rosie the Riveter, a sort of wonder woman.

For a film audience that had witnessed The Secretary and the Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequel, Professor Marston and the Wonder Women has been considered “subdued” by urban elitist critics. Writer/director Angela Robinson explores the exotic and the erotic with taste and reserve, which advances the nature of the creative relationship between the Marstons and Olive Byrne.

This film is a vacation from the ordinary film, which happens to be the motto for the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival (FLIFF). In the build up to FLIFF (which is held Oct. 27-Nov. 19), it has been announced that character actor Graham Greene will be joining opening night festivities at the Seminole Hard Rock. Besides receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award, Greene will be supporting the documentary, Rumble: The Indians who Rocked the World, which will be a full event. Burt Reynolds and Karen Allen are among the other celebrities slated to attend this year. For more information on the festival, visit www.fliff.com.

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FLICKS: Blade Runner 2049

Posted on 11 October 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

The biggest buzz in science fiction is the two minute, 30 second Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer that was revealed Monday night. Within hours, viral videos were created, in which detailed frame-by-frame analysis was provided by Star Wars fanatics. Clocking in at nearly three hours, Blade Runner 2049 has created less buzz in the social media.

Released 35 years ago during the summer of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn and Tron, Blade Runner was released to glowing reviews with a tepid box office. Through VHS and various re-releases and director’s cuts, Blade Runner grew into a cult phenomena, in which much attention was given to every nuance and cinematic detail. 

With the release of Blade Runner 2049, history is repeating itself. The new film opened to good, but not great, box office. According to Rotten Tomatoes.com, urban elitist critics rated Blade Runner 2049 better than the ticket buying public. The new film is not likely to make back its production costs during the first run, but Blade Runner 2049 is likely to be a science fiction, cult film for the next 35 years.

The film takes place 35 years after the events of the first film (a deliberate parallel with reality). The environment is still a mess. There was a massive electrical blackout and rogue replicants (cyborg slave labor) are still being terminated by blade runners. The film opens with K (Ryan Gosling) terminating Sapper Morton (Dave Bautista), who claims he witnessed a miracle.

With the help of his superior officer Joshi (Robin Wright), K investigates this “miracle,” which involves carbon life from a cybernetic organism. Through many detours, K’s investigation leads to Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a retired blade runner in exile. 

Harrison Ford’s character does not arrive until the final one third of Blade Runner 2049, which may have strained the patience of the cultists who want answers to the questions that were raised by the first movie. Instead, more ambiguity is served which seems to be the major theme of the Blade Runner movies.

With echoes of a Stanley Kubrick movie, Blade Runner 2049 is too long for its own good. Taking away the Harrison Ford subplot, the detours that blade runner K goes on are interesting and raise questions about individuality, relationships and the meaning of life. Blade Runner 2049 is a film to ponder.

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FLICKS: Battle of the Sexes nice, but disappointing

Posted on 05 October 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

While IT retained the box office crown, for the most part it was a disappointing weekend. Despite the multimillion dollar marketing campaign and much hype from the recent U.S. Open Tennis Championship, Battle of the Sexes was a major financial disappointment.

Battle of the Sexes reviews the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) and Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) that filled the Houston Astrodome on a Thursday night on Sept. 20, 1973.  The match was a special edition of ABC’s Wide World of Sports and was a ratings winner.

With consultation from Billie Jean King and her longtime companion Ilana Kos, we are presented with the behind-the-scenes drama. While Riggs and King trash-talked each other in the public eye, off camera it appears the couple had a professional relationship with one another. 

It is the relationships away from tennis that fill up most of the running time. While Riggs’ gambling addiction is the core of his domestic woes, it is Billie Jean King’s emotional growth as a lesbian that is given most of the spotlight. It is ironic that so much time is devoted to King’s relationship to her former hairdresser Marilyn Barnett, because eight years later Barnett sued King for palimony. 

As the reigning Best Actress Winner, Emma Stone does a fine job. She mixes Billie Jean King’s public professionalism with silent moments of reflection that is soul searching. As the rude, crude and socially unacceptable (by today’s standards) Bobby Riggs, Steve Carell gives a sympathetic performance. It would have been easy to make Riggs a villain, but Carell’s vulnerability makes one root for him.

Battle of the Sexes is an entertaining slice of history for those who lived in 1973. One is reminded about the fashion trends when hearing the pop music associated with the time. Yet, there is a mechanical feeling to the screenplay for this movie. There is no need to rush out and see it, for it will be played on television during Women’s History Month.

Battle of the Sexes is likely to be forgotten this weekend as the much anticipated Blade Runner 2049 opens, a sequel 35 years in the making. 

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Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards & Rebel in the Rye

Posted on 28 September 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

Perhaps it was out of domestic protest from the antics of the NFL, but the motion picture box office had its best weekend since the peak of the summer blockbuster season, with The Kingsman: The Golden Circle, IT and The LEGO Ninjago earning nearly $100 million in revenue. With the much hyped Battle of the Sexes opening this weekend, expect to see more people at a theater near you.

For those considering walking to a theater near you, the documentary Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards opens this weekend. Granted people who wear Manolo shoes are not likely to walk long distances, but are likely to ride limousines to some gala events with red carpets.

Despite the trappings of fame, Manolo Blahnik is a man who sees himself as a simple cobbler. Born in Spain, Manolo was an odd kid who was enraptured by the fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson and was fascinated by the human foot.

Learning the foundations of ergonomic design, Manolo began making shoes that were more colorful and artistic. Before finding a new home in Bath, England, Manolo became an international superstar on the red carpets in Manhattan and Milano, Italy. Despite luxury of living the upper class life, Manolo is most content working in a shoe factory designing his next product. Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards is very entertaining.

Rebel in the Rye presents the dark side of success. It is the story of J.D. Salinger (Nicholas Hoult — in a fine, understated performance) and the creation of his much revered novel, Catcher in the Rye. Much of the film presents Salinger alone by his typewriter, talking to himself and acting out conversations with his protagonist, Holden Caulfield.

Despite the starkness of these scenes, Rebel in the Rye is a lively motion picture when Salinger interacts with other people. Oona O’Neill (Zoey Deutch) is a charming vision of Salinger’s unrealized dreams. As his creative writing teacher, Whit Burnett, Kevin Spacey provides memorable instruction to his atypical prodigy. The few scenes between Salinger and Burnett are electric.

In less than a month the Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival opens and the much anticipated Blade Runner 2049 will be released soon. Don’t let Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards and Rebel in the Rye get lost in the crowd.

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FLICKS: Stronger opens, “Mother!” pontificates

Posted on 21 September 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

The Querulous Nights of Athena Minerva is the most disturbing book that I have written; it is also my least profitable. Dark themes are a tough sell; but, if one balances the fine line between horror with humor and humanity, a story can be profitable as It and Annabelle Creation can attest. Mother! was released last weekend and was a box office disappointment.

With award winning credits like The Wrestler and Black Swan, writer/director Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! was highly praised by urban elitist critics on RottenTomatoes.com. Yet, the same site also revealed a far lower audience score. When old time New York film critic Rex Reed named Mother! the worst film of the year — perhaps the century, ratings from the urban elitist critics dropped.

Part of the attraction of Mother! are the deep Biblical themes that Aronofsky (who also did the much-panned Noah) claims he attempted, with an emphasis upon the Book of Genesis. The film begins in flames and transposes into a jeweled crystal that Javier Bardem places on the mantel. Once set, the scenery expands to reveal Jennifer Lawrence sleeping on the bed. Lawrence (revealed to be the title character) goes looking for “Him” (Bardem’s character name).

After the first jump scare, Aronofsky keeps the focus on Jennifer Lawrence’s face. Sometimes Aronofsky pulls the camera lens back to reveal that Lawrence does construction inside the house, while barefoot. A Man (Ed Harris) knocks on the door and says he is Bardem’s No. 1 fan and that he needs a place to sleep. After a night of drinking, it is revealed that the “Man” is missing a rib. The next day, a “Woman” (Michelle Pfiefer) arrives and reconnects with the “Man.” Mother is not amused.

During these expository scenes, Aronofsky directs with minimalist restraint. The cinematography invokes the paintings of Andrew Wyeth. Yet, as more characters enter the house (Mother never steps off the porch), the set becomes claustrophobic and invokes the dark visions of Francisco Goya and Caravaggio.

As the old saying goes, “Half of Art is knowing where to stop.” Such is the case for this film, which becomes as ponderous as a house waiting for electricity.

The story lacks coherence and one tires of Jennifer Lawrence’s cries for help, for she is not a real person but merely a dramatic symbol of Aronofsky’s fevered mind. Like Stanley Kubrick’s overrated The Shining, Mother! may be the darling of the urban elitist critic circle in a few decades. For the time being, there are better movies on the big screen besides this one.

For something more life affirming and more personal, Stronger opens this weekend. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman, the man who lost both of his legs at the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, Stronger looks far more inspiring than some Hollywood elitist interpretation of the Bible.

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FLICKS: Polina & It

Posted on 14 September 2017 by LeslieM

By “Cinema” Dave

http://cinemadave.livejournal.com

As my mentors preached at the Dillard School of Performing Arts, success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. Moments of youthful inspiration are often gobbled by factory line instruction and dogmatic adherence to the elder masters of the craft. Polina is a French film that examines the fine line between dedication and inspiration. 

The film opens with a school bus taking young ballerinas past nuclear energy plants. We meet young Polina (Anastasia Shevtsova), who is examined to determine if she will be a good candidate for a ballet school, with the eventual hope of entering the Bolshoi. Despite some physical limitations, little Polina makes the cut, which thrills her father, who has connections with organized crime.

As she matures, Polina tires of the rigid structure of Russian ballet. After witnessing modern dance from a French dance troupe (especially a male dancer on whom she develops a crush), Polina changes her discipline. Being a fish out of water in her new avocation, she performs poorly, especially when her crush dances better with an arch rival.

Polina is a pure art house film, filled with fantastic visuals that tell a simple story about artistic growth.  Being a trained ballerina, Anastasia Shevtsova shines with beauty and grace. French icon Juliette Binoche has a small, but pivotal role. She instructs her protege to stop being so centered (as she was trained at the Bolshoi), and to observe life.

Despite Hurricane Irma’s interference with the Florida box office, IT had a blockbuster weekend. Having gone to a pre-hurricane screening, IT fulfilled crowd expectations. People were talking to the screen telling the heroes/victims what they should or should not do. This horror film is a pure roller coaster ride between comedy and terror, with a touch of late 1980s nostalgia thrown in.

Based on Stephen King’s omnibus novel, the movie focuses on part of the book about the seven preteen friends who encounter the shape-shifting boogeyman of all of their individualized phobias. When the demon speaks, he adopts persona of Pennywise, the Dancing Clown (Bill Skarsgard – the son of Stellen Skarsgard, no stranger to playing villains).

Some of the author’s artistic controversial flourishes are eliminated and, in many ways, the film improves upon the book. The terrors of Carrie, Christine and The Dead Zone are still apparent. Director Andy Muschietti captures the vibe of the Rob Reiner/Stephen King Stand by Me.  

It and Polina are diverse movies on the big screen this weekend and both will appeal to their respective audiences.

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