UNCOUPLED – Review by Martha K Baker

Uncoupled follows a heart-breaking break-up. Together for 17 years, this couple of men defines marital steadiness, a model for their friends and family. Until they don’t. And then they no longer model “till death do us part” on the night of the surprise party that Michael throws for Colin on his 50th birthday. Imagine Colin’s surprise. Heck. Imagine Michael’s.

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HALLELUJAH: LEONARD COHEN, A JOURNEY, A SONG – Review by Martha K Baker

Leonard Cohen put his imprimateur on this documentary just before his 80th birthday. The film includes archival material never before seen — from notebooks, photographs, performances, and interviews. The film begins in December 2013 at his final concert with his bass voice vibrating, his body virile in genuflection. The directors, partners Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine, plaited three strands of the story: Cohen journeying through the Sixties to his final concert in 2013.

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AFTERSHOCK – Review by Martha K Baker

The searing documentary, Aftershock,” addresses the maternal health crisis suffered by Black women in the United States. The title refers to the horrors that follow a tsunami. St. Louisan Davis Guggenheim, who also directed An Inconvenient Truth, executive produced Aftershock/. In the angry, righteous hands of the directors, Tonya Lewis Lee and Paula Eiselt, Aftershock is compelling.

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MRS HARRIS GOES TO PARIS – Review by Martha K Baker

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris seems like a sweet little movie about a sweet little charwoman. It is not. At least, that’s not all it is. The current film is an adaptation of earlier versions, and it presents, not just a woman dreaming of a Dior dress. It explores philosophy, as in Sartre and existentialism; it peers at feminism with references to the “invisible” woman; it juxtaposes lower middle class workers v. upper class twits.

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DREAMING WALLS: INSIDE THE CHELSEA HOTEL – Review by Martha K Baker

The promotional blurb for Dreaming Walls: Inside the Chelsea Hotel promises that it “takes us through the hotel’s storied halls, exploring its living body and the bohemian origins that contributed to its mythical stature.” Well, yes and no. Certainly, references are made to famous artists such as Patti Smith and Janis Joplin, but most of the film concentrates on the old guard living there.

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WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING – Review by Martha K Baker

Where the Crawdads Sing includes sex, shells, and snots and the Piggly Wiggly. It’s the story of a determined woman, shot and written by same. Director Olivia Newman handily flips the plots, back and forth, through the Sixties in the South, placing nature front and center to tell this story of Kya, a natural naturalist.

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ALONE TOGETHER – Review by Martha K Baker

Alone Together joins a lengthy roster of films that fail to live up to promise. It’s also one of those films that calls for interrogation: Where does it go wrong? Who is to blame? How much time does it deserve in the viewing before the leaving? Looking for someone to blame means glancing no further than the triplicated credit: Katie Holmes not only stars in Alone Together but also wrote and directed it.

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MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU – Review by Martha K Baker

There comes a point when watching Minions: The Rise of Gru that you forget it’s a children’s film. Sure, you quickly adopted two rug rats to go with you, a grown-up — or should I say, a Gru-n-up? After all, you want to get past ticket-sellers, all too prone to yuk it up at the sight of an adult eager to see the third chapter in the Minion saga.

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UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN – Review by Martha K Baker

The extremely intense, seven-episode mini-series centers on the 1984 murders of a mother and child, killed within the closed wold of the Mormons. Director/co-writer, Duston Lance Black folds into the narrative concepts of polygamy, blood atonement, evil, misogyny, and racism. He also fiddled all the pieces of this puzzle into a well-seamed production.

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