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"Isn't It Romantic?" is a Fresh Take on a Rom-Com

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'Isn't It Romantic' Official Trailer (2019) | Rebel Wilson, Liam Hemsworth

This Valentine's Day you're about to get knocked in the head for a romantic comedy that's hilariously self-aware. Rebel Wilson stars in Isn't It Romantic? alongside Priyanka Chopra and Liam Hemsworth. 

Rebel Wilson plays Natalie, a disenchanted architect who is blind to love. In the opening scene we learn that she's been told all her life that girls like her don't deserve love and by her cynical mother, of all people. 

Natalie has internalized this belief and is thrown into an alternate dimension during a mugging which places her inside of a romantic comedy and this time she's the star. 

It's a clever take on a worn-out premise of boy meets girl and they fall in love happily ever after. 

Happy Valentine's Day! 

Rating: B

"The Farewell" is a Tender Story of Familial Love and Loss

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Writer-Director Lulu Wang's film, The Farewell saw its worldwide premiere at Sundance Film Festival. In the film, Crazy Rich Asians star Awkwafina plays Billi, a young New Yorker who is devastated when she learns that her grandmother, affectionately known as Nai Nai is dying of lung cancer.

She learns of the illness when her parents alert her that they have learned of the grandmother's diagnosis but have decided not to tell her. Instead, the family has concocted an elaborate plan to fly to China and host a wedding between Billi's cousin Hao Hao and his girlfriend of three months as a rouse to see Nai Nai before she passes away.

Set to a strikingly beautiful soundtrack, the film is marked by an underlying tone representative of humanity's fear of the unknown as the entire family grapples with grief and the desire to be unified as a family.

The film also contained many wonderful comedic moments that broke up the tension of an otherwise gloomy situation to create a feeling o…

"Alita: Battle Angel" Disappoints

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James Cameron's latest sci-fi film, "Alita: Battle Angel" is the story of a cyborg with a human brain and her struggle to find her true identity and become her truest self, fighting for those she loves. 

We are taken to a futuristic city that is visually intriguing, but not as complex and inviting as the world Pandora, in  "Avatar". 

The plot carried many common tropes and the only character with a solid arc was Alita. I felt that James Cameron's attempts to humanize the cyborg were not impressive or convincing at all. I found myself questioning how she could breathe underwater without having lungs and how she could process food, for example, since she was only a cyborg. 

This film had one redeeming quality--stand-out performances from Rosa Salazar and Keean Johnson who are up-and-coming actors in their own right. 

Rating: D

"Delivery Girl" is a Woman's Story of Self-Discovery

In Kate Krieger's new pilot Delivery Girl, we are pulled into a world where a young woman fights to retain her own identity in a traditional Catholic family where heterosexual values are the norm.

Kate Krieger wrote, directed, and acted in Delivery Girl, the pilot to a series about a lesbian stuck in a traditionalist world that doesn't recognize her for who she really is. The series also features Joe Holt who plays Trisha's friend and driver and Chandler Lovelle, Trisha's secret girlfriend. Kate is a multi-talented actress and filmmaker who is known for her role in Workaholics, and Celeste & Jesse Forever. 

Delivery Girl is her directorial debut.

I got a chance to chat with Kate and her cast and crew about the series which saw its world-wide premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

In Delivery Girl, we meet Trisha Donahue (Kate Krieger) who is in love with another woman, but she's afraid that this woman doesn't love her enough to leave the man she's with to …

"Hair: The Story of Grass" is Provocative

“Hair: The Story of Grass” is a satirical comedy that is both provocative and strange—it’s filmed in a retro-VHS cartoon format with lots of flashbacks, flashforwards and jump cuts.
The film was written and directed by Maha Al-Saati.
Maha’s style is expressive as she explores domestic life in a household in Saudi Arabia including a woman caring for her brother living at home who is said to be “not normal” in the film because he is touching the hair of young girls. 
With minimal dialogue and exposition, we enter a world where body hair both repels and attracts us. 
We are shown hair removal commercials on every television set in the house and are confronted with the idea that body hair makes us want to run away or shave it off. 
The viewer is privy to the innerworkings of the household and sensitive to the input from family or friends that a particular style of hair is subjectively bad or good as noted in Abu Shanab’s mustache. 
There is subtlety and implication in this film as questions of …

LOVE, ANTOSHA: A Powerful Anthem to the Human Spirit

Love, Antosha is a moving portrait of the late Anton Yelchin, an actor known for his indomitable spirit, his sense of curiosity, and his vast body of work.

Martin Landau, Jodi Foster, J.J. Abrams, Jennifer Lawrence, John Cho, Chris Pine, and Kristen Stewart come together in Garrett Price's new documentary Love, Antosha to pay tribute to an actor and friend who was a monumental part of their lives and their careers. The intimate documentary held its world-wide premiere at The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Anton is known for his role as Chekov in three Star Trek films: Star Trek, Star Trek: Into Darkness and post-humously in Star Trek Beyond. His early work includes key roles in Hearts of Atlantis alongside Anthony Hopkins and in Charlie Bartlett, and the miniseries, Taken.

The film explores his rise as a talented child actor as he goes on to become a mature adult with a vast wealth of cinematic knowledge beginning with his exploration into roles like Travis Bickle from…

'Glass' is Seamless

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I loved this film. 

M. Night has a way of brilliantly tying all the pieces together. Glass arrives in theaters 19 years after the first film in the trilogy, Unbreakable came out. It was a seamless transition. Nothing was missing from the story. If you enjoy finding Easter eggs, there is a book by the Greek playwright Euripides sitting on the doctor's desk, played by Sarah Paulson. I have a feeling that perhaps M. Night was inspired by Bacchae which premiered in 405 B.C. and grapples with two sides of human nature: the rational and the instinctual. I don't want to give much away. I will only say that James McAvoy, Bruce Willis and Samuel L. are brilliant in this film and it is an origin story. 

I hope there will be more to come.

Rating: B