THE PUSHBACK (SXSW2020) – Review by Liz Whittemore

“Politics as usual” no longer exists. The Pushback shines a light on the darkness of immigration reform failures. It shows us how small selfless acts can lead to huge changes. It explains why 2020’s election will be the single most important election of our history. This inspiring documentary is not just about Texas. It’s about humanity. We need it right now for inspiration to keep fighting.

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BLOW THE MAN DOWN – Review by Liz Whittemore

While grieving for the loss of their mother, the Connolly Sisters suddenly find they have a crime to cover up, leading them deep into the underbelly of their salty Maine fishing village. Blow The Man Down is filled with surprises and its very own version of a Greek chorus in Maine fisherman form.

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THE SHED – Preview by Liz Whittemore

As an orphan living with his abusive grandfather (Timothy Bottoms) and always under the watchful eye of the local sheriff, life sucks for Stan (Jay Jay Warren). But he’s got it better than his best friend Dommer (Cody Kostro) whom he regularly defends from the school bullies. Additionally, their best friend Roxy (newcomer Sofia Happonen, Stan’s schoolboy crush, has fallen in with the cool crowd, who constantly harass Stan and Dommer.

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MARY – Review by Liz Whittemore

Mary brings sea-faring scares but might be a sinking ship. Genuinely frightening visual moments and a fantastically effective score by The Newton Brothers add to the atmosphere of terror. What I was missing is the clarification between the siren legend and missing children specifically. Sirens tend to temp sailors to their death, while adding in an entirely separate curse aspect into the story feels a bit muddled.

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THE FANATIC – Review by Liz Whittemore

John Travolta is one of our most iconic actors with his ability to bounce from Grease to Saturday Night Fever and then his triumphant comeback in Pulp Fiction. His portrayal of hitman Vincent is sexy and cool. It reminded us what we had been missing after years of mediocre roles. Travolta was a bonafide Hollywood movie star. That’s what makes him producing and starring in a The Fanatic so damn perplexing.

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AFTER THE WEDDING – Review by Elizabeth Whittemore

Secrets only lead to heartbreak. After The Wedding is a stunning gender-swap remake putting the focus on mothers. A spotlight is shown upon the choices a woman makes in both career and as a caretaker. This film has a beautiful commentary on generational relationships as well as the steps we take to maintain image and peace. The cast is truly phenomenal and the cinematography breathtaking. After The Wedding is a relatable story from every angle. The path of our lives cannot be controlled no matter how hard we try.

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