IRRATIONAL MAN – Review by Susan Granger

Woody Allen has won four Academy Awards, along with the seven bestowed on actors in his films. His 46th film as a director is a comedy about a tormented, disillusioned philosophy professor who muses about “morality, choice and the aesthetics of life, randomness and murder.” When Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) arrives at Rhode Island’s (fictional) Braylin College, his charismatic reputation precedes him – at least rumors about his alcoholism and legendary penchant for young women. Which poses an enticing challenge for frustrated faculty colleague, Rita Richards (Parker Posey), and eager philosophy student, Jill Pollard (Emma Stone). Read on…

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AWFJ Movie of the Week, June 15-21: INSIDE OUT

InsideOutposterOpening June 19, the AWFJ Movie of the Week is Inside Out, the latest family film from animation powerhouse Pixar. Newcomer Kaitlyn Dias voices Riley, a young girl who has moved from the Midwest to San Francisco, prompting her emotions to go into overdrive. Given voice, the feelings of Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phylis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling), jostle and fight inside her head as Riley attempts to settle in to her new life.Read on…

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ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL, THE WOLFPACK, JURASSIC WORLD and other June 12 Openers – Reviews by Jennifer Merin

me and earl full posterMe and Earl and the Dying Girl, starring Olivia Cooke and Thomas Mann, is about finding the friendship that reveals the light in life, and taking every opportunity to enjoy it, before it slips away. It’s not a tear jerker, but do bring tissues. The Wolfpack, a documentary about kids raised in isolation in a NYC apartment, is fascinating. Both films have lots of movie references, and are must sees. Jurassic World, on the other hand, is a must miss. Also opening: The Yes Men Are Revolting and Vendetta. Read the reviews…

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The Bogdanovich Story: Antonia and Peter – Quendrith Johnson reports

AntoniaBogdanovich-211x300Two-on-one interviews are never easy, especially if you inexplicably fluff a plot-point on a movie. Writer-director Antonia Bogdanovich, on the phone with her father Peter Bogdanovich, who executive produces on her debut feature film Phantom Halo, graciously corrects the error with: “The (other) guy shot the father. Not the son.” And with that Freudian flourish, you solider on somehow, mostly because the Bogdanovich’s are so gracious. Read on…

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NOTHING BAD CAN HAPPEN – Review by Liz Whittemore

nothingbadcanhappen-202x300Katrin Gebbe’s work is exceptional. What trust and respect she must have had with her cast and crew to be able to pull off a piece that is so incredibly dark and frightening. It is hard to believe that this is her feature debut. This film draws you in from the get go. It has an ominous feeling that makes you happy that you are just watching a movie. You have to try to forget that this actually happened. Read on…

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GEMMA BOVARY – Review by Susan Granger

French writer/director Anne Fontaine envisions Gustav Flaubert’s classic 19th century novel “Madame Bovary” for contemporary times. The story revolves around Martin Joubert (Fabrice Lucchini), an unhappily married baker who fled from Paris to seek tranquility in the Normandy countryside. An avid reader, his favorite book is “Madame Bovary,” which was written in this same provincial village. Read on…

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LONDON ROAD – Review by MaryAnn Johanson

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This is not Andrew Lloyd Webber. It’s not like any sort of musical I’ve ever seen before — no one has. It’s the first verbatim musical, a twist on the documentary format of verbatim theater. Writer Alecky Blythe crafted lyrics (for composer Alan Cork) from the actual words of the people living on the titular street in the town of Ipswich, England, as they react to the news that five prostitutes who had been working in their neighborhood had been murdered, and later that one of the street’s own residents has been arrested for the crime. Read more>>

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Olivia Cooke Talks DYING GIRL, Women’s Roles and Amy Winehouse (Exclusive Audio) – Jennifer Merin Interviews

meandearl3In Me And Earl and the Dying Girl, Olivia Cooke brings a vitality to the role of Rachel, the titular ‘Dying Girl,’ that is sure to touch youngsters who are coming of age — whether they’re in the grips of normal hormonal changes or life-threatening diseases. In this interview she speaks about women’s roles in cinema and the importance of not playing the victim or becoming reedits of roles written for men. Read on… and listen to the unedited audio.

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Producer Jenny Gersten On Francis Ford Coppola’s DISTANT VISION – Brandy McDonnell Interviews

Producer Jenny Gersten talks about Francis Ford Coppola’s latest movie production, Distant Vision, an innovative live semi-autobiographical 52-minute cinematic performance created in real time on the 6,000-square-foot soundstage at Oklahoma City Community College’s Visual and Performing Arts Center and screened simultaneously in select theaters around the world — as near as Oklahoma City’s Bricktown entertainment district and far away as Paris, France. Read more>>

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JURASSIC WORLD – Review by Susan Granger

This fourth installment in the “Jurassic Park” franchise, based on Michael Crichton’s best-seller, is back on track as a terrifying creature feature. 22 years after the tragic events of the original “Jurassic Park,” Isla Nublar, that island off the coast of Costa Rica, has become Jurassic World, a dinosaur theme park with safari-like excursions, rides on baby triceratopses, and a petting zoo. Read on…

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