MONEY MONSTER – Review by Susan Granger

If you’re tired of watching superheroes do comic-book stunts, invest in this intriguing new thriller. Directed by Jodie Foster, it’s taut, tantalizing and timely. Financial guru/cable show host Lee Gates (George Clooney) bears more than a passing resemblance to Jim Cramer of CNBC’s “Mad Money.” Flanked by hip-hop backup dancers, he hands out stock tips, accompanied by silly sound effects. Read on…

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FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

florencefosterjenkinsposter Typical. You wait forever for a movie about Florence Foster Jenkins, and then two come along at once. It’s easy to see what drew multiple filmmakers to her: She’s a great story. Jenkins was a real person, a rich socialite and music lover who lived in New York in the early 20th century and enjoyed performing amateur operatics, which is all well and good, except she was a terrible singer: always off-key, probably tone-deaf, and worst of all, she chose really difficult pieces to sing that would have challenged even talented professionals. She died in 1944, having given only one truly open-to-the-public performance, but recordings of her “singing” live on. Unfortunately. Read more>>

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THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY – Review by Susan Granger

As the brilliant Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan, engaging actor Dev Patel snags his first meaty role since “Slumdog Millionaire” and the “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” comedies. A self-educated clerk from a poor Brahmin family, Ramanujan overcame incredible odds to inform the later work of Stephen Hawking (“The Theory of Everything”) and Alan Turing (“The Imitation Game”). Although writer/director Matt Brown strikes a more conventional key than those previous biopics, he nevertheless weaves a compelling tale of passion and perseverance. Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, May 9 – May 15: MONEY MONSTER

money monster posterOpening May 13, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Money Monster, the new thriller from director Jodie Foster starring George Clooney as a financial TV host whose studio is taken hostage by an irate investor (Jack O’Connell) looking for answers. Read on…

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DARK HORSE, A LIGHT BENEATH THEIR FEET, ADIRA, BRIDGEND and More May 6 Openers — Reviews by Jennifer Merin

dark horse poster smallThis week’s movie releases include several stirring femme-helmed films, both narrative and documentary. My top pick is Dark Horse, Louise Osmond’s inspiring documentary about a scrappy thoroughbred that was breed and raced by a bar maid and her syndicate of working class Welshman, and what a wonderful story it is. A Light Beneath Their Feet is Valerie Weiss’ smart narrative about a problematic mother-daughter relationship, while Irene Delmonte’s Adira is a harrowing coming of age tale about a Jewish girl in Nazi Germany. Also recommended: Bridgend and The Haunting of Alice D, Read the reviews of these and other May 6 openers.

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR — Review by Susan Granger

POW! Crammed with action, this installment should really be dubbed “Avengers 2.5,” since it features a plethora of superheroes in conflict with one another. Responding to public protests after an alarming amount of casualties…a.k.a. collateral damage…caused by their derring-do, Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (William Hurt) proposes the Sokovia Accords, which would limit the vigilantes’ autonomy under international law. Read on…

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Christy Beam Talks About MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN and Being the Subject of a Movie — Diana Saenger Interviews

Christy Beam.   Photo by Sunny Mays Photography

Christy Beam. Photo by Sunny Mays Photography

Miracles From Heaven, adapted by Randy Brown from the book by Christy Wilson Beam, became a movie with a surprising true story that has enthralled moviegoers all over the world. Domestic Total as of May,1, 2016 was $59,657,409. How does one explain the impossible was a question Beam faced when she decided to write her family story regarding their journey through faith, fear and pain of their daughter Annabel’s chronic illness? Beam set aside time to be interviewed about this experience. Read on…

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KEANU – Review by Susan Granger

Voiced by “The Matrix” star, Keanu is the tiny gray-and-white kitten that serves as the linchpin in an extended sketch by TV’s Comedy Central favorites Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. As Keanu’s story begins, he’s scooting out of a drug-lab shootout, miraculously winding up on the doorstep of pot-puffing slacker Rell Williams (Peele), who’s depressed after being dumped by his girl-friend. With the approval of his uptight best friend/cousin Clarence (Key), Rell adopts the fluffy feline, naming him Keanu, which he thinks is Hawaiian for “cool breeze.” Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, May 2 – May 8 – CAPTAIN AMERICA – CIVIL WAR

CivilWarposterOpening May 6, AWFJ’s Movie of the Week is Captain America: Civil War, the latest outing for Marvel’s patriotic superhero which sees a rift between two of the Avengers cause a major rift in the group – which could have dire consequences for the rest of humanity. Read on…

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EVE HESSE, GAYBE BABY, THE WAIT, MOTHER’S DAY and more Apr 29 Openers — Reviews by Jennifer Merin

hesse posterThis week’s crop of femme-helmed and femme-centric films includes compelling documentaries about the life and work of avant guard artist Eva Hesse, an intimate look visit with children of same sex parents, the LGBTQ community’s passion for ‘vogueing,’ and our precious but endangered mother Earth. There are also several features that focus on motherhood in time for Mother’s Day, plus a number of noirish and horror thrillers centered around women protagonists, a couple of quirky comedies and a save-the-world animation for kids of all ages. Read the reviews>>

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