The Last Vermeer

In John Frankenheimer’s 1964 film The Train, French Resistance hopes to stop a train filled with art treasures without damaging the cargo. In director Dan Friedkin’s The Last Vermeer, former Dutch Resistance fighter Joseph Piller (Claes Bang) roots out the collaborators who stole from Jews to benefit the Nazis as the debris of world war settles.… Continue reading The Last Vermeer

Non-Offensive Folk Music “B-Sides” Boxed

It’s a given that Folkways Records’ six-album compilation Anthology of American Folk Music, compiled from the vast collection of eccentric boho Harry Smith in 1952, provided a blueprint for the similar folk, blues, gospel and country music archival collections released in recent years by Atlanta-based label Dust-to-Digital. So it’s rather appropriate that the award-winning company,… Continue reading Non-Offensive Folk Music “B-Sides” Boxed

Resistance

The new wave of Coronavirus Cinema begins with Resistance, which would have benefited from a quick trip to the editing room to get turned into a home-schooling family film about the horrors of WWII. Instead, we get this miserable Nazisploitation as put together by writer/director Jonathan Jakubowicz – who’s somehow found acclaim as a cinematic… Continue reading Resistance

Balloon

Around the world in 80 days? The Strelzyk and Wetzel families just need to stay aloft for 30 minutes to clear the Berlin Wall and reach the West! But with their every step, the secret police for the German DEMOCRATIC Republic, led by the watchful stare of a Stasi Lieutenant (Thomas Kretschmann), are closing in. From the… Continue reading Balloon

The Banker

Apple+ TV originally developed The Banker as their Oscars bid, but the Atlanta-lensed film was derailed after the family of pioneering black businessman Bernard Garrett unloaded some problematics on the son with a co-producer credit. The movie was yanked from the festival circuit, and initial plans for a theatrical release were quickly postponed – which is… Continue reading The Banker

Beanpole

(sung to the tune of “Theme from Flipper”): “They call her Beanpole, Beanpole, thinner than twigs, weighs less than guinea pigs…” The aftermath of German blockades lasting three years by war’s end has left the inhabitants of Leningrad traumatized. In particular, Iya (Viktoria Miroshnichenko) who suffers a post-concussive ailment that leaves her awake but motionless,… Continue reading Beanpole

Richard Jewell

An early scene in Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell shows Watson Bryant – who would be approached by Jewell to be his attorney several years later, as he’s the only one he knew – asking Richard if he knew the meaning of “quid pro quo.” Filmed in Atlanta over the past summer, before the term became… Continue reading Richard Jewell

The Aeronauts

James Stewart and Audrey Hepburn would’ve probably been Disney’s first picks to play mild meteorologist James Glaisher and daredevil pilot Amelia Wren in a Technicolor pic shot in Cinerama. Instead, we get Edward Redmayne and Felicity Jones in a fabulously old-fashioned throwback about a daring 1862 flight to reach new heights in a hot-air balloon.… Continue reading The Aeronauts

The Report

The main villain in The Report is John Brennan – which means outraged viewers won’t get much schadenfreude from this story of a crusading United States Senate investigator exposing the CIA’s use of torture in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. The titular report won’t stop Brennan from becoming a media darling after serving as President Obama’s CIA director.… Continue reading The Report

Official Secrets

Katharine Gun was a low-level British intelligence translator who spent her free time screaming at the television because she hated that Tony Blair was going to war with Iraq in 2003. Then she got a chance to send some journalists a highly classified document. That would lead to criminal charges and a chance for Keira… Continue reading Official Secrets

Atlanta to Relive Richard Jewell Story

After years of speculation, during which time assorted directors and actors were in talks for the project, the feature film Richard Jewell is finally going forward, with Clint Eastwood at the helm. The true tale of the security guard whose life was upended when he was widely – and wrongly – suspected in the bombing… Continue reading Atlanta to Relive Richard Jewell Story

Best of Enemies

The Best of Enemies is a fact-based account of outspoken black activist Ann Atwater, played by Taraji P. Henson (Empire) clashing over school integration with C.P. Ellis, played by Oscar winner Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), the Exalted Cyclops of the North Carolina Ku Klux Klan. The two who are on complete polar… Continue reading Best of Enemies

Stockholm

Director Robert Budreau’s look at a bank heist in 1973 that’s cited as the origin of the term “Stockholm Syndrome” where hostages developed a psychological connection to their captors. Ethan Hawke plays Lars Nystrom, an American who hopes to bust out the greatest bank robber of the time, Gunnar Sorensson (Mark Strong) by staging a… Continue reading Stockholm

Green Book

Director Peter Farrelly’s fact-based Green Book isn’t groundbreaking by any means, but it’s truly one of the most solid films of last year, and ought to be a shoe-in to get those coveted Academy Award nominations in January and wins in late February. However, some of the “powers that be” behind the scenes in nonsensical,… Continue reading Green Book

First Man

Producer Steven Spielberg, director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land), and Ryan Gosling have teamed up for “Oscar Bait 2018,” I mean First Man, a fact-based biopic (based on James R. Hansen’s book), about astronaut Neil Armstrong and family’s life leading up to the Apollo 11 mission and Armstrong’s historic first steps on the moon.… Continue reading First Man

1945

August 12, 1945. As Arpad and Kisrozxsi prepare to marry, Japan is being bombed and the Soviets are poised at the Manchurian border. Hungarian postwar trepidation centers on two Orthodox Jews, the Samuels, who’ve returned to the village accompanying two trunks which may or may not contain perfume and cosmetics to restock their pharmacy which, along with… Continue reading 1945

All the Money in the World

Called in at the last moment to reshoot all of Kevin Spacey’s scenes, the flawless editing makes Christopher Plummer (Murder By Decree/The Silent Partner) the perfect choice to play the miserly billionaire J. Paul Getty, who suspects his grandson has perpetuated a self-abduction and refuses to pay $4 million dollars – much less the original… Continue reading All the Money in the World

The Man Who Invented Christmas

Back when I was releasing records, a band would announce, in late October, that they hoped to release a Christmas single, and I would have to walk them through a creative process including how studio time would need to be booked, then the recording must be mastered before being pressed while the sleeve art would… Continue reading The Man Who Invented Christmas

LBJ

LBJ (2017) movie CR: Electric Entertainment

The span of three years was to some the pinnacle of western culture that bridged “finding Camelot” to Dealey Plaza! This Rob Reiner film covers the vice presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson from the time of him being majority leader of a Senate that – once he decides to run against Kennedy for the Democrat presidential… Continue reading LBJ

The King’s Choice

Expecting Norwegian neutrality to accede to German occupation, Berlin orders ships through Norwegian defense and demands surrender after British and French ships mine the water to prevent iron shipments. The constitutionally elected monarch, King Haakson VII (Jesper Christensen, who plays Mr. White in the Bond films) leaves Oslo accompanied by his wife, Queen Maud, and the… Continue reading The King’s Choice

American Made

Whenever communism is confronted or thwarted the American left always cry foul that, whatever the policy, it’s “dirty pool.” Such was the case in the 1980s during what came to be tagged as Iran-Contra where military supplies where funneled into Nicaragua to arm the Contras, an anti-Sandinista force. This movie claims to be “ALL true based… Continue reading American Made

The Fencer

Drafted by Nazis, in post-war Estonia men were identified as “enemies of the State,” causing many to flee the prospect of Stalin’s labor camps. This Finnish/German/Estonian film is loosely based on Endel Nelis, who chose small town employment as a physical education teacher to escape from the watchful eyes of the secret police. When red tape prevents… Continue reading The Fencer